Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Day of Baking

I'm definitely not a great cook...I normally cook meals that take the least amount of time, so I can get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. Today, though, I broke a new record. Bella and I (and sometimes Jack, although he was more interested in eating the ingredients than helping to prepare them!) made three types of Christmas goodies, and I prepared the shish kebobs we're barbequing tomorrow night for the get together at our house. I'm pretty proud of the outcome and especially the fact that I was working in my kitchen from about 10:00-5:00 with one or two breaks in between. Bella had a lot of fun, and hopefully we will keep this up every year...and maybe even move on to more creative goodies than Rice Krispy Wreaths, Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Oreo Balls!

Half of my shish kebobs...those suckers take forever!

Bella with all of the goodies!

Putting the kisses on the PB Blossoms

Jack helping with...err...eating the chocolate!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jack and His Chipmunk Friends

I have been a blogging slacker lately, but this post will totally make up for it, and I promise to be a better blogger...especially since all of my shopping is done, I finished reading Twilight, and my boys have been going to sleep without a fight for the past week! It's a happy week here! Anyways, you're about to see the cutest video stars my little Jack and three little chipmunks (Trust me.) Jack is a doubt about it. He loves to give hugs and kisses to anyone and everyone...chipmunks are not exempt. See below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bella Funny

We were out shopping on was a really windy and rainy day, and Bella noticed the tall palm trees swaying in the wind. One particular tree that had obviously lost a lot of fronds, caught her eye. This is how the conversation went.
Bella: That tree doesn't have a lot of branches like the other palm trees do.
Me: No, it sure doesn't. It only has a few.
Bella: Maybe it got a buzz cut.

Ahh, the mind of a child...I haven't laughed that hard in ages! :-) Love my girl!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Buddy Walk 2008

Here is our latest Buddy Walk Montage! We made it through sickness and rain to come together and celebrate our angel Jack on November 2 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. As of today, we have raised over $5,200.00! Amazing! Thank you everyone who has supported us...I am always blown away by the generosity of others. Enjoy!

Halloween Montage 2008

This is long...but very cute! We had a lot of dressing up this year so there's a lot of pics! :-) Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

DSRTF Fundraiser-One Extra Reason to Live.Love.Hope

John and I were honored to be a part of the third annual Los Angeles fundraiser for DSRTF last night at Twist Restaurant in Hollywood. This is my second time attending (first time for John), and for the second time, I left the fundraiser filled with tremendous hope for Jack's future. For the second time, Dr. Mobley and Dr. Harpold brought me to tears as they spoke from the heart about their life's passion...research that makes it a very real possibility that potential treatments will significantly improve cognition in all individuals with Down syndrome. One year ago, as I sat and listened to Dr. Mobley speak, there had been two potential therapeutic targets identified to improve memory and learning in people with DS. Yesterday, we learned that there have been two more identified, one being in the last three weeks.

What the general public may not know is that most people with DS develop the pathology of Alzheimer's in their 40's. Because of the research funded by DSRTF in the past four years (yes, it is THAT new!), the specific gene associated with the decline on cognition associated with Alzheimer's has been identified (and not just related to Down syndrome...this is related to all who develop Alzheimer's. So why bring this up? Well, apparently, the Federal Government doesn't put any worth or importance on individuals with Down syndrome. In fact, as one example, Federal funding for Cystic Fibrosis (35,000 individuals affected in the US) is about $2,800.00 per person. Federal funding for Down syndrome(350,000 individuals affected in the US) is about $40.00 per person. Anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? I, for one, am saddened by these numbers. My husband, on the other hand, is "pissed off" by these numbers. So what can we do? Well, number one is to take the back door approach...maybe no one in government thinks DS research is important...but they do care about Alzheimer's Disease. Let's get our government officials to realize that funding DS research has a high potential of unlocking the mysteries of Alzheimer's. This benefits all people, including my baby...This seems to be the best way to get more funding...Number two, support DSRTF. This foundation's mission is to improve cognition for individuals with Down syndrome...they call it "the breakthrough." I tend to agree...we have to make this happen...and we will.

I highly recommend looking into DSRTF and all of the great work they are doing for individuals with Down syndrome. I will always have a place in my budget to donate to this worthy organization.

These were the centerpieces...they were old film canisters with pics of kiddos with DS on them...notice my little man Jack making his debut! I don't know if we were allowed to take them...but I did! LOL...I wasn't the only one!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Friends Forever!

The cutest little things ever...

Seriously...this pic makes me is the sweetest thing ever!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hodge Podge...

Soccer Stuff...Bella scored another goal this weekend! YES! She's getting better and better each week...Now...if we could only get her to stop dancing on the soccer field, LOL! My mom and mother in law came to cheer her on...I tend to yell...ALOT...during the games. I heard my mom say, "Oh no...she's one of *those* moms!" LOL! Yep, and proud of it!

Grant--Started Waving and Clapping this weekend! I think he's saying "Hi!" when he waves! He is sooooo proud of himself!

And for those that haven't heard...Jack got glasses for up close stuff! He is ADORABLE! And, he keeps them on pretty well...shocker! Here is the cutie pie in his new shades!

This is What Happens When Mom is Gone...LOL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Raffle to Help Bring Addison Home to Her Family!

This is a special friend Bethany and her family are in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia. Her name is Addison, and she has Down syndrome. They will be traveling to meet their daughter for the first time on Monday, and hopefully she will be able to come home with them soon after. Adoptions can be very expensive, so The Mom Crowd is having a HUGE raffle to raise funds to help with the enormous costs Bethany's family is faced with.

They have over $1,700 worth of prizes to give away. Each raffle ticket purchased is $5.00 and will enter you into a drawing for all of the great prizes. The last day to buy a ticket is Wednesday, September 24th at midnight EST and the winners will be announced on Friday, September 26th, 2008. For more details and to purchase raffle tickets go to

You can follow Bethany and family's adoption journey at their blog

Thanks in advance! This is such a great family...I know they appreciate any help they can get!

Monday, September 15, 2008

This has to be one of the greatest Bella funnies!

Picture this...4 year old soccer players getting their first experience with sunflower seeds! Lots of spitting, LOL! They thought they were so grown up!On a side note, look how cute our banner turned out!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Latest Montage...

Our Carlsbad vacation, Bella's first day of school and soccer, and some other random photos and video...Enjoy!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bella Funny

My little Bella was looking at old vacation pictures of me and DH tonight. Here's the conversation:
Bella: Daddy, where am I in these pictures?
DH: Well, you weren't made yet Bella.
Bella: Were they putting me together at the hospital?

She is just too cute! LOVE the mind of a four year old!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Bella Started Soccer Today...

Hard to believe...but Bella is now old enough to play soccer! Even harder to believe...I am the team mom! Who'd have thought? Today was Bella'a first game with her team "The Tiny Tinks" (as in cute is that?!). Of course the girls will never be missed on the field since we got the choice uniform color of fluorescent green! They all looked absolutely adorable grown up!

So here's what I have to say about today's game: four year olds + soccer = comedy, LOL! It's like everyone running in a huddle one way, then the ball goes out of bounds, and they proceed to run in a huddle the other way. There was also a lot of standing around with looks of "huh?" and "what am I supposed to do?". It was quite amusing!
On a side note, I made my first soccer bow and it turned out super cute! I am NOT a crafty type, but I had fun making the bow...probably because it was so easy. I am going to make them for rest of the girls this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Hodge Podge of Updates Part One..The Boys


Remember when I said that the ENT informed us that the fluid that came out of Jack's ears had the consistency of Jello?! (Double EEEEW!) Well, it must've...because we are almost two months out and guess what?! Jack has gone from about five spoken words (90-100 signs) to over twenty and adding every day! What a difference ear tubes make! Can we say PROUD?! I am sooo proud of my baby. We had the dreaded (not really, but it sounds good, LOL!) 6 month EVALUATIONS last week, and Jack scored at the 20 month level in speech, 22 months in cognition, and....drum roll pleeeeeeease...28 months in social/emotional (He is 28 months old, so no delay there!). Anyhow, the cognition is only 20 something percent delayed, which falls in the normal range. This child works so so proud!
He has been brushing up on his social skills this summer with a couple of playdates...whatever fear I had about my child never making friends was clearly unfounded! Here's a few of my faves...notice all of the girls!


I can't believe my little guy is 8 months old! He has a contagious laugh, a curious grin, and the ability to keep mommy wrapped tightly around his little finger!!! This is obvious, given the fact that he has wiggled his way into my bed at night! How did I ever let that happen?! Sooo, next step is getting him out! Grant is a little pistol! He would rather just skip the crawling and go right to the standing and walking....although, he has been staying on all fours longer and longer these days! He may just crawl yet! He loves his sisters and cracks up at their mere presence. He has major love for mommy, and he lets everyone know by his piercing screams when I have left the room! Here are a couple of recent pics of my little munchkin!

Buddy Walk Time!

Hi all!
I can't believe it's that time again...the 2008 Buddy Walk will be on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at Angel Stadium. As always, our team, Jammin' for Jack, will be raising money for Down syndrome awareness while celebrating the life of our beautiful son. If you want to know what it means to have Down syndrome, please view the short video here OR go check out Jack's website at If you would like to join our team, donate money, or help with fundraising, you can go to, or I will also be sending out donation forms in the mail if you prefer to donate that way. We want to thank you in advance for your generosity and support of such a worthy cause.

With much love and gratitude,
the Clark fam

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fun Father's Day

First things first...Jack is continuing to recover just beautifully. He has slept through the night since Friday, and his last dose of pain meds was yesterday morning. He has been busy eating chicken fingers and quesadillas, along with the occasional scoop of ice cream! (Hey, he might as well get some of the perks of having his tonsils out...even if he doesn't need them!).

So Father's Day...we had already decided to stay put because of Jack's surgery, and Daddy decided that he wanted to wake up, surf (surprise surprise!), get out the waterslide, and barbeque some yummy tri-tip! We invited our friends Ashlee and Todd(and Macy, of course!) over for what turned out to be a gorgeous day! The kids went crazy on our new toy, and Jack was able to sport his new earplugs! You can tell by the pics that this surgery certainly hasn't kept my boy down! All in all, it was a perfect day! Daddy got lots of lovin', homemade cards, and the first three seasons of LOST on DVD...he was a happy daddy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

We are home...a good T & A story?

I have been nervous about this surgery. Lately, the only T & A stories I've heard have been recovery horror stories...this does not sit well with a mommy who already has a six-month old that keeps her up all night. The prospect of having another child up all night isn't appealing at all! However, Jack NEEDED this surgery so badly so that he can sleep better, feel better, attend get my point. I went in this morning ready for whatever came my way. John and I left our house at 4:15am to get to our check-in time at 5:00am. Jack was groggy and stayed close to daddy while we waited to go in.

When Nana arrived, he started to wake up to get some loves and ended up roaming the halls and flirting with the nurses! What a little ladies man!

He was first in at 6:10, and we all went and waited in the lobby. No sooner had I fed the baby a jar of bananas, they called us in to see the little man! He was done in 20 minutes! Whaaaaaatttttt?! John and I walked back to recovery only to find that our little guy was already awake! The doc was there, and said that it was a success. He said that Jack had a ton of fluid in his ears and the consistency was like jello! Eeeewwwww! Needless to say, he should be hearing A LOT better now! And oh yes, we got a picture. Ever seen Tonsils and Adenoids? Well, you're about to...GROSS! These are Jack's...nice, huh?!

He grabbed onto daddy really quick and pretty much held a death grip...He took a few sips of apple juice right away, and then a few minutes later, the crying started. I knew it couldn't be this easy! We gave him some morphine, but it didn't calm him down. The nurse thought he probably wanted his annoying IV off, so she pulled it out, handed us our discharge papers and off we went! We were home by 8:00! The second we pulled up to the house, Jack got a big smile on his face, and he went inside to watch Elmo, eat pancakes (Yes, I said pancakes!), a banana and milk. He ran around the house all morning acting like he never had surgery. Craziness! He conked out around 1:00 and has been asleep ever since. Now I know it's only the first half of the first morning of recovery, and I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm pretty optimistic. We'll keep you posted, but right now, I'm proud of my boy for how well he did!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jack's T & A and Tubes Surgery

The time has come...Jack will go in to CHOC tomorrow to have his Tonsils and Adenoids out and get tubes. I will update more tomorrow after the surgery, but please, if you are the praying type, say a little one for my boy tomorrow. Thanks a bunch!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Too Funny! This is a very short clip of Jack singing his favorite song, LOL!

A Couple of Bella Funnies...

She's four, mind you...
I asked Bella what she wanted me to make her for lunch today...she walked right by me into the kitchen with a huffy, "Don't worry, I'll figure it out!"

I was reading her a story before bed the other night, but I got distracted (Who, me?!). After waiting patiently for me to continue, she finally looked at me and said, "Mom, JUST READ!!!" Ahem, alrighty then!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Bella Kisses...they are the best!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Jack - Sleep Apnea

Jack had a sleep study done at CHOC on April 1st to rule out any sleep disorders that may be affecting his attention span and overall health. It's a crazy process, and rather than explain it, I'll show you a picture.

OK, so about 2 weeks later, we got the results back. Jack had just under 5 hours of sleep, and in that 5 hours, he stopped breathing 16 times for 9 seconds 15 of the times (11 seconds one time). His oxygen levels never went below 95, which isn't good, but it isn't terrible. Before his heart surgery, he hovered in the high 80s/low 90s and that was normal for him. So what that means is that he has significant sleep apnea (No wonder the kid has trouble focusing! Duhhh?!). Our plan of attack is to visit the ENT on Monday to hopefully schedule Tonsils and Adenoids surgery. Hopefully, this will solve the problem, and we can move on. If not, well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I am amazed my boy does as well as he does day in and day out. He is progressing so nicely with such a crappy night's sleep. I know how I am when I don't sleep well, and I can't imagine my level of functioning if I slept like that every night. On an interesting side note, much of the research that is coming out now is saying that many kids are being misdiagnosed with ADD when in reality, they have an undetected sleep disorder. Makes sense!

Santa Ana Zoo

I have made a realization that if I'm not shuttling kids around to various therapies, school, ballet, etc. during the week, then I am home feeding or cleaning. No fun! I made a decision (and this is HARD for me) not to worry so much about whether or not the house is spotless. I need to spend more fun time with the we got up this morning and went to the zoo. I cannot tell you how much fun we had! Bella kept saying, "Mama, this has been such a fun day!" Jack was cruising around like he owned the place, and Bella just LOVED everything from riding the train to feeding the goats to sitting on the bench eating our lunch together. I love my kids! I have learned a great lesson, and today, I have filled myself up.