Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walking for Joaquin 2009

We had a blast at our 2nd Annual Buddy Walk (a.k.a. Step Up For Down Syndrome) on October 25th. We raised a total of $1425.00 (just $75 away from my goal and there is STILL time to donate) and had exactly 60 team members walking with us on the most beautiful Fall day. Our colors this year were yellow and orange and I continued my tradition of tie dying t-shirts for all the kids "Walking for Joaquin". Joaquin's Aunt Jennifer made the most beautiful and amazing J-O-A-Q-U-I-N banner that was hand sewn and appliqued with love. Team "Walking for Joaquin" was shining bright that day!

Here are just a few photos from the day...more to follow soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Name Tag

How did we come up with the names for our three boys?

First of all, I was fortunate enough to marry someone from Mexico and with a last name of Sanchez, we had the WHOLE world of Spanish/Latin names open to us. These names just happen to be my most FAVORITE!

Diego Zacarias....Hector and I both loved the name Diego. It came rather quickly for us. If you ask Hector he will tell you we named him after Diego Maradona (a famous soccer player in Argentina). I was always fond of Diego Rivera's art work (a famous Mexican muralist). But there was something about the name Diego that was so handsome, strong, and fresh. Mind you...this was before the "Go Diego Go" cartoon! So it was very quick that we agreed on the name. Diego is the Spanish name for James and you may also know it from San Diego (St. James). The middle name was a struggle but at the FINAL moment...like when we had to fill out the paperwork at the hospital for his Social Security card...we decided to go with Zacarias which is the name of Hector's maternal grandfather that he never knew. (By the way, Diego would have been Sofia Isabella if he was a girl!)

Mateo Emilio...Again, Hector and I loved this name. Another one of our all time favorites. We loved the sound of the name and beauty of it as well. The nickname for Mateo is "Teo". Mateo is the Spanish name for Matthew. Mateo was actually born in San Mateo County, how cool is that? San Mateo or St. Matthew. We also loved the name Mateo alongside Diego. They just sounded so good together. For the middle name, we decided to stick with the theme of it being a family name so we chose Emilio which is the name of my paternal grandfather who I never knew. (By the way, Mateo would have been Olivia Andrea if he was a girl!)

Then came Joaquin Andres... Hector and I went back and forth on the first name. I loved the name Joaquin and Hector loved the name Lorenzo. For the first time, we really couldn't come to a quick agreement. So we battled it out and in the end I chose the first name and Hector chose the second name. And yes, there is also a San Joaquin Valley here in California so you could say we have very California names for our boys! Then, so many cool things happened surrounding our little Joaquin Andres. You'll have to read one of my earlier posts about the meaning behind "Joaquin". You'll have to read Gifts 2 or go back to the early days of my blog and find my post titled Andres to hear the story of how we chose the middle name. It will give you chills. (We never really came up with a girl's name for Joaquin because we knew early on that he was going to be boy but I remember being very fond of Luciana and Hector loved Mia.)

Thank you Cheri for "tagging" me on this fun name game challenge! I love hearing stories about names. Isn't it one of the first of many big and important decisions you make for your child? So fun!

I tag...
Monica at Monkey Musings
Lisa at Bridget's Light
Elena at The Baby Who Chose Us

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Varanini Family

Here is my side of the family. We took this photo over the summer at a good friend's wedding. I am the oldest of four and there is a 12 year span between my sister and I with my two brothers in between. It's just missing the kids. My brother and his wife Jennifer have 2 precious girls...Jillian and Jolie which added to our trio of boys makes a total of 5 nieces and nephews! Here is a shot of just the siblings: Zach, Myself, Sarah and Josh.

Here is a snapshot of the "manly men" looking very proud, proper and handsome in their suits.

Here is a snapshot of the "girly girls" looking pretty darn cute and sassy.

My parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in January. It's so cool that Hector and I both have parents who have stayed together through the good times and the bad, for richer for poorer, in joy as well as in sorrow, and in sickness and in health.

What amazing role models we have!

La Familia Sanchez

Here is a photo of Hector's side of the family when we went to visit them in Mexico a couple months after Joaquin was born. This was Hector's parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary! It was at this amazing reunion that we announced Joaquin's diagnosis and where I was inspired to write the entry for Gifts 2. You can read about what happened in Mexico by picking up a copy of the book. Our chapter is titled "Joaquin & Andres."

Hector's family is really lovely. He is the youngest of 7 children so when we all get together it's a pretty big party! This photo is of his immediate family only (only one nephew is missing from the photo). Everone is married and has at least one child. I think we have a total of 16 nieces and nephews and 14 of those are BOYS!! We look forward to seeing some of his family this Christmas and New Year's when we go to Playa del Carmen. It's going to be so much fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Remember a few weeks back I wrote a post about Mr. Troublemaker?

Well, here is just one piece of evidence.

Yes, he got himself inside the train table drawer.

Yes, he emptied almost every train that was inside of it.

Yes, he then proceeded to get on top of the train table to throw the rest of the trains on the floor.

Proof that we have a very mischievous one in our household!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Super Porridge

I got this recipe from a fabulous mom who makes the most gourmet (and nutritious!) baby food for her little one.

Super Porridge

1/3 cup dry grain and 2 Tbl. dry legume. For the grains, you can use oatmeal (steel cut or regular, not quick cook), brown rice or bulgar wheat. For the legumes, you can use garbanzo beans or kidney beans or even lentils.

Here's the recipe (really simple!):
Grind the 1/3 c. grains and 2 T. legumes together for two minutes using a blender, Vita Mix, Cuisinart or "Bullet". The key is to grind it for 2 whole minutes. It becomes a powder. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add the ground powder. Whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes and it's done. This recipe should give you 5 or 6 servings. You can cool it down in the fridge, then cut it in to serving sizes and then freeze them....kind of like food cubes without the ice trays. When you are ready to serve, just defrost a serving and, at the same time blend some fruit of your choice and then just mix it together with a fork.

Delicious and SOOOOO good for baby!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It's that time of year again where big choices have to be made.

What to BE for Halloween?

A Giraffe?

A Pumpkin?

A Bumblebee?

Or something else entirely?

Something perhaps from another universe?

Stay tuned! (Just think old, wise and GREEN!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Look who's in the Parenting.com "A Special Joy: Kids with Down Syndrome" Album #4...

Joaquin, 19 months

Be sure and enter your special little one too! We did it last year and I love that they do this every year in October in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. So neat to see all the gorgeous kids from all over the country. Even more fun when you find one or two that you "know" from blogging!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Alike Than Different

I love this new campaign. Please take two minutes to watch it, I think you'll get a kick out of it!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

To All Our Blog Readers:

Please let us know if you have ANY questions in regards to Joaquin, Down syndrome, the Institutes program we are on, or anything related to our journey. We would be HAPPY to answer questions and help increase awareness and understanding of DS.

The Sanchez Family

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Joaquin's Brothers)

Thank God for big brothers!

What joy they give Joaquin. He looks for them first thing in the morning and there is definitely a void when they are both off to school. It's a sweet reunion for all three when they are reunited.

We love our three boys!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Eczema?

I'm wondering if Joaquin has a case of baby eczema.

He got a little rash on his chin a couple weeks ago and I had our pediatrician look at it and she said it was from his drooling.

Then, I tried a new fruit...pineapple and at the same time started using wipes to wipe of his face after his meals and the rash spread to above his lip and on the sides of his cheek.

So...thinking it was a food or contact allergy,I have been feeding him mostly apples, rice and sweet potatoes for a couple days to see if it would clear. Unfortunately it is still the same, if not worse. He wakes up and it's mostly clear but within a couple hours of being awake, it gets quite inflamed, red and is looking dry and cracked by the end of the day.

My baby boy's beautiful skin is no longer. Any advice? None of my kids have ever had eczema and I know how brutal it can be so I'm really worried.