Friday, February 27, 2009

Snipets from the week

Calvin is finally, Finally sleeping better at night. And mommy and daddy are too.

Charlie looks like an angel when he sleeps. He looks like an angel all the time, mostly.

Calvin can get up from the floor and walk 6 steps with an over-sized board book in his hands. Calvin loves books. (Calvin will be getting books for his birthday. Shhh.)

If I had a dime for every time Calvin ate something off the kitchen floor... I sweep several times a day, how does he find these morsels?

More about Calvin. He is the sweetest thing ever. When I look at him, I can feel my heart grow three sizes in my chest.

When Charlie wants us to carry him down the stairs he stands at the top with his arms stretched out and asks for a hug.

I have a new cousin named Gabriel Atlas, born December 8, and I am finally sending a gift out to him today. I can't help it. This forgetfulness thing is genetic.

Can being overtired cause a kid to come down with a fever? Charlie missed his second day of preschool because of a random fever and feeling yuck. I wondered if we had pushed him too much by having him go the full day on Monday. By Wednesday he was fine.

I'm knitting a bag out of yarn I spun on my spinning wheel. The yarn is pretty un-even, but perfect for a bag.

Monday, February 23, 2009


(First mommy's take, then Charlie's version with lots of pictures.)

Today was the big day! Charlie went to preschool for the first time. He has been going to a Children's Center two days a week for a year and a half, and we often refer to it as "school" because he learns a lot there, but it is technically a day care. Very loosely structured. No formal pre-academics. Lots of play (which really, I think is very educational).

Today was Charlie's first day in an official preschool class. It is a self-contained classroom at a Special Education school. All the children who attend have significant special needs. Charlie will be going 2 days a week from 9am to 2:45pm (a very long day for him!), and will continue at the Children's Center 2 days a week for socialization with "regular kids."

Well, he did Great with a capital "G." In fact, Ray and I wonder if it will be challenging enough. All the children in the class are beautiful, and Charlie was social with all of them. He went right along with the routine, enjoyed the activities, followed directions with verbal cues, gestures, and signs. There is actually a sign language interpreter in the class for a boy who is deaf, so she helps Charlie tremendously by letting the teacher know what he is signing.

Enough rambling. Let's get on with Charlie's take on the day:

"Why are we taking pictures?"

"Who cares. Let's go!"

"I'm ready, mom and dad. Are you?"

"Hmm... They look nervous."

"Hurry up, dad! Let's go to school!"

"Look at that big playground!"

"Wow, look at all these toys! Lots of cars and trucks."

"I got to eat a Popsicle for the first time ever. At first I thought it was a crayon. Then the teacher gave me a taste, and I ate it all up!"

"I painted two pictures today at school. For this one I chose orange and yellow dots, and finished with a blotch of blue paint. I still have blue paint in my hair."

"At my new school they have computers just for kids!"

"Hey, I can hear the computer game sounds in these ear phones!"

"Time to go home!"

The End

Sunday, February 22, 2009



Backpack... Check
Lunch pale... Check
Diapers... Check
Change of clothes... Check


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Note from School

When I went to pick Charlie up from the Children's Center this afternoon I found this note in our Parent Pocket:

Today when we put on music Charlie started clapping and dancing around the whole room and smiling. He had some exuberant dance moves. He also used ribbon bracelets in both hands and swung them in circles in both hands. All the other children in the group were dancing and swaying with ribbons too. Activity lasted for about 15-20 minutes.

What a guy, that Charlie!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Way He Shares His Heart

He's playing his guitar in the other room.
Nothing in particular,
just the chords in his heart at the moment

Not every wife gets to hear
on steel strings
the sound of her husband's heart
the feeling resonate inside of him

Sometimes it is simply a beat
or maybe a bass line
he hums while driving in the car

Sometimes it is a song
with familiar lyrics
spilling passionately from the shower

Tonight it is the steel strings
of a yellowed electric guitar

Fingers moving,
chords changing,
his thoughts translated into something
we both can feel together

Sunday, February 15, 2009

T21 Traveling Afghan

I just learned of this fun thing going on. Chandos from Little Miss E is making a T21 Afghan to send around the country to different families who have loved ones with T21 (Down Syndrome). The Afghan will be traveling with a journal, and there will be a blog page for pictures with the Afghan as it makes its way from family to family.

You know, when you first learn your child has Down Syndrome you quickly find out that you have just joined the most amazing family of families. Every parent I've talked to who also has a child with Down Syndrome has been so wonderful, supportive, interested in our Charlie. I think the T21 Afghan project will be a neat symbol of that extended family.

To learn more about the T21 Traveling Afghan, click on the button below.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For My Valentine

Dear Raymond,

It has been 7 years and 7 months since I met you at my apartment. You were friends with some of my new roommates. I thought you were a nice guy, but pretty square with your tucked in shirt and wing tip shoes. I let it slide of course because you had a sweeeeet ride.

It has been 7 years since we became good friends. You stopped in for lunch a couple days a week, and we played cards. You rarely let me win.

It's been 6 years and a few months since you peeked my interest in that way. It wasn't long before we both knew.

It's now been 6 years since you asked me to marry you as we stood in the rain at the top of campus, on a January evening.

And it has been 5 and a half years since we made our vows on that hot July day in 03.

Raymond, I love you more than ever. Every year you grow as a husband and father. Every year you amaze me with your spirit and your devotion.

You love the Lord with all your heart and seek after him.

You adore your children, and take care to spend your precious time with them, be it early morning, after work, or middle of the night.

You love me with patience, tenderness, and grace.

In many ways this past year has not been kind or easy or ideal. We've both had a lot of stress, a lot of lows, a lot of question. But, Ray, I love the way we weather the storms together. I love that we can both hurt, yet still listen, understand, and help each other to our feet to press on. I like that about us.

My time with you, here on this earth, this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Happy Valentines Day, My Love.



Friday, February 13, 2009

Just some words

I was thinking tonight about how little we take video of the kids. Will I be able to remember these moments. Already, when I think back to Charlie's babyhood, I wonder what it was to hold him in my arms. To nurse him to sleep in the big chair. What did it feel like when he snuggled on my chest.

I think it is one of those things where you need to pause, close your eyes, and will the feeling, the smell, the light of the moment into your heart.

I love raising these boys. They are growing so fast, becoming so much.


Saturday, February 7, 2009


Well, we did it. We had Charlie's first official IEP on Wednesday. It was inte-hense! But, we got through it. And, we got the placement we wanted for Charlie.

Starting February 23, Charlie will be going to a segregated Special Education school site on Monday and Tuesday from 9am-3pm. There he will receive intensive instruction geared to his individual needs. Then, on Wednesday and Friday he will go to a regular Center Based preschool, where he has been attending for the last year and a half. At the Children's Center Charlie will continue to be taught along side of his non-disabled peers. Thursdays I get to keep him!

The meeting itself went pretty well. Our fear was that we were going to be pushed to put Charlie in the special ed preschool full time. We were. We were pushed quite hard. One thing I learned is that it is important to know the language of the law. I had read the law, but in the meeting setting, I could not remember the exact terms. This got me laughed at by one of the "professionals" there. Next time, I'll just be that mom and bring the case law book with me. I will politely set it on the table, with all my dog eared pages, highlights, and sticky-notes. I've been told by others that if you bring the law book with you, the meeting will go much differently. I was feeling a little embarrassed to be so pretentious. Not so any more. I've learned I can be a momma with a little bit of fight in her. When it is for may baby, you bet!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Guess Who

Guess who took his very first steps tonight?


Actually, Calvin has taken a half step here or there over the last week, but tonight he took four steps in a row, all by himself, and he was walking AWAY from me!
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