Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Better late than never; A Thanksgiving Synopsis

Thanksgiving 2010 was fantastic.  Aunt Leanne was reunited with her "favorite baby" (I've been demoted to her "second favorite baby" if anyone is keeping track.  I'm not sure if I should be more offended that she still considers me a baby or that I'm no longer her favorite, but I digress...).  What cracks me up about this photo is that we have one of Leanne with a firm grip on my forehead, trying to feed me a bottle when I was Josie's age and Leanne was about four.  Her technique hasn't changed.
Mama Hop (and Lillian) worked tirelessly to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal.  She is a PHENOMENAL cook and that is no exaggeration!
Just today, Travis was inquiring why I don't make soup like my mom does and I said "Do you realize she actually boils the bones to make the broth?!  You're out of your mind if you think I have the first clue how to do that or the inclination.  It's called Campbell's in a can, Buddy!  Get used to it!"  It's a good thing Mama Hop comes to visit us regularly so poor Travis can get a decent meal every now and then.  

We've started a little tradition where Leanne helps us decorate for Christmas.  This year, Leanne took care of the tree while Josie watched.
Leanne is less than 5 feet tall and it's reflected in the ornament placement.  Perhaps next year we should put the tree on the floor for Leanne to decorate it.  Or maybe not...I kind of like it like that! 
Tis the season where we embrace the spirit of giving and I must tell you that Leanne does not wait for the holidays to do that.  On the day after Thanksgiving, we went to visit my Grandpa in the nursing home.  Leanne patiently stood next to his wheelchair and fed him his lunch while chatting with him - even though he's barely responsive.  She chopped up the apples in his apple crisp and gave him a hundred little tiny bites, each with a scoop of ice cream.  Afterwards, she gently wiped his face and removed his bib. 
It brings tears to my eyes but I love sharing this story because it truly reveals Leanne's heart of gold.  I'll never forget when she came home from her day program with the citizenship award.  She earned it because every day, she would help feed lunch to her peers that have severe physical limitations and would clean them up afterwards - without being asked to do so.  The beautiful thing about Leanne is that even though many people would consider her limited, she is always eager to use the abilities she has to help others. 

While we're on the topic of Leanne's *ahem* limitations, she reminded me of a very important lesson: do not underestimate her.  In the past, when there was a baby around, we would always make Leanne sit down and we would gently put the baby on Leanne's lap.  Just this past weekend, Leanne decided that she didn't need to be coddled like a child.  In fact, she surprised me by scooping Josie up and walking through the house with her.  At first, I wasn't sure how to react but then I realized that she had it under control and Josie was just fine.  Leanne was very proud of herself!
Leanne demonstrated such confidence that I even let her change Josie's diaper without any assistance from me.  Granted, this was her first solo diaper change and it took FOREVER.  I'm pretty sure I fell asleep in Josie's rocking chair at some point.  But I'll be darned because Leanne did it!  She even snapped every little snap on Josie's onesie correctly. 

Lesson learned: She is far more capable than we give her credit for. 

Not only is she capable, she's manipulative :-)  The morning my mom set out to leave, Leanne insisted that she read Josie "one more book" before going.  I'm pretty sure she read at least four more books to Josie before my mom finally picked up on Leanne's scam and insisted they hit the road! 
Thank you to Mama Hop & Aunt Leanne for another fun-filled visit.  Come back soon! 


  1. They are so cute together. I can hardly wait to hear tales of the two of them as Josie grows up and can reciprocate some of that love and attention to Aunt Leann. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Hello...I'm Ella Grace's Nana...I've been reading your blog lately...(although Kacey told me about your family a while back) and I just wanted to tell you that I love it!!! And your family!!! And the stories about Leanne! This one brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing your family.

  3. I always enjoy your posts. Your message about not "underestimating people" is a good one. Something I strive not to do with my own little guy, & you know what? His abilities never cease to amaze me. Hope that you have a happy & "hospital-free" holiday season. :)

  4. What a wonderful post. I love the pictures of the two of them together. I'm a big fan of Leanne's tree decorating skills as well! :)

  5. I don't remember how exactly I found your blog but I've been creeping it for a few months now. I also have a sister, Maggy, with DS and experienced the exact same thing with always coddling her when she held my daughter, until one day Maggy just swooped down and picked up Livi (my daughter) and started walking around the house with her... although she has never offered to change any diapers. I love how you pointed out Leanne's ability to be manipulative too :) Everyone always looks shocked when ever I mention how "cute, little Maggy" can be a brat!

    My husband and I are also bringing home a little girl with DS in the next few months! Anyway, I enjoy reading you blog and the humor you put in to it. I can completely relate to a lot of it and I'm convinced that if we were in the same town... or country... we would have a lot to talk about and be great friends!

  6. i love this post. your tree looks amazing and so are your "girls"!!!

  7. awesome post and a GREAT reminder to everyone ....thanks Leanne for showing us how much you can do...amazing:-)