Monthly Archives: June 2014

Thank you…

”TenThere is a lot to be thankful for, if you don’t obsess about the pain in the assness that is life. This weekend is Father’s Day. As the oldest child woke us up at 2 am this morning I turned to my husband and said, well you wouldn’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day without her.

Here are 10 other things to be thankful for this Father’s day:

10. That my brother is gullible enough to believe that Father’s day is meant to be spent showering his wife with attention since she gave him the greatest gift ever.

9. That Boo drove in the Jeep without throwing her shoes out of it.

8. That Abby has exactly six and ONE HALF DAY left of fourth grade math

7. That we took Jampa Joe’s breath away by sending him flowers, to his office on Friday for Jampa’s Day.

6. That David’s wish for Father’s Day was to take a walk and end up in an Irish Pub.

5. That living in a small town means during a town birthday party Abby will shout out hey that’s not Mrs. B walking with Mr. B other townsfolk will chuckle and say, no that’s his mother. This is also how small-town rumors get started.

4. That when my world got rocked, again, I had friends there to hold me up. 

3. That we raised $3,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital this hospital that saved my Boo’s life.

2. That Abby has an aunt and uncle who took her to see Maleficent so I didn’t have to go.

1. That I have this man, the father of my daughters who drives me nuts but makes me laugh all at once.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It’s funny. I do not call you dad. I call you Joe. It feels right, to both of us. You met my mom well after I was grown. You gave a woman who is so deserving a new start on life. A better life, for both of you. My mom deserved happiness and security. I am so thankful you were there to provide it. You scared the crap out of her (and us) when you had a heart attack. Made her (and us) smile again when you were able to ride the carousel. 

You did not walk me down the aisle when I married. That wasn’t our relationship at the time. But you stood proudly as I made this so important step. When David and built our house, when I went back to college, when we visit one another our relationship evolves into more than friendship. More than respect. A relationship based on trust and love. More father/daughter than step dad/ step monster. That you got to avoid my teenage years is my gift to you this Father’s Day.

Although it wasn’t until Abby was born that our relationship truly began.

I will never forget the day I brought Abby home from the hospital. You took her into your arms and the connection was forged. From that moment on you were no longer standing by in our lives but living the important moments with us. You stopped asking mom if it was okay to go into my refrigerator. You realized you were no longer company but family.

That is when you transitioned from my mom’s husband to my dad. You became Abby’s number one when you both accepted one another as is. She deals with your falling asleep in movies. You deal with her needing your endless attention. You suffer through her planning a Princess Birthday party for you. She suffers you trying to teach her Latin and math concepts. Plus you ate the cake she made so bonus points.

You are not Grandpa but Jampa. Even though she can actually pronounce Grandpa she is quick to correct anyone who dares call you Grandpa. While she might not understand why you are a Joe and not a dad to me, she understands unwavering love. In fact she taught us that lesson early on.

Abby and her #1 Jampa Joe

When Boo was born Abby hoped she would get your eyes. Not understanding that, well you being Asian and us being of Irish descent made that kind of impossible. 

You show the same patience with Boo. Involving her in your endless games of Memory with Abby. Even though she cheats (Boo, that is *wink **wink).

Boo might not have ended up with your eyes, but we all win with you as our number one. 
Recently at school she showed off a picture of you. She didn’t understand why people were surprised that you were her grandfather. Abby retorted to the teacher: Of course he is, don’t you see how we look alike?

As you are a man who exudes and respects traditions we appreciate your sacrifice to our chaotic, crazy and no way traditional family.

Happy Day from Boo. Happy Jampa Day from Abby who will never see you as anything other than her Jampa. And last but not least, Happy Father’s day from a woman who considers herself lucky to have her Joe.


Finish the Sentence Friday

Throw Back Thursday–Friendships

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I’m taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

Throw Back Thursday, blog style

(Originally posted 26-JUL-2012)

Today I am amazed. Simply amazed. I brought Boo to school and she went right up to  a little girl, called her by her name (Boo’s version anyway) and they hugged. 

It was an awesome sight. Boo interracting with another child. Even more awesome, this little girl hugged Boo right back.

Then Boo called one of the teacher’s by name (again, her version but definitely the person’s name) as she passed by. (to be honest, I don’t even know the woman’s name!). She then saw another teacher and clearly said her name (this one I knew!).

The utter joy in Boo’s voice and expression was worth all the worry about this new school program.

There was month’s of anxiety leading up to the new school program. Originally the public school put Boo into an integrated preschool feeling that is all she needed. No one listened to us about her needs, etc… They would not give her an aide and did not start her therapies as directed. Thankfully the teacher in the program is simply awesome and took care of the aide herself and helped us advocate for the services Boo deserved.

In the Spring the teacher recommended a new program, a half-day in the preschool and a half-day with discrete (1:1) program that is dedicated to children with special needs. Those with CP, Downs, autism, undiagnosed like Boo. Okay, she is the only one “undiagnosed” but still the program seemed ideal.

Except I was beyond worried. I was afraid she would regress, that we wouldn’t have the communication we had when Boo was in Montessori.  You name it, I worried about it.

The first week was tough. It didn’t help that they forgot to feed her the first day.

The second week was less scary. It didn’t help that they lost her for a little bit.

The third week was without mishap so our fears were slightly less.

The fourth week, Boo met a friend and knew a teacher’s name.

The fourth week ROCKS!

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Bridget’s Brigade in the Walk for Boston Children’s Hospital. Our team raised almost $3,000 for the hospital that saved Bridget’s life just five short years ago.

We know, in our souls, that she would not have survived without their care. 

Thank you, to everyone who walked. To everyone who donated. To everyone who cares so much for our little girl.

My Challenge: Missy

It is my pleasure to introduce my friend Missy. Missy is a true warrior mom. She coaches, brings her daughter to cheer leading, gymnastics and any event featuring Sofia the First. In addition to keeping her princess happy, Missy has two sons that keep her on her toes with (pick any sport) practice.

Missy’s challenge? Anxiety

Truthfully her challenge should be that she is a Peyton Manning fan, but we are friends anyway. Missy doesn’t let anxiety stop her from being awesome at her job, working with children like Boo every day. She channels her anxiety into showing her charges that just because they have more challenges than most, with hard work and dedication they can defy expectations.

Anxiety is tough. It is a silent challenge. One that many are afraid to share for fear of misjudgment. Yet an estimated 40 MILLION Americans are challenged with a form of anxiety. Sadly, only one-third is estimated to seek assistance. Thank you, Missy for sharing your Challenge. I am especially thankful for the care you show Boo every day. For more information and resources on anxiety please visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

What’s your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby’s school. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at

Throw back Thursday–Inclusion

Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I’m taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts.  I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.

TBT Blog Style

(Originally posted 18-JUL-2012)

Allie is taking some summer help in math at a local school. This morning when I dropped Allie off she was telling me about the kids in her class. Some were from her current class and others she didn’t know. Allie said that there was only one other girl, a bunch of boys and one weird boy.

Weird boy, I asked, do you mean the boy with Down syndrome?

            What’s that? Allie replied.

Well he is special needs, like Boo, I explained

Oh, is that why he has a teacher just for him in the class? (Yup) That makes sense now. I thought there was something different but couldn’t figure it out. Why didn’t they tell me so I could help him?

This conversation floored me on many levels. First, Allie has intuitively known that there is something special about Boo and has accepted her without conditions. I automatically assumed that she would recognize and accept it in another child. Second, Allie attends enough of Boo’s therapy appointments to see other children like this boy. I was completely astounded that she even had to ask, or worse in her mind label this boy as “weird”.

Allie has been a staunch defender of Boo. She would never let one of her friends use that term with her sister, so why did she do it with a boy she just met? Have I failed in some way in to prepare and nurture her to accept all others like she does Boo?

Of course, I asked Allie! Not that specifically, but why she did she not understand that this boy was special. She thought because he was so big and not little like Boo he was just a boy.   I asked (just to make sure) that she hadn’t made fun of this boy. She was quick to say no, but that she wished that the teacher had told her because the other boys in the class did. Allie was so cute, telling me that she would make sure it didn’t happen again! We had a long talk about Boo and how would Allie feel if one of her classmates called Boo “weird”.

But it made me think, is inclusion working? Are the teachers and other parents explaining to their children that not all children can run, read, speak like others. Whose responsibility is it really? Mine, in some way because while I can educate/prepare Allie and she can then teach her peers. But neither Allie, her dad or I can go into Boo’s class and wake up the other children/parents. I can only be responsible for the children who interact with Boo in my presence.

Is it the teacher’s responsibility? Certainty, but how can they do this without embarrassing (not the right word, but hopefully you get my point!) the child in question. Allie thought the teacher should have let the kids know.

I think the biggest obstacle is that the other parents are not on the playground or in the classroom with their children. So they might not even be aware, like me, that their child may be prejudging some one. Think about it, if you do not have a special child would you think to educate your ‘typical’ child about a child with Downs, CP, and autism or like Boo one who is undiagnosed? I will admit that before Boo I cannot honestly say I would have said something to Allie until she asked/made a comment in my presence.

I think as children get older they may become more aware (and yes, mean). But at Allie’s age it is just a sense of innocence where they don’t really notice differences in others until the difference is glaringly obvious.

Boo is in an integrated preschool with a not so equal ratio of special/typical kiddos. Even there I notice that some parents look at us askew when Boo is not participating like their ‘typical’ kid in the class. Once a child asked their mom what was wrong with Boo and the mother, instead of educating, told the child to ‘hush’.

So I don’t know what the answer is, if integration is worth it or how to educate the world at large that Boo just has a different sense of typical.

To the Class of 2014

Dear Graduates,

I know you are getting a lot of advice as you transition from High School to College or from College to the “real world”. Everyone is telling you to enjoy this, the “best time of your life”. As my brother pointed out to me, this isn’t quite true. You see the best time of your life has already happened. At the same time you are no where near the best time of your life.

The best time of your life was your first step. Your first day of school. Your first crush. Your first kiss. Your first bike ride.

The best time of your life was the moment you received your license. The day you pitched your first no-hitter. The day you scored the winning goal or you starred in the school play. The night of your first sleep over.

The best time of your life was finding your best friend, for real. 

The best time of your life was your first dance, your first homecoming, your prom, your graduation day. 

The best time of your life will be your first apartment, your first love, your first ‘real’ job. The day you started exploring the world without a chaperone. The day you realized you can still call home.

The best time of your life will be taking trips with friends, experiencing the world at 18, 28, 38 and beyond. You will laugh and cry and say remember when you talk about those trips in the not so distant future. 

The best time of your life will be finding your true love, the person who makes you whole. Your new life together, starting your family. 

The best time of your life will be when your child comes into your life, when you explore the world through their eyes.

The best time of your life will be after the children are grown and you are still holding hands with your mate.

You will have many best times of your life. Don’t focus on this fleeting moment, don’t squander or yearn for this time in your life. Live each moment as it should be lived.

That moment will become the best time of your life. Enjoy it.

My Challenge: Kayla

This is Kayla. While I have never met Kayla in person I have come to admire her through her mom Michelle’s blog, Big Blueberry Eyes. Kayla loves to dance, act and participate in Buddy Walks. Kayla has not yet met a stage that she cannot dazzle. 

Kayla has Down Syndrome and with that comes some challenges. Somethings are harder for her to do and some things take longer for her to learn. Yet having Down Syndrome doesn’t define Kayla. She is defined by her beautiful heart, the friendships she has created and the activities that keep her mom on her toes.

Thank you, Kayla for sharing your challenge. I hope one of these days to see you dancing with Boo on the beach!

There are over 400,000 persons with Down Syndrome in the United States. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm – although each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all. To learn more about Down Syndrome please visit the National Down Syndrome Society.

What’s your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby’s school. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at