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Showing posts from May, 2010

Magic Marker Monday: Bring in the Clowns

Logan, age 4 1/2        Everyone started with a color wheel in art class at school. Then they were told to make something with the color wheel included in the picture. And the brown square on the clown's leg...a cast. The clown has a fake broken leg. Check out other works of art at .

Easy Way to Pay It Forward

I came across this and thought what a wonderful mom to think of this for her son - and such an easy way for someone to give support to this boy. If you are so inclined, get out your construction paper, glue and crayons and get writing!

Be the Bridge Rally

I attended the Be the Bridge Rally last Friday. Be the Bridge is a new organization made up of at least 55 city and county agencies that work with people with mental illness, developmental delays or substance abuse issues. The group's mission is to promote awareness and find creative ways for the public to help, especially in times of budget cuts that can have a devastating impact on this group of people. Not really knowing what to expect at this rally, I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout of people, the excitement of the crowd and the participation from adults with special needs. Everyone waved their hammers each time a speaker said the word, "bridge." Attendees made posters and signs to get people's attention The speakers were motivational, either telling of personal survival or promising support through political and community avenues. The County Commissioner tried a risky move and sang a few lines from a "A Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Special Exposure Wednesday: Weight of the World

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New Wheels!

A few weeks ago I wrote about  the AMBUCS proposal with the Pepsi Refresh Program . I was asking you to vote for their $50,000 grant to give therapeutic Amtrykes to 100 children with disabilities. In my excitement and enthusiasm, I thought Ben was on that list of 100. He was actually 340th on the list. This information filtered down to Ben's Aunt Olivia, my sister. As a surprise, she and her family donated the tricycle for Ben. It came last week and the photos are from his first day riding on it. Clearly, he is enjoying himself. In those first moments as Ben sat on his tryke, I kept imagining the 100 children who were about to receive theirs from the grant through Pepsi Refresh. For the past several months, Ben has been in a baby stroller or Convaid wheelchair for any type of travel or outings. I am sure other parents and families make do with what they can, and it truly is an exciting moment to see your child receive something that will make him more independent, more mobil

Magic Marker Monday: Ants in Your Pants

Ben, Age 6 1/2 With spring all around us, these works of art were a little too close to home for me! Check out other artists' work at .

Get a Free Children's Book!

Border's is sponsoring Summer Reading Double-Dog Dare . If you are under 12 years old, read 10 books this summer, bring in your list and choose a free book from an assortment of titles. We have three lists going for our boys - each one will be able to choose a book to add to their collection. Happy reading!

Special Exposure Wednesday: Meet Kingston

This is Ben's 2nd meeting with his new friend, Kingston, a Bernese Mountain Dog . Kingston's owners are neighbors and have agreed to a weekly meeting of petting, kissing and snacking. Ben was intimately involved with all three, luckily this photo shows no proof of spit swapping, otherwise, I would have received a call from Grandma. When I ask Ben about his new buddy, he gets a big smile on his face. It will be exciting to see how this relationship progresses. Hopefully this will be a first of many photos of these two together.

Joni and Friends

Ben had an MRI recently as a follow-up to the seizures he started having in late April. The hospital receptionist started a conversation with me by mentioning that she had a grown daughter with cerebral palsy. She highly recommended the camp Joni and Friends. She, her daughter and 12 year old son attended the camp last August and plan to go again this year as their family vacation. She said that the activities offered were so wonderful for all of them. If they could use her as a spokesperson, they would certainly attract even more families. Here's one of the counselor's reaction to working at the Joni and Friends Camp: About Face Blog As our children get older we will certainly research a few of the camps they offer for families - Victory Junction is another that offers great opportunities. I am under the weather this week, so bare with me.

Magic Marker Monday: Teacher Appreciation Week

Ben, age 6 1/2

Pay It Forward

Tonight, I had the crazy idea to take the kids out to Applebee's Restaurant and then to our local $2 movie to see The Tooth Fairy . With three loud (and cute) boys, we get noticed at restaurants. Some people smile, some people say the overused, yet polite saying, "You certainly have your hands full." I am sure there are others who whisper under their breath some choice words. We were seated in the bar area of the restaurant with tables overlooking us on the next level. I had noticed one table right above us with a small baby, and I was thankful that we were near parents who may understand any noise or commotion from our table. As we finished our meal, the waiter from the table above us came over and gave us a $20 gift card.  He said it was from a gentleman who had been sitting at the table. We quickly looked around - the table was cleared and no sign of the people. I asked if he had left his name. The waiter just said he wanted you to have this and all he knew was

Nite Runner

  Friday night, I ran a 5K through the city of Charlotte. Let me get all my excuses out of the way first. It was unusually hot for an evening run in May (it felt like 90 degrees). I was not prepared for this run having thought it was on May 21. I had a terribly stressful week with MRIs and a long meeting with a neurologist talking about blips, white matter and other stuff I did not understand. So cut me some slack...I was slower than usual and I had to walk a bit. But I finished. The highlight, and too bad it was early on in the race, I needed it at the 2 mile marker, was a visually impaired man running the race with a cane . I wanted to say something like "Way to go!" but was unsure if that was an okay thing to do. Within the time it took me to summon up courage, another person said it, and by then the moment for me was lost. Perhaps because I missed my opportunity with the blind man, I did something uncharacteristic of me - I yelled a "WooHoo" when we were

Special Exposure Wednesday: Hats Off to You!

Ben and Sean sharing a bit of play time - it was not long that Ben allowed the hat on his head. Check out other photos at:

Stumbling Upon Lessons

Ben, Logan and I saw How to Train Your Dragon on Saturday. I went in with little to no expectations. After seeing it, this movie will go on my list of all-time favorites. The music, scenery and characters were superb. The story was a beautiful one. It had two simple messages: Believe in your child. If you've had the same solution for a problem and it has not worked, try something completely different. I will keep these two lessons close to me as I go through life. They are easy to understand, easy to facilitate and easy to forget in times of stress, lack of sleep and pressure. And if while reading this, you pictured us sitting three in a row, sharing popcorn and pop, watching the movie in was not quite like that. Ben complained loudly and grabbed at me non-stop in the beginning. After a few seat changes (on my lap, off my lap, next to me, out of his chair, in his chair, laying down, 10th row up, 4th row up) and a sad thought that we may have to leave the theat

Magic Marker Monday: Flowers & Bugs for Mother's Day

These will make you smile...BIG! Ben, age 6 1/2 See other works of art at

Happy Mother's Day!

My Mom and Me About 4 or so years ago, my best friend from college and I started a un-traditional tradition for Mother's Day. We eat lunch out and go to a movie - without our children. It is a day for us. We live in the same city, but with differing schedules, we have a hard time pinning down a time to see each other. We always know that on Mother's Day we will have our day. How do you spend your Mother's Day?

Re-Post: Therapy Bill of Rights

Ben's private physical therapist attended an intensive three-day workshop presented by Barbara Hypes , physical therapist and author of Heads Up on Hypotonia .   After hearing raving reviews and seeing the results of new techniques used on Ben, I wanted to contact Ms. Hypes myself.   After exchanging emails and information with me, Barbara looked at this site and added her thoughts to the Bill of Rights list, originally posted on November 24, 2009 . With her permission, her additions are listed in blue . Therapy Bill of Rights   As a therapist, I will, understand that the most important thing I do is EDUCATE.  In addition, to the best of my ability I will provide the following service during my time with your child: Arrive on time. Call if I will be late or unable to make the appointment. Plan ahead for the session – have a schedule of activities, exercises and games. Ask questions about what motivates your child and what might upset your child.

Special Exposure Wednesday: Special Olympics

Ben at the county-wide Special Olympics with his volunteer  high school buddies, Melissa and Kevin. Check out other special photos at

Be the Bridge Rally

Here's something to attend if you live in the area,  or copy the idea for you own region of the world: “Be the Bridge” Rally Friday, May 21, 2010  1:00 – 3:00pm  Marshall Park, Charlotte , NC We are a group of service providers, advocates, consumers, family members and community partners who have come together to support individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse in their own recovery. We believe that everyone has the right to a full, satisfying and meaningful life. Due to major budget cuts in both local and State funding, we believe that now, more than ever, we need to work together as partners in building "bridges" with each other and with natural and community supports and resources. We can no longer rely on Federal, State and/or local funding to carry all the weight of supporting and meeting the needs of those with mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues. As a greater community, we need to

Magic Marker Monday: Uplifting

Artist: Logan, 4 1/2 years old Logan's description of his artwork: This is a heart being held up by me and two friends. The two drawings on the side are God and Baby Jesus. I made God look funny. See other artists' work at

AMBUCS is a Finalist!

AMBUCS is a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Grant ! 100 children will receive an Amtryke therapeutic tricycle. Thank you for your support in voting for this wonderful cause.