Fave-O-Lit Friday


Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Zuzuday: Leaps & Bounds

Oh the things she can do! Oh the places she will go!

41 + inches of pure determination! Lately we’ve had the good fortune to try out gymnastics through our buddies’ love of the sport. I’ve thought that it would be a good match for our energetic lass and I’m thinking we will take it up regularly soon. A local place offers a Saturday morning “fun gym” where you can drop your child off for an hour of lesson and an hour of free play. Last week when we got in the door she tucked snack monies and shoes in a cubby and darted into the circle of runners warming up faster then I could find my good-bye hug! The girls is pure muscle these days.

Including that ever important one in her noggin. On Sunday she came into where I was changing her sister’s diaper sporting a piece of paper with the word HAT on it. “Look Momma, I can write hat!” Indeed! She then proceeded on to write CAT, her name, her middle name and her sister’s name! I was stunned and sent her with her work in to share with her Dad and chuckled when I heard him ask if Momma had helped her with that.

Everytime we have tried to encourage practicing writing we have been met with a polite, or not-so-polite response of No. She’ll color what she wants, when she wants and how she wants and frequently informs me that I should let a little girl color how she wants. The mystery was solved later this week though when I asked her school director if they practice writing in her 3 year old class. She said some, but Zuzu, being the oldest in her class has been visiting the next class up and they do spend quite a bit of time writing in there. I had seen her stick-figure renditions of Dora when I gathered her from school- but had no idea she had learned to write her letters. I’m so proud!

Last night was our photo session for her spring dance recital. Since the Quail was recently under the weather we decided we would get her to bed early and I would just take Zuzu to the session. The year before when we did this ; I did not have my pagent-mom bravado with me and let us wait to be called for individual pictures as I watched Zuzu melt down long after she would have typically been asleep. This year I was armed with a plan to get her to the front of the line and get the individual shot done promptly so that I could lay off of the nagging of her to not rip her tights, not get the silver from her shoes everywhere, not knock the bow out of her hair again and not to tear her dress.  I felt like the ogre mom with my broken record routine, meanwhile her buddies are skipping around and she’s looking longingly. I’ll give her this- when the other kiddos were skipping and I had told her to stay still she told them not to wreck there clothes and then asked me if she could skip with them before just taking off- which is what she would have done and did do last year- so she’s growing- it’s sinking in. She got her photo done sweetly- well- maybe more determinably. When the teachers asked me which pose I wanted I referred them back to Zuzu’s request for an arabesque. Which was met with a, “I’m not sure she can” ponder from the teacher quickly cut off by, a “Sure I can!” leading into pure grace and smiles. Way to go Zuzu!

corner view: daily communication








I had high hopes for this post and have been looking forward to it since the topic announcement last week. I treated myself to a video and space upgrade on the ole blog and set out to make a movie of all of the signs we do in our house! Sadly, our industry queen fell sick to a high fever this weekend and she was unable to perform for a good part of it. The footage we captured we were going to label as Bieber Fever since it included her signing rendition of the hit single Baby, Baby, Baby complete with a gel Be Kool patch attached to her tiny forward to keep her fever minimized and her charisma high. But, well lets just say between technology and viral bugs the film isn’t quite prepared. So we’re going with the B-side and showing a few photos.
We started signing with Zuzu our 4-year-old when she was about 9-10 months old. With this experience under our belts and a clear research study of her showing that it OBVIOUSLY did not inhibit her ability to talk (come visit us anytime of the day), we had no qualms joining our buddies in the Down syndrome community as Rachel groupies around her show Signing Time. From early on both of our girls have been able to make fairly clear choices about what they wanted. I say fairly, because the Quail is just now starting to be able to sign with out prompts and doesn’t have a full enough vocabulary yet to cover all of her bases. She gets quite animated when she needs something and doesn’t have the sign to tell us yet. I have no doubt that the Quail will talk with as much animation as her older sister one day, but in the meantime we know it’s important to give her a means to communicate that will minimize her frustration of getting what’s in her pretty lil noggin out to the rest of the world. We’ve done daily therapy to overcome her motor planning and oral-motor weakness that comes along with Down syndrome and we KNOW she has things to say- we’re happy to adjust how we listen to meet her half-way. Both the girls will sign with each other now and for Zuzu, it’s become so instinctive that her hands will automatically go to the position still now as she’s saying the words for some of the earliest ones she learned.
Learning sign was easy and fun- there are tons of websites, board books, flash cards and videos. Instead of watching other TV our kids look forward to watching the antics of Rachel’s littles doing the things they do everyday. Zuzu’s first sign was more. When we started with the Quail on more she struggled and it seemed to abstract of a concept to begin with. She needed a one-handed sign that correlated with a concrete subject- so we backed up and went with her favorite motivator- eat! We started hand-over-hand having her sign eat and we did it as well and then handed her what we were eating. Now she’s to the point where she does it when she’s hungry on her own. Below is a list we’re keeping of her signs. I know I’ve forgotten a few- but this starts us off:
By herself:
all done
will do back when I sign it
thank you
my turn/me
woosh-woosh (her breathing treatment)
chicken (to eat)

 Edited to add: Here’s a link to her signing and a lil of her Bieber cover

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday post hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by  Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world:

 Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

gratitude journal

1. safe travels with work

2. a night away

3. returning home

4. a fun training

5. options

6. House of Pizza’s Greek Chicken over pasta!

7. a sunny day

8. house hunting

9. consignment sale dresses

10. a 4 year old proclaiming she loves ALL of her dresses- no matter how many times you ask her which one is better!

11. a 4 year old suddenly knowing how to write her letters?!?!?!!??!?!

12. a 4 year old suddenly going from spelling HAT to CAT to Abelia

13. a 4 year old not asking why, but rather: What would happen if I…. a thousand times a day

14. on call peds

15. motrin and tylenol

16. a quickly moving fever

17. a fever only lasting 24 hours

18. growth in the 2 year old- she’s now 30.5 inches and 26.6 lbs

19. a list of 30 baby signs

20. smiles amidst tears

21. my family

Fave-O-Lit Friday

What Have I Got to Complain About

by David Budbill

We’ve got enough money now not to worry every minute
about where the next dollar is coming from.
We even go to the movies once in a while.
We’ve got a nice collection of friends.
Our house is sturdy and well built.
It keeps us warm and stands well against the storms.
The larder is full of rice.
There are plenty of potatoes down cellar.
The freezer is full of vegetables I grew myself.

In the face of all that, slights to my vanity
seem frivolous and nonsensical.

What have I got to complain about?

corner view: wood

Remember this corner view? Well the drive back down the mountain towards home took us through some woods right as the sun was making its way from a high perch to low. I love taking shots out of car windows and then looking at them over time. The abstraction and blur they give to our world seems a metaphor for something…

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday post hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by  Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world:

 Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

Zuzuday: from sweet pea to string bean and back again…

This 4 year old is literally growing before our eyes. I know objectively she is bigger than she was say 4 years ago- but I don’t feel like I’ve ever witnessed it so awesomely as right now. We’ve had sooooo many inquiries lately about how old she is, how tall she is and how different she looks lately. And these are from people who see her regularly. Sigh….you want them to grow up, yes. But it’s so bittersweet. I feel like I can barely remember the baby in her anymore.

Oh wait, no, at least 15 times a day she informs me she is Baby Zuzu, Baby Bia, Baby New Year, Baby Tammy….and proceeds to crawl around hollering, “goo-goo”; “gaa-gaa’. The Quail is smitten with her antics though and takes it as a personal invitation to pounce on her. Which then results in a World-Wide-Wrestling Federation style of play that I naively thought was reserved for little boys. Just as theatric, maybe not quite so bone-crushing. It does no good to pull one of them off of the other. It just gets you tackled.

And then just when you can’t stand the baby talk, and the requests for you to feed her and dress her like a baby, the play morphs into playing grown-up where she starts informing you that when she grows up she’s going to be a teacher, a doctor, a mommy of 10 girls, a super-hero, or weirdly more specifically a mommy of baby boy-girl twins named Coleman and Ellie as she grabs her purse, puts her “monies” in it and announces she is off to work. The next time the Baby Tammi game comes up, you happily put the spoon to her lips enjoying it as long as you can….

gratitude journal

1. an unexpected compliment

2. girl scout cookie season

3. tasty pizza

4. 7 lbs down from 1/1/11

5. thoughtful consultations

6. a new babydoll

7. Albuterol

8. hulu.com

9. spring flowers starting in January and flourishing into March

10. March Fourth

11. house hunting

12. thinking about a day off

13. a weekly weekday meal plan

14. inchstones  (what adds up to the typical milestones)

15. some camera time on a pretty day

16. playing with friends

17. stranger and separation anxiety- it shows she knows her peeps

18. Grandma & Grandpa planning to come to the ballerina’s recital

19. costume fee’s paid

20. safe travels to and from Honduras for Auntie Deb

21. Uncle Greg passing on the good words