Welcome to my blog! The posts are listed by date, with the most recent on top. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Is Forty

It's my birthday.  I'm forty and I've been thinking about what turning 40 means to me.  Do I feel old? Is half of my life over? Do I feel anxiety about accomplishing more in my life? Am I disappointed that I'm not where I wanted to be by the time I turned 40?  How do I feel? Huh? Huh?

Well.....I feel good. I feel great actually.  I don't think I look 40.  I don't feel old.  Yes, my body is not as young. I don't bounce back from a night of drinking as easily.  Sometimes I spend days with foot pain from my not-so-lovely bunions (yes I know there's an operation for that). I get tired more easily, things are sagging, my belly is flabby...but I don't feel old.  And I know my flabby tummy and extra pounds aren't just from being oler, they're also from having carried two children!  I'm exhausted mostly because I don't get enough sleep because.....I have two kids!  I don't have as much energy because I'm 40? Maybe.  And because I have two energetic kids under 6!

But what was my point?  Oh yeah, I don't feel old.
Inside, I still think  I'm 25.  And then I remember what 25 was like for me.  What stage in life I was experiencing and I go," Oh shit!  I'm not 25 at all".

I loved being 25.  I lived in New York with Zach.  I was working, acting, partying, traveling.  I was pursuing my desires and my dream.  At the time, I had one dream--to be a successful actress.  Hopefully by the time I was 30.  I'm 40 and I'm not a successful film actress.  Am I disappointed?  No. Not at all.  Ten years ago, when I turned 30, I was disappointed.  Very.  I was in LA, dedicating all my time and energy to acting and although I was acting and networking and practicing, I was nowhere near being a successful film actress.  I lit a fire under my own ass and got more determined. I wrote a short film, directed and produced it with friends.  I was doing it, getting somewhere, I felt good.  Today I'm 40 and I am so far from that dream.

It's been years since I act in front of a camera or onstage.  And I miss it, but I don't feel like a failure. You see, my desires have shifted and I've had tons of success in other areas, like voice over.  In fact, I've had more success in v.o. than I ever imagined.  And it's given me the freedom to achieve other things that were never even dreams, or goals, or anything.

I'm 40 and I'm married to an awesome guy who I started dating a million years ago (well, like 18) because he was sweet and cooked for me (very important!).  I thought we would date for a few months, six tops.  You see, there was this poet guy, that's the one I really liked.  We were going to have a relationship.  Yeah.....whatever.  I don't even remember his real name.

I'm 40 and I have two little kids whom I adore.  Two little kids full of energy, sass, curiosity, creativity, wisdom and joy.  Two little kids who drive me completely insane and drain my energy but fill me with such love and strength.  Who test and expand my limits daily and have taught me more about myself and my life than I ever thought possible.

I'm 40 and I have a successful voice over career.  A career I sort of shifted into when Miles was born and his needs were more imortant than looking good in front of a camera, yet I still had to make enough money to qualify for our health insurance.  How lucky I am to actually make money doing something I love and am good at.  And I have the freedom to be there for my kids.

I'm 40 and I live in LA.  An awesome city that still surprises me with its hidden jewels.  I'm in a great neighborhood, in a beautiful home where my kids can walk to school and I'm surrounded by people I love.

I am definitely not where I thought I would be at 40.  I never had dreams of getting married, having children, being a voice over actor, owning a home.  My only dream was to have a successful film career.  That was it.  Oh.....and to be happy.  That was actually my original dream, back when I was a little girl, like Miles's age.  Even later, as my interests went from wanting to be a marine biologist, to an austronat, a sociologist, a writer, a psychologist....when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I often answered, "I want to be happy".  Because I didn't really know what I was going to do when I grew up, but I knew I wanted to be happy doing it.

Life is hard.  This fucking journey is a struggle.  Like many people, I'm just trying to navigate the challenges and enjoy the positives.  I don't feel happy all the time, but I am.  I'm happy to be alive in this body, with this mind and all that comes with it.  I'm very fortunate. Blessed really.

So....I'm 40 and I have no specific dreams for myself right now.  I have dreams for my children, for my family, for the world.  I do have goals--health goals, creativity goals, career goals--but dreams?  I suppose my dream is to continue to find happiness doing whatever it is that I'm doing.  I feel like I'm just getting started exploring.  I'm excited and nervous for the rest of this journey and my dream is to to always find my happy place.   For me, this is forty.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Make It Worth It

My Life With Miles.  How the hell are ya?  I missed you old blog! It has been two years and four months since my last post.  I wasn't even sure this site would still be up.  But here it is, how cool.  So much has happened.  Miles is 6 years old and in Kindergarten.  Ella is 3 1/2 going on 15.  We've moved and moved again.  The weeks, months, years have been a blur.  When I think back on the last couple of years I can see images, feelings of love, sadness, happiness, depression, hardship.  I can see flashes of smiles, laughing children, trees, sun, water, running kids.  I can feel my aching back, lethargy, the smell of  coffee.  I can barely open my eyes.  I have trouble breathing.  I can feel tears running down my cheeks.  And then I can see my kids' smiling faces again.

Ella's round little face, rosy cheeks, her little teeth and twinkling eyes.  She's a beauty.  She's a healer.  She's connected.  Her happiness and joy are infectious.

 Then there's Miles.  Miles of Smiles.  His laugh so big and full he leans his head back to get it all out.  Just like me.  His joy and laughter are so pure, divine. He is engaging.  He is connected.  You can't help but feel love in his presence.

I think back on the last couple of years and I give myself a great big hug.  It's been hard doing it all.  It's been hard being a great mother, a wife, having a career, having friends and family, traveling, moving, learning, having patience, cooking, cleaning, being here for others, being here for myself.  It's all been hard but not because Miles has Down syndrome.  It's been hard because I have two little kids, one has Down syndrome, the other doesn't.  They want it all and I want to do it all.  So.....yeah, sleeping, keeping my cool, smiling, breathing, just being.... has been challenging.  But I'm learning now. And I'm slowing down and I'm gearing up for more of the same, but now with more help.  I don't have to do it all, all the time.  I can take turns and I can ask for help and I can take time outs.  And that doesn't mean I'm neglecting anybody, that just means I'm taking care of myself so I can take care of everyone else.  Which I like to do.

I hope to continue writing.  Not sure what I'll do with it.  Maybe I'll revamp this blog, maybe I'll change it.  But I want to write for sure.  And I want to put some focus back into my career.  And I want to bake more.  And keep drinking wine with friends.  And just enjoying things more.   Life is short, make the journey worth it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little Racoons

It's almost the end of Miles's first real preschool year.  He rocked it.

Ella is about to turn 16 months.  That's a whole year and four months.  She's rocking it.

We just had Miles's 2nd IEP.  We were happy with it.  He'll be going to the same preschool next year and getting tons of services integrated into the program.  He's gonna continue rocking it.

Ella goes to daycare three times a week and is already doing so much.  She's actually a little bit of a hellraiser at daycare.  Yeah, she's done some scratching, hair pulling and kicking.  She fights for what she wants.  The rest of the time she's really sweet.  I swear!!

Miles is sweet.  He made his first real school friend.  Real as in not one of our friends kids.  Real as in a kid from school that he plays with all the time, they hug and kiss hello in the mornings and they wrestle and tackle each other and chase each other around the playground.  Real as in Apollo (that's his friend's name) would go home and talk to his mom about his buddy Miles from school.  So much so that his mom approached me about doing a playdate.  So we did!!!  Miles had his first playdate with a typical kid who became his friend in school!  It was so cute!!!!

Speaking of chasing around, Ella chases Miles around all day along.  She wants to do whatever he's doing.  She wakes up in the morning and the first thing she asks for (well, after a book) is Miles.  The thing is, she doesn't call him Miles.  She calls him "daddy" or sometimes "mine".  This morning she woke up so early that I went to her room and tried to get her back to sleep.  But she wouldn't sleep, she wanted to cuddle.  So I cuddled her in her room until she asked for daddy.  I brought her into our room, assuming that she meant Zach, her real daddy.  But the minute she saw him she started yelling and crying and arching her back and saying "daddy daddy daddy" over and over.  I said "that's daddy, he's right there".  Zach kept trying to hold her and she'd get more angry.  Finally I said to her, "do you mean Miles?  Do you want to see Miles?"  She calmed down and said "yes" while nodding emphatically.  I could tell she was happy I finally understood what she meant. I explained to her that Miles was still sleeping and we had to wait until he woke up to see him.  She looked at me with understanding, put her head down on my chest and closed her eyes.  She decided to wait.  She's got such a good grasp  of language and communication...it boggles my mind.  And she loves her brother so much.

Miles loves Ella too.  He loves her and wants to play with her the same way he plays with Apollo and some of the other boys at school: tackling, shoving, wrestling.  When he sees her in the afternoons after school, he'll often yell out her name, "ELLA!!" and opens his arms wide while running full force towards her for a hug...er, tackle.  Yep, he tackles her onto the ground and sometimes even pins her there.  She finds it hilarious.  She never cries.  It's how they play.  She plays rough....hence all the little mishaps at daycare.  Ella is a sweet little rough girl.  She's learning from her sweet big brother.  It's a winning combination...or something.

I tell you what, they keep us on our toes for sure.  These two little raccoons, as my husband calls them, are incredibly busy, curious, smart, happy, energetic, sweet, loving, and non-stop fun.  Or just non-stop.  They are both communicating so much in English, Spanish and Sign language.  They are exploring their world and fine tuning their muscles.  They are getting to know each other and the world around them.  And they're both learning so much from each other.  I can see how Ella will soon surpass Miles in language and motor skills, but she'll continue learning perseverance, courage and love from him.  And may we all learn a little patience!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sleepy Time

We've fallen into this new "routine" with Miles where he needs us to stay in the room with him until he falls asleep.  Sometimes we lie down in bed with him, sometimes we lie on the couch, sometimes we just sit on the floor next to him until we hear his breathing get real deep....and even turn into snoring every now and then.  He's always been real good about going to sleep at night.  Since he was a baby, he would pass out in my arms before he'd even finish his bottle.  As he got older, we'd sit and read books and as soon as I turned off the light, he'd be out.  When we moved him into his big room before Ella was born, I was afraid he'd have trouble falling asleep.  But no problems there.  We'd sit on the couch and read a few books, I'd turn off the lights and he'd be out.  Then we got him his big boy bed and again we thought there would be problems, but no.  He was so excited and marched to bed every night without prompting.  He'd flop his head on the pillow, I'd give him a kiss goodnight and that was it.  I'm not saying he fell asleep right away, but he would lie there content to let sleep overtake him.  And then three weeks ago, right around the time Daylight Savings started and we had to spring forward one hour, he decided he didn't want to go to sleep at night anymore.

The first time it happened I was home alone with the kids.  Zach was working late.  I was exhausted and was looking forward to getting to bed early.  Ella was down at her usual time, 7pm.  Miles typically goes down around 8pm.  He had his dinner, bath and extra playtime with his trains.  We sat on the couch and read a few books and when I said it was time to sleep, he got off the couch, opened the door and said "bye bye" to me!  I was like, "what? What do you mean bye bye? get back here kid!"
He had no plans to go to sleep.  He closed the door on me and ran to the living room.  I ran after him.  Brought him back to the room.  Put him in bed....but he wouldn't stay there.  I got in bed with him and practically lied on top of him to keep him down.  The kid is strong.  And he does not give up.  Oh and he thought the whole thing was hilarious!  I eventually gave in and turned on the lights, decided to let him play some more.  I sat and played with him another half hour and tried to get him down again.....and he fought me.  Ran out of the room, turned on the TV, ran back into his room, I pinned him down on his bed, he struggled and laughed and wouldn't give up.  After almost 3 hours of trying to get him to go to sleep, it was nearly 11:30pm and I was going mad. So I gave up.  I decided I'd go to sleep and he could do whatever he wanted.

I brushed my teeth, took out my contacts and got in bed, physically and mentally exhausted from my day.  I took out my Vanidades  (trashy Spanish magazine) and started reading.  Miles was hovering around the whole time, kinda doing his own thing but keeping tabs on me.  When I got in bed he promptly got in with me and asked me to read him the magazine.  So I read to him in Spansih about Prince William and Kate and their future baby.  He seemed very interested.  I read on about Gloria Swanson and I though I started drifting to sleep, he was still wide awake.  So I told him I was going to sleep, turned off one of the night lights and gave him the magazine to keep reading.  He flopped onto his belly, opened the magazine in front of him and started "reading".  He looked like a teenage girl engrossed in celebrity gossip.  It was hilarious.  But I was too tired to laugh.  I fell asleep.  Half an hour later Zach walked into the room to find us both asleep on the bed, Miles with the magazine open in front of him.  He transferred Miles onto his bed where he slept until about 6am.  And that was the beginning of his "I don't want to go to sleep by myself in my room" thing.

He hasn't gone to sleep so late again snce that night and I haven't had him fall asleep in my bed again, but I've had to stay with him in his room until he does fall asleep.  If I walk out of the room before he's fully asleep. he'll run out of bed and follow me out.  And no matter how many times we guide him back to bed, he'll jump up faster than we can get out of the room.  So we've decided it's easier to stay in there with him until he's asleep.  I tried to fight it.  I worried about it, are we doing the right thing?  Is he getting into a bad habit?  And then I thought, "but I like having this quiet time with him."  I don't mind snuggling him until he falls asleep.  I used to do that when he was a baby.  In fact, if I really think back, I've done that most of his life.  It only really changed when Ella was first born and I had no time to sit with him at bedtime so he started falling asleep on his own.  But I always did it and did it because I loved it.  And I still do.  And instead of stressing out about how long this is going to go on, I'm going to enjoy it because he's not going to want to me to tuck him in for the rest of his life.  Eventually this little routine will stop, he'll change it up.  He won't want me around as much and I'll miss these days.  I'll miss the nighttime kisses and snuggles and quiet time.  So right now, I'm going to enjoy it.

And when he gets up at 2 am and comes to our bed, we let him stay.  We snuggle and fall back asleep.  Usually he falls asleep first and we put him back in his room where he sleeps until the morning.  But we enjoy those 2am snuggle sessions too because we really never did that when he was a baby.  We never co-slept.  We used to bring him in bed at 5am when he would wake up but it was impossible to get him to just go back to sleep.  He'd want to play, he was up.  Our bed was a fun play space.  But now when he climbs onto our bed and it's dark out, he just wants to sleep snuggled between us and know that we're there for him.  And we are.  And until we can't stand it or he changes it up, I'm going to go with this new routine and enjoy the sweetness of it, because it won't last forever.  Nothing does.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big Boy in His Bid Bed

Miles sleeping like a sloth, so relaxed in his new bed!

Big Boy in a Big Bed!  That's right, Mr. Miles is finally out of his crib and in a real bed!!    For months now we've been talking about transitioning him into a bed but honestly, Zach and I just weren't ready.  He was.  It was obvious.  At school he sleeps in a mattress like all the other kids.  He can get in and out when he needs to....and he does.  Whenever we visit his friends, he likes to pretend he's sleeping in their beds.  He gets under the covers, closes his eyes and everything.  At home he loves jumping on our bed and pretending we're all sleeping together.  Ella wants to jump and roll around the bed while Miles tries to get her to lay her head down on the pillow and go to sleep.  He's always been a very good sleeper and now that he's bigger, he even tells us when he wants to get in his crib.  We'll read some books and turn off the light and while I like to sit and hug him for a few minutes because he's so yummy....he wants me to just put him in his crib.  Because he wants to sleep!
Yes, he's been ready for a while, all the signs have been there and though we were aware of it, we've been holding back for our own selfish reasons.

I mean, what if he gets up in the middle of the night and comes to wake us.  Or if he gets up super early in the morning, like he used to do (at 5am) and wakes us.  Ella is sleeping through the night, waking up around 6:30am and Miles gets up  around 7am.  After three and a half years we are finally getting some decent sleep!!! We don't want to lose that!  We need our sleep and change is hard for everyone....not just the kids!!!  We don't want to go back to night wakings and weird sleep situations.  And what about in the morning?  Are we going to be dealing with nasty, messy clean-ups?  Miles wakes up with some incredibly full poopy diapers almost every morning.  What if he has a particularly full and runny morning constitution and he gets out of bed and on the couch or on the rug and drags his shit with him??? Literally.  That's just gross and too much information, I know, I'm sorry.  But these are the things I've been thinking about.  This is what's been holding me back from making the switch.  But today we took the plunge.  I don't know exactly what it was that made us both wake up and decide today was the day to buy Miles a bed, but we did.

Zach and I dropped Miles off at school and drove out to IKEA with Ella and together the three of us found a perfect bed for him.  It's low to the ground so he can get in and out by himself and it has a half rail just in case he moves around too much at night. Ella loved his bed and played on it for a good 20 minutes while at the store.  We got home, Zach built it, we washed the sheets and set it all up.  When Miles finally saw it this afternoon, he knew exactly what it meant!  I could just tell.  He was so excited, grinning from ear to ear and climbed right up on his bed, pulled the covers over himself and pretended to be asleep.  It was precious.  I still wasn't too sure that he'd go to sleep easily tonight, so I was expecting a long bedtime routine, with lots of jumping on the bed or climbing on and off before he finally fell asleep.  I was so wrong!  After his bath, we went into his room and when he saw his bed again, exclaimed, "Oh wow!"....as if he'd forgotten and once again remembered his cool new bed.  I let him pick out his pajama and after a little fight, I finally dressed him.  He was already in his bed and put his head on the pillow and pretended to go to sleep.  I said, "Okay goodnight Miles" and as I went to turn off the lights he climbed down from the bed and went over to the couch in his room, where we always read books before bed.  So I picked out three books, sat on the couch with him, Zach walked in the room and we read.  At the end of the third book, Miles had finished his milk and did the "all done" sign.  So I closed the book, said "All done" and as I went to turn off the light, he climbed off the couch, onto his bed and under the covers.  He smiled at us and closed his eyes!!!!!  We turned off the light, said I Love You and walked out.  All Done!!  That was it!  It took about 15 minutes tops!!

We could not believe it!!!  That was soooo easy!!  Our little boy in a big bed for the first time ever!  He's doing it, passing another milestone, we're all transitioning into yet another phase.  Amazing!  It was a little over a year ago that we moved Miles into his current room in preparation for Ella's birth.  I was so nervous that he wouldn't like his new room, that he'd be scared because he was far away from us.  I was nervous that we wouldn't hear him when he cried or that we couldn't get to him fast enough if he needed us.  I was sad that he wasn't in the room closest to us anymore.  I was the one having a hard time transitioning.....he did just fine. And here we are today, just a few days shy of Ella's first birthday and we're going through another big transition with Miles.  One that's been a long time coming, one that he's been sooo ready for and one that I, again, was holding on to for just a little too long.  It's a well known fact that kids have trouble with transitions.  They say kids with Down syndrome have an even harder time adjusting to transitions.  Well, what about the parents?  Have there been any studies done about that?  I doubt I'm the only mom out there who wrestles with these transitions.  Or am I?  Either way, here I am, proud of my son's independence, his growth.  Excited that he's doing so well and knows so much.  Nervous about how tomorrow will be.  We'll see who transitions better...him or me!

Miles is such a deep sleeper that he didn't wake up when we went into his room and turned on the light to take these photos!

PS....Miles did wake up with a huge, very loose poopy diaper that smeared all over his new mattress.  Yes, we put a cover on the mattress, but he managed to get it just in the spot where the mattress wasn't covered!!  At least he didn't run around the house getting everything dirty.  No...he stayed in bed, lying down talking to himself until one of us came in the room....to find a stinky mess!!  Thank goodness for washing machines!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Miles with fallen leaves at Descanso Gardens

Wow, the year is over.  Just a few more hours and it will be 2013.  As I look back on how much has happened this year I am blown away.  How does so much happen in such a short time yet it always feels like it happened a million years ago?   At the beginning of this year I was still pregnant with Ella.  I was nervous for her birth, hoping for the best, not knowing if we'd be in for any surprises. And then she was born, perfect in so many ways.  My worries turned from her to Miles, who was going through so many changes: moving into his new room, starting a new school, having a more intense therapy schedule, not being the center of our universe anymore.  How was he going to deal with a new sibling?  How was I going to deal with two kids?   This year also brought lawyers and mediation and IEP's and fighting, fighting for my family, my house, my kids.  So much of it is just a blur and when I look back on the year, I think I was half asleep through a large part of it.  I'm not sure how we've made it through, but we have and most of memories are good.

Miles has grown so much.  He's a big boy now, ready to start sleeping in a big boy bed soon.  He actually started two new schools this year, became a big brother, finished all his Early Intervention therapies, had his first IEP.  All big milestones for him and us.

My little drummer boy

And Ella, my sweet little lady, was born this year.  A Dragon Aquarian just like myself.  She was born healthy, strong, beautiful, hungry and with an independent spirit.  A perfect addition to our family.  And the happiest little baby around.  She is social and curious, daring and funny.  She loves food and music and swimming and playing with Miles. I love her to pieces.

My sweet pea
Yet with Ella's birth came a lack of sleep so intense that it's been the hardest part of my year!!  It's messed with my head on way too many occasions.  Sleep deprivation makes me grumpy and eat too much and overindulge on caffeine and sweets and have no energy for exercise.  So my body is in pain and out of shape.  My mind is foggy and my emotions are all over the place.  Transitioning from one baby to two has been a major challenge for me. But one that I've welcomed, in fact, I wanted it.

Sibling love!

Is it worth it?  Is all the stress and emotional drama and lack of sleep and loss of independence worth it?  YES.  A big resounding YES!  I am exhausted but somehow I find the energy to be a mother, to be the best mother I can be on any given day.  And I do it because I love these tiny humans who call me mami.  They make me happier than I ever thought possible.  They have made me understand things about myself and life that I had barely even questioned in the past.  They have made me be more loving, empathetic, caring, compassionate, inclusive,  funny and kind.  Although I seem to have a short temper, I'm actually more patient now than I have ever been before.  They've made me question my values, what I admire, my understanding of love and laughter and letting go.  They've made me be less judgmental and more accepting.  In short, they've made me grow and I like the direction in which I'm growing!

Family self-portrait on our Family Fun Day!

I won't lie though, even though these little dumplings have changed my life for the better, raising them is hard as hell!!!!! Shit, it's true that nothing in life comes easy!!!  There can't be growth without effort and pain.  So that's where I'm at as 2012 comes to an end.  I'm in a place where my reserves have kicked in so my exhaustion won't get the best of me.  And I'm feeling blessed for all of it.  For my family, my body, my mind, my spirituality, my light.  My wish for 2013 is to find more harmony in every area of my life, especially at home.  I wish for happiness, health, love and daily harmony!!  And as I look at the photo above I think, "Oh my God, that's my family!  Those are my kids.  Two kids.  I am a mother of two!! WTF!!??".  That's amazing to me.  I never even knew I wanted kids, thought I didn't, and here I am loving them and the family that Zach and I have built more than anything.  Wow, that's some growth right there!

Thank You and Goodbye 2012. 

Hello and Welcome 2013!

Christmas 2011
Christmas 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Little Moments

Ella is 10 months old.  She is crawling and cruising on furniture and climbing on everything and following Miles's every move.  She's got six teeth with two more coming through and she loves food!  In fact, we've been calling her Po, like the character in the movie "Kung Fu Panda" because just like Po, she's completely motivated by food.  That's how she first started crawling.  She started noticing Miles's food on the floor and learned how to reach it...and put it in her mouth!  She eats anything, especially finger foods.  She loves the independence.  Don't try to feed her, she wants to do it herself!!  Noodles, beans, yoghurt, bread, grapes, carrots, tofu, eggs, quinoa, rice.  If it's on her little table, she will put it in her mouth.  Yes, even yoghurt.  Meals are very messy around here.   Ella is a happy little baby as long as she's not tired or hungry.  If she is, she lets me know.  She's very clear about what she wants and doesn't want and she lets me know it.  Yep, she's my daughter.  I don't think she'll have any problems expressing herself.  Ella loves to laugh and babble and point at things and imitate sounds.  In fact, she's getting so good at it that  Zach and I make a pact to stop using curse words around her, which, if you know us, you understand how incredibly difficult that is.  But we're trying...I swear. 

Miles is loving his preschool and is also learning exponentially.  His sign language and understanding of language has doubled in the last couple of months.  He's finally using his signs more often without needing us to prompt him.  And he's understanding more concepts like things that are hot or cold. His spoken language is still lagging, but he's got a few new words and phrases he's using like, "do it", "stop it"and "there".  Communication can still be a challenge, but I find that it gets better every day.  I've also become a better listener and watcher so I can anticipate his needs and be on the lookout for his signs.  He can tell I'm listening and understand him and he is, in turn, more interested in communicating with me.  It's starting to be a more rewarding experience...finally!  Miles also surprised us with his very spirited performance in the school's Halloween show.  He totally rocked it!  He was the happiest, most energetic and exciting performer of all.  Which wasn't really a surprise. What surprised us was how well he knew the choreography and how he didn't need an aide to help him follow along at all.  I mean, he loves dancing, I know that.  But I didn't know that he would be so good at a choreographed dance!  It was exciting to see him surpass my expectations.  He loved the stage and being in the spotlight. 

These are just a few tidbits of what's been going on in the last two months.  It's really been a whirlwind and I've barely had time to process it all.  That's why I haven't written.  It's usually a toss between writing and sleeping.  Sleeping has been winning every time. And I know that with the holidays coming this month, the last 31 days of 2012 are going to be over before we know it.  But I don't want this year to be over!  I want to luxuriate in this time, I want to truly experience this sweet stage that Ella is in.  I want to be able to look back on these days with both kids and remember specific moments in time.  The little moments, not just the big ones like Christmas or Thanksgiving.  I want to be able to remember Ella's toothless smile and the way she crawls with one knee pointing up toward the sky. I want to remember how she puckers up her mouth and scrunches her nose when she savors a new flavor for the first time.  I want to remember the way her delicate little fingers pick up a small cheerio with such precise coordination and put them in her mouth. I want to remember her sweet little voice when she says mama or her high pitched yelling when she's excited.

I want to remember Miles's funky dance style: stomping his legs and swinging his torso and bent arms from side to side.  I want to remember how he's added air guitar and air drums to his dance repertoire and how he has no shame of breaking into dance at any restaurant when good music is playing.  I want to remember his sweet smile and carefree laughter when we run around the kitchen chasing each other.   I want to remember how he says "hi" with such innocence and love every time I see him or how he pats my back when we embrace.  I want to bottle all these special moments so I can see them this clearly 50 years from now.

Alas, Dumbledore's pensieve only exists in the Harry Potter series.  So I'll try to do what I know how to do: to stop and enjoy the moments with my kids.  Take the time to really be with them and not fill my head with other worries.  And then, when I can, I will write about those moments because it helps me process them.   It helps me see them again and store them deep in my heart.  And of course, I will take photos and videos because when I  don't have time for the words, a picture can say it all!

So here is a few highlights of the past two months......

 The month of October started off with the Club 21 Walkathon in Pasadena, where we helped raise awareness and money for children with Down syndrome!

Family Portrait with Brobee at the Club 21 Together Is Better Walkathon!
Miles dancing with his friend Lilly at Club 21 Walkathon

At school, Miles started acting out a bit this month.....and that got him into trouble on the playground! He fell and got a pretty big gash right above his eye.  Instead of stitches, the doctor glued his skin together and put a butterfly strip over it.  He was pissed off about the whole ordeal, but as soon as we got home, he went straight into the studio to play the drums. 

Miles on the drums after his trip to the doctor.
                             Ella also likes to play the drums!
Miles trying on his cowboy boots for his Halloween costume as Sheriff Woody

 Miles's first performance, onstage, with a live audience was fantastic!!!  We had parents coming up to us afterward saying that they would pay just to go see Miles perform.  Yeah, he was that entertaining.....and good!

Ella, the little Pumpkin, showing off her cute delicate fingers.
Miles during his school's Halloween performance.

Sheriff Woody
Sibling Love!!
Ella's chubby cheeks on her first train ride in Travel Town 
A self portrait of Miles and I during our date to the Natural History Museum

Thanksgiving 2012......
Miles and Lilly eating apples after Thanksgiving dinner

Ella happily playing with the big kids on Thanksgiving
My kids and food........

Ella after a yoghurt breakfast
Eating dinner like big kids at the little kid's table.
Our first self-portrait!
Mama sandwich on a lazy Sunday at the Griffith Observatory