Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 7: Favorite Book

Reading has always been one of my favorite "me time" things to do.  Prior to having children, most of my free time was spent on reading.  I must confess, having 3 children 8 & under has really limited my "me time".  Come to think of it, I'm not exactly sure what "me time" is anymore!!  lol  

A few months ago, one of my blogging buddies (Laurie, Days with Dylan & Cassidy), wrote a post about a book she had discovered while at the library with her 2 little loves.  I remember reading that post thinking that the book sounded so familiar.  It did sound familiar, because I was told about this particular book from a couple of friends.   Hearing about "The Happiness Project", AGAIN, made me click on Laurie's link to see what all the hype was about.

Like many others, I am very HAPPY with my life.  I have a wonderful husband, 3 AMAZING little boys, a great job and the most loving & supportive family & friends.  But LIFE happens.....and it consumes us....and we are left wondering....WHERE.DID.THE.TIME.GO??!!

I have officially fallen into the "mommy rut".  Spreading myself thin, making sure that everyone else's needs are being met.......all the while neglecting my very own "me time"!!  I am tired, the laundry is backed up, and YES, there is dust on the furniture!!  Then, there are the projects IN the house that need to be done & finished......and let's not forget about the projects OUTSIDE too!!  T-H-E-R-E......I said it!!!!  Remember the balance I spoke about in (Day 0)??  Let's just say....I still haven't found my groove, yet....but I'm ROCKIN'!!

Saying (typing) this out loud, really has me questioning my "TRUE HAPPINESS"!  Am I really happy that so many things are left undone & unfinished?  Am I really happy that some nights, reading a book before bed to the kids(that just happens to be on that signed contract that I wrote about in Day 2) gets skipped because I am too tired?  Am I really happy that I can't seem to discipline myself to stick to a diet/exercise routine?  NO.....I am not all!!

So, here I am, slowly trying to fit some "me time" into my chaotic life.  Reading.....again!!  It's a start, right?!  I was going to give you my very own detailed review of this book, but no 2 "projects" will be the same.  Instead I will leave you with the description that I read......that inspired me to start my own Happiness Project.

Book Description
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and JuliaThe Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.
Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.
Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

Click on the badge below to start your Happiness Project today!!

Happiness Project

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 6: A Random Picture that makes you Happy

I absolutely LOVE this picture!!  Scott & I surprised Mason & Elijah by taking them to the WWE Summer Tour @ the Cape Cod Melody Tent last August to end our summer off with a bang.  The boys are HUGE wrestling fans!  On the way home, the boys kept saying that they cannot wait until Landon is old enough to go to a wrestling event with us.  They were so excited to tell Landon about their adventure.  And in true brotherly fashion......Mason & Elijah dressed Landon up in his very own John Cena wrestling gear!!  I just LOVE how Mason & Elijah INCLUDE Landon in EVERYTHING!!  Nothing makes me happier than to see my boys bonding and making brotherly memories!! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 5: A Song that Means A lot to You

(you can turn the music off at the bottom of the page)

To this day, every time I hear this song, I can't help but think of Landon and his future.  Before Landon turned a year old, I did a post with a video of Landon during the first 6 months of his therapy sessions.  If you missed it, you can see it HERE!!  This is the song that I chose to play during that video.....the words fit perfectly.  Watching Landon during his therapy sessions those first 6 months, was extremely HARD for me (AND LANDON).  After having 2 "typical" children, I struggled watching Landon work SO HARD, to do the smallest of things.  I remember thinking how unfair it was, that my newborn baby had to push his tiny little body to the point of total fatigue & frustration, just to reach & grasp for a toy.  My heart felt so heavy for him (and still does at times).  You see, it doesn't end here.....Landon is going to face challenges (MOUNTAINS) his whole life.  He is going to do all the things that his friends do, but it is going to take him a little more time with a lot more effort.

Landon tackles each hour long therapy session with such WILL & DETERMINATION!  He smiles, he laughs......and he cries a lot too!!  Yes, he WILL reach his milestone's....and we will be right by his side celebrating each & every one of them!  Each & every achievement is that much sweeter when you know just how much work & effort was put into it.  You see, it's not about "what's waiting on the other side"........"it's the CLIMB"!!!

And I apologize for not picking "A Song"....there just happens to be 2 that are near & dear to my heart.

If you visit my blog often, you hear this song as soon as my blog opens, it's the first song on my playlist!  And this one is simple.....the lyrics could not be any clearer on "MY WISH" (by Rascal Flatts)......this IS MY WISH for all 3 of my boys!!  If this song is playing, you will probably see me smiling & crying at the same time : )

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 4: A Weird Hobby or Collection

I knew that I would eventually get stumped on one of these posts.....I just didn't expect that it would be so soon.  So here is my see....I am not the type of person who likes to collect or save things.  You know the saying, "less is more".....well I'm a believer.  If you were to ask Scott(the saver of EVERYTHING), he would say that I am a "throw-a way-er"......I beg to differ.....I like to think of myself as a DONATOR!!!!  I am forever packing up my truck with "things" and donating them to those in need.  If it's in my house, and it is not being used....IT.HAS.TO.GO!!!!  I'm not a knick-knack kinda girl!!  lol  So this post is definitely a challenge!!

However, I do love to read books....and I have many of them......but I wouldn't quite say that I have a book collection.  So, I guess the closest I do get to "collecting" would probably be the boys art work.  Even if it is a piece of paper with a scribble on it.  You would be amazed at what you can see through those scribbles.  Each art project is like a masterpiece.  You can't get rid of the first, well, because it's the first.  It sort of just snowballs after that.....the excuses reasons for keeping them are endless!!    I have an art box for each of the boys that is stored away with their memory boxes.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture to show : (

But I will end this post with a picture......the inspiration behind this see, 2 days ago something significant happened.........I typed my 100th post!!!!  YAY!!

Now that's something to celebrate!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 3: Photos From Your Wedding

Scott & I were married on August 21, 2004.  We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony and were surrounded by our closest family & friends.  I haven't looked at these photos in a long time, I love the randomness of this challenge!  Mason was our ring bearer......he was 1 month shy of turning 2!  I can't believe how tiny he was.....he was Landon's age!!  Scott & I didn't quite follow "the order".....yeah, we're rebels like that!!  lol

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 2: Take a Random Photo of Your Day & Tell Us About It

Having 3 boys is like "living" in a candy shop.  The energy level in our house is "through the roof"!!  I love my boys dearly, but I just can't keep up....NON-STOP energy from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep. Those who know us well, are laughing right now (and saying better you, than me, lol)!!  What I would do for just a 1/4 of that energy, lol!!!  

Seeing that Scott & I are outnumbered by children, a SCHEDULE is a MUST in our house.  We actually had the boys sign a contract agreeing to their schedule.....that's no joke!!!  Just trying to stay one step ahead of them, in case they try using the "I forgot" or "I didn't know" line.  We went over the schedule in detail, made sure all their questions were answered (CLEARLY) and had them sign their life away!!  That schedule is hanging on our kitchen a constant reminder:)

This is why I love the last 1/2 hour before bed video games & no over-stimulation
....just.simple.unwind.and.relax.time!!  I love how attentive Mason & Elijah are to Landon......they just love to make him laugh!  And I just love watching Landon follow the boys around the house, copying them and climbing the couch to sit & snuggle with them.  I really enjoy watching their sibling relationship blossom.  *sigh*  Memories in the making!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 1: Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

After giving birth to Landon, my emotions were all over the place.  I think I experienced emotions I never knew existed.   At a time when I was feeling most vulnerable, fear of the unknown took over and cast a dark cloud over those first couple of days.  I was searching deep within for the confidence & strength to face the challenges that would lie ahead.  And there was the answer, the light I was searching for, right before my "my boys"....... hearts, open minds & unconditional love!!!

Landon is this little ray of "sunshine", touching the hearts of those lucky enough to meet him.  He is this tiny bundle of energy & love, with a smile that could light up any room!  

Landon is........ My Little "Son-Shine"!!  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 0: (I'm Back!!)

OK, so I have fallen into a bit of a "funk" lately, this past winter has really kicked our "you know what" HARD.  There are so many things that I have started but just can't seem to continue, maintain or finish, for that matter. One of those being Landon's video of his 1st year.....if you are wondering right now.....YES, Landon just turned 2 this past February.....SAD, huh?!  It seems every time I take 2 steps forward, I fall (at least) 6 steps behind.  This is so UNLIKE me!!  I am a go-getter, a follow-through-er and someone who functions BEST when I am overly consumed by activity.  Crazy, huh?!  These are all great.....WHEN you can keep your balance!  Sadly, I lost my balance AND my drive to push forward.  But, a couple days ago, I managed to sit down and catch up on a few of my blog readings.  And there it was, staring me right in the face, SOMEONE, who like me, was grasping with all their might to hold on, before they completely lost total control of that balance we call LIFE, too.  

So, here is my desperate attempt to regain control of my "go-getter-ness" & my "follow-through-er-ness"!!  And my attempt to jump back on that teeter/totter of WILL get wobbly at times......but my new mission is to keep my feet firmly planted, rock with it, AND TRY not to fall off....(again)!!!

To help me get back in the swing of blogging regularly, I'm going to give a 30 day challenge a try.  I didn't quite make it through the 31 for 21, but I really did try.  So here is the list for the next 30 days, borrowed from Shelley & my blogging buddy, Melissa.  

Thanks Melissa for giving me the little nudge, I.SO.SHAMELESSLY.NEEDED!!!

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description

Day 1: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 2: Take a photo of a random part of your day and tell us about it
Day 3: Photos from your wedding
Day 4: A weird hobby or collection
Day 5: A song that means a lot to you
Day 6: A random picture that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite books
Day 8: A place you've traveled to
Day 9: Your favorite quote
Day 10: Something you're afraid of
Day 11: TV shows that your currently addicted to
Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without
Day 13: A photo that makes you laugh
Day 14: A website you love to visit
Day 15: Share a Bible verse 
Day 16: Describe your dream house
Day 17: What’s in your purse?
Day 18: Photos from around your town
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Movies
Day 22: Share the oldest photo that’s saved on your computer
Day 23: Something you fear
Day 24: A photo of somewhere beautiful
Day 25: 3 things you hope to accomplish by the end of the year
Day 26: Something that stresses you out
Day 27: Your favorite poem
Day 28: A photo of the inside of your car
Day 29: 5 things you are thankful for
Day 30: a picture from today

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Official......

.......Landon is now a member of the TUBE CLUB!!!  One week ago today, I sat in the operating room at Children's Hospital Boston, with a medical team of "6", and held my baby boy in my arms as he slowly went to sleep......and.i.was.a.MESS!!!  I tried to prepare myself for that day, getting lots of words of encouragement from those who joined the club before us.  And I must say, after this experience, I am convinced that you just never get used to it!  I held it together until his eyes started to roll behind his head....and then....I lost it!  That was the very moment, I realized that I was the one being comforted by "the team".  It was such a pathetic sight....and I am glad that it is over!!

Scott & I waited patiently in the waiting room, watching the clock intensely, after all this was "supposed" to be a 10 minute procedure.  Twenty-five minutes later we were brought into the recovery room to see our little trooper.  

...........Let me back track a bit here............

 Landon's surgery was scheduled for 7:30am.  We live about 45 minutes south of Boston.  However, we had to be at the hospital 1 1/2 hours prior to surgery......6am...which means we had to leave our house by 5am......which means we had to be up @ 4:15am to get ourselves & Landon up & out the door by 5!!!  When I went in Landon's room to get him up.......both eyes were SEALED SHUT!!!  Yep, total congestion, cough & a runny nose!!!  Oh, and did I mention that he had just finished his Augmentin, two days prior, for a double ear infection!!  That would make 3 ear infections in 1 month (which means antibiotics for 1 month straight)!!  

So to the hospital we go, wondering if they are going to go through with the surgery.  When Dr. Lee met with us prior to the surgery, he examined Landon and checked his ears....and wouldn't you know it....another stinkin' ear infection.  Poor little guy, just can't catch a break!!  Dr. Lee felt that it would be in Landon's best interest if we proceeded with the surgery.  Scott & I agreed.  

........Fast forward here!!.........

Twenty-five minutes later....why....because of that ear infection!!  Apparently, when Dr. Lee made the incision in his right ear....EXPLOSION.....(I won't gross you out with the details)!!!  His right ear had to be cleaned & suctioned out well, and sort of took a little more time than originally expected.  When we were brought in to see Landon he was awake and out of the crib already, a nurse was holding him and they were watching the construction work out the window.  She informed us that that was Landon's preference, and he was very adamant about it!!  Seems our little smiley boy awoke from the anesthesia quite fussy & irritable!!  It was awful seeing him like that, so uncomfortable:(  After some Tylenol, and his milk, we got the thumbs up to go home (about 1 hour later)!!  Landon slept the whole way home.....and when we got home.....he was ready to get back to his regular schedule....PLAYTIME!!!

Scott & I noticed some immediate results, definitely a little more sensitive to sound, and tons of babbling.  It was as if he LOVED the sound of his own voice!!  Over the next couple of days, we also noticed Landon starting to walk with his opposed to walking with his arms up like a zombie.  It appears that his balance is much better.  And now a week later, we are hearing even more sounds, /m/, /b/, /d/ & /l/'s!  He is now saying 5 words clear enough for others to understand: eat (eeeeee, while signing eat), light (liiiiiiii, while pointing up at the light), yes (yeeeaaahhh, while signing yes), up (uuhhh, while signing/pointing up) and Elijah (LiLi, long i) while pointing at Elijah!!!  I'm so happy to see the progress in this area and so proud of our little man!!

Landon recently caught another cold and his nose and eyes are runny again.  Brought him to the pediatrician for an ear check.....and I am happy to report.....the TUBES are working......they were in place & NO FLUID!!!  YEAH!!!

As nervous as I was about this whole procedure, I can honestly say, it is the BEST thing we could have done for Landon.  I'm just so sorry that he had to endure all those ear infections this past year.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Belated World Down Syndrome Day 3/21/11

I really wanted to do this post yesterday, but we had such a busy day:(  Landon & his brothers represented once again wearing their awareness shirts!!  Mason & Elijah love telling people what their shirts mean and why they wear 2 short years, these boys have become Landon's BIGGEST ADVOCATES!!  This journey is teaching us a lot as a family.  I am so proud of my boys!!

Landon spent the day at daycare/school with his teachers & friends.  Landon's school took part in celebrating World Down Syndrome Day......helping to spread awareness for Landon & all his friends that have been blessed with that magical chromosome!  They wore blue & yellow, decorated their door with our local support groups logo and wrote all the children's names in sign language.  They painted in blue & yellow and colored World Down Syndrome logos, and one very sweet little girl gave hers to Landon!!  *sigh*  One of Landon's teachers (Becky) made all the children blue & yellow ribbons that they pinned on their shirts and they even sold awareness bracelets!!


Thank you Hawthorn Hill Preschool, parents & students for opening your door and your hearts to Landon!  You go above & beyond every single day to make sure that Landon always feels like he's part of the Hawthorn Hill Family!!  Your dedication & commitment to education & raising Down syndrome awareness is endless.  We can't thank you enough for proving that INCLUSION does work!!  Day in and day out you continue to break down any preconceived notion or barrier, constantly proving just how much you believe in Landon & his abilities!!  But most of all, thank you for giving Landon a solid and positive educational & social foundation.......there is so much hope for Landon's future!!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day Friends!!!  We are so blessed to share this journey with each and every one of you!!

Last night our local support group, "21 FrienDS", hosted an (adult) World Down Syndrome Awareness Night at a local  Ale House......what an UNBELIEVABLE turnout!!!
Family, friends, raffles and entertainment......such an amazing night!!  Thank you all for joining us in celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness.......your support means the world to us!!! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tolerance PSA: "Dear Parents"


"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!!"  Any parent whose heart has ever ached for their crying child because another child did not want to play with them or called them names, knows first hand how untrue this statement really is.  Words are extremely powerful and they DO HURT!! Children are products of their own environment.....RESPECT begins at home!!

Today is 3.2.11, Spread the Word to End the Word Day!  Please take the time to visit the link below and make your pledge stop the use of the word "retard(ed)".  It's time we teach our children RESPECT....for themselves & others!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


A week ago this past Saturday we celebrated Landon's 2nd Birthday (Party)......BOWLING!!! Landon officially turned 2 on Feb. 11th but we had no luck getting a party date any sooner......guess I'll have to plan a little earlier next year!!  And although Landon had a restless night sleeping the night before his party.......yes, CROUP decided to rear its ugly head once little LOVE still managed to put a smile on his face and enjoy his party (with his friends) AND he bowled one heck of a game, to boot!!!!  lol

The party was small, a few family members, some old friends & some new (well, not SO new, anymore)........a great time was had by all!  At one point after the cake, I found myself just looking around the room feeling REALLY BLESSED to have so many wonderful people in my life.  We are 2 years into this journey.........and I wouldn't be where I am today, without the love & support of each & every one of them.  Although we were celebrating Landon's 2nd birthday, we were also celebrating so much more......milestone's, achievements, perseverance, strength, family, friends, unconditional love, ACCEPTANCE & LIFE!!  Thank you to those who were able to celebrate with us.......and THANK YOU to so many others (family & friends) who have been fueling this journey with LOVE & ACCEPTANCE since the day Landon was born!!  We love you all:)

 Landon's best buddy's.....Thomas & Brenna 
{& Brook too}!!

Cousins & Friends!!!!! 


Happy 2nd Birthday sweet boy....we love you to the 
moon & back!!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring is in the Air

These past 2 days we have had some BEAUTIFUL weather.....59 degrees!!  You know the Spring is coming when you wake up to the birds chirping first thing in the morning!  Ya know, those same chirping birds that I will most likely come to DISLIKE for waking me up a bit too early in the Spring.....but for now I'll take it!!

Someone else is getting a little spring fever too.......Landon has been practicing his climbing and sliding skills at school so that he can take those skills to the playground!!  And this mama.......CANNOT WAIT!!!

Thank you to Landon's teacher, Courtney, for taking these pics.......YOU'RE THE BEST!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This past Monday, Landon had his follow up appointment with his ENT.  Dr. Lee has been watching Landon closely this past year, it seems Landon likes to walk that fine line, always getting close to maxing out on his fair share of ear infections in one season........but never really reaching that last one.  I am going to be honest with you, this has been a REALLY rough winter for Landon (& his brothers).  Ear infections, croup & strep throat have hit my 3 little musketeers HARD:(  I'm really not sure if we ever went more than one week without an antibiotic in the house!

Landon has been very fortunate up to this point, although he had numerous ear infections, with a little help from those friendly antibiotics, those infections seemed to pass (leaving no residual fluid behind).  Apparently he responds well to antibiotics, and Dr. Lee seemed pleased with that.  That combined with the fact that Landon has passed every hearing test with flying colors, has bought our little man some time.  We have never been concerned that Landon has ever had an issue with hearing......however, lately we have been questioning how CLEARLY he hears.  Landon has been doing GREAT with sign language and his signing vocabulary is growing every day.  I am so happy that Landon is able to communicate with us through sign language, keeping his frustration to a minimum.  However, I can't help but feel that Landon isn't quite as far along "vocally" as he should could be.  I know that a speech delay is evident in children with Down syndrome and probably the one area that will need the most long-term work.  I am OK with that.  

The bottom line is, EVERY season Landon gets A LOT of ear infections.  Regardless if the antibiotic works and clears things up, these frequent ear infections are slowly affecting his hearing.  After much discussion and total agreement, Dr. Lee, Scott and I feel like this time is very critical for speech, and it is our job to make sure we give Landon every opportunity to hear the words clearly & correctly.  Landon's day has finally come, he will soon be joining the "Tube Club".  We are currently waiting for a call back from Dr. Lee's office to schedule a surgery date at Children's Hospital of Boston (CHOB).

Although I am 100% OK with the actual surgery itself, I am terrified of putting my little peanut under anesthesia!  :(

Sunday, February 13, 2011

THERE IS A REASON WHY............ mommy's repeat the rules to daddy's A THOUSAND TIMES before we leave the house and the children under your supervision for ANY length of time!!!!

For example............

.....this is what daddy's medium french vanilla coffee from Dunkin' Donuts looked like BEFORE I left the house.....

.....this is what daddy's medium french vanilla coffee from Dunkin' Donuts looked like when I got back home 1 1/2 hours later.......


.....ANY QUESTIONS?????!!!!!.....LOL