Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ella's preschool performance

Last Thursday Ella's entire school put on a performance, in a high school theater, for the end of the year. As I was sitting and watching a slide show that the school had put together, I was a nervous wreck. I seriously felt nauseous. What if Ella causes a big scene? What if she takes off running (which is her favorite thing to do.) What if she cries? She HATES bright lights and loud noises, what if she freaks out???

The slide show ends. The curtains part. There stands about 100 kids (or so it seems) and right in the middle is one tiny little girl. My little girl. She looks like a baby compared to all those other kids. BUT, she does it. She knows all the songs. She stays in her spot!!!

I was even more nervous when the curtains opened and her little best friend wasn't standing beside her (as was the plan,) but part way through the first song her friend shows up and comes to Ella side!! This little girl is SOOOOO good with Ella, I hate that she is moving on to Kindergarten next year.

Anyhow, my mom and I got seats pretty close to the front while the guys sat further back. My mother sobbed through the entire first song, I mean SERIOUSLY sobbed. She turned to me and said "could you ever imagine?" I replied, "no. And especially not at 3 1/2." When Ella was born I NEVER imagined her on a stage. I NEVER imagined her with "typical" kids in school. I NEVER imagined her with a little friend. I guess it was all just to painful to think about because of the "what if's." But there I sat, alternating between crying and laughing. My little girl did it and I was such a proud mama!!!

After the show there was a little carnival. I swear at least 30 people came up to me to tell me how cute Ella is and how great she did. It felt so good, and Ella was beaming with pride!!!

Here are a few pics and then the videos (I did not do so good recording. The videos are shakey in places, but I was trying to hold the camera still and yet watch the performance outside of the camera screen!)

> Ella and her wonderful teacher and best buddy

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Night of Stars

On May 7th we went to Silverwood Theme Park (think Six Flags, but smaller) for the Night of Stars, a night the park is open only to individuals with special needs and their families. The person with special needs and one caregiver/guardian get in free and the rest of the family gets in for $12, far better than the usual $40 + a ticket. We had never been and knew Hunter would be SOOOO excited, so we didn't tell him ahead of time, picked him up a few minutes before school got out and headed over to Idaho.

We had a good time, it was kind of chilly (though much better weather than previous years as everyone was quick to point out,) and there were far more people there than I would have ever imagined. It was interesting. I was again reminded of how fortunate I am to have a child with Down syndrome, there are so many more......involved? disabilities, it just kind of puts things into perspective. I did have a few moments that kind of made me pause, at one point we were walking from one ride to another and Ella was walking beside me holding my hand, she was so excited to be going to find "more ride," we passed a group of maybe 5 adults with Down syndrome walking slowly, holding hands with caregivers. I'm guessing they were from a group type home. Anyhow, the group was walking really slow, they all seemed to be very disengaged from what was going on around them. The caregivers were saying hi to Ella and commenting on how cute she, while the adults with Ds just kind of shuffled along. I looked at my little 3 year old, practically running, smiling from ear to ear with pure excitement and thought "is that what she will be like?" We caught up to my mom and I asked her "so, if Ella is already walking faster then them and more aware that means she won't be like that right?" And let me just say that I HATE that I think that way. I always wonder what adults with Ds were like as children. I think Ella has been given so much opportunity that she can't help but to do great things, right? Ella has such a huge drive to do EVERYthing, I really shouldn't worry about her, but I can't help but get scared every once in awhile.

We had a great time, we really did. Ella LOVED going on rides. The kids favorite ride was this little roller coaster called the Little Toot Train (which we quite a few laughs about the name after : ) Ella had a hard time transitioning from the rides, she wanted to stay on and ride again, and she wasn't terribly patient in line, but after all she is 3. Hunter had a fabulous time, and frankly to me, it was more for him, he deserves the perks of having a sibling with special needs, he sure puts up with a lot!!!!

Here are the pics I took! I love this boy. His smile melts my heart.

Ronald McDonald really really liked Ella, it was cute
Ella is wearing Hunter's old shirt, she loves it, she goes around saying "Bubba's shirt"

Something scared her so she clung to bubba
See the nuts in the back???
I know this pic is dark, but it's so sweet!
My favorite pic!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Before I post my photos I want to take a second to ask everyone to pray for this sweet little girl. This is the other Ella Grace (here is how our lives intersected.... read here and here) and this precious girl has just started a fight against Leukemia. Pray for her as she fights cancer and pray for her family!

I got a laptop for my 30th birthday which was 2 weeks ago and I am now promising to be a faithful blogger! I'm setting a goal to post at least once a week : ) There are a lot of things I have skipped over so I'm going to be posting pictures from the last several months along with some little stories!!!

Anyhow, yesterday was Mother's Day and aside from having to try to keep my kids quiet most of the day as their poor father was sleeping (he works 8pm to 7am) I had a great day. I got to spend some time with my mom on Mother's Day, which I just can't tell you how wonderful it is having her live so close!!! We went over to my friend Mary's house for dinner, she made a very yummy meal, and the entertainment was great (that would be Ella and Riley, those two are quite the pair!) Here are a few pics from yesterday.
The first is of me and Ella just after midnight Sat night/ Sun morning, 2 times last week Ella climbed up in my lap and fell asleep, I can't tell you before then when the last time she did that was.... just so happened that I had the camera right next to me because I had been loading pics into my computer. So after sitting this way for a couple of hours (I just love to snuggle with her, the weight of her little body resting on me brings tears to my eyes) I decided to remember the moment with a picture!!
Next is my favorite little guy. He went up to his room to play Legos and came down with a "present" for me, he did a picture of a vase of flowers on his Lite Bright. Oh, I just love him to pieces, I dread the day he becomes too cool to be so sweet and sensitive. Just look at that face, in his PJ's and t-ball hat, never has there been a sweeter boy, he is my amazing guy, the baby that first showed me what it was like to be a mom and how to love unconditionally and with all of my heart.

Here are pics of Ella and Riley, they are just too funny together.
After dinner they were playing a little game where they bossed my mom down to the end of the hall and then had a race down the hall, into the kitchen, out the other side into the living room then back down the hall. Over and over and over again. It was so funny!
Here is a very short video of the action, it was all I could get before my memory card was full. The laughter is priceless!!!