Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

End of the month Catch Up!

I'm not sure if I will ever be able to get the blog caught up on all the things that have been going on in our lives. Its just been crazy busy!

Three of the kids started school. Angela, Axel and Asher are all out the door by 8:00 a.m. We've been working on getting Abel's assessments done so he can start school too. We have an IEP meeting set up for the end of this week and I'm hoping he will start a week from today. He will only be in school for a couple of weeks before having surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed, but it will give school a good idea about the person they need to hire as his 1:1 assistant. Like Asher, Abel will  have an aid who is fluent in ASL. It will be nice for the support staff that the two boys are in the same school because they can possibly switch kids for half of the day. We'll see!

Angela started soccer. Axel has one more year before he can start playing. I think he's excited. The two kids also "started" cheerleading. I just have to get them to a practice!

Abel had minor surgery to have all of his dental work taken care of. He had 5 teeth pulled, the rest cleaned and a couple restored.

Although it was minor, he had a rough time coming out of anesthesia. He was very agitated and scared. This helped me realize when he has his tonsils and adenoids out on 10/22 that we need two adults present!

Axel will be having minor surgery done next week. Both Angela and Axel go back to the eye doctor tomorrow. We'll see if the three days Axel's stent was in was beneficial to him or not, and if Angela's stents are ready to come out.

This is my favorite part of watching for the kids' buses each day. Its our one little spot of color on the front side of the house. Next year there will be far more!

Summer is coming to an end. The humming birds are gone. I thought my tree frogs were gone too, because we haven't seen them for a couple of weeks. Then one day I was collecting seeds off some of my flowers and there was one little green guy hiding. Can you find him?

Lets get a little closer.

Here he is!

On Thursday 9/26 I flew to Houston, TX for 20th anniversary gala of Cherish Our Children International (COCI - sounds like Kohsee) It was an amazing event, and I got to be away from home for a whole 48 hours, 18 of which was spent in airports or airplanes. Still, it was a great and thanks go Dean for letting me go and Tyler for helping keep the ship afloat! A special thanks to COCI and Mary Borojevic for getting me to the gala! The purpose of the gala was to celebrate 20 years of serving deserving children around the world, as well as to raise funds for continued work. It was pretty amazing to see some of the projects highlighted! The keynote speaker was Dr. Mark Kline, physician in chief of Texas Children's Hospital. He has been involved with COCI, working with the children of Romania since the early 1990's. I was asked to speak and had 90 seconds to tell my story and involvement with COCI. Here is what I said:

The Useless Eaters 

Hitler’s term for people with disabilities.
In 1934 Hitler and Stalin did their best to eliminate the useless eaters from the planet. Most in Europe were killed by lethal injection before they had to suffer. The war ended but the children remained locked away. In 2013 the situation is only slightly better. Children with disabilities, still locked away behind institutional doors, continue to die of starvation, dehydration and severe sensory deprivation.
 17 years ago my daughter Angela was born, bringing with her the surprise of Down syndrome. Her arrival into our lives was life changing, but I knew she was here for a greater purpose, one that would come to be in 2010 when I was made aware of the conditions children like her suffer every day of their lives in Serbia. We added Axel to our family, soon followed by Asher in 2011 and Abel in 2013. It is for these children COCI Serbia works for change.

My new friend Angelia, me, Mary Borojevic from COCI-Serbia. Don't they look like movie stars?

Axel loves to do dot-to-dots and simple mazes. Last week he came home with this one. I had to look at it twice.

Axel got a new fun toy. He loves it! Dad had to show him how it's done. ;-)

Thanks Stephanie S. for telling me about the great Just Between Friends sale!!! I will absolutely go back for the spring sale, and maybe get rid of some stuff myself!

More nature. We were outside one evening and the yard light caught this guy just right. I've never seen it before. He's huge; about 4 inches long!

He got tired of me harassing him so slowly made his way to another flower. 

Thats it! I think I am officially caught up for the month of September! October is Down syndrome awareness month. I have never been able to meet the 31 for 21 blog challenge so this year I'm not even going to try. But I WILL try to get some Down syndrome related posts up! 


Stephanie said...

I love all the nature pics--your flowers are so pretty!

Glad you found some useful stuff at the sale--I see the drums are big hit. :)

Good luck with all the upcoming medical stuff too!

Imogen said...

Amazing speech, Leah; the reference to Hitler in the beginning really packed a punch.

Loved the pics you shared too. Abel looks so sweet and sad in his post dental pic! That boy is so darn beautiful!

*Tasha* said...

Fantastic post!! The garden is GORGEOUS. Poor Abel....I hope his upcoming surgery goes well. :(

And LOL at the connect-the-dots picture. I was like "Wha...." too =D Also, this is late but I'm excited you'll be posting more frequently in October! Always love to read about you and your AAAAs :)