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.