Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Ellie turns nine

The thing about Nine is that it feels like “childhood” is fading into the dark, like the last little rays of sunshine are dipping low into the water at sunset, soon to be gone.

That’s a rather melancholy analogy. Enough of that nonsense.

(It does feel like that though.)

Our Ellie Bean is now nine and a force to be reckoned with, there’s no doubt about that. She’s brilliant. She’s mercurial. She loves big, feels big, dreams bigs, plans big.

I think I maybe wrote that same sentence when she was four, five, six, seven, and eight.

We have learned so much about this sweet girl as she has grown into herself. We used to think of her as a little comic. She was (and is) hilarious. Don’t you dare laugh though – when it’s not a joke (which is always), she doesn’t appreciate not being taken seriously. And Lord help anyone who gets in her way when she’s got any kind of plan up her sleeve. This will serve her well as she grows.

(It is not really serving me well, per say, but eyes on the prize.)

She has a gorgeous singing voice and loves to cook. She’s been known to take time on the weekend to do a self-directed research project or two. Her Spanish is beautiful and she is way better at math than her dad. She tells us sometimes that she wants to be a teacher when she’s older, but when I tried to get her most recent vision for adulthood, she said it “isn’t time to talk about that right now.”

At nine, she’s 100 feet tall and totally adored by her sisters. She’s every bit the tornado that earned her the nickname. She is never seen without a book or something to write on. She packs a backpack full of supplies for every car trip, even when we’re just going to Target. Once John told her it wasn’t fun to read at a holiday celebration and she reminded him that “we all have different kinds of fun.”

You do you, Tornado Ellie. You are rockin’ it. Happy Ninth Birthday! 🌪❤️

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Lauren La Loca, Age 3

When the grandkids are being particularly energetic (read: unruly), my mom sends them outside to run laps around the house. She’s been doing this since I was a kid (I definitely ran a few laps in my day 😬), as a way to tire the children and probably to give herself a mental break.

Lauren has been desperately awaiting her birthday for one reason: when she’s three, she finally gets the chance to run with the kids. Her first words this morning after bursting out of her room at 5:23 AM were, “I’m fwee, and now I getta run!!!”

Something tells me that this is a foreshadowing of the adventures to come with this child….

When she was born, we wondered if Lauren would ever get lost in the shuffle of life with three kids. Her sisters have some big personalities to contend with, after all.

Not a chance.

The child has no fear.

Well, that’s probably a little exaggeration. She has some fears. Two, actually.


And bugs.

She’s also been known to ask John to “vacuum the scurls (squirrels) into little pieces” when they get too close to the house.

She talks loud, acts big, loves to make people laugh, pushes the limits, spends a significant amount of time in time-out.

Her favorite things to carry around the house are her Frozen blanket (stolen from Ellie), her Daniel Tiger pillow (stolen from Tessa), her two Uneecorns (at least one stolen from an older sibling) and her puppy.

She climbs things that she shouldn’t, and jumps off things that she shouldn’t, and is naked approximately 73% of the time.

Also, it should be noted that she is OBSESSED with John.

Literally obsessed. 😂

(Note: he loves this and is also totally exhausted by it.)

Happy third birthday to the crazy beautiful little girl. We are so happy that God sent you to us, and are also thankful that you were the third or we may not have had any other kiddos. 🤣 You are exactly what this family needed, and you have brought so much joy to our days.

We love you, Lauren Ann!! ❤️

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