March 30, 2011

20 Weeks

18 weeks, 4 days
Tomorrow, I will be 20 weeks along. Half way through this pregnancy. I cannot believe it. They say all pregnancies are different and that has been correct in my case. With Rachel I was so sick my first trimester. So. Sick. And then around 9 weeks I had rib pain under my right rib that never went away. I had to sleep with my arms over my head on the couch. Not fun. I had the worst time sleeping to. I think I had insomnia. And to top it off, I had gallbladder attacks. Rachel made pregnancy not fun. Needless to say, I was pretty scared I would end up with another pregnancy like that. Thankfully, this one has been a breeze so far. Very mild nausea in the first trimester and that has been it. I feel fantastic and I sleep great. If it wasn't for his kicking I wouldn't remember I was pregnant at all! Since finding out we're having a boy, I have started to get that nesting instinct in full force. It's hard not to buy everything. I keep telling myself to wait until we've moved so we won't have to move more stuff!'s hoping the next 18 or so weeks left go by just as smoothly and uneventfully. Thank you, little booger, for making one thing easy (so far).

All snuggled up. :)

March 29, 2011

The Face of Down Syndrome

And isn't it Beautiful?!

Finally got Rachel's 18 month pictures back and I'm very pleased. If you live in or around Greensboro, NC and you like these pictures, visit Adam Mowery Photography. He is not only talented, but he is very reasonably priced. These are only some of the pictures. Enjoy!

March 28, 2011

I Am The Snake Charmer

Look into my eyes...
You will do as I say...
You are going to go downstairs...
and get me some milk!
Did it work?

March 22, 2011

Busy, Busy!

Rachel and I have been putting in some major fun time. I think we're trying to cram it all in before we move. On Thursday, we went to the zoo with two other friends. The zoo was kind of disappointing. There was a lot of walking but most of the animals were sleeping or the exhibits were closed. Even the food places were closed. At least it was a beautiful day.

Playing in the synthetic mulch
Holy huge gourd, batman!
Friday, we went to the local garden and had Rachel's 18 month pictures taken (18 months!!). It was about 80 but sunny and with a nice breeze. I think the photographer got some good shots and I'm happy that we got some nice pictures taken. We didn't really get any 12 month ones and with the new baby showing up so close to her 2 year birthday, we may not be able to get those done either. I'm excited to see the pictures and we should get them before the end of the month!
We went to a play date on Saturday morning. It had been a long time since we got together with this play group but Rachel had a blast. She just LOVES other kids and especially shy little boys. She had fun playing in their ball pit, with a play car and outside with some bubbles. We hope to get together with this group again before we move.

My friend, Kylie, came to visit with one of her little boys on Sunday. That didn't go so well. Rachel didn't sleep well the night before and so was cranky and needed a nap. Unfortunatly, that nap took place in my arms and Kylie had to leave before Rachel woke up. Let's hope the next time we get together it doesn't happen again! Also, Rachel figured out she can open cabinet doors. The first cabinet she opened? The one with the pots and pans. Go figure. :)
Yesterday, we had our big news along with Rachel's 18 month check up at the pediatricians. I am happy to announce she is getting much closer to 19 pounds finally after 6 months of staying at about 18. She is 18 pounds, 10 ounces and 27 3/4 inches. Again, I'm not sure about the height measurement because I swear she's longer than that. At least 28 inches. But whatever, as long as she is growing and maybe will get out of 12 month clothes by the time summer rolls around!
This coming weekend we are visiting more people and then we take off to Huntsville to visit Daddy and look at places to live. Moving day is getting closer and I'm happy to see the end in sight. Still not looking forward to finding all new doctors though. Gar!

March 15, 2011

Growth Spurt

By growth spurt I do not mean physically, although she has grown taller, I mean developmentally. This past week Rachel has decided that she no longer wants to be a baby. She had truly entered toddlerhood. She has two molars coming in along with the top two teeth that have already broke through. She holds her own bottle...finally. That is a strange site to see. She is standing without pulling up on furniture or me and you can tell she is thinking about taking that first step. Rachel drank from a straw today. too I guess all that spitting and sucking the spit back in, as disgusted as it makes me, was actually helping her learn how to purse her lips together. Rachel also wants to eat big girl food. No more little bites please! She wants to take bits from big pieces of anything. She is also learning how to hold on to the food and takes bites of it instead of trying to shove the whole thing in her mouth. Tonight we tried out Utz's White Cheddar Curlz. She loved them and crunched happily away. I am really enjoying this new side of my girl. It's nice to see her grow and become more confident in herself. Please enjoy the  video but ignore me in the background. I was talking to her daddy. I needed to tell him how big his little girl is getting.

March 12, 2011

March 11, 2011

Cheese Ball

Seriously folks...I don't teach her this stuff. It's in the genes somewhere. I'm placing bets on Grandpa C.

March 8, 2011

So Much To Say

Raiding the pantry...
Rachel has been on a roll recently. She signs "all done" and "more" (her version) consistently. I never thought we would get those signs down. I feel like I've been doing them FOREVER. So to have her do them and understand what they mean makes me very happy. We are really starting to communicate!
She likes to "sneak" up behind you and peer over your shoulder.
But the big deal in our house right now is Rachel stood independently for the first time yesterday. Her OT was over for a session and Rachel just stood up in the middle of the living room. I swear that girl is a show off and she waits for an audience to do major stuff. Of course she hasn't done it since but now that she has I know it's only a matter of time until it's an all the time thing. Which will lead us to walking! And then running....oh boy. I am so happy she cannot reach the door knobs in the house!
Over the weekend Grandpa Cooklis came for a visit. Rachel thought he was a lot of fun. She especially loved to yank the glasses off of his face. He also came with us to the annual Down Syndrome Group of Greensboro's family event at Tumblebees. It's a huge gymnastics place. Rachel was in heaven. A big room with cushy floors and lots of places to explore. That girl didn't stop crawling or climbing or pulling up for the whole hour we were there. She was pooped! I'm going to have to look into a gymnastics place down in Huntsville when we move. I know she will have a blast at a weekly class.

We also had a little play date today with Rachel's first love, Mr. Jonas, and his mom. It had been a while since they really hung out but the chemistry was still there! Rachel couldn't wait for a hug!

March 3, 2011

A day late...

I was going to post for "Spread the word to end the word" yesterday but Rachel had a bad night and I ended up holding her for a while before heading to bed myself. But I thought I was still worth posting about.

Before Rachel, my mouth let out a slew of words. I try hard to not swear in front of her now. I realize how ugly it sounds. While "retard" or "retarded" may not technically be swear words, used in every day speech to describe how you forgot something "I"m so retarded" or how you messed up the words to a song "I"m such a retard", they become swear words. I know this word is in everyone's language and unless you have a child with special needs or know someone who does, you would probably never give a second thought to saying one of the above phrases. I'm asking you now to think of Rachel before you let something come out of your mouth. She is, by definition, mentally retarded. It is in the description of Down syndrome. So, when you call yourself or someone or someTHING "retarded", you are saying my beautiful, special, smart daughter to something less then worthy, stupid or ugly. I can assure you, she is none of those. I know sometimes words escape you and what's done is done. I forgive you. I only ask that you commit to not saying it again. Rachel deserves more. Visit this site to take the pledge.

March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Jackie-Boy!

My puppy Jack turned 11 yesterday. I cannot believe it! I got Jack in May of 2000 while I was still in college. I had originally wanted an older dog because I didn't think I had the patience for a puppy. It took two trips to the pound (it really was a pound) to convince me that he was my dog. He was the cutest little bundle of fur! I will never forget calling my dad and asking him, after already getting Jack, what he thought of me getting a dog. He said it sounded like a horrible idea and that I should wait until I have a house and a yard. Um. No.
But it only took one meeting of little Jack for my dad to fall in love with him. Jack was a handful. I was on the phone with puppy classes within weeks of having him. He was only 3 months old. They wouldn't accept him until he was at least 6 months. Even when he did take classes his attention span wasn't there but you wouldn't know it now. He listens so well. We used to go for hikes and walks for hours at a time. It was the only way to get all the energy he contained down to a manageable level. Jack has been my traveling companion. We've gone up and down the coast together a couple of times. It was nice having him. He kept me company and we've had lots of adventures together. Old Jackie-boy has slowed a bit but you would never guess he is 11. I think our pug, Dizzy, keeps him moving and keeps him young.
I love you Jack. Happy birthday buddy!