Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hello yard...we have missed you!

After AnnaKate was born, our yard was seriously neglected. We have always loved gardening and yard work but there just was not enough time to get it done with a baby. So our yard was in sad shape. Flower beds that were once perfectly manicured looked so pitiful.

Today we attacked the yard with AnnaKate. She loves being outside but we worried if she would entertain herself while we worked. Well...she did!! She loved drawing with sidewalk chalk, raking and playing in the dirt. We worked for hours!

Our yard is coming along and we hope to mulch this week. This is a real milestone for us!! :) I am sure the neighbors will appreciate it...

Proof that she gets dirty...

A bucket or a hiding place?????

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What an imagination...

I got a glimpse into AnnaKate's imgination yesterday. I came into her room to find her playing with Lilly the mouse on the changing table...

She got a diaper...

She got some wipes...

And then she put Lilly in the Diaper Champ...I think she got a little confused here! :)

I just love seeing AnnaKate's imagination at work.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cookies for a Cause

Tomorrow our Relay for Life team is having a bake sale to raise money for the American Cancer Society. If you live in our area, stop by Little Pigs BBQ at Hudson Corners on Saturday March 20 between 11:00 and 2:00pm to buy some yummy desserts.

How could you turn down buying one of these scrumptious cookies?

*These are my favorite cookies to make. I use the Martha Stewart sugar cookie recipe and SugarBaker's icing recipe.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So much more...

This weekend was so much more than a weekend, so much more than a get together with another RTS mom, it was so much more!

We began the weekend with this...
On Saturday Jessica and I had a wonderful lunch with fellow blogger, Emily. We had the best time talking and when we left I felt so connected to her and her precious Cohen. I hope we get to have a 3 hour lunch together again soon!

AnnaKate loved Jessica's visit too. She loved the book and the stuffed animal she brought but she really loved Jessica's cute pink shoes!

Since it was just the two of us (we missed you Myssie, Kelly F. , Christine and all the other RTS moms) we had lots of pictures of just the two of us. Cheese...

And the three of us...

We enjoyed shopping and walking around downtown.
This is Jess having some yummy yogurt at the Blueberry Frog...

This weekend was truly so much more than just a girl's weekend. I feel so lucky to have made a connection to Jessica through our blogging and our RTS children but now our connection runs deeper. I began blogging as a journal to document our lives and RTS journey, but I have gained so much more than that... so much more!

Until next time Jess... love you!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Did you hear?

If you are in our "inner blog circle" you may have heard that Jessica is coming for a visit. I do love it when our blog worlds collide. I can't wait to just hang out and visit. We are going to catch up with another blogger, Emily. We are going to have so much fun!!! I can't wait to post pictures...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spread the Word To End the Word

Today is the day. The day to Spread the Word to End the Word. The word I am talking about is retarded. It is actually a clinical term for referring to intelligence but it is often used as a hateful term. Every time someone uses that word to insult someone or something they are saying that if you are retarded you are less. Our precious daughter may very well be categorized as retarded. Are you saying that our baby is anything less than perfect? We don't think so. So think before you use this word in a playful or insulting way. Our language frames how we think about others and it is one of the most powerful tools we have.
Take the pledge with us to eliminate the r-word in everyday speech.

So leave a comment today and let us know that you have our AnnaKate's back and you will help us Spread the Word to end the Word

Here is a post from a fellow RTS mom. Her words are just perfect.
Thanks Terri

I don't talk about it much, as there are all sorts of assumptions about a mother's perspective floating around. Sometimes it's assumed I am speaking from a gaping wound I have, one caused by having a daughter who was born with mental retardation. Bitterness is often attributed.

I don't have any gaping wounds or bitterness. What I have for my daughter is pride, hope and respect. I have what every mother of every kid has, the desire for her child to find her place in the world and make the most of it. I want for her to know what fulfillment feels like.

But the misuse of a clinical term is a bit of an obstacle to this. As long as people choose to use the word as an insult, there will exist a misconception about the capabilities and value of people who are indeed affected by cognitive differences.

The usual counter to what is packaged into political correctness is to piffle at it - bah, it's just a word and it's my problem if I choose to be hurt by it. I am not actually hurt by it. Nor is my daughter. Hurt is not the right word. I am disappointed by the choice to use the word this way. If regular joe's think it's fine to say, then we are far from the society we can be, we profess to be: one that not only accepts differences, but celebrates them. We're just not there yet.

And this is not a freedom of speech issue - a rule that the word be erased from today's vernacular altogether is not what the campaign is about. We all know it's just a word. It's about rising and becoming a culture where people opt in to respecting those that are often either invisible or marginalized. Use the word all you want. Just keep it clinical and factual.

I know this - when the word retard or retarded is flung to amuse and insult(those of typical cognitive function, that is) simultaneously, I do know that it is not with direct, intended malice to my daughter or anyone intellectually diverse. The effort to encourage thought before throwing out this word to describe something less than desirable is not about the uprooting of purposefully bad intentions people have towards those with developmental disabilities, towards my child - I think those intentions rarely exist, if at all - it's about looking at the big picture to see the affects misuse of this word has on general acceptance and true inclusion (as opposed to just tolerance and/or patronization) of people like Addie. It's about awareness and mindfulness, really. Perpetuating the misdirected use of a word that describes part of who my daughter is stands in the way of my ultimate goal of ensuring she is a full citizen of the planet, contributing in meaningful and valuable ways.

A soapbox this is not. I am on the ground with everyone else. I too, have used this word in the past in just the ignorant ways this campaign is attempting to enlighten. A small chunk of awareness was bundled in with the packet from the geneticist containing our daughter's diagnosis a few years back. Bonus free gift.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baking a Cake

First of all...ta dah! What do you think about my new blog design? I fell in love with Kristina and Crystal's blog designs. Go check them out...

Today AnnaKate and I got out of school early due to some snow. So I decided today would be a great day to do a trial run of her birthday cake. If you know me, you know that I plan way ahead for birthdays! AnnaKate is having a cupcake themed birthday in April. I am using the Williams-Sonoma Giant Cupcake Pan to make the cake. I have heard mixed reviews about the pan so I wanted to do a test run. I also want to decorate it with again..this is why a trial run is needed!

We set out to make the cake together. This was our first big project in the kitchen together.
AnnaKate seemed ready for the challenge.

We got the ingredients together.

Silly girl thought she was playing with blocks. Get back to work AnnaKate!

One of her jobs was to unwrap the butter.

After cracking the eggs she just had to touch those strange looking things.

Here is our cake heading into the oven for 80 minutes.
No final is still cooling.

We really had a great time today. AnnaKate giggled and took it all in.
You will have to wait until April to see the cake! :)