Monday, November 21, 2011

A full heart

Today is my birthday (cue in Happy birthday to you...happy birthday to you...). It could have been one of the most boring birthdays to date...but I wasn't having that. Why anymore boring than the others you ask? Well, my birthday is always with in the week of Thanksgiving. Everyone is busy...always. Then add in hunting season. And don't forget the common cold/flu that ALWAYS happens this time of year. Well, this year...all of those things fell into my birthday week! Yes, birthday week. I won't lie...I got a little bummed for a few days. Then I decided I was going to snap myself out of my funk (because really, if I don't...who will)? I took a step back and realized I've got it pretty darn good. Then I felt a little selfish. Then I got inspired.

Random Acts of Kindness or RAC. Ever hear of it. It's the new craze (well, that I have noticed in the blogging world). For each year you are celebrating you do 1 RAC. FUN! It's like a 1 person party! Well a 3 person party in my case because I took the kids with me to do 34 RAC's! Here is what we did...

1. Mailed a card to a friend with a Starbucks gift card. If we lived closer I would have taken coffee to her at work.
2. Delivered hot chocolate to a couple I saw outside hanging Christmas lights. Turns out, it's their daughters birthday too!
3. Took dinner to a friend who just had surgery.
4. Helped do a little house keeping for the same friend in #3.
5. Dropped off fresh baked cookies to friends (x 2).
6. Fresh baked cookies to the kids daycare.
7. Dropped mail off at the mail box for my aunt (a whole 2 house away) lol.
8. Gave a picture of Jake to his bff/day care pal/ cousin. There is a really cute story behind that.
9. Surprised a friend with a fabulous wreath that she has been eyeballing for a few weeks!
10. Picked up garbage in the parking lot at Jake's school.
11. Gave a Bling Bulb (Christmas decoration) to a lady in the parking lot of Starbucks.
12. Paid for coffee of the car behind me at Starbucks.
13. Delivered little gift bags to 2 new babies born today. In the bags were a pink/blue rubber ducky, and knitted hat that my mom made. Thanks mom!
14. Gave a Bling Bulb to our friend that works in OB. She helped deliver Gracie 6 years ago!
15. Walked around the hospital handing out balloons and lolly pops to any kid we could find.
16. Left folders with color books & crayons in the OB waiting room & in the peds play area.
17. Fed all of the candy machines & pop machines we could find in the hospital.
18. Left little bottles of hand sanitizer...everywhere (bathrooms, tables...).
19. Went to a playground a dropped coins all over for kids to find.
20. Left a generous tip at dinner tonight.
21. Put shopping carts away in the store parking lot.
22. Gracie told a old lady that she liked her kitty sweatshirt (lol).
23. Put coins in balloons. When Gracie woke up she got to pop the balloons and spend the money at the dollar store.
24. Left a care package of vitamin C drink mix, tissue, and hand sanitizer on a few cars in the mall parking lot.
25. Saw a rock star parking spot at the mall, but let the car behind me have it. (that was a tough one). lol
26. Didn't remind my brother that he is almost 5 YEARS OLDER THAN ME when he sent me a text to tell me that I'm old. (Ok, that's a stretch as a RAC, but it took some holding back)
27. Took dad to dinner. Thanks for going with us dad!
28. Stopped at McDonald's for ice cream, & bought ice cream for the car behind us.
29. Left lolly pops on cars that looked like they had kids.
30. Gracie colored a Thanksgiving picture for the older lady next door! But she got to shy to deliver it, so I did.
31. Left a candy bar in the mail box for the mail man/woman.
32. Gracie stood by the door at the grocery store while I was checking out and opened the door for people. (yes they are automatic doors, but she thought she was doing something really nice).
33. I let Gracie listen to Kids Bop in the car ALL DAY LONG.
34. Our grand finale...we Ding Dong ditched! The funniest thing I have seen in a long time!

Ahh...that was a action packed day. Gracie & I had lots of talks about how happy our hearts were when people smiled because we did something nice for them...tonight we go to bed with full tummies & happy hearts. It was a good day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do you correct?

Ok, call me crabby, call me tired, call me whatever. But for some reason today I hit a brick wall when it came to peoples incredible knowledge of Down syndrome. I'm not perfect & I am by no means pretending to be. I had my own ideas of Down syndrome before I was forced to be educated about it. I get that people generally are not meaning to be offensive or negative & are usually just trying to strike up conversation when they grace me with their "knowledge" of Down syndrome. I get it. And I'm ok with answering people's questions about Jake. I really am.

I know, I know...get to the point. My point is think before you speak. Ok, probably not YOU, because most likely if you are reading my blog you have a child with Down syndrome and you are on the same boat. But does anyone else get SO frustrated & tired of peoples off handed/trying to complement your child but really slapping you in the face comments? I find myself (way to frequently) thinking...did you really just say that? And I will admit, I usually just smile & walk away because I am about the most non confrontational person on earth. I know, if I want the world to change the way people think about Down syndrome I need to speak up. So I will try...a little. Baby steps.

So, are you wondering what fantastic comment got me going on this blog it is (it's really not that bad) "They (people with Down syndrome) are ALWAYS happy". Wouldn't that be AWESOME? Ahh, would. I gave my stock response, "He has his moments". Want to compare some other spectacular comments I get or have gotten in the past (since I'm on a rant...these are the ones that I just look blankly at the person & walk away...because nobody is really this stupid):
"Well he's cute anyway" &
I can't believe I'm about to repeat this one, but I actually had someone say this to me when they asked me what was WRONG with my son...
I responded, "Nothing is wrong with him, he has Down syndrome". Her response back (brace yourself), "Oh well at least he's not autistic". REALLY?...REALLY?

I'm going to try harder to not let REALLY bad comments get to me as much & I am going to try to educate people (without sounding educational) when such comments are made. So here it is for today's comment:
Jake (and all people with Down syndrome) is human. He has good days, he has bad days. Like any other person, he is happy with a splash of crabby. He has more than one emotion. He has a attitude & a personality. He & I butt heads on a daily basis about something. He's not a little golden ray of sunshine 24/7. Like any other 3 year old, Jake wants what Jake wants. And he will find a way to tell you what he wants...& get it. Thankfully, Jake is a pretty happy go lucky kid. I got lucky there.

There is my rant...peace!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10.2 seconds

That's how much time I have to post today. Ok, not really, but that's what it feels like! That's how everyday feels. Odd that I feel more rushed now that BOTH KIDS ARE IN the EXACT same time!! I have 2.5 hours everyday with no do whatever I want! So far, I have spent a lot of time at Starbucks! What can I say, I like coffee & love to people watch! Here are a few pics of Jake's first day of preschool!

He loves it! It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to walk him up to his little classroom blow kisses & RUN AS FAST AS I CAN calmly walk away while brushing away a little tear. Ok, who am I kidding, we all know there is a little pep in my step after I drop Jake off knowing I have a little me time.

On another note, since I have started this blog I have made a great new friend Jennifer. Jen is also a stay at home mom to 3 sweet little girls & a extra chromosome rocking little boy Tyson. Jake & Tyson are only a few weeks apart in age, so we are going thru all of the "fun" of having little boys together! Again, I'm not gonna lie...they are naughty! We are pretty sure that the extra chromosome they have gives them some kind of cosmic connection that tells each other when to do naughty things at the exact same time, so that we are both about to pull our hair the exact same time! Oh...gotta love them. It is our plan to someday meet (we are in Wa., they are in Pa.), but until that day comes we are having fun getting to know each other thru blogging, Facebook, & presents. Yep, presents. We have been sending presents back & forth with little gifts for each other (because we rock as moms & we deserve gifts), & for each of the kids. Who doesn't love to a box in the mail? Anyway, here are the gifts we just got from our friends in Pa. Thanks guys...YOU ROCK!
Julie, Gracie, & Jake

This is our friend Tyson! Jenn got Jake & Tyson matching t shirts! LOVE it!

Chocolate fixes everything...right? Can't wait to make my own bars!

Thanks Jen!

Up next...Jake's 3rd birthday on Sunday! Yahh!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I missed them

Last weekend I took a little "mommy time out" and went out of town to hang out with girlfriends. It was much needed & so much fun...but I missed my favorite big person & my two little people. After catching up on hugs & kisses I took the kids to the most amazing summer time water park ever... the back yard! A water slide, pool big enough for 1 huge beach ball, 2 kids, and a duck (but only 1 at a time), and a "waterfall"! Enjoy!


It's like...magic!

There is a DUCK in our pool!

SO excited to watch Gracie run and jump in the pool!

And she does it with style!

It was a good day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Too good for words

S'mores cookies

The batter

Graham cracker base

Add a little cookie batter on...

Bake for 5 minutes

Then add little chunks of a Hershey bar!

Bake for another 5 minutes...

It's tempting to jump right in...but don't

Let them cool all the way!

So good!!

Want to try it...jump over to this site!!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I have this new fascination...with kisses. Hershey Kisses that is! I ran across the idea blog hopping one day a few months ago, & I can't get enough. They are so easy (if you have a Cricut), and such a easy decoration...for everything! I have made them for parties, weddings, hostess gifts, even Glitz & Glam! So I decided that since I'm making them for everyone & everything, I'm going to try and make a few bucks doing it! I got my first order with in a hour of posting that I am selling them on Face Book!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Bracelet update

IT WORKS!! He CAN'T get it off...and he quit fussing with it after about a half hour!! I recommend these for anyone with a little one...special needs or typical!

See...still on!

We love it so much we ordered a second one for our little friend Tyson to rock!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ID Bracelet

So excited to get this in the mail today! It's Jake's ID bracelet (cool boy style)! I'm loving it! It has a little water proof tab that slips right under the Velcro in a little pocket that I put his name, birthday, my name & phone number and Zach's name & phone number. And on the back I can list allergies, medications and other info! LOVE IT!! Now to get him to wear it! If you have a little escapee (Jennifer), ya might want to look into these!! Could be well worth the $15!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The great escapee

In the past few months Jake has had a few good jumps in growth. He's still a itsy bitsy little guy (wearing 18-24 month cloths at 2 1/2 years old), but he's getting taller & taller. He's a smart little booger too. He has figured out that if he wants to get things off the kitchen counters...empty a drawer, climb in it and WHA LA...everything is at his reach! He has also (somehow) figured out how to get out the front screen door! Twice in the last week I have turned my back (how dare I...I know), and there he is...half way down the drive way making a run for the open road! And there is another gray hair. safety locks go on the upper drawers, and the front screen door will be locked at all times! And to up the ante a little...we got him a sweet little Velcro ID bracelet from Vital Id! Only $15 after shipping...totally worth the piece of mind. Now to see if I can get him to wear it! Wish us luck!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Me & my boy...

Here are a few more pics...just for fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The guilt of a parent

You win dad...I'll start blogging again! Not that I don't love it...I just don't have as much time & subject to talk about. But because you "can't check Face Book or e mail at work...but can check Blog spot..." I'll try and get on it!! ;)

So what has happened since my last post in late MARCH? Hmm, well... a lot! So here is the quick & dirty & I'll fill in the blanks in the next few days!

Our niece Delana came back to spend some more time with us right before we left on vacation. We love all the "sisterly" time we get to have with her, but it's now time for her to start her new life with her dad & "fake mom" (that is a term she lovingly came up with for her new step mom...we all like it...even Fake mom). She is a sweet little girl with lots of love & energy to share, but emotionally needs to be in one place that she can call home & feel secure. So she, daddy, & fake mom get to start a whole new life together next week! I am so excited for all of them...what an experience it will be!

Moving on...

For the past 13 months I have been working with DSAMC (Down Syndrome Association of the Mid Columbia) on our 1st annual benefit called Glitz & Glam. I'm sure you have read about it, once or twice. Well, I am pleased to announce that it was a HUGE success! I will know the exact numbers in a few days (holes that I will fill in, in future posts), but the preliminary numbers are that we had less than 10 NOT show up out of 128! So how much did we raise...this number is rough, but around $15,000.00!! That's right friends...$15,000! I just wanted to break even so I didn't cost the group any money! I never in a million years thought we would double what we spent!! And the ladies LOVED it! Do I have pictures? No, not yet, but I will...and I'll post more about that later too! But here is one picture I DO have!! Thank you Mrs. Krista Schei for this beautiful picture! Krista & I are childhood friends...I love her like a sister! You take beautiful pictures!

That's all I have for now. I'm off to work on Gracie's 6th birthday party...Rock Star Pirate Princess. Ya, this should be interesting! They don't make a Cricut cartridge for that!! Momma is gonna have to put on her thinking cap for this one! But what my girl girl gets!

Keep checking...I'll "fill in the holes" a little more often!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life is good...

I just sat down to take a few minutes to look at the pictures on my phone & my camera & I couldn't help but notice how great our life is. How special it is. And how much our wants now out weigh our needs. That is a good feeling. This morning I had mixed feelings about "Down syndrome day". Today is World Down syndrome day. A day to recognize Down syndrome. It's today because of the date 3-21 (people with Down syndrome have a 3rd chromosome on the 21st set of chromosomes). Get it...3-21! Anyway, back to my mixed feelings about today. See, we (for the most part) celebrate Down syndrome (besides on a daily basis) with our family and friends at the Buddy Walk. I think it's fun to connect the dots between today's date & Down syndrome, but to what extent. I still struggle with making sure out life isn't consumed with Down syndrome. I still struggle in making sure our life stays as "normal" as possible. Down syndrome is part of our life, not our whole life. But sometimes it feels like it out weighs the normal parts. I can't ignore it and pretend it doesn't exists...nor would I ever want to. But it can't take over. So on days like today, I struggle on how much attention to give it. At one point in my head, I had a big family picnic on the beach planned, with a big family photo, & a lots of talk of Down syndrome & all the joy it has brought to us. How it ended up...we walked to the beach, balloons clipped to the wagon, got to the beach, the girls ran off one way, Jake ran off the other way...the swift breeze took them up, up & away. Zach & I gazed in amazement of how high up and far they went, gave each other a smile and that was it! That was as much acknowledgement that Down syndrome got today! As far as I'm concerned, it was the perfect amount. Zach & I stopped for 10 seconds to watch those balloons go...and on with our day we went! It made me realize that Down syndrome can only take over our lives as much as we let it. We've got this! And it feels good!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Glitz & Glam

I am in full swing DSAMC (Down Syndrome Association of the Mid-Columbia) benefit mode right now. I'm living it, between play dates, pre school, therapy, work, doctors appointments, and daily life! But all those little blank spots in the day...THOSE are filled with benefit planning! And I'm loving every second of it. So, now that a majority of the planning is done & we are now in the "execution" phase of the benefit...I thought I would share with you exactly what it is I have been working on! Here it is...

Glitz & Glam...Stepping Up for Down Syndrome!
Glitz & Glam (or G&G) is going to be a fabulous "ladies night out" type of event! It will be on May 14th, 2011 at the Anthony's event center at 6:00 pm. We will start off with hors d'oeuvers & cocktails, silent auction, & fun with girlfriends in a photo booth! We will then move into the main dining room for a delicious dinner & 3 amazing guest speakers. Our first guest speaker will be one of the members of the DSAMC board. She will talk about how & why DSAMC was started & where DSAMC is headed. Our second guest speaker is a member of DSAMC. She will be sharing with us a little bit about her families life since being given an amazing little angel of a little boy with Down syndrome. And our third guest speaker is a mother of a 51 year old son with Down Syndrome. She is going to share with us how she & her son started their own business & his success in business! I am so excited to have these three fabulous women playing such a huge role in our benefit & sharing their stories with the rest of us! We wanted to do something special for our 2nd guest speaker (the mother of the little boy), so we are treating her to a mini make over the day of the event, and we have a few other special gifts for her as well...just in case she's a reader...I don't want to spoil the surprise! In between the guest speakers we will have a few door prizes & a dessert auction! And at the lucky lady will drawn at random to win a very special prize!! And to end the evening...more cocktails & dancing with our wonderful girlfriends!
So now that you know what the event is about...let me tell you who we are and why we are doing the event! This is coming right from our sponsorship form....
The Glitz & Glam benefit is organized by a group of fabulous women who care to promote awareness and inclusion for people with Down syndrome and raise money for a Resource Center. The Resource Center will provide education to families, people touched by Down syndrome, and community members.
I am once again truly amazed by the generosity of local business owners & individuals donating to this fabulous event! If this even sounds like something that you feel you would like to be part are a few ways!
1. Provide monetary donation to fund the Resource Center
2. Offer an in-kind donation of your products or services for the Benefit
3. Contact me about sponsoring a table of yourself and 9 of your girlfriends! (Tables are moving quickly, so if it's something you are interested in...get in touch with me soon)
If you have any questions about the event or ideas to make this event even more fabulous, you can contact me by leaving a comment on my blog, or e mail at or on Face Book (Julie Moyer Gould)!
If you are new to my blog & would like to learn more about our life with Down Syndrome, feel free to check out our pages on the right hand side under the Down syndrome awareness ribbon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A must watch...

This was too good to not repost...Thanks Jen!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Looking for a few good...

Ideas! I am desperately trying to think of some fun, cool, exciting, different items for our Glitz & Glam silent auction! Any ideas? Help a girlfriend out...

Monday, January 17, 2011

26 hours in a day please...

We could all use a few more...right? I'll cut right to the chase...we have been crazy busy for the last few weeks. Ya know how life has those little ups and downs of being busy & being CRAZY busy...well I am at the peak of CRAZY busy right now. But I'm good with that. It's self inflicted busy that I am happy & excited to do! These days, my mind is not only going 100 miles an hour keeping up with the kids, but it's in full swing benefit mode. On May 14th DSAMC (Down Syndrome Association of the Mid Columbia) is having our 1st annual (if all goes right) Glitz & Glam benefit. It will be a incredible evening! It will be held at the Anthony's event center, so you know dinner is going to be amazing! We are starting off with appetizers and cocktails. Silent auction with AMAZING items to bid on! Dinner while listening to 3, not only amazing, but inspiring woman talk about their life with Down Syndrome. I'll tell you more about those 3 women a little later. Their stories deserve their own post! We will also do door prizes thru out the evening & will liven things up with a dessert auction! And at the very end of the presentation...a grand prize drawing...with a little extra surprise for the winner...who knows...a few hunky fire fighters might be there to walk her up to the stage! I do have connections in that department! And to end the evening...dancing with our girlfriends!! All ticket sales & donations raised from the silent auction & dessert auction will go to the new DSAMC Resource Center! How do you not get excited about that?! With all that said...I'm off to make some phone calls! I have begging to do! Wish me luck!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back to where I started...

I originally started this blog to be about our adventures with Jake. And wow, was that first 15+ months a adventure. We had our up's, down's, did that really just happen's...and so much more. Best of all, we got to be a family. In our home, all 4 of us, doing family things together. In 2010 we only had 2 hospital visits (one locally and only for a few days just for pro cautionary reasons), and the other was a planned surgery that went very well. It's hard to fathom that the years can be so different. But they were very different! At some point during the last year (I'm not sure when it happened), I was able to let go of that "waiting for the ball to drop" feeling, & just live. Accept the up's and down's for what they were worth & live. We have no medical issues on the horizon, just growth. Growth in more ways than just the physical. I have a lot of, for lack of better words, mental growth to do as well. I would like to think that I have fully accepted Jake as being different, but I'm not sure I have. I can honestly say, I would have him no other way. In that aspect, I have fully accepted. There are things that I still can not wrap my head around. His future. All aspects of his future. Will he be accepted, will he have a childhood BFF, will he play sports or be a musical master mind. Will he ever live on his own & will he ever fall in love. Will he ever stop destroying things...sorry, that was one of those thoughts that was in my head, that came out thru my fingers. I know these are things that we think about daily with our typical kids too, but it's on a whole new level with Jake. With Gracie, we know these things will happen if & when she chooses. We expect them to happen & we expect that she makes the most of her life with a little guidance from us. With Jake, it's hard to, again, wrap my head around what we should expect from him and what realistic hopes and dreams are for him. With all that said, I hope to make 2011 the year of mental growth...for myself.

It's only the 1st day of the new year & here is what we have in store...
*First off, my brother got married today...CONGRATULATIONS to Shawn & Nina!
*We are taking another family vacation (this time with the grandparents) to Florida to see my brother's retirements ceremony from the Navy. He will have served for 20 years!
*I am helping plan a benefit with our local Down Syndrome Group that will happen on May 14th! It is called Glitz & Glam, stepping up for Down Syndrome. It's going to be fabulous! I'm so excited to be a part of such an amazing organization!
*Gracie will start kindergarten & Jake will move from the Developmental Center to the school district.
*We have our normal little "mini vacations" thru out the year too.
So, here is to a busy, happy, healthy, & productive 2011!
Happy New Year!!