Monday, October 22, 2007

As A Man Thinketh

Jason just introduced me to great book entitled As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. I spent the morning reading half of it. It talks about the power of our own thoughts on our actions and ultimately, our lives. There were several quotes that I just loved! I thought I would throw a couple of them up on this blog, mostly to help me remember them.
Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction. It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself, with the Law of his being. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure. Suffering ceases for him who is pure. There could be no object in burning gold after the dross had been removed, and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer.
What an incredible truth. It makes so much sense, but yet I had never thought of it quite like that. As I look back and recall times when I have suffered, it was all a result of my own thoughts. And eventually what ended my suffering was when I reached a change of thought and saw my circumstances differently; realizing that I may not have the power to change an event, but I had the power to change the way I looked on that event. The most recent example in my life was hearing the news that our daughter would need surgery immediately after her birth and would require a lengthy hospital stay to recover. If that wasn't hard enough, the doctor then told us she had Down syndrome. Jason and I both suffered for several days as we tried to bring our own thoughts and desires in line with what was happening. As soon as we corrected our prideful thoughts we ceased suffering.

I'll end with one more line: "Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Precious Moments

Instead of reading stories at bedtime tonight, I just wanted to cuddle with my baby girl. So I gave Antalya her bottle and we sat down on the rocker for some cuddle time. Usually that means I sing a few songs and she falls asleep, but tonight we just sat in silence having a conversation with our eyes. After awhile I would smile, then Antalya would lower her bottle as her face broke out in a smile that spread from ear to ear, which would then turn into a little giggle. We went back and forth like this for about 30 minutes. I didn't want to put her down, and she didn't want to be put down. I was in heaven! It is moments like these that remind me what being a mom is all about. Isn't it wonderful! Thanks Mom for being my mom! And thanks to all those moms out there who spend so much time loving their children.

On another note, we leave for Chile in nine days. I can't believe it! I finally found something to keep Antalya warm while we are backpacking in Patagonia. It's a down-filled snowsuit/sleeper. I hope she stays toasty warm in it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Birthday Cake

On Antalya's actual birthday we gave her a little mini muffin to practice for her birthday party the next day. As you can tell from the pictures as soon as she realized it was there she didn't hestiate to pop the whole thing in her mouth.

The next day at her birthday party was hilarious the way she jumped right in and enjoyed every bite! I think she ate almost the entire cake. P.S. Sonja - I put the recipe for the oatmeal cake on the link to my recipes on the side.

Come to the Annual Buddy Walk

This Saturday is the Annual Buddy Walk for Down syndrome. It is going to be a lot of fun! It is an one-mile walk held every year during the month of October nationwide to promote adovacy and awareness of Down syndrome. Usually every child with Down syndrome has their own "team" of people that walk with him or her. Since this is our first year participating I haven't put together team shirts or organized a team for Antalya, but we would still love to see all of you there. Normally the Buddy Walk is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Down syndrome support groups, but this year due some changes in our local organization it will not be a fundraiser - meaning it is all FREE! There will be games, entertainment, and a light lunch provided for everyone that participates. If you're interested in coming click here for more info and directions. Hope to see many of you on Saturday - and gear up for next year so we can have the biggest team there!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Antalya turns the big ONE today! I can't believe it has been a year. My friend sent her this cute personalized shirt from Kansas. Thanks, Tash ~ it is so cute!

What Was I Doing?

I was tagged by Debbie, so here it goes...

What was I doing 10 years ago? I was a senior in high school and worked the night shift waiting tables at Village Inn. My school schedule consisted of only the classes that I choose which were: AP English, Art History, Seminary, Swim Team, and three periods of Art/Sculpture. I loved it! I was trying to decide where I wanted to go to school and imagining what the future would hold. I wanted to become a art historian or a curator of a museum. I was looking forward to my first trip overseas. I was going to Italy with my Art History class right after graduation.

What was I doing 5 years ago? I was in a suburb outside Santiago, Chile. It was the last area I served in during my year and a half mission for the LDS church. My companion was Hermana Guerrero from southern Chile. We were up early every morning, worked hard all day, and crashed at night - in fact - it was the only time of my life that I slept soundly every night. We lived directly above a bakery - it always smelled SO good. Each morning as we left the apartment we would buy 100 pesos of fresh cookies. Delicious! I am going back to visit Chile in two weeks, and you can be sure I will make a stop at the little bakery to get some more cookies!

What was I doing 1 year ago?

I was in labor with my daughter Antalya. We left for the hospital at about 10:30pm. We made a stop at Blockbuster to pick up Seven Years in Tibet, and The Notebook (two of my favorite movies to help the time pass), then stopped at Sconecutter to get a snack for the hour drive to the hospital. I was finally admitted at about 2:30am. Jason and I tried to get as much sleep as we could that night. The next morning my doctor arrived; my contractions were slowing down. My doctor didn't want to send me home since we lived so far away, so they started me on pitocin about 8:00am. Then we just waited. Jason went to get some breakfast. He was nice and brought me back some too. I ate it as quickly as I could so the nurses wouldn't catch me:) We watched a movie, met with a social worker (because of the complications with Antalya and her diagnosis of Down syndrome), signed release forms from the NICU (that was the scariest part - going over all the possible things that could go wrong with Antalya, and what would have to be done to her), and then just waited. Around 1:00pm Jason left to go get some lunch. While he was gone, my water broke, and then labor REALLY began! Some how I made it through it - Jason by my side and a wonderful nurse that kept reminding me to breathe through the contractions and then let it go. Antalya was born at 7:32pm. She weighed 5lbs 13oz and was 19" long. Jason and I fell in love immediately with her. We named her Antalya because it means "heaven on earth."

What was I doing yesterday?
Woke up, fed and bathed myself and Antalya. Went to IKEA to buy Antalya a high chair. Made it back just in time for her physical therapy appointment. Had lunch. Put Antalya down for a nap. A fellow Ds mom stopped by with her cute little Riley. Woke Antalya up after 2 hours so she could play with Riley before she had to go home. Fixed dinner. Read stories. Put Antalya to bed. Visited with some other friends that stopped by with their cute new baby Graham. Watched TV with Jason. Went to bed exhausted!

Five places I would rather be
In bed asleep cuddling with Jason and Antalya
Reading a book in a huge jetted tub
In Turkey with my friend Christine
In Israel
In New York with my friends Sher and Manders

Five treats I love
Rice, Rice, Rice!
Ice cream
Jason's delicious lentil curry
Apple Jacks
Saltado de pollo from a local Peruvian restaurant

Five favorite TV shows
The Office
The Daily Show with John Stewart
Stephen Colbert Report

What would I do with a million dollars?
Give away a portion of it and then invest whatever was left.

My most memorable things right now
Cuddling with Antalya in the early morning, watching Jason play with Antalya and making her laugh, early morning walks/talks before the sun rises with my friends Sonja and Daniela, fixing a delicious dinner, watching Antalya learn a new thing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Tricks

Just had to say how proud I am of Antalya! This week she has learned how to sit up from lying down - including how to sit up in the slippery bathtub, pull herself to standing from kneeling, improved her cup drinking skills, and learned to drink from a straw! I think she realized she has a birthday coming up and isn't going to be a baby anymore :) Way to go Antalya!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Down Syndrome Awareness

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Hooray! Jason picked this Tshirt out for Antalya to celebrate Ds. Isn't it cute? For those of you who aren't familiar with Down syndrome it is caused by an extra twenty-first chromosone. Most people only have two - one from their father, one from their mother, but Antalya was lucky and got three!
P.S. If you can't read the shirt is says, "Am I rockin my extra chromosone or what?"

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Minutes

I've decided to start writting down my weekly goals instead of just having them float around in my head. Hopefully, this way, I will feel a little more responsible to making sure they get done. So here they are:


Scripture study each morning while Antalya takes her morning nap
Attend the temple
Be more patient and understanding than I was last week
Clean out / organize the pantry
Get budget on paper instead of in my head
Get trip to South America planned out


"Stair therapy" twice a day for as long as I can keep her interested (this is where I place toys on the bottom step and try to encourage her to play them helping her to practice pulling to kneeling, moving from kneeling to standing, and then back down again)
Practice dropping objects into a container
Practice drinking from a cup

This morning while I was reading in the Old Testament I found a great scripture. It is Deut 23:14 "For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee...therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." I am so excited for General Conference this weekend.

Back to the Beginning

Last Thursday was the anniversary of the day I met my husband. We met at a little middle eastern cafe on a blind date. His sister-in-law had been trying to set us up for four years! When we finally did meet I think it was more a feeling of "lets just get this over with so she will leave us alone" than anything else; although I will admit that I was a little curious about this outdoor-loving, adventure-seeking, world-traveler I had been hearing about. It was a Monday and I remember I purposely arrived late just so I wouldn't be the first one to the restaurant. When I got there Jason had picked a table for two outside. We ordered our food, had the typical blind date questions, although instead of parting at the end of the meal, we sat at the table conversing for several more hours.

We were both in college attending different universities and lived about 45 miles apart. It was another week before we were able to get together again, but once we did, one thing led to another and we were married three months later. Thanks Sheryl for not giving up when Jason said he wasn't interested the first time you wanted to set us up.

Anyways, on Thursday, to celebrate, we dropped Antalya off at her aunt's house to have a fun afternoon with her cousins (thanks Rebecca) and Jason and I went back to the small middle eastern cafe where it all began. It was fun to sit outside at the little table and reflect how that lunch - three years ago - has changed our lifes.
Here's a picture of Jason and I on our honeymoon

A New Look

Thanks to another blogger friend who gave me the link...I have a new look! If you're looking for a free, new design to your blog check out this link It's a girl who creates free blog designs and has instructions on how to download them.