22 August 2010

(Minor) Spider Surgery

Remember Sheridan's first birthday cake? Well, my friend (and former student) Jennifer did it again... and she managed to outdo herself! (By the way, you really need to click on her link to check out her talent!)

Jennifer made Sheridan's birthday cake and shipped it to us all the way from Salt Lake City. Granted, it was a fake cake, but it looked like a real, decorated cake (it was actually styrofoam inside).

The theme?

Well, Itsy Bitsy Spider is definitely Sheridan's jam lately. I mean, from the moment he first wakes up, to during meals, to riding in the car, he is constantly putting his fingers together to make his spider. Letting us know he wants to get down to the best jam about a spider that was ever written.

And this year I didn't even need vodka to put the thing together.

Here's how the cake arrived when I unpacked it:

Some assembly required (notice the instructions and diagrams Jennifer included to make sure I didn't screw up)... the top spider:

The bottom spider:

And here's how it went down (c'mon, sing with me now)...

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.


Sheridan LOVED his cake... but this is just a teaser :)  I'll have more birthday party pictures soon!

P.S. Yes, we did serve slices of real cake at his party.

18 August 2010

Safari Guide

I'm out of town today on Sheridan's birthday :(  so his sitter Becca, her mom (Miss Sharilyn), and her dad (Mr. Jimmy) decided to take Sheridan to the zoo for a little birthday party! They love him. I mean, seriously loooooove that little boy. He's an honorary member of their family.

So what does one wear to the zoo on his birthday?

A safari guide outfit, of course!

Um, cutest safari guide EVER!

They sent me text messages and pictures throughout the day so I could be there with them in spirit.

His favorite part of the zoo...

The giraffes!

And the gift shop... apparently little man got a new lion book for his birthday :)

So glad he is so loved and had such a great day!

Introducing Sheridan

Today Sheridan turns 2.

I thought it would be fitting to share our announcement of his birth. I had grand plans of ordering baby announcements, but adjusting to new parenthood meant I never had the time to really pick out a picture, an announcement, order them, etc., and after sending pictures and an email to over 200 friends/family just 4 days after he was born, we figured we had covered our bases :)

Here it is, word-for-word, including the images we sent...


Hi, Everyone!

Gary and I are thrilled to let you know that our healthy baby boy, Sheridan Michael, was born on August 18th!

His stats: he weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz and measured 20 inches long at birth, and as you can see from the pictures below he has a ton of hair! He's perfect (that's our objective opinion and we're sticking to it!).

As some of you might notice from his pictures, Sheridan was diagnosed with Down Syndrome shortly after birth. Gary and I know Sheridan came to the right place... Who else can offer him the love and support we (and all of our family & friends!) can? We have access to great services in our area, and most importantly we know there are no limits to what Sheridan can accomplish. He is healthy, happy, and so much fun!

I apologize for taking so long to send out this announcement... Many of you have likely already learned that we had an extended hospital stay because I had severe bleeding after Sheridan's birth (I lost half my blood volume). I'm on the road to recovery now, but please be patient with us as we are slow to respond to email and phone while I continue to recover (and we adjust to parenthood!).

Gary and I are doing well and we're so excited about our new, growing family! Sheridan is truly a joy and I can't wait for you all to meet him!

We hope you all are well...


Lisa, Gary, & Sheridan


Two confessions:

1. Neither Gary nor I "saw" the Ds features the doctor told us about when she gave us the diagnosis. But I didn't know any other way to break that ice... I debated whether or not it was "appropriate" to mention his diagnosis in his birth announcement, but I didn't want people to feel like we were hiding it either (because we weren't). And how do you mention it at a later date when we see/talk to somebody? Weird. So we just put it out there so everyone knew, and everyone would know how we felt about his diagnosis.

2. It amazed me to read this two years later. We truly meant every. single. word. we said in Sheridan's birth announcement; however, we were struggling with the diagnosis. I'm just in awe that I drafted this quick note as a placeholder (remember I was planning to send gorgeous baby announcements?) and that it shows the love, advocacy, support, and potential for Sheridan that I see today.

Maybe I'm psychic :)

15 August 2010

We Get It

My mom and I took Sheridan out to eat dinner last week at a yummy restaurant in Carmel.

We had a 25 minute wait so we sat outside (well, I sat while Sheridan walked my mom up and down the block a few hundred times - did I mention he's a full-time walker now? It's been too long since I've posted on his big accomplishments!).

Another family was waiting, too. A mom, her 16-year-old daughter, and her 2-year-old daughter Olivia. Olivia and Sheridan are the same age, and he was all about trying to play with her. He walked right up to her (and some of you know what a big deal that is!) and wanted to hang out... in brief spurts between walking my mom :)  And Olivia desperately wanted some of Sheridan's snack (the hostess hooked him up with some fresh-baked bread slathered with peanut butter to help us survive the wait for a table), so Olivia was pretty interested in hanging out with Sheridan, too.

When we got a table (the hostess LOVED Sheridan so she got us in after 15 minutes) we looked up and saw that we were being sat next to the family from outside (now the dad had arrived and was sitting with everyone). And after we sat down I could tell the husband and wife were talking about Sheridan, but I figured the woman was just relaying the story of how Sheridan and Olivia were sort of playing outside during the wait.

As I looked at the menu, the father came over and squatted down next to Sheridan's highchair.

"It is no coincidence you are sitting next to us," he was kindly stroking Sheridan's hair, smiling at him, and genuinely pouring love out to Sheridan. "You're sitting next to a family who had two special needs children. We love children with special needs. LOVE children with special needs."

I immediately smiled, and thought to myself, "had." He told me that one child had died at age 1, and the other at age 12. He didn't tell me their diagnosis, and I didn't ask. This wasn't about diagnoses.

It was about love.

He said that those two children were the most precious gift they had ever been given, and all he was "left with is those two knuckle heads," motioning to Olivia and her big sister (tongue-in-cheek, sarcastically of course!).

They knew Sheridan had Ds (not sure why I'm always surprised when people "see" that Sheridan has Ds, but I am).

He said, "You know, other people look at you and think, 'thank goodness it's them, not me.' But they don't get it. They don't get how amazing these children are. How much they bring you...

But we get it. We get it."

It's rare to see that much love in a stranger's eyes, the same love I likely have in my eyes when I talk about Sheridan.

And I guarantee that they get it.

07 August 2010

I Made It Out Alive!

Today I participated in my very first triathlon with some of my sisters. We did it in relay teams, and I was responsible for my team's half-mile swim.

I'm not, shall we say, very athletic.

I didn't care about where we placed... I only cared about making it out of the lake alive. Seriously.

I do love to swim, though, and I trained with Jonna (who swam for the other relay team) 4-5 times a week trying to build up to the distance - for those who care, it's 33 laps in a standard pool :)

I beat my best time: I swam the half-mile course in 19 minutes! I was so proud of myself... and the best part was coming out of that lake and hearing my sisters cheer me on.

The worst part? Running up a freaking hill after the swim so I could tag Amber for the bike leg of the race. How cruel is that? Honestly, that short run was worse than the swim!

Here we are with our team shirts:

From left: Amber (Jonna's sister-in-law), Jen, Gina, Me, Jonna, Debbie

And here's the back of our shirts:

We made Amber an official, honorary member of the sisterhood!

We got a lot of compliments on our shirts... and Jen's eldest boys Diego and Mateo were our cheerleaders.

I survived. I had a blast. I want to do it again.

And because I simply want to share... here's a recent picture from a Sisters' Night Out - it's not our whole group (we have 24 or 25 of us total now!), but you can see how lovely they all are. 

I love them.

Top row from left: Me, Sheree, Susan, Monica (and little Luke!), Sarah, Laura Beth, Renee
Middle from left: Susan, Cori, Debbie
Bottom from left: Jen, Jonna, Amy