There once was a pumpkin named Fright
Who went out on Halloween night
He liked trick-or-treating
Because of the eating
Which to him was quite a delight
October 31, 2009
There once was a pumpkin named Fright
October 30, 2009
It has been raining nonstop and I just may lose my mind if it doesn’t stop soon! I usually love the rain, but enough is enough! My hair is all frizzy. The leaves aren’t crunchy. My kid is CRABBY! And Halloween is going to be a slippery, muddy mess!
October 29, 2009
October 28, 2009
October 27, 2009
After Peter was born, I suddenly saw people with Down syndrome everywhere I went. At church, at the grocery store, at my son’s school… Not only that, but I was also seeing references to Down syndrome everywhere I looked; the newspaper, the books I was reading… Even when I was driving I’d notice other cars with bumper stickers from our local Down syndrome association.
As strange as my sudden awareness seemed; what was happening to me, and the cause for it, actually has a name. It’s called the “Reticular Activation System” or RAS. It is the part of your brain that automatically filters out what is not important to you and brings your attention to things that are important to you.
It’s a common phenomenon. Almost everyone can relate. You start looking for a new car, something special, something not like anyone else’s, something unusual. You pick out what seems to be a unique, unusual choice of a special red car and all of a sudden, there it is– your red car, the one you thought was only yours. It’s on every street corner. It is at every stoplight. You see three of these red cars just driving down the freeway. You never saw these cars before. What happened? How did all of these people get your unique red car at the same time?
Well the fact of the matter is that your brain is seeing the red cars that were always there. Since you picked out this car for yourself, that car has become special for you and now you are noticing what was really there all along.
It’s pretty amazing: the human brain. If you understand how the reticular filter works, it makes it pretty clear that we ourselves create the world we live in.
Pretty heavy stuff. 😉
October 26, 2009
My home town was recently rocked by a horrific and unimaginable crime. A young girl, just 9 years old, was found dead in the woods near her home. Her killer? A 15 year old boy.
Stories such as these make my heart literally ache. I can’t fathom the pain this child’s parents must feel. It terrifies me down to my core. The thought of something happening to take my son away from me; I just can’t even let my mind go there.
These kinds of things make me want to gather my loved ones, find a hidden and remote cave somewhere, and hide out the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, not even that could guarantee their safety. We are always just one step away from heartache and tragedy. We have to just do our very best. We have to love our children, and do whatever it takes to try to protect them from the evil that lurks in this world.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone
October 25, 2009
Nick’s ipod, after drying out overnight, turns on! That’s a good thing. A very good thing. Only bad thing: the home button isn’t working. So, essentially, to exit an app, you have to turn the whole thing off. A big old bummer. I’m hoping it’s just being temperamental because it’s angry. Maybe by tomorrow it’ll be in a better mood. 😉
October 24, 2009
My son managed to spill a glass of juice on his ipod touch this afternoon. Yikes! Poor Nick is acting as though he’s lost a very good friend. We’ve turned it off and put it near a fan. Here’s hoping!!
October 23, 2009
When I was a kid, probably around 7 or 8, I had one of my first real foot-in-mouth moments. My very best friend was my neighbor Rachel. She was a few years older than me, but that didn’t much matter. We spent every single spare moment together, inseperable and as close as two friends can be.
Around that same time I had picked up a new word. I’m not sure where exactly I had heard it, but I’m guessing it was at school. The word was “Jew”, and it meant someone who was extremely selfish. I’d never ever use this word now, but at the time, I truly had no knowledge of it’s origin. To me, it was just another way of calling someone a “jerk”.
I don’t even remember what Rachel and I were arguing about that day, but I do remember the look of shock and disbelief on her face when I blurted out, “Dont be such a Jew, Rachel!”
Her eyes filled with tears, and I immediately felt remorse. She was a great girl, and with wisdom beyond her years, she asked me if I knew what that meant, and why it was so hurtful. I didn’t know; so she told me.
Rachel was Jewish, and I am Catholic. That day, Rachel taught me a very important lesson. I have never uttered that word again.
When my nephew was born with Down Syndrome, there was a new word to repent for and regret using. That word was “retard”. I shamefully admit that before Peter was born, it was a word that I occasionally used, completely without thinking. I’d never used it to purposely demean anyone, but I had used it casually in conversations.
After Peter was born, hearing the word became like hearing nails on a chalk board. I cringe every time I hear it. I know how much if offends me personally, but I also know now how very much it hurts people with disabilities. I vowed to never use the word again, and I try to spread the message to everyone I can. As Maya Angelou once said, “We do the best we can with what we know at the time. When we know better, we do better.”
I’m no better than anyone else. I too once used that awful word, but now I know better, and so do you. Let’s stop that word from being socially acceptable. It is a word that for decades has been used to ridicule and degrade people. It is wrong, and it is hateful. We know better; let’s do better.
October 22, 2009
My son Nick talked early, and he talked well. His vocabulary was almost creepy; you just didn’t expect to hear words like the ones that he used come out of the mouth of such a young child.
When he was about two years old, we were at the airport, waiting to board a plane to Florida. I was letting Nick wander around so he could expel his energy before the long flight. As he toddled his way around, I followed close behind him, and I watched him approach an elderly woman who had a horrific sounding cough. Before I could stop him, my little two year old said to this poor woman, “It sounds like you need some azithromycin. I had to take it when I had a respiratory infection. It cleared it right up.”
The woman stared at me as I apologized, aghast that she had received unsolicited medical advice from a toddler. I couldn’t help but marvel at my little man. I thought about explaining that the little guy was essentially going through nursing school, since I studied by reading my text books aloud to him every night. Instead, I just quickly apologized for our interuption, and walked away.
I still laugh remembering that day. I’m proud of little Nick. His observation was correct; she really did sound like she could use some azithromycin!