gratitude journal

1. silence

2. Pee-pee in the potty from a 2 year old- with no excitement but a very practical, “Right there”

3. coffee and motrin

4. Wino Wednesday with buddies!

5. A Lovey willing to watch the girls

6. spring flowers

7. allergy meds

8. a frank discussion ending well

9. options

10. 4  year old created potty charts

11. giggles

12. pooping in the potty!

13. Peeing in the potty almost everytime she is asked to!

14. birthday parties!

15. the weekend

16. recital pictures back already! So pretty!

17. a big sister teaching her lil sister how to use the potty

18. a big sister writing out a potty chart for her and her sis

19. laundry almost done

20. picture time with the new blooms before the storm

21. free time

Happy Birthday dear Quail!

Our dear lil bird is TWO!!!! We celebrated over the weekend with a hoppin good time at a local bouncehouse place with a yummy sweet cake from a German bakery, pizza for all and a Dora backpack full of treatbags lovingly put together courtesy of Zuzu. Zuzu was instructed prior to the party to remember that we are the hosts and we need to make each and every child and their family feel welcome. She was a busy big sis taking her role seriously, from greeting kids as they came, to handing out the treatbags, lining up the party hats, leading the chorus of Happy Birthday and making sure there were juice boxes galore. She even managed to sneak in a good bit of bouncing and a round of air hockey with Momma. The Quail was in her prime, after she not so delicately informed us she had no intention of wearing her special Birthday Princess hat throughout the party, she settled on a brief showing post-cake. Stranger anxiety is high right now, and we were a little worried what a room full of 40 of her besties and their families might do to her little flight or fight system. But she LOVED it! She was able to hang with Lovey throughout the eating, singing and treatbagging and then moved on to the Toddler bouncecastle with ease. It was a testiment to everyone’s hard work over the last two years with her to watch her greet friends with a hug and pat, rip her chompers through cheese pizza like she’s been doing it all her life and holler when her cake wasn’t delivered to her place fast enough. She’s become a baby panda bear wrestling with her sister anytime Zuzu sits down long enough for her to scoot up on her. This being her fave of the gross motor activities has enabled her to crawl up, over and through a maze in the toddler bounce was a huge delight. There wasn’t time for presents at the party, but rest-assured party-goers- she loved each and every one of your thoughtful gifts. Her only complaint was as to why we weren’t taking 30 minute breaks between packages so that she could play with each one before her stister swiped and renamed each and everyone.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped us throughout the day- other mom’s and dad’s and their ability to sense when an extra hand or five is needed at any given moment is truly my saving grace. Happy Birthday Sweet Quail- we love you to itty-bitty bits!

Snow Day take two!

And we continue to be snowed in with our little world shut down once again! Most likely once the sun comes up tomorrow we’ll be back into our regular patterns but in the meantime- here’s a few more frosted beauties to share:

Gratitude Journal

1. Parents who are celebrating 47 years of marriage! Wow! Congratulations Mom & Dad- that is such an amazing accomplishment

2. Parents who when asked how they made it 47 years, sweetly and each independently credit the other for it

3. seeing the perfect gift and sending it, only to then wonder if you had done the same thing before- that’s the sign of a good gift!

4. Lovey’s parents and brother taking time to come be with us during these holidays

5. parents laughing uproariously at my 4 year old’s misbehavior- somehow that makes it not seem so bad

6. NPR on in the background

7. Tom & Jerry mix flown in from Wisconsin

8. Sweet and unexpected holiday presents

9. the 4 year old asking each day if it is Christmas and time for presents

10. Nana & Zuzu getting painting time in together

11. Nana & the Quail getting snuggle time in together

12. Lovey & his parents getting time in for a nice walk

13. Lovey & his brother getting some time in together after we’re all asleep

14. Zuzu awarding Uncle Scottie her crown for his birthday

15. Bapa providing

16. many invitations to holiday lunches at work when my own team is not in my office

17.Nana’s wrappings of ribbon and folds

18. sparkley Christmas dresses on sparkley girls

19. an abundance of giftees

20. a 4 year old saying,” Thank you for not taking it back to the store Mommy”

21. A 22 month old’s shiny new free-stand and plop routine

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

Quailday: Ladybug-Cheetah


The Quail had a mid-holiday costume change as well. She went to school as a ladybug stister to her mommy’s purple flower but unfortunately an untimely accident made a need for a costume change for the rest of the weekend.

Although contrary to rampant speculation, I don’t believe she felt “cheetahed” out of a princess costume! She was a happy little itty-cat all weekend long inspite of the ban on candy in her Elmo. She’s sweet enough without it!