Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Dear Marcus


Dude, my kids love the book that you wrote.  Black Day: Monster Rock Band is a great story!  Every single day, they come home from school, throw down their bags, and beg us to play the Black Day DVD on repeat.  Then we read the book before bed.  My husband is learning to play the song on his guitar so that they can sing it all the time.

Image result for black day marcus sikora

We love Halloween in our house, so the story is perfect, especially for this time of year.  I asked Ellie to tell me what her favorite part of the story is and she told us “pretty much everything.”  Tessa loves to sing the song.  It’s still hard for her to sing most of it, but she is really good at saying “black day” now.

We are so glad that we got to meet you at the NADS Conference.  Ellie tells all her friends that you signed her book.  It made her so happy.  Your mom is so awesome!  I hope you can come back to Chicago again soon.  My girls would love to meet you!

Let us know when we can buy the sequel!


Marcus is a 26-year-old story teller who happens to have Down syndrome.  You can read more about Marcus’ book here, as well as buy a copy for your family.  I highly recommend it!  It is perfect for Halloween.


This is part of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge – blogging every day for the the 31 days of Down Syndrome Awareness month.  To find out more about the challenge, and to see other blogs participating, click here.

This year’s theme has been inspired by the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network’s #deardoctor campaign.  To see more #deardoctor letters, visit their Facebook page here.

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November, in a nutshell

I cannot believe that we are almost to the end of John’s Master’s Degree program. He and I embarked on our journey of earning our degrees when Ellie was 6 months old. I finished 4 days before Tessa was born. In less than a week, John will join the club.  He tells me that, at 67 pages, he is done writing and that all he has left are some citations (which, at this point, I’d really like to just do for him so that it can just be done, but of course, I won’t, because playing with Tessa and Ellie is more fun than researching APA Style). Craziness (and crankiness) hit their highest point last week and we’re coasting into the finish line now… Here are some pictures of life lately…

Did I post this yet? I can’t remember, but it’s worth repeating anyway..

IMG_6659.JPG Trying to stay warm in our most recent snap of cold weather: IMG_6677.JPG     Tessa loves to play “sooooo big!” IMG_6706.JPG   We celebrated my nephew’s second birthday… this is my sister, sister-in-law, and I with our kiddos… IMG_6712.JPG   Sticking out our tongues in solidarity with Tessa 🙂 IMG_6766.JPG   So serious today…  IMG_6762.JPG   A little happier in this one.  🙂 IMG_6734.JPG   The media center at my school is having a “Shelfie” contest… Here’s our entry… IMG_6759.JPG   We put up our Christmas decorations a little early (sorry, Mom) and Ellie decided that Baby Jesus needed a check-up from our dear friend Doc McStuffins. IMG_6771.JPG   Holding her own bottle is super hard work!! IMG_6776.JPG  Sister love. ❤



Lesson #17: Life doesn’t revolve around blogging

This is part of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge!

In under two hours, we are having a Halloween Party.  My house is a disaster, food is half made, my costume needs serious ironing…

I adore blogging.  Writing is wonderfully cathartic for me and my family and friends seem to like hearing about my crazy family.  But I have to live away from the computer screen sometimes.  Like this time.

You’ll get your Speech lesson tomorrow.  For now, I’ve got some serious housekeeping to take care of.  🙂


The Halloween Debate

About a week ago, Ellie announced to all of us that her costume of choice for Halloween is “a potty.”

Digest that for a moment please.

I’ll be honest, I am totally frantic about this. John is not. As a matter of fact, I would say that he’s practically giddy about her choice. That’s what happens when you teach eighth graders all day long.

I have attempted to change her mind, offering amazing costume after amazing costume to entice her interests. Frozen? We can do Frozen! Dora? Doc McStuffins? I’m desperate enough to let her be a princess!! I am failing. For a brief moment last week, she decided that her costume would be “Ellie,” but after only a few hours, we were back on the toilet train.

At what point do I put my foot down and force a reasonable choice? Or should I just swallow my pride and let Ellie deal with the embarrassing pictures when she’s 18 and creating a slideshow of pictures for her high school graduation?

My strategy, for now, is compromise. Yes, you can dress like a potty at our Halloween party, where our family and friends know us and won’t think we are nutcases. No, you can’t wear it for Trick-or-Treating. I think that’s fair. Maybe even reasonable.

Why do I feel like this is foreshadowing my life when she’s an adolescent?