Sunday, January 31, 2010


This website I came across today just gave me the chills as I read his foreward. What an amazing project and an amazing man.

Check it out....I'm Down With You

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Little Girl Named Sofia...

...has stolen our hearts and we are committed to bringing her home.


Please join us on our newest adventure and meet our little girl who will complete our family.

Saving Sofia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Four is the Magic Number

Here is your riddle for the day....

13 is 8 is 5, 5 is 4, 4 is 4 and 4 is the magic number. Why?
Hint: 6 is 3, 3 is 5, 5 is 4, 4 is 4, and 4 is the magic number.
Hint: 26 is 9, 9 is 4, 4 is 4, and 4 is the magic number.

Now what would this have to do with Three's a Charm?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding Home Away From Home

Awhile back we went to Disneyland with the kids and I remember posting how shocked and sad I was to report that I did not see one child with DS in all of Disney. I was shocked by that.

Well, I'm happy to report, I saw not one but THREE children with Down syndrome on our recent trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. All three were very "normal" and happy families and the kids were absolutely darling. Two of the kiddos were babies Joaquin's age or younger and one boy was about 9 or 10 years old traveling with his American family.

It was such a joy for me. Two out of the three families, I wasn't able to make a connection with as they were either passing by or busy doing their own thing. But one family in particular I was able to not only meet but really connect with.

I had the pleasure of meeting Iliana and her parents and we spent some good quality time together. Mom was Romanian and Dad was from Argentina. Their daughter Iliana was born in Romania but was flown quickly to Italy to have heart surgery when her diagnosis was made because, as Dad put it, there was "no way in hell they were going to have her surgery done in Romania." Iliana is now 15 months old and they have a new baby boy who is almost 3 months old who was born in Veracruz, Mexico where they live now.

We spent a lot of time talking about how amazing it is to have a child with DS and we also did a lot of comparing on the services provided for a child with DS in the States vs a child in Mexico or in Eastern Europe. Dad is an international engineer of sorts and moves every 2-3 years so they are really hoping to move to the States in the near future to take advantage of the services. Mom is a psychologist and also had such great and deep thoughts to share about the joy of raising her daughter. We had so much in common as I think all of us parents do when we have a child with DS. I just loved it. I loved meeting them, playing and visiting with their family and watching Joaquin and Iliana play together.

It was like finding home away from home. And I think we'll have these experiences more often than not for the rest of our lives. I really feel fortunate.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Xcaret is an eco park just outside of Playa del Carmen and it's such a cool place to go with the family...highlights were the bat cave, the floating river, the butterfly preserve, and the turtle preserve. It was our third visit there. We love it!

Here is another family photo on the giant hammock on the beach.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beach Baby

The sun, surf and sand really agreed with Joaquin. I think it's safe to say he is a Beach Baby!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Then and Now

Here we are in Playa at Christmas time in 2005 and then in of these things is not like the other?!?! One of these things just isn't the same...and we are so glad about that!

I'm kinda happy to report that Hector and I don't look too much older, right?!?!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Mateo!

Turning 5 is a big deal around here. It's always been my favorite number and for some reason age 5 just seems so BIG!!! Mateo turns FIVE today and we will spend the day celebrating him. With two boys over the age of 5 now, it feels like our family is about to head into a different mode. Every year our boys will grow more independent. Makes you want to take a moment and just cherish these years. Thank God I have the ability to be home with my children and savor it all...the hardest job in the world but the BEST job in the world. Thank you Hector for making this possible for our family.

Happy Birthday Mateo. We love you so much!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changing Perspectives and Expectations

Check out this link and learn about a Spanish actor who has a degree from a University (and is pursing his second) and oh, by the way, he has Down syndrome....

The Need for Inclusive Education

A Leap of Love

Here is an article from The Washington Post about an amazing family who adopted three boys with Down syndrome after the birth of their son, Jonny, who also has DS. Their daughter, Maddy, just happened to audition for this season's American Idol and made it through! She is not only a very grounded, compassionate 16 year old girl but she has a gorgeous voice as well. Please read this article about her wonderful family!

A Leap of Love

Wordless Wednesday (Playa del Carmen)

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Stop...COBA

Coba is the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan and we all climbed it....well, everyone except for Joaquin. But he made it up about 4 steps!!

This thing was TALL and steep and VERY scary.

It took about 3 miles hiking in the jungle to get to the pyramid and the boys were all troopers.

As soon as we got there, Diego started climbing all by himself. I yelled to Hector to go after him after a German couple looked at me like I was crazy and said "Wow, he's brave." I realized then how DANGEROUS the thing was. So Hector went up after him and Mateo followed right behind.

Now, anyone who knows me also knows that I am NOT a nervous parent. I'm pretty easy going and usually remain calm even when faced with potentially dangerous situations. But this pyramid had me sweating. There I was at the base of the pyramid clinging to Joaquin in his carrier and I was literally praying out loud to God to keep the boys safe as they fearlessly climbed to the top. I was SO nervous.

But...they made it! And they made it down. Hector said it was the scariest thing he's ever done with the boys. Diego was thrilled and Mateo was totally cool with it. Mateo is usually my very cautious little guy but he really tackled the climb with absolutely no fear. Amazing!

When Diego said he wanted to go again, I said I've got to do this. I've got to tackle my fear. I have the BIGGEST fear of heights. As I climbed I didn't look up or down. I just stayed as close as possible to the rocks, keeping my center or gravity as close as possible to the stones (I must have looked ridiculous) and eventually I made it. The view from the top was worth it all...nothing but miles and miles and miles of untouched jungle. Gorgeous! I'm so glad I did it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Mexican Holiday

We spent 12 amazing and beautiful days in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Playa is about 40 minutes south of Cancun on the Caribbean Sea...the clearest aqua blue water that you have ever seen! It was a wonderful vacation for our whole family and we were able to celebrate both Christmas and New Year's there. It was the perfect time to take Joaquin. He is the best traveler in the bunch. He spent his time crawling everywhere, standing up and cruising around different obstacles, playing in the waves and the sand and overall just LOVING the sunshine and the beach.

I plan on sharing different parts of our trip in the next few posts so I can share with you our adventure. And BOY, what an adventure it was!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Our Christmas Tree Angel

This Christmas I decided to get involved in the Christmas Angel Tree Project at Reece's Rainbow and I hope to make it an annual tradition.

I chose to sponsor Sofia. I absolutely fell in love with this little girl who is in an orphanage in the Ukraine. Her birthday is February 21, 2008. She is almost the same exact age as Joaquin. She is beautiful and I have to say that I can't stop thinking about her. I have always wanted a little girl and the name Sofia was going to be Diego's name if he had been a girl. I sent in a donation and received a beautiful porcelain ornament with her picture on it.

If and when our financial situation should change and afford us a bigger home (or at least one with two bathrooms) and just a bit more cushion to help with the additional costs, I would most definitely look into adopting a child from Reece's Rainbow. I am so inspired by my blogging friends who have adopted or are in the process of adopting from Reece's Rainbow. They know the absolute joy and honor it is to raise a child with Down syndrome. I so wish I could bring Sofia home and it pains me to think it isn't possible at this time.

Happy New Year sweet Sofia. I hope your forever family finds you as soon as possible! We send you our love and will always think of you at Christmas time when we put your ornament on our tree.