January 29, 2014

my buddy

I have come to realize that I am grateful for Down syndrome.  When my buddy was born, I couldn't imagine a world where Ds would be a good thing.  I mean, over 90% of women who get the prenatal diagnosis choose to abort.  Society tells us it is not something to be excited about.  But society clearly never knew my buddy.

My buddy can be infuriating and it would be fantastic if he would stop throwing half full bowls of Cheerios in milk at me.  But he is a force to be reckoned with.  His spirit is so strong.  My buddy lives in the moment striving - and achieving - happiness.  He lives his life the way he wants and he is always 100% himself no matter the situation he finds himself in.  Of course it would be nice if he would be a slightly better behaved version of himself at school and not plop himself down when he doesn't want to do something.  But that is who he is.

how could you not love a kid who gets himself stuck in a bucket?

On Unified Sports day, he just goes to morning kindergarten.  Then we head back to school in the afternoon to pick up big sis and drop my buddy off for sports.  While we wait for big sis to come into the gym, my buddy goes around to every person, big and small, and shakes their hand giving them a hearty hello.  He thrives in Unified Sports amazing everyone with his ability to make baskets.  I know this ability well.  Ever since he could stand, he would throw toys over the baby gate right into the cat water... every time. 

I used to mourn all the things my buddy will never be.  But recently I realized that I should have celebrated all the worries I no longer need.  I don't need to worry about raising him to respect and be kind to women.  He knows no other way.  It would never occur to him to be hurtful.

I may have to endure a lifetime of him tackling me with bear hugs, but who wouldn't want that?

those are some big shoes to fill

January 24, 2014


When you hear about a parent losing a child - especially someone you knew - it really puts things into perspective.  It makes you hug your children just a little tighter.  Wait longer before you nag them again to get moving.  Focus on their smiles rather than their frowns.  Be grateful for every little moment you have together.

I've been working on gratitude this year.  I started a challenge to take a picture of one thing each day that I am grateful for.  I post them on Instagram with a hashtag just for me so I can scroll back through the photos and see the wonderful parts of my life.  It helps me complain less and appreciate more.

With my mom in town, life is easier.  The mornings are smoother and we get to school early.  I dropped off the kids at school the other morning without rara and on my way out the principal commented on how an extra set of hands can make such a difference and how I was smiling and laughing.  How do I usually look in the morning?  I can only imagine the look on my face after feeding 3 kids, packing 2 backpacks, getting 2 kids dressed and teeth brushed, breathing treatment for 1 and getting them all out the door by 8:20am.  It usually feels like I just completed a marathon.  But I don't want to be remembered as the mom who never smiled when she brought her kids to school.  I think I need to find something to be grateful for in the mornings.

Today I am grateful for all the little things...

puzzles with Nana

how excited and silly she gets waiting for big sis to get off the bus

her gentle way

snuggling all of them under a blanket

in the car with her best friend

sibling love

January 12, 2014


My buddy has been fighting off another cold for the past week and a half.  Life gets hard when he gets sick.  There is a lack of sleep and increasingly demanding days.  He doesn't have the stamina for school and he is easy to upset.  I think we may be turning a corner, but you just never know with my buddy.

Big sis and I had a discussion this evening if my buddy would be able to talk.  He did something that I just didn't understand and I commented that I wasn't sure if I would ever understand him.  She said something about when he is a teenager being able to tell us why he acts the way he does.  Then she paused and said, "he will be able to talk when he is a teenager, right?"  I told her there was a chance he could never talk, but I was really confident that he will talk just fine when he is a teenager.

It's funny.  Sometimes he says very little but when he does have something to say, it comes out just right.  Daddy came back from a business trip late one night and when my buddy saw him in the morning, clear as day he said, "Dada.  Hug."

One good thing about my buddy not feeling well is the extra hugs he needs.  He's almost 50 pounds and would still love me to carry him around on my hip when he is sick.  So I get to take some breaks during the day and just rock him and hold him.

Here are a few shots from the last couple of weeks.

about as friendly as those two get with each other

Daddy was away on business and she wore his hat every day.


always so much joy when big sis gets home from school

love that kid

thank god for the iPad to get us through the sick days

a rare moment where they all coexisted happily in the same space

she rarely lets me take her picture anymore so I have to do it on the sly

Target - my buddy seems to be restocking himself