Friday, October 29, 2010

Progress!

I will write more later, but I am excited to share that Ellie Bear is now cruising along the entire length of the fire place hearth (which takes up the whole length of our living room) and signed "cracker" yesterday.  She signed "cracker" while at Friar Tucks English Bakery and I became so excited that I am sure the entire restaurant was aware of Ellie's new word.



See that beautiful stand?  Stomach in.  Feet flat on the floor.  Sophie thinks they are going to play fetch through the glass.  


We are trying to teach Ellie about fetch.  When we say "throw" she just drops the bone.  Well, I guess that is better than sticking it into her mouth.  Anyway, this tells me that Ellie's receptive language is improving :-)


Pigtails!!!!  (I made that sock monkey. I already had to sew the arm back on.  Sophie is just waiting for Ellie to drop the sock monkey so that she can play with it.  Like siblings. . . )

Awa Gma is visiting and has had the great pleasure of seeing Ellie perform wonderfully for Jan, the developmental therapist on Wed., and she got to see Ellie stand up, cruise, and show off her beautiful, sharp two front teeth.  More on the teeth later.


My little darling tried to climb up the slide.  She was not very successful :-P

Wee!  Swinging with Gma!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Wear the Yellow & Blue

Today was the day.  The big buddy walk for the chromosomely-enhanced and their friends, family, and supporters.  Today we were 33 bears strong and after Friday's special Buddy Bear Playdate fundraiser, we had raised over $1,800 for the cause!  I cannot express my gratitude enough and the tears of joy keep flowing.  Andrew and I thank you dearly for all of your support.  The money raised in both registering for the walk and in monetary donations will be used locally (as in Central Texas) for people with Down Syndrome and their families.  The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas [DSACT] is working towards school inclusion, developing post-secondary education, family assistance & support, lobbying towards bills that will prevent funding cuts towards those with special needs, and promoting Down Syndrome awareness.


The Ellie Bears--this is only ~ HALF of our team!
Visit the DSACT website for a picture of most of our team. . .it should be posted soon.


Over the past couple of day I have taken well over 50 photographs.  For those who are facebook users, you can see my album from the Buddy Bear Playdate as well as today's Buddy Walk album.  If any of you do not have FB and would like to see even more photos (I am a little camera happy), please email me.


I made this one-of-a-kind "Designer Genes" shirt especially for the Buddy Walk.  Ellie Bear had it on for only 5 minutes before she spit-up all over it.  At least I got pictures :-)

The walk too place at the Reunion Ranch in Georgetown, TX.  My MIL Dunja, SIL Michele, and niece Haleigh came down from the Plano area especially for the walk.  Our friends, neighbors, and some of my mothers' group buddies also came for the walk.  All week storms were threatening to rain on our parade but we were blessed with sunny skies and 90 degree weather.  Yes, I wrote 90 as in 9-0.  As in really really really hot at the end of October hot.  There were great festivities for the whole family--paddle boats, playgrounds, ring toss, ponies, silent auction, bake sale, bouncy house, volley-ball, soccer, face painting, live music, and even fun with the Georgetown fire truck and air-flight-star rescue helicopter.  I imagine that when Ellie is a bit older, she will never want to leave.  There were also some cheerleaders doing routines there so I am sure the men will not want to leave either.


The Ellie-Bear Charriot 




Michele & Haleigh

Today there were many emotions going through my mind.  My first was, "Ellie is not alone.  There are others here similar to Ellie."  You know, in the world, 1 in every 733 live births is a child with DS.  Since I have lived in Austin, I have seen only one other person with DS.  One.  It certainly doesn't feel like 1 in every 733.  Some of it could be because in the United States, (I know you have heard me say this before and I will say it yet again) 92% of Americans abort a child diagnosed with DS.  

The other thought that went through my head today was, "hardly anyone here has DS!".  It was both a startling, yet exciting observation.  Just think about how over 30 people came to support the Bear-Bear.  If every person with DS had that big of a support system. . .Acceptance.  Love.  Support. Hope.


  Ellie kept putting the ball into her mouth 1st and then dropping it through the hole.


She got a prize!  A Bear :-)

After a few a hours of fun and games, it was time to walk around the entire ranch.  The walk itself was huge.  There was a traffic jam involving strollers.  I tried to snap pictures throughout and it was neat to see just how many people were 1. in The Ellie Bears, and 2. were walking for the cause.  



It was also amazing because there were many volunteers scattered throughout the walk.  Some were high school cheerleaders, some were longhorns, and others were firefighters (sigh). How wonderful it was to witness the community being a part of something big and meaningful.  When we would walk by they would shout "Yay!!!!  The Ellie Bears!!!!  Yay Ellie!!!!"  Loved it!


James Fowler, Ellie, Gma Dunja

This is James Fowler.  He is a very talkative 39 year-old public speaker & political activist.  He lobbies and attends political meetings with senators in hopes of maintaining the current funding for programs with those who have special needs.  Ellie wanted to eat his glasses. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ellie Bears!

Andrew, Ellie, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for you support and generosity.  You are all an amazing group of people who have down so much for Ellie, for us, and for promoting Down Syndrome awareness.  

It just brings tears to my eyes when I see that we have:

29 Registered Walkers on Team "The Ellie Bears" + a few Buddy Bears who are registering the day of bringing our team to at least 32 people!

Your generosity has helped us to raise over $1,200!!!!  

We have received donations from 9 different states--TX, FL, VA, NJ, PA, MA, WI, MO, & CA.  All of the money will be dedicated towards funding local programs and services for people with Down Syndrome & their families within the Central Texas area.  


Thank you, thank you, thank you!  --The Theurers


Ellie Bear of the Bearity Bears--Team Ellie

Here is info on our last fundraising event (Buddy Bear Playdate for a Cause): 

Friday: 10/22/10 from 10:00am-2:00pm at UMC (Contact me for address)

Come join us for a fun-filled playgroup with a cause!

The Buddy Bear playgroup will benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas and “The Ellie Bears”.
It features exciting children’s activities such as a Friendship Bear coloring craft, Buddy Olympics, and other games.
Kids are welcome to come in costume.

What's Happening?
-- Kids fun & activities
-- Creative Wiggles demo class at 10:30
-- Music Together demo class at 11:15
-- Moms: Eyebrow threading by Devika $10 ($4 will be donated to DSACT)
-- Swap Shop Sale $10 for grocery bag full of stuff (benefits UMC)

What can you do to help?
-- Sign up or sponsor someone for the Buddy Walk (Georgetown, Sunday)
-- Come! Invite friends!
-- Bring cash or checks--this is for a great cause!
-- Bring donations for the Swap Shop and any items we can raffle to benefit DSACT.






















Here is info for this Sunday's (10/24) Buddy Walk:

The walk is on Sunday October 24, 2010 at Reunion Ranch in Georgetown, TX from 12:00pm-4:00pm.  The actual walk is at 2:00pm and is a rain or shine event.
Andrew, Ellie, and I intend on arriving around 12noon and leaving after the walk.
You have until 10/20 at midnight to register online at  www.dsact.com otherwise you must register at the event.  
The following website lists the schedule of events as well as a map to Reunion Ranch.
As we have never been to this ranch, we are not sure of a good meeting place so I have included  a picture of our team sign.  Ellie will be wearing a black “designer genes” T-shirt while Andrew & me will be wearing the Buddy Walk shirts.
See you at the walk!

Still want to donate?  Have no fear!  There are still a few days left!  visit: http://www.active.com/donate/buddywalk10/ellietheurer


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Long Awaited Vacation

Thursday:

I had not been in Philadelphia in 2 years.  Two years!  It had been even longer for Andrew.  Ellie has never been to Philadelphia or really never any farther than Plano, TX.  A few weeks ago we went on our first, all too brief family trip to visit friends in Philadelphia.  We cashed in our American Advantage miles (you accumulate a lot when your relationship starts out as long distance) and flew first class!  Ellie did great on the plane :-)   Yes, there were evil looks from the other first class passengers at first, but then they relaxed when they saw Ellie's sparkling smile.  That, and there was another little kiddo in first class.



Friday:

It was a gorgeous day in Media, PA!  Leaves were starting to change color and there was just a slight chill in the air.  It smelled like pumpkins and apple cider donuts.  Yes, I said donuts.  Yum! Autumn is one of the things that I miss most about the Northeast (aside from my friends, of course).  



We wore long sleeves!  Jeans!  Socks with shoes!  A novelty for many of you Texans.


Megan took us to the Linvilla Orchard not far from her house.  There were pumpkins!  Tons of pumpkins and fall decorations!  I was in heaven.  I wanted to buy everything but then how would I get it all back to Texas?  Ellie was trying pretty hard to fall asleep. . . until I plopped her onto of a cold pumpkin in hopes of getting the perfect Ellie Bear cuteness photo.


Yes, as many of you pointed out, Andrew looks like Charlie Brown.  I think he looks very festive in his burnt orange BBQ shirt. I bought him that wonderful shirt so watch the comments people!  Andrew was a good sport in the afternoon.  He got the grand tour of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Biomedical Library.




 Auntie Megan.  Megan and I were 6 months away from a common law marriage when Matt swooped in and stole her from me.



Saturday:

"No One Mourns the Wicked". . . Broadway!  New York City!  It had been about 3 or 4 years since I had last been to NYC.  Andrew and Matt were on Ellie duty while Megan treated me to the Broadway show Wicked and to a scrumptious dinner at Becco.  Has anyone ever seen Lydia's Italian Kitchen on PBS?  Becco is her restaurant.  Yum!












There is this song in Wicked called For Good.  Megan and I both cried because we were thinking of each other!  Lyrics:  http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/wicked/forgood.htm



Sunday:

The return of  "The Aunties" .  Many of you have heard me talk about "The Aunties".  Meeta, Preeti, & Jen.  Once upon a time I lived with a Meeta.  My only Meeta.  Then I grew up, well graduated, and moved to Oregon.  I got lonely.  I moved back to my Megan and Meeta.  Every Thursday (and then changed to Tuesday and the occasional Monday) I would grab dinner with Meeta in Philly before heading back to Jersey.  Meeta would get out of work late and poor Preeti would find me sitting outside of their apartment door.  Then Jen would arrive and then finally Meeta.  Dinners then evolved to Meeta, Preeti, & Jen.  Since they are like my sisters, they are therefore Ellie's "Aunties" and have hence forth been spoiling my daughter and keeping her in good fashion.  



Jen is the baby whisper.  Children flock to her.  Ellie was no different.


Meeta.  My only Meeta.


I think Ellie got this idea from Tama Boo.  Baby in the Bag!  Ellie likes the finer things in life--tissue paper and gift bags.


Megan, sister-of-the-heart, Megan is aka Martha Stewart-McVey-Abbott.  When she says she is going to just "whip something up" you get a feast!  A huge feast!  Roasted chicken, sauteed baked carrots, homemade chicken gravy, bread sauce, green beans.  Oh and then the desserts.  Yes, plural!  Tartlets.  I know!  Tarlets!!!!  with homemade whipped cream and then the caramel-chocolate hand-dipped apple slices with mini M&Ms.  Sigh.  


Now look at the Halloween table decorations.  Now look at everyone.  Remind you of Clue?  

Matt, Megan, Meeta, Andrew, Preeti, & Jen


UPenn Girls!  Megan, Me, Meeta, Preeti, & Jen


Here is a heads up--next post is about bath-time and does involve mostly-naked baby pics.




Saturday, October 16, 2010

Deedah & Me





Through another friend's blog, I watched this YouTube video that had me burst out laughing as the little boys shouts "Oh S*%&".  Two thoughts:
1.  Guess his speech therapist really worked hard with him
2. Yep, this is going to be Ellie sometime in the near future

The video is a trailer to the short documentary "Deedah & Me" (26 minutes) featuring 7yo Charlotte and her 6yo brother Jonathan who has DS.  This documentary involves conversations between Charlotte aka Deedah and her little brother.  Charlotte also describes to the camera her concerns about bullying and stereotyping with regards to her brother and DS.  It is amazing the bond these two children have between each other and also how good Charlotte is at articulating her feelings and views.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monica & David: Building A Life on Their Terms

This documentary won last year's Tribeca Film Festival and aired yesterday on HBO 10/14.  Unfortunately, I missed it as I do not have HBO.



This is the story of Monica and David and their journey.  Please review the short movie trailer and if anyone actually saw the movie last night--I am insanely jealous.  The documentary is enlightening, a tear-jerker, and of course raises many issues.

http://www.monicaanddavid.com/

Trailer & Article: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/syndrome-couples-marry-live-longer-face-questions-sex/story?id=11862336
As you read this article, it shows previews of related articles such as "Down Syndrome Births Drop as More Abort".  Scary!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sweet Berry Farm Pumpkin Patch

Today we went to the pumpkin patch out at Sweet Berry Farms.  It is a bit of a drive, but well worth it.  It is the same place where Ellie went blackberry picking this past Spring.


Ellie picked out her pumpkin.



Pumpkin Yacht: Ellie & Buddy Blaine



Good thing her Tetanus shot is up-to-date





Ellie Bear loved the goats!  I told her they were "just like Sophie" with the licking.









Child of the Corn
Okay, I admit it, we got lost in the maze.  I had to follow an 18-monthold to get out.





Happy Ellie!



Grant, Grace, & Ellie





Bear-Bear for sale!





Apparently Ellie is going to hitch hike her way home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buddy Bear Playdate for a Cause





Come join us in a fun-filled playgroup & swap shop event!

Date:  Friday October 22, 2010 at 10:00am

Host: Anna Theurer & Helena of the Ultimate Moms Club

Location: The Ultimate Moms Club (please email me for address)
The Buddy Bear playgroup will benefit the Down Syndrome Society of Central Texas and “The Ellie Bears”.  It features exciting children’s activities such as a Friendship Bear coloring craft, Buddy Olympics, and other games. Kids are welcome to come in costume.
Bring a nice item (ie wine or perhaps an item you no longer need in good quality) to raffle off.  All raffle ticket proceeds will go towards DSACT.  Anna will have a table where you can register for "The Ellie Bears" Buddy Walk Team (Sunday 10/24), donate to DSACT, or learn more about DS.  All donations are tax deductible.
The Swap Shop purchases will benefit The Ultimate Moms Club.  Please bring your stuff and shop when you come!
UMC Swap Shop Sale-$10 for anything you can stuff into a grocery bag!  That is a whole lot of onesies!  UMC’s swap shop has hundreds of great outfits for kids, adult clothing, toys, books, and household items!
Please share this invitation with your friends.


Monday, October 4, 2010

We Like To Talk About Cute Boys.


.....A quote from the new DSACT video: "Down Syndrome in the 21st Century".  Just wait until you see the cute toddler who knows all of her letters and can sign them too!  Or the 4th grader who gives an excellent presentation on Sam Houston.  My second favorite quote is from the young public speaker " I don't give up. . .and I never had".


http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=7ecd5813917c14a7ec98f9&autoplay&skin_id=801

If this link does not work, please go to the http://www.dsact.org website and scroll to the bottom of the page to access this video.