Monday, February 14, 2011

spread the love.

Some time ago we attended a wedding of good friends where they gave their guests small beautifully labeled jars of homemade jam and preserves as a token of their day. Each jar was emblazoned with what it contained (strawberry kiwi jam, apricot orange marmalade), the names of the bride and groom, and on top was the beautifully appointed font, spelling out the clear and clever logo: "spread the love". (Curt and Rae - you know who you are. l.o.v.e.)

And today. Or I guess yesterday, now. (It's late.)
Valentine's Day.

A day of love. Sort of. You know?

There are those of us that want any excuse or any reason to shower and be showered with love and affection and gifts and physical manifestations of your-affection-for-me-and-my-affection-for-you. Time together. A lunch date with my honey. A reason to be put at the top of someone's to-do list. To be important and shown how much you are loved by another human on this earth.

And adversely -

There are those of us that fight it - say its just a marketing ploy by those big box stores and companies to make another fast buck. And those same us that recognize it can induce a whole lot of expectations and guilt over what this one day supposedly holds above all others. My dear friend talks about this here. And I totally agree with her about loving just as much the other 364 days of the year.

My heart and my mind lean somewhere between these two every year. This year was not much different, but then again - it was. I was thinking about love in a whole new way. In a new light, today and every day. The light from how my heart has changed since falling in love - Head Over Heels - with my wee Amos. But it is fun to love with a little more loudness on this special day, regardless.

The past few days have been a little exhausting with Joel having been gone until late Saturday, sick kids again and again and again - the switch to cloth diapering two children full time (until the diarrhea attacks and after the 7th poopy diaper by 11:30 a.m. - 6 of which were from one child... ugh - so I made the wise decision that it was okay to use disposables again... for a bit).

our stash of fuzzibunz diapers... and two sweet fuzzi-bummed boys

I was starting to say how in being a wee bit tired, I get a little bit cranky. And in the kinda gray weather, I get a little bit more cranky. Not cranky cranky, but just have a little less tolerance for long days and long fevered wakeful nights and such. I keep on keeping on, and my skin gets a little more thin,  I get a little lonely, and my heart and mind get a little sensitive with the lack of sleep and sunshine. Maybe a little oversensitive, but I get soft and defensive and overprotective and Liable To Break Down At Any Moment.

With that in mind, I just want to get this off my chest and move on to bigger and better things.

Well meaning people ask about Amos. Frequently. And frankly, and to be honest, I'm getting a little tired of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for It Takes A Village and living in community and people loving on my boy and caring for our family - but these two questions that keep popping up in our day to day lives as the parents and family of this little man with a little something extra - and if you are reading this - now you can know to not ask them of anyone, unless they actually have a child who is ill or is in hospital.

1) "How is he doing?" 

(this question if a lovely question - except for when it comes with a look of sympathy for what they are viewing as his   condition ... spoken with some sense of 'awwww, you poor people, with your little one who has *gasp*        Down Syndrome     - without actually taking into consideration he's gazing at you from right here in my arms or up at us from in his carseat or smiling at me from across the room...)

Okay. Here is my answer. He is perfect. He was released from hospital eight months ago. He is just fine. He is my baby. He is our baby. He eats. He sleeps. He cries (but hardly ever). He poops and pees. He smiles and laughs. He plays with his little toys, at his own rate of development. Just like any other baby. He rolls all the way across the floor. He is a delight. He is the easiest baby ever. He is amazingly cute. That's how he's doing. If someone has a baby in the hospital, you'd ask. If someone has had a baby at home for eight months do you still ask? Once they're well and at home, do you keep asking months and months and months later? No. This is not a condition, Amos is not a victim and neither are we. Please don't feel the need to feel sorry for or feel sympathetic towards us.  He is our child. Just like your child is your child. That is all.

2) "Do you know how high-functioning he will be? Can the doctors tell you anything?"

Do you know how high-functioning or how intelligent your child will be? standard set of chromosomes or not? Is the doctor (who sees my child a minutely, microscopically small percentage of the time in comparison to me, as his mother) really going to be the one to tell me this, nevermind when the child is yet an infant? How on earth would any parent of any child answer this question? Should I saunter over to your house and ask "do you know how smart your child will be?" 

People may feel these questions are fair and well-intentioned. I'm taking this time to tell you they are NOT. They are anything but, the exact opposite. Unless you want me to grill you about how unintelligent, whiny, ugly, or boring I think your child looks, please refrain from commenting on mine. 

*end rant*

So the lesson of the day, folks? Make like the Frank's Red Hot Lady and spread the love. Just love. Jam style. Put that sh*t on everything.

And on to better and brighter things.

jacob running, dancing, happy - then he says "now, rest".

now. rest.

And on Valentine's Day? Yup. We do love up fancy style at our house.

heart shaped waffles and eggs for breakfast.

and a cupcake making bee.

photo credits: Isaac

photo credits: Isaac

our finished cupcakes for school class parties. l.o.v.e.

and lastly, just a few photos from around the house of images that make me happy: in no particular order, and including my Valentine, my children, making cupcakes and 'now. rest.'

my color coordinated shelf of books.

jacob peeking out the window to see what's out there.
his tippy-toes.

yes, he is wearing Amos's pants. he chose them. all by himself.

my orchids.

my big kids. growing up.

toilet paper towers.

mysterious holes in rolls of toilet paper.

aaah. life with a two year old. never gets boring when you have a whole world to discover.
and poke holes in.

their faces. I am so blessed every day.
and have I ever mentioned how much I adore us going for breakfast? I do.

and towers built from breakfast table condiments.

and the new lease on life that is inherent with wee ones. owners of little feet.

and with that, I bid you goodnight.

Spread the love. 
Put that sh*t on everything.


  1. <3 lovin' that shout out.
    also- showed my good friend your blog. she couldn't get enough of your perfect kids and how freakin beautiful they are. you need to know they are above average in the area of looks. (as a 'not cute' baby i am a good judge of this (somehow)).
    look forward to reading your blogs. like i actually think 'i hope laura will blog soon'... :)
    miss and love you guys!!!

  2. p.s. i should add that two amazing components to our wedding (besides the whole marrying the man of my dreams jazz) was our insane dance, dj'ed by the one and only JOEL LUYT and our massive wedding PIE made by the wonderful LAURA LUYT :)
    THANK YOU BOTH SOO MUCH! You really invested so much in us and we are incredibly grateful <3

  3. YES!

    You have managed to have me go like this:

    Mmmmhmmmm, yup, spending money is not the is....hmmm, what two questions? Oh....THOSE questions....ugh...stupid poeple...then tears streamed down my cheeks....then from my jiggly belly laugh out loud at "put that sh*t on everything".

    Then, I was all smiles...thinking how much alike Ellis and Jacob are...

    And for those people...asking those idiotic-well-intented-but-do-you-really-need-to-ask questions, I would like to say this...Jenner, my 10 month probably exactly the same as Amos.
    Because they are BABIES. They do what they do...they explore, they love, they snuggle and they learn. They are incredible.

    Ugh. Now put THAT sh*t on everything!

    And THANK YOU for the link to my blog...I need to learn how to do's like magic!
    PS- I love how anal you are....I am very much like that. I just swim in a disaster of clothes and children most days!

  4. PPS- Amos is awesome. And I haven't even met him!
    He will grow and learn and crawl and walk and eat and talk and have a job just like EVERYONE else. But you what's even more awesome??
    Is he is NOT like everyone else. And THAT is why he is perfect.

  5. Thank you Randi for posting Laura's blog! This is awesome. I <3 gave me goosebumps.

  6. This is beautiful!
    I read it this morning as I drank my morning coffee, in the time between walking our dog and getting ready for work, but had to come back an comment at lunch time. I agree with Rae- I highly anticipate each blog post of yours. And also think that your kids are far-above average in the looks dpt.
    Can't wait to see you guys on Saturday!

  7. Hi Laura,
    I have been wanting to comment on your blogs for a long time...finally I am! First of all, you are an amazingly talented writer (you really should do a book!!) and your insight and feeling you put in to it is inspirational.
    Second, I have heard that same question asked of my littlest one (he has CP).."how is he doing" it puts me on the defensive every time, because he is FINE, I think he is FINE, he is perfect, he is my baby and he will always be FINE in my eyes ALWAYS!!! I hate that people feel like they need to hear something wrong about him, when instead they could just treat him like any other boy and focus on his sweetness instead...sigh...but then again, not everyone is like that.
    It's refreshing to read you blogs and sit and think, "hey, that's similar to my story, and know that other people are experiencing the same thing only putting a voice to it!"
    Your old childhood friend...
    Rebecca Eaton Canning

  8. Love the blog, love the open honesty about the 2 questions. I hate them as well and you answeres them perfectly. It just amazes me how oblivious people can be once they hear Down Syndrome. One min they are admiring your beautiful baby looking at him with such love and the instant you say oh he has Down Syndrome the face changes you can see the pitty wash over them. It makes me so mad that 2 tiny words that don't mean much and change a persons perspective so much.

    Love the love too. We spend valentines day as a family giving love not gifts and I wouldn't change it for the world

  9. Hello there! So nice to meet you :)

    Thank you for all your kind words over at my place. It means so much to me. Truly.

    And I'm so happy to come here and see your beautiful family and your inspiring words and this is just such a lovely place.

    Thank you...

  10. Aaahhh I just wrote a big response and then I lost it.

    OK. Through the grapevine I heard about your blog and your son, I went to college with your husband but we didn't really know each other.

    I have a son with autism and I get asked those same questions ALL. THE. TIME!! I usually just answer with how fabulous he is and then I move on. But you're right, they are annoying questions.

    I love your attitude, quite possibly because I have the same kind. My son is perfect and so is yours. I've avoided any professionals that look at him like he's a problem to be fixed.

    Anyway, keep spreading your hot saucy love!

  11. Great post! I can imagine that the questions like that get to you after awhile. love your blog!!

  12. Hi Laura!
    your heart- writing made my day today more than you know.
    Thanks for joining up for my ramblings and recipes. Wish I could cuddle those precious little ones and feed them the cookies I made today.
    Hug everyone at your house for us and know that YOU are one amazing woman...GO LAURA GO Baby!!
    xo Apron-clad Warrior a.k.a Rob's Mom, R.P oxoxo

  13. I LOVED your rant!!!! Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You worded it exactly the way I want to respond EVERY time someone asks me the same questions! I loved it so much, that I am going to copy and paste it into a word document then will print it off and use it as my script! Now I know what to say...hahahahaha!! I am punching my keyboard keys so hard at the moment...feels so good to get this out! I, too, have a perfect little baby with little feet, almond eyes, and heart-melting gazes. My Nora girl was born in July, and we've been in love with her since! I commented right after you on one of Kelle Hampton's glad I found you!
    Much love from Idaho,
    Kelly Cach :)


make no mistake, I am smitten with your words. please say hello, or pour something out - you will make my heart happy.

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