Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome


Let me tell you a little something about this sweet face: behind those precious features is the mind of a very determined little girl.

Every morning when I leave for work, she stands in my way until I have hugged and kissed each member of our family goodbye (generally twice). Her favorite part is when I kiss Daddy, so that she can exclaim, “ewww, that’s disgusting.”

And every afternoon when I see her after school, she has prepared a mental list of which movies we will watch that night. Now, we generally don’t watch TV during the week, but I’m telling you, this child is persistent.

Occasionally, ok maybe sometimes… ok fine often, she gets her Beauty and the Beast. Or Anastasia. Or Shrek. Or whatever.

It’s fine.

She’s a bit grumpy in the morning and loves a good bear hug to get her day going. She’s a little particular about what she’ll wear – it’s not a sensory thing or anything like that, she just wants to make sure her t-shirt and underwear have the right picture on it to capture her interests for the day. Most days, the underwear must feature a Disney Princess or forget it.

She still can’t help herself from exclaiming “Jesus Christ, what the hell?!” when she’s annoyed or mad. She loves to shrug her shoulders to say “I don’t know.” Sometimes, she’s starting to blurt things out in Spanish and when she does, it knocks me off my feet a little bit.

She could absolutely live on chicken patties, cheese sticks, and pretzels.

Our little sunshine girl is growing into a great big kid. She’s often a little more soft spoken, but kind hearted and thoughtful with her peers. Her teacher says she has the best manners, even when she’s running gleefully across the outside field away from the line that she is supposed to be in. She apologizes when she’s made us sad and just can’t pull herself away from comforting anyone who is looking a little forlorn.

She’s a trouble maker with her sister. Lord, are they trouble.

Six brings a new world to us – elementary school: reading logs, school lunch, math… she’s loving it. We’re loving it. We’ve watched her blossom bit by bit this year and can’t believe that this little baby, who caused such a massive overhaul in our hearts about everything we “knew” to be true, has started to stretch her wings. She’s warming up to fly along in the world and she is so happy. We are so happy.

Happy sixth birthday, sweet Tessa Lynn! We love you so much!



The Eve of Six

On the eve of her 6th birthday, I’m stuck thinking about the night Before. It was sort of a shit show (much like tonight was). Just before Christmas, on the eve of final exams, I rushed out of school, picked up Ellie from Miss Julie, and made the long trek to drop her off with my mom so that John and I could go to my 37 week appointment together. There was a lot of traffic, and I distinctly remember being frustrated at how the world seemed to be at a standstill while I was very much in a rush to get where I needed to be. Ellie sat buckled in her little car seat, paging through the book A Charlie Brown Christmas, we had the tunes going, and I was freaking tired.

At the time, my doctor’s office was going through a transition from paper records to computer and it created these exceptionally long waiting times. There were appointments where we had to wait over an hour to be seen – and this night was no different. John and I sat, hungry and tired, in the waiting room together, and tried to sort out our gift plans for Ellie. We just wanted to move the appointment along so that we could get to our dinner. When we finally got to see the doctor, I asked her if there was any sign that I might get to have this baby before January 1, and she laughed and said no, everything seems to be just where it should be, and that I should mentally prepare myself to wait for my January due date.

So then I drowned my sorrows in a giant plate of nachos with extra jalapeños and about 13 hours later, we had a brand new baby in our arms.

Funny how that works out.

Ooooh, the waiting. The waiting, the waiting. I hate it and love it in the same breath. I want to see the future, and want to hold on tight to the now… and let’s not even talk about the nostalgia that I have for this squishy little face:

Six tomorrow. SIX.

So much waiting has just flown by in the blink of an eye.

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