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Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat - Karate Kids, a Dragon and a Witch

Thumbs Down

All three boys sucked their thumb from early infancy. Ben was the only one to give it up at two years old, go figure. Logan is five and sucking away. We have tried over the past few years to help him give up the habit. With the start of Kindergarten and being around older kids, we counted on peer pressure to end the habit. We mentioned to Logan that his friends would make fun of him. Later that day, I heard Logan asking a friend if he minded the thumb sucking. His friend shrugged, and said, "I don't mind." Well that was the end of that idea. At the dentist recently, I asked him to talk with Logan about thumb sucking. Logan shared his reasons for thumb sucking - it makes his mouth feel good. He suggested to Logan that he find another way to get to that happy place. Well it seems the $1 Store is that happy place. Each day that Logan does not suck his thumb he can pick from a bag of goodies he chose from the $1 Store. So far it is working. I do think the talk with the

Special Exposure Wednesday: Tickles from Grandpa

Check out for more photos.

Offering More Than Pumpkins

On Sunday we went pumpkin picking at Riverbend Farm in Midland, NC. It was our 5 th year visiting this same farm. It features the usual activities like animals, pumpkins, hay rides and photo opps on tractors, but it also has something a bit different – slides made from old silos. And the slides are high and slick, making the ride fast and furious. I usually avoid them because they are a bit too fast for me.This year, I helped Ben up the stairs, but that meant I had to go down too. Ugh! As we drove up this year, we saw it was even more crowded than years past. We stopped to ask where we could go for handicap parking. They showed us to a spot near all the action. After we unloaded, a woman came running up to us. In my guilt ridden mind, I thought she was going to tell us we could not park there. But instead, she introduced herself as one of the owners of the farm and told us that if there was anything we needed, to let her know. It was said with such sincerity and kindness, it le

Magic Marker Monday: Pumpkin Carving

Check out www.5minutesforspecia for more works if art.

Save Our School!

Local News Story

Stripping, but in a good way

About a week ago, Ben’s occupational therapist taught Ben how to take his shirt off. Immediately after the session with the OT still present, Ben crawled into the kitchen and proceeded to show me how he can take off his own shirt. Very impressive! Last night, right before bedtime, Ben did his shirt trick again with a pajama top. Just took the darn thing off without any help. Needless to say he went to bed shirtless. This time Ryan got to appreciate our little Houdini. And then this morning, I shared the story with Logan, who appreciates when Ben learns a new skill, and he started chanting: Take It Off, Take It Off.  Well, at least Logan was showing support.

In Ben's Words

It appears that the school officials are determined to displace the current students in Ben's school for an alternative program. The PTA is fighting hard with petitions, letters, emails and calls. We are all attending a community forum tonight. Ben will be in attendance with me. These are the words I plan to read if called on to speak: Hi. My name is Ben. I am 7 years old. I am a 2nd grader at Oakhurst. I am in a SAC class, special academic curriculum. Please help  me save our school. I am learning there. I am surrounded by people who really care about me and have created an environment where I am welcomed and loved. My mom knows I am safe at Oakhurst. She also knows I enjoy it there. I smile when I get on the bus and I've been known to hug my teacher very tightly when I see her. Please save my school for me and for the other children like me at Oakhurst. Thanks.

Special Exposure Wednesday: Boys and their Firetrucks

Our neighborhood fire station turned 75 years old this weekend. They celebrated by throwing a big party - food, drinks and of course, firetruck visits. Ben made several trips to the firetruck.

Moving On

We've made the decision to get real beds for all the boys. All three are in toddler type beds now. Sean's bed is pictured here, and it was the crib that all three boys slept in from birth. It brings tears to my eyes to move on, but it means they are growing and becoming independent. Incidently, this picture came about because Ben climbed up and then I asked the other two to jump in with him for a photo opp. And as luck would have it, we found out that day that a very close family member is having a baby so we know the crib will stay in the family. I can at least visit it.

Magic Marker Monday: Bead Work

 Logan made these pieces of jewelry on his own.  Check out other works of art at 5 Minutes for Special Needs .

I Placed!

I started writing this post before race results were up, and I am trying to remain calm as I write this... I placed 3rd in my age group Okay, back to being calm. Running a race a month this year has been challenging - it takes time and money - resources scarce in our household. Ryan has been supportive from the very beginning, traveling 2 hours  to another city and even walking in the first race on New Year's Day morning with three kids in tow. My October race was in South Carolina, specifically, running over the Isle of Palms Connector near Charleston. Ryan agreed to run it with me, and we made it a vacation present for my 40th birthday. So we left the boys at home with an army of caretakers and stayed away for three nights. The race course was definitely the most beautiful I have seen. The views from the bridge were amazing. The rest of our vacation - watching a polo match in Hyde Park, hiking the wetlands, gazing at the stars on Sullivan's Island, eating prali

Special Exposure Wednesday: Alone Time

Ryan and I had a long weekend in Charleston, SC by ourselves. To say it was magical would be an understatement. This is taken from Shem Creek with the Ravenel Bridge (a.k.a. Cooper River Bridge) in the distance.

Amazing Race - Continued...

Therapeutic Recreation’s Amazing Race What is Therapeutic Recreation’s Amazing Race and why should I register or donate? Therapeutic Recreation’s Amazing Race is a fun filled urban adventure where two person teams solve puzzles, figure out clues, find locations and complete challenges while discovering uptown Charlotte. Your registration fee ($100 for a two person team) will be deposited directly into the Therapeutic Recreation Summer Day Camp Scholarship fund that is administered through Partners for Parks, Inc. This dedicated scholarship fund supplies financial support for pre-schoolers, youth, teens and young adults who have disabilities to attend Therapeutic Recreation Summer Day Camps. During the summer of 2010, a total of $11,000 was utilized to provide financial support for participants to attend summer day camp. All scholarships awarded were based on the economic need of the participant. This is significantly less than the amount we were able to provide for the summer of 200

Magic Marker Monday: Portrait of Ben

At a restaurant Logan drew the top portrait of Ben in one of the coloring books they give to kids to keep them entertained. Not to be outdone, Sean followed suit.

Grin Kids, Part II

During the summer I wrote about applying to a special program called Grin Kids , an organization that raises money to send chronically disabled and terminally ill children and their families to Disney World . I have been waiting for a photo to go with this post, but seems like the photo is lost so here it is sans photo. On July 30, Ben's 7th Birthday, we were on our family vacation at Atlantic Beach, NC. Ryan had heard in Charlotte that Ace & TJ , the radio talk show hosts, who started Grin Kids, would be in Atlantic Beach sometime this summer. Ryan thought we had missed the weekend, but in listening to the local station I realized that we were exactly on time. Let me digress for a moment about my star struck husband. Ryan recently came home so excited about meeting Muggsy Bogues at the gas station. Muggsy was a well known NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets during their hay day in the late 1980's and early 1990's. He was most known for his height - 5'3"

Everyone for Ethan

This is from one of my dearest and oldest friends, Michele. She and I went to high school together many moons ago. We have managed to stay in touch over the years seeing each other when we can. Her son, Ethan, is a beautiful little boy with a very rare disease - only 100 people have it in the world. She and her family have had a lot to go through over the past few years. Recently, her friends got together to plan a fundraiser to help with some of the financial burden. She recently sent me these words and they affected me so much that I asked if I could reprint them and promote the fundraiser: Actually, we really have nothing to do with the fundraiser...I really have been very private about it but my friend from the gym is a bigwig at a bank so I went to him for advice about our mortgage...We haven't been able to pay it in a year! My friends from the gym all got together and came to me to tell me they were having it for us!! There has been so many kind and generous people

Special Exposure Wednesday: Putting Our Heads Together

2008 2010

One Down, One to Go

Logan's school has been saved! Our neighborhood and school community came together quickly and showed the Board of Education how they felt about the Montessori school. A sigh of relief! For one moment because Ben's school must be saved too. Here's my letter to Board of Education: Dear School Board Member: It has come to our attention that changes within the school system are being discussed.  The information shared through websites and the media is disconcerting. This letter is intended to express our considerable concern to the Board of Education and put forth our request to maintain O--- Elementary's current status. We are parents of three boys, two of whom are of school age. Ben is a second grader at O--- Elementary. When it came to choose a school for Ben when he was four years old, O--- came highly recommended. We have not been disappointed. Ben is in a Special Academic Curriculum (SAC) class. Ben does not talk and uses a walker to get around. For Ben an

Sinking Ship

Ever been asked the question:   Who would you save if you could save one person from a sinking ship?   Then the person gives you two impossible choices - your Mom or Dad, your brother or sister, your spouse or child (well that's not so impossible). Anyway you get the idea. In my September 30th post, Never A Dull Moment , I talked about how our school district is making proposals for changes in schools throughout our county. Both Ben and Logan's schools could be affected - moving Logan's school program to Ben's school; therefore, displacing Ben's program. Right now, all my energy and efforts are going toward saving Logan's school. My hope is that if it is saved, then the ripple down effect will save Ben's school. But there are no guarantees. Logan's PTA and our neighborhood is an organized community of parents, neighbors and businesses. The group will lead a coordinated fight with rallies, letters, emails and representation at community forums and p

Magic Marker Monday: Fish Hat

Logan, age 5, made this at Theater Camp this summer. Click here to check out other works of art.

Found a Solution

Between ramp and toileting issues at home, and our most recent school closing dilemma, finding a solution to one of these problems is a miracle. And I will take it! At the North Carolina Assistive Technology office in Charlotte, I was able to borrow a toileting system for one month to try it out. I think it will work for our home. It is easy to take on and off for regular use. Easy to clean and store in the bathtub when not in use. The design is great with enough support and safety features to keep Ben comfortable without falling. Our bathroom is teeny tiny - about 5ft x 8ft and that space includes a full shower/tub, sink and commode. This is the only bathroom in our home so finding something that was small and versatile was necessary. Now onto the the next problem...