Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Barrett's Birth Announcement

We have mad love around here for Tiny Prints.
They did Baker's birth announcement a few years ago and have done our
family's Christmas cards for several years.
Their templates are beautiful, and often allow for customization (which I love big time)!
I (very temporarily) considered not mailing birth announcements.
I know, all the gasps!
With social media, email, texts, and our family's blog,
 Barrett's picture was sent out within hours of his birth.
But even with technology being so readily available, I couldn't resist.
Consider me old fashioned, but I am partial to snail mail.
One of my favorite things to do is sit down with my favorite pens,
a fresh book of stamps, my beloved address book,
personalized stationery (or in this case, paper boasting the most beautiful pictures),
 a piping hot cup of coffee, and carefully script letters for my nearest and dearest.

Each announcement was pored over.
Prayed over.
I took great pleasure in addressing each envelope.
As I dotted i's and crossed t's, I considered each family and the role they have played in ours.
How grateful I am for this village.

I love the idea, that this week, across the street and across the states,
people are opening their mailboxes to our sweet boys' faces,
thinking prayerful thoughts for our family
and wishing us the sweetest wishes as a new family of four.



Yes, I quite love this.

And just for kicks, Baker's birth announcement, mailed out exactly 3 years ago today.

You might also like:
2012 Christmas Cards

ps - Zulily is featuring Tiny Prints for the next five days - $20 for $40 or $30 for $60 worth of fabulous goodies! See here

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Talk (not that talk, the special needs talk)

This summer is the first summer Baker has been three.

(Photo creds: Katie Thompson Photograpy)

Silliest of statements, I know.
Of course this summer is the first summer Baker has been three.
Hear me out.

Three year olds get to play with the big kids.
Three year olds are no longer considered babies and given the grace babies are given.

Babies are allowed to sit quietly.
Babies are allowed to keep to themselves.
Babies are allowed to play in their own safe area.

There are no expectations surrounding play with babies,
except that babies will be babies.
Babies do what babies do.

Last summer, and the summer before, and the summer before that, Baker was a baby.

This summer is the first summer Baker has been three.
This summer is the first summer Baker has gotten to play with the big kids.
This summer is the first summer Baker's play has been laden with expectations of looking and sounding a certain way.
This summer is the first summer Baker has been noticed as different.

Before, Baker could sit on the sidelines.
Before, Baker could bounce on my lap and giggle and coo to everyone's delight.
Before, Baker was a baby.
Before, it was okay that Baker could not talk, could not run as quickly, could not jump as high.

Before, none of the other kids saw Baker any differently than they saw their baby sister or little cousin. He was a baby (and a darn cute one). He did what babies did. Because of his different abilities, some of it came at a slower rate, and took much greater effort. His hypotonia caused his chubby little legs to frog out when he slept and his little body to collapse into mine winning him all the awards for world's greatest snuggler. He was a baby, and everybody loves a baby. Especially Baby Baker.

This summer is the first summer Baker has been three.
And because of that, this is the first summer our little sphere has been expanded.
And because of that, two things have happened to this momma's heart.

It has experienced both unspeakable joy and unspeakable ache.

My heart has threatened to overflow watching Baker create new friendships.
I have been so encouraged as I have listened to other mommas enlighten and empower their children with knowledge about Down Syndrome as questions have presented themselves about why Baker's play and talk differ from their own. I have loved watching the innocence of children, as they love with their whole heart, without judgment and with unhindered acceptance.

My heart has also threaten to shatter into pieces as I see other children notice Baker's different abilities. "Is he special ed?" one asked innocently. Others can't understand his fascination with perfectly folding all of our beach towels instead of bounding down the slide like all the other children. Why, when their conversations flowed as easily as lemonade on a summer day, did Baker prefer silence? Why, when he does speak, does he often do so first with his hands and then with words that sound so differently than our own? Why does he often drift to the perimeter when all of the action is in the center?

Why is he different than me?

Could you answer that question?

Little more than three years ago, I would have stuttered through it,
preferring to brush it under the doormat, or
opting to combat it with the eye that commanded silence
instead of opening doors to a conversation of acceptance.

As the mom of a seriously great kid, who happens to have unique needs, I beg you to have the talk.
The talk about alikes and differences, and how often we're more alike than different.

If you need a name, use Baker. If you need a face, I think his is pretty perfect. If you need words, use a picture book (spoken like a true teacher, ha!). I love "We'll Paint the Octopus Red."

Your children won't mind if the words aren't perfect or eloquent or include textbook terminology. They can be simple and succinct and from the heart.
From the bottom of mine, thank you.

More than you know, thank you.

You might also like:

What if we have two children with Down Syndrome?
I never knew I wanted a child with Down Syndrome until I had one
A missed opportunity

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Barrett is Two Months Old!

My sweet boy,

Our love for you grows with each quickly passing day. Somehow we blinked and you are two months old!

We are still learning life with two and you are quick to give grace when our arms are too few or our energy runs dry.
You are becoming more and more alert and love taking in this wild world around you. Your gaze is always fixed on Baker. Maybe because he is the most animated and entertaining little thing, or maybe it's because you know he's coming after your sweet, sweet sugar. He loves you to the moon and back and kisses you no fewer than 107 times per day. You scored big time with Baker as your big brother!

I am sometimes tempted to hook my pedometer to you just to track your kicks. If they translated to steps, I am confident you could travel to Disney World and back each day. You are a busy little bear.

You make the most adorable little sounds. Your sleepy pur, your noisy hiccups, your contented little sigh, even your boisterous screams are music to our ears as we love filling our home with all things you.

You still love to eat, and keep this momma on a tight schedule. Nursing you is such a blessing and has bonded us in the most incredible way. You like to eat every 2 to 2 1/2 hours during the day, and sometimes go 3-4 hour stretch during the night. Not even sleep can deter you from eating!

You like to be a part of everything, and you love being held. You spend a lot of time in your baby carrier and are happy as can be snuggled close to mine or your daddy's chest.

Little Bear, this momma of yours loves you crazy big!


Monthly Stats

Weight: 14 pounds
Height: 24.5 inches
Diaper Size: twos
Clothes: 3-6 months

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fun on the Fourth

What a fun Fourth with my sweet peeps!
We started our long weekend celebration at our Splash Pad.
Baker had a blast!
I'd say Barrett quite enjoyed himself also.
Not pictured is our sweet little babysitting friend who accompanied us.
She has made it possible to get out with two.
Praise all things good and holy for an extra set of hands.
(And feet! Baker is quick!)
 On Friday, we travelled over the river and through the woods to visit grandparents.  
 They set up a pool on their back deck and after a slight code blue situation
(too many blueberries turn once brown things blue), our boy had a big time dipping skinny!
We stayed in town on Saturday for a fun day and too much good food with my parents.
Such a wonderful weekend for all!



 I am so very thankful for freedom.
To be able to worship and work and play in this land that I love.
To be able to raise my boys in America the beautiful.
To live with these in this home of the brave.

From our family to yours, Happy Fourth.
And this, y'all.
Our last four Fourths.
Each year has gotten a little sweeter and a lot more fun!