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,