Friday, August 29, 2008

Shiner

It's already been a week since the incident, but here is a picture of Calvin's little shiner he got from that nasty old bee. I took this picture a couple hours after it happened. It was his left eye. You can't even see any redness because of the lighting. And the smile, well, obviously he wasn't holding any grudge.

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And here's a picture of Charlie getting in on the action. Got Yogurt?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Bee Sting

Calvin, Charlie, and I were out running errands today. After an unsuccessful hunt to find Charlie a pair of shoes for school, I decided we should go out for a smoothie together. We arrived at our coffee shop. As I was putting Calvin in the baby back pack he started crying. I began to pat his back to console him thinking he was just getting tired of making so many stops. Our friend, Jen, who works at the shop noticed there was a bug on his face. I looked down to see a nasty yellow jacket in the process of stinging him next to his eye! Of course my mommy instinct kicked in and I manically swatted the mean old bug away. I think I killed it (with my bare hands!). Poor Calvin.

Instantly, the right side of his face turned red and started to swell up. Jen found some topical insect bite 'stuff' in the first aid kit at the shop. We applied the 'stuff' while another friend called the pediatrician to ask about giving him an antihistamine. By the time we had things under control (calmed Calvin down, formed a game plan) we had gathered a small crowd of 5 concerned women and 1 hovering little girl.

In the end, my sturdy little Calvin is just fine. He took a brief nap, after which he decided the best thing to do was go on as if the incident had never happened. Ata boy, Calvin. He has a nice little shiner to show for his bravery.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Then and Now

There is a photo
tacked up in my room

It is a picture of
the first moment I laid my eyes on you

You were tiny
a naked bundle
I held you in my hands
my mind was so far away

I wondered
what does this mean
to hold this tiny little guy

You were fresh to the world
Fresh and beautiful
naked, tiny, wet

I think it amazing
where we started
where we are

This path I have walked with you
It is not what I expected

When I huddle in bed in the mornings
I hear your feet plod across the wood floor

I open my eyes
to see your gleaming face
giggling, plodding, kissing my cheek

Fresh to the world
everyday is amazing
with you

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thank You Ben

You know, when I first heard about Tropic Thunder (the movie) I was, umm, utterly bummed-out. The movie is a comedy, and makes fun of Hollywood actors. The film, I hear (no, I don't plan seeing this flick), contains material that may be insulting to African Americans, Veterans, and people with intellectual disabilities. Apparently the movie makers consulted with African American and Veteran groups to make sure the so called 'comedic' material was not too offensive. Unfortunately, the film makers failed to include representatives for people with intellectual disabilities. (Feeling lost? Learn more about this controversial movie here and here.)

Why the oversight? I believe it is because in America it is still 'ok' to make fun of people with intellectual disabilities. We've come a long way from routine institutionalization of children born with disabilities, but the fact is adults and children with intellectual disabilities are still made fun of, victimized, taunted.

Tropic Thunder, while damaging (and tasteless), is serving as a catalyst to bring the shameful treatment of people with intellectual (and other) disabilities to light. In the wake of this movie there has sprung up efforts and websites to ban the r-word. You know, Retard.

The R-word means a couple of things. In music retard means to slow down the tempo. Mental Retardation is a medical diagnosis that basically means a persons ability to learn is slowed down. Retard when used as a joke between friends, as a taunt to an offender, or in a (really stupid) movie is meant as an insult. Usually when people blurt out something like "You are such a retard!" what they intend to communicate is "You are being stupid." People don't think about how using the word retard dehumanizes people with intellectual disabilities. And, people don't think about how a 'funny' scene in a movie makes it that much easier for children, teens, and adults to taunt their differently abled colleagues in the hallways at school or out in the community. After all, they are just retards.

My dear sweet Charlie has mental retardation. It is something that he has, but it is not the sum of who he is. He is not a retard.

So, thank you, Ben Stiller, for bringing this issue to the light so clearly (and tastelessly). I hope this publicity will continue to spur on the movement to ban the r-word. It is not the word that is a problem. Intellectual disability, mental retardation... It is not the label that is the problem. Call it whatever you want, it is what it is. It is the derogatory use of the r-word that has made it hateful to use. You can join the effort to make a positive change for our friends and neighbors with intellectual disabilities by visiting this web site, or by clicking on the "Change the Conversation" button in the side bare.

Oh, and just to keep it real, I used to use the r-word before I had Charlie. I never meant it in a mean way. I never really thought about how it could be hurtful or demeaning, but ignorance does not mean innocence. Let's make a positive change for Charlie's future. Let's change the way we make conversation.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Brothers

One of the coolest things I get to do as a mom is watch the sweet relationship bud between two brothers. Calvin just loves Charlie. He loves to watch Charlie's every move. Charlie likes to make Calvin smile and laugh. He likes to give Calvin kisses and hugs. He brings Calvin stuffed animals and baby toys. We are working very hard on the concepts of being gentle and giving the baby some personal space (i.e. not sitting on the baby). Calvin is such a good sport about Charlie being a little to rough at times still, and only cries if he is actually hurt.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Friend

She is amazing
A true friend
of the best kind

I remember the first time I saw her
She was pregnant
She wore a brown wool sweater
tight around her belly

I was also pregnant
Pregnant and in need
of a true friend

I soon learned to treasure
her presence, her care
her home made bread
and simple life

We got to know one another
at the pool
Two pregnant women bobbing up and down
in the cool water

We walked together
Babies strapped to our backs
She is amazing
I miss her

True friend

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Charlie and the X-Ray Machine

Charlie did something to his arm/hand/wrist. We are not sure what he did, but it is quite obviously injured. Actually, for a week he has been gingerly grabbing his left arm from time to time, and has even been giving it kisses. Yesterday, it became very clear that his left arm or wrist was painful. He was crying a lot and wounldn't let me touch it. He stopped using it (which is really unusual as he is left handed). He even told me it hurt! He touched his arm and said "hurt." I had to smile as this is the first time he has articulated to us that something specific was hurting him.

I took him to the doctor today to check it out. Before and after our visit if I so much as brushed the skin on his arm he would cry, but of course while we were at the doctor he did no even wince as the NP poked and prodded his arm and hand. Figures. Well, I asked for an X-ray anyway, as we know Charlie has a high pain tolerance. So off we went to the hospital.

I think the x-ray was the highlight of the day. Even better than the Thomas the Tank Engine stickers he got at the doctors office. We were taken back to the room with the x-ray machine, and there was so much cool stuff to look at. Lots of cords hanging from the ceiling, cool aprons, and the x-ray machine itself. Charlie was enthralled. I told him the x-ray machine was like a big camera. He kept looking up at it and saying "cheese!" He was a really good boy about keeping his arm still for the pictures. When we were back in the waiting room after we finished he tried to escape back down the hall to find the 'big camera.'

I haven't heard the results of the x-ray yet. Charlie actually started using his arm again just like normal this evening, so I don't know what the deal is. I'm thinking it's not broken. Beats me.

Blueberry Patch

Last week at our Friday Mommy's group we went to a local Blueberry Farm to pick berries with the kids. Charlie, Calvin, and I had a great time with Nana and the rest of the kids and mom's from our group. And, we enjoyed blueberry pancakes for dinner!

Charlie checking things out.
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Fiona feeding Charlie blueberries. He was lovin' that!
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Love this photo. Look at those beautiful berries!
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thinking it over

I don't know what brought it to mind, but today I was thinking about Charlie's 2 month Well Baby Exam. It was at this appointment where Charlie's doctor first suspected that Charlie had Down Syndrome. As I recalled the memory I found myself smiling about the words Dr. H said to me "Charlie has some of the signs of a baby with Down Syndrome." I can remember looking into Charlie's beautiful face in that moment with so much question. I was struck today with just how fondly I now think of that appointment, where originally I felt so confused and fear-filled.

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Down Syndrome is an amazing gift. I really do believe that. I feel it every day. From time to time people tell me about a baby that was just born with Down Syndrome, or about a mom whose prenatal tests show her baby might have Down Syndrome. Before Charlie I would have reacted with concern, and while I do feel deeply for the parents as I have felt that original pain, I now smile to myself when I hear such news.

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A few minutes ago Charlie and I were sitting on the living room floor together watching an episode of Thomas and Friends. He had his chubby little arm around my neck, excitedly repeating "choo-choo" as the little trains flashed by on the screen. I just can't think of any place I'd rather be.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Prayers for Emma


We are praying hard for Emma. Please join us.

She is 5 years old, recently adopted from Eastern Europe. She will be having open heart surgery on Monday to repair a heart defect. Specifically pray that she is able to come off of the bypass and vent machines without any hitches.

Visit the Cornish family blogto read more about Emma.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Calvin 4 Month Cuteness

Calvin had his 4 month appointment last week. Here are the stats:

Weight - 100+ percentile (18#10oz)

Height - 50th percentile (25.5")

Cuteness - at least 150%

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One Post Away

Wow, just realized I'm one post away from 100 posts! Blogging has been so much fun. I guess some moms make scrap books and others blog! I never did have enough patience for scrap-booking, although I'm determined to make each of my boys a baby book!

Anyway, I've been MIA lately, and it's not for lack of something to write about. Calvin had a check-up, Charlie had his last day of 'school' for the summer session, Uncle Russ is getting married this weekend, Nana and Papa are up, we are apartment hunting... Man, things are really hopping around here! I will soon fill you in on all our excitement. Now if I could just get a few minutes to myself without falling asleep!
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