Well, it took 4 days, but I’ve ended up with Brian’s sickness. So now I’m laying in bed wanting to die. And typing this on my phone because hey! Still don’t want to miss a day of posting. Cross your fingers that this is over soon.


Growing up we had several Christmas decorations that we put out every year (as I’m sure everyone did) and one of my very favorites was a little scene with a couple snowmen. Well, a snowman and a snow-woman. It wasn’t fancy, or big, or even especially Christmas-y, but I loved it. I remember feeling happy to see it every year when we pulled it out. As an adult I mentioned this to my mom and she gave it to me! So now I have it in my own Christmas stuff and I love it and I feel happy every year when I get it out.

This year when I first saw Christmas decorations at Target I saw these little birds and thought, “How cute! I should get some!” But I didn’t figure I really needed to be spending money on Christmas decorations so I didn’t. Then the next time I was at Target I checked them out again. You know, to see if they were still cute. And yes, still adorable, but again I didn’t buy them because budget, blah blah blah, responsibility, blah blah blah. But TODAY they were on sale and I just couldn’t resist any more. Because, SO CUTE! See? I love them.



What Christmas decorations do you love?

Impossible to find

Have you ever thought, “Oh, I’ll just run out and get [fill in the blank]” and then quickly discovered that while you THOUGHT [fill in the blank] was a basic thing and would be easy to find, it’s actually nowhere in existence? I’m having one of those experiences.

We’re going to be having Thanksgiving with a group of families here, and since the group includes 18 children (ages 8 months to 14 I think) the host asked us for ideas for activities to keep them busy. I offered to bring sugar cookies and stuff for them to decorate. Because hey! What kid doesn’t like decorating cookies, right? Totally fun. Anyway, I figured I’d be ahead of the game and make the cookies yesterday and freeze them. Except when I went to get my turkey cookie cutter I discovered that WHOOPS, I don’t actually have one. I would have SWORN I had a turkey, but no. (I even called my mom to see if I’d left any cookie cutters there. I mean, I have one of those 100 cookie cutter sets. But also no.) I have a pumpkin, and I know that’s fall-ish, but I really wanted a turkey. I figured that was no problem though, because I’d just run out and get one.

You know where this is going, right? Walmart had ZERO fall cookie cutters. No leaves. No pumpkins. And definitely no turkeys. So I thought, okay, I’ll go to Hobby Lobby. They have a whole aisle of Wilton stuff, surely a turkey cookie cutter is one of those things. But again, NOPE. And on and on. Nothing at Target. Nothing at Bed Bath & Beyond. And obviously it’s too late for me to order one online.

Fortunately, internet to the rescue anyway. My googling informs me that the Crate and Barrel closest to me has one. On clearance even, because who wants Thanksgiving stuff when it’s only a week away AMIRITE?! Anyway. Cookie decorating is saved! Good thing I was actually on top of things for once. This would have been bad if I’d waited until the night before to make them.

Barely made it!

Well, I really cut today’s post close to the deadline, didn’t I? Maybe the closest I’ve come to missing a day during NaBloPoMo! But, I spent the evening helping out a friend, and if there’s a better reason to miss a post I’m not sure what it is. However, now I’m exhausted, so this is all you’re getting today. Well, plus a picture of these cuties so you forgive my lack of writing.




Some questions I get asked.

Since having Daniel, I’ve noticed that there are two questions I get asked often.

First: Did you know he had Down syndrome before he was born? And no, we didn’t, but really? This question is irrelevant.  It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, nor would I have been more prepared for what having him would be like. You know how you don’t REALLY know what it’s like to have a baby until you have a baby for the first time? That’s what it’s like to have a child with Down syndrome. You can read all the books and listen to other people’s stories all you want, but until YOUR child is here, you aren’t gonna know what it’s like.

Sometimes I think people are asking if I “knew” he had it, asking more about my intuition than whether or not we did testing. And yes, I worried about Down syndrome specifically. And those worries were completely unfounded- I had no reason to think he would have Ds. And yes, I knew immediately when the NICU nurse started asking questions that she would tell us they suspected Down syndrome. Does that mean I knew ahead of time? Not really. Does it matter? Again, not really.

The second question is: Will he always live with you? And the answer is: Maybe? But who knows if ANY of their kids will always live with them? I mean, I got asked this multiple times while we were living AT MY PARENT’S HOUSE. Granted, we weren’t living there forever, but STILL. You just don’t know what the future holds for any of your kids.

Interestingly, I am almost NEVER asked outright if he has Down syndrome. I’ve been asked maybe twice? People will start conversations about him and make comments like “they’re such angels” or “they’re all so sweet” (which, let’s not generalize, mmmkay?) so I know they THINK he has Down syndrome, but nobody wants to ask about it. I suppose they don’t want to offend me by asking, but Down syndrome has a pretty specific set of physical characteristics. It’s not hard to see if you know what you’re looking for. And I think MOST people recognize it! Anyway, just an observation.


Family photos

Family pictures! We do them…periodically. Generally at least once a year for Christmas cards. However, we’ve only done them in a studio twice. Once when Will was new (like, 4 days old) and once when Daniel was new (a few weeks.) Other than that we’ve done them at family reunions, because my aunt takes excellent pictures. Evidence from our session this summer:



Or had a local friend take them, because she also takes excellent pictures. Evidence from last year’s Christmas card:


Sadly, she’s no longer a local friend since we moved :(

So I’m curious: how often do you get professional family pictures? Do you do studio pictures of just your kids? We did that once, way back when Will was about 1. I’m good about taking the individual kids in for regular pictures, but not all the kids together. Thinking about it now I may just be sort of “professional photo phobic” because we didn’t even have a professional photographer at our wedding. (Granted, backyard wedding doesn’t really scream: big money on pictures, but anyway.) Now you tell me!

Daniel and the thyroid stuff

So, Daniel’s been on thyroid meds for…a long time. I’d look it up in my archives, but I’m too lazy. Anyway, we’ve been seeing an endocrinologist here, and she wasn’t convinced that he actually needed the meds and wanted to give him a trial off. I agreed that we could try it. Why have him on daily medication unless he really needs it, right? Anyway, that trial started back in late September. She wanted me to give him a month and then have his blood drawn to see what his numbers looked like off medication. I took him in (finally) about a week ago and they called a couple days later with the results: numbers are normal. I was surprised. A lot surprised. Not just because he’s been on it for so long, but because of how he’s been since he’s been off.

Since we took him off medication he’s been MUCH sleepier. He starts asking to nap sometimes as early as 9 am. On medication it was no trouble to keep him up until the usual 1 pm nap time. He also naps for longer. He’s always been a good napper, but off his medication a 4 or even 5 hour nap is not unusual. That seems like a LOT of sleep. Because he still goes to bed just fine at 7 pm and gets up between 6 and 7 as usual. And obviously he’s sleepier when he’s sick, and I assume adjusting to being off the medication takes some time, but we’re 6 weeks in at this point. So. We have a follow up in January at the endocrinologist (we didn’t actually see her when we did the most recent blood draw.) I’ll definitely be discussing all this, because HMMMM. I don’t know what to do with this.

In the meantime, sad Daniel has an ear infection.


And is skeptical of big sister in his lap.


I tend to be bad with technology. And I don’t mean I don’t know how to use it, because I do, mostly. What I mean is, technology that I own tends to break. Just because I own it. I recognize that this makes no logical sense, but it’s true. So it should have been no surprise to me when I broke my external hard drive. This was actually a result of my dropping it, not *just* owning it (although, probably just a matter of time.) Anyway. I dropped it. This has actually happened before with no ill effects, so I was a little surprised when this time after I dropped it I plugged it in and it did nothing. Nada. Didn’t even show up as plugged in. As you might be able to guess, this is BAD. But I did my usual technology fixing thing which is: hand it over to Brian. He’s like my technological opposite. He just has to touch something and it magically starts working again.

When Brian couldn’t get it to work I knew it was really, REALLY bad. And then I got a little panicked, because you know what’s on that hard drive? All my pictures. And, because I’m stupid, that hard drive was the ONLY place I had pictures taken before April of 2009 stored. So: our wedding. Our first house. My pregnancy with Kalena. Kalena’s WHOLE FIRST YEAR.

Brian did manage to find a back up he’d done which included some of Kalena’s baby pictures, but still. I lost a ridiculous number of pictures with that one clumsy move.

This is one of the reasons I want to be better about blogging Lydia’s babyhood. I posted TONS of pictures of Kalena when she was a baby, so at least I still have those. (Note to self: make a blog book before I break my blog and lose all those pictures.) I also, FORTUNATELY, keep scrapbooks. So I do actually have printed copies (in books even!) of about a gazillion pictures of Kalena as a baby. You’d think this would make me feel less sad about losing all the digital copies, but it doesn’t. (Okay, it makes me feel a little better. But not completely.) The little videos of her babbling? Gone. Goofy faces that were fun to look at but not worth printing? Gone. Shots of us together that I didn’t print because I thought they were unflattering of me? Gone. So yeah. I’m sad.

A few more quick Will stories

I should have posted earlier today, because now it’s 10 and I’m pretty much ready to climb in bed. Fortunately for you, I remember a few more adorable Will conversations, so here you go.

The other morning Will and Kalena asked if they could have a candy. It was before breakfast, but Brian told them yes, and as they ran, excited, from the room I heard Will say, “Miss! Be sure to pick a dewicious one!”

One day a while back he was upstairs in his room, theoretically napping, but I heard him come out into the hall. I called out to him, “Will? What are you doing up there?” And he called back in his most authoritative voice, “Nothing you need to worry about.”

I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this one before or not (sadly, he’s mostly quit saying it.) He used to periodically just bust out with, “I know a lot of things, but I don’t know everything!” Made me laugh every time.

And now, good night.

Poor 4th child

I’m sure we’ve all joked about how second children get the short end of the stick when it comes to memorabilia. Forget the fancy baby book. All the baby pictures are taken on a phone. Milestones come and go unrecorded. Well. I’ve tried SO HARD not to let that happen with my kids. And I’ve done pretty well, until Lydia.

Kalena, William, and Daniel each have a birth announcement stitchery that I started when I was pregnant with each of them. So far I haven’t even bought a kit to start one for Lydia. They all three have TONS of pictures of them as babies, taken on an actual camera. I go weeks without even knowing where my camera is these days. I blogged regularly when all three of them were babies, noting milestones and posting pictures. I’ve hardly blogged at all since Lydia was born. Even my thought a day journal, which I was loving at the beginning of the year is sitting unused on my dresser. I don’t know the last time I wrote in it. I have managed to keep up the same studio pictures schedule (1/3/6/9 months) but sending them out to family is another story. I wish I could say this was all because I’m just “enjoying her babyhood” instead of spending all my time documenting, but that’s not it. The truth is I feel like it’s FLYING by and because I’m not recording it I’m missing it. I’ve been trying harder lately, but ugh. I still feel like I’m failing.