Saturday, December 1, 2012

More Thanks

Wow!  I did not do a very good job of posting what I am thankful for every day of November, did I?

Today was a fun day for Haley.

Her Big Sis got to work at the Zoo again.  She is currently working the "Winter Program" of the ZooTeens.  I was not able to drive Haley's Big Sis to the Zoo today, I had another commitment, so I asked her Dad to do it.  I also asked him to do something else.  Knowing Haley I knew that she and her Dad would have a BAD day if she didn't get to go to the Zoo too, so I asked him if he could take her to the Zoo.

I figured that he could drop her Big Sis off and then take Haley to the Zoo for three hours and then bring them both home.  Easy Peasy.

As it turned out they did that and then they had lunch and then they went to the Apple store and then they went to Starbucks.  So it was a pretty GOOD day.  Haley was very happy when they got home.  She was happy to tell me that they saw Tigers and Giraffes and Sea Otters.  She also told me that they had lunch and that she had Orange Pop.  After she was home for a while she brought me her empty Starbucks cup and told me that she had "strawberries," which is a Grande Soy Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino, which is her normal drink at Starbucks.

She has told me multiple times that she had a "fun day."  I asked her if she had told her Dad "Thank you," which she immediately did.

Her Dad told me that it was by far the best Zoo trip he had ever taken her on.  She was happy to walk around the Zoo and look at the signs and talk about the animals.   He said that she didn't focus on the next animal like she usually does.  She didn't go ballistic when he told her that the train wasn't running.  About fifteen minutes before her sister's shift was done he suggested that they go to the Gift Shop.  She walked around and looked at things and then when her sister texted and said that she was done they met and had lunch together.

So, the trend continues that she is maturing and is a pleasure to be around.

Yes, I am thankful for that, and so is her Dad.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Little Affection

Every morning when I put Haley on the bus she buckles herself in, I give her a kiss and tell her to Have a nice day!  Then I step off of the bus turn around and wave goodbye.

Over the years this routine has changed very little.

It took her awhile to be able to buckle herself in, but what I do has always been the same.

Some of her bus drivers encouraged Haley to wave back at me or to say Bye Mom.  She did wave back when she was really little, but she hasn't done that for years.  That doesn't change my routine.

I was a little hurt when she stopped waving back.  I am a little sad that she doesn't say anything to me.  I would really like it if she did both of those things, but what I have noticed lately is that she seems to really like it that I do what I do.

My child does not complain when I give her a kiss.  I know that is not normal behavior for a fifteen year old.  This is one instance where I am happy that she is not "normal."  She also has gotten really good at giving me hugs and acquiescing whenever I want to give her one, but that doesn't happen on the bus.  She doesn't smile either.  She just accepts it.

What I have noticed is that as I step off of the bus and turn around she is looking.  She watches to see that I am going to wave.  Again, she doesn't smile, but she watches.  I noticed that this morning.  She has a substitute bus driver this week and when she has a sub she tends to be a little on edge.  I can sense that she knows things are amiss.  So she was watching for me to turn and smile and wave.  And I did.  And she kind of nodded.  She didn't smile.  Somehow I just knew that she acknowledged me and it felt good.

So, today I am grateful that I can still show my teenage daughter affection in public and that she seems to be glad that I do.

~Haley's Mom, Thankfully

This month I am focusing on Gratitude.  What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Since we got home I have been busy.  

I am learning that my brain can only handle so much, but apparently I haven't learned to stop trying.  When Haley is in school I fool myself into thinking that I have things under control.  Then she comes home and starts her routine of requests.  I keep trying to do my job, my hobbies, the things that are on my list.  

Haley doesn't care.  

She wants her requests met.  

She has no reason to expect any different.

The problem is that I am distracted.  When she wants something I am distracted thinking about what I am doing, what I am working on.  When she wants something she distracts me.  So I have a problem.  No, I don't think my daughter is a problem.  I have a problem of trying to do too many things at once.  I feel like everyone does.  I have always had trouble relaxing.  I just don't know how. 

We were away from home over the weekend.  I wasn't able to do what I needed to do.  I am behind on my housework.  I am behind on my job.  I should have relaxed.  I didn't.

So today I don't know what I am thankful for.  I am struggling.  I guess I am thankful that I do have a job.  I am thankful that I have a job that I feel passionate about.  I think that is why I am so distracted these days.  It is important to me.  

I am also grateful that my daughter is flexible enough that her distracted mom doesn't throw her off too much.

~Haley's Mom

Saturday, November 3, 2012

iHeart My iPhone

Today we visited a college campus that Haley's Big Sis may attend.  We walked all over that campus at least three times.  It was intense.  We climbed so many stairs - I don't think I have ever climbed that many stairs in one day and I used to attend this college.

Haley was awesome.

She just trudged along like a trooper.  In fact I don't think she ever complained. 

About going up and down stairs.  

Sitting in endless meetings, not eating lunch when she was hungry and not going shopping when she wanted to.  That she complained about.

One of the meetings that we attended was in a fairly small classroom.  There were probably about thirty people in the room and Haley was in a bad mood.  I knew better than to shush her. 

The other day during church Haley's Big Sis sat with Haley while I was singing with the choir.  She entertained her by letting her look at the pictures on her iPhone.

So, I pulled out my iPhone and opened up the photos and handed it to her.  She kept herself entertained throughout the entire meeting.  She did keep showing me pictures that she liked, but I put up with it.  It kept her quiet.  Well, relatively quiet.  She didn't really talk, but she was kind of going "uh, uh, uh" while she held the phone over to me.

I literally just kept thinking - I am so thankful for my iPhone right now.

My husband and I attended a parents meeting, of course she came along.  She was bored.  She didn't want to sit anymore.  What she really wanted was to go shopping.  We had passed up the shopping many times.  I had told her the schedule and that shopping was last, but she wanted to go when she wanted to go.

So I handed her my iPhone again.  I was praying that the batteries held up.  She was completely happy.  She found pictures of her and her Grandpa and spent most of the hour long meeting flipping between three pictures.

So today I am thankful that my child was able to walk all over that campus - that really impressed me.  I was actually getting pretty tired and hot.  She did great.  And I am thankful for my iPhone and the fact that I had some pictures on it that Haley wanted to look at.

~Haley's Mom, Thankfully

This month I am focusing on Gratitude.  What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Getting Things Done

Haley knows what needs to be done.

This summer when I did the laundry Haley would go upstairs and get her dirty clothes and bring them down and put them in the laundry room.  I never asked her to do it, she just did.

When the dryer alarm went off she would make a noise and come and get me.

Once I had folded the clothes, if I didn’t take them right upstairs she would come and get them and take them up to her room.  She didn’t put them in her drawer.  She put them on her bed, which is interesting because when we come home from a shopping trip she always puts her new clothes in her drawers.

Now that she is in school I usually have the laundry done by the time she comes home so I am not getting as much help.

Yesterday Haley came in to the family room and noticed that she had a pile of clean, folded clothes on the couch.  She picked them up and carried them up to her room.

Today I packed clothes for her and myself because we are going to start our college visit tour this weekend.  Haley’s Big Sis is a senior and we are starting to plan for next year.  I told Haley that we are going on a road trip this weekend, but I didn’t tell her that we were leaving as soon as she got home from school. 

When she got home we told her our plans and she started gathering her things.  She kept asking me about her clothes.  I told her that I had already packed her clothes.  I told her about ten times.  She didn’t seem to believe me.  Her Dad had already put the suitcase in the truck so she didn’t get to verify what had been packed.   

Thinking about it, I realize that it really wasn’t fair to her, but it is too late now.

Haley took her purse and her magazines and her stuffed pillow pet horse JoJo out to the truck.  I was busy getting ready so I assumed she was just sitting in the truck waiting to go.  Eventually we were all ready and we were off. 

About two hours in to the trip I looked in the rear view mirror and as my brain was forming the question “What the H…?”  Haley’s Big Sis exclaimed “Haley!  Why did you bring your pumpkin?”  I was laughing so hard that I had to really concentrate to stay in my own lane on the road.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.   

I guess Haley had pulled her pumpkin out from under her Big Sis’s pillow where she had stashed it.  She had plenty of time to carry out her plan, I just don’t really know why she did it.

So today I am thankful that my daughter helps me around the house and is a good planner and packer.  I am also grateful for laughter.   It is the best medicine.   

I hear it keeps you young too, so that’s good.

~Haley's Mom, Thankfully

This month I am focusing on Gratitude.  What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This month I am going to focus on Gratitude.  I will probably blog about many different things, things that are happening in our house on a daily basis, but throughout it all I will focus on what I am thankful for.  It may take different forms.  I want to challenge myself to post every day like I did in October.

I think I could go on and on about what I am thankful for.  

Gratitude is a natural state for me.

Today, like always, I am Thankful for my beautiful daughters.  I am so very blessed.  They are both special in their own ways and they both make my life so much better with them in it.

I am thankful that they love each other.  There is no doubt.  They have their moments like all siblings do, but there is a really strong bond there.  

My friends are always commenting about how Haley's Big Sis cares for her, how she treats her.  She is very compassionate and caring and patient in public.  At home she can be that way too, but she is also a normal big sister.  She gives her guff, she won't let her get away with anything, she watches out for her, but at the same time she will catch her off guard with a tickle, a joke, spontaneous wrestling or a long hug.

Haley loves her Big Sis too.  She always wants to include her in what she is doing, even if it isn't something that her Big Sis would be that interested in.  Haley wants to share.  She listens to her and she communicates with her.  They have always had their own special language.  When they were small and I couldn't tell what Haley was saying her Big Sis often knew.

I am thankful for the ways that they each reflect our personalities.  They can both be silly or serious when it is appropriate.  We can joke with them.  They can be "typical teenagers" at times, but when we call them on it they smile and go right back to being the little girls that we have been raising.  At other times they both can be so mature that I am taken aback.  I have to remind myself that they are young.  I also see some of the not so nice qualities from our personalities in them.  It is at those times that I take stock and remember to act differently around them because I see how we can influence them.

I love having two very different girls and I love that they have some things in common.

They are both friendly and fun-loving.

They are both strong-willed and stylish.

They are both kind and caring.

They are both quick-witted and smart.

I am very grateful for them.

~Haley's Mom, Thankfully

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween is Fun!

Haley was excited to wear her Halloween costume today.  I let her wear it to school.  I didn't know if other kids in school would be wearing costumes, but her costume was a t-shirt and a hat.  If the teacher or assistant made her take off her hat she would just be wearing a pretty cool t-shirt.

I painted her nails Grinch Green too.

Her bus driver had to think a moment, but then she said "Dr. Suess's Grinch?"  

"Yes," I said.

"So we have a witch and The Grinch."

I said "Oh, that's cool."  I thought, "Good, Haley isn't the only one."

When she got off of the bus this afternoon the bus driver told me that she had a lot of fun today.  I don't know what she did, but she was bouncing off of that bus with a huge grin on her face.

I was hoping that this would be the year that Haley hands out candy.  Her Big Sis had told me that she was planning to go out to a Haunted House with some friends.  Her Big Sis has taken her Trick-or-Treating for the last several years.  I thought that if she wasn't home I could convince Haley that she needed to stay home and pass out candy.  

Haley's Big Sis decided not to go out.  

Her BFF came over and they were talking about costumes, so it seemed normal to Haley and she was ready to go.  I asked her sister if she was willing to take her out and she agreed.

I had a hard time getting Haley to focus on her dinner, she really wanted to go Trick-or-Treating.  Her sister didn't want to leave until it was dark.  We held her off for about twenty minutes and then Haley was going to go with or without her sister.  I got her shoes on and put a jacket under her t-shirt.  I went in to my stash of gift bags and got her a Christmas gift bag to carry for her candy collecting and they set out.

They were gone about forty minutes.  When they came back they went through their haul.

Haley's Big Sis mentioned that she thought we should go to their Fairy Godmother's house.  I agreed.  I needed to take BFF home anyway.  So we got shoes back on and got in the car.  Haley really loved seeing her Godparents, she really liked seeing their animals too.  They have a cat and a dog.  She got down on the floor with them and had a grand time.  Then we took BFF home.

When we got home as we were walking in to the house Haley declared "Halloween is fun!"

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Time

Haley's Big Sis drives the whole Halloween carved pumpkin tradition.  She always makes sure that we get the pumpkins and that they get carved.  

Well, she makes sure that hers gets carved. 

She has carved her own pumpkin every year.  I usually cop out and draw on Haley's.  I really can't stand the whole thing.  The cleaning out the seeds.  The carving.  Yuk!

This year Haley's Big Sis and her friend and I went to the pumpkin patch.  Haley was busy chasing the Daylight.  Haley's Big Sis got a pretty good sized pumpkin.  The rule always applies - she gets the pumpkin that she can carry.  I picked out Haley's pumpkin, it was easy to carry.

Tonight Haley's Big Sis decided it was time to carve her pumpkin.  She wanted me to come out to the garage with her and do Haley's pumpkin too.  I have had a plan in mind for quite some time.  I knew what her pumpkin would be when I picked it out.  

Haley's pumpkin goes with Haley's costume.

Haley has been shopping online for Grinch things all summer.  She brings me over and shows me the screen.  There have been t-shirts, pajamas, stuffed animals, pictures, videos and toys.  I paid attention.  I decided that Haley needs to be The Grinch this year.  I ordered a t-shirt and a hat a couple of months ago and put the costume away for her.

I drew a Grinch face on her pumpkin and then she came out to see what we were doing.

I think she liked it.

When I have something exciting to share with either of my girls I have a hard time keeping it to myself.  I figured I had waited long enough.  So I decided to show Haley her Halloween costume.

I think she liked it too.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Must Confess

Mom confession:  Some days I am so thankful that I can put my daughter on that school bus.

Today was one of those days.

Haley has been short tempered all weekend.  She spent a good portion of Sunday growling (?) groaning (?) moaning (?) bitching under her breath.  It is hard to describe the sound that she makes, but it is not hard to discern the intent.  She is not happy with the status quo and she wants everyone in the house to know about it.

I have no idea what set her off.

Everything seemed fine as far as I could tell.  The thing with her is that she can't tell me the reason and it could be that she doesn't feel well, I did something to upset her, I didn't do something that she expected or maybe she just got up on the wrong side of the bed. 

There is only one side, by the way.

So today didn't seem to be any different.  She woke up a little earlier than I did and was sitting at her laptop when I came downstairs.  I went in to say good morning and give her a little hug and a kiss and I got a grunt.

When I asked her to come in and eat her breakfast she did, but I could tell from her body language that it was against her better judgement.  I had to remind her to take bites all through breakfast.  It was getting close to the time that she needed to get dressed and she still had several bites to go.

We went upstairs to get her dressed.  She was very annoyed through the entire process.  Then came the time when I wash her glasses and they were not on the counter in her bathroom like they usually are.  I went in to her bedroom and looked on her dresser.  Then I asked her if she knew where her glasses were.  Her hands immediately flew up to her eyes and then she said "EYES!"   

I said "I know they are not on your eyes.  I can't find them.  Do you know where they are?"  A question like that - that specific question - never gets a good response.

I went downstairs and looked at the desk where she spends most of her time.  I didn't see them so I went back upstairs and looked in all the same places again, even though I had already looked there and knew full well that they were not there.

By this point Haley was a mess.  She was angry.  She kept touching her eyes and screaming "GLASSES!"

I followed her downstairs saying "You will just have to go to school without your glasses today."

She sat down in the chair at the desk with her laptop on it in a very huffy mood.  I started sorting through the piles of doll clothes, horses and matchbox cars that were strewn all over the floor under the desk.  She said "Glass!"

I said "I know Haley, but I don't know where they are!"

She bent over and reached under the desk on the opposite side of the chair that I was on and then turned and handed me her glasses.

I said "Thank you for getting me your glasses." 

Then I walked in to the kitchen and washed them.  I handed them back to her and she put them on.  All the while she was making the growling (?) groaning (?) moaning (?) bitching under her breath sound.

So when the bus came, I was happy to put her on it.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yoga is Paying Off

Haley has had low muscle tone her whole life. 

She didn't roll over until she was about a year old.  She didn't try to sit up.  She didn't try to stand.  When she was a baby we started physical therapy.  She actually walked for the first time in physical therapy when she was three. 

There were times that I thought she would never walk, never run, never jump.

She has surprised me over and over.  

 What surprises me now is how Yoga has changed her.  She has been going to yoga for a year now.  When she started she couldn't stand on one foot.  I had taken her to get some new shoes at a great store in our area called When the Shoe Fits.  They really know what they are doing.  The man that helped us wanted her to get up on her tiptoes.  She didn't.  He wanted her to stand on one leg.  She couldn't.  He told me that he thought she may have serious issues with her legs as she ages.

Now, I think she might be fine.

In Yoga she does the tree pose.  It is when you stand on one foot and balance with the other foot raised up so that your foot rests on your calf or knee.  When the yoga instructor first asked her to do it she couldn't.  Later on she could balance for a few seconds.  Then she got better at it and was a little better on one foot than the other.  That is pretty common.  Her Yoga instructor is always right there either supporting her or just barely touching her so that she knows that she will help if she is needed.  Lately she has been holding the pose all by herself for a count of ten.  It blows me away.

Tonight when we were getting her dressed in her pajamas I said "Haley, sit down on the bed and take off your socks."  She kicked up her heel and reached down and pulled her sock off.  She did it so fast that I didn't notice if she was steadying herself on the dresser or not.  Then she turned slightly, reached for the dresser with her other hand lifted her foot up in front of her and took off her other sock.

I was in shock.

I just said "Great job Haley!"

Yoga is paying off. 

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Fine Line

Haley is excited about the next thing.  The thing is, it is really not the next thing.

Her grandparents brought her a flyer about the Holiday Express, which is an excursion that features the two famous steam engines in our area; the SP&S 700 and the 4449 Daylight.

She carries the flyer everywhere.  Especially to the dinner table.  She points to it and talks about it and wants us to read it and talk about it.  She really wants to make sure that we get tickets to ride behind one of the engines.

I keep telling her that her Dad will get us tickets.  

I also keep telling her that it is in December.  She wants it to be tomorrow.  

For a while she would say "Tickets. Sunday."  

I went in to a long explanation about the end of this month and then November and then December.  We counted the days on the calendar.  It is a big number.  

Now she walks around saying "Tickets. December."  

Out of character for me I tried to explain to her all of the things that would be happening between now and then.  We have several trips planned.  There are two holidays in there.  

I don't think she gets it yet.

I am walking a fine line between telling her enough and telling her too much.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Haley was coming down the steps of the bus differently than usual.  I noticed that she was stepping one foot in front of the other.  I actually couldn't tell you how she usually steps off of the bus, but I knew that this was different.

I said "What are you doing?"

She was giggling.  A lot.

As she stepped to the pavement the bus driver said "Her pants are falling down."

Sure enough as she began to pass me I turned and I saw her bottom completely exposed.

"Whoa, Haley, what the heck!"  I exclaimed.

I waved at the bus driver and grabbed Haley's pants, hiking them up as she continued to walk to the front door.  I watched as she walked away, her pants slowly slipping down her hips yet again.

It was then that I remembered getting her dressed that morning.  She wanted to wear her new jeans.  The jeans that I didn't try on her at the store.  

Haley and I went shopping a couple of weeks ago.  Just before her confirmation.  We actually went shopping for a nice outfit for her confirmation, which we found.  One outfit is never enough for Haley, however.  She actually needed long pants.  She has been wearing my shorts and capris all summer and in to the fall, but her one-on-one helper mentioned that she was cold and needed socks and shoes.  By inference I understood that she also needed pants that covered her calves and ankles.  So we tried on about six pairs of pants, a couple of dresses and several tops.  

She had had enough.  

After watching her try on so many things I felt like I knew what size she wears.  

She had tried on a pair of jeans that were size 6 R, they fit really well, but were really long.  So we went back to the rack and I picked up a pair of jeans that were size 6 S, presumably for short?  I held them up to her and they were the right length.  We didn't try them on.

When I put them on her at home they were not the right size.  They were close, but not quite right.  She needed a belt with them.  I got one of my belts and put it on her.  That worked, somewhat.  That was a week ago.  So in the morning when I put her jeans on her I thought to myself that the belt she had worn the week before had seemed bulky.  I wanted to try a different belt.  

I planned to go to my closet and get another belt after the rest of our morning routine.

We went in to the bathroom and brushed her teeth and fixed her hair.  I washed her glasses and put them on her.  Usually after I do that we go downstairs.  

That is what we did.  

When we got downstairs I put her socks and shoes on her and then got her backpack and coat.  I was in Normal Mode.  I didn't think about her belt again.

So her pants had been falling down all day.  

At least she thought it was funny.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Summer Cut

Yesterday when I was writing my post about my Mini Me I wanted to link back to a post about Haley's summer haircut.  I looked for it and found it and tried to link to it and then realized I had never published it.  So here is a post from the beginning of the summer, it is out of order but it makes sense with the topic from yesterday.

It was time for the Summer Cut.  Actually it was long past time, but you know how it is.  I had to make an appointment and then I had to wait.

Every morning for about a week, as I sprayed water on Haley's hair and tried to comb through it I was tempted to tell her that I had made the appointment.  I wanted to say something like "Haley, I can't wait for your haircut appointment!" But I bit my tongue.  I didn't say anything.  I didn't really want her to anticipate the appointment.

Haley is really good at her haircut appointments lately, but something has changed.  The spa that I take her to has relocated.  The sinks that they wash your hair in are really different.  They are not at each station, they are all along one wall.  They are low and pretty comfortable.  I am sure they are much easier for the stylists to use.

I was excited for Haley to try it.  She has been so good about laying back at the dentist.  I thought that maybe now would be a good time for her to lay back to get her hair washed by the stylist.

I waited to tell Haley that she was going to get a haircut until about an hour before the appointment.  I didn't ask her to take a bath before hand like I usually do.  We just got in the car and left.

When it was Haley's turn we followed the stylist right to the sinks.  Haley tensed up.  I asked her to sit down in the chair.  She didn't want to.  She did it though.  Then I asked her to sit back.  NO WAY.  I tried to get her to turn around in the chair and look at the sink and the back of the chair, she wouldn't budge.  I told her that she wouldn't be laying back as far as she did at the dentist.  I said "You have been laying back so well at the dentist, you can do it here too."

I tried to gently push her back.  She resisted.  She is strong.

I apologized to the stylist.

I tried again.

I told her that it was fun to lay back and have her hair washed by the stylist.  Another stylist tried to jump on board and convince her to try it.  She made comments about the horses that Haley held.  I don't think Haley heard her.  She was fully in her stubborn mode.

After several minutes of this I gave up.  I apologized to the stylist again and we followed her to her station.

Haley was very stoic through the haircut.  A couple of times I thought that she was going to cry, but that may have been me projecting.  She was definitely quiet.

I realized at this point that I didn't take a before shot.

When the haircut was over she smiled and touched her hair.  I could tell that she liked it.  I told her that she looked cute.  She said "Cute."  We thanked the stylist and got in the car.  As I drove home she kept pointing to her teeth and saying "ist" which means Dentist and "doctor."  

I said "No Haley we aren't going to the dentist, I just thought that you could sit back and let her wash your hair because you have been so good about laying back for the dentist lately."  She grunted.  

She was mad at me because we didn't go to the dentist. Go, figure!

She stewed and brewed quietly in the backseat for most of the ride home, and then suddenly she yelled "CUT!"  I jumped out of my skin.  I looked in the rear view mirror.  She was upset.  I simply said "You have a cute haircut."  She said "Haircut" in such a sweet tone, a complete 180 from the second before.  

She put her hand up to her hair and said "Cute."  I breathed a sigh of relief.

That is the way it usually is.  She can go from upset and screaming to smiling and laughing in a blink.  The difference is my reaction, most of the time.  I try to use a tone of voice that is reassuring sometimes, other times I use a happy friendly voice.  Sometimes I use a sarcastic tone and she gets that too.  It is a crap shoot really, I never know what will set her off and I never know if there is anything I can do to diffuse it, but I try.  

The rest of the ride home was uneventful.  

I had her take a bath as soon as we got home so that I could get all of the little hairs under control.  I didn't want her to be itchy.  I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.  I know I didn't get them all.  She enjoyed showing her Dad and her Big Sis her haircut.  They both said it was cute.  

I forgot to take an after picture too.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mini Me

Haley has a really short haircut.

I have been getting her hair cut short in the summer for a while now.  I usually let it grow out the rest of the year.  I call it her Summer Cut.

This year she got a summer cut and then in the fall I had it cut even shorter.  I was actually thinking that it looked really cute and it was really easy to care for, so why not?  I really don't think Haley cares.  Actually I think she likes it when I spend as little time as possible fussing with her hair.

I didn't think anything of it.

And then the comments started.

My hair is really short too.  Haley and I have very different hair though.  Hers is really curly and thick and mine is very very thin.  I actually have mine cut short because it was looking way to thin to me and also I was tired of it in my face.  I didn't like it in my face when it was windy or when I rolled over in bed or when I looked down.  

I was just tired of it so I asked my stylist to give me a pixie cut.

It is the sixth time in life that I have had a pixie cut.  I really like it, then I grow it out for a few years and then I get it cut again.  It has been a while since the last time.  I had to really convince my stylist to cut it short, she had never seen me with short hair.  I don't know what her hesitation was.  I think she thought that I would be shocked or disappointed.  I finally told her that I had had it that short several times in my life and I knew what I was doing.  So she cut it.

When I took Haley in for her summer cut this year I said what I have said before - I wanted it cut about an inch all over her head.  Our stylist didn't really do that, it wasn't as short as I wanted it to be.  I still had to fuss with her hair quite a bit to make it look good.  And it blew around in the wind.  It needed to be shorter.

That is why I had her stylist cut it even shorter just before school started.

She got a trim again not too long ago.

A friend of mine told me the other day that she never had seen the resemblance between Haley and I, but she sees it now.  (Now that we have the same haircut.) 

So apparently, without even trying, I have created a Mini Me.

That was really not my intention.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Feel It

I love that Haley and her Dad have a shared hobby.  They both love trains.  They get to spend time together enjoying their hobby and it is special.

Haley's Dad enjoys some unique behaviors from Haley.  She acts differently when she is with him and away from me.  With me or with her Dad she is always herself, but she shows each of us a different side of herself.  

We like to compare notes.

She is very independent when she is with her Dad.  She will try things that she probably wouldn't try if I was around.  I was about to type that she is more serious with him, but I don't know if that is really true.  She can be very serious with me as well, but she also is very silly with me.

Over the years as Haley and her Dad have gone out on these excursions of theirs, watching trains, her Dad usually comes home and tells me all about it.  He tells me that she was scared of the big, loud engines.  This time he told me that she wasn't.  She got out of the truck - he has trained her to do that all on her own - and stood next to him as he took photos of the train.  There were times that he told her it was cold out and that she could stay in the truck, but she didn't.  She got out and stood stoically next to him.  

He also told me that once when they were about to get out of the truck he told her to take her hat off.  She didn't like that idea.  She was wearing her Daylight hat for a reason - she was representing.  She listened to her Dad and took it off.  When she stepped out of the truck a big gust of wind hit her and she instinctively reached for her hat, it wasn't on her head.  She looked at her Dad and he read the look to mean - hey, you were right.  

It's amazing when parents know what they are talking about you know.

Haley's Dad didn't take a lot of pictures this trip, probably because he had his daughter with him.  I think that limits him somewhat.  He is limited in where he can go to set up and how long he can wait.  I hope he doesn't mind, because I think it is a wonderful thing that they can share these experiences.  I want to share a picture that he did take though.

He tells me that he didn't want to waste that sky.  The train wasn't coming, but he wanted to take a picture of that sky so he took a picture with Haley in it.  He sent it to me on my phone.  It made me cry.  It makes me cry now. 

These are experiences that Haley and her Dad share.  Experiences that they will both remember.  That is special.

In case you are wondering what it was that they saw out there I thought I would share a video that my husband took of the Daylight going by.  The video is impressive, but make no mistake, to see it in person is so much more so.

As Haley will tell you they got to "See it.  Hear it.  Smell it."  and Feel it.


~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Monday, October 22, 2012

There They Are

Haley had a great time chasing the Daylight.  She really enjoyed having her grandparents here.  She really didn't need anything else, but her grandparents got her something anyway.

They got her a new Daylight shirt.  She immediately ran upstairs and put it on.

She was so excited and her face was really red because her grandparents were still here.

Today she wanted to wear it to school.  

As she was getting dressed I turned the light off in her room and shut the door so that she could see that it GLOWS IN THE DARK. It was just the steam and smoke that glowed, but it was fun.

When she got home from school I asked her if she had fun wearing her new shirt. 

She got very animated and started to tell me all about her shirt.  She told me that it was dark night, because the shirt is black. She pointed out the signals, the head light and the window where the engineer would sit.

Warning, things are about to get personal.


I warned you.

She wanted to show me more about her shirt, but she could not see what she wanted to see.  Her darn boobs were in the way.  She was trying to push them out of the way and squish them to see below them.  I was laughing so hard I had a hard time explaining to her that all she had to do was grab the bottom of her shirt and pull it out so that she could see what was happening down there.

I pulled her shirt out and said "See, there they are."

The cars behind the engine, that is.  

She said "There they are!"  

She pointed to the cars that were being pulled by the engine and the word "Daylight" and the number "4449."

Sometimes it sucks to be a girl.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Haley had so much fun yesterday chasing the Daylight.  Her Dad told her that she would get to do it again today.  Well, yesterday her told her that she would get to do it again tomorrow.  

So she was excited.


She got me up a couple of times last night.  She got up early this morning.  It was actually the time that she usually gets up for school, but it was too early for me.  I figured that she was fine downstairs on her laptop so I fell back asleep.  Her Dad got up.

I think he forgot to tell her that she would see the Daylight later in the day.

The thing was that the train pulled by the Daylight headed to Bend, Oregon yesterday.  Haley and her Dad didn't follow it all the way to Bend.  They stopped at some point and headed home.  They stopped for dinner at Subway and then got home around 7:30 pm.  So today her Dad planned to wait until the train was about two hours away and head out and follow it back to Portland.

Haley was excited.

She wanted to go and see the Daylight this morning.  I knew that because when she went to bed last night she said "Daylight. Good Morning."  

I just let it go.  

She didn't get upset today.  I went to church with Haley's Big Sis and her friend that stayed the night, like we always do.  Haley and her Dad didn't go train watching first thing in the morning like they usually do.  After lunch Haley's Big Sis wanted to go out and run some errands and then we took her friend back home.  When we got home I was sitting in the living room and Haley came in and said "Again."

"What?"  I said.


I knew what she meant.  She knew that she was going to see the Daylight again.  She was being extremely patient as far as I was concerned.  

Later on when I was upstairs in my bedroom Haley came in a pointed out the window.  She was excited that her grandparents car was still in the culdesac.  I told her that after she and her Dad followed the Daylight they would bring Grandma and Grandpa back to our house.  That made her happy.

It took a long time, but her Dad finally came down the stairs this evening and told me that the train was about two hours away.  He told me because I was trying to figure out when to start dinner and when I should plan to serve it.  I think Haley heard him because she came running in to the room.  He told her that she could get ready and she got excited all over again.

She ran to get her shoes and her coat and her Daylight hat.

I ran in to get her picture.


And then they were off.


~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I didn't get much sleep last night.  Haley got me up several times.  I guess her Big Sis even got up and put her back in bed once.  

She was really excited about her day.

About the time that I needed to get up she came in to my bedroom.  She needed wanted me to help her in the bathroom.  I told her that she should probably get dressed.  We got her ready and then came downstairs.  I asked her Dad if she had eaten breakfast.  He said that she had.  I noticed a bowl on the counter, she hadn't eaten much.  Her Dad had packed her lunch and quite a few snacks though so I think they are going to be OK.

He had to take her grandparents to the depot and wanted me to have her ready for him when he got back.  So she was dressed and had eaten.  All I had to do was brush her teeth and get her shoes on.  

I was reading the paper and having my morning coffee and she kept coming in to the kitchen to talk about her day.

She said "See it.  Hear it.  Daylight.  Black.  Red.  Orange."

She said a lot more than that, but that was about all that I understood.

After she got done with her litany I said "It's going to be fun!"

I got the dirtiest look.

Haley does not like it when I tell her something is going to be fun.  I get the same reaction every time.  

I always mean it.  

Whatever I say that about I truly think it is going to be fun, but she does not like me to say it.  I asked her what she wanted me to say.  Like I expected an answer.  

I didn't get one.

I didn't want to go down this path we had turned onto so I said "Yay!"

She said "Yay!" and we moved on.

She is off now with her Dad.  They are stopping along the route of the steam engine excursion finding good places to set up his camera and taking pictures.  They will be eating their lunch and their snacks.

It's going to be fun.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Haley is excited.

Her grandparents are here.  She is going to see her favorite steam engine tomorrow. 

It's all good.

When I got home from work today I walked in the house and I could just tell.  

Haley was bouncing off of the walls.  

Of course I knew that her grandparents were there.  I saw their car in the culdesac, I knew their plans.  Even if I didn't know that, I would have known that something was up from the way that Haley was acting.  I actually think that she would have been just as excited if the only thing that was happening was that she was going to see the Daylight tomorrow.  Maybe not.  It's hard to say, but for sure the two things happening at the same time had her wound up.

Haley's Grandma and Grandpa are going to ride behind the Daylight tomorrow.  

They are excited too.  

They were talking about the impending trip while I was making dinner.  Haley was in and out of the room bringing them things to look at like her Disneyland map and her Daylight Sales catalog.  I was a little nervous that she would get upset with them talking about riding behind the Daylight because she is not going to do that.  

She is going to "chase" it.

She told me that she needed to go to the bathroom so I took the chance to talk to her about tomorrow.  I told her that Grandma and Grandpa were going to ride the train pulled by the Daylight, but that she and her Dad were going to wave at them as it went by.  

She didn't seem to mind that idea.

Her Dad made her a lunch and told her that they were going to stop at some point tomorrow and eat their lunches together.  She liked that idea.  The funny thing is that he basically asked me what I usually pack in her lunch for school and he packed exactly the same thing.

So when we talk about tomorrow she says "See it.  Hear it.  Lunch."

She has her priorities.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Haley's Dad has been planning something fun for Haley for several months.

Tonight at dinner he turned to her and said "Haley, do you want to see the Daylight on Saturday?"


I said "You aren't going to pass that up are you."

She said "Saturday."

He said "Yeah, and Sunday too."


Then she started counting her fingers.  "What are you counting?"

She pointed to the refrigerator.  Then I got it.  She was pointing at the calendar.

I said "Tomorrow is Friday and then the next day is Saturday.  So, I guess you would count one day."

"One day?"

Her Dad asked her if she thought she could spend the whole day with him.  He told her that she would probably see the Daylight at least four times.

She said "Yeah."

Then she got up from the table and went to her laptop and started watching Daylight videos on YouTube.

He didn't tell her the other surprise.  

Her Grandma and Grandpa will be here tomorrow when she gets off of the bus.  I don't know if he plans to tell her that or not. 

I think we should let this one settle in.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Out of Left Field

I never know what might set Haley off.  

Tonight everything was fine.  She had been just as happy as can be all afternoon.  Her Big Sis was impressed that she was up on current affairs because she was watching the footage of the guy that broke the sound barrier falling to earth.  I don't know how she found the footage, but she was watching it.

When dinner was ready I called everyone to the table.  Haley walked in to the living room and went to the cupboard where we keep our videos.  She chose a VHS tape and put it in to the machine.  She was just walking to the table when I looked up an saw that the TV remote was on the bar table behind her.  

I said "Haley, can you hand me the remote?  It is on the table behind you."

She screamed and threw herself on the floor.

She proceeded to throw a thorough fit.  I asked her to join us at the table.  I asked her to stand up.  I asked her if she wanted to eat dinner.  

She screamed "EAT!"  

I said "Get up then and sit at the table.  Dinner is ready."

I tried several things to get her to get up.  Everything I said just made her scream and kick more.  Her sister came in to the kitchen and sat at the table.  She watched Haley continue her fit.  I tried to reason with her.  It just wasn't happening.  I had to go to my hand bell practice so I got up and went upstairs to brush my teeth.

When I came back down she was wandering through the house crying.

I sat her back down at the table.

She continued to scream and yell.  I tried in vain to reason with her some more.  Finally I gave up and left her Dad and her sister to help her.  I guess her Big Sis did try to talk to her, but she couldn't get through to her either.  She left the table and her Dad got up to wash the dishes.  After a while Haley got up and got a tissue and blew her nose.  Then she decided that she should eat.  She ate two bowls of soup.

By the time I got home from hand bell practice she was fine.  

I really have no idea what that was about.  And I guess I never will.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ups and Downs

My happy go lucky child was not so happy today.  Well, not as much as "normal."

I don't know what to attribute it to.  It could be because it is her "time of the month," that is just about over - thank goodness.  I don't know if that is it though.  It could be anything really, but everything is making her mad.

Today at school her Big Sis's best friend (she is also Haley's friend) came up to her and looked at her currently blue fingernails and told her that she should paint them orange.  When her Big Sis got home from school she reminded her that she had said that so Haley got the orange nail polish and brought it to me.  The bummer was that it was almost time to go to Yoga and we wouldn't have time to paint them and allow them to dry completely.  I told her we would paint them Later.  She didn't like that, but that is the way it goes.

Haley's Dad took her to Yoga.

When they got home I asked how it went.  Usually he excitedly brags about how well she held her poses or tried something new.  Today he just shook his head.

"That bad, huh?" I asked.  Apparently she just wasn't in to it.  

Next thing I know she is bringing me the nail polish.  This time I had to tell her that her Big Sis and I were about to leave to go to their high school for Grad Night.  Again I had to tell her that the fingernail painting project would have to wait until Later.  

She was not pleased.

When we got home from Grad Night I started dinner.  Haley brought me the nail polish again.  I said "I know I keep putting you off, but we are going to have to do this after dinner."  

That really made her mad.  

After she threw a good old fashioned fit, she proceeded to hold the bottle of nail polish in her hand throughout the entire meal.  

So after dinner she went in to my office and sat at my desk (at her laptop) and stewed and brewed.  She was grunting and sighing and pretty much growling.  Her Dad asked her several times if she was OK or if she needed help.  She just kept grunting.  Finally when I had put away all of the left overs and cleared the table I went in to where she was and I said "Is there something I can help you with?"


"Well, what do you say?"

"Nails, please."

"Ok, let's go."

We went up to her bathroom and removed the blue nail polish and I painted her nails orange.  That seemed to satisfy her.  She is in a much better mood.

For now.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month. The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.


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