Our Five Ring Circus: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I didn't jump on the 30 days of Thankfulness bandwagon this year.  I am thankful.  I'm thankful every single day for all the gifts I have been given.

My list is the same every single year...I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who is my best friend, my beautiful children that bring joy to my everyday, my amazing parents who have always been there for me, my huge and wonderful family, my incredible friends, the warm home that we live in, our good health, two cars to get us where we need to go, all the clothing that we need, a steady income, entertainment, and an abundance of food.  Even though the stress of everyday life can bring us down, we are so lucky and so blessed.

This year, there is one more thing on my Thankful list.


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My sweet, beautiful boy.

I am so thankful.

I am thankful that I was chosen to be his mother.  I am thankful that he made my family grow more than I ever imagined. I am thankful for the challenge.  I am thankful for being able to become a better human being.  I am thankful for the amazing people that came into our lives through his birth diagnosis. I am thankful that he is healthy.

Most of all, I am thankful that I was chosen to love him.

This Thanksgiving I'm even more blessed than I was last year.  I will be counting my numerous blessings and thanking God for adding Liam to that list!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sunshine Award

Kate from Raising the Rogers nominated me for the Sunshine Award.  Kate is such a sweet blog friend.  Go check out her fun blog and her adorable kids!

Here are Kate's questions:

1. What are you doing today?  It was cold and snowy today, so I stayed home with Lily and Liam.  I stayed in my pajamas, cleaned, and ran 3 miles.  Dylan and Lexie are home from school, and we're anxiously waiting for Grant to make it home.  We're having tacos for dinner, then putting the kids to bed.  After that, we'll probably watch something on Netflix.
2. What is your favorite holiday and why?  I love Christmas!  It really is the most joyful time of year!

3. Where is your dream destination? What would you do there?  I would love to go to Hawaii or another tropical island.  Laying on the beach all week sounds perfect!

4. What is your go-to dinner meal?  Probably Rigatoni.  I make a simple version.  Boil rigatoni and brown ground meat.  Place both in a casserole dish and cover with Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.  Everybody loves it and it feeds a lot of people!  I serve it was garlic bread, green beans, and salad.

5. Name your favorite fall fashion trend.  Boots, legwarmers, and skinny jeans!

6. If you could live anywhere where would it be and why? Florida, near a beach.  I love the heat and the beach.  The end.

7.If you could only shop at one store for clothes for the next 5 year what store would you choose? TJ Maxx!  I love that store for everything!!!

8. What is your all time favorite Christmas gift you have ever received?  My horse!  He was a gift from my parents when I was 12, and I still have him!

9. Halloween just passed....what candy did you sneak from your kids baskets? (Or what will you steal in the future?) Any kind of chocolate bar!  I love chocolate!  I attempt to fight them for Sour Patch Kids, too! 

10. What song comes on the radio that you immediately turn up?  None in particular.  I just station surf until I find a song I like!

I'm terrible about nominating people, so anybody that wants to answer my questions can do so!  Here they are:
1.  What is the next thing you're going to buy?
2.  Do you have any goals/resolutions for 2014?
3.  How many children do you want? 
4.  What is your favorite food to eat at Thanksgiving dinner?
5.  What are your holiday plans?
6.  What is your least favorite household chore?
7.  What are you currently watching on TV?  
8.  Which do you prefer: showers or baths?
9.  What is your favorite color?
10. What is something that you need to buy yourself, but keep putting off?

I hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Celebrating Dylan's 9th Birthday

I dragged my heels and lived in denial, but it happened...my firstborn baby turned 9 years old! NINE!  The very last single digit birthday.

The night before his birthday, I went to dinner and to see Catching Fire with a group of friends.  I got home late, but Grant and I spent some time blowing up balloons and filling his room with them, wrapping presents, and taping up his doorway with streamers.


On the morning of his birthday, he had to get up early for school, but he was so excited, because it was his big day!


Donuts for breakfast is a birthday tradition! We sang to Dylan before he ate his donut.


Dylan's big present was going to wait until the evening, but we wanted him to start his day with something little.  Pokemon cards for this Pokemon-obsessed kid was the perfect choice!


I sent Dylan off to school with a hug and a kiss.  It was the first time he was away from me all day on his birthday, and I'm not going to lie...I hated it! Instead of sneaking in and giving him a kiss at 8:54 AM, all I could do was think of the day he was born.

Dylan ended up having a great day.  He handed out cookies to his class at lunch time, and a few of his friends gave him little gifts. 

After school, he got to visit my parents for a little bit.  They had a big gift to give him at his party, but they wanted to give him something little for his birthday.  He was thrilled with his Call of Duty Mega Blocks set!


When Grant got home from work, we took Dylan out to eat. He chose his favorite restaurant, The Deck House, for dinner.  He got to spin the birthday wheel, and won a gift card to a nearby arcade!

As soon as we got home, he wanted to open his big present! 



I'm so glad my sweet boy had a great birthday!


Dylan kept thanking us for everything we had done for him!  He said it was his best birthday ever!


And just like that, his birthday came to an end, and he was officially nine!!!

The next day, the celebration continued with two birthday parties.  We have a huge family and a large group of friends, so if we have the parties at our house, we have to split them.  That afternoon, we celebrated with family!

Dylan chose a Red vs Blue Halo theme.  My mom always makes the cakes, and he was so excited about his cake this year!


It was a fun party.  Dylan loved all of his gifts and we had a great time celebrating with some of our closest family members!


We didn't get a break between the parties.  Some friends arrived before the last family members had left!


Soon, our house was completely full again, and we repeated the birthday activities.


The party ended with a sleepover.  Cousin Aubrey slept over with Lexie and Lily, and Dylan's friends (Dom, Logan, Alex, Ryder, and Jack) slept over in his room.  Let's just say there were a lot of kids sleeping over and it was very noisy the next morning!


Dylan had said he had the best birthday and party ever!  Nine is going to be a good year!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday, Dylan!

Nine years ago, at this very moment, my first baby entered the world.  Although he was just a bit too early, he was wide-eyed and absolutely beautiful!  Nine years ago, at this very moment, my life changed forever.  I became a mom.  I am so thankful to have this sweet, beautiful boy in my life, and so proud to be his mom. 

Happy 9th Birthday, Dylan.  You're right...this may be the last single digit birthday, but you will ALWAYS be my baby!  I love you forever!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tidbits...Not on a Tuesday

I used to call this Tuesday Tidbits, but it seems like I'm always a day-or week-or month behind at this point!

So here are a few cute and funny things my kids are saying and doing:


*Dylan is turning 9 on Friday.  NINE!!!  It feels like time is flying by too quickly.  Dylan caught on to my feelings, and reminded me, "Don't be sad!  Even though it's going to be the last single number, I'll still be your baby!"

*Dylan loves his baby brother so much.  Every night he holds him and reads to him.  One night I overheard him telling Liam, "We're going to be brothers even when we're really old!"


*I put on a new pair of fuzzy pajama pants.  Lexie looked at me funny and asked, "Are your pants made out of a sheep or something?!?"

*One night for dinner, I made stuffed peppers and mashed potatoes.  Lexie refused to eat the potatoes with tomato sauce poured over them.  The next time I made mashed potatoes, she asked, "It's not going to be that fruit gravy, is it?"

*She calls Fritos "Foritos" and I will never correct her!

*One day we were practicing her spelling words.  One of her words was don't.  She spelled it, "D-O-N-thingy-T."

*She had a sleepover at my parent's house and left her beloved BunBun there when she came home.  My dad called and offered to bring it to her.  While we were waiting, Lexie wrote him a thank you card.  When my dad opened it, he started to laugh.  It turned out to be the most offensive thank you card ever!!! 


(She knew how to spell thank, but was making it while watching TV, so I think she got distracted and wrote it wrong!)


*We were leaving a restaurant.  We had to go around the corner to get to our car, but Lily kept going straight.  I said, "Turn, Lily!"  Lily did just that.  She stopped and began to turn in a circle!

*She asks for Ah Boob.  What is that?  Youtube!!!


*Sweet little Liam is a Mama's Boy!  If he is near me, but not touching me, he will roll over and scoot around until he reaches my side and is touching me!  It is the sweetest!


Well, three out of four looking and smiling is good enough!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Liam at 3 Months Old


MILESTONES:  You already know how to roll both ways and your neck strength and head control is improving so much! You started with an OT this month to work on feeding issues.



COMFORTS:  Cuddling and being wrapped in a warm blanket are your favorite things!


FIRSTS: You celebrated your first Halloween, and you got to meet some new friends and family members!

EATING: You are mostly breastfed, but you are being supplemented with a high calorie formula until you start gaining weight consistently!

SLEEPING:  You are a great sleeper, just like your older siblings!  We got the go ahead to stop waking you at night for a feeding.  Thanks to that, we're able to enjoy longer stretches of sleep. Usually 6-8 hours, but we have had several 12 hour stretches!  You take two long naps during the day, and sometimes doze off for a short 20-30 minute nap in between.


SOUNDS/WORDS:  You squeak/honk due to your Laryngomalacia.  I will kind of miss those cute squeaks when that goes away!  You are cooing so much more, and have the cutest little giggle!


LIKES:  Cuddling, being warm, nursing, hanging out with your siblings, laying on your playmat, looking in your play mirror, "talking" to your loved ones, snoozing in your rock and play, taking baths in the big tub and kitchen sink, being carried in the Moby wrap or Baby Bjorn, and swinging in your swing.


DISLIKES:  Being cold, getting your diaper changed, getting dressed, and getting strapped into your car seat.  Diaper changes are a difficult task.  You are crazy strong, and fight me the entire time!


NICKNAMES:  Little Dude, Little Man, Miam (What Lily calls you!), and Buddy.

HEALTH:  You are gaining weight VERY slowly, but you are happy and healthy, and that's what matters!  You have reflux and Laryngomalacia (floppy airways) which will eventually go away. 

STATS:  8 lbs 5 oz and 23 3/4 inches.  Tall like your siblings, and skinny!


WEARING:  You graduated from Preemie sizes!  You now wear newborn diapers, newborn 2 piece outfits, and 0-3 month one-pieces.  Socks, shoes, and pants are still way too big!

PERSONALITY:  You the sweetest, most gentle little boy.  You are very peaceful and content. The only time you really cry is if something is bothering you, and you always calm down when your needs are met. You are very social.  When you're awake, you love to stare into the eyes of the person that is holding you, and smile and coo.  Your sweet personality is really starting to come through with all those coos and smiles!


Dear Liam,

  You have been in our lives for 3 months now. A quarter of a year!!! Time truly does go faster with each child we have! 
  The newborn stage is my absolute favorite, and it goes by way too quickly.  Thanks to your tiny size, I am able to enjoy my favorite stage just a bit longer!  Strangers are always mistaking you for a baby that is just a few days old.
  The reaction that we receive when we tell people that you have Down Syndrome is always the same...complete shock.   They always say, "But I don't see it!"  I'm not quite sure what "it" is.  You are just like any other person and anybody that spends time with you can instantly see that.
   I have cried every single day since the day you were born.  They are not tears brought on by sadness, but tears of absolute joy.   Your strength, determination, beauty, and spirit amaze me and make my heart feel as if it's going to explode from loving you so much.
  I am realistic enough to know that our journey is not always going to be easy.  But nothing in life is ever easy.  It's not supposed to be.  Life is hard and exhausting and worrisome and stressful.  But it's also beautiful.  Unbelievably beautiful.  There are just as many moments that are so amazing that they take your breath away. 
 YOU take my breath away.
 I am proud to be your mom and I am proud to share you with the world.  I love you forever, sweet Liam!

Love, Mommy