Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Look

In Church, I learned to silence my family with the LOOK. All mothers obtain some variation of the look around the time your child is 2 years old. However, I was lucky to years of training with my husband.

You must understand, David loves nothing more than to make…well…inappropriate words and gestures during a service. For example:

At a wedding for a friend, I was a tad late arriving to the Church. I quietly got into the pew, knelt down next to David and he whispered in my ear:

“That Pope guy is drunk”

The poor man starts the vows and he sounded like the Priest in the Princess Bride.

Now, I know, the Priest most probably had a lisp. But when you are late and get told something and you have a problem with laughing at inappropriate moments (think funerals, weddings, etc) it is hard to contain the giggle.

I tried, I swear to cover it with a cough. Then friend behind and in front of me started shaking their shoulders by silently laughing at me. This of course made the giggles worse. The mother of the Bride sent me the LOOK of death and pointed to the video camera that happened to be right at the end of the pew I was sitting in.

Yup, that was me laughing during that solemn moment in your wedding. I continued the tradition by laughing through my own wedding.

Anyway at that moment I learned the LOOK. It has gotten stronger over the years as Allie began attending Church. It gets a lot more use when her dad is with us. I really do blame him for her poor manners. Because, well I’m an angel and they are spawns.

When Allie made her First Communion she was in the front pew talking to her friend. The LOOK is effective from across the Church. Until her father started doing the chair dance and pretending to eat cookies in the pew.

Each week it is an adventure to see who will get the LOOK first. Usually it is David. And then last month it happened. Boo got the LOOK. The Priest had just done something and at the top of her voice Boo proclaimed


It echoed. And proved that she is the only one immune to the LOOK when she snorted and gave her belly laugh. Which of course sent the other two spawns to egg her on. I really, really wish I had Kristi’s talent to draw you a picture of the LOOK. But if I could draw, this is what it would look like, except with steam coming from my ears.

So what did you learn in Church? Join me at Finish that Sentence Friday!

Finish the Sentence Friday

Would you?

A couple weeks ago Love that Max had a post asking how did you go about deciding to have another child? Some people were not so kind in their responses. More recently Jessica wrote wondering if she was being selfish having only one child.

It is weird because I get this question a lot:

If Boo was born first would I have “chanced” Allie.

I would like to say heck yes. But part of me wonders. Not that I don’t love Boo nor do I wish she was anything but herself. Okay, I could live without the exploding diapers. But having a child with special needs is tough. Julie has two sons and hit (as she says) the Autism Jackpot. She loves both her boys but it is difficult sometimes. Sylvia has a nine beautiful children (yes I am in awe), one of whom has faced brain cancer, seizures and a host of other issues. She doesn’t love Bethany any less than her other children. Yet even Sylvia wonders sometimes what God was thinking.

I believe, in my soul, that all children are born perfect. With any child you do not know if that perfection will be flawless. Let’s face it the terrible two’s disabuses you of that notion as soon as the new baby smell wears off. You might hope that your child will be a Rhodes scholar, but you don’t know at day one where your child’s path might take them.

Another I know, when asked if she had other children replied, no they could only handle their daughter. Her care is sapping them of their energy, their finances and their sleep. But she is also giving them love, her smile and her utter beauty of being a child who is adored by her parents. They in no way ‘regret’ their child, but they understand the limits of their own being.

On the flip side, J’s (Boo’s Yogi) first child was born with Down Syndrome. Her and her husband went on and had four more beautiful girls. Loving them all equally. Even if sometimes they are climbing on the counters, sometimes making their oldest be the easiest to raise.

Sylvia, as she is wont to do, puts it perfectly: Living with their new normal. Whether that new normal is having a child who is seemingly perfect or a child who needs a little extra.

Deciding to have another child is a personal choice. Boo was our surprise. We never imagined having a second child. Okay, David did. I was one and done. Couples decide the amount of children they have based on economics, time, age. Why should they be vilified for by putting a child’s special needs into the decision process?

Parents of children with special needs do not wear rose colored glasses. They understand that their child may not go to school, go to college or move out of the family home. That their care will mean limited vacations, longer work hours, less rest and a shorter retirement.

Parents of “typical” children don’t know what they are getting into either, that all of their hopes and expectations really depend on their child. You can offer a child the world and they may decide not to leave the room.

Almost parents who never get to experience the ups and downs of having children, those with and without special needs, probably feel that they would take any child just to feel a moment of that love.

I guess my point in this long ramble (I feel like I am channeling Rich!) is that having another child is a personal, sometimes heart-wrenching, decision. No one has the right answer.

When I am asked if I would have another child after Boo, my answer is no. But that is not because Boo has sometimes extraordinary needs. It is because I know we cannot handle more than what we have. Two children, a dog, a home and two working parents combined with our age? It wouldn’t be the right decision for our family.

But my decision shouldn’t impact yours.

You just have to decide what you can handle and leave the opinions at the curb.


You don’t know me…

You don’t know me. You know pieces of my life through this blog. You learn about Boo, laugh with me at Allie-isms. You get a glimpse of life with a child who is special in more ways than one.

But if we passed on the street we might not recognize one another.

One of the hidden treasures of this blog is that I have “met people” from around the world. From Australia to Germany. From Arizona to Alaska. Right here in Massachusetts and close by in Virginia.

Some with children, some who hope every month to become a parent. Others who have that typical child who is frustrates, loves and makes you wonder at what they are dreaming about. The others, like me, who have a different journey. Moms that worry every day if their child will have a seizure. A mom who just had the rug taken out from under her again.

The mom who has a son with CP who surfed for the first time this year. Those of us who have one typical child  and one not so typical. (gosh, I am beginning to hate the word typical)

And I consider you all friends. Those with children, those without and everyone in between. Through our triumphs and struggles we share the joy of a first word and the tears of a rough night.

The best part of my day is when I get a private e-mail from one of you. Just to let me know you are there.

We read one another’s stories and feel a connection. At least I do. A connection that makes me think, if I could have a dinner party with you we would have the best night.

I know just who will bring the wine (or for some of you the spring water), who will bring the dessert and who will make us laugh until we pee.

So cheers, my blogging friends. I thank you for being a part of our journey and thank you for sharing your own.

In Allie’s words….

I have Kate at A Clean Slate to thank for this post. If you liked it, great. If not, blame her! But she thought it would be great to have a post of Allie-isms. I thought, what a great way to start the week and embarrass Allie when she is old enough to read this blog.

Since Allie has A LOT of -isms, here is the first in her new series.

When Allie was in first grade and going for her First Communion she had to learn two prayers. The Our Father and the Hail Mary. Here are her versions:

Hail Mary, full of face, the Lord is with you.
Blessed art you woman.
And blessed be your room, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sunning now and at the our of our death, but I really don’t want to die.

Our father who does art in Heaven
Halloween be your name
The kingdom come
The will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day some bread
And forgive us our trespasses even thought I don’t know what that means.
Lead us to the Shirley temples
And I will try not to be evil.

Yes, she actually made her First Communion or as her father said, Her Holy Cookie. 

Thanks, we survived the week!

I think this is probably my favorite “hop” of the week. When Kristi, Joy and Lizzie remind me to look back at just this week and realize not only did we survive but it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.

Kind of like High School. No, wait, I just looked back and it still sucked. But it didn’t suck as bad as I thought!

So this week I am very thankful for

10. Air conditioning. I think my hair is more thankful than I am. But when the temperature goes from 60 to 80 with 95% humidity I am very thankful to be living in a first-world country.

9. That the first of two new nieces were born. The other one is still freeloading off her mother. I got to hold new niece H Thursday evening. Proving that I can still rock a gassy newborn and that I have no desire at all to have another one of my own.

8. Dana has finally realized that I was serious and Allie will be spending her teenage years with her.

7. My parents came up this week to celebrate the birth of H. I also think mom did it so she could spend her birthday up here with her grandkids. But H was a great excuse!

6. Boo is back in school! Enough said

5. Kate who gave me a great idea about a blog post. No I am not spoiling the surprise, just come back on Monday. Oh and she also made me rethink my Facebook activity. So she should be thanked twice!

4. Bailey who provides Boo with a soft place to land.

3. That we had a couple of days at a friend’s beach house. Sure it was torture for Boo. But there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on the porch and just watching the sun set over the water.

2. That Allie has had a fantastic week with her grandparents and pseudo-grandmother. All who have spoiled her rotten entertained her this week while everyone else was at school or work.

And the final thing this week that I am thankful for…..(insert drumroll please)

1. There are only 54 days left until Allie is back in school!


Ten Things of Thankful

There are heroes and then….

There are heroes and then there are SUPER HEROES. Those individuals who leapt buildings in a leaping bound, the wonder women with magical bracelets and an invisible plane.

Man, I’d like an invisible plane. That would be super cool.

When I was younger I wanted to be a member of the A-Team. I thought the Colonel Smith was the best, loving it when a plan comes together. Who wouldn’t have a crush of Faceman? I wanted to big brother like BA Baracus (I thought at least one of his necklaces would look good on me). And Madman Murdock? He was just like this Uncle I had…Anyway I thought, as a tween, I would be cool and safe as a member of the A-Team.

Then I grew up.

And I realized the superheroes are not that common. That a plan doesn’t always come together. That you need to sometimes be a BA to get things accomplished. I also realized something else. Superheroes come in all ages.

The woman who hugged another in an elevator.

The father who pushes his son every year in the Boston Marathon.

The soldiers near and afar who put their lives at risk every day so I can sit in my home and drink my wine.

The makers of my wine.

The grandmother who looked at a child having a temper tantrum and told the parents it does get better.

The doctors who saved my daughter’s life.

The therapists who enrich Boo’s life making her the best she can be.

The school teachers who have more patience than Saint Teresa.

The friends and family who answer my HELP ME calls.

The people who run into the emergency rather than running away.

But I do have one SUPER HERO….


Who looks at her sister with love and empathy. Who has adored her sister from the moment they met.

The sister who braved multiple hospitalizations to see her baby sister. The girl that explains to other children that Boo has a “funny” pattern in her brain that makes her “special”. The girl who has attended so many therapy appointments that she can run her own.  Last week, after coming home from a sleep over, Allie took the time to go through Boo’s speech therapy:

Allie: I
Boo: I
Allie: Want
Boo: Want
Allie: To
Boo: To
Allie: Have
Boo: Have
Allie: Cookies
Boo: COOKIES!!!!!

This is a super hero at just nine years old. Allie possess the ability to calm her sister, to hold on while Boo deal with a hazmat situation, who calms a head-banging moment, helps her swing and jump. Allie is the protector and the “mad” girl who cracks Boo up with her antics.  Kind of like the A-TEAM all mixed into one little package.

It helps that she is cute beyond belief.

I hope to she maintains her membership in the hero society. I cannot wait to see how she changes the world.

Who’s your hero?

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Girl you make me smile

I like smiling. There are some things though, that just make my day. The top 10 things that make me smile:

1. Boo’s belly laugh.

2. Allie’s sarcasm. Especially when she says she is being sarcasm.

3. Big bang theory

4. Finishing the run

5. Driving in the Jeep, listening to Jimmy Buffett

6. Kristi’s pictures, especially when she writes about the perils of Botox

7. That even when it is 900 degrees outside Bailey is a willing pillow.

8. That Boo started her summer program today. Yes, her teachers and aides deserved a vacation. However I did quite the happy dance as I walked out of the school today!

9. Allie had a sleepover with her favorite pseudo-grandmother this weekend. She had a great time being a spoiled only child for 24 hours.

10. Knowing tonight will be a quiet night at home, with the girls back on their schedule after a long, very long weekend!

What about you, what makes you smile? Join me over at the Listicles. It was supposed to be the top 10 words that make me smile, but I like to bend the rules now and again. On the upside, I did the correct topic.

Okay, honestly I did start next week’s topic before I realized my error!

Happy Monday everyone.

A wrap up of the 4th

The 4th of July dawned bright and early for us. Unbeknownst to David I signed us up for another almost-5k (not quite 3mi but I am fine with that). My goal is to continue having accountability. If we sign up for a race we will have to train and therefore run. Okay, he won’t have to train. That man just shows up and out paces me.

The reason he lives is he doesn’t lord it over me. Instead he has been really good at not letting me slow to a walk. The fact that he left the race course to hose down at a friends house and then sprinted to join me, then ran past me to talk to another friend has nothing to do with my envy.

The race was much easier without pushing Boo. She and Allie hung with Grammie while we ran. I think they had more fun. You see there is a peacock that has overtaken my MIL’s neighborhood. And “Petey” has taken roost in her front yard. In the mind of only a grandmother, she brought the girls outside to see it. I am not talking about from afar either…

I’m glad I was at the race. I’m beyond ecstatic that that Boo didn’t escape with the bird. And overjoyed that the bird didn’t eat them. Are peacocks carnivores?

After the hot and sweaty race we picked up the girls and my MIL (leaving “Petey” at home) to attend the town parade. Boo did really well, waving and saying hello to all the floats. As long as the antique cars didn’t honk their horns she was happy until….

The muster. Every year our town’s fire fighters put on a muster for the kids. They fill the school field with foam and allow them to slip and slide all over the place. The kids have an absolute blast. To show you “the foam” that the families look forward to…


 The kids line up to be under the foam cup.

Allie showing that she is her daddy’s daughter in the thick of things!

It doesn’t matter how old you are from toddlers to teens to seniors…everyone enters the foam.

 To every parent’s joy the firefighters also set up a wash off station.

But these photos are from last year. Because this year, Boo was terrified of the foam. She refused to leave my arms. She was wrapped tighter than a boa constrictor. Last year:

This year?  In truth, I was saddened by this slight regression. That we have no photos, that she didn’t enjoy herself. That Allie can’t play with her little sister as the other kids were enjoying the day. Yet once the foam was gone and the hoses were put away, Boo was the happy little girl who loves to give hugs. Of course, the teens had to dry off first. But they were all so patient with her, chasing her around the now clean field.

When I think of all the strides Boo has made in the past year, the fact that I have no photos of this year’s foam is bearable. This Independence Day Boo is still growing. Yes, there are regressions. Especially being out of school.

Yet Boo still amazes us. She is now independent in taking her shoes off. She can unzip her lunchbox. She can drink from a cup and can find Austin & Allie on her IPAD. Boo is engaged in her life.  Once the field was back in her comfort level, Boo was interactive with the children.  She tried to climb on the fire truck. Boo was there in the moment. 

We might struggle finding out why she is frustrated or what she is feeling or why she shuts down. But in two cases we know this for sure Boo has clearly told us what she doesn’t like. Snow and Foam.