Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle!

Still catching up . . . 

Morgan turned 9 years old last month and had quite the birthday celebration.  We started talking about her birthday and what she wanted to do for her party a few weeks before her birthday.  She knew right away that she wanted to have a Jungle Book party and go to a movie.  No surprise there, she watches Jungle Book 2 almost everyday and loves Mowgli!  She wanted to have her party right then and was mad when it was time to go to bed and wanted to know what happened to going to the movie.  Hadley made a birthday countdown chain to help her know how many more days until her big day.

She got an early birthday celebration at Grandma and Grandpa’s house the Sunday before her big day!  She loves having everyone sing to her and didn’t complain about getting to do it a few times that week.

She wanted donuts for her classroom birthday treat.  She couldn’t stop smiling when she saw me walk into her classroom.  She helped pass out the napkins and donuts to her classmates.  It was on Spirit Day when the students wear red to show their Tiger Pride. 

Finally the big day!  She woke up very excited to go downstairs and open her presents.  Her big gift from us was an iPad.  We got it hoping she could use it in the classroom and at home to help with school work and modifications.  I keep finding the older kids’ games downloaded on it though.  I still think it’s going to be great but it’s going to take us some time to figure out how to implement it into her homework and school stuff.  She still gets frustrated trying to type on the screen and pushes too many times the same key or backspaces all of the word off of the screen. So far it’s just been a really expensive video player. 

I love these pictures.  This is so Morgan!  I wanted to get some pictures of her and she wanted nothing to do with it.   She sat there with a serious face, determined to not look at the camera, and then after a few minutes,  out of the blue, she started laughing and doing her “King Tut Dance” for the camera.  And of course she was all smiles after that.

I can’t believe how grown up she is -- Nine years old!  Wow!  I know every mom feels like this with their kids, but it’s different with Morgan.  It really does surprise and amaze me every year to think of how quickly she is growing up.  That first year of her life is still so vivid in my memory.  It feels like it just happened.  Not nine years ago.  I was so worried about the future when she was born.  Worried about how it would be to have an older child, a teenager, an adult with Down syndrome.   Worried about all of the unknowns.  I learned that first year to take it one day at a time.  And here we are nine years later and it’s been all good.  I look at these pictures and am overwhelmed with love and pride for that beautiful girl.  So lucky she is mine!

She had a lot of friends and cousins come to help her celebrate her big day.  I was worried about having too many friends at the party but then realized having too many friends is a good problem to have.  She knew they were all there for her and loved greeting each friend as they arrived to her house.  Her friend, Macey (sitting on the left of her), was especially cute with Morgan.  Making sure she was taken care of the whole time.  Macey can’t hear but somehow she and Morgan are able to communicate together perfectly.  All of her friends are so amazing and patient with her.  She loves them and they love her!

They played outside, played games on the trampoline, ate pizza, opened presents and then it was time to sing Happy Birthday and eat cupcakes and ice cream.    

Instead of going out to a movie, we made our basement into a movie theater.  The kids all got “Morgan Money” to buy concessions for the movie.  Then we started the movie.  I had this great idea to rent Jungle Book (the original movie) since Morgan had never seen that one before.  I should’ve known.  She loves repetition and knowing all of the lines in the movie.  The first JB is slow and not a lot of songs.  She kept asking to watch Jungle Book 2 during the movie but I knew I didn’t have time to start and finish a different movie.  The kids were interested in the movie until the last little part and then they started jumping all around, spilling pop all over the carpet, running through the house.  Morgan finally liked the movie when Shanti made her appearance at the very end of the movie.  After the movie ended and the lights were back on, Morgan went and found the DVD cover for Jungle Book 2 and said, “This one, Mom!”  Letting me know that I had really failed with the movie selection.  Luckily she still loves me and managed to have a great birthday celebration! 

In honor of her 9th birthday, 9 things you might not know about Morgan . . .

1.  She loves sharing a room with Hadley.  She doesn’t like to get into her bed before Hadley is going to bed too.  She usually ends up switching beds in the night and climbing up into the top bunkbed to sleep right next to Hadley.

2.  She wakes up super early every morning (5 am) and watch the TV or computer (with the volume as loud as it goes) until everyone else wakes up.  She now has a lock on the outside of her door and no lights in her room so she goes right back to sleep after she wakes up.

3.  She’s nice to Griffin and she loves him.  (Griffin really wanted to tell the reason for #3).

4.  She’s a great reader and speller.  She gets 100% on almost every spelling test.

5.  She loves to ride her bike.  It’s her first vehicle choice for her getaways.  She was getting out of the house almost daily and riding her bike to the school to play on the playground.  We have amazing neighbors who knew to let us know every time they saw her riding her bike unaccompanied.  Gavin finally moved the garage door openers up on the wall, out of her reach, and she’s been stuck home ever since.

6.  She soothes herself by sucking on her finger, especially when she’s tired or at school.  We used this yucky tasting stuff to break the thumb sucking habit when she was in 1st grade and it worked.  Until she found her finger.  I just started the yucky tasting stuff on her finger.  Hopefully it will work.   Her jaw is already too small and the constant sucking doesn’t help things.

7.  Morgan hates to have her hair brushed.  Really, really hates it.  It’s the worst part of our day.  She screams, cries, hits me and calls me all kinds of bad names, usually it’s a boy because nothing’s worse than calling a girl a boy (Jafar, Flynn Ryder, Aladdin, Mean Mother --mom in Tangled).

8.  She started cheerleading this past summer with Elite Angels.  She’ll have her first competition in January.

9.  Her favorite activities are swimming and watching Disney movies.  

Happy 9th Birthday Morgan!  We love you!


Stacy Monaghan said...

I have tears in my eyes reading about how loved your big 9 year old girl is! I feel like I know her (or want to know her) and her siblings from the loving way you describe them! Happy Birthday Morgan!!

Christina said...

I can't believe she is 9. She is so cute.

Heidi Rushing said...

Talk about Pretty in Pink! She looks gorgeous and sooo grown up. Can't wait to see her and you all for Thanksgiving!!!!

Natalie Nelson said...

AS a new commer to your blog I really like this post so I can get to know Morgan a little bit more. I see these older children and I wonder what My Tily will be like when she grows up. I simply love the King Tut moves. Sisters go ti goin' on. Thanks for sharing so I can get to know your family more.

Michelle said...

Looks like it was such a fun birthday party! And Morgan gets more beautiful each year!

Alli Easley said...

Oh bless her sweet heart! I just love her. What a fun mom you are and um...hello. IPAD? What a lucky kid. Her party invite is just the cutest thing!

(ps, so glad you found me and so glad I found you too! ♥)

Jess said...

What a beautiful family and this is such an inspiring post. Glad I stumbled upon your blog!