Zuzuday: bed bugs…

Or buddies… or not so much. Zuzu is a snuggler. And man cannot snuggle alone! I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long before we’ve started finding her in the Quail’s crib. Needless to say- the Quail is non-too-pleased…

Mommaday: better than….

last year I think! It was a quiet holiday this year. We’re still trying to figure out what all we can manage with 2 little ones underfoot  I’m always so impressed with these families of small ones who still manage to put on a big festive feast in their own home. I have absolutely no idea how you manage it. We were fortunate to be invited back to the large Thanksgiving day gathering of a good friend that we attended last year.

This family is kind enough to open their home on the holiday to their graduate department who isn’t able to make it home to their families and a few other of us transplanted souls. They are excellent cooks and party hosts and we always look forward to an invitation to their home. This year we did have a few lingering coughs of colds gone by floating around our house but nothing too serious compared to last year! Gosh- last year by this time we had already had one emergency room visit for a sick Quail and still had gunk being passed around between us all. Come the actual holiday break I was down in bed for most of it. This year while we didn’t have any company staying with us, and I forgot the memory card to our camera when we were with friends we managed a very laid-back set of festivities. Zuzu happily ran around with a couple of her buddies from school. The Quail was mobile enough to to keep herself and us on our toes, but not quite mobile enough to keep herself from needing rescuing every few minutes. We managed to make a pumpkin pie with the remains of our Halloween bounty and were in charge of the yummy carrot bake from the year before. I mail-ordered our favorite Tom & Jerry mix, but we were so happily stuffed that we didn’t even break it out until a post-holiday get together with another family of friends.

On friday we managed to clean up our nest- which is a feat in and of itself and our other dear family feast friends came over to partake in the mythical BBQ from Texas that Uncle Scott had sent us last spring when the Quail had her surgery. We had kept it in our freezer and repeatedly told mythical tales of its smoky tenderness. These friends have a 3 month old as well as a spritely 2 year old and were kind enough to bring along an apple galette as well as a batter for pop-overs. Which I think might just become my new favorite bread product.

We rounded our our weekend with a little outdoor playtime, some cookie baking and coco-drinking and multiple sightings of the Momma sign! Yay!!!!

We were also invited to a sweet birthday party for 1 year old twins. There home and friends and family were all so lovely. Zuzu didn’t want to leave. While she can be shy occasionally, this time she managed to walk right up to just about every kid within a foot of her height, introduce herself and invite them to play. The Quail was also delighted to not be the youngest of the group and enjoyed her status as the toddler, whispering to the twins about their year to come.

All in all a nice weekend with plenty of relaxed home-time which is often in short demand here. Hope your holiday was just as bright!

Gratitude Journal

1. photos coming out like paintings

2. the beauty of November

3. luscious skies

4. kindness

5. spirited children

6. a renewed love of turtlenecks in little ones

7. a dora chair turning into a lazy-boy for a pudgy toddler

8. a-cute naughtiness

9. renewed connections

10. invitations

11. being on time

12. playdates

13. a lazy goat lunch

14. Plain Truth

15. a new to me Jane Hamilton and A. Manette Ansay find at the library

16. hanging my pictures at work

17. new digs

18. time with Lovey

19. Glee

20. my babycenter friends- both Ds and MMC

21. a phone call from a doctor not amounting to anything

corner view: take a different perspective

Try embracing ability rather than fearing disability.

In this country most children with Down syndrome are typically able to get the care and love they need to thrive. This past week there was a disturbing story going around Facebook of an infant with Down syndrome in Arkansas. He and his twin brother were intended to be adopted at birth. Sadly only one infant went home. The other was given a DNR order.  Since then, advocacy groups have stepped in and the DNR order has been lifted. Please join those of us in the Down syndrome community as we pray for the continued health of this little darling as he waits for a homestudy-ready family in Arkansas to step up and bring him into his forever family and that he gets the medical intervention that is needed in order for him to live.

Thankfully, this story is the exception here in this country. In Eastern Europe and other parts of the world this isn’t the case.  As November draws to a close and with it National Adoption Month; I thought I would take this week’s corner view as an opportunity to share a wonderful organization with you. An organization that takes a different perspective on the value of the lives of children born with Down syndrome in countries where that is seen as a burden rather than a blessing.  Reece’s Rainbow is a non-profit organization that helps children who have Down syndrome (and other disabilities) internationally find their “Forever Families”. During November and December they sponsor an Angel Tree where you can see pictures of some of these sweet children and donate to their adoption fund. This money will go towards the costs of funding an adoption for one of these sweet children. If you donate at least $35 before December 15, you will receive an ornament with a picture of the child you donated to on it.

I wrote about this topic last year. And as I went through my archives this year to look at it again I was tickled to see one of the little angels from this tree, Mallory as one of the pictures I had high-lighted again. Dear Sandra and her lovely family have joined the ranks of forever families and brought her home just this past season. You can read about their journey here in adopting Mallory and Peach. There are so many lovely families that have given the gift of a forever family and a chance at life itself for these children. Jennifer’s, Lisa’s, Lacey‘s and Michelle’s to name a very small few.

Visit these blogs, consider adoption or donating to one of these sweet children. Let your heart and eyes see how different life can be if you just choose to see it that way.

Here are just a few of the sweet angels needing forever families:

See what’s going on around the world:

jane ianbonniejoycekimkaytrinschritvafrancescastate of bliss cabrizetteisabellejaniskarijgylisecateotlidortebsophiemcgillicuttysunnymamadaanibbpienduzzkelleynninjasammitheresacherry bjulietteshokoofehcolegrey lemonlucylainelynnskywritingannadoritconnyl´atelierkamanaanne marierosamaríavictoriatikjewitjuniperannabelandrea valeriemerel soissesmlle paradiscacahuetewander chowbarbaraemilytallynadinedon flowtopssusannataniadanaingridtzivia lollipopmarimezza

Gratitude Journal

1. fall colors in the local garden

2. family pictures turning out oh so bright and lovely

3. a new camera with which to shoot them

4. a yummy baked penne and loaf of Italian bread made from fixins in the pantry

5. a 4 year old asking for Beatrix Potter books

6. a 4 year old’s concern over whether or not Peter Rabbit’s father was rescued from Old Mr. McGregor’s garden

7. a bagel-park playdate

8. communion over seasonally inappropriate little girl clothes and realizing that the same fix was had in each home.

9. seeing the 20 month old really and truly crawling

10. November Sky Colorscapes

11. reminders of life’s randomness

12. support either way

13. a happy phone call with laughter over the smallness of this world

14. Girl’s Night Out and the discovery of a new cheese

15. 2 Buck Chuck taking the lead

16. my job and my kind co-workers

17. sweet feedback and confidence boosters on my photographs and perspective

18. Trader Joe’s!

19. sparkley shoes on little feet

20. last minute invites!

21. babies in fleecie nightgowns