Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Tonight after I put Roo's pajamas on, he stood up and climbed into my lap. He curled up into me like he only does when he is really, really tired. It's been a busy few days at our zoo. As he snuggled up tight, I pressed my cheek against him and remembered to "give his bald head a kiss" for a friend who is missing him. :-) And I was struck again by the love that he has brought into our lives--his incredible love, the people we have met because of him, the people we continue to meet who love him. Our hearts have grown two sizes too big because of this one sweet boy.

And I thought... I can't believe that I get to be his mommy. That out of everyone in the world, God chose me. I am so incredibly thankful.

There was a time when I couldn't imagine those words. I thought my ultimate goal would be acceptance. I thought that the people who claimed to be thankful for Down syndrome were lying--even to themselves. But I was so indescribably wrong.

I used to pity people who had loved ones with disabilities. Then after Roo was born, I cringed with the thought of people pitying me.

But now I know the truth: I am the lucky one.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tis the Season!

Is it really Christmastime already??? We have had tons of fun already this season, and I thought I'd share some highlights with you.

Last Friday, December 5, we had the wonderful opportunity to ride the Polar Express! Our local Down syndrome group bought a whole car and offered discount tickets to the families. Our kids were BEYOND EXCITED!

Hanging out with some elves before we boarded. Roo was not a fan of this particular photo opportunity.
I love, love, LOVE their penguin PJs! And Lamb's have matching doll pajamas as well. (The doll came along for the night, too. :-) )

Quality time with Daddy
Feeding Daddy popcorn
No trip on the Polar Express would be complete without hot chocolate...
...and cookies!
It's the North Pole!!!!
I love this shot. :-)

On the way home, we sang Christmas carols. These two love the microphone! Roo did too, but I was too busy trying to keep him from grabbing it to take a picture while he WAS grabbing it.
It's way too cold at the North Pole for us to get out of the train. Bummer. But would you believe that Santa Claus actually hopped on board?!? He came to visit us as we rode...

Roo absolutely LOVES Santa!!!


I had a hard time getting a pic. For one thing, Roo wouldn't stop looking at him long enough to let me get a shot. For another, he kept pushing the big kids away so that he could have Santa to himself. :-)

St. Nick signed Twas the Night Before Christmas for us.
This was one Christmas experience that I would call a huge success! I am so thankful we got to go! Lamb knows the truth about Santa, but she still loves the magic of it all. And Monkey is a believer, and Roo is SO much more into Christmas and Santa and snowmen and all things holiday this year. It was the perfect time to go!
Next up, I took their pictures in their Christmas outfits for cards. And for my own little photo collection. Are they cuties or what?


Later that day, we had our annual Santa Party. My mom and her sister gather with all of their kids and grandchildren to celebrate, and a special visitor comes to give each child a gift. It is quite the soiree!
My boys playing a little foosball

He's here! He's here! Is this guy not the best Santa ever?!?

It wasn't even Roo's turn to get up there. Santa was telling the kids a story, and Roo climbed on up.

So happy!

This is my oldest nephew. He was the ring bearer in my wedding a month before his 2nd birthday. He's now almost 16. And considerably taller than I am. And probably won't appreciate it if he discovers that I put this photo online. I'm getting teary just looking at it.

How much longer will she do this happily?!?

As much as Roo loves Santa, he would NOT sit on Santa's lap when it was his turn. (I think all of the commotion of everyone cheering for him kind of freaked him out. He doesn't love large groups.) I snapped this while all of the kids were gathering to get their pic taken with the big guy.
Look at all those kids!!!!

Roo got Chase (from "Paw Patrol"--his favorite show) from Santa. He's not huge on stuffed animals and kept asking me to make it work. (He thinks all toys should be electronic.) But he really does enjoy Chase...

...Here he is singing "Jesus Loves Me" and putting Chase to bed. :-)

Monkey got Twister. All the kids loved it. :-)

Roo kept sneaking cookies when I wasn't looking. I'm pretty sure this was number 5.

Are we adorable or what?!?
And last up (for today), the Christmas music program from Roo's school. As it turned out, my nephew's school band came to play for Roo's school! It was so neat to have him there!
(He's the one waving, in case you weren't sure.) ;-)
I didn't even know that this was actually Roo's PROGRAM--that he would be up on stage singing! His class was the first to go up...
There he is being led by--or more accurately, leading--the world's best classroom aide EVER. So thankful for Miss Dona!
He is ready for clapping and singing!

I love this! I had a hard time getting pics up there. Every time I took a shot, the lady in front of me leaned over to talk to the person next to her. Every time!
Nana & Papa came to see their boys!
And after the music was done, we had another visit from Santa! (Yep, the same Santa that we had at our party. Of COURSE. He's the real Santa, duh!) Roo sat on his lap THREE TIMES! It was partly because of Roo's love for St. Nick, and partly because he continued to thwart my efforts to get a good picture of them together. I finally snapped this one on the third try... although I felt a little guilty, because this wasn't actually Roo's turn. He pulled away from me while I was talking to someone, ran up and climbed onto Santa's lap between kids. Stinker.
That's how our December is going so far. What's new with you?