DSU photo The British Invasion!

This is where you realize what a celebrity website this is, cause last week we had rock star authors and this week, we enjoy the British Invasion! Our friend, Hayley, the mum from Downs Side Up (who has recently been to tea at the palace, HALLO!) is here today to play the odds. I’ve been a fan of Hayley’s words for as long as she’s been sharing them. Maybe you saw our homage to her blog here during last Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Well, if you missed it, this is a better introduction as she shares the deal herself.

So let’s roll!

(3,2) Tell us about a time you were dealt a natural.

I find that things come together in life as they are supposed to all the time. You meet this person or that who helps you or teaches you something you couldn’t do without. Coincidences occur all the time for me, like sitting next to a charity organizer on a train, or bumping into a friend I met on the other side of the world on holiday in a gas station once. She turned out to be an author and great writing support for me.

Mia and Natty

Mia and Natty

(1,2) A day with a great pay off

The day Natalia was born was a very difficult one for us all. She was blue and lifeless and nearly didn’t make it. We didn’t know what Down syndrome meant and were in great shock. The rest of course is history and I would not change one single step of our journey. Just look at where we are today, with two fabulous, precious and unique daughters who have taught us so much.

(1,5) Did you ever take a hit when maybe you shouldn’t have? Did it pay off?

I’m always pushing my comfort zone and taking calculated risks. It might be learning to deal with the vulnerability that speaking about your family in national media brings, or growing a thick skin to ignore the trolls that creep out of the woodwork, or allowing the children to do activities that will develop their independence and confidence even though it scares me. It’s only when we push ourselves that we see the benefits, and of course sometimes we fail too, but that’s OK.

(6,2) From this one word prompt either write or send a picture reply: Shoe.

SHOES was one of Natty’s very first words. I made her a talking book and put a photo of her shoes in it, then recorded her voice saying it. Oh how tiny it sounds now, that little emerging voice, now strong and booming.

(6,5) From this one word prompt either write or send a picture reply: House wins

This reminds me of sports day at school. The children are divided into houses/teams to take part in the races, such as egg and spoon, sack race, hoola hooping etc. Each year I watch with tears streaming down my face as Natty takes part and loves every moment. She comes last in the 100m dash each year, and really takes her time, working the crowd, waving at her public as she goes. As she crosses the finish line she always gets the loudest winner’s cheer. And I always feel a little sorry for the one who crossed the line first! Winners come in all forms I guess.

Natty on an advertising shoot.

Natty on an advertising shoot.

Do you have a book or a blog? The name of it. The link. Your SN links. The audience you hope to reach is…?

I blog at Downs Side Up which is about three years old now. The audience is a mix of families, medical professionals and the general public. I try to make it appeal to everyone. We have published two books now. I Love You Natty which is co-written by our eldest daughter and is a first introduction to DS through the eyes of a sibling. The second is a set of cards which each contain one question. Talking About Down’s Syndrome: Conversations for New parents act as prompts to start important discussions between new parents, their families and support teams. Check out the Fink Cards Website.

Marcus Natty Book Just a few more links before you go – Downs Side Up on Facebook and on Twitter.

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 For the record: If you want to understand the singular linguistic variation of Down syndrome to Down’s syndrome – check out this information here.

This is a #TBT post from exactly one year ago…today! Hayley and Mia and Natty and Dad are all still rocking the free world! SO glad they joined in on our little What are the Odds series that helped us share so many lovely families in short bits.