...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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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's in a Name?

Let me just say, I am celebrating because I finally found the dress that I wore to both The Oldest's and Middle's baby showers! Now we're all set to go!

When I printed my pregnancy announcements I was extremely mindful of several things. First, everyone would be surprised, to say the least. Second, they would all be finding out almost halfway through my pregnancy. Third, the bigger shock would be that the baby would have Down syndrome. I tried to be encouraging. I tried to be upbeat. And I asked people for support rather than condolences. I included a line along the bottom to send name suggestions to my email account, and many did!

After months of deliberations, The Littles were still pulling for Jack. Secretly, so was I. Then not so secretly. The Beloved vetoed it. Among the slain were such noble names as Logan, Trent, Trevor, Holland, Cooper, Conrad, Colton, Zach, Max, Ashton, Liam, Addison, Christian, Benjamin, Joseph, Timothy, Jacob, Adam, Blake, Chase, Gray, Luke, Nicholas, Lucas, Theodore, Zachary, Jace, Jarrett, Caden, Erik. And all of my favorites, Mayhew Eggbert Wyborn Ethelwulf.

We've never been a family to choose names that could be shortened to other names. Especially with Our Littles. The Beloved specifically vetoed Elizabeth for The Girlie because it could be changed to Liz or Beth or changed entirely to Betty. Nope...no names here that can be shortened. If you know our family, you already know that our children's nicknames are those of our own design - well - The Beloved's own design. We've also chosen classic spellings. Why saddle a kid with a lifetime of having to spell their first names when they're already doomed to spelling both of their last names? Although, in today's twist-your-kids-name society, even the classic spellings are going to be oddities.

So this particular evening, The Beloved and I were once again engaging in The Great Name Debate. Having been through this process a few times already, I was prepared for a long verbal siege. He is too, too skilled at taking any name I suggest and before the name is even off my lips, he's already listing a stream, a veritable river, of the mean names school kids can change it to. Or add to it. Or shorten it to. In example I offer the name Richard. Every one knows what Richard gets changed to. And Peter? I won't go there. Anyway, I'd prepared for battle, girded my proverbial loins and taken up my proverbial armor. Kinda funny to use war words in relation to what we chose! Especially since the battle fizzled before it began.

The Beloved and I had discussed William Wallace before. You know, The Great Protector of Scotland, although the movie Braveheart took great artistic license portraying the facts. We also were great fans of King Leonidas of Sparta. Both names have great potential. Will, never Bill, (never!) Willie, Leo...so I brought both of those up again and suddenly we had a name. William Leonidas. No fighting, no negotiating, no building of fortresses and no taking up arms. We'd chosen a name without bloodshed. Another irony.

We sat back proud of ourselves. We'd done it. Without screaming or crying or gnashing of teeth. The Beloved had a secretive lopsided half smile on his face. And then he said something that made my heart swell even more than when he'd worried that William might never know the love of a companion. We'd already agreed that he'd need a namesake of strength. The Beloved said, "There's another way to look at this. He's going to have challenges from the first moment he's born. Neither of these two men backed down from their challenges."

The Middle was named for a strong character in a John Wayne flick. The Girlie was named for, well, she has a name I really liked. Noble, huh? And Little William is being named for honorable men who rose to meet the needs of their country. And unlike either of The Littles names, I can call William Will, or Willie, or Leo. Or Jack. We are breaking our own rules by using names that can be shortened, but Jack started it with his extra chromosomes!

If you don't know the history behind either William Wallace or King Leonidas, I invite you to read all about it. These were two tough dudes!

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