Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spread the Word to End the Word

Today, March 6th, is a HUGE, EXTRAVAGANT, TREMENDOUS, MASSIVE, and MAGNIFICENT day for individuals with disABILITIES! All around the state of Delaware, assemblies and banner signings were happening!

My sister and friend, Amy, were invited to speak at several local high schools and shared their story this past week. My sister ranted and raved about how honored she was and how wonderful all the students were!

Then today I started my shadowing journey. I'm enrolled in a class where I am partnered with an adult with a disability and mentor him/her through this semester. This is new to me as all my past experiences have been with elementary aged children. Today I met with 3 people- 2 being coaches I was shadowing and their student. Let me just share, this particular student had some significant speech impairments and my worst fear is not being able to understand. Well today, I somewhat surpassed that fear as I quickly caught onto her speech.

Half way through the session, we made our way to the dining hall to sign the Spread the Word to End the Word banner and convince some people to join in. By the end of the session, I was off with the student working 1:1 asking others to come sign the banner! Let me just tell you, this hour of experience was so rewarding and again, reassured myself I chose the right major. I LOVE MY JOB!

Here's some pictures of the past weeks speaking engagements and todays fun!!

This years posters that were displayed around the state of Delaware! 

Best Buddies program at a local high school!
*Photo compliments of Shawn*

Shawn, Amy and Kayla signing one of many banners!
*Photo compliments of Special Olympics Delaware: Project Unify*

The fabulous four!
*Photo compliments of Laura*

Students from a local high school chatting it up with Natalie
*Photo compliments of Shawn*

Giving their speech!
*Photo compliments of Special Olympics Delaware: Project Unify*

Student from a local Ursuline High School and Natalie
*Photo compliments of Rick and Amy*

Group from Ursuline High School with Natalie and Kayla
*Photo compliments of Rick and Amy*

Reminder #1: The r-word hurts, a lot. I know I'm guilty of using it, but I pledged to take it out of my vocabulary. Look at all these others words you could use. 

Reminder #2: If you were unable to sign a banner, you may pledge online here!

Reminder #3: Don't forget the next big date this month... 3.21 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Buddy Walk: Celebrating 10 years!

The DSA of Delaware is celebrating 10 years this May...

*Photo from*
10 years of a yearly gathering "to promote the understanding, inclusion and acceptance of people with Down syndrome" at the University of Delaware Athletic Complex! 

We would be oh so grateful if you would join our team Sunday, May 19th from 11 am to 3pm to show your support for Natalie! She's accomplished so many things this past year and come so far! 

Last year we had 43 people walk in Natalie's honor and we surely had a blast! Last year, our team raised $2732.03! And last year the DSA raised $103,347.01! 

This year, we want to surpass that! It was a goal we set at the end of the day last year and since Natalie has exceeded so many of her goals, it would only be right if we gave back to her! 

Here's a little recap of last years fun! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Summer was coming to an end. :( School supplies were everywhere, school buses testing their routes, and teachers going in to prepare. As much as I love the summer and notorious beach trips, school starting means fall is coming. Fall I love more than any other season. Mom and I had a the girls for the day and were debating whether or not to go to the beach. It was my last day of summer vacation so of course we had to go to the beach! I needed to soak up every last sun ray to get a wonderful golden tan!

This was my first trip to the beach with the girls this summer. I've never got to experience Natalie and the sand. Some children with DS either love or hate the sand. Take my cousin Kyle for example, he hates the sand. So I was curious about Natalie. Turns out she is okay with it getting everywhere. I on the other hand, did not want her to even touch me being that sandy. As I've grown older, the sand and I have grown a love hate relationship. Love it because it means I'm at the beach, hate it because it sticks to me. Oh well, I'll learn to deal!

Hannah sometimes has difficulty remembering Natalie is just a baby and we can't really punish her when she oh maybe can bend her leg that it's sitting on Hannah in the car seat. It usually drives Hannah nuts, but something was different about that day. On the ride down there, the girls were getting along better than ever! They must have known they had to be good little girls or we would turn around. Hannah was laughing and smiling and sending her happiness to her sister. Natalie would laugh and clap, oh how much Natalie adores her sister! It melts my heart.

Look at these smiles, I know it makes you smile!

Sometimes I focus some much of my time behind the lens, I forget to add in myself to the photo. But that day was a must. I needed an updated picture of me and my girls! 

In previous summers, Hannah did not exactly like the water. She enjoys splashing but I think the crushing of the waves scares her. I honestly did not think she would want to get in the water, just you know, have me run up and down a million times to fill up the bucket. Well sister proved me wrong. She got in the water and enjoyed it. But as soon as we got out, she was playing in the sand having a ball!

When I'm on the beach, I'm immediately hungry! I don't know why and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one but I have my favorite beach food; cherry water ice and a pretzel. Well they didn't have pretzels this time, but there was water ice. I of course, had to share. Not with one child but with both!

The end result...ruby red lips and tongues!

We got some over the should shots!

And this beauty!

And I can't forget this one as well!

Oh and there's this beauty too!

Can you say LOVE?! 
We went to the board walk for some dinner! And that's not what happened! We ended up getting some delicious Thrashers (mommy was jealous) and Natalie was diggin' it! If you didn't feed her fast enough, she would whine!

By the end of the day, they fell asleep...within five minutes of driving! I'd say it was a great day! 

Hope everyone has enjoyed back to school time! Hannah goes back next Friday! See you then!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Catch Up

It's the end of the summer and we've been busy! Trying to cram in as much fun as possible before school starts, insert sad face :( I feel like I haven't been around much between dinners with friends who have returned and baby/house sitting in Maryland. 

Home Sweet Home
But the day I finally was back in my own house and would sleep in my own bed, I spent the day with my mama and the girls. Let me tell you, as much as my mom might get on my nerves, I missed her a lot.

Right as I got home Sunday, my mom was already out with the girls shopping! So I joined.

They got along so well in the back! I was shocked! 
 We were hitting up Main Street in Newark for the dollar store. And I may have convinced mom to go to Klondike Kate's for lunch, I mean hey, kids eat free! We sat on the patio and Natalie made music with the table. She was so proud of herself and I think she enjoyed the vibration!

Look at the expression!! So happy!

Making music! 
 Hannah got to color YoUDee, it made her happy!

And you want to know something? Menus make for great letter recognition. She was pointing out all the H's and B's. Those are her two favorite letters! H for Hannah and B for Bear!

The Box
Uncle Gary recently bought a big, shiny red tool box. My creative self decided lets bring the box home for the girls to play with. I remember being entertained years ago with a box. Hannah enjoys coloring and stickers, so what did I do? I gave the girl stickers and markers and let her go to town! One evening the house came outside with us and Natalie was amazed. She would play hide and go seek or pretend to color.

There was a surprise birthday party for our family member Chris! It was a great time! The kids even got to go in the pool, which of course both girls absolutely love! The evening was winding down and we all sat inside the smallest area on the steps landing to talk. Natalie seems to have made a call and to who, well I'm not sure!

We're cute :)

I believe I had too much fun that Dr. Hannah needed to take my blood pressure! No worries, it was at a normal level ;)
One on One
I convinced Shawn to let me take Hannah one night for dinner and ice cream at the UD Creamery. I love my time I get with her, creating memories and all the good stuff :) 

We went to dinner at Klondike Kate's and she got to color! 

 Dessert at the Creamery! Even though she gets her own ice cream. she still insists on eating mine!

What turned into a normal game of 'hide from pops'...

Really turned into her falling asleep!

She's a bed hog I tell you...smack dab in the middle of the bed. And that night, she even hit me in the face! While sleeping of course! 

As soon as she's up she asks, "You turn on Cinrella?" How could I not with a precious question like that?" Well let me tell you how I couldn't. The power went out! Luckily Auntie Kell has awesome movies on her laptop so we watched Despicable Me!

Shawn and Natalie were at PT and Shawn had one request: WARE HER RAGGED! So I attempted. We went to the park, visited CleanPRO, and washed my car! 

We arrived at the park and got out of the car. Hannah knows she must hold a hand in the parking lot, but as soon as her foot hit that play ground side walk girl took off power walking! 

I cannot help but to laugh! 
We got home and I decided my car needed a wash and vacuum before school starts. Hannah was of course excited, I mean she would be allowed to play in the water on a hot summers day! She helped me get all the supplies, water down the car, and scrub. She's decent except does not follow directions well. I would point to a place to scrub, she would for a second, and then go rescrub a previous area! Oh well! When I got out the vacuum, she was uninterested so I gave her my phone to play with. She sat in the grass and this is what I found later...
A nice clear pic of bear! 

The side of my house! 
The grass and her foot
And me vacuuming! 
She was however interested when I was using the Windex. She would spray the paper towel and hand it to me. At one point she said, "This is so sparkly! We go clean my house, it dirty!" As I'm sure you could guess, Shawn's jaw dropped when I told her that! 

I'll End With LOVE
The love they share with each other, that sister bond, melts my heart!