Our Five Ring Circus: Life Lately/Currently Loving in January 2018 ~What's Up (& WELCOME) Wednesday

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Life Lately/Currently Loving in January 2018 ~What's Up (& WELCOME) Wednesday

Down syndrome blogs

Happy Wednesday, my friends! Can you believe it's the last day of January already? The first month of 2018 flew by! I'm usually not a big fan of January, but for some strange reason, it wasn't so bad this year. Perhaps I'm just getting older and starting to appreciate every gift life has to offer! (Although I AM finding it a bit difficult to appreciate weather below 32 degrees...just saying.) Because it's the last day of January, I thought it would be perfect to share a life lately/currently loving post!

It just so happens that the Welcome Wednesday link party that I co-host, and one of my favorite link parties, called What's Up Wednesday, is on the same day this week. I'm going to do a little mix of What's Up Wednesday, along with a photo recap of January 2018!

What's Up Wednesday


We have a busy week ahead of us, so I let each family member pick a meal this week. I'm sure you will be able to tell which meals my kids chose!

Weekly Meal Plan


Is it just me, or do the Facebook memories get to you, too? Seriously...they literally tug at my heartstrings and make me feel so sentimental.  This picture, from 4 years ago, popped up in my memories today.

Down syndrome

First of all, my BABY! He was SO tiny. At nearly 6 months old, he was only 9 lbs. It's hard for me to remember just how small he was. And now, here he is 4 years later...still small, but (most likely) heading to Kindergarten in the Fall!

Second, when I look at this picture, it makes me feel sad that I will never have a baby again. I want another one! Maybe. Or I'm just losing my mind.


A few of my January favorites, in no particular order (some items were received free for review)...

Soapbox Bamboo Shampoo and Bamboo Conditioner for Strength & Body 

Four pregnancies wrecked my hair, and I'm still dealing with it...hence the recent 6 inches cut off of my hair! My hair looks fuller and healthier, and it feels soft and smooth! My hair even looks and feels well nourished, and it has a fresh, clean scent. The best part is that the company gives back. For every product purchased, a bar of soap is given to someone in need! Soap = Hope! The Bamboo Shampoo and Conditioner are color safe, Paraben and Silicone Free and contain aloe and shea in the ingredients. Bamboo strengthens hair and retains moisture, which makes it a great choice for anyone! 

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream

I love the Banana Bright Eye Creme that I received free from Influenster. This brightening eye creme, which is infused with Vitamin C and boosted with collagen, is perfect for this busy mama who gets very little sleep! It has been part of my daily skincare routine since I received it! 

Cucina Antica Gluten-Free Cooking Sauces

Now that Liam is on a gluten free diet, I have to put more thought into dinners. Pasta with meat sauce is something that everyone in my family will eat! Cucina Antica offers homemade cooking sauces made from imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes. The sauces are gluten-free, non gmo verified, and they don't have any added sugar or preservatives. I typically add petite diced tomatoes to my sauce, but all I added this time was organic ground turkey, because the cooking sauce already had plenty of tomatoes! I served it over Liam's favorite gluten-free pasta (cooked with 2 tsp olive oil), and topped it with shredded mozzarella. The rest of us may not have to eat gluten-free like Liam, but we all agreed it was absolutely delicious! 

The Toobaloo

This Auditory Feedback Phone is a great tool for speech therapy! Liam uses it almost every day when we go through his flashcards!

Alya Skin Pink Perfect Australian Pink Clay Mask 

This clay mask detoxifies and leaves my skin feeling super soft and glowing, but it also smells like I'm sitting in the middle of a flower garden! It's also cruelty-free and vegan!)  Use the code LEXIELOOLILYLIAMDYLANTOO to save 10% on your purchase!

Book Love - Juris P. Prudence


Lexie loved The Briefcase of Juris P. Prudence, and now Lily has her own book, coloring book and activity book! Her reading skills are strengthening and I love hearing her read this book to me!


Fruigees Fruit Snack Pouches

Liam's gluten free diet is difficult, so thank goodness for the pouch! Liam likes them, they are a healthy snack and they are perfect for grabbing as we run out the door. Right now, he is loving these organic fruit snack pouches. With flavors like 24 Carrot Orange and Kalefornia Grape, these pouches pack 1/2 cup of fruits and veggies and 100% daily value of Vitamin C into every serving, with no added sugar. They are also non GMO, BPA-Free, Gluten Free, and completely Vegan. Liam loves them, and this mama approves! 


January was a busy month! So busy, in fact, that I didn't have time to actually think about Winter!

We had lots of snow days...


Dylan's basketball games started...

Youth Basketball

Liam had his dreaded sleep study...

Sleep Study

We went ice skating on a warm, rainy day...

Ice Skating

...but it was mostly filled with daily chaos!


Currently? Waking up at 6 AM. It's almost 3 AM right now! (Did I mention there isn't enough time in the day so I gave up on sleep?)


It feels like I'm always working on blog posts! I have about ten in the works right now, including a guest post. I just need to find time to sit down and finish them. Oh, and file our taxes!

Coming up:

  • Simple Gluten Free Snacks for Kids
  • The Instagram Game - Why I Quit Playing
  • Tips To Survive A Sleep Study With Your Child
  • What's New On Netflix
  • Controversy in the Down syndrome Community (which may or may not publish)
  • Our Favorite Things To Buy At Aldi
  • Monthly Photo Recap


We're going on a trip this weekend! It's actually my first sponsored trip through my blog. My family is so excited, and we can't wait to share it with you!

Also, did I mention we're getting a puppy? It has been almost 3 years since our beloved Great Dane passed away and I just didn't have it in my heart to get another dog. No dog seemed good enough. But the kids are begging, and I really miss having a dog, so the search begins now! It is a tough decision. My husband likes tiny dogs, but Liam needs a dog that is much bigger than him. Although I would love another Great Dane, I was urged to try something new. Right now, we're leaning toward a Great Pyrenees.


We have been flying through all of our favorite shows, and we're completely caught up on current seasons. We decided to watch Big Little Lies, and even my husband is hooked. We're halfway through the series now, and we just want to keep watching!

Big Little Lies

{Source: IMDB}

We also started watching Veep on HBO Now. I was a bit thrown off by the use of the dreaded "R" word in the first episode, but it is a funny show!

As for books, it's actually a funny story! My mom gave me Agnes and the Hitman shortly after Lexie was born. If you do the math, that was almost 11 years ago! I put it in the basket in my bathroom that I use for books and magazines, read a few pages as I relaxed in the tub, then it sat there...for over a decade! It was kind of like that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, where the suitcase just sits on the steps forever.

As I was purging the house of clutter recently, I picked up the book, and just decided I was going to read it. I'm now halfway through! It doesn't rank with the best books I've ever read, but it is entertaining. And I'm determined to finish before I move on to the stack of books I have waiting for me!

Agnes and the Hitman


I'm all about Spotify these days! I put on my Favorites playlist while I drive the Mom Taxi around. It has a little bit of something for everyone in my family.

  • Christina Perri
  • Songs from Sing, Moana and Glee
  • Songs by Pentatonix
  • And a whole lotta pop songs


It was cold AF for half the month, so sweaters, leggings, boot socks, fleece pajamas and winter outerwear all month long!


And just for the record, I'm not ashamed to rock one piece pajamas...



FRIDAY: We're going to visit my parents and have dinner with them.

SATURDAY: Dylan has a basketball game at 8 AM (those are THE worst), then we're going to spend most of the day at home relaxing and packing, because...

SUNDAY: We're going on our little family trip!


I love February, mostly because it means we're getting closer to Spring!!! We do have a lot going on, too!

  • A Family Trip
  • Basketball games every Saturday (I love watching Dylan play!)
  • Lexie's 11th birthday
  • Lexie's birthday party
  • Flower Girl dress shopping with my cousin and my girls
  • Finding our puppy


I think I covered it all!  We should know the results of Liam's sleep study by Monday. That will determine whether he actually has sleep apnea (the sleep study was just routine for a child who has Down syndrome), and if so, what the next steps will be. We'll continue to tweak Liam's diet until his endoscopy on March 16th (it was rescheduled). We also have to attend a Kindergarten transition meeting at our school district (hold me), and get Liam fitted for chipmunk shoe inserts to help with arch support. So...just adding more busyness to our usual busy schedule!


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  1. Oh my goodness that picture of baby Liam!!! So sweet!! I can't wait to hear about your trip!

  2. Liam was so tiny! Those facebook memories get to me too. I look forward to hearing about the instagram game - I play it and despise it! Have fun on your trip!

    1. I couldn't take it anymore! Everything I was told to do wasn't working, so I just decided to quit and do it my own way!

  3. I CA NOT wait to read about your feelings on the IG game. I have pretty much given up too. I almost wrote a post about it but, with scaled back blogging, I haven't found the time. I am pretty convinced that Timehop and Facebook memories are out to get us.

    1. Instagram is IMPOSSIBLE for bloggers unless you buy your way into it. I hate that so much!

  4. FYI- My dad has a Great Pyrenees. Truly the sweetest dog...but sheds like CRAZY. I mean MASSIVE amounts. Like, 5" hair too. I'll enjoy his but I could never have my own GP for that reason. :) (I'm not trying to discourage you, I just wanted to be sure you knew that)

    1. It's still in the running, but so is another Great Dane and an English Mastiff. We keep changing our minds!

  5. We just finished Little Big Lies! Very good!! I will have to look into Veep because we are looking for something new. Love that photo of Liam!!
    What about a Wheaten for a dog? They don't shed much at all and can get to be a decent size. I've already decided to look into them as our next dog because we know several people that have them and rave, also I am all about the less dog hair idea. LOL So excited to see what you all get! :)

    1. We just finished it yesterday...I loved it! As for Veep, check it out. I'm not always a fan of all the jokes, but it is pretty funny!
      Our friend is getting a wheaten and they are really cute. We are also adding another Great Dane (I fell in love with a sweet girl!) and an English Mastiff to our list!

  6. Aw, those memory time posts on Facebook are so cute sometimes. I hope the sleep study results are good for Liam! My dad and brother both have sleep apnea. Ooh a family trip! How fun. I'd love to get away for a bit, but it's not in the cards any time soon I don't believe. Oh well, I'm ready for February though! :)


    1. Thanks, Lauren! The sleep study results were actually perfect! That's a relief!

  7. You've got a lot to look forward too it sounds like.. I can't wait to see what kind of pup you end up with. Have fun this weekend!

    1. Thank you! We're looking at Great Pyrenees, English Mastiffs and Great Danes. The kids can't wait to get a (big) puppy!

  8. It doesn't seem like that pic of Liam could be from 4 years ago! He's gotten so big!

  9. Baby Liam = all the heart eyes. I still have a four month old and am starting to think I want another one, now thats crazy talk haha.

  10. Oh my goodness; you have so many things on your February agenda. Please remember to take time out for you--even if it does mean catching up on your sleep ;) I have to say that I'm really looking forward to this "surprise (sponsored) trip" you'll be taking. I hope you have fun! Getting a puppy sounds like another life changing event this month. I do miss having a dog, too, but I don't believe in spending all my money on puppy daycare, which is exactly what we'd end up doing. Enjoy February. Strangely enough, I'm still hoping for one more snow event as our Jan. has been pretty tame. You had way more snow for your hike than us! Enjoy, my friend!

    1. Oh, we definitely had a snow event today. In the form of Winter Storm Liam! Haha! I hope you got the snow you were hoping for!


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