Monday, September 28, 2009

Benefit Breakfast for Rett Syndrome Research

This past Saturday we had the pleasure of hosting a benefit Breakfast at On the Border to raise funds for Rett Syndrome Research. With the help (actually direction) of our wonderful Dream Team, we pulled off a rather successful event. It was so nice to see so much support from our friends, family, and community! We saw so many of our dear friends and met so many new ones. We actually met another Rett Family as well as some grad students actually working towards Rett Syndrome Research! How incredible is that? The morning flew by so fast, but here are a few pictures from the day. It's days like these that renew your spirit and give you the strength to know that one day, WE WILL FIND A CURE!- and it will be thanks to each and everyone of you on this journey with us! Thanks for all you do and Go Girl Power!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Form of Discipline!

So it seems that my once sweet Olivia has entered what most people refer to as the "terrible two's" a bit early. At the ripe old age of 19 months she is in full force. She has the shrieking blood curdling screams down pat and is a pro at the throw yourself face down and kick and scream and my all time favorite the "arch the back" maneuver. We are firm believers in a spanking on the bottom when necessary, however we have reached the point that I ask her if she needs a spanking midway through the fit and she will actually say yes and spank herself. So this may not be the most effective method with her. But this, my latest discover worked like a charm today. The solution . . . . Let her cook dinner! Here she is hand counting the egg noodles she needed for the beef stroganoff - which by the way was amazing for a 19 month old.

Look at my little chef!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A New Chapter Begins

Yes friends, a new chapter began today. Our little Juliana started big girl school today. Today she started daycare/therapy at Our Children's House - Baylor for half a day and school at Clifton Early Childhood Center. Needless to say we were very apprehensive about all this change at once, but let me tell you, she handled it like a champ! Luckily I had to take the day off to go register her so I was able to see what her days are going to look like - they are pretty busy. Maybe this means she will sleep better at night.

Anyhow - take a glimpse of Juliana's new "Big Girl" day!

Here she is being goofy right before we left for Our Children's House.
Here is one of her teachers at Our Children's House, Ms. Lakiesha. Look at how calm Juliana was! I was amazed, she just looked at me like, "mom, be cool. Quite freaking out!"
Here she was after breakfast. She looks pretty happy.

This is another one of her teachers, Ms. Yesenia. She loved playing with her. She actually broke out into giggles with Ms. Yesenia.
Pretty soon, it was time to board the bus and head off to school.
This is her all buckled in and ready to roll!
This was her bus driver, Marta. She has been so sweet and even called the night before to assure us of a safe bus ride. Thanks Marta!

Yes, I was that obnoxious mom following the bus. I watched the bus in disbelief - I can't believe my baby is on that bus!!! Where has the time gone?

Here she is arriving at school. Needless to say, she had taken quite a nice little nap on the bus which she had some trouble snapping out of. This is one of her teachers at school Ms. Gabbi who was helping Juliana with her lunch. Chicken nuggets and green beans. Yummy!!!

Here she is already working on pushing a button. After only a few tries she was able to figure out how to push on it to make it light up! Go Juju!!!

Here's my little guitar hero! She loves music!!!!
I loved this activity. The task was to squish all the cherries to practice using hands.

Juliana had other plans. She decided that eating the cherries was a much better idea!
Here is a picture I took right before she was gong to leave her first day of school (from left to right - Ms. Gabbi, Principal Stephanie Lee, Teacher Ms. Morton, and Ms. Maribel) These ladies are amazing. The thing I loved most is that they kept Juliana busy every second she was there. They were constantly switching positions or doing different activities. She had a blast!
Here she is back at Our Children's House with Ms. Yesenia and after school snack. Does she look happy or what? I couldn't have asked for a better first day of school for my little angel. Thanks to everyone that was praying for our girl. May she learn so much this school year and all that follow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

OMG!!! Guess Who Turned 3!!!!!

This weekend our little Juliana turned 3! I absolutely cannot believe that she is now a child of 3! She truly is growing and learning everyday and she's amazing to be around. Although we are all a little nervous for this coming week, we managed to unwind and have a great party with our great family and friends. Thank you to all that came and shared this special day with us. We love you guys!

Here our cousins Dylan and Kayla. I don't know how David and Ty managed to escape the picture. . .
David and Ashley
Omi & Opi
Amber & Dee

Cameron, Lexi & Lesi

Shaylen & Nora
Claudia & Gale
Omi A.K.A - Ping Pong Champion
David & Dee Dee
Teresa, Olivia & Mrs. West

Check out her amazing Girl Power Cake. It was made by a very dear friend Dominique. Check out her blog at
Juliana was very anxious to try her beautiful cake!

Here is daddy lighting the candles. . .
Everyone singing . . .

And make a wish!!!!

It was a Neapolitan cake (three layers of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) It tasted as good as looks!!!!

Claudia & Alex

Juliana & Amber

Here we are with Omi opening all the goodies!

She really had so much fun that day.

Okay, I think I was having just as much fun as she was!
And this is a picture of Olivia the next morning walking around with all of the mylar balloons that Juliana had received. She actually looked like a balloon vendor. Balloons for sale . . .

Barbara Tied the Knot!

This weekend, our dear friend Barbara tied the knot. It was a beautiful ceremony in a quaint little chapel. Don't they look great!

This is our "posse". Basically our closest YOUNG friends that we go to any time we need to feel slightly more hip than we typically do or need help with computer stuff. We love you guys! Don't they look gorgeous?!!!!

Here is one of Barbara's kids - Andrew and Marisa. I have to say I thought they looked absolutely stunning that day! You kids are all "growed" up!!!!!

The End of this Chapter . . .

Although we knew this day would always come, it was still more difficult than we ever imagined it would be. This past Friday was Juliana's last day at Mrs. West's Daycare. Mrs. West has watched Juliana since she was just 3 months old. She and her family have been with us on this journey, through it all. Mrs. West and Juliana have a very special bond, and I think for awhile, we imagined that she would just always be at Mrs. West's Daycare. But our little peanut is all grown up and Tuesday she will be out, away from everything she knows and loves to start her new chapter. We hope she will grow to love this new part of her life, and we know it's where she needs to be now, but we know it will never be like the years she spent and Mrs. West's.

This was the note Mrs. West put on the door on Juliana's last day. . .

This is a picture of Mrs. West (and Mr. West) opening the gift that Juliana made for them.

It was a collage of pictures of the two of them along with a poem that Juliana wrote to her:
Love Always, Juliana

Dear Mrs. West,
It seems like just a short time ago, you and I had met,
From that very first day, you showed me nothing but love,
Even when I was upset.
You always made such special time together just for you and I,
Rocking in the rocking chair, swinging outside, cuddling after a nap,
even singing me lullabies.
You’ll never know how much you gave me each and every day,
Encouragement, kindness, love and guidance, in every kind of way.

It’s time for me to spread my wings and work hard to learn something new,
Make some new friends, go to school, do all the fun stuff all us kids do.
Please always know I’ll never forget the wonderful times we had,
Laughing, crying, playing all day, and then giggling was the most fun I had.
One day I’ll come to visit you and you’ll be proud of all I’ve learned,
We’ll rock and swing and cuddle again, just like we always had.
So I’ll see you soon, and please never forget,
Just how very much I Love You.

Boy, were those cupcakes amazing!!!!
A cute shot of Juliana and Mrs. West

This is Olivia with their good friend Faith.

Juliana having her first giggle fest as an official alumni of Mrs. West Daycare!
Here she is with Omi and the nice Minnie Mouse balloon that Mrs. West gave her.