It’s odd to me that even though it is super easy to lure Kait is over here (food) I never can seem to get her in a picture with the younger three girls.

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I’ve also realized that I take way more pictures of Lanie than I do anybody else.  I think that is partly because she’s the baby and we’ve always had more pictures of the babies than the older kids, and partly because of her rough start and me not wanting to take any moment for granted.

And any pictures I do take of the older kids quite often involve them holding Lanie.

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Because I love how they love her.

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And I want to keep these moments forever.

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Because they are so, so good.

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If only I could stop and really live in every moment.

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Somebody get me a pause button. Quick.

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Filed under: baby wears glassesBoysDown syndromeFriends & FamilyGirlsGod is.Lanie

My dad had this mug made for me 22 years ago when my oldest child was just a baby.

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It’s lasted through many military moves and 100’s of cups of coffee and many kids drinking hot cocoa. The picture on the mug of Kait at less than a day old has faded but that child has grown and flourished and is now well into adulthood and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my daughter.

At 22 she’s managed to wrangle herself a training job at NFCU, teaching employees how to do mortgages and helping them keep up with the ever change laws and regulations.  She has her own place and a dog and a cat and a guy who is over here all the time because he is very serious about her.

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She loves her family and even though she doesn’t live here with us anymore she manages to visit us numerous times each week and spends every Sunday hanging out with us even when there is no football game to watch and that is really saying something.

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I’ve always said that Kait and I have our differences but the further into adulthood she gets, the more we talk openly with each other, the more I realize that we are quite similar and our differences aren’t really all that big or numerous.

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She is delightful and funny and has such a child-like silliness that keeps us all smiling.

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And she knows how to have fun and helps us to not take ourselves so seriously all the time.

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Just being around her makes me spew coffee out of my nose.

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And being her mom has made me a better person.

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I could go on and on about this girl but Lanie is getting hungry so I’ve got to abruptly stop writing and get this blog post up because if I don’t publish it right away I’ll forget about it and it will get lost.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilyGirlsGod is.Kait

I have thought about it so much lately, how I so suddenly put blogging on the back burner 4 years ago after many years of blogging almost daily.  I still can’t put my finger on why I did that and, try as I have, I haven’t been able to figure out how to make it a part of my daily life again.

I’m not sure what I want to say right now but there really is so much to write and I feel an incredible urge lately to return to this place where I have archived so many memories, this place my kids love to come and read about our family’s life and they laugh at themselves and talk about how much they have grown.

This place that has been quiet far too long.  It’s time to wake it back up.

For today I’m going to post pictures.

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You can probably tell from the new header that somebody got into the paint recently.

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Guess who.  I’ll give you a hint.

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Yeah. It was all of us.

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In November my friend Marty did a family painting photo session with us and it was hilarious and needs to be written about in detail because apparently when it comes to family pictures I’m Claire Dunphy.

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And Kait is whatever character pays good money for the supplies and special lens needed (it was a very cool gift from her) and then totally forgets about the whole thing until her dad calls her asking where she is and she jumps out of bed where she was watching a show, runs out the door, and STILL shows up looking amazing.

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I think this one is where Kait is telling the boys that they’d better not get any paint on her.

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All Maggie wanted to do was paint the canvas purple.

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She did not understand why we were putting paint on each other.

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But Lanie absolutely did not want to paint the canvas.

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As a matter of fact, this paint session was not her most favorite activity ever.

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While she wasn’t her most cheerful, Lanie did give us a few good smiles.

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We had a great time but I do regret not thinking it through a bit more. Like not have a ladder in the background and maybe moving the little trampoline out of sight.

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The important thing was that we had a terrific time, made a fun memory, and ended up with some really great pictures.

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And some really awesome family art.


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Filed under: FloridaFriends & Family

Perfect Chaos.

I think my perfect sleep hours would be 9:30 pm to 5:00 am. I’d sleep undisturbed and wake feeling completely rested and ready for a new day.
I would get up while the house was still quiet and actually drink an entire cup of coffee without having to reheat it 4 times and write a complete blog post and update my bullet journal.
I imagine I’d have thoughts. Real, uninterrupted thoughts. The kind of thoughts that adults have when they’re adulting. Thoughts about the meaning of life and foreign heads of state and who on earth invented algebra because I’d like to have a talk with them.

At around 7:30 my kids would one-by-one begin to make their way out of their rooms. We’d talk about dreams while we eat bacon for breakfast and then get our day started.

Reality, however, has 10-month-old Lanie falling asleep after midnight and waking up between 8 or 9 so when I get up for the day chaos has already set in.

Maggie is wearing her tights as pants and her shirt is on inside out and backwards and she is trying to get the last bit of oatmeal powder out of a used oatmeal packet she found in the trash can. Then I step in a half-wiped up orange juice spill while trying to clean a glob of something off the front of the dishwasher because my teenage sons started a ninja fight while making some breakfast. And while attempting to get the morning sorted out I misplace my fresh cup of delicious hot coffee which totally defeats the purpose of brewing it in the first place and who on earth thought it was a good idea to put a pull up in the washing machine?

And I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

But then.
The boys argue over who gets to hold Lanie first and she is all smiles with them fawning all over her and my heart melts at how much they love her. Lucy reminds me again how much she missed me all night while she was sleeping and Maggie says the blessing and she thanks God that Joe (her oldest brother) gets to come visit so often (he lives here) and somebody finds my coffee in the microwave because I had forgotten that I had reheated it just as Joe walks in from his early morning shift at the coffee shop with a white chocolate mocha all for me.

And we all laugh.

And I’m reminded that in the chaos, life is so good. So worth all of the sticky and smelly and accidentally washed pull ups.

Once my kids put an entire package of bacon in the pantry instead of the fridge and we didn’t find it for days and had to throw the whole thing out and I think if we could make it through that, we can make it through anything.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilyGod is.

Lanie has been learning our weaknesses and then using them against us to get whatever she wants.

The boo-boo lip is killing me. It’s equal parts adorable and heartbreaking and each time she does it I reach for my camera and immediately feel the sting of guilt and give in to picking her up for a snuggle, which is what she usually wants. How can I say no to that and why would I even want to.

Seriously, who can resist this face?

She really is a happy baby the majority of the time.

Except for when she’s at therapy.  She’s always ticked off about therapy.

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Filed under: Down syndromeLanie

28 degrees this morning. 20 freaking 8 degrees.

Being a military family, we’ve been stationed all over the United States. We’ve lived on both coasts, in the northwest, the southeast, New England (GO PATS!), and now we’re in northwest Florida. We’ve lived in Florida for 8 1/2 years now and this is the only place half of my children remember as being home so even though I’ve done my fair share of shoveling snow-covered driveways, starting the car to defrost a half hour before we have to go anywhere, thawing the tiny fingers and toes of children while they sip crock-pot cocoa, saying no for the tenth time to the 4 year old who is begging to go outside to make tunnels and snow forts even though he’s wearing a full leg cast after breaking his leg sledding, most of my kids have spent the bulk of their lifetimes living it up in sunny beach weather.

So I wasn’t surprised when Sam came running inside this morning with some sheets of glassy ice, completely amazed that everything had frozen overnight.

Mom, look! This is amazing!

There was one piece where there was a bee frozen inside but it broke and the bee was no longer encased before we could get a picture. Lucy(5) came back inside after about 2 minutes ripping her fuzzy gray jacket off proclaiming with irritation, this jacket is NOT KEEPING ME WARM!
I replied with, You might want to think about wearing shoes if you plan to go back outside.
Because she was barefoot. 

And Maggie(3) wore her warm boots like she was told and promptly lost them somewhere out in the backyard.

My kids definitely don’t know how to do winter.

In related news, it snowed briefly last night somewhere in our town. Joe saw the heavy flurries while he was at the gym but we didn’t see anything here at the house.

The frigid temps aren’t here for long, though. It should be back up in the 70’s by the end of the week and I am definitely looking forward to that.

 

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Filed under: FloridaLucyMaggieSomething Sam Said

It’s handy to have a handy husband.

We have a a cold. It started in Christmas day and has kept hold of us this whole week. I’m the one that’s had it the worst worst so far but Ben and Matthew have been feeling pretty crummy too.

Rabbit, on the other hand, hasn’t even gotten a single sniffle (yet) and spent the entire weekend, while I was sitting around being fussy, doing this:

He had ripped out a cracked and well worn plastic shower stall, repaired the wall where moisture had caused some nasty rot, and created an awesome corner shower in the girls’ bedroom because he’s super awesome like that.  Grout, paint, and some new hardware and the bathroom will be ready for decorating.  The girls are thinking purple, pink, ponies, and glitter. 

It was a really big job and it’s almost finished. Yay!

I married very well.  

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Happy new year, everybody!

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Progress.  

Lanie’s trying her hand at forward moving the last couple of days. She’s still got a a long way to go but she is unbelievably happy about it all.

And I am well aware that I didn’t do much posting about adoption last month.  Things got wild and there was shopping and the best of friends and turkey and there were a lot of words that I wanted to write but my brain got in the way.

My return to blogging was furious but my regularity didn’t last very long.  I’m still hoping to get back into a consistent rhythm. There is so much life happening that I want to document. 

And in case I don’t write again in the next two days, Merry Christmas everybody.  

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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