Flotsam and jetsam, or…

in other words, this: you know how, if you go into any house where there’s a toddler, you’ll always find a wicker laundry basket placed discretely behind the couch, or beneath a window, or even left right out in the open; and you’ll always find it because it’s just so very handy. A place to put all the debris of the day, a home for all the miscellany. That’s what this post is like. A wicker laundry basket of odds and ends.

Here we go:

Lots of folks have noticed my new(ish) header. And like most things in my life, there’s a loooong story behind even this littlest of changes. For a while now, I’ve been aware that people would like to see visual images of my family. I don’t know why it’s been such a dilema for me; still, I always had once excuse or another. First it was that I didn’t know how to get photos onto my blog, then it was that I didn’t have a camera. Then, I didn’t know how to use the camera. And of course, I’m always too busy….

I could go deeper, about my inherent dislike of cameras (which I wrote about in my book! Say Cheese!) or about Internet privacy issues (how many folks write whole books about themselves? Or, how many authors tell you where they live?). All of it would be true. All of it factored in.

But then, I saw Trig Palin on TV. I know Sarah Palin is sometimes criticised for “using” her family; I can’t speak to that point, because I don’t know what motives are in her heart. What I do know is that seeing Trig on television helped me, and my family, and particularly, Carter. And so I thought, If she can do it, so can I.

And later, I chickened out.

And later still, I made a compromise: one teeny, tiny photograph of Avery. In the header. For DS Awareness month.

Baby steps, no?

So thank you for your kind response, and the encouragement. I need it!

Speaking of encouragement, there’s another thing that’s been on my mind for a while now. When I returned from the NDSC Conference in Boston, I had many feelings about my weekend, all possible feelings really, everything you could imagine beginning and ending with tears, of happiness and of sadness, too. Sadness for the women who should have been there with us; for the ones who needed the support and education and resources even more than I did, women who couldn’t be there simply because they didn’t feel they deserved it, couldn’t make it work, didn’t have the money to go.

I want to help. I had this little plan that I could put ads up on Pinwheels and use the revenue for a scholarship each year to the NDSC Conference, and if there were enough money, maybe even send another woman to BlogHer too. I was so excited in fact that I contacted some people who explained to me, in the nicest possible way, that I can’t have ads in my current blog set-up. I’d have to change my hosting service, or other things (that are way too technical for me to explain myself), and the news, which was really just a little bump in the road, a tiny speed bump, was enough to set me back. For now, all I’ve been doing is wishing I could make it happen. And I need to do more than wish. So I’m asking you, dear Internet, for your input. Any thoughts? Any ideas? Any suggestions?

And finally, lots of folks have asked for an Avery update now that he’s 5 1/2. And like any proud mama, I’ll tell you all the things he can do–he’s potty trained. He feeds himself. He walks, runs, climbs, jumps. He’s mastered stairs, and he sleeps through the night in his bunkbed, which is on top (with rails), and he climbs up the ladder himself. He is excellent at the skill, Poke. He is also very good at bugging his brothers. Coincidence? I think not (I’m looking at you, Brittney).

He loves: music, our dog Bailey, his brothers, yogurt, drawing, bananas, oatmeal, cooking (especially licking the spoon), sweeping, folding laundry, and loading the dishwasher. And best of all? He finds me each morning, like he always has, and gives me the first hug of the day.

One last thing?  I’ve got another book to share.  Go here to check it out.


18 thoughts on “Flotsam and jetsam, or…

  1. I love the picture of Avery on your header! Also, I think it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing – to try and offer scholarships for a mom to attend the convention and BlogHer!

  2. I shall go and check out the book in a mo, but I just wanted to say how well I can relate to the photo dilemma. It’s still a cause of occasional angst, and I still worry that my children will shoot me when they grow up because of it.

    At the same time there are mums all over the internet blogging about their children with photos and it kind of makes me wonder if they share similar dilemmas?
    BEst wishes

  3. LOVE your header 🙂 I struggle with the picture thing too – and at first only put pics of Brady out there. But, I wanted other families to see how “normal” (if you can really use that word) our family is – T21 and all. And – I want people to see how cute our kiddos are 🙂

    Of course, I can’t write like you do – so I have to make up for it by sharing cute little faces LOL

    Thanks for your thoughts and Avery update – it sounds like he is the perfect little boy!!!

  4. When I clicked over I gasped out loud…all because there was beautiful Avery atop your blog. Thank you for sharing him…now in photo as well as your words.

    It sounds like Avery is doing all those things a brother should do. 🙂 Yay!

  5. Thank you for a heartfelt update. Totally understand your ambivalence about posting photos. It’s okay . . . you paint such lovely photos with your writing anyway.

  6. I was admiring the banner too. As much as I love your book cover, I was happy to see his handsome face.
    Trig’s adorable face has put a face on all our children. Articles on my Google alerts for Down syndrome have quadrupled!
    I always consiered postin cute photos of Christina and her sisters a help to education of the public that there IS life after a diagnosis of T21, and my readers agree.

  7. Thanks for the update – and the beautiful picture of your precious boy in the header. But really, I come to your site not for photo’s but for words. And your words always create all sorts of wonderful pictures in my mind.

  8. I love the new head. Avery is beautiful, as I am sure your whole family is!

    I struggled with putting photos in my blog as well, but ultimately decided that it’s one of those things that would have really helped me to see, as a new mom. And plus, my daughter is adorable (says a proud mama)!

    Thank you for sharing Avery with us.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us. Avery is so adorable and the header photo is beautiful! I also believe you need to follow your heart and regardless of your decision you gave us the very best gift – your book! The updates on Avery are very much appreciated as they give me so much to look forward to with regards to my little Matthew who is only 7 months.

    All we ask of you is to never stop writing…you have a true gift!

  10. Thank you so much for the updates on Avery. After I finished your book, I was left wondering, yeah, but what happens next?! I absolutely love the picture of him at the top of the screen : )
    BTW – my dog’s name is Bailey as well, haha.
    Take good care,

  11. I’m happy that Avery is doing great and most important that he is living a happy life, full of love. Anything you wish to share about you and your family, I will happily welcome it with arms wide open and will be very grateful to you for it. Regarding your wish to help, whatever your heart tells you, if you need to change your hosting service for the ads, so go ahead, as you said, it’s just a tiny bump in the way of helping and touching someone’s life, making a difference. Jennifer, you have my support in anything you wish to do. As always, thank you for sharing. xo 😀

  12. Thank you for sharing his accomplishments. I needed to read this today. (I am having a – thankfully rare – emotionally weepy day about my precious, almost 2 DS daughter.) It was good to be told that all these things will happen – in time. 🙂

  13. I was thinking the same thing as Niksmom,your words create such beautiful images that photos would almost take away from the world you create with your words. Rather than picturing you and your family, we are able to picture our own at times.

    It is nice see Avery on your header though. He sounds like a little boy on the move; he must keep you very busy.

  14. This is a lovely update, and have I mentioned, the banner is beautiful. Oh, to live in a perfect world where no one would have to think twice about posting pictures of their children and anyone who wanted or needed to be at NDSC or Blogger could simply go–without a thought to finances or logistics or anything so mundane.

    Just keep writing Jennifer,no matter what else. It is a gift to be shared. xxk

  15. Kudos to you for posting this. After I got your email I started thinking about “What if you just put it all out there?” YOu must have gotten my psychic vibes, right? 😉

    On the photos…so what if people want to see your family’s life in technicolor? You have to decided what’s right for you in your own heart, what works for your own family (and how does Tom feel about it?). Just b/c one mother running for a very public office is OK with putting her family in the limelight doesn’t mean that every mother with something to say (political or otherwise) must follow suit. You know I ADORE seeing pictures of your family but I would be the very first to say “Don’t do it!” is it is at all uncomfortable.

    Besides, call me biased, I adore the glorious and beautiful imagery your word-pictures so often evoke. Sure, pictures tell stories but not everyone has your gift with the written word.

    As for the rest…it will fall into place; of that I am certain. It may just need a slightly longer gestation period. Or a slight break to regain perspective? I don’t know. Is it at all possible you are going through a bit of writerly post-partum stuff? You know, at loose ends, wondering what’s the next right thing, am I enough, is it right, etc.?

    Just my long-winded thoughts. Sending hugs and support for whatever you decide…as long as you don’t disappear! xo

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