Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

We feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful year! Wonder what 2009 will bring?? :)


post signature

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wow..what fun!

Wow...we have had a such a fun week! This post will be short because I am still exhausted. The holidays can sure take it out of you!!

AnnaKate loved all of the excitement this year. She was so cute opening gifts. I have added some of the pictures to the slide show on the right side bar.

One of the gifts this year that my Aunt B gave her was a piano. It was not just any piano...of course it was a miniature baby grand piano. We now need a little candelabra to go on top. Video of the melodic music to come!

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends.

post signature

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends, laughter and love.

post signature

Monday, December 22, 2008

Giggle Box!

Talk about giggle box!! AnnaKate has always been a giggler when we do something funny but she has really started to laugh more at things she does. It is cute to watch her entertain herself. She really likes to play in front of her mirror and laugh at her reflection. The other day I heard her laughing in her room all by herself. When I went in to she what was going on this is what I saw...

I hope you are having lots of giggles this holiday season.

post signature

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Picture this!

I have no picture of what happened so you are going to have to use your imagination!!

I went in to check on AnnaKate last night before I went to bed. She is usually sleeping very soundly and just needs to be covered back up. Last night she was sprawled sideways in the crib with her hands behind her head. Her legs were propped up on her bumper (yes, she still has a bumper in her crib.) and each foot was sticking through the slats on the crib. It was so funny! I wanted a picture but my mom instincts told me that waking a sleeping child with a flash was not right.

What kind of things have you found while checking on your kids at night?

post signature

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I love decorating for Christmas! This is the first year that AnnaKate has really gotten into the tree. Every morning we have a tree lighting ceremony. We light the tree in her room and sing "Oh Christmas Tree" (which I know very few words...). You should see her giggle!!! She gets so excited! We then go and light the big tree and sing. It just makes my day to see the excitement in her eyes.
I have added a new addition to my decorations this year. I have really been eyeing the vintage-style paper houses. My mom started collecting them a few years back and they are just beautiful. I love vintage Christmas decorations so these fit right in. I have displayed them on the tops of my bookcases in the living room.

I have loved reading about traditions that all of my blogging friends are doing...advent calendars, Elf on the Shelf, etc. I can't wait to start these with AnnaKate. Billy and I have had a tradition for quite a while to watch certain Christmas movies. Last year we "upped" this tradition. We now watch a Christmas movie every night of the holiday season. (I will admit that some nights we don't make it through the whole movie!) We love spending the time together and getting in the spirit.

What do you do to get in the Christmas spirit?

post signature

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meyer Center Holiday Ladies Luncheon

AnnaKate's school, The Meyer Center, does a huge holiday fundraiser each year. Today was my first time attending the luncheon. This is more than just a luncheon--it is an event for over 1,000 people and it raises over $175,000 for the school. It was an amazing event! They had a huge silent auction of over 400 items. It was fun to walk around and mingle with friends, drink a mimosa and bid on a few gifts. During the luncheon they did a live auction and a beautiful tribute to the Meyer Center founder, Dr. Leslie Meyer. Edwin McCain also sang a few songs...I just love him!! He is from Greenville and a huge supporter of The Meyer Center. They also had two parent of which was me! I agreed to speak and then got a little nervous. But I wanted others to know how important her school is to us. For those of you who don't know, she attends a preschool for special needs children and she gets all of her therapies at school!! It is truly an amazing place like no other. She started when she was 1 and she will hopefully stay there until she is 6. We feel so blessed to have The Meyer Center in our lives. I thought I would share my speech with you. You would have been so proud--I did not break down and cry at all! (Jessica...there is little tribute to you in it!)

Hi my name is Kelly and this is my daughter AnnaKate. It is a privilege for me to speak to you today as a Meyer Center parent. No parent ever expects to need the Meyer Center. You expect a typical child and let’s be honest you want a typical child. But we found ourselves needing the Meyer Center and we could not feel more blessed to be a part of such an amazing place. I want to share AnnaKate’s story with you.

My husband and I were so fortunate to be able to adopt AnnaKate. After infertility issues an adoption situation literally fell right into our laps. We were able to follow AnnaKate’s birth mothers perfect pregnancy and actually go to the hospital to pick up our daughter. A few physical characteristics led us to believe that something may not be typical with AnnaKate. I remember telling my mom, Mom…I don’t care she is ours. And she was! This precious little gift was ours. Shortly after her birth she was diagnosed with Rubenstein Taybi syndrome. This rare genetic disorder causes severe developmental delays and mental disabilities. We were pretty crushed and had to grieve the loss of typical. We were embarking on a new kind of normal. Normal that included tons of doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, slow weight gain, missed milestones, constant illnesses and that feeling of just being different.

But at a year old, AnnaKate started the Meyer Center. She was typical at the Meyer Center. We had found a family that understood and a place where we fit in. AnnaKate made friends and so did I. I made friends that understood what it is like to raise a child that is not typical. The Meyer Center is truly unique place like no other. AnnaKate’s teachers and therapists treat her like their own. They have high expectations for this little girl and she will meet them with their help. AnnaKate’s progress at the Meyer Center has been amazing to watch. As I said before, you never expect to need the Meyer Center but if you find yourself there you will realize that it is truly a place like no other and you will feel privileged to be a part of it. The quote that is seen all around the Meyer Center is, “If disability is a hurdle then this is the place they learn to leap”. To me- that says it all.

About 5 years ago my husband and I attended a Meyer Center benefit concert with Edwin McCain. That night sitting in those seats I had no idea what the future held for us and that today I would be speaking to you and sharing how the Meyer Center has touched our lives. We never expected to be on the receiving end of the Meyer Center’s services. We are so grateful for Dr. Meyer, all the supporters of the Meyer Center and for you. AnnaKate would not be where she is today without the Meyer Center and your generosity. Thank you for coming today to support the work of the Meyer Center and our precious little AnnaKate.

Our table

AnnaKate was in the tribute video. The picture was from Halloween--she was "Precious"!

This is proof that I spoke. I did not hold the "wiggly worm" the whole time!! She had to make a graceful exit.

Edwin McCain is just fabulous. He topped of the day!

Cathy and I shed a few good tears!

My mom, me and AnnaKate

My photographer, Marsha, me and AnnaKate

It was such a special day. I am so appreciative for all my family and friends being there to support us.

post signature

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Visit with Santa

My friend Carrie and I have a neat tradition of meeting at the mall to take our girls to see Santa each year. This year Carrie knew that Rebecca would not like the man in the red suit and she was right. Rebecca screamed and cried. Carrie kept her cool and said take the picture, this is what memories are made of! I love that attitude Carrie!
Here are our pictures...AnnaKate enjoyed visiting with Santa and seeing the huge Christmas trees.

I just had to throw in last year's picture. She looked so little!

(I think Santa has put on some pounds!!)

post signature

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like...

I hate being stressed over the holidays so this year I have set-up a holiday timeline. I wanted to have the house decorated by the end of Thanksgiving break. Check! I also want to have my shopping done by December 1st...hmmm..I am close but may not make that deadline. I will keep you posted.

AnnaKate's cute little tree in her room!

AnnaKate investigating the tree. Also the first night for holiday pajamas.

Our tree. I absolutely love decorating the tree. The more ornaments the better.
(What do you think about the half dying plant in the background?)

The most exciting part!! I have been working on AnnaKate's stocking for quite a while. I wanted to make her one like mine. I am so happy about how it turned out!

post signature

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel so thankful today.

Thankful for a wonderful husband who loves me.
Thankful for a family that I love and love being with (in-laws and all!).
Thankful for a career that I truly love.
Thankful for a daughter that is very special.
Thankful for good friends who love me no matter what.
Thankful for my health.

I wish you a very special Thanksgiving!

*I know lots of children make this precious turkey art at some point in their life. It makes me so happy every time I look at it. Don't you think RTS thumbs make the cutest turkey?! :)

post signature

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Small Steps

Lots of things going on in our house! Getting ready for the holidays and trying to meet my goal of having all of my shopping done by December 1st. AnnaKate is doing new things everyday. It is really exciting.

I got a long awaited email from AnnaKate's physical therapist yesterday. She said that AnnaKate was ready for walking shoes. Yippee!! Literally, I was at the Stride Rite store in less than 30 minutes. AnnaKate has taken a few steps with her therapist and is walking great with one hand held so some sturdy shoes were definitely in order. I am so excited for AnnaKate's small steps! I also had a milestone of sorts at the shoe store. The sweet sales clerk asked if AnnaKate was about 1. I have blogged about how to answer this question. You want to be honest but sometimes it opens up a whole can of worms that you may not want to discuss with strangers. Anyway, I kindly told the sales clerk that AnnaKate was actually 2 and a half and we were really excited to be buying walking shoes. She kindly smiled and praised AnnaKate for such great progress. I have become so much more confident and adept at answering these types of questions. So I am also making progress! :)

By the way, aren't the walking shoes so cute!

post signature

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Journey

When I started this blog I said that I really did not know what type of blog it would be. A sharing blog, an inspirational blog or a combination. Mostly I share about AnnaKate and our daily life. Cindy's post reminded me that I need to share about my journey being AnnaKate's mom.

I am relatively new at blogging. This blog started in April of 2008. I read blogs and thought about starting a blog but I was not ready. I knew AnnaKate had RTS and I knew the ramifications that went along with it but I was not ready to share my feelings. The first year of AnnaKate's life I think I pretended that her RTS was not as "bad" as others. AnnaKate was different. I did not want to seek out information because it would not apply to AnnaKate. I told our geneticist that I was only on a "need to know" basis with information regarding RTS. I think he thought I was in denial, I really wasn't but I just could not handle hearing all of the information. I knew myself well enough that I needed to take it slow. I could only take baby steps. After AnnaKate turned one it was really obvious how developmentally delayed she was. That year I slowly investigated RTS and wrapped my brain around the big picture. Right after AnnaKate turned 2 her speech therapist emailed me a link to a blog that she had found of a little boy with RTS. I will never forget what it felt like to read Jessica's writing on her blog. Her written words were my thoughts. I just sat and cried. I could not believe how connected I felt to her when I read her words. I emailed her immediately and the journey to acceptance had begun. I knew I could not face RTS until I was ready. Once I began blogging and getting to know our RTS sweeties and their families I could not believe how my fears subsided. Knowing that there are others that are on the same journey with you makes you feel so safe. Each day with AnnaKate is such a pleasure. I am so glad I have you to share it with!

post signature

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cutie Patootie!

What a cutie pie! I was able to steal some time this weekend and sew this cute little top for AnnaKate. I love the is even reversible! Thanks to Melody for the inspiration. I just wish I had more time to do more fun things like this...don't we all! :)

post signature

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

post signature

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

We have had such a great day! AnnaKate is a kitty cat this year. Her cat name is Precious and she even has it written on her collar. We definitely think she is precious!
AnnaKate's school had their annual Trunk or Treat this morning. As always, we had so much fun visiting with friends and seeing all of the neat displays.

AnnaKate and her friend Sarah. (AnnaKate looks a little upset!)

After school we went to visit AnnaKate's grandparents and great grandparents. She loved visiting with them.
We took some great pictures at my mom's house.

"Kenny", AnnaKate and "SweetCakes" (great grandparents)

We rushed home to get ready to trick or treat in the neighborhood with Taylor, Cassie and Dave. Unfortunately, AnnaKate got sick as soon as we got home! So we are in for the night and dreaming about what a fun day we had. (Keep your fingers crossed that this is a short stomach bug.)

post signature