Thursday, December 31, 2009

The best of 2009 Blog Challenge

ok - here is a photo taken the day he was born - still in the hospital and a photo taken this month. Max you are so dang cute I can't believe how grown up you are already!!!

Here is my very last minute "best of 2009 blog challenge" as presented by Gwen Bell over at

1. Best trip in 2009 - Trip to the Hospital to give birth to our baby Max Harrison Seiner! 02/04/09

2. Best Restaurant Moment - The veggie sandwich in Santa Barbara at a natural food store. It was like I had died and gone to heaven it was THAT good. I have no idea what that place was called.

3. Best Article I read - "welcome to Holland" an article written about what it's like to have a child with Down Syndrome.

4. Best book - The Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. Got me started on a few projects at home that I would have never done otherwise. One is the birthday banner I'm making now for Max's first birthday that I hope we use year after year.

5. Best Night Out - February 3rd when we went to the hospital to give birth! ( we haven't been out since! LOL!

6. Best workshop or conference - Sacramento for the National Down syndrome conference
AND Mondo Beyondo for dreaming my wildest dreams.

7. Best blog find of the year - ALL the blogs I've found by other mom's who have babies with Down syndrome.
to name a few!

8. Best moment of Peace: when I am up before Max wakes up and I watch him sleep.

9. Biggest Challenge: having a baby! Dealing with the Regional Center and the cuts that the state made for services that my baby needs.

10. Album of the year: oh dear - just one??? I think we listen to Dan Zanes all the time so I'm going with him. Although it's kids music it rocks! For adult music - I'm going with Jill Scott and Pink Martini. Sorry I just cannot pick just ONE! Our newest find in music is Anouar Brahem.

11. The Best Place: Any swing set with Max!

12. Best New Food: The french toast and omelet at the Rose Cafe in Venice Beach. Oh my god.

13. The best change we made to the place we live: Putting the prayer flags I made up outside to fly in the wind!

14. Best Rush: Giving Birth! Seeing him for the first time. When he smiled at me for the first time.

15. best Packaging: Honestly?? I really love how I package up my art to mail out to customers who buy it on my Etsy site. I get such a thrill from packaging each piece of art or journal up! So glad I used to work at Paper Source - they taught me the fine art of wrapping and ribbon.

16. Tea of the Year: EASY! This one is HoneyCup tea from Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants in Portland Oregon. Who happen to be friends of mine - but that's really besides the point. This tea is a daily habit.

17. Word or Phrase: "It's a Festivus Miracle!" and Max saying " Ba ba ba ba baaaaa "

18. Shop: Anthropologie still moves me. and ETSY!

19. Best car ride: Road trip to Santa Barbara!

20. New Person: My baby Max of COURSE!! Read all of my blog posts below for more details!

21. Project: Started my online Etsy shop, and loved the journals I made. Also started creating photography workshops for 2010. And started to make a birthday banner for Max.

22. Start up: I think I've been amazed at the Etsy shops I have found that have made a living selling their handmade goods online. Amazing.

23. Web tool: Tweet Deck! Thank you Tracey Clark!

24. Learning Experience: Mondo Beyondo. reminded me to dream and to let the energy flow!
Also the sign language class at Club 21 for Max.

25. Gift: Having a Baby!!!!!!!!!!! ( and being a stay at home mom and stay at home artist! )

26. Insight of "aha!" moment: That I CAN create the lifestyle I want. It IS possible. People WILL respond to my artwork. Miguel Ruiz was a GREAT teacher and I have not lost the things I learned from him. And that dreams don't die. The universe holds them even when I forget about them. I don't have to strive! Thank you SARK!

27. Social Web Moment: Discovered Twitter and TweetDeck.

28. Stationary: It's actually the Printmaking paper I use for my prints. It is like BUTTER! And I have no idea what it is!

29. Laugh: My husband and I have had a BUNCH of belly laughs this year over the most random ridiculous things.

30. Ad. the ad for the Mondo Beyondo Class got me thinking it was TIME TO GO FOR IT!

31. Resolution I wish I'd stuck with: I actually don't think I made any resolutions last year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Max's First Christmas and First Hanukkah

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! YES.... Max gets to celebrate both! I'm Jewish and Jerry is Catholic so Max is technically Jewish ( born from a Jewish Mother ) and raised with all of our religious holidays. And YES that might get confusing. But we are going to take it one step at a time. Our policy is that all holidays really are about love.... so we get to slather him in double the love!

Grandma Marty came to town the first weekend in December to share Christmas with Max. It was so fun to watch him with his first big pile of gifts.

And He celebrated his first Hanukkah the following week. We went to Temple the first night, and lit the candles and said the prayer. He was fascinated with the light.

We also had a mini holiday party over at Club 21. Here are all of my favorite folks ( ok some are not pictured but MOST of them are there ). It was great to see everyone before we had a break for the holidays.

My parents came up for a weekend and bought Max some Hanukkah gifts as well.
Max had his first experience in a highchair that weekend. Plus he got to meet his Cousin David and he REALLY was into him.
( I'll post photos of these things later! )

Last night we went to Temple for Chinese food and a movie. Max got to meet a lot of wonderful people who all told us how cute he is. What mom doesn't love that. Met a few who know some friends of mine ( small world ) and for some reason I felt like I fit right in there. does feel that way around other Jews even if I don't know them yet.
Jerry met a lot of people that are from Michigan, or went to the university of Chicago. A lot of things to talk about !

I just finished wrapping Max's Christmas gifts and put them under the tree and took a few photos of it. Max is still in bed. It's my first experience being Santa!

After we have our fun here - we head over to Jerry's dad's house for a Holiday Party with our extended family. More photos to follow. We do Secret Santa with them because there are SO MANY of them!

Jerry and I are excited to drive there in our new car! It literally just arrived this week. It's our gift to the family. It's a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. It's beautiful and luxurious and bigger which is the point! YAY for all of us! It was a Festivus Miracle. We are both so happy we now have the room we need for our family.

Have a Wonderful Christmas everyone. I'm grateful for all of you who read this blog, are in our lives, or know someone who has Down syndrome. Our lives are so much richer because of the love you share and support you give.
That is worth more than any of the gifts under our tree.

Catherine, Jerry and Max

Friday, December 4, 2009

Max is 10 months old today!

Here he is this morning. Crawling toward his ball on his hands and knees. That is the development from "combat crawling" to this type of crawling. He does both right now.
The hands and knees crawling is getting more and more frequent, although because we have hardwood floors we were told that it takes longer. We may be getting a rug to help with traction.

And yes - we just ordered the baby gates because he is all of a sudden crawling EVERYWHERE!



We love you so much and are having such a wonderful time with you!
You are standing and shouting out with glee, crawling on hands and knees, making your way off the foam matt and onto the floor heading toward the front door, dining room and hallway. Your interested in yarn, especially yarn I'm knitting with.. and you talk to it. Any string or yarn or ribbon you have very long drawn out chats with.
You stand up in your crib and look out over the top. Sometimes facing us and sometimes you're at the other side facing the wall, staring at the animal decals of dragonflies, monkeys and squirrels we put on the wall when you were a tiny newborn.
You seem to love being read to. Your favorite books are "brown bear brown bear what do you see?", and "the Very Hungry Caterpillar" book.
You love to say " da da da da da da da da da " and when you are upset you YELL " DA DA DA DA DA DA DA "!!!
you say a lot of other things as well but this is your favorite right now.
Right now you are eating 4 8 oz bottles of soy formula. We switched to Soy because of an upset tummy you've had for the past 2 weeks. It's better but still not back to 100% yet. We feed you banana baby food and rice cereal to try to help your tummy.

You noticed the tv this past month and I think you watched part of Top Chef!
Time to turn the tv off!

Your favorite blanket is the one that Aunt Lois gave you with the super soft material and the monkey and giraffe on it and your name sewn on it. If we know you are sleepy and having a hard time we put that blanket on you and you settle right now. You love to hold it in one hand while you suck your thumb and you love the blanket on your face.

We still put you in the Ergo but not as much these days. You're about 17 pounds now and it's getting to be a little much!

Today your Grandma Marty is coming to visit and I think we are going to put up your first Christmas tree. Next week we'll be heading to Temple for your first service near Hanukkah and we will light the candles and sing the songs. Your 10th month is all about the holidays. Soon we will teach you all about Festivus. ( it's for the rest of us )

No matter what holiday we celebrate - you are the best gift ever.

you teach us about simple abundance as we watch you joyfully play with a piece of string.

You remind me that it's not about how big our house is, or how many pairs of shoes I own. It really is about love and being present to share that with you. And that's IT.

And yes - I am grateful for the house we live in and the coolest pair of boots I own that remind me of Minneapolis. But without you these things don't mean as much.

Last night jerry and I met a friend at a 12 step meeting. It started at 7:30pm and took me an hour to get there. I had to wake you up from a nap, put you in the car seat and take you on the freeway with a bunch of angry holiday shoppers trying to get somewhere quickly. At the meeting you got hungry so I put you in the Ergo and fed you. Had to take you out of the room to burp you and to make sure you didn't disrupt the speaker who was sharing his story. We giggled outside together. I LOVED THAT.
We decided to leave the meeting early to get you home because you still aren't feeling 100%. On the drive home I was remembering how easy it used to be to just go to a meeting at night. Now it's a big production, IF it's even possible at all.
All of my night time meetings have had to change to day time ones and if you are napping we don't get to those either. My friend Andrew told me ( long before I had you ) that once you have kids you do miss the old days but you wouldn't want to go back.
Last night I remembered him saying that and thought about my life now compared to 2 years ago before I was pregnant. I was remembering how easy it was to get around to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But I would not want that if it meant you weren't in my life. My life - when I look back on it, was fine then - but now it's a rich, delicious, vibrant explosion of laughter, joy and deep happiness. I'll take the schedule issues and the spit up and dirty diaper explosions ( like we had this morning ) if it means having YOU in my life. Everything else will work itself out. I'd prefer to sit on the chair on the front porch with you and watch the poppy's stand at attention towards the sun and watch the leaves fall off the tree as the wind blows and listen to the birds and wonder what it is you are seeing. What it is you are experiencing and hold you close. I'm having fun with all of these moments and learning to be more and more present for them.

i. love. you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Max's First Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving with Max was by far my favorite Thanksgiving of all time.
The only downside was that Max has been sick all week. We had plans to go visit family but he was still sick ( ok - the details are that he had the runs - changing his diaper up to 8-10 times a day - no temp - but the Dr. says it might be contagious so we kept him home. Max didn't really notice all that much. We changed his formula to Soy on Thanksgiving day and fed him banana baby food and rice cereal to try to help the guy out. The pediatrician suggested changing from diary formula to non dairy because they can become lactose intolerant when they get sick like this. Who knew? So many friends helped us out with advice of what diaper cream is best, wipes, bathing him and giving him " diaper free time" and we've done all of it! )

Anyhow - during his first nap of the day we went on a walking tour of the Larchmont Area. We found the route from a book called "Walking L.A.". I bought this book many months ago and it's the first time we've used it. It was really wonderful. So much history in the houses, architecture etc. We past the house that was built by the woman who was the voice of Snow white, the Mayors house and a house that was 49th on the register of historic landmarks. Much more on that walk. It's a beautiful area. Lots of wide streets lined with palm trees and gigantic homes. it was a gorgeous day. Around 85 degrees, bright and sunny and peaceful. Max slept through the walk until the very end and had a few blocks to see the scenery.

We spent the rest of the day at home - being human jungle gyms for Max.
Jerry took 6-8 different videos of Max and these were 2 of my favorites.
Max is loving pulling up to stand then letting go of whatever he pulled up on and laughing and laughing.
What could be better? I think there's NOTHING better.

We had a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING as you can see!

And yes we ate turkey. We bought individual plates of thanksgiving dinner at whole foods, and bought Pretty girl ( my cat ) a can of turkey wet food. The food was REALLY good. And I didn't over indulge so no food coma today. And our cat purred and purred while she ate.

We are feeling so grateful to watch Max develop and grow. Especially as he smiles and laughs as he goes!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving....the list

waking up with husband and Max.

Ok here is the list - I posted it on my art blog as well so if you've already stopped by there - no need to be here right now! Carry on.

1. waking up every morning next to my son Max and my husband Jerry.

2. seeing Max smile before he even opens his eyes in the morning - just by singing "good morning to you" to the tune of the "happy birthday" song.

3. hearing Max breathing

4. When I stretch our my arms and hands toward Max he is leaning into them and holds onto me to be picked up. I love that he gets that cue.

5. Max's laughter

6. When Max wraps his fingers around my finger

7. When Max is upset and I pick him up and he immediately calms down and wraps himself around me in a hug.

8. Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles

9. Club 21

10. My new tribe at Club 21 and the comfort I feel when I am around them. I was meant to know them. I am so lucky.

11. Pink Martini

12. The way Jerry makes me laugh.

13. How silly Jerry and I allow ourselves to be with each other.

14. Experiencing Jerry's love no matter what I feel about myself.

15. The Monday Morning AA meeting. Love those ladies.

16. My new friends from Mondo Beyondo and staying in touch through e-mail, twitter, facebook and the artists way class.

17. Mom's Club newbees group. helping me transition into mamahood.

18. Mondo Beyondo Dreams and the amazing support of Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen to help these dreams gather their wings.

19. The Game on Diet and Krista Vernoff even though I had a love hate relationship with it - I did lose more weight and gain some new habits.

20. Jenny Craig - for helping me get my pre-pregnancy body back and get out of that post pregnancy depression from being so much bigger all of a sudden it seemed.

21. Miguel Ruiz

22. finding old Toltec friends on Facebook and having a new opportunity to connect with them in a different way and from a different place.

23. My new Garden, and my new friend Amanda for helping me figure out what to do and how to get started.

24. Whomever my instructor was in college who taught me how to carve into linoleum block and create hand pulled prints.

25. Mrs. Burke - My high school art teacher. For showing me that I had talent during a time in my life that I didn't know I had anything of value whatsoever. She saved my life.

26. Aline Smithson - for encouraging me to keep on going.

27. the 4x5 pinhole camera that Jerry gave me for my birthday. The first gift he ever gave me. It was life changing

28. Doug Beasley inspiration for a lifetime


30. Francesca Woodman

31. Portland, Oregon

32. Jasmine Pearl Tea - honey cup

33. Joe at Dynamic Therapies for the physical therapy he does with Max every Monday morning.

34. Obama

35. Pretty Girl my 16 year old cat that I got when she was 5 weeks old when I lived in Minneapolis.

36. Minneapolis, MN.

37. Minneapolis College of Art and Design

38. 22 years of sobriety. It's much better over here. MUCH better.

39. Valerie Landsburg

40. Max's health ( although he is a bit sick today ) but in general, that he has a good heart.

41. Etsy

42. Braggs Liquid Aminos my daily habit on my salads with a touch of flax oil

43. Grassroots in South Pasadena. I love those folks and the food!

44. Nancy

45. Amy

46. Joanne

47. Ron

48. Loren

49. Rafe

50. Mark

51. Kirsten and Andrew - thank goodness you changed your wedding date.

52. The game on diet support team. Patsy, Amy, Cathy, Juli, Mom, Kari, and all the others who played with us. Thank you.

53. My new hairdresser - Kim. I can now relax and know you will always make me look so good!

54. Paper Source

55. Anthropologie

56. our cozy, beautiful, little home.

57. our backyard

58. having a driveway

59. having a dishwasher

60. our washing machine and dryer.

61. Kate Spade lotion that is now discontinued but I can find on ebay. Lovely scent. thank you Nicole for letting me wear it too.

62. that Jerry and I are both photographers and support each others vision, style, way of working.

63.Earth Mama Angel Baby lotion

64. iphone

65. having a great car with great gas mileage

66. photography

67. bravo tv.

68. our bath tub, candles and bubble baths.

69. the light in the morning when I sit on the porch.

70. the surrealist painters.

71. Blogging and the bloggers that inspire me.

72. Chairs in all different sizes, shapes and styles

73. old spoons

74. Sark

75. the artists way

76. photobooths

77. road trips with jerry

78. Being able to stay home to raise baby Max and not having to work, but wanting to do something creative from home.

79. lemon, in water, on salad, over fish, you name it.

80. speedball water soluble inks

81. Light Leaks magazine

82. synchronicity

83. the headset for my phone

84. the tree out front, and trees in general!

85. Walking around the rose bowl with Max in the stroller

86. f/1.8 50 lens, nikon

87. jealousy....because in a strange way it helps me to feel what it is that I want to do next in my life.

88. Superherodesigns for being so real and so talented.

89. Marriage and baby and home and laundry...simple and profound abundance

90. hearing and feeling a really good spiritual message that changes my life in an unexpected way from an unexpected person.

91. not smoking anymore and being free from that obsession and the pain around needing it.

92. the mellow quality of my life compared to when I drank caffeine, smoked cigarettes, or did a variety of other things to escape.

93. Waking up from a dream and still feeling like I am in it. I can feel it, see it and remember it vividly most mornings.

94. Gwen Stefani, Jill Scott, Moby, Eminem, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Love and Rockets, The Cult, Justin Timberlake, Kanye and the rest of the talent I listen to when I am taking a walk.

95. U2 Achtung baby.

96. Polaroid.

97. Meeting new friends and connecting with them on a deep level. That's magic.

98. continuing to learn about love .... and practice love instead of fear. still practicing.....

99. the moment of "waking up".

100. oh the agony of the final item to add to this list! I'm going to cram a few things here: really good Mexican Food, A great nap with a nice breeze flowing, sunset, sunrise, good pillows, staying at really great pretty high end hotels, Printmaking( did I mention that already ), what I learn from others as I go along, staying connected with you from my Mac computer, my engagement and wedding rings, Pears, Tivo, starting over again and again, forgiveness, letting go, super soft blankets, kittens, vintage cameras, a great pair of boots like the ones I've had for 20 years, monoprint, wrapping paper, glitter, knowing someone so well that you don't have to even say it, the family bed, singing, finding out I was pregnant and then giving birth 8 months later to the most amazing being, being a mama, being an artist on my own terms and figuring that all out, the norton Simon Museum, Project Runway, Top Chef, baking, crafting, listening to birds chirp in the early morning. The first rain and that smell of rain on concrete, the smell of a BBQ, bacon, breakfast, watching Max see and experience something for the very first time, not having to answer to a boss, the train, Maui, Napili bay, The turtles in Hawaii, Papaya, Oprah, E!, Listening to the ocean.

Amazing how I wasn't so sure if I could come up with this many items - but there are MANY MANY MORE.

It's a great thanksgiving at our house and in my heart.

Happy thanksgiving to you.

P.S. Max's first Thanksgiving will be spent here at home as Max isn't feeling well and I don't want to expose him to our family who invited us over for a big meal. We are so happy Whole foods makes complete meals for thanksgiving! And I made pumpkin bread which we tasted tonight and is REALLY GOOD. I think even though it's hard to see Max not feel well, it's still going to be a great thanksgiving because we will all three be together.

and yes I plan to take photos and videos - so stay tuned!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Buddy Walk

Yep The buddy walk was a few weeks ago and I am just getting these posted.

Here we are with John C. McGinley from Scrubs. He has a son named...MAX (!) who is 12 years old and has Ds. John has been the top host of the buddy walk since it started. He was so nice and easy to talk with. I'm glad we got to say hello and introduce him to our son.

Max with Papa - looking adorable as usual ( yes I'm talking about BOTH of them )

His first introduction to a little pony. So adorable.

Here's our friend Jaime and his son Matthew. We met them at Club 21 and had a regular thursday night visit with them at the farmer's market in South Pasadena. he and his wife would bring their 2 kids and Jerry would meet us after work. Can't wait for the days to get longer again so we can meet up with them.

There were about 2000+ people at the buddy walk. It was pretty impressive. Loved running into all of our friends and seeing all the celebrities as well.

Here is Kylie - who I met at Club 21 and has been a regular at the play group we go to on Fridays.
Love her new glasses!

Over all the buddy walk was a lot of fun for us - mainly because we got to see our friends there and visit with their kids.
Max slept a lot - I think he was sensitive to the noise level. It's an event we will go to every year to support the cause and help create awareness that people with Down syndrome are people too! And great people at that!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This makes me Laugh

Not much to add about this!

This is pure Bliss!

Some tidbits I didn't mention last post about his development:

he is sitting on his own all the time now. (with his back straight)

He is crawling - ( combat crawling - with some evidence of "real" crawling )

He pulls himself up and holds on to things ( mostly on his parents - but in his crib we find him standing there holding on to the railing and if we pull him to a stand he laughs and laughs )

When we hold him up he will walk a few steps toward us ( with prompting )

he's eating baby food twice a day ( he loves sweet potatoes, pears, apples, doesn't love peas but will eat them )

Sleeps through the night ( yesssss! )

Babbling all the time ( da da da da da, babababaaaaa, some others as well )

laughing a lot ( see video above ! )

Takes 3 naps every day.

take the bottle 4 times a day 7:30am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm ( or some variety of that )

loves to "talk" with us as we repeat what he does ( ie: he laughs - we laugh - he laughs - we laugh, etc.back and forth )

he still loves to play his piano and JUST got a new hand drum this morning which we have video of here

He is 16.3 pounds and about 27 inches
not sure where that is on the Ds height and weight chart because the Nutritionist only had the typical charts with her.
We need to plot them out ourselves but we are busy drumming and laughing which seem MUCH more important.

his PT gave us really good feedback this week and we are still in shock by it.
We are so excited that Max is doing so well right now. Since he was born with good muscle tone and is very strong he has a bit of an advantage with sitting, crawling, standing etc.

There is a LOT more to tell you about this - and about the regional center cuts and how that is effecting Max - and what we are having to jump through to get Max what he needs,,,but honestly - I prefer to just talk about laughing and drumming! MUCH more fun yes? Honestly it hasn't effected Max at all yet - just the amount of paperwork, hoops to jump through and phone calls to make for mama and papa.

Max visited the Speech therapist on Friday - Amy Johnson from Cornerstone. She is the BEST. No seriously. There is a year long wait list to see her. She's THAT good. She had a few tips and tricks and great feedback on how he is doing right now - No, Not with speech - but with his oral motor ability which will effect speech later.

he also saw his OT feeding therapist this past week and she thinks he is doing just great.

he does have some fluid in his right ear - left over from his first ( and only ) ear infection. We are monitoring that and he went to the ENT yesterday just to double check it and there isn't any sign of infection which is good - but fluid in the ear like this can cause hearing loss. Just what we need - TWO people in our house saying "WHAT?" all the time. Yes - I'm almost completely deaf in my left ear. It's not fun for others or myself and I hope that Max's ear clears up on it's own really soon.

We will keep you posted.

I'm getting ready to merge my art blog with this blog. I've been thinking about it for a while and I just feel that because I've started to make art again and sell it online - it will be easier for people to get to know me if they learn about Max as well since he is the inspiration. And some money from each sale is donated to Club 21 which is helping Max and others with Ds. Seems to feel more aligned with my life to have it all in one place. Keeping this blog, and getting rid of the other one.
Should take place this week.

Simplicity !


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Max celebrates his 9 month birthday today

Max has his first experience on a swing today.

I think he liked it!

Max - I cannot believe you are 9 months old today!!!
How did that happen - Jerry and I were just celebrating your 6 month birthday a second ago.

I just gave a new mom all of your old smaller clothing. That was so strange for me because they told me how fast it would go but it seemed to go so slow at first and now I cannot seem to stop time long enough to just notice all the tiny changes - including the size of your feet!

You are sitting, crawling on your tummy, getting up on your knees, pulling yourself up, laughing a LOT, smiling all the time, talking and talking and talking. Studying everything around you. Noticing Pretty girl walking past you. Reaching out for me and your papa, and for your toys - especially in love with the Leap Frog Piano...I think because you can see yourself in the mirror.
You love that toy so much you hug it.

You take 3 naps a day - usually 2 hours after a feeding. You bed time right now is around midnight!
You're starting to eat baby food again after getting sick with a bad cold and having an ear infection - which lead to fluid in your left ear. You tug on it and there is nothing I can do to help and it is very hard to know that you might be in pain, and you might be having a harder time hearing. I am so sorry for that. It's painful to see you suffer even a little bit.

Your PT, OT, Infant Stim therapists and every other person who sees you is VERY IMPRESSED with all of your development just in the last month. You are reaching all the developmental milestones of a typical baby your age. This means that some People who give you therapy services are hoping that you slow down so that you don't lose those services and others think you should just get what you need. I'm basically in the camp of giving you what you need and not lumping you into some generalized generic service plan that is made for all kids with Ds. No two kids are alike. Whether they have a disability or not.
You have specific needs that others don't have and vice versa. You are unique, wonderful, perfect, amazing, adorable, genuine, joyful, playful, happy, easily soothed, you enjoy being with people and you enjoy playing with your toys by yourself as well.
I love how curious you are and how in love you are.
When you wake up and you hear me sing the morning song to you - you smile before you even open your eyes. THAT IS SO FABULOUS!!! I want to wake up smiling too. And seeing you makes that possible. You light up my everything!

Today at the park you feel asleep in my arms after your first whirl in the swing. I just love how comfortable you are in my arms and how trusting. I love holding you.

Right now you are sleeping on top of your giant Pluto Pillow from Disneyland that your cousins Stephen, Tim and Sean got for you. You love holding on to the ears and the way the soft fur feels on your skin. Your wrapped up in a soft blanket made of the same material. I can always tell when it's time for bed because your eyes get sleepy, and you like to hold on to the pluto dog, and you hold onto the blanket and suck your thumb and make the cutest "mmmmm" sound.

The past 9 months have been the best in my entire life.
You are such an amazing human being.
I am so touched that you picked us to be your parents.
My heart is bursting open just thinking about how lucky we are,
and how much I love you

Happy Birthday Max!!!!!

And - in celebration of your life I have begun a little Etsy shop to sell some of my artwork online. It's so fun to stay home with you and when you nap I make art and sell it.
I decided to take some of the proceeds from each sale and donate it to Club 21 where I take you every Friday for Playgroup for kids with Down Syndrome. My wish for you is that you continue to be able to go to Club 21 and it's a way for me to give back to a place that has been so amazing for us in so many ways.

I also changed my website around to accommodate a new frsh approach to my life and art career.
Photography workshops in Mexico and the Oregon Coast next year.
your blog listed on the website now

My feeling is that it's time to be more transparent like the artists I most admire, and to live my best life ever...right now.
Just like you do.
Thank you for inspiring me to live life to it's fullest and to dream the big dreams.
You are a dream come true.
Love you,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hotdog anyone?

Can you stand the cuteness here?? I'm dyin'!

Looks like he likes being a hotdog!

Ok Jerry wanted us to be Ketchup and Mustard for the halloween party. He made us both hats - mine was yellow - his - is here for all to see. We ran out of time to deal with the rest of the costume! But Jerry LOVES HIS HAT - if he could he would be wearing it right now!

Max went to his first halloween party hosted by my friend Jen and the Mom's Club that I've been a member of since my last month of pregnancy. Got to see all the little ones all dressed up! I had a ton of photos but not a ton of time so here are a few.

Zach is Zorro. Of course!

The cutest devil I have ever seen. He stole the club from another baby in a caveman outfit...just like a devil should!

Agnes - watch out - Max seems to be in Love with Juliet too! They had a few sweet moments at the party today.

Here are a few of us that all gather on Mondays for our playdates. nice to see them as I don't get to go very often.

Margaret the cutest monkey I've ever seen.

ok - earlier today we went to see Miguel Ruiz and his son Jose give a lecture at the LA convention Center. I hadn't seen Miguel in 7 years. It was really nice to re-connect with him and hear him again. Jerry got to meet him for the first time - and so did Max.

I loved having Jerry and Max both meet Miguel. It was such a wonderful reunion for me.
For those of you that don't know - Miguel was my teacher and I worked at his office helping run his events when I lived in San Diego. It was a magical - enlightening - amazing 5 years in my life that I am very grateful for.
Max seemed very comfortable with Miguel and Jose and I loved that Miguel spent some time with him.

The lecture was really good. And I learned some things I needed to hear.
I reconnected with some folks I haven't seen in a long time and it felt like no time had passed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Max sits up and we celebrate our 2 year anniversary

Here's a peek at what Max is doing lately.
I'm so glad I caught him sitting up on video on our 2 year wedding anniversary. Watching Max sit up is the best gift ever!
and yes his onsie says " My mama is a Hottie " And NO I didn't write that. One of the gals at the baby shower made that for him. She's one smart lady!

This morning I asked Jerry what he remembers most about our wedding day and he said the rain and the massage.
I had the same favorite memory.
All morning it rained and we went to get a couples massage that morning to start our day. our wedding was at the La Costa Resort and Spa down in San Diego and we had our massages at the Spa there. After we headed back to our room the skies parted and the sun came out about an hour before the wedding!
How perfect is that. It was the first day of rain that year. I can't wait to get back down there for another weekend sometime. I love it there. The wedding was amazing. And Jerry and I were so blessed with a gorgeous day, wonderful friends and family and a smooth wedding....

Today in Los Angeles it's the first day of rain. What a coincidence. I love days like this. So romantic.
What do we have planned you ask??

We've all been sick this week. bad colds. Max had to go to Urgent Care on Sunday morning for what we think is an ear infection. He was crying for over an hour and he is very easily soothed normally. So we knew something was wrong. he wouldn't even take his bottle. So that was just a freakish thing for us. He ALWAYS loves to eat!

He has very small ear passageways so they can't see inside really but his symptoms all point to infection so he is currently on antibiotics. He hasn't had that crying jag since. Knock on wood. I went to whole foods today and purchased some Baby-dolphilus which is positive flora that we will give him after his antibiotics. Since we all know antibiotics kill the bad and the good bacteria in the body so this will introduce the "friendly " bacteria back in to his system.
Thank you Claire for the tip on this!

I don't think I've ever had so much decaf herbal teas in my life! 2 liters or more per day. And this I know for sure because I'm still playing the Game on Diet and we have to drink 2 liters of water a day.
This is the 3rd round I've played and I LOVE IT! By the way - our RED TEAM is going to WIN!

ok - must go hold Max - mainly because there's nothing more rewarding than holding him and watching him look up at me and smile the biggest smile I've ever seen. This computer doesn't smile at me that way - otherwise I'd stay here and chat more with you all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cardiologist Appointment

Yesterday Max had an appointment with his Cardiologist.
It was a re-check on the hole in his heart that they found just after his birth.
The hole was smallish and they wanted to make sure it closed on it's own which is what happens with most babies. ( all babies are born with a small hole in the heart - however a LOT of babies with Ds are born with larger holes - or multiple holes that requires heart surgery pretty early on in their life.

So Max got hooked up to all of these wires - and he didn't mind at all - in fact he was talking away with the Nurse - and then staring at his foot. He barely noticed. I was laughing in happiness that he was doing well through it and just hanging out.

then we went to another room with the dr. and he did an ultrasound on his chest which Max drank from his bottle.
We could watch on the screen and see his heart and the tiny hole that was still there - but much smaller.

The dr. said that it's nothing they would ever do anything about. And the hole will not get bigger.
He also said that if we moved away from all medical facilities - he would be fine for the next 315 years!
We laughed at that comment and I was SO relieved.

I had seen so many photos and heard stories of my friends children who needed heart surgery - and while Max would probably be fine if not great - I would have been a complete wreck. I can't imagine it - and I feel grateful that he is doing well.

Phew......deep sigh,,,,,,,,long deep breath........

Sunday, October 4, 2009

8 months old today....!!!!

Laughing with Max on his 8 month birthday

Marty - Jerry's mom was here this weekend. She got a chance to see Max crawling, eat baby food from a spoon, babble, laugh out loud, and start his journey toward sitting up. yesterday we went to the Zoo for an all day adventure. Then to the Americana for lunch at Frida and crumbs bakery for a cupcake.

The guys wore matching Orange sweatshirts out to breakfast at Home restaurant in Los Feliz

Then off to the Kidspace Museum for the 14th annual Pumpkin Festival

We ran into Kevin, Brooke, Tom, And their kids which was so fun - and of course I had to try my hand at a group photo

Here's Kevin and Coco

Brooke's new baby Blake who is one week old!

Hanging out at home with the family

I think I would call this Bliss!

Happy Birthday Max!
We are so happy you are with us - doing well, enjoying your life, learning, growing, teaching us about love and being in the moment and taking time to just "be".
Right now you are doing Physical Therapy 1 time per week with Joe from Dynamic Therapies and you do well with him until you feel like it's nap time. He told us last time he was here that he sees improvement every time he sees you and he predicts you will be sitting by Thanksgiving!
You also do infant Stimulation 1 day per week with Talar from Pasadena Child Development. We haven't seen her in a while. She usually watches as you and I play. And she tells us how amazing you are doing and we laugh as we watch you do amazing things.
You also see an OT feeding Specialist once a month named Julie. She came to the house and watched me feed you sweet potato baby food. It was so fun. She says you are doing great as well.
Who doesn't love having 3 specialists say positive things about you?!!
Of course we already know all of this - but we love positive reinforcement.
Your favorite toys right now are the LeapFrog Piano which you crawl over to and play and stare at your image in the mirror and have the most amazing facial expressions while you are playing and looking. It kills me.
You also love the racoon puppet we got you at the zoo yesterday and we notice that you love to sleep next to it holding onto it or sleeping on it like a pillow. You also love the gigantic Pluto the disney character dog pillow that your cousins Stephen, Tim and Sean gave you when they came to visit a few months ago. We have it near you when it's time for bed and you hold onto the ears and tail and you feel the soft fabric with your hands as you start to fall asleep. You love the knitted donuts that Gretchen and sean halley gave you, and you love the glow starfish that plays music for you in your crib.
You still prefer to be on your tummy, and you love being with mom and dad at night rather than alone in your crib.
You LOVE to snuggle and you make the cutest little "mmmmmmm" noise when you are starting to get sleepy.
You love grabbing my nose and pulling with your very strong hand and your little nails sometimes dig into my skin. You love to put your hands in our mouth - it makes you laugh, and you want to pull off papa's glasses. You also love to get your hands on my hair and pull - which is why my hair has been in a ponytail for the past 8 months.
You still love the Ergo carrier and you don't mind the carseat at all. You are easily calmed down if you get upset or sad with just a hug and a smile... you seem to remember that all is well in the world. Your adorable high top socks are hardly fitting you anymore - and the 6 month clothing is a little big and the 3 month clothing is too tight. You've been going to 3 meetings a week with me during the afternoons, and those women ADORE you. You are getting more and more used to the noises in those rooms, the clapping and laughing. At first it made you cry and now you sleep right though it. I'm always proud to have you with me. You love the end when we all stand in a circle and hold hands and say a prayer as a group outloud- you look up at me from the Ergo and smile so big it makes me smile back which makes all the other women smile too.
We still go around the rose bowl together almost every day. Usually near sunset and you sleep while I try to burn calories.
It's getting colder and darker sooner so I am not sure how much longer we will do that this year but we will get back as soon as the weather permits.
You are sleeping from about 11pm until we wake you up at 7am and let me tell you - you do not feel like getting up.
You raise your head up and look at me - staring blankly at me for a minute while I smile as you and sing the good morning song ( to the tune of the happy birthday song )
good morning to you good morning to you good morning dear Maaaax good morning to you.
Your papa and I sing that to you while you figure out where you are and then you Smile so big it makes us both laugh with happiness.
What else can I tell you about yourself at 8 months old??
Shall we talk about poop? Do those folks out there REALLY want to know?
noooooo. I'll keep that to myself.
Well I guess if I'm going to keep that to myself - than I will end this letter to you by telling you that you are the brightest light I have ever known - seen or felt. Thank you for bringing your brightness into my world. Into our world. I love you so so so so so much and every day is a joy with you in it. I cannot wait for the next time I get to hold you, see you smile up at me, snuggle, read to you, laugh with you , play with you, talk with you, learn with you, grow with you.
Thank you Max and Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First baby food and Jerry's Birthday

Found a bib that said "top tomato" even though it's bigger than he is of course I had to get it!

He had his first baby food last week. sweet potato. I do HATE HATE HATE those photos people take of their babies with food all over their faces. I don't see the cuteness in that AT ALL. just makes me want to delete the photo. And guess what I have here!
yep - the before and after photos from his feeding. And THAT will be the LAST time I take a photo of him with food all over his face. Luckily it isn't that horrible and gross. I was impressed with how much of it landed on the bib instead of in his mouth.

He got a bit of a rash on his left side - his face - elbow - and knee - so we stopped feeding him the sweet potato and the rash went away.
This week we are trying out peas. So far no rash and he is getting better and better at eating with the spoon. It's so fun to watch! yes - there is a video of Jerry feeding Max that I will post when I have more time.



here is a photo I took of Max on Jerry's birthday. I figure it's probably the best present I can give Jerry while he is working late on his birthday! - a photo of his son radiating joy and glee from every cell of his body!
Happy Birthday Jerry!
Max and I went to Jerry's work to surprise him with 2 dozen mini cupcakes to share with his working late workmates.
I hear they were all gone by the next day. Hope the sugar rush made the hours fly by!

yesterday I took this photo at the same place and time I took the smiling photo - at the Rose Bowl just as I was getting ready for my daily 3 miles walk. He was PASSED OUT. I love this photo too.

that's all for today I must run to go take Max to a meeting with me.
Hopefully he will sleep through it but if not I bet there will be women at the meeting who will love to hold him. It's been nice to get to regular meetings each week and get to know people and have them learn about and meet Max. Lots of love in those rooms. I am very grateful for that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

someone is starting to crawl

his own version of crawling
this video was taken today

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Catching up!

We had a lot of events going on in the last few are a few tidbits to keep you up to date:

This past Sunday Jerry's extended family gathered to celebrate Jerry's dad ( Jerry Sr. ) moving to LA. Yep That's him standing next to Jerry Jr. Can you see the resemblance??
We are excited to have more time with him, his wife Shari and Jerry's half brother Jimmy - and that Max will get more time with all of them! We always love spending time with this crowd! They are a hoot! And they all want time holding Max - so we pass him around.

Went to a DSALA new parents BBQ on Saturday night. Met a lot of people - and their ADORABLE children.
But I was mostly mesmerized by my own son and how sweet he is with his papa. Glad I had my camera to catch these moments.

Totally killing me those two.

The previous weekend Max had his Second date with is girlfriend Agnes. They really do like each other. he always stares at her and wants to hold hands with her. I love watching them. Plus we love spending time with her parents - had steaks out on the grill in our backyard. It was a perfect summer evening.

ok - not the best picture of me ( or my hair ) but I just love that Max feels comfortable enough to just lay his face against mine. He does it all the time and I just melt every time.

My parents went to Club 21 a month ago ( yep - these are old photos )
and they Met Nancy Littekin who is pretty much the head of Club 21. I LOVE HER. ( I think I mentioned that already on another post - but seriously you must meet her - you will love her too. )
My mom is on the left and Nancy is on the right. And Yes I love my mama too!

There's my handsome papa playing with Max. He ( my dad ) always lights up when he is with Max. I love watching the two of them together.

Here is my mama - holding Max - when we stayed down in San Diego during the Big "Station Fire" a few weeks ago.
This was a precious moment. Max is obviously comfy with Grandma.
Glad we could leave LA and head for their house. It was a wonderful week away from the smoke.
I think Max got a kick out of all the attention, the fresh air, the scenery there and the change of pace.