...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album



And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!







William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.


"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"


Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10




Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5




For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14



Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?



It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."



Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!



Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!





Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water


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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Our Dumpling is 7 weeks old. He is celebrating ringing in the new year by moving up one size of diaper. The newborns still fit around him, but they leak like mad! So into big boy diapers he goes! What a difference that tiny little size increase makes! I think there must be a lot more diaper inside the folds than meets the eye. They go from the middle of his back, to way up over his belly to his chest! They just seem huge!

We rang in 2010 quietly at home without any fanfare. Billy Boy is still doing well with 4 ounces. I am really super sick of being a slave to the breast pump, but I am grateful that Will only gets a formula bottle about once every ten days now. It hurts my heart that he can't nurse, but at least he is getting my milk.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh The Baby Smells!

Are you a fan of puppy breath? You know, the newborn puppy breath? I am. A big fan! And I am equally a fan of stinky babies! You know, that sweet smell that can only be found in a sour baby's neck! I love it! And like puppy breath, there is such a fleeting window of time where you get to enjoy that aroma. There's nothing else like it in the world. Except for maybe when your toddler climbs into your bed sweaty from sleep. There are, in my opinion, few things in the world that are as sweet smelling as a breast fed baby's neck or a the sleepy scent of a toddler's hair! I'll take my stinky necked baby over a fresh-from-the-tub baby smelling of shampoo any day! I hold him to me and inhale deeply! Just one of the joys of this surprise baby is that I get to enjoy, relish, that sweet delicious baby smell again!

Oooooooo Shampoooooo!

You would never know from this dreamy relaxed baby that just minutes ago he was a red, screaming ball of angry lion cub!

I suppose from the sweet look on his face here, the furious screaming was all worth it. Naaahhhh! Nothing is worth hearing him cry.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day!

Jack surrounded by his presents for his very first Christmas! I'm going to pretend I can't see the stains on his sleeper! I'd appreciate it if you did too!

And it wouldn't be Christmas without a little something from Santa Claus! After all, he's been such a good boy!

For some reason this picture just grabs my heart!

He's no more interested is the presents now that they've been unwrapped! From the tongue sticking out, I'd say he's more interested in breakfast, preferably back in bed!

And here he is in his Christmas outfit!

Christmas morning at our house is always started with a frenzied scramble to see what Santa left in the Little's stockings! This year, both of The Olders dumped Jack's stocking out all over him to see what Santa brought him - after they'd dumped their own out of course, and checked over all the items too big to fit in their stockings. They brought Jack's 'too big' items over for him to see too! He wasn't much interested. Then we have my favorite Christmas morning breakfast of Christmas Morning Casserole. Only this year we didn't. The Oldest says she doesn't really like it. I turn to The Beloved for support, to which he says, "It is kind of heavy." Heavy? I'll show you heavy! Just wait til I...okay so this year we will not gather 'round the breakfast table for a sweet old fashioned memory making holiday meal while The Littles nag us with "Are we done yet?" and The Parents languish just a little longer, nourishing themselves for the battle ahead. The battle of wires, tapes, screws, zippy ties and all other manner of insanity that is used these days by manufacturers to drive parents nuts while their Littles stand anxiously by waiting for the toy o' the moment to be liberated from it's straight jacket friendly packaging. I have upon occasion been known to "gift" first time new parents with a set of his and hers screw drivers, scissors, wire nippers and needle nosed pliers for their new child's first Christmas. I instruct them to save them in a special place for said new child's first birthday. After that, if they lose them, they're on their own!

So this year we skipped breakfast and girded ourselves with cups of Joe and went to it. The Littles brought treasures galore for us to open, cut, detape, un-wire, de-zippy tie and unscrew, all the while tearing open new toys to lay at our feet for de-packaging. Every now and then, one of us would make a run to the recycle bin to unload mounds of wrapping and empty boxes...with both of us making sure that said boxes were actually indeed empty. You only have to sort through the days accumulation of wrap and empty boxes for a 3/4" Barbie accessory once before you learn to never make that mistake again! Ever!

Before The Beloveds eyes could completely glaze over I asked, "What are we going to do next year?" Apparently he was thinking the same thing. "I don't know...hire help? Teach them to do this themselves? Oh, I don't know...stop buying so much?!?!" Yeah, that won't happen. But there will be three of 'them' next year and still only two of 'us.' We're in trouble!

So that vow I made on Thanksgiving to cook a "real" dinner on Christmas? Didn't happen! I put My Sweet Potato down for a nap and headed out the door to see what kind of fast food could be foraged for on national holiday and found that the only game in town was Jack in the Box. And everyone else in town who was also too worn out to cook had gotten there ahead of me! I did note when I drove away with our holiday meal that the line was twice as long as it had been when I pulled in! And it did taste good! We got one of everything on the menu almost. Just for myself I ordered a cheeseburger plain, extra pickles, and egg roll, one taco, potato wedges with cheese and bacon, and onion rings. The Beloved has gotten used to my frequent habit of not being able to decide what to eat and infrequently, upon occasion, ordering two entrees. He said nothing as I unloaded the loot into each recipients pile around the table, and my pile of goodies just kept growing, but oh the eyes! I simply said, "It takes more calories to make milk!" Wisely, he said nothing. And we were not the only ones to hit Jack in the Box. I called Mom and Dad in Idaho while I waited in the drive through line. Turns out their turkey dinner was also postponed to the next day and the local Jack's was also the only game in town in Idaho. But the turkey is thawed, so I will be making a proper turkey dinner soon!

And as soon as I walked in the door laden with Jack in the Box goodies, I heard my boy making noise. Not from the intercom - from the living room! "Do you want to talk to your son?" asks The Beloved. My little June Bug was laying in the crack of the couch cushions next to his Daddy. It seems I wasn't even out of the driveway before Mr Man was hollering to be liberated from his confinement. The Beloved swears, "He looked over to the big bed and saw you weren't in there so he decided he shouldn't be in his either!" So, our sweet spud sat in his swing pulled up to the table while we feasted on our deep fried and dipped in something dinner. Mmmmmmm!

The Little Tater Tot rolled over tonight! The Beloved and I were in our bedroom and I'd laid Jack tummy down on our big soft goose-down-everything bed. Well, let me tell you he was not happy about being on his tummy. He fussed and crab crawled with his legs and - flip - over he went! I looked at The Beloved and he looked at me. "Does that count?" He says it does, but I say he was on a really soft surface so maybe it didn't count. So...we haul Jack back out to the living room and place him sunny side down on the very firm couch cushions and - flip - over he went. Just to be sure, we tormented him by making him do it one more time. Yep! That definitely counts! We've got a flipper on our hands!

I find it really hard to sleep at night sometimes, well, frequently, actually, because I'd rather stare at William. Especially at nap times or when the Dear Daddy isn't there and Willie is right next to me in my bed. In his doughnut!

Willie is back up to 4 ounces at each feeding without spitting half of it up! And he smiles frequently now at nothing in particular, so I cannot say for certain that it isn't just a bubble in his tummy. And he's got a particular little bit of fussiness he does when he wants me to snuggle him to sleep. He is perfectly happy to fall asleep wherever the mood strikes him, but when he wants me to snuggle him he does this "Aaank! Aaank! Aaank!" sound. I am only too happy to comply! So I snuggle him up like I would if I were going to nurse him, pop his plug into his waiting mouth, and hold him belly to belly. He is off to dream land in seconds! He is just too sweet.

Merry Christmas 2009! And I did make my yummy Christmas Morning Casserole a few days later for The Middle and I to enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

William slept for nine hours last night! When he woke up fussy I gave him his bink while I went to warm a bottle of breast milk. When I came back he was sound asleep! I thought sure he'd wake again soon to eat, but when morning came the bottle was still sitting where I'd left it! I'd started him on Simethicone the night before, so relief from the gassy tummy served him well! His pouty face from a gassy tummy, right before he starts to howl, just breaks my heart into little pieces.

He is staying awake for more frequent periods during the day now. He also responds very quickly to my voice. While his glances at me are still very brief, they are more often and they are longer than before! He may not be very interested in me, but I cannot take my eyes off of him! He is delicious. Sometimes at nap I have to force myself to stop looking at him so I can get some sleep too!

Baby Boy is 6 weeks old for his first Christmas - and he could not care less! I surrounded him with his wrapped toys and his stocking from Santa and took pictures of his sleepy little self anyway!

He slept through the cookie baking and frosting process, and when it was time for bed, The Olders hung up three stockings and put out milk for Santa and added a cookie to the plate for Jack!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another New Nick-Name

photo date 11/24/2009 10 days old
photo date 11/24/2009 10 days old

As if the child didn't have enough names already! When The Dear Daddy calls from work, he always asks about The Littles. Today he asked, "What's the Little Doughnut Hole doing?" It cracked me up! I knew exactly how he got the name too! When the Dear Daddy gets home from work, sometimes Will and I are napping in our big bed, with him wrapped in a blanket and secured in his Boppy Pillow. The Dear Daddy has always called it a doughnut. Since Will is always in the middle, he is The Doughnut Hole!

My poor Sweet Doughnut Hole had a terrible tummy ache again today. He cried so hard that there were big fat tears coming out of both of his eyes. The last time he cried that hard he only produced tears from the right eye. It's funny how they don't make tears right away. With all the crying some babies do, it seems it would be handy to have tears! I spent some time pounding on his belly, which was the only time he stopped crying, and then rubbing it in deep circles. When the farties started rolling out I pushed his knees into his belly in circles and got the rest out. Then he was a happy boy again! It kills me when he cries that hard because I know he's in pain. Poor Dumpling.

My Puppy's hands have suddenly gotten huge! The Dear Daddy even commented on it tonight. They were so very small when he first came home from the hopspittle. Now he's like a Puppy who needs to grow into his paws! A sweet puppy!

Zany Pit Bulls





Pit bulls are especially talented at changing diapers. This is Princess and she seems to think that Jack is her Puppy and she needs to supervise all activities involving him!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doctor's Visit & a Blood Draw

Sweet Boy had his second doctor's visit today. He weighs 7 pounds and 9 ounces, so he's gained over a pound and a half! The nurses measured him at 19 1/4 inches, but they're the same two who measured him last month shorter than when he was born. The neonatologist didn't have much to say, just keep doing what we're doing! Then we headed over to the lab to have his karyotype drawn. Sweet Willie cried over the tourniquet but not the actual needle stick. The phlebotomist rocked! She got him in one stick! Once he was done being upset over the tourniquet, he was fine. The Middle got very upset however, and looked like he might vomit. He finally calmed down when I pointed at that The Baby wasn't even crying. Poor kid. It really hurt him to see his baby brother stuck with a needle. When I took the band aid off later, there wasn't even a poke hole! Like I said, the phlebotomist rocked!

Poor Willie has had a gassy tummy. I pound on his tummy for a while and massage it in circles. Then I pump his legs back and forth and push his knees into his tummy and the many farties just r-r-r-r-oooollll out of him. And then he feels better!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Smiling!

Today My Butter Bean is 5 weeks old! And he finally smiled AT ME! And I was no more successful at catching it on film than when I tried to take pictures of his eyes open in the hopspittle. He's been smiling at everyone else for weeks now. His Daddy. His sister. His brother. The dog. The picture hanging over the couch. The cushions on the couch. Everyone but me! He'd been hungry and poopy and gassy. So I changed his didee, fed him and got him burped. He was happy. I was holding him upright in my lap and I was speaking silly to him. I asked, "Do you feel better now? Do you?" And he looked right at me and gave me a sweet, shy little smile! It was magic!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Willie Boy


Both The Girlie and The Pod Pie wore this outfit as infants.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Great Sleep

Last night Will-The-Sugar-Pill slept for 8 hours! Yeah Baby!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One Month Old!

My Sweet Li'l Pup is 4 weeks and 2 days old, and he was born one month ago today! Every now and then he eats 4 ounces, but for the most part he's still taking 3.5 ounces for most meals. I have learned to trust him to wake when he's hungry at night, and he does about every 4 to 5 hours. He eats consistently every three hours during the day, so I have stopped setting the hateful alarm at night. The Beloved somehow wakes a few minutes before his work alarm goes off, so The Fuzzy Gosling and I are sleeping rather well!

Despite pumping every three hours, my milk production wavers quite a bit. Consequently, my Little Goose has been getting one formula bottle every 3 to 4 days.

Every now and then Willie almost makes a cooing sound. Almost. It's like "Aaahhh?" and now and then, "Eeeehhhh?" and it always sounds like a question at the end. He makes one single sound, and then nothing more for another hour or two. It gives me an idea of what he may sound like eventually. Of course, he still sounds very much like someone's stepped on a squeak toy when he cries, "Eeeen! Eeeen! Eeeen!"

Will's had his third trip to the water tub and he's done as well as the first time. Some concern, some startle, dreamy during his shampoo. It takes about twenty minutes to get him set up for the tub, and about three minutes to complete the job. I often wipe him down with wipes, followed by a warm wet washcloth between tub baths. And now he finally really looks at me while I'm feeding him. It's still brief, a two or three second look at most, but at least I finally feel that he knows I'm here, loving him!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Size is Relative


The Dear Daddy does have big hands, but at 4 weeks old, Jack's head is still smaller than the back of his Daddy's hand!

More Cuteness...




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Swinging

In most of the photographs I've taken of William he looks pretty robust. In this one, he just looks so, so very small.

More Daily Pictures...


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Due Date, First Bath & a Visit with Santa!

Today was our original due date. My Little Bean is 3 weeks and 3 days old. To celebrate, we've decided to take our new belly button for a bath! I warmed up the house and gathered everything on the dining room table. For the record, it's pretty tricky deciding just how warm to get the water for the first ever bath at home!

As The Littles gathered round I lowered Willie Boy into the water. He got a little scared and that sad face nearly broke my heart. I spoke sweet and calm to him and as soon as he was stable in the water I put my hand on his head and his chest and tummy until he looked calm again. His little scared face made me want to cry, but once he was sure that all was well, he started to kick and wiggle quite a bit. He had a few startle reflexes, but he didn't cry. He even seemed to get relaxed and dreamy for his shampoo! Once all of his delicious baby smells were washed away, I lifted him out onto the warm towel waiting and bundled him up good. From there it is truly a mad dash to the finish to get the wet baby diapered before he can pee! And then I dried him all off and got him dressed in fresh warm clothes. I have to say that the only thing more challenging than washing between particularly tiny baby toes is drying between particularly tiny baby toes! All in all, I think the new belly button's first trip through the bath went very well!

Later in the day we headed off to the dreaded mall to make the returns of the missed baby shower prizes. Our mall in December is as insane as any other mall in December. It should be avoided at all costs, as the parking lot alone makes you wonder why you are taking your life into your hands. And once inside it goes downhill from there and... but what is this...? There is no line to see Santa! We must have been hit by a lucky moon beam this morning, because once we were done, the line to see the Jolly Old Elf stretched out to the parking lot! Neither of The Littles wanted anything to do with Santa this year, due to an unfortunate turn of events with a very mean "elf" last year, but Sweet William was quite content to have his sleeping self placed into Santa's arms for a picture or two! The Middle did eventually tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas, but he wasn't getting into the lap for a picture. I was sad to see this bit of magic die for My Olders, but comforted to know that side by side with it's passing, I can start again kindling the magic of Santa Claus with Sweet William! And both of The Olders know that the mall Santa isn't the real one...they are the retired Santas who still enjoy bringing magic to children. Yes, they both still believe!

Bobby-Sue-Jim-Bob capped off his big day by having a 45 minute wiggle fest later at home. He enjoys looking around at everything with lots of head turning. I'm a wee bit concerned about his robust level of activity...if he is awake he is in constant frenetic motion! If he's still at all, he is asleep.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trying to get the Birth Announcement Photo...

Willie is 3 weeks old...
...and already tired of the lady with the camera!

This was almost the Christmas card - birth announcement photo. Cute, huh? I let The Girlie make the final decision of which picture to use. Maybe I'll use this one for his first birthday invitations!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Third Time's a Charm



William passed his third hearing test!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cinnamon Roll!



Today my Little Stink Pie is 3 weeks old! And to celebrate, he has a bellybutton! It was barely hanging on again this morning, and it seemed to me that it could have gotten pulled on and torn and hurt him...so I gave it a little tug. And off it came! It looks like a little cinnamon roll twist! I just had to take a picture of it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby Tears

Poor Willie was hollering over a diaper change this morning and he turned all red and got really upset and there were little bitsy tears glistening on his new little eye lashes! His umbilical stump is nearly off. It's hanging by a thread. I can't wait to see if he's going to have an inee or an outee. He is a lean little baby, so I'm betting it's going to be an outee until I can get some meat on his bones!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eyelashes!

I was holding my Ducky to feed him this afternoon and...what was that? On his eyes? I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Willie has sprouted eye lashes on his top lids! Sweet, tiny, fine little light brownish blonde lashes! Today he is 2 weeks and 5 days old. Are eye brows pending?

I reduced Jack's intake to 3.5 ounces yesterday because even though he was taking 4 ounces the day before, he was spitting up a good ounce with every burping. No point in having him drink it if he's going to spit it up. Over the course of a day he was spitting up one and a half feedings.

I can't stop staring at this baby. He's just so perfect. And I do pick him up when he's sound asleep just so I can hold him. Smell him. Kiss him. Feel his small little weight in my arms. His little butt in my hand. He is bliss!