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A Mark of Distinction

A few weeks ago I mustered up the courage to pull out the finger paint and let Liam explore its wonder. Needless to say, once he figured out it wasn’t food, he played in it for quite a while and didn’t want to quit. Now, whenever something remotely close to liquid falls on his tray (ie. ketchup), he thinks it’s finger paint and smears it everywhere. Oh well, at least he’s not afraid of it! He was enamored with his colored hands and kept pointing to his right hand with his left and showing me. Then he would talk to his right hand like he usually does and hold it above his head and stare at it in amazement. It was pretty cute! I managed to get Liam’s hand print on a couple of Valentines in the process, as you will notice in the picture below.

Liam’s left handprint isn’t like most hands which is why this Valentine is so special to me! If you look closely at his left hand you will notice he has one line going across his hand, whereas most people have 2 lines just like his right hand. The one line is fairly prominent to me on this print especially since I know what to look for. Let me know if you can see the difference! This mark of distinction was pointed out to me the day of Liam’s birth by the pediatrician who informed us of some of the noticeable characteristics Liam had of Down syndrome. It was those characteristics that endeared him to me even more! This one in particular (the line on the hand) is common in DS and is technically called the transverse palmar crease or simian line. It can be found on one hand or two, but for Liam it is only on his left hand. The single line doesn’t affect his ability to function in any way. It’s just uniquely Liam and I love it!!

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My Little Joy!!

Here are some precious recent pictures of Karis. I call her “my little joy” because her middle name is Joy and she bring so much of it into my life… along with her dramatic streak of course. She is quite the expressive little girl… shocking, I know!;) I will post more about her when she turns ONE in a couple weeks but for now enjoy these little moments of joy!

Karis signing “please” and wearing pigtails for the first time!

Karis can be a good eater… I’ll let you be the judge if she was at this meal.

Skyping with Nana and Papa Thiessen. She LOVES attention even from the computer screen!

As soon as the front door opens Karis tries to escape. She loves being outside!

Karis is so expressive… especially when she watches Elmo!

 

My Little Conductor!

Every night after bath-time Liam and Karis enjoy listening to music while getting ready for bed. It’s actually become a necessary part of our routine. When it’s time to get ready for bed they both head straight for the CD player and do the sign for music. We’ve had the same CD playing for a while now so they are able to anticipate each song and dance along. Liam is starting to pick out the words he knows the sign language to and sign along. It’s pretty cute. And Karis likes to dance along too! Liam also enjoys conducting some of the songs. Here is one of his favorites!

Daddy’s (Been) Home!

My strong man!

My husband Jeremy travels with a band called downhere as their drummer and road manager. This past year he was gone for roughly 150 days! Yes, you can have some pity on me. Last year was the hardest year of my life just trying to be a mom to two babies who didn’t walk at the time and help Liam reach some key milestones while nursing a new baby who doesn’t sleep well. Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job and I’m blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but to have to do it with only part-time help is draining. Don’t get me wrong… I truly believe in my husband and his line of work! He gets to play music for a living while ministering to people all over the world… and he is good at it if I do say so myself! I believe God has called us to this right now and that is why we are making these sacrifices.

He has been in town for the past month and has been a HUGE help for me! Thank you, Jeremy!! I need to brag on him because he really is such an amazing Daddy to these babies and is very helpful around the house. He has made sure I have some away time from the kids, so I don’t go crazy which nearly happened several times last year. We’ve had a couple date nights… I always treasure those! We’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and actually attend church together! We even took the kids out to dinner with us one night which we have never done before just as a family, and we actually had a conversation… a rare moment even during dinner at home! It was a pleasant experience but not one I would recommend doing regularly for several reasons. We also took a trip to Peek-a-Boo Playtown for special needs night where they give discounts to people who have extra special kids, sweet deal! 😉

Even though he has been in town this past month he still had to do some work for downhere since he advances the shows and is their merchandise manager, so he’s been able to stay working from time to time. He has also picked up a second job a couple days of the week to help supplement income. Thank you again, Jeremy!

This past week downhere started recording their next album, so he was busy in the studio and we really missed him since we were spoiled having him around so much the previous weeks. I took the kids and joined some good friends of ours and we went to the studio one night and got to hear Jeremy lay down some drum tracks for a song. Liam loved it, of course! I took some pictures so you’ll see them below!

I love you, Jeremy! Thank you for all your help! You are an amazing husband and father to our babies!

Liam watching daddy record drum tracks.

The other side of the glass.

Where the producer sits. Nice place, huh!?

Daddy getting ready to send Liam down the slide at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Karis and Daddy at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Life Verse

One of my mother’s many creative outlets is painting. When I was a little girl she painted me a watercolor with Proverbs 3:5-6 on it and hung it above my dresser in my room. It read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I remember reading this painting on my wall over and over and it soon became ingrained in my mind. It became my life verse. I wish I would’ve kept the painting – I don’t know what happened to it.

Now that I have my own children I want to “give” them a verse. A life verse, like the one my mom painted for me. God’s word is eternal. I want my children to have His truth imprinted on their hearts and have it be a prayer over their lives. After Liam was born my older sister gave us a set of Veggie Tales books, and the verse at the end of every book was the first part of Psalm 139:14. The NIV (New International Version) translation of this verse says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But the version on the Veggie Tales books says, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful.” At the time we read these books to Liam over and over (and still do). That verse really touched me because of the unexpected surprise of Liam’s Down syndrome. It fit him quite well and so I made that his life verse using the version from the Veggie Tales books. I also wanted to find a way to display it in his room so you will see what I did below. This picture was taken just about a year ago.

I am currently in search of Karis’ life verse. Her name is the Greek word for ‘grace’. The word ‘charis’ is used over 170 times in the New Testament – needless to say there are plenty of verses to choose from! We want to get her dedicated at our church in March at which point we will share her life verse, so I have some time to keep praying about it. I’ll keep you posted as to what we decide.

I don’t know if my mom expected me to memorize that particular passage or even make it my life verse when she hung that painting in my room. But she gave me a gift of truth that I will never forget and I want to pass that on to my children.

Fun with Black and White

I am still exploring all the options my camera has to offer. Here is an example of what the monochrome setting looks like. Liam and Karis like playing in one or the others crib together, but only for a few minutes at a time and usually after their naps. Then they decide it’s time to explore and need to get out. I was able to capture those fun few moments yesterday.

KISSES!!

On the Move

It’s official, BOTH my kids are making their way around the house and discovering the many places that have yet to be baby-proofed. It sure brings joy to my heart to see Liam walking around so proudly and Karis crawling from room to room. As of 2 weeks ago Liam’s physical therapist said that he no longer needs his walker! That was great news!! Along with all that movement comes more work for mommy. Just when I think it can’t get any harder juggling life with them sometimes… it does! And yet I love it! They sure love opening the drawers and cabinets in our kitchen. Liam doesn’t care so much about what is in the drawer as he does the sounds the drawer makes when he opens and closes it. That’s my little drummer boy for you! Jeremy has begun to put latches inside the cabinet doors. He has had one cabinet left to latch for a few days now and Liam knows it, and grabs the knob and opens and closes it over and over…. ahhhh! Anyway here is proof of their curiosity…

And here is video of Karis crawling a bit to get a ball. She stops and does the sign for “ball” (you touch your finger tips together like you’re holding a ball) which right now is her clapping her hands. Then she does the signal that she needs help by raising her hand, which she learned from Liam. She is really picking up signs quickly and probably because we do them all day long with Liam.