Quail Day: On Holiday

The Quail’s first Christmas in our arms! She celebrated in style. She let the mamarazzi dress her up for photographs posted earlier. She laughed, she played, she had her first bit of baby turkey and seemed to enjoy it. She is definitely in the midst of stranger anxiety time though. Twice this past week she has woken up to one of our friends over her and in response has startled and started to cry and as they kindly tried to console her the wailing took on a grievous tone. Poor lambie. She continued to weep tears and sniff in their general direction as they made nice with her. While I am sad for her upset- I’m pretty proud of the cognitive leap of knowing her peeps!

She received a lovely little Quail ornament to commemorate her nickname and welcome in this natural world. She got her very own busy ball popper, Elmo video, angel book, talking book, personalized wool stocking complete with snowmen parading past and a Jingle Bell singing toothbrush. Her sister picked out a soft ladybug shaped book that has become a fast favorite. We’ve been enjoying our mornings and evenings reading a few books together as a family. She has a definite interest in books- although it could just be the need for more fiber. She was an absolute dollbaby in her Christmas dress, patent fake-pleather black shoes, tights and red striped hairbow and managed to not get a spot on any of it! And word to the wise- when your party dress has glitter on it- don’t be alarmed when a day or so later you find glitter in your diaper- it’s all just part of the continued festivities!

In January she moves up to the older baby’s room. She already knows her new teacher Miss Patti- so we are hoping it will be an easy and happy transition. There is more room for floor time here and all her little buddies will be crawling and toddling past. We are hoping that will inspire her. Currently she is pretty keen on laying on her belly pressed up into a yoga-teacher-perfect cobra for a good 10-15 minutes at a time. When you call her and try to encourage her to come to you she gets all wriggely excited and starts kicking her back legs. She tolerates us pushing her into crawling position and will pop out and forward and divebomb the floor in front of her. And while she hollers at us for doing it to her she doesn’t fight it too much anymore and is beginning to hold the position more on her own and when one leg is pressed up under her she will now correct the other to get it into position. Baby steps they say…

Zuzu’s Day: On Holiday

Zuzu had a wonderful week at home from school with us. Due to the illness she spent more time home with Lovey or I then she has since she was born! She is fully recovered and back to her charming self though. She was heartbreakingly polite when she was under the weather and so we were happy to hear a little bit of sass and razz work its way back into her repertoire. Zuzu was pleased as punch to receive the candy cane, that she told anyone who would ask that she hoped Santa would bring, without having to actually sit on the man’s lap. So while we are sad to not have a photo commemorating the year- we doubt she is disappointed. She spent the week happily playing, helping out around the house and baking, eating and posing for Momma.

Gratitude Journal

1. Lovey

2. Lovey’s schedule

3. little girls resting

4. white chicken chili

5. meatloaf

6. mac-n-cheese

7. unexpected time off

8. a baby sleeping through a movie

9. Lovey suggesting we go see a movie

10. The Holidays!

11. a little girl asking to learn to read

12. a tree decorated!

13. thoughtful ornaments from a dear friend whom I haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet in real life!

14. all my on-line friends, their cards and holiday wishes!

15. carrot bake!

16. an invitation to Christmas dinner

17. kids deciding to be very best friends

18. Christmas dresses with bows and matching shoes

19. Lisa and her family

20. the goose egg not being too big

21. new jammies!

Angels we have heard on high!


Won’t you please consider donating to an adoption grant fund for a child who needs a home? Reece’s Rainbow is a non-profit organization that helps children who have Down syndrome internationally find their “Forever Families”

Our family is donating to Jeffrey I chose him to post about on picture alone. I know it might have been more helpful to have picked a child who there was more of a background to tell you all about. In Eastern Europe it is not uncommon for babies that are born with a diagnosis of Down syndrome to be taken to orphanages. They are able to stay in their baby homes typically until the age of 3. Around that time the paperwork is begun to move them into institutions. While some can still be adopted after that time, it does not appear common. That’s where Reece’s Rainbow comes into the picture. This organization was started by one mother who had the good fortune to give birth to a child that has Down syndrome 6 years ago. Since that time she has become a passionate advocate for children and families of children who have Down syndrome. Her organization started raising money and assisting families in the process of adopting children that have Down syndrome. In other countries these children are typically viewed as outcasts and unable to learn and set away from society and the stimulation and love they desperately need. Before my life as a mother I used to work with adults that had a variety of developmental diagnosis and had lived the majority of their lives in institutions. Once they were able to move into their own homes and begin receiving one-on-one attention in a loving environment- they did learn. They began doing the everyday household activities that they were believed to not be capable of- it turned out they were just never given the same opportunities to learn and grow and be loved that you or I had growing up. So I can testify that if an adult with a diagnosis of the like of severe to profound mental retardation can grow and learn- then the possibilities of a very young baby or child that may have an accompanying diagnosis of mild to moderate mental retardation along with Down syndrome is fully capable of living a wonderful life- just like any of the rest of us- if, IF they are given that blessed opportunity.

Now- that is where you come into the picture. Won’t you consider adopting one of these beautiful children? Is that too much?- how about contributing to an adoption grant fund that will go directly to a specific child’s waiting Forever Family, that is just trying to raise the money to bring their little one home. That is what our family can do at this time and is doing. As I typed I kept going back to their page debating picking another child to post about that there is more information to share- a personal touch that might draw you in and make you more likely to give a few dollars. But in order to do that I would have had to remove sweet Jeffrey’s picture and I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. Maybe by the time you go to their website there will be more information about him- maybe not- but maybe in the process you will read about another little child and that will touch your heart and spur you on to donate- or adopt. So I decided to add a few more children’s pictures in hoping one of them would touch your heart’s as well. The Christmas Angel Tree Adoption Grant Fund highlights specific children that you can donate too. We chose Jeffrey because he is noted to be at high risk for institutionalization due to his age (these children are noted in red) and he had very little money currently in his adoption fund.

We are so blessed in this country to have so many great resources. The understanding of Down syndrome and the potential of a person born with this diagnosis really lies in the care they are able to receive. If they are encouraged, and expected to do well and given all of the love, health care, education and engagement that a typical child is- then their future is wide-open just like any of the rest of your children. The future of children with Down syndrome has really changed in the last 10 years. With the help of Early Intervention and adequate medical care- these children are more like your other children then they are different. They have conditions that can be medically managed- they are not outcasts that have no potential as they are viewed in less developed nations.

There are a number of families in our community like Lisa’s and Michelle’s that have read about these dear children and have made the leap of faith to begin their adoption journey to bring a new heart into their families. Go read their stories and get to know these amazing families.

Please consider helping a child find their Forever Family before they are faced with being institutionalized for the rest of their life. Some of these children need the care our medical system is able to manage and some don’t have any health care needs. Please at least take the time to come over to Reece’s Rainbow and meet these little darlings and consider making a donation.

And one last plea to my Corner View friends. The number one thing that prevents a child from being donated to or adopted is a bad picture. If the child was having a bad day and that is what was captured- that is all there is for any potential family to go on- and more often than not- that causes the child to be overlooked- for another child who was having a better child and maybe was a tad more photogenic. You,my corner view friends live all over the world and are amazing photographers. Would you consider contacting Reece’s Rainbow to see if there might be something that you could do- to see if it might be possible that you could help take good quality photos- so that one instance in time is not what is standing between a child finding it’s Forever Family  or living a life of institutionalization? What a difference a gift of your time and talent could make in the life of a sweet child.

Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings to all- Please let your heart be filled with the joy of these children and their potential.

From our family to yours- with love and hope.

Zuzu Day- Our Star

Our little star is feeling much brighter these days. Over the weekend her fever finally abated. While we didn’t make it to see Santa Claus this year; we did have a tree decorating party, an ornament party, a card sending party, a present wrapping party  and a cookie decorating party. And for those that might read this and feel left out- don’t- the party was pretty much just the good cheer and enthusiasm with which we did those things over the weekend. Our dear girl manages to find joy in the ordinariness of household activities. Did I already mention the dishwasher loading party, the laundry folding party, the kitchen and pantry sweeping parties that happen routinely here? The celebrations of most Christmas loving folks- ie- going to see Santa- are more traumatizing then fond-memory-making in nature for dear Zuzu.  I’ll take cheerful sweeping and song-filled table setting anyday from our little Cinderella.  Not to mention the plus of Santa having tried to get her to not cry by offering her candy canes has caused her to think that is what she should ask for for Christmas! We can handle that!

.Our first year I didn’t find a Santa until the week before Christmas. I was driving past a Burger King that had a sign up. So we raced home and donned her holiday outfit and ran back to duck in for a photo-op. They actually had a pretty tree set up just to the left of Santa, but the “Elf” angled the shot with the booths in back. Then Santa made a quip about her being so cute he could take her back to the North Pole with him and I grabbed the baby in a heat of new mother hormones and left. A week later I called back inquiring about the photo. They didn’t ask who we were- apparantly we were the only sorry takers for their offerings.  2007- Take 2- our little school had up a sign about a private photo session with Santa at a local dentist’s office. Zuzu was excited by all the dental equipment. She came around the corner, took one look at Santa and screamed. He was kind and tried singing to her and then finally suggested I come sit by him as well. I did, she turned around and saw him behind us and what you see below is the results. That’s what Momma gets for taking a kid to the dentist for her Santa visit. 2008- Take 3. We talked about Santa all morning and were meeting up with her BFF Sophie and her family at a local Reindeer Run/Pancake Breakfast where Sophie’s mom was running. We waited for her to finish and milled around Santa watching him greet little girls and boys and hand out candy canes. We made attempts to get close 3 or 4 times with Zuzu turning around and marching back to me and demanding I acquire her candy cane for her. I insisted if she sat by Santa he would give her one. I think Santa had had enough of our loitering by this time as well. She went up briefly, snatched the candy and held out her arms for me to save her. After the previous two years I can hardly blame her. We did try again one more time last year at  one of the musems light drive-through displays. We again talked about Santa all day, during dinner, on the drive over, through the lights display and as we hurried up to get in line. She even talked about how he would give her a candy cane and she would sit by him while we waited. When we got to the front of the line she again took one look at him and swiftly turned around proclaiming, “I no sit on his lap”. So we got a nice family portrait that includes a 7 month old in-utero Quail to come. I’m fairly certain Zuzu is already more relaxed about this Christmas with the lack of fat men in red suits and white beards offering her candy for her secret wishes and I can hardly blame her. It is such a mixed message.

Gratitude Journal

1. Andy Williams

2. H1N1 vaccinations

3. babies who listen and toddlers who don’t always listen

4. daydreaming of meals to come

5. Eggnog

6. dancing with the baby to Christmas carols

7. watching the toddler dance her heart out to Andy William’s version of Jingle Bells

8. Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree

9. a toddler feeling well enough to protest loudly and often

10. a grinning Buddha of a baby

11. Summer’s help

12. a festive work lunch

13. a new knit wool stocking for the Quail

14. eating the chocolates in the Advent calendar

15. weisswurst with red peppers and sweet onions

16. Jodi Piccoult stories on cd

17. The Quail signing “more”

18. The Quail reaching out to take her bottle from me with a grasping single hand

19. cuddly middle-of-the-night breathing treatments with a most snuggly baby

20. stocking stuffers

21. sleeping in till 8am