Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Whew-Halloween in this hilly neighborhood is an aerobic event! We have had a fun day with our neighborhood friends. We had a gathering at our house before we went out trick or treating. Despite a dismal weather forecast, we did actually get to trick or treat after all!

These pictures were taken earlier this week at storytime at the library. Mrs. Tracey and Mrs. Jennifer did a special halloween storytime and all the children got to dress up! We utilized our Gymboree tutu for a cute ballerina costume:) I learned a valuable lesson this week with little girls- getting tights on cute baby legs is a nightmare!!

This was our attempt at a picture of all three-not super successful:)

After trick or treating, Hope got to watch Brady sit up for a long time! He was showing off his new skill to Hope.
Carly, Kelsey, and Claire trick or treating in our neighborhood. We always go out with a big posse but we all end up getting separated as the big kids take off!:)

Hope is really enjoying tummy time and loves to chew on toys these days:)

Yesterday when Kyle was out of school, he made a bingo game for everyone to play. He printed, cut and laminated bingo cards and made a treasure bag for prizes.

Earlier today, we went downtown for a trick or treat event. We had to walk up a big hill to get back to our car and here is sweet Davey stopping for a rest:)

While we were downtown we ran into Davids friend Hailey who was dressed as Daphne from Scooby Doo:)

Downtown with the boys. Kyle was dressed as a pirate and Davey was a dragon. Kyle and /I battled over costumes this year because of my no scary costume rule. Everything in his size is horribly ugly and/or scary and I refuse to go there. So we finally agreed on a pirate. I do not care for this costume, but it is what he chose within my rules:) I love the expression on David's face in these pictures:)

This is my favorite picture of the night:)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pitiful isn't it? Bless her heart...Hope has struggled with a little runny nose for three weeks or so. She has been on Amoxicillin for ten days, but her cough has steadily gotten worse. I was baffled because she was on an antibiotic, so I took her to the doctor yesterday.

I knew when they checked her weight that maybe she was sicker than she appeared. In ten days she had lost 8 ounces. Then when the dr. listened to her, she found that there was junk in her right lung and she diagnosed her with bronchitis. Great. We were sent home with a zpack and breathing treatments.

She did great until about 10:00 last night when I noticed that she got clammy and started doing a lot of belly breathing. I called the oncall service and she told me to do another breathing treatment and try to nurse her to sleep. She eventually settled down and we got some sleep.

She already looks so better this morning. Kyle unfortunately has to miss another day of school because he spiked a fever around dinner time last night. So at this point all three are on antibiotics, all three are on breathing treatments, and we are so thankful that God has given us the grace to make it through this LLLOOONNNGGG week:)

BTW, in the picture did you notice that we had to write Hope's name on her mask because we cannot keep them all straight now:)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Swimming Boys

Yesterday was such a fun day for my boys. For swim team practice yesterday, Kyle's coaches had a Spooktacular practice where they still swim, but it is all Halloween related. It is one of the highlights of the whole swim year for all the kids:) Then after that, David had swimming lessons!!

Today has not been as much fun, though. Kyle woke up with a 101 fever. I took him to the doctor and he was negative for flu, but he needs to be retested tomorrow morning. Uggh. I will update here tomorrow what the doctor says:)

Here is David with his kind and patient teacher, Mrs. Anne. David is so proud of his swimming and we are all so impressed!

Here is David and Mrs. Anne going under the bridge!! Yeah Daivd:)

Here is Kyle doing the witch relay! So much fun:)

One of the thrills yesterday was the handstand competition during swim team:)

Look super closely here and you will see DAVID swimming under water all by himself!! Whoo hoo David:) I just crack up looking at this because you can see his little eye balls wide open under that water:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Please Buckle Up

If you are going to read this entire post let me recommend that you buckle your seat belts because it is going to be a wild and bumpy ride! Actually, I am having some insight lately that the phrase "please buckle up it is going to be a wild ride" might just be our family mantra for a while.

You know, kind of like on a roller coaster at an amusement park?

You see, I am starting to think the roller coaster ride idea is a great analogy to a busy family. It goes up and down and fast and faster, but you are clinging to the ones you love that are sitting right beside you the whole ride. Also on a roller coaster just when you think you can't stand it anymore and you just might hurl, that crazy part is over and a smoother path is up ahead. Sound familiar?

First off, the ride is never how it looks until you get on. This weekend we had great plans, I mean really fun everyone get to participate kind of fun. We were headed to Roanoke to watch Kyle and friends swim Saturday and Sunday morning. This plan was great because it left Saturday afternoon for fun family and friend frolic in fun places such as the hotel pool and Chuck E. Cheese.

But, David got sick. Really sick and had to be confined to my blessedly helpful parents house. I did not feel comfortable leaving Davey just with them, so I stayed at my parents house and drove 40 minutes each morning to watch Kyle swim. Mike and Kyle stayed in Roanoke in a comfy hotel for the weekend. We were worried about how to sleep a family of 5 in a hotel, but then Mike and Kyle ended up having a bed to themselves:)

On a positive note, Kyle swam AWESOME And there was this little incident at Chuck E. Cheese where Mike won the skeeball game and lights, bells, and whistles went off as he hit 500,000 and tickets poured out of the machine! (He then traded them in for like a mini tootsie roll but who cares he was the big winner!)

The downside of the weekend is that Davey was/is sick (negative for h1N1 and strep) but still sick enough that we ended up in the ER. Being in the ER right now is not a fun place to be, but we survived thanks to the help of my sweet Dad who entertained Hope in the car for over two hours while we could tend to Davey. I drove back and forth between Radford and Roanoke all weekend trying to watch Kyle swim but check on David. My sweet Mom stayed home with David all weekend so I could go back and forth. David is now on breathing treatments and hopefully this will help. Dr. C said that his lungs sound a little junky which worries me, but we have pulled out the trusty breathing machine and Xopenex:)

Kyle getting ready to swim the backstrokoe:)

Taylor and Hope watching Bre and Kyle swim:) Kyle had a ball on Saturday playing at Chuck E. Cheese and swimming in the hotel pool with Bre and her family:)

Thisis how our weekend has ended-with David on the nebulizer getting a breathing treatment from Mike:) Even sick Davey is so sweet:)

Kyle's butterfly:)

I guess for now the Robinson roller coaster is coasting smooth-We have a treatment plan for Davey, nobody else is showing any signs of sickness and things look low key for the week. But I know there will be other times where the ride is wild and bumpy but I am so thankful for the people sitting in my car with me giving me someone to grab and hold onto during the bumpy parts:) I guess as a family we will just throw our arms up in the arm and scream "wheeeeeeeeeeee" during this crazy ride called life and pray we do not hurl!!:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crunchy Nacho Cheese Chicken Casserole

Here is the Paula Deen recipe that I tried the other night. It was yummy when it was hot out of the oven, but not a good one to heat up for leftover:) Enjoy!

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped (didn't use it)
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinnless chicken breasts cut into cubes
16 ounces sour cream
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bag of Doritos
1 cup of Monteray cheese
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. REmove from heat and stir in sour cream, tomatoes, soup, salt and pepper.

Spread 1/3 bag of Doritos on the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with 1/3 chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with cheeses. Bake 30-40 min or until hot and bubbly. Mike and Kyle liked this but David did not:) Enjoy:) Great to take somewhere or to feed a crowd!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lightning Speed

Here is a picture I took of Hope last week with all the fall decorations out on our porch. Sometimes I feel so silly taking so many pictures of her, but life is traveling at lightning speed these days and I am trying so hard to desperately cherish every moment with all three of my babes.

Kyle is huge these days. All his jeans we bought for school this WHOLE year he has outgrown already (note to self: do not buy growing boy jeans in august to last until March! He is eating us out of the house and he is actually cultivating some upper body muscles from swimming. He looks so mature these days. Hopefully soon his behavior will reach the same maturity as his body:) A Mom can hope huh?! His parent conference last week went extremely well and we are proud of the sweet, caring heart that his teacher talks about just as much as the academics. Math is his love, but he has fallen in love with Magic Tree House books and is devouring them at home and school. We are off to a swim meet this weekend for Kyle:)

David-where do I even start? His conference went very well also and we are so proud of the work he is doing at home and school. We are THRILLED with his reading progress but it is taking the whole village to work together with him. He loves his swimming lessons (but NOT the shower afterwards) and is doing very well in it:) He had a playdate with a friend yesterday and I was just watching them together and felt so blessed. We have had a little annoying issue at school where a few children tattle on David and it has really driven me crazy. He is an easy scapegoat to blame everything on in the classroom. The teacher is aware of it and is working on it as a class by reading stories and doing some role playing. All kids tattle at this age and I want David to get in trouble if he is deserving but not be the scapegoat for all. Situations such as this make you so thankful for kind, loving teachers that feel their job is to teach way more than academics. We are so thankful for both boys' teachers this year.

Then there is Hope. She has been battling a cold for THREE weeks and is finally on Amoxicillin. She is happy as a little clam and we are enjoying her so much. We all got our swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines to help protect her since she is much too little for those type of vaccines. I am trying to keep her in as much as possible without going stir crazy myself:) She loves to be talked and read to:)

That is the update with the kiddos. Mike is busy as always but we are all looking forward to getting away this weekend to swim with Kyle. We will get to have some fun while we are gone with our LASO family friends. We are planning a trip to Chuck E Cheese while we are there, which will be the biggest thrill for David. He gets excited just to see the commercial on TV!!!

I am loving staying home again full time, but I am still not sure where the day goes. I am trying to work out as much as I can and keep up with my bible study. I am constantly trying new recipes and the family is enjoying my experimentation. Last night I made a Paula Deen Cheesy Chicken Casserole that they all enjoyed but David. I will post the recipe sometime soon:) Enjoy this beautiful fall weather because we all know winter is right around the corner:)

Monday, October 19, 2009

You Gotta Have Friends

Here are some great pictures of our 3rd annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk. The weather did not cooperate with us, but that did not stop us from having fun. We just had to move the party inside (thank you Royal Oak) and then some brave souls did a short walk outside:) It is always fun to get together with our group of families.

Sweet Luke-he is not scared of me but he was getting ready to sneeze!:)

A group of girls played beauty parlor and had a ball:)

Snack time. We were so blessed that so many of our kids friends came this year. We are so fortunate in this community that people know our kids and truly love them.

Hope in her blue and yellow (our official colors) with my friend, Christy. Christy has a brother in New York with Down Syndrome and she has encouraged me so much in my parenting of David. I love to hear stories about her brother and I actually got to meet him this past summer:)

David with Mr. Carter and his son, Tanner. David loves Mr. Carter and insisted that he play Duck, Duck Goose with him.

The brave souls that walked in the freakishly cold temepratures.

The Burketts and Robinsons playing Duck Duck Goose while we set up the food and tables:)

This picture was taken before we left home for the Buddy Walk. While I put my makeup on, David read his favorite book to Hope:) She was a pretty captive audience:)

I always love our Buddy Walk and I love the group of people that come out for these events. This party is always so refreshing-EVERYONE is welcome at this event. This group of people come together for one common good-to love and support our babies with DS. David had so many special people there including his sweet teacher and lots of friends that it always is so encouraging to me. David is going to thrive when he has friends, family and teachers that are willing to be such encouragers and supporters in his life. I love small town living on days like today:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

4 Months!

Our sweet Hope is four months old as of today!! I cannot believe how fast time flies when a newborn is in the house:) We are enjoying our sweet girl so much despite how spoiled to Mommy she is:) Thankfully she is a happier baby these days (when Mommy stays away from dairy) and we all just could eat her up we love her so:) Friends say that her pictures make her look way bigger than she is in real life and so we call her peanut because she is one:) Last week she weighed 12 pounds 6 ounces and is is wearing 3-6 months stuff primarily now. Here are some pictures of our big girl!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Ramblings

It is a dreary cool Wendesday here and Mike is out of town. We usually survive while he is gone, but we all miss him terribly. Hope has had the sniffles this week but thankfully her RSV test was negative. She is on the mend, but has been high maintenance over the past few days.

It is so rare to post without a pic or two, but lately we have been busy-I do have a great picture of Hope with her new tiara on, but I will save that for another day:) David started swimming lessons last night and did awesome!! We are so proud of him.

Kyle on the other hand is getting over a bad case of swimmers ear. Bless his is this kid that loves swim team, but has to battle asthma and swimmers ear. He was out of the water all last week and on steroids (that was a rough combo) but he is much better this week. Mike is taking Kyle next week to UVA to consult with our beloved asthma and allergy specialist to make sure we have all the tools in place to keep Kyle from getting as sick as he was last winter. I will stay home with Hope and David while they do an overnight trip to Cville:)

We have a new but temporary member of our family-Flat Stanley!!! Kyle's friend from Orange, Brett honored us by choosing our family for Flat Stanley's visit. We have had a ball with it and I will be sad when Flat STanely goes back to ORange County:)

In my extended family, we have had some rough spots to deal with. My beloved and active grandfather who has COPD and other lung issues has really struggled with his breathing lately and to see such an active guy decline before your eyes is so hard. My other grandmother is back in rehab after a nasty case of bacteria in her system. I am in awe of my parents as they take care of both of their parents during this time and balance that with their desire to spend time with their grandchildren. Their retirement has been full of doctor visits and running errands for their ailing parents. Their plates are full, but I know they take that job seriously and would not want anyone else to do it for them:)

That is all the ramblings I have for today:) More pictures coming soon...:)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why I love October

Boys in cute pumpkin shirts heading off to the pumpkin patch.

Big boys riding their bikes on trails full of crunchy leaves.

Cute boy getting to play on the playground at HMSP without piling on the sunscreen.

Viewing a beautiful sunset from our back deck.

Finding the cutest pumpkin in the patch.

A fun playdate with our playgroup friends to the pumpkin patch.

A pretty fall scene on the golf course from our back deck.

Having pretty mums in baskets around our house.

Another pretty scene from our deck overlooking the golf course. I think this is officially peak weekend and we have had beautiful weather this week to enjoy all these pretty scenes of Fall:) Happy Fall Y'all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Down Syndrome Buddy Walk

Coming up on October 18th, our local Down Syndrome group will host our 3rd annual Buddy Walk!! This Buddy walk will entail a short walk on Main Street to help raise awareness of our precious children with Down Syndrome. This is not a fundraiser at all, just a time to get together for good fellowship and for a short walk. Please help spread the word around town! We do ask that if your last name starts with A-M, please bring an appetizer to share. If your last name starts with N-Z, then please bring a dessert to share. We would love to see you there as we support and encourage our loved ones with Down Syndrome. It will be held on October 18th from 2-4 at the Riverwalk Park. Spread the word and hope to see you there!:)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Power of Inclusion

High School Rallies Behind Homecoming Queen - NBC29

Shared via AddThis

Meet Lauren Johnson in the story above. Her Momma, Gena, worked with Mike many years ago at Orange County High School. Her step-father, Dr. Larry was our beloved doctor who came to the hospital to visit us when David was born. Lauren attends Orange County High School and was named Homecoming Queen over the weekend. We have such fond memories of our old community and it comes to no surprise to us that Lauren was honored in such a special way.

I remember after Dr. Larry's coworker came and told us the diagnosis of Down Syndrome, I looked at Mike and said "I want Larry here." He faithfully came and visited with us for hours as he held my precious bundle and answered EVERY question we had-even the hard ones. He helped us on many levels because he and Gena have Lauren at home. I will allow the article to tell you more about Lauren, but she is someone that once you meet her, you will never forget her:)

I could go on and on about sweet Lauren, but what this situation tells me is that INCLUSION WORKS! If Lauren was not included with her sweet high school friends, then this would have never happened because they would not have known her as well. This works, because Lauren has been with her peers since she entered school and everyone loves her. They also did not do this out of pity for the "poor special ed girl" but they felt that she was truly the queen.

Can I tell you as a special needs parent that has a lifetime of school ahead for David that my heart swells when I hear this. I know the road for David will not always be smooth, but with inclusion in our schools, positive experiences such as what Lauren encountered are going to happen more and more and everyone will be better off because of it. My fingers are flying over the keys this morning because my heart is so steadfast that this is what is best for our kids-all of them.

Read and enjoy Lauren's sweet story. I feel honored that I spent many years with her and her sweet family in Orange, Virginia. I have no doubt that at the dance that night she was truly Queen of the Ball!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me Monday!

This past week and weekend have been full of activities and fun! But there are always those moments that happened that all I can fairly say is "Not me!"

I did NOT skip out early on a field trip because I was so thirsty and hungry. The other responsible chaperone Moms had packed their lunch but nope, Not Me! I somehow forgot that I needed a lunch also and was so hungry and thirsty by lunchtime that I skipped out early to get a Tea and a sandwich at the nearby McDonalds! I was so thirsty that even the kids juice boxes looked good to me:)

I did NOT blow off a social opportunity for my children this weekend so we could spend a family day together. I have personally had a wake up call regarding how fast my children are growing up and I needed a day with just us:)

I did NOT tear up (in a good way) when Kyle was invited to the movies with a girl this past weekend. He had already planned to go to the football game with his Daddy, but this movie invite came along, and he dropped his Daddy like a hot potato!!:)

I did NOT feel guilty for not volunteering at my boys' school for a special day last week.

I did NOT throw recycling away deep in our trash can so tree hugger hubbie would not find it. I had already taken the recycling out and I was too lazy for one more trip for an empty can of beans. It is hard being a tree huggers wife:)

That is all I am willing to admit to on this Monday-how about you??

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rolling Babies and a busy week

This has been such a fun, but busy week. Today we hosted some of the family over for a Hokie tailgate to listen to the Duke game. I love having the family over-my 90 year old great aunt cracks me up! Tonight we are going to a Christian worship event here in town called Encounter and I know it will be awesome:) Here is my kitchen all decorated for fall and the tailgate today:)

Here is David playing football outside with Kyle. I am so impressed with his creativity. He wanted to wear shoulder pads, so he went into the garage and came out with these arm floaties for swimming for his shoulder pads!! HA!

Hope is such a happy baby these days and here she is sitting on my grandmother's lap smiling:)

the big news in our house is that Hope rolled by herself from her belly to her back today!! The boys have worked so hard with her and they were thrilled with her accomplishment! In the picture below, Hope had to stop halfway over and chew on her hands.
This week Hope and I went on a field trip with Kyle's class to the settler's Museum not far from us. It was neat to visit the school house and learn about school 100 years ago. It was chilly that morning and we all about froze to death!

Kyle sewing his own bean bag at the Settler's Museum. Hope was all bundled up for the field trip and stayed warm in my sling

David also got to go to the pumpkin patch this week with his class and here he is modeling his pumpkin shirt that he painted. He had fun, but Mommy did not get to go with him.