We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Dearest Malakai,

Your first Christmas! What a wonderful day we all had! We woke up early and you started opening pressies at home - there were so many from so many people! You really enjoyed opening the presents - especially ripping the paper!

Then we went to visit Kim and Leigh, and Granny Dye was there too! We just chilled, the 6 of us, all day! We openend even MORE presents... went for a fabulous lunch... came home and swam in the jacuzzi and then, when we were all stuffed and very tired, we came home again! Your daddy even said that this was his favourite Christmas Day for a long time (I'm sure that had just a little something to do with you my angel!).

Soon you will begin to look forward to Christmas - a time when you are spoilt rotten and get brand new things from everyone (really cool!)... but you will also learn that Christmas is a time when everyone you love is around you, giving thanks for a year that has passed. Then, one day when you're big like mommy, Christmas becomes a magical time again (to be seen through the eyes of your child), and a time to reflect.

So much has changed this year (not least of which is your arrival into the world)! Our lives have changed so dramatically over the past year, and so have the lives of those we love... Your aunty Sheri seems to have found love (ooh la la...) & your aunty Leigh is married and busy growing you a cousin (who will arrive in the middle of the year!). So much has changed for everyone!

And you! Well you are really becoming a little man... today you learned to roll from your back to your tummy to your back again!! Your dad was there to see it and it made him sooo proud! We are so happy that you are getting bigger and stronger every day - you are our miracle baby! I am looking forward to sharing an amazing year with you & your daddy! I love you both so much I could just explode!!

You are all my Reasons for Being,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You are my son

Dearest Malakai,

Today I was going to write a whole long letter about people's thoughts on Down Syndrome and how they shouldn't think this, or say that, or believe whatever! Blah Blah! People are going to believe what they believe until they no longer do... simple.

So! Instead of trying to tell other people what they should think, I thought I'd tell you what I absolutely adore about YOU!
I love it when I wake up in the morning because of the little 'hyperventilating' sounds you are making and I find you, looking up at me, one little leg stuck through the bars of the cot, smiling and sucking your hands!

I love it when I bring you into the bed with me and feed you - your ability to breastfeed being something that babies with Down Syndrome 'shouldn't' be able to do... well... they didn't get you the memo!

I love it when I walk into lounge and you (sitting in your reclining chair) give me the widest smile, your eyes like little half-moons, your nose slightly crinkled up...

I love it when I pick you up and you hold me around my neck - you little hands grasping tightly and your little baby-breath warming my neck.
I love it when you sit on my lap, concentrating on holding your head up, using your little neck to support your head, being so amazingly cute!

I love it when I put you to sleep and you make little moaning sounds... into the crook of my arm...

I love it when I get to kiss your tummy, so soft it seems it is made from pure innocence...

I love it when you lie asleep, tired from a busy day... snoring ever so softly... And then when you wake up and smile at me like I've just caught you doing something naughty!

I love it when you learn something new... it is amazing to see the world through your eyes.

I love seeing you through your daddy's eyes - you have created a new man, a father, a nurturer, a provider, a protector, a giver, a beautiful man.

I love the mother you have brought out of me...

You are all my Reasons for Being,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ho Ho Ho!!

Dearest Malakai,

Just a quick picture of you with your Aunty Sheri by the Christmas Tree!


You are all my Reasons for Being,



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playgroup Christmas Party

Malakai has discovered his hands now!

Yum Yum!

Wrapping paper is always more interesting!

Our lovely table under the trees


"That box is bigger than me!"

Samm & Deqlan opening presents...

More pressies!

and more...

Playing in the beautiful garden

Keaton exploring!
Aunty Leigh looking lovely in her pink t-shirt!

Caden enjoying his sushi!!

Keaton and Caden playing with the little sushi!

Caden chilling in his seat!

Hello beautiful boy!

Keaton enjoying a little lunch!

Deqlan chilling with mommy!

Megan changing Keaton's nappy on the run!!

Our table under the trees!

Fast asleep!

Dearest Malakai,

Today we had your playgroup Christmas party! It was so much fun! We went to a wonderful country restuarant and sat under beautiful trees in the fantastic summer weather - it can't get much better than that!

Megan and Keaton, Sam & Deqlan, Elriza and Caden and Aunty Leigh were there to join us in celebrating our own little Christmas Party!

You received such beautiful gifts that I am sure you are going to enjoy so much! Elriza and Caden gave you a wonderful set of rattle-toys that are colourful, noisy and super-light so that you can hold them easily and practice your grasping! Sam and Deqlan gave you wonderful books that we can start reading together! Megan and Keaton gave you a book, a colourful shape-box, a wooden coordination toy and a super cool bathtime facecloth puppet!

Thank you so much my friends for your special and thoughtful gifts!

We wish all our friends a safe and joyous festive season, staying close to family and friends, and celebrating life and love!

I love you my boy and you and your daddy are my amazing boys!

You are all my Reasons for Being,



Letter from Granny Dye

My Darling Malakai,
I have had the awesome privilege of experiencing your priceless gifts for a lifetime of 4 Months and 5 days!
Special Time #1
From our first introduction on the day you were born up to 10 days later, you gave me the gift of warm cuddles, peaceful sleeping in my arms, and your eyes beginning to focus on my enraptured face.
Special Time #2
You gave me another 10 day gift of staying awake for longer periods, staring directly into my eyes as I told you long stories, and teasing me with ‘Is that a real smile?’
Special Time #3
This time around there was no doubt about your gift of smiles – plenty of big ‘mouth wide open’ and ‘sparkling eyes’ smiles! We shared your fascinated discovery of your hands and feet and together acknowledged each little finger and toe.
Malakai, every precious moment we spend together, you give a wealth of gifts in the innocent simplicity of unconditionally sharing and embracing life right now, and now, and now. The future we inherit is an accumulation of our present now’s, the only place that life exists.
I trust you, my wise Malakai, to lead the way as we share many more ‘now’ moments.
Love you all the world!
Granny Lorraine

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray!

Dearest Malakai,

You are 4 months old tomorrow! I can't believe how big you are getting!

"Big Mommy?" - yes! you have grown so big! You now weigh 6.1kgs and are 61cm long! You are right on target with all your development and you're making mom so proud!

Because of your Down Syndrome and the other name 'Trisomy 21', I wanted to make this letter about All the Things that Malakai Can Do (21 things... to be exact!):

1. Smile (super cool)
2. Laugh (well, it's more like a loud noise when you open your mouth... but we're almost there!)
3. Swipe at things
4. Grab things
5. Hold onto those things that have been grabbed!!
6. Stick things in your mouth and give them a lick...
7. Follow people around the room with your eyes (and you are super curious my boy!)
8. Sit up when you're being held (you love this!!)
9. Hold your head up straight for long periods and look around
10. Lift your head when you're on your tummy
11. Try to reach for things when you're on your tummy
12. Play in your reclining chair and kick for the music and lights (you love this!)
13. Smile at your favourite mobile above your changing mat!
14. Grab the towel, tissues, anything that your hand lands on really!
15. Grab your dad's chest-hair when he's trying to put you to sleep (ha ha!!)
16. Hold your bottle while you're eating
17. Roll from your back to your side to your stomach - thank you very much!!
18. Sleep through the night (making me a very lucky and very grateful mommy!)
19. Kick - you love to kick out with your little legs
20. Wriggle - you have never really stopped moving my boy (not even when you were growing in mommy's tummy)
21. Love - you just love me and your dad so much and we love you too!!!

I love you my angel - you are really my everything! Remember you don't ever have to be anyone but you, this is the most important thing you can do. You have changed my life, you have changed your Dad's life - in ways we couldn't have known, in ways we only dreamed of! You are our perfect baby boy and we love you in ways that words cannot adequately express... but if you had to twist my arm...!

I think of a beautiful flower blooming... Some people spend their entire lives, trapped and aching inside their flower, too scared to come out and just be their beautiful selves! You, my angel, are also like a beautiful flower - perfect, made by God, each petal, every silvery fluffy soft and gentle bit just slowly opening, blooming. No expectations from Society (stereotypes) mean that we take the journey at our own pace without any expectations. And you... your flower... it just blooms because it cannot not do so. You are too young & to perfect to understand the concept of fear of blooming - you bloom because it feels good and it feels right to just be you. I hope that you hold onto this forever - if there is one gift that I can choose for you it would be to never, ever, ever be anyone else but you. You are perfect, you are beautiful... you bloom my baby!

Happy 4 months my baby boy - you are our most beloved, most beautiful, most amazing miracle!

You are all my Reaons for Being,

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Photos!

Dearest Malakai,

My boy... I am writing you now from my desk back at work... yes! Mommy went back to work today. I thought it was going to be harder than it has been to return to work, but having Joyce at home with you has made it so much easier! I can call Joyce and she tells me what you're up to - eating, playing or sleeping. She tells me you have been such a good boy today - but what's new?? You are always good!

We had a really great last week together my angel. We moved to your aunty Leigh's house last Wednesday because she got married on Friday and we had to help her with all her last-minute plans! Mommy had to buy you a new camp-cot, which is really cute! It was like going on a 4-week holiday - the amount of stuff I packed for you!! Hot Clothes, Cool Clothes, Emergency-I-pooed-my-pants Clothes, blankets, towels, nappies, cream, shampoo, wet wipes, medicine, sterilising equipment, nose-sucker-thingy, bottles, formula, car seat, relaxing seat, toys, gymni, your favourite cow... all had to be packed and brought along! Needless to say, I didn't use half the stuff, but at least it was there in case... So! It was our first overnight experience, and I think we all did very well!

Aunty Leigh got married on Friday to uncle Kim and now they are also expecting a baby! What a wonderful surprise that soon you'll have a cousin you can play with!! I am so happy for them!

Your Granny Dye was here for a week as well - so it was so nice for her to see you and and your smiles! She missed you so much my angel!

Ok - so that's our news for the week!

As always, you and your dad remain my soft place to fall (now more than ever), my bright shining lights that I follow. As long as I have you two in my life, I have no need for anything else.

You are all my Reasons for Being,