Monday, May 25, 2015


The pool is open!  Yay!

Week 21 of a weekly portrait or other photo of my little girl.
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Rambling Post.

I've been slacking in this space.  A few things have been keeping me busy, aside from Ellie and growing a new human.  None of the things keeping me busy is bad or horrible, but life is full.

The school year is over in 19 school days, which means I have 19 school days with which to pack my classroom and write report card comments and generally check to make sure that my students are ready for first grade.

Our dryer broke.  We ordered a new one.  It came.  Yay!  But seriously, that made my week seem insane.  Our basement was not made for line drying towels, and I am so glad I live in an era of appliances.

My business has launched.  I wrapped up my final portfolio session over the weekend and I am now advertising for senior photos for the class of 2016, as well as family sessions.  (I'd actually wrapped up family session portfolio building awhile ago, but I needed to add a senior boy to officially feel like my portfolio is a good reflection of what I offer.)

The pool opened and one of my dear friends is moving far away.  We spent this evening at the pool and grilling with my friend Christina, because that's what we do in the summer.
A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
So that's what has been keeping me busy lately.  Photography has been a great outlet, although I've been neglecting photos of my own child in the process.  I plan to fix that tomorrow.
A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
Pregnancy with a four year old and finishing a school year and starting a business seems harder than pregnancy without a kid at home.  I think I must have blocked those memories because I can't recall at what week I felt good or at what week all my non-maternity shirts stopped fitting.  (FYI, this time, it's TODAY, which is 22 weeks and two days and zero shirts that look okay.)  My appearances in this space may be spotty through the end of June, and who knows how much time I'll have for blogging over summer or when the new baby arrives.  But I'm still here.

I don't have as much to say about Down syndrome lately, although some non-blog writing on the topic is on my to do list for tomorrow.  Ellie has Down syndrome, but that's been such a back burner issue in the past few weeks and months.  I'm much more concerned that Ellie has "try to give away baby sister" syndrome.

Also, that "one cup of coffee a day" rule for pregnancy is cramping my style.

Enough rambling.  I'll try to be back tomorrow with a weekly Ellie portrait!

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Saturday, May 16, 2015


Silly.  Opinionated, even more than normal.  Telling me not to take any more pictures.... But so cute.  Just so cute.  And those eyes.  Even if they are wide open at 4:45 am every day, ready to play!
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015


So busy with taking photos of other people's kids this weekend I didn't take one of my own daughter.

This morning I have a doctor's appointment, so I took a moment to grab a quick snapshot of a sight I rarely get to see - Ellie getting ready for school!

It looks super pixelated here, but click on the photo and you can see it's much sharper!

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day.

To my own mama..... Happy Mother's Day!

Thank you for being a fantastic Mom and a fantastic Grammie.  I know that Caroline will agree with Ellie that you're the best, although I anticipate some issues with sharing the Grammie-love.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Not Ready to Celebrate?

Mother's Day is Sunday.  Our Mother's Day celebration will be low key this year, as we have various church and gymnastics commitments on Sunday, but I am no less excited about being mommy to Ellie and the ever-growing Caroline.

And the lateness of grandma gifts isn't because of bad feelings, either.  I thought Mother's Day was the following weekend and failed to place appropriate orders in a timely manner!  Blame pregnancy brain.

But this Mother's Day, as with many others, I'm thinking about the pregnant moms who have a recent prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis, who have not yet held their babies.

I don't think I would have been ready to celebrate.

I wasn't really ready to celebrate during most of my pregnancy with Ellie, which didn't happen to coincide with Mother's Day.  There were a few exceptions - a baby shower, some happy conversations, but fear was always in the back of my mind.

Ellie in the NICU, a few days old.

So if you're pregnant and expecting a little one with an extra chromosome and you aren't running out to brunch, you're not alone.

There will be lots of Mother's Days down the road.  Days when your little one who is four stays up all night Friday night, but shows no signs of slowing down Saturday morning.  Days when parenting a child with Down syndrome is the greatest thing you could imagine.  Days when parenting is simply torture.  Days when you laugh hysterically at your kid's wit, and wonder why you ever doubted she'd be smart and funny.  Days your four year old blends sounds to read the word "up."  Days your four year old still can't count to five consistently.  Days of exhaustion.  And grubby hands.  And early morning requests for "Cereal, water, gummies, and my meds.  And my other meds."

It gets better.  It gets good.

Water park.

Florida road trip!

Puerto Rico.

OK, this this was only good for me.  And Matt.  Ellie hated it.

And if you are holding a newborn with a surprise diagnosis, I haven't been in your shoes, but I can tell you it gets better.

Happy Mother's Day, regardless of how happy you feel.

Check out Down Syndrome Pregnancy.  Call your local Down syndrome group.

And if someone really wants to take you to brunch, enjoy it if you can.

P.S. Regular readers, For every $15 donation, Down Syndrome Pregnancy can send a practicing OB medical student a copy of From Diagnosis to Delivery.  Thanks to NIPS, more OBs are delivering a diagnosis than genetic counselors, and many don't quite know what to say.  It's a great cause.
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Side effects.

In her first six months of life, Ellie had two major surgeries.  The first was the GI surgery that saved her life by enabling her to eat.  The second was the open heart surgery that saved her life, enabling her tiny heart to keep functioning.

At 14 months, Ellie had eye surgery.

She's had her vaccinations more or less on schedule, with a few delays due to the aforementioned surgeries.

Ellie also has regular blood draws to check on her thyroid and to monitor for leukemia, which is more prevalent in children with Down syndrome.

Traditionally, Ellie has been super tough until she sees the blue medical gloves go on any person in a medical facility, and then she completely flips out.

But Ellie has always been tough with scrapes and bruises.  I figured the medical freak outs were some sort of lingering side effect of a medical history she barely remembers.

Until today.  Ellie had her four year old checkup, which included three booster shots.


Brave doesn't even describe it.  As a hater of needles, I still can't look at a blood draw or shot.  I may or may not pass out when I have to give blood.  When my Verifi test required a re-draw, I started crying on the phone with the nurse.

But Ellie?

She watched the nurse stick her twice in the left arm and once in the right.  During the last shot, she whispered, "Ouch."

My 31 pound, 2'10' four year old is one of the toughest kids I know.
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