Home » I’m Cole, come meet the family

I’m Cole, come meet the family

I’m Cole. It’s nice to meet you. I am a middle-aged working-out-of-the-home Momma to three wild & dear kiddos. These are the stories from our family’s life. Our ordinary days chronicled with stills and prose. It’s how I think about my days, my family, my life. As I’ve grown along, I have realized that my dreams don’t follow the beat of a typical storyline. I don’t dream of being the princess of childhood fairy tales where the story ends at happily ever after. In the presence of our family’s daily life, I have found life’s gift to be our ordinary afters.Balloons to be had (and a latte or two for mom).

My partner is Lovey. In our home, he bakes the bread and the pies, brews the beer, changes the oil, fixes the brakes, files the taxes, cuddles the babies, smokes the meat, plants and tends the tomato and pepper seedlings, finds the best bands,  feeds the small ones, washes the dishes and laundry, changes the diapers, upgrades the computer memory, loves us so very fiercely and quietly, pushes the swings, shops for the groceries, makes the pomegranate chicken and mead, holds the family Tickle Monster title & gloves, keeps me company and teaches philosophy. He is my sanity, my silliness, my best friend and my everyday hero. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend my days with.

12901410_10209247785650647_6183366718057505386_oOur eldest is Zuzu. This was her name in-utero. She is a lovely teen-year old. She is so certain she is already grown-up. Zuzu is a wildflower- she has more pure kindness, spirit, enthusiasm, glee, love, energy & wisdom then most people ten times her age. She broke us in right. She started our family with a burst of life, laughter, motion and spirit. In real life, she bears the name of the sweet little bell-shaped flowers that circle our first home, where our family grew. She is my mirror, my spirit, my energy, my daughter.

994711_10209247785610646_8276907005514505059_nThe Quail is no longer our baby. Just ask her. She is nicknamed for the precious lock of hair that bobbed along the top of her tiny head during her early morning chortles to us in that first year. She is a girl in love with art, books and Barbies, Disney movies, dancing, Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, 1D, soccer, playing cook and school & her actual school. She watches out for our hearts and wipes away our tears. She has learned the art of kind sistering from the best and is as devoted to our youngest as she is to our eldest. She makes a strong, observant, independent, curious and joyful presence in our home.  In real life she is named for my mother and my husband. She is my firstborn’s very first best friend. She is the Buddha in our midst. The light in our family heart. The one who was meant to be. She is my voice, my drive, my conscience, my soul, my journey, my daughter.

12923277_10209247785570645_3758101897148603104_nAnd then came Sugarplum, Chrysthanthemum Picklebum. They came to us as soon as our hearts allowed. I remember looking into the tiny scrunched-up newborn face and laughing, “Oh, it’s you, isn’t it? What on earth were we so worried about?”  This baby graced us with the beginning of our family’s ordinary after.  A calm presence among the wild rumpus of siblings that drew us in as we watched their spirit, curiosity and confidence bloom. Zuzu started this winding nickname the winter season that  they were in-utero. We had spent our evenings, curled on the couch reading about the sugary things dancing in the heads of other children and feeling the sweet kick, kick, kick in answer to our questioning prods. In real life, the name they carry on is the lineage they are a part of. Sugarplum links us with the past and carries our family forward. They makes us whole- in name and spirit. Sugarplum is my gift, my peace, my breath and instinct. Now my blessings are as palpable, as these ordinary days of ours.  My dear sweet child who is distinctly their own self. Full of humor, sport, wit and snuggles.

Together, they are The Sistred.

As a whole, our family spends its days and makes our way nestled near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

These are the stills & prose of our family 3 girlsdays.

30 thoughts on “I’m Cole, come meet the family

  1. Cole,
    Thank you for sharing your journey and wonderful resources. Your words are so insightful. I think it might soon be time for you to write your own book!
    You are missed in St. Louis. Any plans to visit? I can’t wait to see ZuZu again and meet The Quail! Please tell Lovey hi for me.

    • Hey you! Thanks so much for your kind words! Maybe someday a book will work its way out of me- I should be so lucky! I miss you guys too- I so wish I was at my old job with you guys during this journey- I’m in a great place all around now- but you guys have always been such an inspiration to me! I haven’t made any specific travel plans- I gotta build up some more time off (maternity leave zapped my pool of time off) but when we do- I’ll let you know! I can’t wait for you guys to get to meet The Quail- and wait till you see how much Zu has changed- it’s amazing! Much love-

  2. Hi!
    How wonderful — this is a great site! Thank you for doing this, I will enjoy reading this so much!
    Love, Mindy

    • Thanks Mindy! It’s so fun to do! See you soon- call me for lunch some time when the kiddos get settled into their school routine!

    • Thanks Kim! We’ll have to find a time to get together and have the girls play soon! Hope you and your family are well!

  3. Hi Cole,

    I am preparing a blog and birth announcement for you. Can you email me The Quail’s birth stats and her middle name if you want that on the announcement.

    ds.mama at yahoo dot com

    Thanks and welcome to the blog-o-sphere 🙂

    • Thanks Ds! I tried to post a thank you on your blog directly a few times but it wouldn’t process for some reason- grrr- anyway- thanks so much for the warm welcome- the announcement is adorable and it’s really helped me to get to meet some of the other families- what a wonderfully warm and welcoming community!

  4. I love what you said — “While many diagnostic books and studies were suggested, I was drawn to the family stories of everyday life with children who have special needs. Particularly with a diagnosis of Down syndrome within the family. What I found was an overwhelmingly optimistic, joyful, motivated and enthusiastically welcoming community. No longer was a diagnosis of a special need the secret of the family. The more families open up and talk about their lives, the more educated we all can be to advocate for the individual rights of each and every one of our family members. I noted and quickly put aside the diagnostic literature and delved hungrily into the family essays both online and in print.”

    Those are my thoughts, exactly. I haven’t opened up the 3 inch binder of info on Down syndrome given to me by the hospital for over a year. John Michael is now 21 months old. He is so much like his 3 older sibs that, unless he has a medical condition typical in children w/ Ds, I just treat him like any of my other kids. Oh, and he gives the BEST HUGS!

    • Monica- thanks for your comments- It’s funny I know in general it’s not good to spend too much time comparing siblings to each other- but in this situation it is just so reassuring to see that. The dr had said in the last u/s that well it could be that she has Ds or it could be just that she is a genetic match for your older daughter (they had the same soft markers in utero). I guess the reality of it was both!

  5. Hi Cole,
    I just noticed your comment on my blog and wanted to find out more about you. Your introduction here is beautiful. I absolutley love your skill as a writer. You are very talented!

    Anyway, I wanted to make sure you knew you could contact me directly at dancindani@hotmail.com if you want to discuss the hearing challenges we’ve had with Nate so far. It would be great to have someone to share our journey with if you’re interested.

    Best to you and your HLF!

    • Danielle-
      You are too kind! Thanks so much 🙂 I very much enjoy your blog as well. And absolutely I’ll send you an email. Any advice about the hearing issue would be appreciated. And I am so ordering those cute pilot hats for the girls! I need red ones for their Word Girl and Captain Huggyface costumes!

  6. A FELLOW CATHERINE NEWMAN FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so so in love with that woman. I pray she writes more books and ASAP too.

    Waiting for Birdy is phenomenal, I should re-read it but I feel I have it memorized (why this is I have no idea!!).

    Of course I am here thanks to JGG’s blog so thanks again, keep sending me to the best of the best at the right exact moment I need it….wild, huh?

    Gifts books and Roadmap need to be read onto tape and translated into as many languages as possible, and handed to everyone considering an amnio or awaiting genetic testing results.

    Both blogs are astounding and thank you for this write up. Quite imaginitive and thought provoking, plus I LOVE the names and literature settings and detailed honesty & intimacy you share.

    Your wording around the suggestion to read Roadmap is particularly powerful and is heading to everyone in my extended family. One of my immediate action items I have not enough time to ever focus on….

    How about a cliff notes or FOR RELATIVES & FRIENDS version of these two books and both GIFTS books combined?

    Gifts is straight from above. What amazing times we live in. I look forward to reading more!

    Go Dalia MAMA too, love it!!

    • Please get that curl in the baby pic, I want to see it! Benji has a big curl too but TONS of thin blond hair (12 months).

      • I can see the length of her hair in a big version of the family pic, so cute but it looks super straight there. My two younger children have some curls but the rest of us (three including both parents!) have hair straight as a board!

      • Pam! Nice to meet you! Do you have a blog? I think there is a picture around the middle of August on here that is labeled under The Quail tags that shows her little quail bob- it is straight- no curs for either of my girls. I hope she retains it but it has gotten less prominant as the days go by- so sad. And so great to meet a fellow Catherine Newman fan- I used to print out her blog on babycenter and reread the entries too- love, love, love her- her writing is so very eloquant. I have sent Gifts and RTH to my sister and mother- I need to get braver and send it out to Lovey’s family too. I really want people to start their reading and learning about Ds with those books and go from there. I think it helps drive home the point that we are a family and she is a baby first and foremost.

  7. Pingback: Happy 31 for 21! « The Tao of Tulips

  8. My daughter, Anna Callie, is three days younger than your Quail. Anna is doing great. She is starting to sit up and making some movements towards crawling. I read your entry on babycenter.com looking for parents of children around your daughters age. i’d love to chat with you more.


  9. Cole! And Lovey and Zuzu and Quail! Your blog is splendid; I don’t know why I’ve only now discovered it. Lots of love to you fabulous four.

  10. I know I may have been by here before but I’ve been re-directed by DSNew Mama somehow and I didn’t know that you were a SW. Me too. I can relate to the shift of provider to consumer. Along with many other things….. I’ll put you in my reader.

  11. Pingback: It’s Down syndrome Awareness Month! | Ordinary Afters...


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