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!
Based in Pretoria, South Africa... My name is Loren, I am married to the LOVE of my life and on 08/08/08 we welcomed our first child into this world! Malakai is healthy, he is precious and he is the light of our lives... oh and he has a little something extra (commonly known as Down Syndrome).
On 29/01/2010 we had our second boy - Harlan. We are so excited that Malakai & Harlan will grow together as brothers and friends!
This is our journey into acceptance, love, the understanding that today is our greatest gift, and the celebration of our beautiful, perfect, amazing sons!
Please email me if you'd like to make contact. I am happy to discuss anything with regards to DS. If I can help I would be honoured! firstname.lastname@example.org
man of many talents - older brother... big flirt... super adventurous... all growed up no?
Making his feelings known... Harlan thinks that sleep is for the birds and much rather prefers to be 'in the know'...
Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech:
For you help us to know that if we persevere,
We can be understood.
Blessed are you who walk with us in public places,
And ignore the stares of strangers,
For in your companionship,
We find havens of peace.
Blessed are you who never bid us to "hurry up",
And more blessed are you
Who do not snatch tasks from our hands to do them for us,
For often we need time rather than help.
Blessed are you who stand beside us
As we enter new and untried ventures.
For our failures will be outweighed
By the times we surprise ourselves and you.
Blessed are you who ask for our help,
For our greatest need is to be needed.
Blessed are you when you assure us,
That the one thing that makes us individuals
Is not in our peculiar muscles,
Nor in our wounded nervous system,
Nor in our difficulties in learning,
Nor any exterior difference.
But is in our inner, personal, individual self
Which no affirmity can diminish or erase.
Malakai and his cousin Natalia - chilling in the jacuzzi last weekend
Malakai and Dada - smiley boys!
A long overdue post... I know I know!
Firstly, Malakai is doing really well – as if I’d have a different perspective?! I think my son is the most clever, gorgeous, charming, funny little person ever – but I’m a bit biased...
Malakai is getting more confident in his physical abilities with every passing day – what was a crawl is now a blur (he moves fast!), he follows me now as I move around the house. He’s also getting very good at pulling himself up on the furniture and loves to get himself into all the places he’s not allowed to go. Changing a nappy or getting dressed is a battle of wills – Malakai’s one aim seems to be to escape me, mid-nappy! It’s really quite funny to watch I suppose, as I have to stop him from flipping over onto his tummy and crawling away – I sing, I chant the alphabet, I make funny faces, I have toys on hand to occupy him... but with no great success! A “no” from me is greeted by a wicked smiled and a giggle – and then he does it anyway! Whew! I didn’t know that discipline started so young, and that I’d have to repeat myself over and over and over again! LOL! Malakai is also babbling nicely, but the sign language seems to have taken a back seat – but it’s to be expected with such an explosion in physical ability. So I’m not worried at all! Malakai now has a total of 4 teeth, (two at the bottom middle and his top two eye teeth) – and they do a very good job of munching through a whole array of new foods (tennis biscuits are his favourite)!
I am now about 21 weeks pregnant with another little boy! Have I said that already? Not sure, because I know I’ve been repeating myself, and sometimes I even KNOW that I’m about to repeat myself but I’m too brain-tired to stop myself... so I just do it anyway! This second pregnancy is very different from Malakai’s, the obvious reasons being that I’m already a mom and don’t have time to dote on my belly like I did with Malakai! I’ve also gained alot less weight this time, in fact I’m a whole 9kgs lighter than I was with Malakai at this time! OK yes, I was a bit of a hippo last time around...
I’m also very tired – my husband says that it’s all I ever say! How are you? Tired. What do you want to do? Sleep. How was your day? Tiring. Good morning... I’m tired!
But I am working three jobs (four if you count growing a baby as a job... five if you count being a mom as a job... six if you count being a wife as another job, although I’m not very good at that at the moment – poor husband!). But we have much to be grateful for, especially the additional income which is going a long way towards securing a financially free maternity leave for January 2010!
Otherwise, summer is finally here – I am sitting on my patio after dark writing this post. The air is fresh, I can hear the crickets and bullfrogs in the distance, mosquitoes are attacking my feet (itchy!) and I am waiting patiently for our first thunderstorm (my favourite) – not tonight though!
On my patio - my favourit summer hangout - sits my favourite table, an old farmhouse piece bought from a tiny shop in Parys. On that table sits a set of four white-and-green coated tin pots, all in neat little row. I bought those pots before Malakai was born, with the intention of having a Living Table Centerpiece... I never got around to it.
When I got home from the hospital after Malakai was born, my mother had taken the time to stop by a plant shop and bought beautiful flowers for the pots on my favourite table. It was such a kind gesture, one that made my home feel well... homely.
The flowers have started blooming again, sitting pretty on my favourite table, calling me out to enjoy our milder evenings, wafting fragrant with the smell of jasmin and other spring flowers. It is just so beautiful.
What I didn't expect was that just by looking at the flowers I am transported back to last year. Returning home from the hospital with a baby boy that I was both in love with and completely afraid of. Like a piece of music or a smell, I'm literally transported back to a time when I was different, a time when my world had just changed in ways that I had yet to completely comprehend. I remember the thoughts, the worries, deep dark abyss of the unknown. But I am also reminded of another very vivid thought of that time - my son is a miracle. Clear as day. I knew that Malakai was a miracle, a gift, a great teacher come to show me some very important lessons if I could open myself to see them.
When I look at my beautiful Living Table Centerpiece now, I'm sure of one thing. Malakai is my beautiful boy, I have nothing to be afraid of, he's a miracle unfolding before my eyes every day.