Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Big Shout Out

I want to give Patti from A Perfect Lily for asking (ok telling!) her readers/followers to hop over to this little blog and read about Harper. THANKS PATTI! And in return I ask that you scroll over to her blog and look at Miss L. She's fantastic. 

Why do I want followers? 1. I'm competitive. I realize that no one is putting any pressure on me (except myself) to hit a certain number but I want lots and lots of followers! 2. I want to be able to help others. If I can make you laugh (better chance is that I can make you giggle), teach you something new, or you just like to look at the pictures....then I have done my job. 3. I believe I have a story to tell and that it's interesting. SO....go ahead and press the "Join this Site" button on your right. Go ahead I'll wait about 30 seconds for you to do this. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....30! 

Not sure if you want to "Join this Site?" How about a bribe? I PROMISE to bribe you with cute and adorable pictures of Harper. Not enough? I PROMISE that I will stop asking/begging for followers!

Now I will fulfill my first bribe:

This chair is amazing! Thanks Knoedler's and Frye's! 

Not a picture of Harper but he needs an introduction. Hi, I'm Brewer. I like to lick Harper. 

Technically, this picture is of Harper. 

Technically, this also counts! 

Welcome Fall and 1 Month Old!

The past few days I've been busy organizing (more on that later) and decorating for fall. Have you heard of Pinterest? I'm addicted. It's basically an online bulletin board and a great way to spend (aka kill) hours in the middle of the night. It's amazing. If you need an invite let me know and I'll send you one. Anyway, I love decorating for fall and Pinterest gave me a few ideas I never would have thought of and I tried to implement them in my own living room.

Free Fall printable from Pinterest and mason jars with candy corn filler and an LED votive.

The overall living room experience. I'm thinking of getting rid of the stripe but adding a stenciled wall. Thoughts?

Even though I love decorating I love Harper more! And she has been here 1 month! The month flew by and in that one month our lives have changed dramatically. Not only because of the amount of diapers we change, bottles we make, and the number of sleepless nights we have but because of the goofy noises, eye rolls, and long talks while daddy is snoring. When I was pregnant my mommy friends always told me that they grow up so fast. I thought I already knew this because working at a daycare I've seen it first hand. I know now how fast it goes...and I'm ready for more! 

Five Things I know for sure about Harper
1. She dislikes her car seat. Seriously, she hates it.
2. She LOVES being swaddled. 

3. She is growing but she is still a peanut. 

In her defense her knees are up like a frog! 

4. She eats like a champ. When she wants more she smacks her lips demanding more...in a sweet way.

5. She HATES having her clothes changed. Which is so unlike her mommy. I can't get enough of new outfits for both me and her! 

One month down and MANY more to go! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Google Chrome Commercial

It may be me and my post-pregnancy hormones but commercials are making me cry. Scratch that...bawl. This commercial came on during football yesterday and Andy and I both watched it. I was dreaded the end of the commercial because I knew Andy was going to turn around, look at me, and laugh. He knows by now that I am crying at the drop of a hat. Ok, let me get honest, I have always been a crier. But not typically at commercials! So if you haven't seen this commercial yet...again get the Kleenex. (this means you Megan and Susie!)

Look for a post tomorrow celebrating Miss Harper's 1 month birthday (and my mom's birthday, not sure she will let me tell her age!) Until then I want to hear your reaction to this commercial!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Due Date Day!

Today was my due date. Last Thursday was my scheduled C-Section. But I already have my baby. She is 3 weeks and 2 days old. And I adore her! Before Harper was born I searched the blog world for other families who have children with Down syndrome and a heart defect. I found a few but not many. Now that Harper has arrived and my blog has been out (even though I only have 7 followers...ahem FOLLOW ME and make others follow me!) I have become acquainted with more women who share my story. For those women who have shared emails of support and love, I thank you. I've said from the beginning that the diagnosis of Ds doesn't scare me, and it still doesn't. I look at Harper and very rarely do I see Ds. But I do look at her and obsess, and I mean OBSESS, about her heart. But a wise woman who has "been there done that" twice with her own children, told me that she is "not a ticking time bomb" and that she is "NOT going to fade away in front of your eyes." Two things I was deathly afraid of. I know some of you want details of Harper's heart defect and I promise you will get them. Just not today. I have tried to post about it a few times and I'm not able to do it yet. But for those who "must know now" please go to the American Heart Association Website and search for AV Canal Defect. 

Harper has designer genes.  She has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. Most of you know that I always like  a "little extra." And apparently so does Miss Harper. I was scoping out a blog this morning, A Perfect Lily and I found that Patti had posted a quote that resonated with me instantly (maybe it was the author :)): 

"Our children arrived exactly as they were designed. There was no mistake here. They are a direct and unmistakable gift from God. He has given us children capable of copious amounts of unconditional love because we haven't been open to receiving the more indirect ways He's been showering it on us for the previous years of our lives." ~Courtney Heigele http://pudgeandzippy.blogspot.com

And as I sit here and write this I am listening to a little stuffy-nosed girl who is trying to sleep: 

Despite the stuffy-nose she constantly tells me that she is ok! 

Here are a few more iPhone pictures to make you smile!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cake Pops

A few of you have asked for the cake pop recipe. Let me preface with: they are super easy! And you can Google "cake pops" and you will find tons of inspiration. Or go to www.pinterest.com and take a gander. You will need an invite to join Pinterest but let me know and I'll "invite" you! 

What you need:

  • 1 (14.25 oz) box cake mix, any flavor
  • 1 (16 oz) tub frosting, any flavor (you will not need all of it) or 1/2-3/4 cup homemade frosting 
  • 1 (24 oz) package of almond bark/candy coating (white or chocolate)
  • Sprinkles or any other type of decoration
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam

Bake the cake mix according to package directions. Once it’s cool, crumble the cake into a large bowl. Place in a large bowl and stir in half of the frosting container or 1/2 cup of your homemade frosting. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined and thick like a truffle center. Mix in additional frosting if necessary. Roll mixture into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Or place in the freezer for 15 minutes. You want them to be firm but not frozen. Melt chocolate in the microwave. I do 15 seconds at a time and stir each time. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the flat end of the cake balls (Kristin and I did not do this but it makes sense). Carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered, remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too. Immediately cover with sprinkles before the chocolate has a chance to set, then insert in a styrofoam block to harden. 

Super easy and super yummy! There are thousands of cake pop ideas out there but www.bakerella.com is the queen of cake pops! 


Monday, September 19, 2011

This weekend

This weekend was fairly uneventful and that's exactly what we wanted and needed. We (ok Harper) had visitors on Saturday-my parents, Val, her daughter Rosa, and my Uncle Dan. Sorry no pics I was really tired Saturday morning! But I did order the pictures from my friend Kristin took. If you are not on Facebook then you have really been missing out on Harper's pictures!

Saturday night we helped celebrate Weston's 1st birthday! His mom, Kristin, is a good friend of mine and the one who took the pictures! I can't believe he is 1 and walking like he has for years! When Kristin's daughter, Emersyn, turned 1 I was lucky enough to help make her Dr. Seuss birthday cake.

I'm still proud of this cake!

So when Kristin told me she was making cake pop's for Weston's birthday of course I offered to help! I had made them before but Kristin is definitely better at piping then I am! Harper and I went over to Kristin's on Friday night to help make baseball cake pops.

For specific directions on how to make cake pops just give me an email and I'd be happy to help! But they are easier then they look! While Kristin and I were busy decorating, Emersyn offered to watch Harper:

There is something heartwarming about your friends and their children loving your own child. I ADORE Emersyn and Weston and now knowing that Emersyn loves Harper my heart just melts! Emersyn first met Harper while we were still in the hospital and understandably it was a bit overwhelming but the last 3 times they have seen each other, Emersyn has become more infatuated with Harper. 

Saturday was Weston's party and boy did he have fun! And Harper loved being passed around!

Sunday started with both myself and Andy on the couch watching football. And ended with the both of us in bed...watching football! I did have a productive Sunday and redid our gallery wall in our living room (will be posted later!).

Enjoy the pictures and the warm weather!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pampers Commercial

Since I have been home with Harper I've been watching more TV during the day. The commercials during the day are, obviously, geared towards stay at home moms. I have seen this Pampers commercial at least once a day and every time it makes me cry. And no it's not the hormones! It's just that great of a commercial!


Follow the link but make sure you have your Kleenex ready!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Harper's Birth Story

For those of you who followed my other blog, thank you but it's time for me to move on. This purpose of this blog is to keep my creativity satisfied but to also keep a diary of my family. Will it be all about Harper? No. I still plan on posting recipes but also other fun items, suggestions, and/or stories that I come across. But for this post, it's all about Harper! 

Some of you may already know Harper's true birth story, some of you may know the birth story without details. Nevertheless, here is it. From the dramatics of her 20 week ultrasound to today...Harper's story.

Tuesday, August 30th at 11:54 am we welcomed our little bundle of joy, Harper Alice. She was born at 36 weeks 5 days and decided that she wanted to join us in the world early at 4 lbs 9 oz and 17 inches long. Her delivery was a quickly scheduled c-section. We had an ultrasound scheduled at 8:15 am and by 9:30 am I was in triage getting prepped for a c-section. The reason? Little H had stopped growing due to the placenta that had stopped giving her the nutrients she needed. The blood moving from the placenta to the baby was moving forward but it wasn't as great as it should have been. Therefore, it was time to take her out and to see what she could do on her own. The plan: c-section for me and NICU for the baby. Obviously, it was a whirlwind of a morning but my pregnancy after the 20 week mark was equally as dramatic.

Yep, I must still be on the pain meds for posting this picture!

Friday, May 6th was the day we found out that our daughter, most likely, had Down syndrome but definitely had an AV Canal heart defect (more on this later). We decided to have an amniocentesis done to confirm Down syndrome but the heart defect was immediately evident on the ultrasound. The official confirmation of Down syndrome came the Tuesday after but, call it mother's intuition, I knew that our daughter was going to have Down syndrome.

The diagnosis of Down syndrome was something I could handle. I knew, first hand, how normal life can be for people with Ds but my major concern was, and still is, her heart defect. I thought about it every day I was pregnant with her and think about it more that I am able to hold her and watch how strong she is. But with constant doctor appointments she is closely monitored for any signs of her heart weakening. In the 10 days of her life, she has proven everyone wrong! She did not spend one minute in the NICU despite being 3 1/2 weeks early, under 5 lbs, had a heart defect, and thought she was going to have feeding issues. She keeps gaining weight, at least one ounce a day, she eats from any bottle we give her, and her heart isn't giving us any surprises.

I am keeping this blog not for sympathy...I don't want it. If you feel sorry for me, my husband, or my daughter then this blog is not the blog you need to be reading. We have to come to realize that she chose us for a reason. She is amazing and I couldn't imagine my pregnancy or my daughter her any other way.

Not the best I've ever looked! 

After that 20 week ultrasound I took to the blog world and found some fantastic blogs of other mother's who have children with Ds and/or a heart defect. These women (although we've never met) have helped me through a difficult diagnosis for my (then) unborn daughter. My goal is for this blog to be as supportive as all the blogs that helped me... a special shout out to Patti at A Perfect Lily  and Kelle Hampton at Enjoying the Small Things for having 2 of the best blogs around for showcasing that children with Ds can have a normal life. 

Please follow this blog and pass it along....all with a smile on your face!