Thursday, October 29, 2009


When Antalya was born I was convinced that coming to terms with the fact that she had Down syndrome would be a single event. That one day I would wake up and it would no longer be an issue, that I wouldn't wonder what she would be like if she didn't have an extra chromosome. These past three years have taught me that it's not quite that black and white. Every new phase presents a new coming to terms with the struggles she and I face. With the birth of Victoria and the move across the ocean we entered a new phase. I'd be lying if I didn't say it has been a very difficult one.

Most days I find myself wondering how many different ways of communicating "no" it will take before Antalya understands. Or wishing I could just understand her attempts at speech to prevent the tantrums. Every day seems to be a replay of the previous - trying to correct the same bad behaviors, trying to explain the same things. It's hard to not look at other three year olds and wonder what it would be like if Antalya could talk in sentences, if she could tell me how she felt, if I could explain and reason with her.

But then I have moments where none of that matters. Moments that I am overcome with her purity and innocence. And I am reminded that she was sent her to teach me to be more patient, more kind, more loving. To teach me to live more in the moment and not be so concerned about everything else. Moments that I see my daughter for who she is and all she is capable of. In these moments all the frustration melts away and I just want to hold her in my arms.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's one of those nose-wiping, Seasame Street watching, sneezing, nap-taking, Rascal Flats listening, bubble bath taking, pajama wearing, vitamin C drinking kind of days.

My only goal for the day is to use one of the pumpkins from our pumpkin picking excursion last Saturday to make some Pumpkin Curry soup for dinner. If I'm feeling really ambitious I might make some cornbread to go along with it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Easy English Biscuits (Cookies)

I found this recipe for recently. Antalya and I tried making them several weeks ago. They were so easy and turned out delicious. I couldn't stop munching on them. You could put frosting on them like sugar cookies, or just eat them plain like they do in England (this is the same recipe I used to make Antalya's birthday pizza cookie).

English Biscuits

1/2 c soft butter
1 1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Beat butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat well. Add flour and salt and mix until it forms a ball of dough. Add more flour if needed. Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 7-10 minutes (only just golden around the edges).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Beauty Outside Our Door

Our apartment may be small and cramped sometimes, but I love where we live. This is what greets me every time I walk outside our flat. The gardner does an incredibly job keeping our complex looking beautiful. I can't wait to see what it looks like come springtime.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Potty Time

Most mornings Antalya agrees to sit on the potty for a few minutes. The first three times we did this we had great success. I was beginning to think potty training was going to be a cinch. Well, that was two weeks ago. Since then we haven't had any luck. The closest was a few days ago when after sitting for about 10 minutes, Antalya stood up, said she was all done, walked to the corner of the bathroom, squatted and peed on the floor. Sigh.

Yet, each morning we try it again, hoping that it will eventually all sink in.

And how, you might ask, do I entice her into the bathroom and convince her to for sit so long? The secret lies in allowing her to munch on chips and salsa will she "goes potty". She is a girl after my own heart!

Monday, October 12, 2009

3 Years

There were lots of smiles, giggles, singing, and music...IMG_5905
There was a much longed for trike...IMG_5918
There was a very enthusiastic little sister...vic
And, because a certain three year old can't get enough of pizza and cookies - there was the Pizza Cookie!IMG_5913
Happy Birthday Antalya!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

They Came, They Conquered...

And poor King Harold of England lost his crown to Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.
And we were there to witness it all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Everyday while I fix lunch Antalya gets to sit on the couch and watch Sesame Street on my phone. Today was just like every other day. I handed her my phone, left the room, only to return a few short minutes later to this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Meet Smiley

Victoria is all smiles lately. It is so much fun to watch her grow up a little more each day. It's taken nearly three months, but I can finally say I love having a baby in the house!

Wordless Wednesday - Bath Time

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stay Left!

Who knew a simple change of sides would cause me so much anxiety on the road. I feel like I have stepped behind the steering wheel for the very first time - I have to constantly remind myself. stay left, check your mirrors, stay left, watch for stop lights, stay left, watch out for other drivers, stay left, stay in your lane, slow for roundabout, stay left, turn on blinker, stay left.

Friday, October 2, 2009

This I Believe

I'm an NPR (National Public Radio) junky. Or at least I was before I left the states. They have these great segments called "This I Believe". They are essays written by ordinary people and then read out loud over the air. I love listening to them because they are so honest and heartfelt. Every time I hear one I take a few moments to ponder what I would write if I were to write a "This I Believe" essay. Today the answer finally hit me.

There were those who thought I was out of mind moving to a one of the biggest cities in the world with a newborn baby, well, how do you sum up my oldest daughter? Let's just say that is absolutely crucial to her survival for me to know exactly where and what she is doing every second of the day. I knew motherhood would be a full time job, but I never expected it to be so literally a full time job as it is with my daughter. But that's beside the point. So, some people thought I was crazy. I could agree with them that moving to, and living in London would not be the easiest undertaking.

I must admit I have my moments, and sometimes, entire days that I wish it were easier, or that I could drop by my mom's house for the afternoon to have a break, or call up a friend who understood and go for a walk. This morning was one of those LONG moments. It was all I could do to just hold it together and make it through the until lunch. I was wondering how I was going to survive the day (and the next, and the next...), and doubting why I wanted to come here in the first place. But then a miracle happened, and I was reminded why we moved here in the first place. I put the babe in her crib awake; five minutes later, and without a peep she was fast asleep. Next I told toddler it was time to take a nap. She laid down with me, and without a struggle fell right asleep (this a first in our household. Usually nap time is pretty ugly; the babe cries for an hour while I wrestle with the older one until she finally falls asleep, then I comfort the babe and get her to sleep just as the older one is waking up). I believe it wasn't happen chance that nap time happened as it did today. It was reminder that I am not alone, and that when I need it most, relief always comes.

You see, I believe there is a higher power guiding our lives. Many times we don't see it, won't admit it, or are so caught up in our own agenda that we refuse to follow it, but that doesn't deny the fact that it is there. I'd like to say I have always followed the promptings I have received, but that would be a lie. But one thing is for sure. That higher power is what has led us to London. For reasons other than what I know, this is where our little family is supposed to be for now. And when I have days where I feel completely alone, I am always sent a reminder that I am not; that there is Someone walking right by my side every step of the way. This I believe!