Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WOW! Wyatt's Month of Valentines Comes to an End!!

wow!  i can't believe that we are wrapping up wyatt's whole month of valentines!    i hope that you all have enjoyed wyatt's lovely ladies as much as i have enjoyed writing about them!   a great big thanks to all of their mamas and daddies who allowed me to share them with you all!   

these are the valentines that wyatt mailed to all of his girlfriends!!!  
pretty cute, huh?

and as many beautiful little girls as i have shared, there are still so many more in our online Down syndrome community who i didn't share! as you can see, our little ones with Ds ARE more alike than different! they each have families who love them, different likes and dislikes, different temperaments, different strengths and weaknesses!      JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Elizabeth, AKA Liz, AKA Lizard.....SAYS "YES!"

elizabeth is known by so many names.....elizabeth, liz, lizard.....i imagine she answers to all of them!  she is a sweetie pie from washington state who has been wyatt's friend for a long time!    her mama, denise,  and i go way back, and have been through a lot of medical emergencies with liz!   we have had the privilege of praying her through lots of "stuff," including open heart surgery last year!   she's a cutie pie!!!  

Monday, February 27, 2012

An East Coast Girl!!! Charleigh says "YES!"

today wyatt's valentine is another "older" woman!  beautiful charleigh is the daughter of my dear friend roxanne!   roxanne is a very gracious lady who showers all our kids with love and goodies!   i am so thankful for her friendship and that she shares precious charleigh with us!  

Aunt Charleigh with Mia!!!!
Charleigh lives with her Mommy, Daddy, and cat Buddy in New York!   She loves Minnie Mouse, McDonald's chicken nuggets, music and playing dress-up!!!  She also loves iCarly and Bigtime Rush!   

She LOVES being a little (and young!) Auntie!!!

She is in her 2nd year of dance, and this dance picture was featured in the New York City Buddy Walk Video this past year! 

Charleigh says "YES!!!   I sure will be yours!!!!"   

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"A Perfect Lily" Says "YES!"

wyatt's valentine today is another west coast girl!   the lovely lily is the youngest daughter of my dear facebook friend and fellow blogger, patti!  patti and lily are tireless advocates and fundraisers for orphans and their adoptive families, especially through reese's rainbow!   patti's blog, "a perfect lily, letters to my daughter" chronicles their daily lives, as well as advocates for those orphans in need!

Mom Patti says that Lily's favorite foods are vanilla yogurt, popcorn and PLAIN cheerios, lol. If we try to sneak honey nut cheerios in her bowl she spits them out!

 Her favorite people are her nine brothers and sisters :)

She also loooves music, and starts dancing whenever she hears it.   

She is very tiny- she's only 17 pounds and 27 inches (at two years old!)  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Celebrating Wyatt's Happy Healthy Heart Day!!!!

we must take a break today from all the lovely valentines that said "yes" to wyatt's request to be his valentine!  (don't worry, there are still a couple more!)   
immediately after the surgery.....
today we MUST celebrate the 2nd anniversary of wyatt's completely successful open heart surgery!!!   woo hoo!!!!   we cannot let this day pass by without remembering to be thankful for how God worked through the hands of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical personnel to bring complete healing to his precious heart!  
amazing support!
love this picture of mom and dad with wyatt.....

in some ways it seems like forever since those long days leading up to his surgery, and in some ways it seems like yesterday!  we only had about a month to wait once it was determined it was time to have surgery!   he was 6 1/2 months old when his cardiologist decided to send his records to the surgical team in atlanta for them to assess his ASD and VSD.   to be honest, we were shocked!   we truly thought the holes would heal and he would not need surgery!  

within a week we were called to schedule surgery!   the time just flew by, with all the preparations it required!   we had to make arrangements for our older boys while we would be gone, as well as all the details that surgery entails!   we were so blessed by offers of help, gifts of snacks, restaurant gift cards, notes of encouragement, coins for vending machines, magazines, etc!   our church family really stepped up to bless us during that time!   

putting on a brave front.....

hanging out at the
ronald mcdonald house after dinner!
                                                                       tim's parents drove out from texas, and his dad stayed with our older boys while his mom rode up to atlanta with my parents and best friend susan!   another best friend, kym, drove down to be with us during the surgery as well as our former pastor and his wife, don and sharon, and my childhood friend, nelson.

it was a blessing to be surrounded by our family and friends; especially on his "practice surgery day!"   wyatt's surgery was actually postponed 1 day due to an emergency surgery.   we had already arrived at the hospital and had been taken back when we received word that his surgery would not happen that day.  so we spent the rest of that day visiting with our family and friends.   we were also blessed to stay in the wonderful ronald mcdonald house, which is an amazing charity!
this is it.....the real deal....sleepy juice taken...
waiting to be taken back!!!
and so on february 25, 2010, we handed wyatt over to a virtual stranger to have open heart surgery! his surgery took less than 1 1/2 hours.....  and his repair was complete!  the only problem during surgery was an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic.... praise God for an excellent anesthesiologist who handled it!   (we now know that wyatt is allergic to ancef, a cephalosporin...)

the only "problem" we had post surgery was convincing his surgeon to allow him to NURSE quickly!!!    but once we moved to the step-down unit, his nurses allowed us to return to nursing!  we were only at the hospital for 4 days before we drove the 6 hours home....that was scary!!!  taking your baby home (far away from the hospital) just 4 days post surgery!!!   

unless you have experienced handing your baby or child over to a surgeon, knowing that they are going to open his chest, holding his heart in their hands, you can never understand the emotions, the fear that we felt that day.   even though we have a strong faith in our God, it was still such a scary time.    we praise God that all went well, and wyatt's heart is completely fixed!    and we encourage other parents who will have to walk that same path.... we cannot take away their fear, but we can walk alongside, hold their hands, pray for them, and tell them we understand....     

our heart warrior!   2 days post surgery!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coloradan Claire Says "YES" to Wyatt's Question!!!

 cutie pie claire is wyatt's valentine from colorado!   her mommy, melissa, and i are facebook friends as well as fellow bloggers!   she is getting ready to have a baby in march, and their lives are very busy right now!  i appreciate her taking the time to include claire in wyatt's valentine posts!   i know that you will love her blog, "moo's crossing"!!!    melissa shares a little about Claire...  enjoy!

Claire can't wait to be a big sister and spends lots of time with her baby dolls and the babies at daycare. She loves to give them kisses and hugs.   She is going to be an AWESOME big sister!!! 

She loves "Wheels on the Bus," "Head Shoulder Knees and Toes," and anything else that she can dance to. She LOVES music, and has even been known to be inspired by particularly catchy commericals.  ;)

Let's see, Claire's favorite food is, um....CHEESE!!!!    Cheese, cheese, cheese. Cheese sandwiches, cheese ravioli. Chicken is a close second but cheese tops the list. Other favorites are applesauce and green beans. She doesn't really like fruit, and has her dad's non-existent sweet tooth.
Claire loves to be outside, and will get her coat and hat, stand by the gate and say go, go go! She can't get enough of swinging or sliding, or buggy rides with her dad.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Violet Very Shyly Says "YES!"

wyatt's girlfriend today is another "real life" girlfriend!   we have "known" violet and prayed for her since she was in her mommy's tummy!   they only live a couple of hours from us, and we will soon live very close to each other when we move!  although she has another serious beau, kaleb, she was still willing to "spread the love," and be wyatt's valentine too!   her mommy, amber, shares their lives on two blogs; "growing a violet" and "365 photo challenge!     enjoy!!!

Violet's favorite things are frilly dresses!  She seriously gets mad if she is just in a onesie. She is very much the girly girl and she loves all her accessories like purses, leg warmers, bracelets and hats.

She loves her stuffed animals, Mr Hippity Hop, Ducky Mo Mo, and Kanga the kangaroo the most of all.

Violet absolutely loves music....all kinds!!!   She loves Adele and Enya and any old blues singers!  Her favorite song for me to sing to her is Allouette in French. For some reason she likes French nursery songs but not English ones. She loves sign language and we have done it with her since birth. Her first sign was mommy and her second sign she is trying to do is train (she loves Chugington). Her favorite movies are The Lion King and Dumbo. The opening song (Circle of Life) can come on and she will stop in her tracks every single time!  Doesn't matter if she is throwing the tantrum of the century she will quit just to listen to that song and then she will pick up her screaming as soon as it goes off. She will give you the stink eye if you talk or do anything while HER song is on. It is absolutely hilarious!!!

Violet says "YES!"  I will be Wyatt's Valentine!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Texas Sure Has Some Pretty Girls! Meet Wyatt's Valentine, Sadie!

well, wyatt does have texas roots, so it's not a big surprise that he has yet another texas girlfriend!   sadie's mama, stephanie, and i are facebook friends who not only share Down syndrome in common, but sensory issues as well!   i know that you will enjoy these wonderful pics of completely adorable sadie!!!

Sadie is the youngest of 4, she has 2 brothers & a sister. She loves to eat, the only food she does not like is potato salad. A few of her favorites are cheeseburgers, quesadillas, tacos, chips/guacamole, bananas, oranges & kiwi.        

And she LOVES sweet tea, especially when she is sneaking Daddy's!!!                                                                              

Sadie is very smart, she loves Signing Time (she knows well over 200 signs - we lost count, but also has a large verbal vocabulary) and Tangled/Rapunzel. She enjoys playing on the iPad (she's a little pro at working it) and playing with her babies, especially the one that cries, coos and says "Mama".

Sadie is so smart that
she said "YES!" to Wyatt!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Texas Beauty? Wyatt's Girlfriend Grace!!!

precious little grace, who LOVES to smile for the camera, is one of wyatt's "real life" girlfriends who we have had the pleasure of meeting in person!   her family lives just about 20 miles from wyatt's texas grandparents, and so we have the chance to get together sometimes!   her mama, felicia, and i first met on facebook, through our online Down syndrome community, and became fast friends!   enjoy!

Like a little woman already, Grace had to make Wyatt for his answer.

Grace has been so busy these days!! She is counting down to celebrating her 2nd birthday in March. But she started the terrible twos attitude weeks ago. Mommy thinks its going to be a long year. She is definitely a young lady that knows what she wants and likes to run the show. We are a girly girl already. Love jewelry, purses, and playing in other people’s hair. Grace runs the house, or at least her two older brothers, who are completely wrapped around her cute little bent pinky finger!

Grace lives in Pearland, Texas and attends the Rise School of Houston, which is a school for kids with Special Needs, but mainly Down Syndrome. She LOVES school!! At school she gets to do art work, have music time, play in a huge room full of balls and mats, and look at her self in a wall full of mirrors. At school, we are told that she loves to HELP and instruct her classmates on what we are doing. The little teacher in the making!!
Grace loves music. Her two favorite cartoons are The Princess Frog, and Tangled, and I really believe its because of all the beautiful songs. She sings along in her soft little voices and raises her hands in the air as a “ta-da” at the end of the song. Her favorite song these days is “We found love” by Rihanna, yes, sad but true. Whenever the song comes on the radio you can hear her humming, dancing and singing along to the song. Maybe we aren’t a teacher in the making…but a star instead!!

Grace got to meet her long distance valentine, Wyatt, when she was only a few months ago.....

She knew there was a bond then…so YES!!! Wyatt, Grace would LOVE to be your Valentine!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seriously, Wyatt? You Asked TWO SISTERS to Be Your Valentine???

charity, their "sister across the sea!"
can you help bring her home???
it is true, wyatt asked 2 sisters, ragen and lucy to be his valentines!   i consider deanna, their mommy, to be a very dear friend, although we have never met in real life!   we "talk" a lot on facebook, as well as by phone and email.   she is my sister in Christ, and i have grown to love her and her family over the past few years!   i "walked" alongside her during their adoption last year of lucy, and we're excited about their adoption of charity this year!    please pray for them, and donate as you can to help them raise the funds they need to bring charity home!   they are currently having a "vacation get-away giveaway!"   every $10 you donate gives you a chance to win a vacation that includes airfare for 4 to anywhere in the continental united states, as well as a hotel stay!   what a great giveaway!   please visit their blog, "the 21st chromosome....a blessing in disguise" to donate and follow their story!   you can also donate by clicking on the charity's "button" in the sidebar!  

enjoy what deanna has to say about her girls! 
"Lucy likes to eat, and Ragen doesn't. Lucy is my chocoholic and Ragen can eat her some strawberry ice cream. Ragen likes to go go go and Lucy likes to sit and cuddle. Ragen is a singer and VERY vocal, and Lucy loves to just smile and watch her big sister. They both LOVE Signing Time and Sesame Street. They both love their bath that daddy gives them every night and then they sit one at a time at mommy's vanity while mommy does their hair. Ragen is learning to be a great big sister...she is beginning to help mommy push her little sister in her stroller or grocery cart when we are out and about. They love to play catch with each other and pretend feed each other and have on occasion, as of recently, gone upstairs into their bedroom, shut the door and played together without me!   I'm sure that Charity will make a wonderful addition to this dynamic duo and they will become a fabulous trio! "

I heard the craziest thing, Lucy...I heard that Wyatt asked BOTH OF US to be his Valentine!!!!    Isn't that the silliest thing you ever heard?

But we are NOT going to let this tear us apart!   We are sisters and best friends.... no boy, not even one as cute as Wyatt, is going to come between us!!!   I PROMISE!!!!

Who am I kidding?    You better believe I'm gonna be Wyatt's Valentine!!!!
Mommy, I don't want to tell Ragen, but I'm saying "YES" to Wyatt too!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Older Valentine! Meet Beautiful Samantha...

wyatt's valentine today is the beautiful sammi!   although she is an older woman, wyatt couldn't resist those beautiful eyes......he insisted that i ask!   sammi's mommy, becca, and i are facebook friends as well as fellow bloggers!   you don't want to miss her wonderful blog, "the bates motel!"

Samantha (Sammi) is 5 years old, and an only child, other than her 2 geriatric cats. She's the absolute light of her Mommy's and Daddy's lives. She's in Kindergarten and loving it, reading just about any book you hand to her, and starting to learn math (Mommy's *not* smarter than a Kindergartner, btw...). She's starting to show her true colors, gravitating towards the boys in the class.                                                                                         

thinking about this valentine thing....
Like many of their friends, Samantha had open heart surgery at 4 months old to repair a complete AV canal defect.   {Wyatt's open heart surgery was at 7 1/2 months!}
Samantha loves to watch Olivia and Max & Ruby on TV, loves dancing with her Daddy, loves the swings at the playground, loves the beach, loves to play doctor, and is a very picky eater, relaxing her standards only occasionally if the item in question is dipped in ketchup.

Daddy is from England, and has started early teaching her about her culture. She watches football (soccer) with him, and yells "Goal!" when someone scores. "Go Wolves!" (Daddy's favorite team) is the favored chant every weekend, although personally I think it may be time for her to find a new team (oops, did I say that out loud?)......
She'd love to meet Wyatt one day, and would certainly love to be his Valentine! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meet Molly.....Wyatt's Marvelous Red-Haired Valentine!

another of wyatt's many girlfriends is the lovely red-haired molly!   her mommy and i have been facebook friends for quite a while, and we have had the great privilege of praying for her through some scary health issues!   we have come to love molly a lot!  enjoy what her mommy shared with us.....

Molly just turned 3 last Sunday…she started going to “big girl” school on Monday. She will go in the mornings and will be with other kiddos who need special attention. Molly lives at home with her Mommy & Daddy, her big sister – Lily (age 8) and big sister – Olivia (age 4). She also has a four-legged brother, Toto, who she tries to chase and give him extra love. 

Molly’s favorite food right now is potato chips. She learned to sign eat (her second official sign) last week during speech therapy so that she could “eat” more potato chips. 

Her favorite activity is jumping. She has a Jumperoo which she loves to be in whenever she can. Molly also loves talking in “Molly talk” very loudly and singing. She “sings” with the choir at church each Sunday. I’m not sure how they all feel about that, but no one has complained yet J

Molly has a very large fan club on facebook and in our community. It is very nice to have so many people praying for her whether we are going through a medical crisis or not. Last winter, Molly added epilepsy to her list of “fun!” She has been seizure free since June and we are very grateful for her physician, Dr. James Wheless, in Memphis who took such great care of her. We are also very grateful for the Cochlear Implant Team at St. Louis Children’s Hospital who try to find unique tools to help with her hearing issues. Molly has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and a moderate to severe loss in her left ear. She currently wears a hearing aid in the left ear and a BAHA on a elastic band around her head. One of the on-going challenges is trying to find the best way to amplify language so she can learn to talk…something we hope will happen but are not sure at this point.

Molly is a joy to our lives and has turned everything upside down. We now know what is important in life and she taught us that lesson.  I quit working full-time to stay home with all of the girls 9 months after Molly’s birth. It has been a welcome change for all of our family members. Molly has also encouraged me to take care of myself and I have started running and working out 5-6 days a week. This is a great stress reliever and good for everyone.

What else can I say…we all love her! Who could resist that smile and red hair? J