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!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Jessica, mommy to handsome Drew, from A Deeper Shade of Love (visit her blog here) nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award! Thank you Jessica - just when I thought my whining might be deterring fellow bloggers from coming to visit! LOL! It feels really great to be recognised by another blogger, and so knowing that there is a connection made, across the most vast of distances!

The rules of accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award (tick!)
2. Copy the award and place it on my blog (tick!)
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award (tick!)
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself
5. Nominate 7 other bloggers for the award

Ok! So seven interesting things about myself?...
1. I am a Virgo, and because of this I tend to be a very critical and analytical person - I often wish I could relax and 'let go' more, but as the years have gone by, I'm learning to accept myself as I am...
2. I will be turning the big 3. 0. this year... yikes! Time has definitely flown by, and I don't feel a day older than 22!
3. I remember being about 4 or 5 years old and my mom told me that as you get older the years fly by faster. I literally thought that they did and dreaded getting any older. I thought that by the time I reached 2o a year would last only a couple of months, and by 30 a year would be finished in a matter of weeks and so on... Needless to say, I had quite a literal-mind at that time! LOL!
4. When the Virgo in me isn't at full-tilt I can be quite a creative and eccentric person. As a 17-year-old I shaved all my hair off (after a particularly horrible break-up with a boyfriend). I loved it, but it soon wore off when I was referred to as a boy wherever I went... Still, it it something I am proud to say that I had the guts to do in a world where long blond trusses are practically expected in order to be called 'woman'.
5. I love words. I love them in written or spoken form. They move me. They inspire me. My mom always tells me the story of how as a 3-year-old I started crying one day and when she asked me why I was crying I told her that the words of a song on the radio were very sad and they were making me cry.
6. Speaking of crying - I was a very sensitive little soul as a child. I cried for weeks when I found out Steve Wonder was blind... I am not as sensitive these days and hardly ever cry - I am still wondering if that is a good thing?
7. If money, location, career was no issue and I had no boundaries at all I would choose to take my family and live on the edge of a lake, nestled in between massive mountains, in a small cabin at the top of a winding tree-lined drive. I would grow my own food, I would write of my life, I would photograph my boys every single day, I would cook my husband wholesome love-filled dinners. I would lay out his clothes for work the next day and pack him lunches that included small love-notes. I would teach my boys to grow and love plants. I would do many differently.
OK - so the 7 bloggers I nominate (in no particular order)?
1. My Life with Gabriel - I just love the way that Lee writes about her precious Gabriel, I feel she really helps so much and gives such great advice, as well as a glimpse into Gabriel's life.
2. Bridget's Light - Again, a blogger whose words and posts are so inspiring. And Bridget is just so friggen cute too!
3. Praying for Parker - what a well-written blog! I just love the 'everyday-ness' of this blog as well as the beautiful pictures!
4. Enjoying the Small Things - a new blog that I follow (I think I'm follower number 1852!). But truly, someone I think is a really gifted writer and photographer, as well as someone who literally says 'yes' to life, every. single. day.
5. Conny Wenk - again, just so inspired by the images that Conny captures - she just inspires me!
6. Three's a Charm - This is the first blog I started following when Malakai was diagnosed with Down syndrome and it's still high on my list of absolute favourites!
7. Emma Sage - I also love Tara Marie's creativity, zest for life, her calm spirit.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whew... coming up for air

I've been wondering if I should sugar coat my last two weeks with pretty adjectives that come from an embarrassed (or guilt-induced) place, or if I should be honest.

Well... honesty has always been the easiest route for me (lying entails actually having to remember the lie, and with my porridge brain, that's not even a remote possibility at this point...).

It's been hard. Very. Flipping. Hard.

I was always aware that Malakai was an 'easy' baby - in fact I didn't know he could cry until he was 3 months old... But I didn't know that babies are usually this difficult...?

Harlan has severe cramps (from what I can tell) which keep him awake, and therefore overstimulated and crying, for hours on end. Today we had a 6-hour-long stretch of awake-ness interspersed with shrill and inconsolable crying. I'll be honest - I just cried myself at one point... desperate for some kind of respite from this little person.

I have tried all manner of things, from colic drops to homeopathic tablets to letting him sleep upright in his little car-chair to playing womb music to carrying him in a sling to feeding him sitting up and feeding him lying down...

Add to this the fact that we've all be sick for two weeks and you have yourself a recipe for some tension, headaches, sleep-deprivation and general grumpiness X 1000.

Malakai was diagnosed with croup last week - which I am so upset about because I know this is a recurring illness! My poor baby! Harlan still has a runny nose and is coughing (along with Darryl and I). So our house is filled with antibiotics and all other medicinal paraphernalia, none of which I can take myself.

I do try to always put a positive spin on my posts (and my life in general) - because I don't see the point in wallowing in self-pity - but this has definitely been a challenge.

And I feel so ridiculous! Many people have more than one child! I am not the first or the last, so I feel as though I am not special enough to feel like I'm drowning here... My logical brain is telling me to get with the programme and stop being so silly, but still... I feel like I'm in over my head.

What I can say though, with a certainty that comes with a baby finally fast asleep, with the last 15 minutes to myself to recharge and breath deeply, is that I know it will be ok. I know that it will get easier and that Harlan will eventually stop crying. Of this I am certain.

Monday, February 15, 2010

doctors doctors everywhere

Well, it's been a busy week - yes sir-ee...

Harlan developed very gooey eyes (for want of a better description) last Monday and we paid the pead a visit just to be on the safe side... the following day he developed a cough and a sneeze... oh no...

Two doctors visits, antibiotics, eye-drops, nose-drops and regular nebulizing later, we're a week down the road and all four of us are sick...

We're all feeling pretty sorry for our little selves right now...

Our doctor's visit today confirmed that Harlan is ok, as long as we keep him from getting any worse. Poor Malakai has a runny nose and his lack of eating (or even drinking his beloved juice) tells me he's feeling as bad as mommy... Darryl is able to take all sorts of medicine, so he's pretty much got the best deal out of all of us... I'm actually jealous every time he drinks a corenza-c! LOL!

And all this is the middle of a very hot heat wave... I was really blindsided by this flu bug, at this time of year.

Hopefully the coming week will bring with it better health - and higher spirits!

Monday, February 8, 2010

All alone...

The house has been a hive of activity since Harlan's birth. My mother came up from Durban for the week and Darryl's mom arrived this last Friday for the weekend. We've also had friends dropping by to meet Harlan...

And... now it's quiet. Everyone has come to visit. The Grannies have gone back home. It's just me and Darryl.

We sat last night and realised that it's just us and our boys now - and it didn't feel bad at all. In fact, we're feeling alright.

Malakai has started to take an interest in Harlan, and if his smile is anything to go by I think he quite likes his little brother!

Harlan is a really content little boy, only crying for a feed or a bad wind, but otherwise very happy to just eat and sleep at this point.

Malakai is starting to walk longer distances - about 10 to 15 paces at a time! He's also really picking up alot of signs now (although they can be confusing, because he doesn't get them spot-on). He can sign eat, drink, sleep, bye-bye, dog, bird and more. He also seems to be saying ba-ba, da-da and ma-ma in context, but then again, he also says them out of context... LOL! So who knows? He's also playing more constructively, like pushing his toy cars instead of just throwing them around and he's showing an interest in the shape sorter (after months of introduction)! My little boy is becoming a big boy now!!
Anyway - that is just a small update on our boys for now and some more pictures!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meet Harlan Stow

Dada... meet Harlan...

Kissable Lips!

It was elephant season... many of his soft toy gifts happened to be elephants...

Here at last!
Harlan was born by planned C-Section on Friday 29 January... Although planned, his arrival was no less exciting, a story for another day perhaps...
We are so happy to have Harlan in our lives and he has already crept deeply and snuggly into our hearts...
How nice it is to have a newborn in the house again - to hear the tiny cry, to smell that newborn smell, to comfort and to nourish a new life...
All I can say, after weeks of waiting, is...