Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday!

Happy Birthday my sweet Madi. A year ago you made a dramatic entrance into our lives and you have blessed us more than we could have imagined. You were full of surprises and we were very unsure of what the future held for us. Although we were scared at first, you have shown us that everything is just fine. You bring peace to our sometimes crazy world and comfort to our hearts. You are such a joy and you have impacted so many people in your short year of life. You have opened our eyes to a world we didn't know much about but are eager to learn more each day. You have brought Daddy and I closer together and strengthened our love and marriage. You have taught us what it means to be strong and continue to fight. You have shown us how to truly smile from the joy deep within your soul. You have strengthened our faith. You have given us purpose and make us want to be better at all that we do. Thank you for the enormous impact you have had on us...and we are supposed to be the ones teaching you! :)
It is kind of crazy...I can't believe that you are already a year old but at the same time I feel like I have known you forever. I can't imagine life without you in it! You are our world, our inspiration and our dream come true. It is my promise to you that we will do everything in our power to support you, protect you, fight for you, and give you all you need to succeed. You are amazing! You will continue to defy the odds and exceed our expectations. It is my goal to make sure you always know that there are no limits...you can achieve what you put your mind to...you will do it all at your own pace. We love you Madi Lou...more than you know. Thank you for being you!

A few hours old

A few days old

A few days ago

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Last Sunday we took Madi on her first trip to the pumpkin patch. It rained quite a bit the day before but the weather stayed dry for us. The ground was still pretty wet out so we didn't get too many photos in the patch. Madi would have had a field day in the mud I'm sure. It was so much fun and I loved watching her observe everything going on and laughing in delight as we walked around searching for her perfect pumpkin. She really had a good time and managed to clap, smile and talk to everyone around us. Here are some pictures from our little adventure:





Friday, October 23, 2009

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and although I waited until the end of the month, I definitely want to write a post. For those of you reading our blog who do not have a child/family member with down syndrome I want to take this opportunity to provide some info on down syndrome. Before Madi blessed our lives I really did not know anything about down syndrome except for the few encouters I had with people who have down syndrome. When Madi was 2 days old and the Dr's told us they suspected that Madi may have down syndrome I was so scared and literally felt like the world was crashing down on me. I was in shock and prayed with all my heart that they were wrong and the blod test would come back normal. It took a little while but we soon realized that Madi is perfect and exactly who she is supposed to be. She is not a chromosomal mistake but in fact a perfect creation and we are so blessed that God entrusted her to us. Here are some facts on down syndrome for those of you who would like to learn a little bit more:
  • Down syndrome (also known as trisomy 21) occurs when individuals have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. Typically people have 46 chromosomes (2 copies of all 23 chromosomes). People with down syndrome have 47 chromosomes. This happens at conception and is not a result of parents' activities during or before pregnancy.
  • There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States and it occurs in people of all races and economic levels.

  • The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

  • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

  • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways

  • All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

Please know that Dave and I are always open to talk about Down Syndrome and our experiences with Madi. We have learned so much in the past year and have met so many amazing people who have helped us in our journey. We hope that we can give back and educate the world on how special it is to have an extra chromosome.

Please take a look at this video from the National Down Syndrome Congress. I had to share...it's awesome!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Girl

We are back from Hawaii and I will be sure to post all about our trip (with pics) very soon. We had an amazing time and Madi was great. She was completely off of her schedule but was still very easy to travel with and truly was a trooper the whole time.

Over the last few weeks Madi has been perfecting clapping. She immediately starts clapping as soon as we start singing her new favorite song "If your happy and you know it clap your hands". I caught it on video tonight and had to share...I think she is hilarious. The best part was after I shot the video. I was showing the footage to Dave on the camera and Madi heard me singing on the video and started clapping and laughing. It was too cute! More updates soon.

Please excuse my wonderful singing! :)

video

Monday, October 5, 2009

i did it!


My friend Jennifer from the blog Three's A Charm has created an amazing "i did it" campaign in honor of her son (and Madi's buddy) Joaquin. She created these " i did it" tees and is selling them for $21 in honor of Trisomy 21 (down syndrome). For every tee purchased she purchases a copy of the book Gifts 2, signs it with the name of the child who it was purchased for, and donates it to a local hospital, pediatrician office or genetic counselor in Sacramento. How cool is that! You can read more about the campaign on her blog Three's A Charm. The book Gifts 2 is an amazing compilation of short stories written by parents, grandparents, etc that share personal stories of how people with Down Syndrome enrich the world and Jennifer is a contributing author.
So, Madi has her i did it tee and I finally took some pics of her. We are so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. Having a child with down syndrome really has opened our eyes and made us truly appreciate all of the small victories in life! She is such a blessing and has introduced us to a community that we never knew we wanted to be a part of but are now so grateful that we are. Madi is now 11 months old and has done so much in that time! In honor of the "i did it" campaign, here are some of Madi's i did it's:
  • Made it through and quickly recovered from open heart surgery and a staph infection
  • Learned to roll very early and now rolls all over the house
  • Sits up all on her own
  • Has learned to drink from a straw
  • Feeds herself
  • Has learned the pincer grasp and uses it to carefully pick up her blueberries, cheerios, etc (her determination is so cute!)
  • Gives kisses
  • Is starting to wave
  • Has done the sign for Mommy a few times (I think she is getting it!)
  • Plays peekaboo
  • Puts her arms in the air when you ask her "how big is Madi"
  • Says dada, baba, lala, has said mama a few times...I'm obviously pushing for that one
  • Has mastered the prone position and is now working on getting up on her knees
  • Pivots in circles while on her tummy and is trying to scoot/crawl to get places
  • Is the perfect yoga student and is more flexible than you can even imagine
  • Manages to steal the attention and hearts of everyone she meets...she is quite the social butterfly!

We can't wait to watch her grow and develop and see all the "i did it's" she has in her future. I know she will accomplish all that she puts her mind to...she is an amazing little girl! Thanks Jennifer for this awesome campaign and giving us all a way to show the world that together we can do it!