If you have a Love/Hate Relationship with Valentines Day (or just hate..)…

I know Valentines Day is fun for some,
anxiety-provoking for others,
viewed as a Hallmark conspiracy by many ;)..

It can make people count down how many Valentines Days its been since you actually had “a Valentine”,
or how many its been without ever having one.
People joke about single people hating Valentines Day because it makes it feel lonely, but I know there are some who are in a relationship, married with or without
kids, or even with a house full of kids with no spouse who still feel ALONE. People of all age, everywhere, feel lonely at some point in their lives.

( There is, by the way, nothing wrong with being single so if you are feeling that pressure, know that it is someone else’s problem for thinking you have to be with someone at all. See Paul’s letters in Scripture for details. 😉 Definitely not knocking marriage because I AM married and love it. It has its place. But so does being single. But I digress…)

So this is a word of encouragement if you are feeling lonely today, or a lot of days recently:

Psalm 34:18
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25

Psalm 55:16-17
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice

Philippians 4:7
” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

And the way He shows love is better than any card or chocolate you can find!:

Romans 5:8
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Also, some lyrics I like that also paint a good picture of Christ’s love:

FURIOUS by Bethel Music

Nothing can tear us from
The grip of His mighty love
We’ve only glimpsed, His vast affection
Heard whispers of, His heart and passion
It’s pouring down…

His love is deep, His love is wide
And it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong
It’s furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild
And it’s waking hearts to life

The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us
He calls us now, His sons and daughters
He’s reaching out…

… and its waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life

Your love is deep, Your love is wide
And it covers us
Your love is fierce, Your love is strong
It’s furious
Your love is sweet, Your love is wild
And it’s waking hearts to life

Love, Natalie aka Ethan’s mommy 🙂
Message me or Ryan/husband/Ethan’s daddy  if you have any questions about this post or any other. Have a blessed…February 14th.



Happy Heart Month 2014

You know February is about Valentines and Black History month, but did you know that it is also National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month?

Some people know right away that their child has a congenital heart defect, and some (like someone once told me) do not find out until their child is playing on a football field and have an episode. In my family’s case, we found out fairly soon after birth than our son, Ethan, had a Some children’s heart defects self-correct over a year or so, while others require immediate, or eventual surgery. Some have single or multiple surgeries. We are actually going for a cardiology follow-up and an echo in a week or so, which is common for those with congenital heart defects. Ethan’s AV Canal defect was repaired very well, but he does still have a leakig mitral valve that may or may not require additional surgery over the years.


While some of these do go as planned, tragically, some do not.

So the point is, I would love for those “praying people” to please pray for those who are living with congenital heart defects or to remember and pray for the families who have tragically lost their babies or children (young or adult, it hurts either way) to a congenital heart defect and related complications.


Also, I just want to invite others to celebrate the fact that medicine has advanced so much that these children with congenital heart defects can live wonderful, healthy, lives. For those who are reading this and are anticipating a baby with a heart defect, the success right is quite high in regards to heart defect repairs, from our understanding.

Here are some pictures of what our son looked like last year and this year after his heart repair.
Chicks Dig Scars 😉 This is soon after his surgery.[/caption]
Boy with a capital “B!” He is a little ball of energy, you’d have never known he had a heart defect. Thank God for the ability to repair them..

19 Months Old Milestones

19 Months!

Messy, happy, and full 19 Months today

Messy, happy, and full 19 Months today

Cheesin for the camera at 19 months old

Cheesin for the camera at 19 months old

I will say a few words here about how Ethan is coming along in his development as today marks his 19th month on this earth! I will share not just to brag about how wonderful and adorable my kid is (he is 😉 ), but because those new parents of any kind, but especially those with children with Down Syndrome or other special needs may be interested to see how a little one like this develops. Keep in mind that all kids are individuals, so just because your child can or cannot do these things does not mean they are doing worse or better per se; nor is there a “Down Syndrome” rate at which one develops. It may just be nice to see that kids are in fact, kids first and do some things that may surprise most if you have not been around children with Down Syndrome before. Also, I know it makes me feel better if some other people are having the same struggles with waiting for a breakthrough in a milestone and it may provide hope that yes, they will move on and get to where they are crawling, laughing, walking, etc. (We are waiting on walking! It will be so awesome when Ethan gets there!) Since I haven’t necessarily broken it down before, I’ll start with 19 months and work backward…

The cuteness of him sitting in that chair with his hands together is actually the culmination of lots of hours of work in therapy! Go Ethan! And so thankful for therapists.

The cuteness of him sitting in that chair with his hands together is actually the culmination of lots of hours of work in therapy! Go Ethan! And so thankful for therapists.

19 Months…Ethan can:

Say: “Mama, Dada, ‘m’ (for “more), and “nana” (for what started out to be introduced as “nana (or banana) bites” and now he calls all yogurt bites this, regardless of flavor. It gets his point across.
Sign: (If confused, see my post : please, shakes head “no” for when he doesn’t want something,has signed “dog” a few times (and attempted to say it!) and will sometimes sign “thank you” mainly when imitating. He

Do..Pull to stand, crawl in “proper” position (tummy off ground), dancing to music (swaying), slightly throw a ball up in the air, roll a ball, pretend to answer a phone, holding own bottle. He is doing a LOT of imitating these days! He sometimes waves bye or babbles “B” sounds.

Eats..He probably could eat most anything but DOES not! He eats mostly pureed foods and rejects most soft solids regardless of daily attempts. He has tried lasagna noodle this month. He WILL eat crunchy foods but is still fairly particular. Favorites are still cheddar Lil Crunchies from Gerber. He also absolutely loves his “nana” bites/yogurt bites.

Drinks: We have had no success with the highly praised Honey Bear Straw cup from Talk Tools company (and for most kids with Down Syndrome it sounds like its been a slam dunk), but with the thickened liquids and Ethan’s preferences, he just will not do it. So the Children’s Hospital speech dept. recommended trying a flexible open cup and also gave a few different non-traditional sippy cup options. So far no luck, but tomorrow I’m trying some chocolate milk in it to see where that gets us! I’ll try to remember to let my readers know if that was successful. I’m sure it is for many kids. Ethan is drinking whole milk from a bottle, but still thickened. He CAN hold it which is nice.

Teeth: He now has several..they are shaped a little differently as I mentioned in this post title=”Dental Care for Kids with Down Syndrome”> but luckily he has only bit me once when teething! (They are sharp!) He is going to the dentist again soon; she was very pleased with how his 2-4 teeth looked around 14 months old. (He didn’t get any until around 11 months.)

In the first year..

Going after the Crawl Ball (Vtech toy)

Going after the Crawl Ball (Vtech toy)

From what I recall of earlier months, he sat up right around 11 months for the first time, pulled to stand a few months after that, crawled with belly off ground around 16 months. He rolled over around 2 months old or earlier. (from tummy to back) He finally belly crawled at around 10 months. He laughed for the first time around 10 months I believe. He smiled for the first time when he was about 3 months old (again this is just by memory so not exactly sure.) At least it gives an idea. 🙂

First attempts at crawling doing "the Superman" as we called it.

First attempts at crawling doing “the Superman” as we called it.