month with moxie


I'm going to come clean here:

When I first saw "Moxie Dolls", I shuddered. I think it was the use of "z" in "girlz", I think it was the bright packaging. I'm not sure. I think it was the "z".


But whatever it was, it was a classic case of prejudice – I hadn't even really looked at the dolls, nor had I visted their website. Check it out – walk over there for me a minute: MOXIE GIRLZ


Their slogans: be true * be you!


"Every girl has the strength to do something amazing. Anything is possible as long as you stay true to yourself and never give up on your dreams!"


These dolls are not Barbie. I like them, I like their message, I like pretty much everything about them.

Check this out:

Yes! A doll with CANCER! She is from the True Hope series – how awesome is that.

Rock on, Moxie.


They sent 3 dolls to my own Moxie and they were a HUGE hit in this house. With my boy Micah, too: he calls them "action figures" and highly enjoys having the perform action stunts like jump out of his helicopter. His favorite is Sportz Doll Avery – because he uses her ribbons (from the gymnastics) as Wonder Woman lassos. Ha. Ha. Ha.


Moxie herself loves the bath time Sophina best. It's cute – she has this skirt thing that floats her in the water, with two little openings on each side of the skirt to place her water kitty and her soap bubbles (that you can pull out and blow real bubbles with). Moxie loves all that and she loves playing with her hair.

What is it anyway with little girls and doll hair? I remember being obsessed with that, too.

Were you?

The dolls all have flat feet – no Barbie high-heel arches. The bodies of the dolls are not twisted into some unnatural position, or have startling doll-boobs. With the exception of their big eyes and cosmetically-enhanced faces, they are about as real-life as a doll can get.


Which is another thing that I like about them.


October was Down syndrome Awareness Month and we are still celebrating it through a  Month with Moxieliving life with moxie.

In honor of this, and still celebrating! – Moxie Girlz will be giving away 3 dolls – separately – to readers of this blog.

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms: Open to the US only. Giveaway open for one week, closing at 11:59 on 11/18/12. Winner must have email included in entry.

Month with Moxie: Celebration Giveaway

Moxie was born in May 2010 with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. She had already miraculously healed from her diffuse fetal hydrops and the holes in her heart. She was named "Moxie" as she had shown that she was full of it: courage. Verve. Vigor.

Moxie has challenged us to do the same: to live our life, our one precious life, with a little moxie.


October was Down syndrome Awareness Month and we are still celebrating it through a  Month with Moxieliving life with moxie.


We have a host of awesome Awareness Champions that will be helping us all celebrate by giving you really cool products they made or produce.


Today's Champion is Kenna, creator of Amathia Soapworks. A bit more about her:


Amathia Soapworks became Kenna's version of the 9 to 5 in March of 2011, after over 8 years of formulating, testing, and learning. All of Amathia's products are made in small batches with the highest quality ingredients, while being as close to the Earth as possible. Sustainability and eco-friendly business practices always ties into formulation, packaging, marketing, and sales.


Each product and formulation is extensively tested by Kenna, as well as her family and friends, before it is produced for you. If it’s not good enough for her skin, her husband’s skin, or the skin of her children, it is not good enough for anyone.

Moxie is a wondrous blend of citrus, cucumber, and jasmine for the perfect stimulating combination with a sweet undertone. Full of spunk and sass, but mellow and chill when enjoyed in the bath, Moxie was formulated with the assistance of Kenna's toddler whom the soap is named after. The little one chose the base fragrance, each of the colors, and helped paint the shimmery tops on the very first batch. Moxie quickly became her favorite soap for bathtime, and has become a standard part of the Amathia Soapworks line.


How cool is this? I mean, really.

To enter, just leave a comment on the Rafflecopter below – extra options are also available. US only. Winner selected randomly in ten days (11/12/12).


a Rafflecopter giveaway


More Amathia BodyWorks – Please check them out – awesome soaps, awesome prices.




This is a Month with Moxie, a month of celebrating Down syndrome, striving to increase Down syndrome Awareness.

In reaching out to With a Little Moxie's Down syndrome Awareness Champions, I met Stephanie, mother of Molly and the designer/creator behind Moxie Clothing. Stephanie told me that this month is also Dwarfism Awareness Month.

I was excited about that – and asked if she'd guest post a piece about Dwarfism Awareness – in addition to of course celebrating both Dwarfism and Down syndrome Awareness with a gift of one of her awesome dresses.

She said yes! And here we go:


Hi everyone! A quick introduction….my name is Stephanie Braun, wife to Brent, mommy to Elliott, 5, and Molly, 3. I own and operate Moxie Clothing, where I design and make custom little girl's clothing.

I am guest blogging because October is a very special month full of 'awareness'! We all know the big one, Breast Cancer Awareness, but there are so many other things. Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, SIDS, Lupus, Dental Hygiene, Dwarfism, and of course, Auto Battery Safety!

The one that is nearest and dearest to me is Dwarfism Awareness. My darling daughter, Molly, is a little person, her type of dwarfism is Achondroplasia, which is the most common of the over 200 types of dwarfism.

Achondroplasia is caused by a gene mutation which affects growth, especially in the limbs, and occurs in about one out of every 30,000 births. There is no genetic history of any type of dwarfism in either mine or my husband's families. Imagine our surprise when we were told at 24 hours old that our little girl had dwarfism! We were clueless as to what it meant.

We spent several hours crying and asking why us? Why her? What did we do wrong? Will life be hard for her? Will people make fun of her? Will our families and friends accept her? Why do we judge people with disabilities? Is this even a disability?

Why us? Why her? It happened to us because we can handle it.

What did we do wrong? Not a single thing. Dwarfism is usually a fluke.

Will life be hard for her? Possibly. But we have an awesome family and friends who are always going to be there for her.

Will people make fun of her? At some point, it's going to happen. It happens to kids who aren't different, so it's going to happen to her. We work hard to help her have a thick skin and tons of confidence so when it does happen, she can shake it off.

Will our families and friends accept her? Looking back, what a silly question!

Why do we judge people with disabilities? I'll never know this answer. Maybe it's because of lack of understanding, so we try to build awareness whenever we can.

Is this even a disability? We quickly discovered that for Molly, it is NOT a disability right now. She is an absolute spitfire! Everything that the doctors told us would be delayed, she has done right on schedule.

But for many people with dwarfism, it is a disability. There is always a risk of complications, injury, and unfortunately, discrimination.

It is important to remember that, as Dr. Seuss taught us, “A person's a person, no matter how small.” Little People (LP's) are just like average height people, but in a smaller package. There are relatively few cases of mental handicap associated with dwarfism, so LP's are capable of working in any profession, and participating in most activities. As with any medical condition, looks can be deceiving, and we are surprised daily by the things that Molly can do when left to her own devices. We learned very quickly not to judge a person by their packaging, you never know what a person is capable of!

Thanks to Molly, I discovered new things about myself too! I've always been an avid crafter, but was never great at actually finishing a project. But when your child has itty bitty legs and arms but an average sized torso and above average sized skull, it isn't easy to find clothing that fits! Which is how Moxie Clothing was born. First I started with shortening everything we owned, then I moved up to making dresses and outfits from scratch. People started to notice her outfits, and asking for things for their children.

The name Moxie was chosen because it's what Molly displays to us all the time, she definitely has moxie! I make tons of clothing for average sized children, but my passion will always be in making specially sized pieces for kids who don't fit the standards.

Knowing that I have helped a 'different' child have something 'normal' gives me the best feeling. Because I know first hand how important the small things can be!!


Stephanie will be giving away one Holiday Knot Dress – up to Size 12 –

It's a bright piece


Just like Mollie – and all of our girls with moxie!

To Enter:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to the US. Winner will be selected randomly, announced on 11/09



Month with Moxie: Celebration Giveaway

Moxie was born in May 2010 with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. She had already miraculously healed from her diffuse fetal hydrops and the holes in her heart. She was named "Moxie" as she had shown that she was full of it: courage. Verve. Vigor.

Moxie has challenged us to do the same: to live our life, our one precious life, with a little



This month is Down syndrome Awareness Month and we are celebrating a Month with Moxieliving life with moxie.


We have a host of awesome Awareness Champions that will be helping us all celebrate by giving you really cool products they made or produce.


Today's Champion is Gwen, creator of Carlito's Creations. A bit more about her:


Gwen is an IT professional with a great love for crafts and recycling. What better way than to combine them both?!?! She came up with this idea while looking for a new ID Tag for her Chihuahua, Carlito, and figured out an inexpensive way to make him an ID tag made from recycled bottle-caps. She started just making them for all her friends' dogs and then decided to branch out and sell them on etsy.

Along with Pet ID Tags, she also makes personalized key-chains and magnets all from recycled bottle-caps. With Carlito as her right-hand man, she is gaining a fan base and having so much fun in the process! Please check out Carlito's Creations on etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/carlitocreations) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CarlitosCreations).

For all you Moxie fans, if you order during the month of October, you can use the coupon code GOTMOXIE15 and get 15% off your order!!!!


To enter: just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Details: Giveaway open to US residents. Open from 10/17/12 – 10/24/12, winners  announced directly via email.

Back when I was pregnant with Moxie but without any moxie of my own, I was slip-slithery-sliding all over the place in treacly grounds of depression. I was struggling for a type of..what is the word?Relief. That's it. Relief. I was so consumed with worry about who Moxie would be, about her future. Grappling each and every one of my rather massive stereotypes and let's be honest here, prejudices against Down syndrome.


Down syndrome, after all, was the one and only disability I had always been terrified of. Prayed I'd never have a connection with.


Nothing helped me. Not the stories about the "good nature" and "sweetness" of people with Ds. Not the "inspirational" stories that left me feeling completely bummed out that it seemed the only thing I could look forward to was Moxie being a bagger at Safeway. Or a stocker at Starbucks. Great, thanks. Not to sneer at any work – all work has meaning and value – but is this something I'd dream of for my child? No.


I'd cry daily. Lock myself in my office at work because I knew I couldn't be trusted to stay dry-eyed if someone spoke to me of my growing pregnant belly. And come on, who cries when people ask you how you are while pregnant? "You look great, Meriah" "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"


Finally – finally! – I came upon Conny Wenk. She who should be bottled and passed out like a magical elixir to parents like myself. Because she was magic. Her images gave me comfort, vision. Through the power of her lens, she gifted me with a new image of Down syndrome, one of beauty.


Through her work, for the first time in the whole journey of finding my moxie, I found relief.


It was her photo series of Laura Bruckmann that did it:


    Thank you, Conny.

Seeing a girl that looks like my daughter doing something so lovely. Expressive. Captivating. Entrancing. Means the world to me.  

I guess this is what inspiration is all about.


Showing me that our kids can be whomever they want to be. They can be powerful They can be grace. They can be movement and yes, they can be beautiful.




Conny lives in Stuttgart, Germany (the very city my Great Grandpa emigrated to the US from!) and is a professional photographer. Her delightful daughter has Down syndrome and she started a photography note of "A Little Extra" (she also has autism, adoption and 46 plus categories, among others). She captures a stunning variety of families with all the joy and love-life-stuff simply haloing about them like so much a dazzlement of humanized happy sprites.
Here's Conny's Bio:
Photography has always been Conny's great passion. 
But thanks to her wonderful daughter, her passion became her profession. 
Ten years ago, when Juliana was born and diagnosed with 
Down Syndrome, Conny's world seemed to fall apart. 
After she recovered from the initial shock, she began to see with new eyes. 
She became aware that real beauty is much more than meets the eye, and how symmetric the face and body are. It‘s the inner beauty. Somebody with a beautiful mind and soul is a very beautiful person. And a happy one! 
Conny loves photographing children – no matter how many chromosomes they have. She's also the author of five books about down syndrome who have received acclaim and recognition. These books are cherished by pediatricians, field professionals and parents as they candidly show, through heart warming photography and intimate narratives, the love betrween families and friends and the joy that children with the extra and magical chromosome bring to their lives.

Conny has a 2013 Calendar out, chock-full of her magic. She's going to give you a copy in honor of this month being Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Conny will be shipping this you from Germany, so this giveaway is open to the world.

To enter:
– Leave a comment on this blog: What do you love?


(winner decided by random.org)


I'm trying to keep this simple, so no extra entries for anything (too hard to count it all and rafflecopter is always breaking down). It would be pretty awesome if  you "like" her page on facebook, show her some love.

And hey, "like" our page too, if you haven't – or do the "follow" thing on twitter.

Giveaway ends: 10/22; winner will be announced via email (so you have to include a way to reach you!) on 10/23, unless I give birth, in which case the winner will be announced as soon as possible.

Even if you don't want to participate in the giveaway, how about going to her facebook page and "liking" her? And definitely visit her blog and site. It'll make you happy.

Note: All photos on this post are the images and property of Conny Wenk – also check out her site, The Girl with The Freckles, also a book.


Month with Moxie: Celebration Giveaway

Moxie was born in May 2010 with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. She had already miraculously healed from her diffuse fetal hydrops and the holes in her heart. She was named "Moxie" as she had shown that she was full of it: courage. Verve. Vigor.

Moxie has challenged us to do the same: to live our life, our one precious life, with a little



This month is Down syndrome Awareness Month and we are celebrating a Month with Moxieliving life with moxie.


We have a host of awesome Awareness Champions that will be helping us all celebrate by giving you really cool products they made or produce.


Today's Champion is Sweet Redemption, and this is a message from owner/creator Jess:


What an honor to be a tiny part of such an important celebration!  A beautiful man once said, "If anything matters, then everything matters."

Life is to be lived fully… from the inside out.  Every single person on the face of the planet is a unique, perfectly crafted work of art!  We long to look in the mirror and find something to celebrate – to look into the face of another person and celebrate!  Too often we find instead disappointment, judgement, sadness and rejection.

This month we celebrate the lovely people with (as Meriah calls it) the gift of an extra chromosome – because in my experience – these amazing people reflect back to us what we long to see.  A ready smile, a unique perspective, and always… sunshine. 

I have gone through struggles… as everyone has… and I have come to hold onto that quote like a lifeline – I matter! You matter! Life is precious and worth every second of living it!  My art is a way of celebrating those moments – one step at a time – allowing room for the lament, knowing that the bitter only makes the sweet more sweet.  Sweet Redemption is about just that… that beauty can be found anywhere – if you only have the eyes to see it! 

I am filled with gratitude as I celebrate with you!  I hope that whoever "wins" one of my Moxie Scarves will wrap themselves in a little more spunk… fortify with fortitude… and BE exactly who you ARE! 

I will also be releasing limited editions of my Moxie Scarves all throughout the month of October on my Etsy shop.  I will be donating $5 from every scarf to a fund to get Meriah and her family on their way to their dream of raising awareness globally and eventually providing employment training for people with disabilities. 

So – scurry on over to my Etsy shop and get your Moxie scarf – wear it proudly and celebrate life!

x jess

Facebook: Sweet Redemption Fiber Art

These scarves are BEAUTIFUL – they are made of alpaca wool with SPARKLE – they are butter soft with vibrant, deliciously playful colours

Verve! Vigor!

You know. Kind of like a little girl I know…


There are two scarves, one that is yellow/green/grey with silver sparkles and the other is purple/pink/fuschia/magenta with silver sparkles


To enter, just answer the following question below (or on the With a Little Moxie facebook page): what's your favorite colour? There will be 2 winners for this giveaway!


[sorry, because of pricey shipping, this giveaway is limited to the US/Canada; giveaway ends October 11th, midnight Pacific, winners announced on the blog on Friday the 12th – email address MUST be attached to comment]

Happy Month with Moxie, and please don't forget to swing by Jess's shop on etsy and show her some love. AND! Did you catch the part about Jess donating $5 off of every order toward our PAN AM OVERLAND trip in which we will seek out our Inn?! YES!

Thank you, Jess!

winners chosen by random.org – #2, Deanna and #9, Jennifer

I am delighted to be guest posting over Mamapedia today. It's a post called,

What to Say When You Hear My Daughter Has Down syndrome.


It's an early post that I wrote, shooting straight from my heart and I hope you will go over there and read it (the original post is here: What to Say..)


For those of  you that are visiting here from reading my post on Mamapedia, welcome!

It's good to have you and I hope you will stay awhile and we can get to know each other.

A quick blog introduction: this blog is organized into 3 categories: Disability, Travel and Family. If you want to read just one category (or another), simply stay in that section. If you'd like to read more posts on any of the categories, just search the blog for what you are interested in. I'm still catching up on reformatting my 1,000+ posts, so some posts might be a little hard to read. Sorry about that.


We can also connect over on facebook, or on twitter, pinterest, instagram (meriahnichols)take your pick – I'm all over the place, but of course, it's just for you.


Like Mamapedia said, this is National Down syndrome Awareness Month. Here on this blog, we are having bi-weekly giveaways for our Month with Moxie, celebrating Down syndrome – join in!

So far this week, we have a beautiful silver necklace, gifted from Bella Tu Jewelry (to enter, just click HERE), and also an e-book that I made, with photos and quotes from this blog (see sidebar to download the book or pdf or click HERE). We'll have another giveaway tomorrow from Sweet Redemption. Stay tuned.


On Friday, this blog will also be one of the hosts for a Weekend Down Syndrome Blog Hop – come on back and visit some fantastic blogs from the Down syndrome Community.


Thanks for stopping by, thanks for all your kind comments on Mamapedia, and thanks for celebrating this month with me.


And with Moxie.




Today is October 1st, the beginning of Down syndrome Awareness Month and the start of our Month with Moxie, celebrating the gift of an extra chromosome and a life lived with moxie – with courage, verve and vigor.


I made a little book of photos and quotes I've posted here on the blog or on facebookfree for download, so download away!


Let's all be a little more inspired.


Click on the photo above to go the bookstore and download your copy, or just click here.

PDF is also available:



Happy Monday! Happy Down syndrome Awareness Month! Happy Month with Moxie!



Fabulous sale alert! Blurb is offering 15% off any book you create with promo code FALL15OFFBOOK. As the cold weather season begins, a Blurb book makes the perfect indoor project for the entire family. Plus, with Blurb, you can create a photo book by uploading your Instagram and Facebook images! Don't let your pictures sit in a camera. Capture your favorite moments today and create a photo book that you can cherish for a lifetime. Enjoy creating your Blurb Book today!

Font Resize