March kicks off several “National” things, such as Caffeine Awareness Month (drinking coffee right now – super aware of caffeine!), Frozen Food AND Nutrition Month and also, Trisomy Awareness Month. Trisomy is three copies of a chromosome – for example, Down syndrome, which is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 

National Procrastination Week starts on the 5th. Or the 6th. Whenever you get around to it. Next week (March 5-11) is also Words Matter week (so stop using the word ‘retard’!) And National Aardvark Week. I’ll be getting in on that one somehow, because aardvarks are cute.

Oh! Act Happy Week is March 20-26, but I’ll just be honest – every week is Act Happy week for me. If you can’t actually be happy, just fake it, right?

And the most important day – March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day! 

Today is Spread The Word To End The Word Day. So head over here to learn more about why you should stop using the word ‘retard’ and its many forms (celebutard, libtard, f***tard, etc). Just stop. It’s not cool. It’s offensive, no matter how you try to spin it.  

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This morning, I finally had my skin disease diagnosed: guttate psoriasis. It was most likely triggered by the horrible case of strep I had back in November. That’s when the spots really took off. I really love my dermatologist! (Lauren had one too, in Kalispell, and she was also amazing.)

I was prescribed methotrexate, Folic Acid and a steroid cream. She said since the spots cover more than just my arms and legs, the cream won’t help by itself. So I will take 6 methotrexate pills once a week until I go back in a month. Then she will re-assess my spots and see if I can be done, or if I need a higher dose. She said this may be a clear cut case, or it may have already developed into chronic psoriasis. If that’s the case, I will have it forever, and will need a different course of treatment for flare-ups. I also need blood work once a month to check liver levels.

Sometimes, it goes away on its own. My case is super stubborn and has been resistant to all of my home remedies.

I’m a little nervous taking the methotrexate, but if my brother can be on it for months at a time for leukemia, than I can handle it for a few months for stupid skin spots.

Hannah is 3

I don’t have a big long, sappy post planned for today. I’m just not that kind of mom/blogger/documenter. I do have a few pictures.Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog

Hannah turns 3 today. I can’t even believe it. I don’t know when she stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a big kid. She doesn’t eat much and avoids most tomato-sauce based food (pizza, spaghetti, etc) but loves cereal and mac and cheese.

The black and white photos were from Christmas Eve, when we had her party. The bottom photo was taken yesterday, after she got home from Gramma’s house. She wanted to wear her new Elsa dress (one of 3) and carry her snow globe/wand.

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Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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Lauren is nine years old today!

She is in third grade, loves to ride the bus home, is obsessed with Elena of Avalor and loves to play with her sisters and cousins. She says she missed summer – going to the park is her favorite thing and she can’t wait until she doesn’t need a coat.

The following photos are from January 2016 to December 2016 (not in order).


(I can’t find my photos from 2008-2012, sadly. I thought they were backed up on my old hard drive, but nope.)

This was 2013. It was so cold we had to go home and get the winter coats. We didn’t spend much time out there that night. We went home early and made frozen pizzas. Never had one trick-or-treater. 🙁

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This was 2014. Hannah’s first Halloween. It was much warmer than the year before, thankfully, and the sun even came out for a little bit.

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And this was last year, while we were in Montana. We didn’t have much money, so we got their costumes from the thrift store. Beth Hardinger - Blog

The Great Pumpkin Festival

This afternoon, we went to the Great Pumpkin Festival here in town. I can’t share many photos because of privacy but we played at the park afterwards. Hannah wasn’t able to go on the jumpy slide because it was too hard for her to climb up the rope ladder thing, so she was a little mad.

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Lauren had a great time going down the slide. She didn’t like having to wait her turn but she did a great job at being patient.

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And Lauren got a haircut today! Finally! Now, with her glasses and her new hairs, she’s ready for school! She was a little ticked that today was Saturday.

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Hannah was talking to a grey squirrel. She was fascinated by it, and it just sat and looked at her (from pretty far away).

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We also met a new little friend, Willow, who lives about 30 minutes from us. She’s 3 and has Down syndrome, like Lauren. Willow just had her heartiversary (anniversary of her open heart surgery) the other day. She’s doing so well and is adorable. We hope to get together soon!

Happy Weekend!

The Last Warm Days

There’s snow in our forecast, right before Halloween. So when the weather app said it was 60* we headed to the park. It was pretty nice, even with 20mph winds. Most of the trees still have their leaves, and are still so colorful.

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I let Hannah play in the sand and leaves. She was a little surprised that I didn’t stop her, but took full advantage of it.

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Lauren got to go to the Farm today with her special ed class. She brought home a tiny gourd – not a pumpkin – which I thought was pretty unique. She wore her new glasses all day, even though we didn’t buy her a strap for them yet. I think she looks older with them.

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 They all played in the leaves a little, and I cringed every time they threw a handful in the air, but they were having so much fun!

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Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 70* and sunny, so we are planning on spending most of it outside. There’s also some sort of free Pumpkin Festival tomorrow afternoon, with a pie-eating contest and horse-back riding. And – gramma’s coming!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be sharing photos of all our fun on instagram.

It’s Been A Long Time

I haven’t posted on this blog in forever. Since the spring, I think. (I had to remove all of the old posts due to heavy spam comments. Not sure if I will republish them.) I’ve been thinking about refreshing this blog for awhile. I also have Beth Hardinger Images and Inspired By Down Syndrome (I will be officially launching that Jan 1, 2017).

I guess I will do a little update on us to start.

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Lauren is almost 9 and currently in third grade. She’s having a blast at recess, now that she can finally do the monkey bars. She spent all summer practicing and watching American Ninja Warrior. She’s also working hard on slowing down and speaking clearly so we can all understand her. This book has helped so much! (And the author used to be her speech therapist! #NotAnAd) We’ve been watching Born This Way together, and she has said several times that she wants to be a pet vet when she grows up. We have no doubt that she will achieve her goal!

Avery is 7 and in second grade. She loves school and riding the bus. She loves her teacher this year. She thinks it’s pretty awesome that guys can be teachers. Avery’s starting to read chapter books – I even reserved a copy of Disney’s The Descendants book at the library for her to try and she just lost another tooth (that makes five? Six? Not sure anymore) and got a dollar. She immediately wanted to go buy a toy, but we had to have a discussion about money.

Hannah is almost 3 and loves to talk! She is sleeping all night in her own bed now (finally) and watches Daniel Tiger almost too much. She’s not much of an eater these days but will always request a peanut butter sandwich over almost anything.

I’m still taking pictures and I’m going to attempt NaNoWriMo yet again in November. I actually have an idea that has an ending so maybe I’ll get to 50,000 words this year.

On October 27, I’ll be participating in A Day In The Life with Ali Edwards. I’d love to get back into scrapbooking. I miss seeing completed pages.