Friday, February 26, 2010

Fridge-Worthy Art

Jason took an extra long nap this afternoon (yay!) so Drew and I had some quiet time together. I decided to bust out the crayons and see what he'd do. We have tried the coloring thing a couple times previously and didn't have much success, but today....

We made ART!

And here is the proud artist...

Please excuse the mouthful of crackers

Obviously he is not a "starving artist" :)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've Been Nominated!

I'm so excited! I've been nominated for my very first blog award!


The rules to this award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.

2. Copy the award & place it on my blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.

4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.

5. Nominate 7 bloggers.

My sincere thanks to Kelly at My little "Son-Shine" for nominating me. I love reading about your gorgeous little Landon and his 2 handsome big brothers. You truly do have a beautiful blog and a beautiful family as well.

Soo.... 7 interesting things about me:

1. I have lived in the same town since I was three months old and I love it here. I am just a couple hours from both the coast and the mountains and enjoy both. I'd love to see more of the world, but the "great northwest" will always be home.

2. In college my plan was to major in child psychology and minor in education. I wanted to be a school psychologist for middle school kids. Instead I had my own kid and wound up working in social services at a retirement community and I loved it! Currently I am a stay-at-home-mom of three and would like to someday go back to school for my teaching degree.

3. I met my husband in Cub Scouts; we both volunteered as den leaders.

4. I have always been "surrounded" by boys. I have three younger brothers and recently added a third boy to my own little family. My husband and I hope to someday adopt a little girl.

5. I LOVE to read. As a kid I would get in trouble for hiding a book in my lap under my desk and reading instead of listening to the teacher. I could even walk home from school while reading. These days time is limited and I read blogs more often than books.

6. If I could have any super power I wanted, I would want the power to heal. If I could have 2 super powers I would also want the power to fly.

7. I hate fresh tomatoes but love ketchup and tomato sauce.

And now for the best part! I follow quite a few beautiful blogs, it was very hard to choose. Seven especially beautiful ones (in no particular order) are:

1. "The Good Life"

2. "Class of 2008 - the real story of a high-school graduate"

3. "A Walk in Lily’s Garden"

4. "The Anderson Family"

5. "A Little Something Extra For Us"

6. "Brennen’s Beginnings"

7. "A Hapa Girl and Her Hapa Family"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Group Therapy

Our very first pre-toddler group therapy session was today. This is a new group for kids who are not quite at the toddler stage developmentally but are at a stage where they could benefit from a group setting. I wish I could say it was a big success. Unfortunately it was not. Especially disappointing seeing as how my expectations were not very high. I am painfully aware that Drew’s delays are significant. That he is behind not only typically developing kids, but his peers with developmental delays as well. I knew that the other kids would probably be a little younger, and may be a little ahead in meeting their milestones. I was prepared for that. The one thing Drew has always had going for him is his very social nature. He has always liked people, especially other kids (with the exception of his baby brother sometimes). I was excited to introduce him to other kids, to watch him make friends. I figured that watching and playing with the others would help boost his learning. After all, he learned to crawl from watching and playing with his cousin.

Well, my little social butterfly decided to crawl back into his cocoon today. He would not get near the other kids. He would not sit in the two-seater swing with them, he would not play at the rice table with them, he did not want to be within 5 feet of them. He scooted backwards toward the corner and played alone. He would not walk with his walker either. At snack time (a dreadful event when your child has feeding issues) he would not even try the cracker, or the banana, or the drink. He pushed his plate away, tried to throw it, etc. He did slightly better at circle time, but only because momma was holding him. *sigh* Hopefully next week will go better. Maybe he just needs time to get the hang of it. (crossing fingers…)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some Perspective (and a tissue warning)


I was feeling sorry for myself. I was going to post all about my pity party. I even had a title; “Pity? Party of One?”. I had the tv on in the background, the news was on and I was only half watching/listening. I was intent on blogging about my horrible day/week and how frustrated I am with doctors and home health supply people, feeding tubes, babies who won’t sleep, exceptionally bright 13 year olds with not-so-exceptional grades, and husbands being away, etc, etc.

Then something caught my attention. The name Abby somehow permeated my consciousness. Back in August there was a story in the news about a pregnant woman who contracted the swine flu. She developed pneumonia and was hospitalized. She went into respiratory arrest and was placed in a drug induced coma. Her daughter was born via c-section 3 months early and the mother passed away without ever waking. She never got to meet her daughter. The grieving husband/father named their daughter Abby.

Under any circumstances a story like this would have caught my attention, for awhile anyway. I would have said a prayer for the family and then probably forgot it. I didn’t forget it though. Perhaps because I was pregnant at the time too, the story stuck with me. So when I heard the name Abby I stopped my pity party and listened. When they reported that little Abby had passed away (story here) my heart broke for her daddy, still struggling with losing his wife. I said a prayer for him and his little boy and looked at my computer screen and…

And I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed for forgetting just how lucky I am. My husband is alive. My children are alive. I have faced losing two of my children. I have lived in fear while the man I love was deployed to a war zone. I have watched my best friend struggle with the loss of her daughter. I should know better than to take for granted the fact that the people I love so much are still here where I can hold them. So, I will hold my babies, hug my 13 year old (whether he likes it or not) and text my husband, and I will have a gratitude party instead.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Letter to Sarah

Check out the Oz Squad blog here for a beautifully written letter to Sarah Palin, entreating her to take up the "spread the word to end to word" cause. Please consider signing. The more voices we have, the louder the noise.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just another "R" word blog

Recent events have prompted this of course (in case you’ve been on a trip out of country or hiding under a rock I am referring to Sarah Palin’s missed opportunity at advocating for her son) but I have wanted to address the whole “R” word thing for a long time and haven’t because I just didn’t really know what to say. I can’t even seem to effectively explain to certain members of my family why it is so wrong to use the word retarded as an insult. They refrain from using it, but they don’t understand why it bothers me so much. I have tried to explain, but I guess I don’t have the right words. So why am I posting this then? Honestly? Therapy I guess. I can’t seem to get some of the people who are closest to me to understand how using the word in that way belittles my child and all children (and adults) like him, and that really upsets me. I need to rant a little I guess. So here it goes.
I think people should “say what they mean, and mean what they say”. I don’t like it when people use the word gay as an insult either, or when someone says “you throw like a girl”. When you say “gay” what you really mean is that something is feminine, perhaps flamboyantly so, or sometimes that something is stupid or bad. When you say “you throw like a girl” what you really mean is that someone is throwing badly, like someone who hasn’t learned to throw a ball yet. When you call someone or something retarded you are by definition saying “that’s slow”. What you mean to say though is “that’s stupid” or “that’s ridiculous”. So say THAT then. Why take a word and twist it like that? It’s lazy and ignorant. Notice I said what I meant there? No, I am not perfect. Yes, I sometimes use slang. I do, however, try my best to be conscious of the words I use. I do my best to insult only the person or thing I feel deserves it.
It hurts because my son is developmentally delayed. You may notice that I cannot bring myself to use the word retarded there. Even though that is the word that the medical profession will use to describe my son’s slowed mental development for the rest of his life. It hurts because using the word that is associated with my son, and specifically with his challenges, as an insult means that WHETHER YOU MEAN TO OR NOT YOU ARE SAYING MY CHILD IS STUPID, BAD AND RIDICULOUS. You are saying that someone or something is so stupid, so bad, so awful that you must insult it/them, and the worst thing you can think of, the most insulting thing that comes to mind is to say they are like my son. Of course you don’t mean to insult my beautiful, spectacular, wonderful child who has just as much a right to your respect as any other person on this planet, but you are insulting him, him and many other beautiful, spectacular, wonderful people. Still don’t see it? Still don’t understand? Try this: The next time something or someone aggravates you to the point that you feel the need to use that word, replace it with the name of someone you really love. When that horrible driver cuts you off in traffic call them an F-ing ______ (fill in with the name of your spouse, child, best friend, mom, etc.)
Uh huh, and if everyone jumps off a cliff…. Yep I sound like my mom. That’s okay. The older I get the less that bothers me, because you see, my mom was right. Those of us over the age of 7 know better. We really do. Just because others are doing something does not make it okay. Especially if we know we shouldn’t. Especially if we know it’s wrong. When we are in the public eye it is even worse. Maybe that’s not fair, I don’t know, but it is. It’s worse because when Joe Shmoe jumps off a cliff it affects and influences only those people who know Joe Shmoe. When someone whose actions are noticed by thousands jumps, it affects and influences thousands. “With great power comes great responsibility” this goes for actors, sports figures, and yes, political figures of both parties. Why are people so especially angry with Sarah Palin for simply condoning Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word as an insult? She didn’t even use the word herself, so why is everyone so upset with her actions? Well, it’s because she’s supposed to “get it”. She’s supposed to understand how hurtful it is to use the word retarded as an insult. We expected her to stand up for her son, and for all our children. Whether we agree with her politics or not (and I am not going to say either way because it’s irrelevant) those of us who have loved ones with any kind of developmental delay expected more. I don’t know whether or not we had the right to expect more. But we did. I know there have been times when I missed the opportunity to advocate for my son, so I will try not to judge her too harshly. I will not say she’s a bad person, or a bad mom. I will simply say that I am disappointed. Sarah Palin was given a golden opportunity to advocate for her child, and all our children. She was given an opportunity that many of us parents of children with developmental delays can only dream of. She had the attention of the country, and maybe even the world. Everyone was listening to what she, a parent of a child with Down syndrome, had to say. I am so very disappointed that she chose politics over advocacy.