Friday, July 3, 2015

More Swimming.

Who is this little fish smiling in the pool?  Swim lessons are some of the best money we've spent!  I let Ellie caption these.

"Me swimming in the big pool.  Ms. Meghan.  With the bathing suit on."

"Me!  Scoopin' water.  Ms. Meghan.  On a noodle.  And scooping.  Two noodles."

"Me swimming.  And Ms. Meghan."  (I asked how she feels there.) "I'm HAPPY!"
Needless to say, swimming has been a success.  Although we had rain most of yesterday and our time at the pool was gray and gross, Ellie had a blast and didn't complain too much about the cold water!

Her swim teacher happens to be a reading specialist who is teaching ESY this summer, which means that she is uniquely in touch with Ellie's specific needs.  And she got a kick out of it when Ellie busted out a Dr. Jean song in the pool.

If you have a preschool or Kindergarten aged child and you don't know Dr. Jean, you are a lucky, lucky parent.  In case you missed it on Instagram, here's a sample from Ellie.

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
 Also on Instagram - you can follow my photography business here.
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Sunday, June 28, 2015


This is week 26 of my participation in the Practising Simplicity weekly portrait/photograph of my daughter.

In 12 weeks or so, I will have a second daughter to add to these posts.


Today's shot isn't a portrait.  This is a shot from swim lessons, and I grabbed my camera with my portrait lens still on.  I meant to grab my zoom, but that's okay.  I just had to stay back so Ellie wouldn't see me and freak out.

That's my kid.  She's high-fiving her swim teacher, just getting out of the pool.

She's not crying.

She's not yelling.

She's not a little barnacle.

In fact, she's happy.

Sorry for the small photo size.  I think it's totally worth it.

Happy weekend.
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Friday, June 26, 2015


Today is my birthday, and it happens to be one of the birthdays I normally love, because I bump up an age group when racing.

Not that I'm running right now.  Thanks, Caroline.

As Ellie sits beside me stirring a piece of toy fried chicken in a cup with one of my real wooden spoons, yelling "Don't touch it Caroline!  It's SUPER HOT!" I have a minute to think about how this "milestone" birthday compares with the one five years ago.

Five years ago, we had just moved and a few days after my birthday, we would learn that we were expecting our first child.  Nesting consisted of adding things to our home - a crib, baby toys, a very heavy dresser.

Have you heard about Ellie's dresser/changing table?  Matt wanted something sturdy.  We picked it out by walking around BabiesRUs while Matt shook tables.  We picked a super, huge, heavy, sturdy dresser.

It arrived in a box fully assembled, nearly blocking our front door, 150 pounds of dresser in a box.  I was 20-something weeks pregnant and not exactly the picture of super strength when I'm not pregnant.  Matt was working late that night.  I called him in a slight panic.  Matt had to recruit a neighbor to get the dresser inside once he arrived home from work, and giant dresser box lived in our living room for a couple of weeks until we recruited a sucker/friend to help get it up the stairs.

Five years later.

We're having another girl.  Nesting consists of me GETTING RID OF STUFF.  Mostly, I walk around the house saying, "Why do we own so many ____?"  Our local crisis pregnancy center, hospice thrift store, and parent listserv probably appreciate this form of nesting.  I've become very generous.

But seriously, Caroline will have Ellie to entertain her, so she won't need that much, right?

And none of my shoes fit anymore anyway (tear.)

And in five years living in middle-class America, you acquire a lot.

And in five or six years of teaching, you acquire a lot that really doesn't need to live in your basement while on LOA.

With Ellie, I spent most of my pregnancy worried about her health, her disability, her NICU stay, her heart surgery, etc, etc, etc.

With Caroline, I have spent most of my pregnancy trying to teach and parent through morning sickness and exhaustion, while worrying that Ellie is going to over-love Caroline.  Emotionally, I'm better.  Physically, this is harder.  I ran a 10K when I was pregnant with Ellie, but no such thing this time around.

There are seriously very few things we need for Caroline.  I made a list: Carseat base, new monitor, some sheets.  (My friends at work threw me a baby shower.  I had to think hard to register!)

My girls will be different, and have their own personalities.  As one friend put it, "Caroline has to be fairly relaxed, because Ellie is already the alpha!"  I wonder if Caroline will look like Ellie as a baby. I wonder if she'll be a better sleeper.  (Although Ellie was a great sleeper up until heart surgery gave her lots of energy!)  I wonder if Caroline will be as particular or as funny.  I wonder if she'll be sweet and quiet or loud and enthusiastic.

Ellie is becoming a better helper already.  The mail arrived as she was "cooking the really hot chicken."  I asked her to get it.  First, she told me she had to cook the chicken, but then I guess she could take a break, because she brought me the mail.  She then went back to cooking but recycled the junk mail as requested.  A little sign but an important one... Ellie is growing up.

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

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Thursday, June 25, 2015


Since summer vacation has started, we've been busy.

We've visited the spray ground, the park with the interactive fountain, the pool, and the bookstore.  We've seen friends and cooked dinners and stayed super busy.

I think Ellie hit a wall.

Today, she said, "I need a nap" and proceeded to lie down on the floor.  Unfortunately, she picked a spot right in front of the mail slot.  I hope she doesn't get a rude awakening with a shower of letters!

This post is part of my 52 project - weekly portraits or other shots of Ellie which are shared over at Practising Simplicity.  I've been so busy taking pictures of other people's kids that I've been a slacker with my own!  But summer is off to a great start, I'm thrilled to report that business is steady and when I'm not busy taking pictures of editing, it's nice to have time to play with Ellie.  She misses school and asked me to text her teacher today.

Happy, happy summer.

If you haven't seen it yet, Ellie has a Facebook page for this blog where I also share other interesting links, often about Down syndrome.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Vacation, Day 1.

Summer vacation, day 1.  (Counting as the first official work-day on which Ellie and I were off.)

2:00 am-ish: Joined in bed by Ellie, who eventually kicked Matt out of bed.
4:00 am-ish: Told "GOOD MORNING!  Where is my daddy?"
5:00 am-ish: Gave up and started day.
6:00 am: Cereal is eaten, coffee is consumed, snuggles are enjoyed
7:00 am: Dishes are done, laundry is put away.
8:00 am: Confirmed I own too much teacher stuff.
8:30 am: Made two medical appointments.
9:00 am: Mini photo session.
10:30 am: Off to the spray ground.

12:00 pm: Grocery store.
1:00 pm: Nap and photo editing.
3:00 pm: Off to the pool.

A photo posted by Megan Landmeier Photography (@meganlandmeierphoto) on
5:00 pm: Ellie styled my hair.

6:00 pm: Ellie and I made dinner for Daddy.
6:30 pm: Daddy came home; we ate.
7:00 pm: Family walk.
8:00 pm: Play outside with neighbor's dog.
9:00 pm: Put Ellie to sleep an hour after bedtime.
3:00 am: Ellie climbed into bed with Mommy and Daddy.

Basically, life is good.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

#Ellieflips End of Spring Gymnastics.

A few shots from instagram of Ellie's last gymnastics class of the season.  We'll be waiting impatiently for the next season to begin on July 6!

Gymnastics has been wonderfully inclusive and Ellie has thrived in class.  She's gaining great skills and it helps her direction-following, too.  Ellie's natural flexibility is an asset in gymnastics, and she's gaining more strength and balance.

A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

A photo posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

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