Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thinking about the Miracle

As one may imagine, we've had a range of responses to E's Down Syndrome. Heck, T & I have have range of responses. As mentioned in our Family FAQ (see sidebar), the hardest part of telling people is that we never know what type of response we'll receive. By far and large, responses have been amazingly supportive, encouraging, and reassuring. Occasionally, though, we've encountered responses that we hope come from a lack of understanding or knowledge. As neither of our families have ever had a family member (to our knowledge) with DS or other birth defect, there hasn't been an opportunity to know the full range of abilities that these kids have.

The responses that are the hardest, are those when the respondent hopes for a miracle or for prayers that the DS will not be part of our lives. My visceral, mama bear response is indignation to the perceived insensitivity that chromosomal abnormalities are fixable. It's also the equivalent of the "I-can-say-what-I-want-about-my-family-member-but-woe-to outsiders-who-attack-them" response. Appreciating the prayers of those who are praying for us to have strength and grace to meet any demands, I try for understanding and recognize that the intent is for us, their loved ones, to be spared any heartache and distress. There's also a part of that tries for understanding because the responses are not anything that I haven't thought myself. E's DS is not something that we would have picked, and in my ignorance, I intellectually know that our lives will still be rich, but there's still fear of the unknown.

I've been thinking about this conflicting or dichotomy of my responses. It struck me the other day, that perhaps when people hope for the miracle that E is "fixed," that they're missing the point. Perhaps the true miracle is that T & I will be changed because of this experience. This, I think is what the real miracle will be.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Disadvantages of the Modern Dad

Me: "Oh look, Cinderella Barbie is doing a headstand."

Him: "Yes, at the end of our Barbie playing, we had a little headstand contest."

Me: "Very nice."

Him: "Frankly, after so much time, I'm at a loss about what to do with Barbie."

Now We Wait

As we begin to approach E’s B-Day, some random thoughts keep popping into my head:

1. Things I will miss about pregnancy:

· Knowing that E is as safe as she’ll ever be

· Not having to share her with anyone (I’m a selfish mama J)

· This is probably the last time I’ll ever have a life inside me again

2. Things I will not miss about pregnancy:

· Questions in the last weeks about any news – if you call and ask if there’s a baby yet, be prepared for scathing response

· Stupid comments about the tax break if E comes before the end of the year (Note: 1) the IRS prorates the tax rates. This is the government people, they’re not stupid. They know how to get their money; 2) Like the tax break is the sole reason to have kids. Riiiggght!)

· Assumption that I want this over with sooner rather than later - I think Mother Nature has a plan and I’m in no rush to have E here before her time. I take some comfort in knowing that there is an end game, I just don’t know when it will begin.

· The heartburn, I will not miss that

· Or the nausea, that too will not be missed

3. This pregnancy has been very different emotionally and physically than the first. Good difference from this one include:

· Being able to sleep in my bed! Not always comfortably, but at least able to lie flat. With Peeps, I was sleeping in a La-Z-Boy at month 5. On the flip side, I miss sleeping in the nursery. Somehow, it feels like that when I was sleeping in Peeps’ room, some magic mama powers infused the room with love and protection.

· Less weight gain which helps in moving about

· Once again blessed with a healthy pregnancy

· Better understanding of what I want from the birth experience

· A deeper appreciation for Big Daddy and all he contributes to the well-being of our family and how much he makes my life easy

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tender Family Moment

Sunday morning, snuggled in our bed

"When I get big and have my house, if there are spiders, I'm going to kill them."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

With A Rush and a Push*

Hmm... As I was thinking about this blog post, this was the title, but as I wrote it I realized that those who are on BabyWatch2008 may misinterpret it. [grin]

Anyway, last week was unexpected as M had a little fever and a terrible cold. This means she got to have cartoons and movies (something she normally doesn't get except when traveling or sick). In turn, I was able to motor through a large knitting project that is due for the holidays. As we're not planning on going anywhere on Christmas Day, I was hoping to have this completed by the family celebration on 12/8.

So, last week, I slogged through the tedious parts - basically the parts where the pattern is no longer charming and it becomes a bit repetitive getting to the next fun section or completing the project entirely. As I made it to the top where the neck shaping is (something you'll have to go to Ravelry to see, I'm jennifermph), I realized what I really like about knitting....the end. It becomes a rush of anticipation to see if the hard work has accomplished what you intended. There's also a a point at which the knitting becomes a bit obsessive (for me) and I can't put it down until it's completed.

Currently, it's washed and block and just waiting for a solid dry before it is wrapped and gifted. As I questioned that I would complete it time, I'm pretty happy with the entire project.

For more details, see Ravelry projects - Kotan Poncho

Lessons learned from this project:
  1. My sister-in-law is very patient - this was promised at least 18 months ago
  2. Yarn has a mind of its own - the original yarn, which would also have been so beautiful for this project - did not want to be the Poncho. I cast on for this at least 15 times over the past year and a half and every time, something went wrong. When I changed to this lovely chunky wool, no problems and I think it will be more functional than the other.
  3. I converted the project to be knitted in the round!
  4. I learned to read a pattern that was a little vague with its descriptions.
*lyrics from The Smiths

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I Saw When I Woke

Lately, Peeps has been getting up and playing in her room before I am fully ready to be out of bed. One day a couple weeks ago, she called out to come see her. This is what I saw when I did.

She dressed in her Barbie Dancing Princess ensemble, black faux ballet slippers, velvet headband. She's holding Gabrielle who is dressed in a onsie that was slated to go to Little Peeps, but was filched by her big sister for her dolls.

Parenthood...well worth the price of admission.

The sparkly curtains

The last element of Peeps' room are the sparkly curtains for her windows. We added double rods so the light darkening curtains are behind while these are to the fore. We all like the effect a lot.

Is this too much?

Despite attempts to pair one or the other with a solid, I was told these match "because the flowers and butterflies were pink and purple." No arguing with that...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catching Up

Life at Chez Bubela has been busy. Here are a few things that we've been doing:

1. Getting the girls' rooms ready. Here are some shots of Peeps' room. I have to add some for the sparkly curtains. We still have a few items for Little Peeps' room to finish before I post pictures.
Thank goodness we got the queen size bed, otherwise, where would Shawn (the bear), dollies, and friends sleep? Also, it's a great place for family snuggling.

New light and ceiling fan.

Bailey sleeping on the rainbow rug.

New lamp with cute model.

Can you tell pink is one of M's favorite colors?

2. Peeps is fascinated with one of my pregnancy books that has illustrations of the baby developing as well as how it grows inside the mommy. Here's a pictures. On Monday, she read "the baby book" at least 4 times by herself and at least twice with me. Funny Girl.

3. Conversation last night while snuggled together in bed:
"You know what Riley was doing today at school?"


"She was being sassy"

"Really? We don't know anyone here who is ever sassy, do we?"



giggling "Sometimes, I'm a little sassy. I'm just teasing."

4. New game called Switch - where M runs from one end of the living room to the other. A great game given we're not getting as much outdoor time. Especially fun when it involves snorting like a pig, walking like a duck, galloping like a horse.... we're only limited by our imaginations.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Welcome Family & Friends

Welcome to those of you who are visiting as a result of the email T. & I sent. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into our family.

Halloweenie Beanie

Click here to view our Halloween Slide Show.

Our Halloween fun began last night (Tuesday) with wax fangs from our neighbors.

Today (Wednesday), Peeps & Big Daddy (also known as T) when to school for the party and a field trip to a farmer's market (seriously, about a 1/4 mile up the road from the daycare) to go on a hay ride, have lunch, and pick out a pumpkin. Peeps was a Ballerina Kitty.

Then, for the evening festivities of trick-or-treating, Peeps & Big Daddy - as Princess and Prince Charming - hit the neighborhood for candy. (He totally won the best parent costume, not to mention the adoration of his girls forever).

Here's E.'s first costume, provided by her big sister.

The Harp

A couple weeks ago, T started on the closets for the girls' rooms. While adding shelving and brackets and such to make them more functional, Peeps decided that the shelves were really harps and proceeded to show us how well she snapped her fingers on the strings. T cut one down for her and she carries it around playing it.

When we asked if she'd like to play the harp and maybe be the harp lady on Mackinac Island, she said, "No, I want to be a server (waiter)."

Friday, October 26, 2007

She is Her Father's Daughter

More and more I notice that Peeps has a lot of her daddy's personality. Sure, she may look like me at that age (although there are elements of T.), and at times what comes out of her mouth is pure me. More often than not, though, I think she's all Daddy.

Things such as:

  • Fashion sense
  • Mobassa's carrying apparatus (crafting solutions out of what's at hand is a huge T trait and one of genius in this case.)
  • Looooong wake-up time
  • Active sleeping habits
  • Mad speculating wildly skills
  • Ability to make me look forward to what's next

All from her Daddy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Not Napper

On the way home from picking up my car from the shop after a long day at school.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Paradise Lost and Found

In finding out that our second daughter would have Down Syndrome when she was born, we lost:
  • Our imaginary second (genetically perfect) child that really only ever existed in our minds and hearts
  • Our innocence that anything would ever be okay with our girls again
  • Knowing that the heartache of parenting would be a constant
  • Dreams and assumptions for the future
What we found was:
  • A perspective that recognizes that for all the challenges of raising both girls, there are equal (and exceeding) measures of joy
  • That our perspectives and assumptions about our lives are forever changes
  • That our little family is more important than anything else and we'll work to keep it that way
  • That while the death of dreams is hard, there will be new ones and they'll be as good, and probably better, than the ones that died
  • That our hearts continue to expand with love despite fear and being overwhelmed
  • We still feel ridiculously lucky and blessed to have the life we live. We wouldn't trade it for anything

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Beginning

I've been interested in starting a blog, not only to connect to family and friends at large about events in our lives, but also to keep a record of our lives and activities. With all the changes in our lives, I hope this will be one way to accomplish both of these goals.