Monday, October 5, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness-Day 5 Some Things Come Easy

Some things take time and are difficult and hard.

Some things come really easy for Aubrey and music just happens to be one of them!  She fits in nicely with her friends and sisters.

I'm so glad that her school still sees the value in offering music to it's students.  She also participates in music and choir at church.

Girl loves to sing and listen to music and dance, but also recently started to love playing music and does so very beautifully and gently with cymbals and the piano and anything else she can get ahold of.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness-Day 4 Signing Sunday

Every once in awhile someone asks me what support groups we are participate in.  The answer is NONE.  I'm sure it would be wonderful to connect with other families regularly who have children with like children, we just don't have the time, or feel the need.  We get all the support we need from our family and friends who love us and our girl regardless of her differences.  

Along the way we have gravitated towards those people that Aubrey enjoys the most and that has been the Deaf Community.  It is a big part of her life, especially since it has required us to learn sign language and for her to attend a special classroom and school.
I thought that it would be fun to share a little more about her hearing impairment this year and teach you and share more on sign language, even though her language is getting so much better lately.

Listening to music is great and watching movies is fun, but I know she misses things sometimes.  It was so fun to be able to share this video with her of a woman signing "Let It Go" from Frozen.  Sign language can be so beautiful.  Enjoy!

Down Syndrome Awareness-Day 3 Differences

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.

But that means that we have a lot of "well" appointments that we go to each week.  It can be tough, but because it is necessary for her well being....we just figure it out.

She's complex you could say.  She hits many of those points for a person with Down syndrome.  But she has an infectious laugh and smile and she rolls with all the punches better than we do.

We especially want to thank those who help us along the way.  To those who have first and foremost prayed for our girl, watched our other kids, run extra carpool for us, provided meals and visited us.  You are part of our village raising this girl and we couldn't do it without you.  Thank you!  You are part of what makes her life a success, no matter how small that help to us feels.  It is all important.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness-Day 2 Independence

Aubrey is small. And because she is small, there are things and milestones she hasn't or can't reach....until we find a way. 

She couldn't ride a bike....because we couldn't find one small enough. Once we did, she was off and running. 

Her whole life will always be like that. Finding ways to modify the world she lives in so she can be successful. 

Independence comes at a delay, but it always comes...we just have to help find the way to it. Sometimes it just means a stool and sometimes it means we have to search out help and answers. When you have a child with special needs, you are always on duty, working to help them be successful. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness-Day1 More Alike Than Different

We are a busy crew around here and I find it easier to do a quick facebook update, than update the blog most of the time.  But when October rolls around, my heart wants to write longer posts about my Aubrey.  

It is Down syndrome awareness month again and it is a chance for me to share our special girl with the world.  To be a window into her life and that extra chromosome that gets so much attention sometimes.

The truth is, she's just Aubrey to us.  And the Down syndrome is just one small part of who she is.  Is she different?  YES.  Is she still our girl?  YES.  And along with her genetic make up coming from us, she also shares our passions and talents and loves.

She comes from a long line of artists.  If you didn't know, Aubrey's dad is an artist and many in his line are artistically talented.  Aubrey's mom....not so much.  I'm the teacher that still uses stick figures.  All of our girls love art and drawing and painting and the such....and Aubrey is no different.

Her favorite is painting with water.  On the pool walls.  On the deck.  On the chalkboard.  But she loves markers and crayons and drawing too.  We can actually tell what she is drawing and her people have come a long way.  

Someone posted this tv show clip and I thought is was nice.  And while I'm not hoping that Aubrey is working on her skills to one day become a Tattoo Artist, I do hope that she always loves the arts and that she always loves what she does...same as I want for all my girls.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


So sweet to see them work together tonight. 
Ella made Aubrey a robot costume. She was excited to wear it. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Growth - Day 29

I can't express how proud I am of this girl.  She has made tremendous strides in the last 6 months, and is thriving in school and in life.  Part of that is maybe that she has hit her stride, but we have also been doing something to assist her in being her best person....we've started using essential oils, and I wanted to share a little bit here about that.  I'm not trying to "fix" or "change" her Down syndrome, but I want her to thrive and be at her best and be healthy and active and eager to learn and engage in life.  We have seen such positive results in our whole family and I want to share that, because it has made a big difference for us.
Last March, this girl was super sick.  The sickest we had ever seen her.  I had a friend text me about trying something "a little different" to help her feel better.  Sure, why not!  We've just about exhausted everything else here at the hospital.  So she brought me two oils....and it changed our lives.  This was the FIRST hospital stay that we have left without the use of oxygen at home, AND they weened her off 2 liters of oxygen in ONE day!  (that would have taken at least a week before)

That is when I NEEDED to learn more and wanted to learn more.  I did a bit of research and talked with friends and decided on Young Living Essential Oils for our family and Aubrey was my main reason.  I dug into the research on respiratory oils and staying healthy oils.  And I'm always looking into learning more about these oils that have helped her so much and continue to help.

We have a daily routine of oils that we use (think about taking a multi vitamin every day).  I line them up and apply a drop of this and that to her while she gets ready in the morning and off she goes.  And then I have a stash that we use when she is sick or if we are treating something.
Before oils, Aubrey was NOT social at school and after three years there, it was becoming a very big concern with Kindergarten on the horizon.  But she is social now and she has lots of friends and she talks about them at home.  She asks to go to their house to play!  And she has this friend that she apparently does fist bumps with in the morning at her locker!  It has been amazing to see her grow friendships and blossom.
 It used to take a lot of crying and bribery to get her to do any homework or projects for school and now, she actually carries her back pack in from the car, hangs it up, gets out her folder and does her homework!  And when there isn't any homework, she asks for some.  She is writing letters and making people.  Before we could barely get a circle out of her and now her people have bodies and legs!  She has taken off with her learning and it is so exciting to see.
We've been able to keep her healthy!!!  She had one little cold this summer that we took care of naturally, with our oils, and I'm finally getting super comfortable with using them and not freaking out when she has a little cough or sniffle. 
She is getting super active in her life.  She used to spend her afternoons laying around (super tired) and asking for the same show OVER and OVER and OVER.  Now she sets up the tea set, gets her baby out and plays, or asks to help in the kitchen.  I don't have to occupy her time.  She is able to do that herself.
She's giddy in the morning:)  And more verbal.  And I love when she whispers in my ear that she loves me, instead of just jibberish:)

These oils have been such a blessing to us.  I could go on and on with testimonies about how these oils have been so helpful to us.  It has been a way to enhance her life and her health in a very natural way.  So glad that we are able to help this girl be the best that she can be!

(some of the oils we use daily: Thieves, RC, Magnify Your Purpose, Vetiver, Citronella, Lavender)

*If you have questions about using Young Living Essential Oils to enhance your life, helping your kids focus or have more confidence, keep you healthy or help ease sickness and pain, I would love to share my experience with you.  Just send me an email or message.