Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Story

Today the first of a series of articles about our family and our experience of having a child with Down syndrome was published by my friend Becca. You can check out her blog where she is documenting her journey to become a professional writer.  Becca is the little sister of one of my closest friends in the entire world.  She may always be about 12 to me but in reality she is all grown up.  Her daughter Abby is only a month younger then Riley.  They both surprised us with an early entrance in to the world and have been demanding and hysterically funny ever since.  Becca recently started writing for an online publication called the   She had asked Justin and I if she could write an article about our family and having a son with Down syndrome and of course we immediately said yes.  Who wouldn't want their story shared and the world to meet an incredible child with Down syndrome aka Hurricane Riley and his Big Brother Rex.  We emailed and emailed questions and questions and answers and answers and just like that the articles start to appear.  I didn't give it much thought until I saw the first one appear as a link on my Facebook this morning.  I new they were coming and I had read the entire series, but this morning it was different.  This morning I had a bit of anxiety about the entire thing.  What if I say something stupid and disappoint  other families, this is my big chance to be an advocate and educate people and I don't want to mess it up.  Then about two seconds later that voice in my head says "hey this is your story".  We all have our story to tell and we should tell it.  Tell it with all the dirty details of how scared you were or how you didn't know what in the world you were doing.Don't forget to add a little bit of the good stuff too.  You know there is a lot of it so spread some around for the world to see.  If you are lucky enough to tell your story to someone who wants to write about it don't be too weirded out when they crawl in to you head and tell almost like it was their own story.  It is strange as I go back and read it and look at the pictures it is like I'm right back in those moments.  I still tear up when I see the pictures of Riley in the NICU and I still panic as I think about the phone call   that told me Riley would have Down syndrome.  I wonder if I will always be able to recall those moments so clearly?? 

I won't make you wait any longer.  Enjoy the first in the series of the Kibbe Family's story.  Please click around a bit and leave a comment and stir up some traffic for Becca.  She really is a talented writer and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. 

Our Story

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Sunday, July 18, 2010

People can be amazing!!!

OK Fans I've talked my friend Kacey into sharing her post about our summer Splashdown experience.  She has all the good pictures of the kids so I'm sure you will love the story and the pictures. 

We bought season passes to our little water park here in Spokane Valley, Splashdown, again this year. The kids just have a blast, it is so worth the money!!! This year our friends bought passes too, so it has been doubly fun for the kids to have their friends with them!!
Last Friday the dads took the kids to the water park by them selves, while us mom's worked. They told us that while they were there, standing by the kiddie pool, a teenage boy was yelling at his friend and called him a retard, right in front of Ella and Riley. The lifeguard (young high school possibly college guy) immediately yelled at the kid and told him something to the effect of "knock it off, we don't need people talking like that here." I thought that was just so cool. So, today when we went to the water park my husband, Ella and I went and talked to the owner of the water park and told him just how appreciative we were that the young lifeguard had got on to that boy, how much that meant to us. The owner said "we have absolutely no use for that kind of language here!" Hopefully he will make sure and tell the lifeguard what a good job he did! I love that place!!!!!!

Here are a few pictures of Ella and Riley at the water park. I swear these two are two peas in a pod, they have very very similar personality (and a lot of it!!!) I can't tell you how many times we have been asked if they are twins!!

OK Its Mary again.  Don't you just want to squeeze these two.  Now that Riley doesn't scare Ella to the point of tears they have so much fun with each other.  They have the cutest lil hugs and kisses for each other.  They truly are good buddies and I love to watch them play.  They have their moments of bossing each other around and not wanting to do what the other wants but they truly do have concern for each other.  The shots above of Ella's arm around Riley are not posed or encouraged by the moms who think its cute.  Riley didn't want to walk at that moment so Ella was giving him some encouragement.  If one of them is upset the other has to come and give pats and loves to make sure their friend is OK.  It is so encouraging to hear stories like the one above and so much better in real life.  I love like to think that there was a little Riley or Ella in that lifeguards world somewhere that showed him there was no use for the word retard.  I love to imagine how many lives these two are touching with out us evening realizing. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thunder and Lightening...bring Sunshine!

Twelve years ago this evening I sat at my mom and dad house listening to a huge storm roll through.  Normally that wouldn't be a big deal but this was the night before our wedding.  Yes, the wedding with the outdoor reception at my parents home.  My dad even went so far as to clean up the machine shed so we had a back up plan.  Can't you picture the pretty white dress on the shop floor next to the drill press?  Well as it turns out the clouds broke and it turned into the most beautiful day you could imagine.  We were surround by our family and friends and had an amazing day. 

I found a few pictures that Justin had scanned a while back.  It makes me laugh as I look at them.  We look like little kids playing dress up.  We thought we had it all figured out and in a way we did but in so many ways we were clueless.  We have spent the last 12 years  finding our way and I couldn't have found a better partner in crime to stumble through life with.  We took a leap of faith that day 12 years ago and that leap has taken us on a beautiful journey.  It has certainly had its ups and downs but on days like today as we tuck our beautiful boys into bed it feels a bit like we are still playing house, but then you slap me on the butt and say good game and I know its all real. I am reminded that I choose the funniest guy I know to travel this road with.  So on those days when I am taking life to seriously thanks for making me laugh and reminding me that life is too short not to laugh.  I love you Justin!

So here I am with my new family. 
Tom, Debbie, Justin, me and Trent

This one made me cry as I remember how much fun this day was and how much we all miss Grampa Rex. I'm pretty sure he is a big part of the reason Justin and I survived our first year.  He shared some great stories with me when he and Gramma CeCe stayed with Justin and I in Billings. 

Aunt Sue shakin her groove thing with Grampa Rex

We had so much fun celebrating with our family and friends.  Hard to believe they all jumped in a car and drove over 500 miles to share our big day! 

What a fun trip down memory lane. 

Apparently we have settled into married life nicely.  We were both a bit smaller on our 1st anniversary  :-)

Rex took this a month or so again while the lilacs were blooming at Manito Park.  Apparently we don't actually ever end up in the same photo because this was the only recent shot I could find. 

Well Justin,  here's to growing old together watching these two comedians and laughing every day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Groove Thing

One of Riley's favorite activities lately is dancing.  I took this video on the way home from Rex's baseball game a few nights ago.  He is a constant entertainer!