Our Five Ring Circus: July 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

When Sickness Strikes...

When Sickness Strikes...

The picture above sums up the past week of my life! Taking care of Liam, who ended up getting REALLY sick over the weekend, and preparing for a meeting to discuss inclusion with the school district took up all of my time. Everything else got pushed aside...no blogging, no photography, no sponsored work, no summer fun...and rightfully so. The needs of my family always come first!

Some of you might have seen all the "excitement" unfold on Instagram or Facebook, but if not, I'll sum it up. Liam managed to go 8 months without getting sick a single time, but made up for it in one short week. He got a low fever on Tuesday and it came and went throughout the week. It was odd, because he rarely gets a fever, but he didn't have any other symptoms...and then those Chickenpox popped up! Just like his big brother, he ended up getting a mild version of the virus even though he was vaccinated. Then, on Saturday, he went into respiratory distress, and ended up in the ER. It was truly one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had with one of my kids!

Here's how the week progressed from a simple fever to an overnight stay in the ER...

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday - Life Lately in July

What's Up Wednesday

There are only 6 more days left in July, and the first day of school is exactly 5 weeks away. Summer is passing by so quickly, and I feel it slipping from my fingers. The next time I share a What's Up Wednesday, it's going to be the first day of school, and I will most likely be a worried, sobbing mess, because it will be Liam's first day of Kindergarten! 

Before I focus too much on what's to come, here's what we have been eating, watching, reading, wearing, listening to, and loving...

Monday, July 23, 2018

Summer with The Chaos Crew

Summer with the Chaos Crew

We returned to our ridiculously busy schedule this past week. I went back to leaving the house every single day - often multiple times - but we packed a lot of fun into the past seven days! Life in the Summer is always entertaining and full of chaos!

As we approach the end of July, Summer just seems to be speeding up. I can't believe it's going to be August next week. August is full of birthdays, reunions, parties, our family vacation, and the first day of school. It's going to be fun, but I know it's going to fly by as quickly as June and July did. What I wouldn't give to press the pause button!

Here's what life is like with the Chaos Crew (AKA 4 kids who keep me on my toes)...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Down For Adventure in Pittsburgh with Just Ducky Tours

Down For Adventure in Pittsburgh with Just Ducky Tours

I partnered with Just Ducky Tours for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

As often as I say that I want to move to the beach, I do realize that Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to raise children, and that we're lucky to live so close to the city! Pittsburgh has some of the best universities, hospitals, doctors, museums, and professional sports teams, and has an amazing cultural district that appeals to any lover of the performing arts.  Pittsburgh ranks as one of the most livable cities in the United States, one of the best places to raise a family, and one of the best cities to visit. (I can also attest to the fact that it's a great place for a child who has Down syndrome!)

There are so many fun family-friendly activities in Pittsburgh, and my own family loves to spend the day in the city! It's just a short drive south from the suburbs, and there's no denying that Pittsburgh is a  beautiful place to visit. No matter how many times I experience it, my breath still catches every time the first bridge and skyscraper come into view as we approach the city.

On Monday, we decided to have a staycation day, and tour our city! We did it the way every Pittsburgh tourist should...with a Just Ducky Tour. We quack quack quacked our way through the city, and directly into the river without changing vehicles, learning fun facts about Pittsburgh along the way! (If you're wondering how that's even possible, read on!)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Mom On The Go

Mom On The Go - A Weekly Life With Kids Recap #momblogger #Downsyndrome #momlife

Happy Monday! After one of our laziest weeks ever, this past week was more on the go. The Mom Taxi and Dad Taxi made a huge comeback over the past few days!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just wait until your kids get older! When I had Dylan, more experienced moms would tell me to enjoy the quiet early years, because life gets busier the older your kids get. It is 100% true! And when you multiply it by four, life can get hectic!

Here's how last week played out (according - mostly - to my cell phone)...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Friday Favorites

Summer Friday Favorites

I received several of the items below free for review. I only share the things I love the most!

Happy Friday! Summer life is in full swing, and we are loving the hot summer days. Even though some days are almost unbearably hot, it's my favorite time of year. Summer life is the best life!

A few fun things made my love list this week! Some were sent to me for review, and I quickly fell in love, and others were fun finds while I was shopping. Here are six of my current Summer Favorites:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Liam in Times Square...AGAIN!

Liam in Times Square...AGAIN!!! NDSS Times Square Video #Downsyndrome #NDSS #Downsyndromeawareness

Three years ago, Liam's beautiful face was featured on the Jumbotron in Times Square. And this September, a picture of him will show up on the big screen again! The NDSS Times Square Video promotes Down syndrome awareness, right in the heart of New York City!

Each year, the National Down Syndrome Society puts together a beautiful video showcasing people who have Down syndrome, to help raise awareness about what life with Down syndrome is really like. It plays on the Jumbotron in Times Square before the annual Buddy Walk in New York City. It's a big deal, and we are honored that Liam is a part of it again!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

8 Fun FREE Things To Do With Kids In Virginia Beach

8 Fun FREE Things To Do With Kids In Virginia Beach

We are about 5 1/2 weeks away from our next family vacation to the beach! After spending the past few years in Virginia Beach, we opted to visit a different beach this year. We are really excited to explore a new vacation spot with our family, but we are going to miss spending time at one of our favorite places!

I know this is ridiculous, but I never managed to finish up my vacation recap from last year! I just take so many pictures, and it turns out to be a daunting task. The busyness of life took over, and sharing our trip got pushed to the side. I do want to finish it before our next vacation, so I decided to break the last half of our trip into several separate posts.

As I was glancing through the pictures from Day 5 of our trip, I realized that we spent the day taking advantage of all the fun free activities Virginia Beach has to offer! They also happen to be our favorite things to do while we're there. So rather than just recapping our day, I wanted to share 8 fun free things to do with kids in Virginia Beach, just in case you happen to visit there one day! (And I highly recommend you do!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer...with four kids!

I can't believe Summer Break is halfway over! Why does it have to go by so quickly?!? We just had the laziest week ever, and it was amazing. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer are truly the best!

I'm so glad we opted to have an unscheduled Summer this year. We've never had one of those kind of Summers, and it's awesome to be able to do what we want when we want, and not have to leave the house every single day. I know it's going to come to an end way too soon, so we are savoring every moment, and enjoying all the gifts Summer has to offer!

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Countdown to Full Inclusion Kindergarten

The Countdown to Full Inclusion Kindergarten

When we received Liam's Down syndrome diagnosis, a lifetime of worries stretched out ahead of us. One of those worries was "What are we going to do when it's time for him to go to school?" That decision seemed SO far away, but the years passed by quickly, and soon, it was time to make that decision. We were completely torn about whether we would send Liam to full inclusion Kindergarten in the Fall, or have him go to preschool for one more year, but last week, we made our decision!

At the beginning of the year, I shared my thoughts about "redshirting" my child who has Down syndrome, and we have been undecided since then. So much so, that I signed the declaration to send him to Kindergarten, but never turned in the paperwork. If you would have asked me one week ago what our decision was, I would have told you that he would be going to preschool for one more year.

Although this is our first time dealing with special education concerns, we had to make a similar decision about sending Lily to Kindergarten when she was eligible. Just like Liam, her birthday fell just before the age cutoff for Kindergarten, which would make her one of the youngest in the class. We put a lot of thought into it, and decided NOT to redshirt Lily. It wasn't always easy, and she IS one of the youngest children in her grade (some students in her class were over a year older than her), but it was the right decision for her. However, we had to consider other factors with Liam, who has special needs.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fourth of July Festivities

Fourth of July Festivities

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and this year was a great one! We swam, we picnicked, we paraded, we ate too much food, we swam some more, and we watched fireworks. We had so much fun celebrating America's birthday with our family and friends!

The 4th of July has been a big deal since I met Grant. I quickly grew to love the holiday as much as his family did. Every year since I met Grant, we celebrated the 4th of July with his family. They always hosted a huge picnic, then we walked down to watch the town parade. Grant often drove his dad, who was the mayor, in the parade, and I occasionally joined him. Eventually, Dylan took my place. His dad brought fireworks back to the area, so we would end the night by watching the fireworks in the cemetery on the hill, then head back to his parent's house for a fire.

That tradition just wasn't the same after the death of Grant's father, who absolutely loved the 4th of July, and two years ago was the last year the picnic happened. Last year felt like a huge disappointment, so we knew things had to change. Although change is tough, this year we went to our friend's pool for a picnic/pool party, and we ended up having a fun day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Welcome Wednesday Link Party

Welcome Wednesday Link Party

Happy 4th of July! I will be spending the day celebrating with my family and friends, and will be getting back to the blog later this week. I decided to take a break from blogging yesterday, today, and maybe even tomorrow, but I will be posting the link up for those who would like to share their posts. Wishing my fellow Americans a happy, safe, fun holiday!

Your Hosts! 

Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place / Bloglovin / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter 
Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 
Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Motherhood Chronicles

The Motherhood Chronicles

Happy Monday and Happy July! It's hard to believe another week of Summer has flown by, and June is over. Motherhood is never dull, so it's no wonder that time seems to fly by!