Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!! The punk rocker and scary monster had a great time trick-or-treating!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Here I am, the day before my last entry in the "31 for 21" challenge. The challenge was to blog every day for the month of October, which was Down Syndrome Awareness month. It has been hard - even though I talk a lot, finding something newsworthy and/or interesting every day to blog about was difficult. I found that there were days I was a lot more negative than I usually am regarding Williams Syndrome. Was I just trying to find a topic? I actually think that was the case. I definitely have my days where the world is bleak, but they pass, and I move on. This month I captured them and kept them alive. Didn't mean I didn't have them, but I think I widen the spotlight, sustained it.

Here's the truth... and I will swear to it: Brady brings me joy. His every obstacle and hurdle that he leaps over, his scrunched up face that breaks into a smile that I waited for for 14 months, every happy dance I do when he eats the whole container of yogurt... simple and serious, he brings me joy. Does it break my heart he struggles to learn to sit up? Yes. But then he accomplishes that task and my heart bursts with joy. Does it break my heart when I feel we're left out of children's activities because he hasn't developed? Yes. But then today we spent the afternoon with Clare, 2 w/WS, and we make plans to visit Tatum in January :):), and we don't feel alone. Especially when we gets hugs from Clare, and Jamie to boot! Does my stomach tighten when we need to go to the cardiologist, the geneticist, the xxx-ist? Yes. But then I remember we live in 2007, with revolutionary treatments, medicines and therapies.

There's a cloud. There's a silver lining. The trick is to remember that all clouds have them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ok -Teresa started it, Kati followed suit, so now I will join the herd. A little info about me, author of the blog.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:45 a.m.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Hmmm... not a jewelry person, but diamonds are my birthstone!
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Michael Clayton... very good! George Clooney is delicious!
4.. What is your favorite TV show? House, The Office, Criminal Minds (...and How I Met Your Mother)
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Been on a cereal kick lately - today, Corn Pops!
6. What kind of soap do you use? Dial
7. What is your middle name? Grace
8. What food do you dislike? Olives & Guacamole
9. What is your favorite food? Bread ~ Which is why I joined Weight Watchers!
10. What kind of car do you drive? Toyota Camry
11. Favorite sandwich? BLT or anything from Panera
12. What characteristic do you despise? Selfishness
13. Favorite item of clothing? Pajamas - comfy clothes!
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Without kids - a beach, like in Aruba. With kids- Grand Canyon
15. What color is your bathroom? Mint green and white
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Old Navy/Gap... and one day, Express
17. Where would you retire to? where my family is, wherever that may be
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? Nothing too exciting since I turned 30 and my husband threw a party for me
19. When is your birthday? April 17
20. What is your favorite scent? White Shoulders
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night person
22. What is your shoe size? 9.5
23. Pets? Our cat died last February... we may be getting a new pet soon....
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Brady is on the verge of something BIG, but I'm not sure yet what that is
25. What did you want to be when you were little? writer
26. How are you today? Inspired! Organized all my clothes :)
27. What is your favorite candy? I'd take a Hershey's bar with Almonds
28. What is your favorite flower? Tulips and Carnations, not necessarily together
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? November 9 - Ange and I are going out for a night on the town! LOL
30. What church do you attend? Saint Theresa's
31. What are you listening to right now? TV is on upstairs and I am sure Tom is sleeping in front of it
32. What was the last thing you ate? Pork chop and applesauce (ain't that swell!)
33. Do you wish on stars? no
34. If you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be? blue
35. How is the weather right now? Cold- turned on the heat!
36. Last person you spoke to on the phone? The other Kerry
37. What is your favorite soft drink? Pepsi!!!!!
38. Favorite restaurant? We're so lame.... Chelo's, a family restaurant
39. Hair Color? Brunette or Auburn, depending on my mood :)
40. Siblings? one brother, one sister
41. Favorite day of the year? Christmas
42. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies
43. Summer or winter? winter
44. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
45. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
46. When was the last time you cried? A few minutes ago reading some WS mommy blogs!
47. What is under your bed? Dust bunnies and my aunt's old suitcase
48. What friend have you had the longest? Michelle - from 6th grade!!
49. What did you do last night? Watched the Red Sox WIN the World Series!!!
50. Favorite room in your house? family room
51. What are you afraid of? my children being hurt or death of my parents
52. Popcorn salted? buttered? Yes!
53. Favorite sport to watch? football and baseball
54. Favorite sport or activity to participate in? softball or volleyball

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We are the CHAMPIONS!!!!
Way to go Red Sox!!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

World Series, Game 3

Here we are again... it's the bottom of the sixth inning and Sox are beating the Rockies 6-0! Can you believe it - Dice-K hit a double!! There must be a lot of praying going on out there!

11 p.m. and the night is still young...

Friday, October 26, 2007

I have "met" so many people online whose children have Williams Syndrome. Some Brady's age, some older. Even though all the kids are different, I can get some kind of idea what is ahead of me. They all have differing challenges, but the core is pretty similar. I also remember when Brady was first diagnosed, I was told if Brady were to have a syndrome, Williams was the one to have -- I think in terms of future problems physically and mentally, plus the "happy" gene that follows so many of the WS kids.

I see Brady is delayed. I see Brady is a little peanut. I see Brady slowly getting to the crawling, walking, running stages in his life. I don't see a child who will not do what all the other children are doing. Will Brady be able to play baseball as good as his brother? Probably not, but that could have been like that anyway... nothing to do with Williams.

Today we had a sales rep from an equipment company join Brady's PT appointment, along with another PT who specializes in equipment. The equipment were items that would help Brady in his quest to walk and to aid with his low muscle tone. Things like specialized strollers, with removeable seats for a highchair or car seat; walkers; bath tubs in help him sit upright. Even though Brady has been making great strides, he is still working on everything. He sits great, sometimes he still squirms to lay down. Some items - like a walker - would be an aid for a few months or so; a stroller he could use up to age five if his energy is low. It would all be covered under insurance.
The other PT was nice and helpful; the equipment man was nice and helpful. Heck, here is an adorable picture of Brady and Lisa using the walker -- upon which he immediately started moving while he was in it:

Then they brought the stroller out - a stroller similar to the hundreds I've seen at Children's Hospital with severely disabled children in them. I immediately froze a bit, not that anyone noticed because they were too busy talking about all the great benefits. I understand why they brought it, I understand if he has trunk support while sitting at a table he can concentrate on doing OT type stuff without concentrating on sitting. I understand. And Brady's PT Lisa said how it would be great to use now while he's trying to reach his goals, that he wouldn't need to use them for a long time because he would reach his goals.
But I don't see my son in equipment like that. In a specialized bathtub. And not that he needs it, but the catalog was filled with other equipment that was for more severely disabled children. But the catalog is here in MY house, sent to help MY son. How ironic, just when he has come along so far, I see something like this and it hunkers me down to earth. I know once I get past the moment, I will be fine and realistic about his needs. But it was NOT the way to start my morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On the left is Brady coming home from the hospital - on the right is his two-year birthday. Whenever I think about how far behind he is, or how he's not doing what even a lot of other WS kids are doing at his age, I remind myself how far he has come, how much he has accomplished since even this past summer. I need to give him a break, before I break my own skull banging my head against the wall. Hey, I am always a little late myself, so what's the big deal if he is? LOL

I just declared it Relax-About-It Thursday today, so this is what I am chillin' out about!
GO SOX!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series, Game 1

It's 11:08 p.m., the top of the fifth... 13-1, Red Sox. Can I go to sleep? I'm not sure. Who cares about the West Coast - can't they start the games at a more reasonable hour???? Only half-joking about not caring about the West Coast, LOL....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How do you measure the seasons of your life?

I have become obsessed with the song "Seasons of Love" from Rent. It started out very innocent - I watched most of the movie on HBO one night. That opening, signature song though stuck with me and I have been playing it on YouTube to get the words straight in my head. (Plus I looked up the lyrics so I could follow along - I told you I'm obsessed!) I even have Michael asking about it ("Is that really how many minutes are in a year??").

We all have our own ways of measuring our life. Mine is pretty simple. Three subsets of when I was child, all based on the three different states I lived in. Then it was college, then miscellaneous four years of career-mindedness until marriage, then my current season - motherhood. I think I will be here awhile.

Even as a mother, though, I have my subsets -- having Michael, raising Michael in toddlerhood, getting pregnant, Brady... WHAM. Even though Brady is only two, his life is much more measured. There's the first stage -- being born, finding out he had heart problems, and waiting for a diagnosis. Second stage - getting the diagnosis and beginning his therapies and doctor appointments. Third stage - endless crusade of babyhood and trying to figure out his needs and what was best for him while he just laid around, and waiting for him to smile. I think we're in the Fourth stage - watching him advance and helping him grow. One day, I am sure, this will all be lumped into one season for Brady -- before he walked, after he spoke, etc.

With Michael, it's different. His seasons for me are babyhood, preschool, elementary school.... next year it will be middle school (yuck). Obviously as he gets older the seasons cover more ground... but his baby days were not like Brady's obviously. Brady's milestones are much more defined, most likely because Brady has to work so much harder to get them. Michael was such a happy baby and is such a happy kid - it has been all fun and games with him and such a joy. With Brady, there are so many frustrations and concerns... but when he does hit some certain milestone, it is rainbows and butterflies.

I suppose I have gone through my own seasons... my own growth of learning about Williams and living with the reality that this will always be a part of our lives. We are always going through that next season. And the way I measure the year seems to be based on Brady - "Well, it was after his hernia surgery but before his diagnosis", "It was when he used to sleep all morning".
I know next year when he turns three and enters preschool, we will start a new season. Everything may be old hat by then, and all lumped together.

But right now I am looking forward to entering the season of crawling and playing and eating REAL food... I know it is just around the corner.

Monday, October 22, 2007

There was definitely a theme over here this past weekend. My horoscope said to "Go through and get rid of things" (I paraphrase); at church, Father Dennis spoke about how we need not need possessions to fulfill and enrich our lives (another paraphrase); and Brady has finally grown too big for some of his clothes in his closet -- which means I need to go through his stuff.

I have been on a decluttering kick for quite some time -- I am loving Clean House (on Style Network) and have found some cool websites too beyond Flylady ( I really enjoy I'm an Organizing Junkie at

I have lost 10 pounds so far, so I am slowly tossing my clothes out that should have been tossed but couldn't or I'd have nothing to wear. Michael is also growing taller, so I am beginning to pack up his outgrown clothes. And Brady.... he is getting taller but not wider, so we have a few problems! The 3-6 month pants fit his waist, but are huge floods on him. Even his work boots he wears can't hide that much airspace. So I am resorting to overalls right now while I look for more pants with inner drawstrings so they won't fall down when he stands up (this happens all the time - I will try to post a picture tomorrow!) The other problem I am having is that while I have TONS of hand-me-down clothes from Michael, plus a couple of other friends, Brady doesn't do well with a lot of them. Since they have already been worn and stretched, I'm finding the size 12 shirts are HUGE on him and the pants would never fit. He does well with the new skin-tight pajamas, for example, because they fit snugly and are not stretched out yet. Hmmm.. a whole new reason to go shopping!

I have also packed up some preschool toys of Michael's that I know I will not pull out for Brady - they have some shrilly noises that may not bug him so much as bug me. While he isn't super sensitive to noise, he will still get a little punchy if it's too shrill. So out they go. I also tossed a few toys that have seen better days and I know Brady will probably get some newer versions. I have also let go of a few household items I put in a box a few months back that I haven't missed. Ahhh... such a relief!!

One of my favorite little tidbits is from Flylady -- get up right now, grab a trash bag and throw away 27 items. You may not think you can find 27 items to toss, but you really can. Even if you just cleaned five minutes ago - suddenly nothing is off limits. Try it!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thank you to Kayla's mom Michelle ( who gave me the blogger award. I would like to pass it along to Avery's mom, Amy ( I learn something every time I read her blog,
or I am cracking up at her wit and sense of humor. Either way, it is definitely a treat to read.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Standing Outside the Fire

Thanks for finding this, Noel!

WS stars

Laura, Michaela's mom and the New England rep for WSA, was invited to speak at Boston University about Williams Syndrome. This is the video slide show she played. The other WS mommies will have already seen it on Michaela's site, but I did want to share it with Brady's friends and family. You'll see a familiar face or two... and all the other lovebugs we cherish :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Funny, I can't seem to look at anyone now without wondering what they looked like as a child. This includes the mugshots on the news, including murderers and thieves. The TV station flashes a picture of the accused and I look at him and picture a seven-year-old asking his mother to tuck him in. It's bizarre.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The '80s

In honor of my (gulp) 20th high school reunion coming up, let's walk down memory lane:

You Know You Grew Up in the 80's If...
You've ever ended a sentence with the word "psyche."
You yearned to be a member of the Babysitters Club and tried to start a club of your own.
You owned those lil' Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.
You know that "woah" comes from Joey on "Blossom."
Two words: Hammer Pants.
You had plastic streamers on your handle bars... and "spokey-dokes" or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect.
When it was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
You played the game "M*A*S*H." (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House)
You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, wax off."
You wanted to be a Goonie.
You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us... head-to-toe)
You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying, "I know you are, but what am I?"
You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
You remember boom boxes. and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
You still sing "We are the World"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brady saw the flash of the camera and smiled for the picture!! This is his Halloween costume - we had a Cub Scout party tonight and he was thisclose to winning a write-in on "Cutest". He looked a bit like Boo from Monster's Inc.

And here he is with his PT and Service Coordinator Lisa.

And this is what he did for most of the Scout party.... sleep!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Medical Incredible

Erik's mom Nancy posted this video - thanks for finding it~

Having problems linking it, so until I figure it out, here's the shortcut:

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Brady had his two-year-old visit today -- a whopping 17 lbs 2 ounces (up 6-1/2 ounces from a month ago, so his pedi was very happy) and 28-1/2 inches long. He IS on the WS chart, the lowest possible bar, but then again Michael ain't that tall either. I was happy to tell his pedi that his therapists are very pleased with his successes - they feel something BIG is going to come before the end of the year.... da da dum!

On a sidenote, I have to say I am very pleased with myself that I have made is halfway of this "31 for 21" challenge (see Oct.1 entry for info). I know that not every day is filled with exciting news, but I have had a nice ritual sitting down every evening, catching up on everyone else's blogs, then writing my own. I am very interested to see how I will fill these next 16 days ~ I promise I won't be a bore! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sensory problems with eating STILL

Tomorrow Brady goes for his two-year check-up. It's almost comical, because we are at the doctor's once a month already, so tomorrow we'll go and get a weight check, have a shot, then be on our way. I have given Brady whole milk a couple of times with some added heavy cream over the past week, but I just need to check with the doctor as to how many days she wants me to give it to him. I am assuming it will be a slow start so we can watch his calcium levels. He loves ice cream, so I am pretty confident he will make the transition pretty smoothly.

Now if he will only eat his food that smoothly! I am finding his sensory issues in his mouth are just getting more and more in the way. His Speech Therapist has worked with us for a LONG time regarding this, but it doesn't seem like it's improving. I don't know if I am doing all I can, or if we need to go about this a different way. It doesn't seem like a lot of WS kids were at this point at this age -- meaning he should be getting through this by now. Amy has helped me tremendously on this -- any more ideas from anyone??

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday, dear Brady,

Happy Birthday to you!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brady got some great CDs from his Aunt Kathleen - I highly recommend them: Best of the Land of Nod Store Music Volumes 1 & 2. Some recognizable tunes: Mahna Mahna (remember the monsters from Sesame Street singing this?), Linus and Lucy, the theme to Banana Splits (showing your age if you remember this!), and a ton more. You can find it here: and you can listen to the samples here:

Sorry, I am not computer-savvy enough to just write "here" and have the link! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

21 Facts About Brady

In honor of the 31 for 21 challenge I am doing, here are...

21 Facts About Brady

1. Brady was born by cesarean section on Thursday, October 13... his first birthday would end up being on Friday, the 13th. His mother picked his birthday. (She had two choices - the 13th or the 6th.)

2. At birth, Brady weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces. He was expected to be "way bigger" than his brother's birth weight - 9 pounds, 2 ounces.

3 Brady weighed 9 pounds, 2-1/2 ounces at three months old. He began to change and look more like his brother.

4. His eyes change color to what he's wearing -- from blue to hazel to green.

5. Brady's eyes scrunch up when he smiles.

6. When he smiles, he sometimes sticks out his tongue.

7. He didn't smile until he was 14 months old.

8. He smiles at his brother the most -- and the first.

9. His brother also makes him jolt and throw his arms up when he gets startled - a reflex he has not outgrown yet.

10. Brady also hasn't outgrown the act of throwing himself back when he's sitting for too long (but he's close).

11. He can sit when plopped down, but can't get into sitting position by himself yet.

12. Brady can roll around by himself in both directions, put his pacifier in his mouth, and play peek-a-boo with any piece of cloth or paper in his reach.

13. Brady's favorite game is peek-a-boo.

14. Brady loves The Wiggles, Sesame Street (Elmo), and Baby Einstein.

15. Brady will love going to Sesame Place next summer (any takers out there??).

16. In the summer, Brady likes swinging in the baby swing from the swing set.

17. Brady likes standing up much more than swinging, sitting, crawling or laying down. It will calm him down instantly if he's crying.

18. Right before Brady cries he will pout -- BIG bottom lip out!

19. Brady only cries if he's hungry or tired.

20. When Brady is tired, he can be put in his crib, snuggle him up to his blue bear and blue blanket bear, turn on his aquarium and he will go to sleep without fuss.

21. His brother gave Brady the blue bear -- and both make Brady smile.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dum dum dum... he crawls!

I worked today.... I work ONE DAY this week. What day does he crawl????

My mother called and said he did it with his PT and my mother present, so there are witnesses.

And so it begins....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

In my last entry, I touched upon the point of Brady being a hard person to buy for. Since he is just turning two, there are some things he"should" be doing play-wise that he is not. In fact, he just started playing with some toys he received last year and some toys he still is NOT playing with. We bought a sand/water table right before he was born thinking to give it to him for Easter or his first birthday... it still sits in the attic waiting for the right time.

Time does go by, and Brady has grown... slowly. For awhile it felt like we were in this hamster wheel, running and running but not going anywhere. I know it takes time to see the accomplishments of his work, but it just seemed like such a LONG time before he really did anything but sit around. It made life somewhat easier than my friends, who were running around after their toddlers. I could just bring Brady somewhere and he would sit contently.

Then, around the beginning of this summer, I noticed little changes. He played a little more with toys, more than the spinning he found easy to do. Over the summer I noticed he actually LOOKED bored if he sat in one place too long. By the end of the summer you could play with him a little --not for too long, mind you, but enough to say that he was "playing".

Now, at just about 24 months, he deliberately wants certain toys, looks interested at items, will repeat motions for cause and effect toys. He is still not "playing" in the eyes of parents of non-typical kids, but I bet the WS mommies online would constitute him playing. His Educator therapist said today she sees so much on the cusp, that she knows he's on the verge to crawl and/or walk. He just wants to MOVE!! (Yes, we want him to crawl first.)
This weekend I was pulling down some ride-along toys for the other kids to use at Brady's birthday party and brought out Michael's old green and black Big Wheel. I remembered he got it from his godmother for his second birthday. How strange it seemed -- Brady is obviously no where near using that kind of toy. The toys he got for his second birthday (mostly shown in these pictures) were perfect for him, including a Baby Einstein DVD that he loves.
I already know Santa might bring him diapers and some clothes, because it IS hard to buy for him... although since Brady loves putting his fingers in your mouth when you are holding him, my niece and I determined he wants to be a dentist, like Hermey, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer's friend. Maybe Santa should bring him a little mirror.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Party

Here is the little man on the day of his party ~ he is decked out in his Tom Brady jersey and looking very Patriot-like. A good 90 percent of the party goers wore their Patriots gear (my brother-in-law wore his Red Sox Schilling jersey, since they were on the TV following the Patriots game.) By the way, both the Patriots and Red Sox won - yeah!

We had five Crock pots going -- chili, cheeseburger (sloppy-joe like mixture with cheese), party meatballs, kielbasa with pineapple/ cranberry mixture, buffalo chicken dip; two warming trays --for Golfer's Chicken (Russian dressing, apricot preserves), cheese lasagna, and corn casserole; plus various dips --Mexican, BLT, onion, artichoke, salsa; and a cheese ball. Love the leftovers when I have parties -- although there wasn't a lot leftover this time. After the Patriots game, many stayed to watch the Red Sox triumph over the Angels, then the Yankees lose to the Indians :)

Brady had only a little nap before people came over so he was a very tired boy for his second birthday party. He managed to hang in there til we did cake and presents, sat on a few laps and had some bottle, even having some icing from his cake... then he was all done. No fussing - just putting his head down and snuggling in to whomever was holding him. So he was laid in his crib and the party went on around him.

He received fabulous gifts -- more Patriots wear (plus a new Brady jersey that will fit him next year- yeah!) along with toys, diapers (I asked for them!), cute outfits, and money for pictures and formula. People had asked me what to give Brady and all I could think of was diapers, so we got a few of those. I was psyched! As many of you know, it is hard to figure out what is age-appropriate for Brady. He is just now playing with toys he got last year. Luckily, the toys he did get this year fit right in to what he is doing now.

Michael had given Brady a Red Sox Build-A-Bear for his birthday last year (kind of a present for Brady AND Michael since Michael got to build it......hmmmm) so this year Michael built him a Cub Scout dog, aptly named Scout. Brady loved it of course, giving him kisses and hugs, all unprompted.

It was a fun day ~ plus we had today to recuperate and relax. He was very interested in his little buddies and cousins, and they were all so adorable and gentle with him. His real birthday is next Saturday, so he'll get his present from us then --don't tell him: it's a wooden sandbox with an umbrella/awning thing on top (gotta keep those WS kids out of the sun!). Tomorrow I think he's going to start on some whole milk with heavy cream with his speech therapist... I'll let you know how THAT goes!

Thanks for the well-wishes everyone!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

We had a great party today for Brady's birthday ~ the Patriots won (and the Red Sox!) and we had great food with friends and family. All the kids got along pretty well (only a few injuries) and it didn't rain or was 100 degrees. It was nice and cool, which made the house less hot. I will post pictures tomorrow after I upload them to the computer.

I am going to be lame and count this as my post because I am too tired to write anymore!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Here I am on Day 6 of the "31 for 21" challenge and I have already resorted to pictures and song lyrics in my entries. In college I was a journalism major, and the professors always encouraged us to keep a daily journal... just sit with a pen and paper for 10 minutes and the words will all flow naturally. You will be surprised what you end up writing. SO here I go... free writing starts.... NOW!

I am sitting here with mozzarella cheese residue on my hands since I just made a lasagna for Brady's birthday party tomorrow. His birthday is actually October 13 (last year it was Friday the 13th!) but next weekend my parents are out of town, my sister is out of town, his buddy James will be in England... just wasn't going to work. So we are celebrating tomorrow, having a whole New England Patriots theme, with football food and decorations. I actually ordered his cake - it is a cute Patriots bobble head character (my husband is only interested in "who" the bobble head is - is it Bruschi or Brady???) with a Happy Birthday Brady on it. I usually make birthday cakes over here since Michael has a peanut allergy, but we've been lucky with this bakery and haven't had any allergen issues.

I crack up that we are doing Patriots theme... as opposed to Teletubbies, Thomas the Train, even just a big "2". Can you tell this is the second child?? Michael's second birthday cake was a cool-looking dirt road with trucks on it. All I know is that Brady has the perfect outfit to wear -- a Tom Brady football jersey onesie his godmother bought him last year. (For you non-football fans, Tom Brady is the quarterback.) Both Tom and Michael have jerseys, and I was going to resort to wearing a red shirt... then when I went to the grocery store tonight I found a pink Patriots shirt. Hopefully it will fit so I can be part of the team too.

We're having football-type food, munchies and a few non-meat dishes for the vegetarians coming (it's a cheese lasagna). Tom just realized on Friday afternoon he has Monday off, so I'm sure he'll be having a grand ole time tomorrow.

I will (of course) update with some pictures of the party tomorrow night -- hope everyone has a nice Sunday!

Friday, October 05, 2007

He ain't heavy, he's my brother

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother
So on we go
His welfare is my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother
If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with gladness
And love for one another
It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother
He's my brother
He ain't heavy, He's my brother

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The calendar is never blank.

We just got booked in to the Boston Children's Hospital Williams clinic in mid-January. We go to the hospital daily for three days and see every specialist, along with OT, PT, developmental, consultants, you name it. I am pretty excited about it because I know we'll get some great feedback, but also some local help as well. I think they also have two families at a time so we'll hopefully meet up with another WS family. Brady's PT is interested in going with us one day too, which will be such a great addition. She'll get the first-hand knowledge.

This is not to say I'm not excited for our second Louisville trip also -- we're doing that at the beginning of January (Amy??). So basically, we'll be overloaded on information to start the new year, but I can't really help that right now. The Louisville trip includes a meeting with Dr. Morris, whom we didn't get to see in June. I enjoyed going last summer; I think I greatly benefited from that trip. I am interested to hear if Dr. Mervis sees any major changes in Brady.

I will probably need a little R&R come February. Las Vegas, anyone?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I have a confession to make: having a special needs child has made me less tolerant over stupid problems. The issue lies in what I consider a "stupid problem". I have actually gained more patience in general ("Is it really that important for you to be so upset?") but I am finding there is very little out there that I consider a major problem to be unnerved about. I am not comparing our shortcomings to someone else's -- just putting everything into perspective has made me realize that some things are not as bad as they could be.

It is a problem, really. I am realizing I have less and less sympathy for people who's major problems look like they belong in high school ("Are you mad at me?"), or problems that are easily avoidable ("Ummm... maybe you shouldn't have started dating a married man.") or problems that are blown out of proportion ("Yeah... a hangnail is a very serious condition for you to call in to work.")

Am I becoming a bad friend? Sometimes I feign sympathy because I don't have the guts to tell someone I don't agree with their thought process. And sometimes I know that's really all friends need to do -- just be a sounding board for people so they can figure out their problems themselves. I am sure I have bored a friend or two with things they didn't think were so important. But I am wondering if I will ever go back to having that non-judgemental ear.

Sometimes the most important problem for you is a minor one: sometimes you just need the simplest of things go right because everything else sucks. For example, your computer breaking down isn't the worst thing in the world, but it can be that last little thing to drive you over the edge. ("Look at everything in my life -- can't AT LEAST my computer work?????") I hear that~ it happens. And God knows I've been there. I have to remind myself to keep in check.

Who knows -- maybe it isn't because of Brady that I feel this way. Maybe I would've felt this way anyway since I am (gulp) getting older and less tolerant. I do look forward to that glorious senior citizen age where you can tell everyone exactly what's on your mind and people just expect it. Maybe I'll become more understanding by then.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

This is what happens if you wait too long to put an almost-two-year old in for his nap....

Here is Brady hard at play.... he has become more interested in playing with toys over the last few months.

Monday, October 01, 2007

31 for 21

Today is the first day of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I have been learning more about this syndrome as I now frequent Michelle's site ( about her daughter Kayla. She has received a challenge to "31 for 21", upon which she put out for everyone else. This means to post every day in October (31 days) to raise awareness for Down syndrome, 21 referring to the 21st chromosome that people with Down syndrome have. You don't necessarily have to write about Down syndrome in each post, but to explain that is why you are kicking it off would be nice!

As I sit this first hour writing, I am smiling to myself at how much has changed in the past two years since Brady was born. Not regarding the Williams diagnosis, or just having another child in the house, but just the friendships that have been created and brought together because of our children. When Michael was just a toddler, I created friendships with women whom I am still close with to this day -- even though our children may not be close anymore, we still share a bond.

With Brady, my ties with people across the country through the internet are just as close. Why, just this day alone, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, I have already mentioned Erik, Clare and Lisa (LOL). I speak of them and others as if they were just at my house yesterday. How can this be??? Well, Clare could have been :) but Avery is in Indiana, Erik in Oregon, Daven in New Mexico, Tatum in Maryland... and the list keeps growing.

I found Michelle's site through another blog and now I follow along Kayla's journey, as I do with all of the other WS mommies out there. It is helpful and refreshing to have the support and education from everyone... thank you all.