Thursday, March 27, 2008


Here are a few pics of Antalya's first Easter Egg Hunts. She had a great time. Especially when she found there was something inside the wrapper she had been sucking on.....chocolate!

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Mascara Madness

Has your tube of mascara almost run dry like mine? Is it time to buy a new one? Wouldn't it feel good if your buying a new mascara helped someone else out? Well, now is the chance. Chelsea is one of the cutest 2 year old girls out there. She as Down syndrome; she also was diagnosed with Leukemia 6 months ago. She is on her 5th round of chemo. Her mom is on a Mary Kay mascara mission to help out. Click here to read all about it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

World Down Syndrome Day

Down syndrome is occurs when there are 3 of the 21st chromosome (normally there are only 2 of each chromosome). Hence, today, March 21st (3/21), is the day we join in a world-wide celebration of people with Down syndrome. In honor of today here are 21 things you might not know about Antalya, and Down syndrome (The facts about Ds were mostly taken from the NDSC website).

1. Although the odds of giving birth to a child with Ds increase as a woman gets older, about 80% of babies with Ds are born to women under 35.
2. There is no known cause for the chromosome variation known as Ds.
3. Antalya had major surgery on her intestines when she was only 2 days old. She came through with flying colors.
4. Antalya hates having her teeth brushed, nails clipped, and her face wiped.
5. Children with Ds are usually smaller than other children.
6. Approximately 5,000 babies are born with Ds in the US each year.
7. Antalya's name means "heaven on earth".
8. Ds is the only disability in the US that has a waiting list of parents wanting to adopt.
9. Antalya loves chicken.
10. There is a wide variation in mental abilities, physical development, and behavior in individuals with Ds.
11. Antalya's favorite movie is Baby Signing Time.
12. About 1 in every 800-1,000 live births are babies with Ds.
13. Antalya has 67 first cousins, with another one on the way this summer.
14. There are 3 kinds of Down syndrome. The most common is Trisomy 21.
15. Antalya loves to camp.
16. Each child with Ds is unique.
17. Antalya ate for the first time when she was 12 days old. She was given nutrients through an IV until then.
18. Antalya hates pudding.
19. Ds is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.
20. Antalya is the name of a city in Turkey. One day we will take Antalya to her city.
21. Antalya's middle name is Marian. She is named after her great-grandma Marian who is still alive, and an inspiration to all who know her.

First Day of Spring

Is there a better way to celebrate the first day of spring than going to the park with friends? The kids had a great time on the swings (Christine, sorry there is no pic of Atticus).

When it was time to play on the playground, Antalya wasn't too excited. I don't know if it was the weird texture, or the fact that she could see the ground through the holes. But whatever it was, she sure wasn't happy. I couldn't even get her to move. If I put her down sitting, she stayed sitting. If I put her down on her tummy, she stayed on her tummy. Hopefully next time will be better.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Little Bookworm

A few weeks ago I turned a corner of the bedroom into a play area just for Antalya. She loves to go there and pull a book off the shelf and "read" it.
Today she was playing in her corner while I put away a load of laundry. When I finished I went over to see what she was doing. She had pulled nearly every book off the shelves and was deeply engrossed in "reading" one of them. Not even me pulling out the camera and taking pictures could distract her from the pictures on the pages. It was too cute!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Did It!

The breeze blowing through my hair, my heart pounding, my legs moving as fast as they was incredible! That's how I felt this morning when I finished my first 5k race (I ran one once when I was about 10 years old, but because I was so young, and it was so long ago, I'm counting this one as my first). I have been on Cloud 9 all day just thinking about how good it felt. It's been a really long time since I have set a goal, and then seen it through to the finish line. Maybe today will change that. Thanks Christine, Tara, and Sonja for joining the fun. Is anyone up for a 10k at the end of summer? (For a great poem about the race visit my friend Sonja at The Wonder Years.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rice Pudding

Well Sonja, you asked, so here it is. This recipe is adapted from the Lion House Recipes book.

2 cups cooked rice (I use the short grain brown rice that Costco sells)
2 1/4 cups milk (I use vanilla soy milk) (If you want a richer flavor, substitute 1/4 c milk with 1/4 c evaporated milk)
1 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 c plus 2 T sugar or other sweetener
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1/2 c raisins

Combine cornstarch, salt, sugar in small bowl and mix well. Scald milk in a saucepan. Slowly add the sugar mixture, stirring continuously until it begins to boil. Add cooked rice, and continue to stir until it begins to boil again. Pour a little of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs while stirring rapidly. Then add it into the mixture in the saucepan and stir until it is thickened (only a couple minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in spices, vanilla, and raisins (I steam my raisins for a few minutes to plump them up a little). Serve hot or cold. We like it so much that I always make a double batch.

International Women's Day

Did you know yesterday was International Women's Day? Did you have a celebration? Or reflect on all the amazing women in your life? I must admit, I had never heard of the occasion until yesterday. But now that I know about it, I hope to have an annual celebration.

Last night I went to a Girl's Night Out celebration. It was so great. Our evening started with an hour of yoga, followed by an assortment of delicious salads, soups, and breads. While we ate chocolate mousse for desert we soaked our feet in a salt bath. It was heaven!

In honor of International Women's Day we talked about the many women we admire and qualities we would like to emulate. Who are some the women you admire? Why? What does it mean to be a woman? I love being a mother, but isn't it great to think of womanhood apart from motherhood? Sometimes it is difficult to separate the two, especially after you become a mother, but I think it is important to remember what makes us - us! Do we take time to remember who we are as people - our likes, our talents, our goals, our dreams? Or do we let ourselves become so consumed and overwhelmed with dirty diapers, dishes to wash, laundry to be done, food to be prepared, etc that we get lost in our lives?

To be a woman is such an incredible thing! We have so much strength, goodness, and power inside us.

Here are three woman that have greatly impacted my life and why:

1. My mom - for giving birth to me (which wasn't easy), for raising me (which wasn't easy either), teaching me, instilling in me a love of learning and education, for her patience, faith, and foresight during the teenage years, for all her sacrifices, and for the good woman that she is.

2. My aunt Gayle - for being such a strength and example to me at such a critical time in my life (the awful transition from being a teenager to becoming an adult); for knowing just what to say, and when to not say anything at all; for giving me advice, and then backing away while I made my own decisions.

3. Professor Giralt - for showing me that a woman can have a family and reach her educational/career goals while still maintaining balance; for encouraging me to reach outside my comfort zone and to stretch my goals. One day soon I hope to put into practice the things I learned from her, and return to school.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

E is for Excellent!

A couple weeks ago, I was thrilled to find out that my friend Sonja, over at The Wonder Years, had passed this award on to me! I am always amazed that anyone besides my mom reads, and enjoys reading, my blog. Thanks Sonja, for the kind words. I'm embarrassed that it has taken me this long to accept the award:(

I am supposed to pass the award on to three other bloggers. Although there are so many that I read and enjoy, and so many bloggers that I truly admire, today I want to acknowledge the following blogs:

1. Dream BigThis blog is about cute, little, 2 year old Chelsea who has cancer, and her family. I admire Chelsea's mom for sharing her experiences - the joys, the sorrows, the ups, and the downs, with anyone who reads her blog. It reminds me hug Antalya a little tighter, and to be grateful for each day I am blessed to have her in my life. Chelsea is always in our prayers!

2. Brady's Bunch Brady's mom is someone that I greatly admire. She is a member in our local Down syndrome organization, and is such a support and help for all of us moms. I love reading her posts each Sunday about gratitude. It always helps me reflect on all the blessings I received the previous week.

3. Praying for Parker I love how Parker's mom is so honest and candid on her blog. Somehow in the midst of caring for her medically-fragile little boy, and the rest of her family, she finds the time to write about her daily adventures and post the greatest pics of cute little Parker.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Black Bean Soup

My mom just gave me this recipe. It is so easy and delicious!

2 can black beans (drained)
1 can chicken broth (about 2 cups)
1 cup salsa

Simmer in pot about 15 minutes. Put half of the soup in the blender until smooth, then return to the remaining soup in pot. Stir and serve.

Top with: sour cream, cheese, avocado, limes, tortilla chips

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oats and Pigtails

I love oatmeal! It's a love passed on to me by my mom. Winter, spring, summer, fall - my favorite breakfast is a bowl of hot oatmeal. I love the simplicity of it. I boil the water, add the oats (old fashioned oats - of course, none of the instant stuff), as I stir I watch as a handful of dried oats, magically transforms into a bowl of hot, delicious cereal. Add a little brown sugar, fruit, and cover with soy milk. Just talking about it would make my mouth water, except that I just finished eating my bowl for the day :) I cannot comprehend why anyone would not like oatmeal. For months I have been telling myself that Antalya loves oatmeal as much as I do - that it was the only thing she would eat for breakfast - that if she didn't start her day with oatmeal, how would she possibly get all the nutrients she needs during the day? I knew all along that she hated oatmeal. In fact as soon as the texture touches her tongue, she quickly spits it all out - occasionally landing in my face. I would ignore it and insist that she REALLY wants to be eating it. I tried many different ways, oatmeal with yogurt, oatmeal with cold cereal, instant, flavored oatmeal, oatmeal with lots of sugar, balls of oatmeal that she could pick up and feed herself. But the truth of the matter was that she did not like oatmeal! It didn't matter how I tried to deceive her or alter it's form, she just didn't like it. This past week I finally resigned myself to the fact that I am the only one in this house who likes to eat oatmeal. It was a great, liberating moment! Now when I sit down with my bowl of oatmeal in the morning, it is just me! No worries about making Antalya eat it, no thoughts of having to share, just me and my breakfast! (FYI Antalya now enjoys a piece of nine grain toast with her morning fruit. She loves it! She even asked for more!)
I'm still waiting for day when Antalya has enough hair for two little pigtails. In the mean time, she sure has one cute pigtail right on top!