Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good Night 2015!

Good night 2015! It's been a great one. 
From Porter starting to walk, to welcoming Paxton, to Penny starting kindergarten, it's been quite a year. Watching their sibling relationships develop has been my favorite part of the year. Watching Penny and Porter playing games and doing shows makes my heart so full and happy. Seeing them with Paxton is a joy! Three new cousins joined our families this year and we've had fun seeing the babies grow. Once again, our family and friends surrounded us during Buddy Walk- with extra special appearances from all of Porter's grandparents, aunts and cousins and most of his uncles too. You have no idea what your support means to us! Thank you for being part of our team! 
These three inspire me to want to be better. So in 2016, I want to choose happy. I want to run more miles, drink more wine, disconnect more, make more time for friends. I want to let my kids be kids and help them explore their world. I want adventure. I want them to dream big! I want to say thank you more and I'm sorry less. I want to love harder. 
Good night 2015! Thanks for the amazing memories! Can't wait to see where 2016 takes us. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

Our December has looked a little more like fall fun and a little less like a winter wonderland. We've had temps in the 60's and even a rare day in the 70's this month. We've had a few cold days in between, just to keep everyone on their toes. We've been thankful for time spent outside.
Luckily, we've had some fun events that have helped us  into the Christmas spirit with our friends and family. Earlier this month, we spent some time with our friends from the MCDISG, at the annual Breakfast with Santa. I remember Porter's first MCDSIG Breakfast event. I was so nervous! Little did I know that the people who filled that room would become such great friends and advisers. 
Aunt Terra came to town after a conference in DC. She was such a big help! We couldn't have survived our Christmas tree adventures without her!
We had a Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place this year...they loved the shows! 
And we had fun at daddy's work seeing the big man in red for a 2nd time. It's been an amazing December! We're happy to be celebrating Paxton's first Christmas! 
We hope your Christmas is filled with love, peace and joy! May 2016 bring good health and happiness your way!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Giving Thanks

As a child, spending holidays with my cousins was something special. When we were very young, they played with us- they took the video camera and recorded us creating plays and they taught us how to play pool. Even when our cousin Brian told us to go play in traffic, he'd spend the next few hours tossing us in the air, making us giggle. We so looked up to all of them. They taught us what was cool- things like Michael Jackson and crepe paper flowers were cool to us because they thought they were cool. They all went to college and so we wanted to go to college too. 
As we got older, our cousins had kids of their own and we so looked forward to helping with the babies. My sisters and I would fight over who would get to feed the babies. We'd play house with toddlers. Soon we were teaching the kids how to play pool. 
Now that we have kids of our own, the holidays are even more amazing. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see those little ones all grown up and helping with our kids. I may be biased, but I think they're amazing people! We had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving at my cousin Kate's house. I have so many memories of spending time with her kids there when they were young. Now they're in high school and college. 
The weather was beautiful- mid 60's. So, we ate outside like the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Pax got to meet everyone and loved all the snuggles, especially the ones from the "baby whisperer" Gavin. Penny had a blast playing with Joseph, Grace and Rhyan- she sat with the big girls by the fire pit and talked their ears off. And Porter, well, he had the best day ever. The older boys played basketball with him. Liam helped him shoot 3-pointers and daddy helped him dunk. They let him wrestle with them. And, Stephen let him play his guitar. Top that off with some snuggles from his Godmother and it was the recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving. 
We are thankful for so many things this year. For family, especially the new babies who have joined our family over the past year. We're thankful for FaceTime, which allows us to feel close to the Thompson family, who had an amazing Thanksgiving in California. We're thankful for friendships and for Porter's Peeps. We're thankful for the roof over our heads, the food on our plates and the clothes we wear. We're thankful for devoted teachers and support staff. We're thankful for doctors and their teams. We're thankful for so many things!
We're thankful!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent, Pax and Peace

At church this morning, we noticed that Father Len's vestment had PAX embroidered on it. After Mass, Penny and I stopped to say hi to Father and asked him about his vestment. He told Penny that Pax is Latin for "peace" and that he thought it was very fitting for Advent. We talked about how Paxton is living up to his peaceful name (he was so good during church this morning- drank his bottle and then fell asleep). It was a nice little after-church moment. I appreciate that Father took the time to talk to Penny and hope this is just one more good memory she'll have as she grows older. 
This weekend, we shared some amazing moments with Paxton, my peacemaker, Porter, my gate keeper, and Penny, my weaver. We're starting off Advent recharged, ready to celebrate Jesus' birth and everything that means to us. We celebrated the many things we are thankful for and will continue to do so throughout Advent. 
Today, we picked our tags for the giving tree. We picked tags selectively, for girls like Penny who wanted gifts like Penny. We sat down and ordered those gifts together. We talked about how much we have and about what these gifts will mean to these little girls. One girl asked for a Barbie car. Penny was very specific in the car requirements. After she picked the perfect car, she admitted she wanted one too. We talked more about wants and needs and in the end, I think she understood why we weren't shopping for her. And then she said that the girl should have a new Barbie for the car, even if it wasn't on the list, so we picked one out. We're excited for this girl and her new Barbie car. I hope they have many happy hours together! I hope Penny will continue to participate in the giving tree throughout her life. I hope that she'll learn the true meaning of Christmas. I hope that she'll find joy in thinking of others. I hope that she'll do this not just at Christmas! As the boys understanding of Christmas continues to grow, I hope she teaches them about giving. That's the best gift she could possibly give me! 

Christmas at Sesame

Today, we attempted Christmas at Sesame. We haven't done many outings like these since becoming a family of five. But, we were overdue for some Carty time and we decided Sesame was a great meeting spot. I'm so glad we ventured out! 
These two miss each other almost as much as RC and I miss Jason and Lisa. I miss them most on summer nights, on our birthdays (someone needs to help eat cake) and around the holidays. And, while they're only a drive away, taking that drive is something we need to do more often. 
Sesame never disappoints in the magic department. Moments like these make the lines and pushy people all worth it! 
Pax spent most of the visit napping in the stroller. We found a cup of hot water in Cookie Monster's Cafe and warmed a bottle and the chugged it. He was awake for the parade and loved the music! Christmas at Sesame was a success. It definitely helped put us in the holiday spirit! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ballerina turkey and other tales from kindergarten

Penny's class has been learning about the first thanksgiving. The details she picks up are fascinating. She recounted the first thanksgiving for us last night with accurate details that I didn't learn that young- she feels bad that the Pilgrims stole the Native American's land. If she could bring one thing onto the Mayflower, it would be a bathroom. She really is learning so much in Kindergarten! 
Here she is with her ballerina turkey. I love that she takes charge and has a vision for these projects. They may not be perfectly put together or Pinterest worthy, but they are hers. She owns them! 
RC and I HS the opportunity to visit her classroom this week. It was great to see her in action. Her teacher is enthusiastic. Her class is diverse. She is learning to be responsibile for herself. Most importantly, she seems really happy. In science, she was learning about plants. In math, she's learning the numbers 8 & 9. In reading, she's been grouped with another child who is reading and while the other kids are learning the fundamentals, they are challenging each other at their own level. They're stretching out words to learn how to spell. I love when she comes home with worksheets that she's clearly spelled on her own! 
She's excited to learn. Not only in the classroom, but everywhere. She's becoming confident in her monkey bar tricks on the playground, making friends from other classes and loving each special (library, health, art, music and gym). Kindergarten looks good on you sweet girl! Keep up the good work sister! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat? They all agree on treats! We had a great night exploring the neighborhood with our neighbors!
Our little Frozen family really loves that we live in a neighborhood where we are able to safely enjoy the night.
Penny took joy in leading her crew. She proudly knocked on every door of the dog-free houses. She approached with caution at the houses where she knows dogs live, sometimes pushing Porter and Alex ahead of her so they could scout the dog situation. She gets her fears from me and they're genuine. 
Porter really got it this year! He said "Hi! I Olaf!" And "candy please". He pushed up his sleeves and dug into those candy bowls like no ones business. And, he went for the M&M's almost every time there was a choice! Thanks to everyone who helped them enjoy the night!
We love our little Frozen family! 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down syndrome awareness month and I posted away on Instagram. I posted a photo a day along with some of the things we've learned in the four years since Down syndrome entered our family. It was early October 2011 when we found out that the baby we were carrying would be born with Down syndrome. We had no idea what to expect. Porter has exceeded every expectation I had way back then. 
From my first post of the month: 

October is Down syndrome awareness month. Each year we celebrate by sharing some of the things we've learned. Today, Porter wanted to share a few of his favorite things. He loves music, Doc McStuffins & Anna (sister always makes him play the role of Anna). You see toys. We see pretend play happening and we're so happy! Pretend play is so important for development.

To my last:

Day 31- Don't dis my ability- Thanks so much for following along with us this month. We hope we've been able to help you understand some of the differences, recognize the ways he's so much like typical kids and realize that he is able to live a happy, productive life. We dream big around here. And he helps us do that. Our hopes and dreams for Porter are quite the same as they are for Penny & Paxton. We hope he'll continue to grow and learn to the best of his ability. We expect nothing less than his best. We are lucky to have a village guiding us and supporting us. We are #theluckyfew#downsyndromeawarenessmonth#downsyndromelove #lifewithds

We are so appreciative to those who followed along. We love our Porter! 
 We were lucky to be featured on The Mango Memoirs earlier this month. Angela featured a different individual with Down syndrome every day this month. We learned so much from her posts and all the families who shared their stories! Thanks Angela! 
And, we're featured in the CHOP Buddy Walk video celebrating the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP.
As always, thanks for your love and support. Down syndrome is the most common genetic sydnrome and it has definitely changed our lives. Porter- keep growing and learning buddy! We are so proud of you! 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pax- 3 months

I blinked and all of a sudden, Paxton is three months old. He's such a happy little boy, as long as he's well fed :) 
 My little chunky monkey is a strong little dude. He loves short bits of tummy time...nothing longer than ten minutes please!
 His baby  mohawk is going strong! 
He definitely recognizes Penny & Porter and loves any sort of attention they will give him. He likes to play on his play mat. He still eats three or four times in the middle of the night. He loves bath time and is really starting to kick up a storm in his tubby. We're all starting to settle into a routine, which makes life much more manageable. One thing we all agree on- we love this little man! Happy 3 months Pax! 
(Photos by JC Penny...we needed to get a matching 3 month photo for the kitchen wall)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thank You Peeps!

Dear Peeps,
Thank you for helping make 2015 another successful year for Porter's Peeps and for your continued support of Porter and the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP. Buddy Walk day means so much to our family. In some ways, it's like Christmas- with so much anticipation and excitement building up to one day where Porter is surrounded by family and friends. Whether you traveled five miles or more than five hundred miles, your presence was so very appreciated. The efforts you made to raise funding for the Trisomy 21 Program were tremendous- we've raised over $8,000 this year as a team. You've made our family smile and appreciate just how far we've come together. When we learned that Porter would be born with Down syndrome, we worried. We worried about his health and about how our family and friends would react. We were scared. For us, Buddy Walk day is another affirmation that our worries were baseless. Our friends and family, the people who truly matter, have shown nothing but love and support for Porter from day one. Thanks for being our Peeps! We love you!
The Thompson Family








P.S.To our Fitzpatrick Peeps who were with us in spirit- you were in our thoughts and hearts throughout the day! We sported our Fight Like a Girl bracelets to celebrate a special lady and anxiously awaited photos of the most beautiful bride. Congratulations Colleen & John!!!! We love you!

God Bless Paxton

Paxton was baptized on Saturday. Our priest was so kind to allow us to schedule it during Buddy Walk weekend when the Thompson side was in town.
 It was so nice to have everyone here for Paxton's special day. Like his big sister and big brother, he wore the Christening gown my grandmother made for my baptism. 
He so looks like Penny here! He was welcomed into the church with his Godparents by his side. He is very blessed to have Jason & Lisa on his team! We are so thankful they're a part of his life!  
Surrounded by family and love. He couldn't have asked for a better day! 
God bless Paxton!