Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Many of you know that Rosalie has a tradition of being famous historical female figures for Halloween.  In the past, she has gone as Rosie the Riveter, Amelia Earhart,and Marie Curie.  I chose to dress her in those costumes to challenge peoples preconceived notions of what they think her future will look like.  We certainly aren't putting any limits on her.  Those costumes were a way for us to display our high expectations for her to the world.

Well.  Rosalie has grown a lot this year and she is not shy about finding ways to communicate her likes and dislikes with us.  In a way, this Halloween was bittersweet for me.  On one hand, she is able to tell us her interests.  Yay!!  On the other hand, it meant the end of her "strong women" costume theme.

I'm not sure when, but at some point this year, Rosalie got OBSESSED with Mary Poppins.  She has watched the movie more times than I can count and we listen to the soundtrack almost daily.  In fact, I think Maddie recognized the music when she was born!  Ha!  She heard it a lot in utero!  After seeing how excited Rosie was to meet Mary Poppins at Disneyland, it seemed only fitting that she be Mary Poppins for Halloween this year.

We decided to get the whole family in on the fun!  Caleb went as Bert, I went as a chimney sweep, and Madeleine went as Mrs. Banks, the suffragette!  I was excited to still find a way to inject some girl power into our ensemble!  In a way, I think Rosie passed the torch on to Maddie this Halloween.  Let's see how long I can get Maddie to play along!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Disneyland Trip!

We took a trip to California with our awesome friends, the Secrists at the end of September!  We had a rough start when Caleb and I lost Rosalie's glasses before even leaving the house, but things only went up from there!

The first day, Caleb took Rosalie to the mall to get a new pair of glasses while the rest of us went bowling.  That evening, we went to Huntington Beach.  The waves were pretty intimidating so we didn't do much swimming.  Nevertheless, it was fun for the girls to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

Rosie and I spent a lot of time at the beach when we lived in Southern Maine, and this was her first time back to the ocean since then!  She was still just as obsessed with the sand as she had been in Maine, but luckily, she has grown out of eating it!  Ha!

The rest of our time was spent in the most magical place on Earth!  It was so special to visit Disneyland as a parent and to experience the magic through the eyes of our children (okay, mostly Rosie since Maddie was only 5 months old!)  We were there during a mini heat wave and the temperature was in the triple digits!  It got as hot as 109 degrees one day.  You would never have known it based on the kids behavior.  They were all fantastic!  We just did our best to stay hydrated.

Rosalie was most excited to meet Mary Poppins!  She adores that movie!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Welcome Baby Madeleine

Our sweet little Madeleine joined us on April 15!  She was delivered by her Daddy who did a fantastic job, despite seeing me poop!  Somehow, our marriage is still intact.😂😌😲

Rosie meets her baby sis!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spread the Word to End the Word

Yesterday, March 2nd was a day to “Spread the Word to End the Word” – an effort put forward by the Special Olympics and Best Buddies to eliminate the word “retard” and its variations from our collective vocabularies. It is a day to raise awareness to the idea the R-word, while created with the best of intentions, has now become both outdated in the medical profession and outright derogatory in casual language. So, while I have no intention of telling people how to speak, I do have some food for thought…

Over the past century, the term “mentally retarded” gradually came to exist. It was the medical world’s way of defining patients with an I.Q of less than 70, and of replacing vague, outdated terms such as idiotic, feeble-minded, and mongoloid. However, over time, the word gradually made its way into everyday language – and it did so as an insult. Now, if a t-shirt at a store is ugly, it “looks retarded.” If a referee makes a bad call in a game, he’s “a retard.” If you spill coffee on yourself in the morning, you self-deprecatingly say that you’re “being retarded today.” We’ve all heard it, and most of us (including myself) have used it.

Today, these unintended meanings that the R-word has acquired have become so pervasive that they overshadow its original, intended one – to the point that they are inextricably linked. I’ve often heard it argued that “mentally retarded” is simply a medical term and therefore cannot be offensive. Unfortunately, that horse is out of the barn. Melissa and I can say from first-hand experience that hearing “mentally retarded” in even the most objective of terms sends an uncontrollable chill down our spines. And we aren’t alone. The community of and for people with intellectual disability has spoken out – and it has created change. The psychiatrist’s bible – the DSM-V has redefined “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability.” The American Medical Association and World Health Organization have followed suit. The United States Congress has replaced all mention in previous laws of “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability.” As of 2014, the United States Supreme Court has ensured that all future opinions use this new terminology. The world is speaking out to say that the R-word needs to be demolished from our vocabulary.

Many people wonder if this is simply “political correctness.” I’ve even heard it described as a “euphemism treadmill,” where one term gets replaced with the next, each being used essentially in the same way. These questions and arguments are missing the point. This is not about the word itself, but rather it is about the feelings behind the words. Consider what would be different if just a few decades ago, the term “retarded” transitioned into popular language in a way that truly reflected people with intellectual disabilities. What if when somebody worked tirelessly to achieve a goal, they were “being retarded?” What if someone who loved unconditionally was a “retard.”

Our language reflects our attitudes, and our attitudes affect our actions. Let’s take this opportunity to clean the slate. Start fresh. Let’s stop using the R-word and start seeing people with intellectual disabilities for who they truly are: caring, fun-loving, hard-working, and courageous individuals.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Family Babymoon to Southern Utah

Caleb had a weekend off at the end of February so we decided to take advantage of it and go on a mini vacation in St. George and Zion National Park.  I was over 8 months pregnant at this point and Caleb was carrying Rosalie, so we took it easy and didn't do any crazy hikes.  We are looking forward to going back at some point and doing  more daring hikes sans kiddos!

Snow Canyon State Park
Checking out a little slot canyon.
Caleb and Rose in the mini slot canyon.

Rosalie would have played in these sand dunes all day if we had let her.

Zion National Park
Lower Emerald Pool

Middle Emerald Pool

Rosie did a lot of napping while Caleb hiked.

Upper Emerald Pool
Playing around at the Upper Emerald Pool

Lunch time!

Canyon Overlook at Sunset

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A New Year Brings a New Bed for Rosie!

The New Year is bringing some changes for Rosalie. Yesterday, she got kicked out of her crib and upgraded to a twin bed.

The last night in her crib was a wee bit emotional for me! Moving to a bed just seems like such a huge step and I can't believe my little lady is ready for it. She is growing up so fast! I had to sneak into her bedroom after she was asleep to get some pictures of her sleeping in her crib for the last time.

Her first nap in the big girl bed was a huge bust. She kept getting out, opening her door, and walking out to come find us. We brought her back to bed over and over (probably 30+ times) until we gave up and put her in her crib for a nap.

She had absolutely no trouble going to sleep in her big girl bed at night, though! :)

It was pretty funny to hear her open up her door this morning and walk out of her room laughing hysterically. She loves the independence! We, on the other hand, are not so sure how we feel about it! We've decided to put a baby gate on her door so she can't escape in the middle of the night.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Here is our little Marie Curie proudly showing off her Nobel prizes.  Note that she is carrying vials of Polonium and Radium in her lab coat!  Yikes!  She still had a lot to learn about radioactive materials!

Happy Halloween from famous French physicist and chemist, Marie Curie!  Thanks to her discovery of Radium and Polonium, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.  Girl power!!!

Caleb and I decided to dress as Radium and Polonium by wearing glow sticks!

As you can see, Caleb and I decided to continue Rosalie's trend of dressing up as historical women for Halloween.  Our aim is to show that people with Down syndrome are smart and capable!  I can't wait to see what Rosie's future has in store for her!  I have no doubt that she will do amazing things.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rosie's Little Secret

Rosie has been keeping a secret!  She is going to be a big sister in April 2016.  I can't wait to see her and her little sibling learn from each other!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Ice Cream of the Season

It's April in Maine and the snow is MELTING!  I think we are all ready for some sun and warm weather.  When it hit 60 degrees this weekend, we couldn't resist walking down to Gifford's for our first ice cream of the season.  Rosalie held her own cone the entire way home which was very exciting for her and us!

This bath was SO necessary after that ice cream.