I remember with the older two kids, being anxious, and not being able to sleep the night before the first day of school.   I think I was more excited for them than they were!
With Mayson, its a little different type of anxiety  This year is soooo different from last year.   thing she has the same is her Speech Pathologist ----who we love! 
Everything else is different:

* New homeroom teacher

* Class room located in different wing of the school

* Riding new bus-Reg bus instead of Special needs bus

* Moved up to level 1 from level 2 for pull outs which
   also means new special ed teacher and room.

* New Para - Aide

Now none of this bothered me until about 2 weeks ago.  The more I thought about it the more I worried.   My little girl had no idea what to do on a regular bus, where her new classroom was, who her new teachers were... She was going to be soooo confused!  While the changes were what she needs to be independent, was I setting her up to fail? 

Well today this happened....






The bus went great!  Thanks to the help of her friends Molly and Emily.  They made sure she got on the bus ok and sat with them.  Mayson was beyond excited!

About an hour after school started I got a nice phone call from her teacher saying the morning went great!  She was sitting at her first grade desk working and doing fine! 
Her daily report that comes home everyday was great.  She had a awesome day!!!!

WHAT A RELIEF!!!


So, we will prepare for day two and hope for the best.  I think I really have nothing to be worried about.  That sweet girl always seems to prove me wrong!

Now, if I could just get her to go to sleep at a decent time!!!!


                                  Happy back to school days everyone!!!






date Wednesday, August 21, 2013


In Iowa, when a child is born with Down Syndrome, they can receive services through our local AEA agency.  They started coming for Mayson when she was  4 weeks old doing physical therapy.   Eventually, we added a education therapy and speech.  They came to our house and we became great friends:)

It all changes when your child turns 3.  You lose those services and you are to get them from the AEA within your school district.  When Mayson turned 3 in Februaury, they wanted her to start that week--4 days a week and ALL DAY.  Oh, and they wanted us to put our 20 lbs--3 year old on a bus with strangers.   Yeah, None of that happened.

That August, we placed Mayson in preschool within our school district, 2 days a week, and just for half days.  She seemed to love it.  She was already a very social child but knew she could benefit from more interactive play.  Preschool there was for socializing and interacting with other kids, following directions, singing songs, coloring and having fun!  It was a full inclusion program which was great for Mayson.  But since Mayson wasn't in the program full time she did not get full time services.  She only got speech in a group setting once a week and that was all they offered her at the time.  We also were told by the head teacher that Mayson would probably never follow a routine or directions.  That really STUNG.  We already knew our girl could follow directions and she was huge on routine!  Obviously, this teacher wasn't giving her the benefit of the doubt nor did she truly knew what our girl was capable of.

So, after Christmas break we moved her to a new preschool in a different elementary building, but within our school district. We loved our school district and they were known for inclusion and their resources.  Mayson adapted right away to her new environment. And her new teacher embraced her and worked with her.  She did what all teachers should do.

Now that Mayson is going into first grade, we are so thankful for that teacher that embraced her, let her be and individual, a friend to others. Mayson is now at reading level with her peers, is in her class room all day except for pull outs for math, reading and speech.  She is learning Spanish, Art, Music and goes to P.E. with the rest of her class...all because that teacher GOT IT!









That's where this poster falls into place.  I sent Mayson's picture into the IDSC picture campaign.  And WOW....  it went viral.  I took a chance knowing there maybe some upset teachers in the background.   But to me, it was more important to get the message out there.  Especially to the new parents that are just beginning their education journey. Don't be afraid to advocate for your child and remember to love those teachers... Most will love your child right back...they are a gift and your child will do amazing things because of them!

You can now buy Mayson's poster HERE  Get it and spread the message!!!


date Sunday, August 11, 2013

On March 21st we will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.  This day always lands on the 21st due to the date 3-21.   This correlates with Down Syndrome and the trisomy of the 21st chromosome!
Down Syndrome is apart of our life now.  Not that it never was, since  Cousin Shelly too has Down Syndrome. Its always been apart of my life.  But in a different way. I was the cousin and now I am the PARENT....... I am now responsible for advocating and making this girl of mine the best she can be.
I am so lucky to have Shelly as my cousin.   He is such an inspiration.  His love for God is overflowing and is infectious.  He lives on his own, has a job, rides his bike EVERYWHERE, fights illness like a bulldog, and is gentle and kind.  My memories of having sleep overs with him, playing at Grandma and Grampa's farm, swimming in the pool, birthday parties, easter egg hunts and playing house is something I treasure.  Not just anyone gets to be as lucky as me to have an opportunity to grow up with someone with Down Syndrome before you have your own child with Down Syndrome.  He lead the path for me......

Shelly age 5 in the back of my mom and dads truck!




Shelly at my first birthday party ha!

Shelly and Mayson

Shelly and I
OH and the friends I have met...  Amazing friends that have become like family.  My second family.  How lucky am I to have TWO loving families to be apart of?  Not everyone gets that either!

Mayson and her friend Bella.
Just a small portion of my second family-IDSC get together

 My girl has amazed me in so many ways.  I just stare at her each night while I put her to bed and try to take as much of her in as I can.  I wish there was more of her in me and in all of us really...

So Today I am CELEBRATING LIFE....PRECIOUS LIFE... Ones that I am so lucky to have been blessed with.  Some people get it, and some don't.  The ones that dont, well, they are missing out BIG TIME!

I will leave you with this Video.... Happy World Down Syndrome Day!


date Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All Jayden does is eat, sleep,and poop fishing.....here are his catches from the last two days... Fish fry anyone?????

date Sunday, March 10, 2013

This month has been a month full of Down Syndrome for me.... in a good way.  I think a lot of people think of Down Sydnrome with a negative perception so I wanted to make sure you all knew for me, its positive!

This month started out with a family get away at the Wisconsin Dells to see our IDSC family.  The International Down Syndrome Coalition has become a big part of our Down Syndrome Journey.  They believe all life is precious!  Remember this picture of our Mayson??   The IDSC posted this and this thing went VIRAL.....what a great way to advocate !!!



I was lucky enough to be a IDSC coordinator for the event. What a wonderful experience getting to meet so many great families that share the same special tie...  Cant wait for next year!

March 6th was a big day for us as well.   The day to SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD!  Our family is asking everyone to go HERE and pledge that you are DONE using that nasty nasty word! Our little Mayson understands way more than you think.   NO MATTER HOW YOU USE THE WORD, she will get it....she will understand the meaning.....it will hurt her.  So just don't use it and go pledge!


On March 21st we will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.  This day always lands on the 21st due to the date 3-21.   This correlates with Down Syndrome and the trisomy of the 21st chromosome! Just a great day to celebrate that we have Mayson and cousin Shelly in our lives!  Not everyone is as lucky as us to be doubly blessed as we are!

What will you do to help celebrate and advocate ?  

date Thursday, March 07, 2013