Sunday, February 28, 2010

It has been an amazing, busy weekend.

After a big buttermilk pancake breakfast, we loaded everyone up in the van to deliver lunches downtown. Ten families from our Sunday school class made 20 lunches each, consisting of a sandwich, fruit, cookies, chips and a bottle of water.

People start lining up before 11 am to get a sack lunch. I hesitate to call them homeless people. First of all, some of them may not be technically homeless, but still in need of a meal. Second, since Ralph came along I've become more sensitive to people-first language.

Using people first language means we refer to a child with Down Syndrome as a child with Down Syndrome, NOT a Down Syndrome child or worse, a Down's kid. First and foremost, my son Ralph is a person, a boy, a child. The DS is secondary to that.

I was wondering the other day, how would I use people-first language when referring to other groups of people. Would I call a homeless person a person without a home? Is there a better way than to say "homeless person?"

Anyway, I'm guessing that the folks that showed up for the sack lunches were mostly homeless. But, individually they were more than that. They were someones baby boy or baby girl at one point in time. They have desires as well as needs. And, the God of the universe loves them each.

The kids were hungry by the time we headed home, but they had to wait. The lunches were not intended for them and had all been given out. It was a great little lesson in service. I hope we get to do this again soon.

After our own sandwiches at home, I got to go shopping at the Mall with James, Ruby and Ralph. I finally spent my birthday gift card on some much needed clothes! I was hoping to be buying some smaller pants by now, but a girl has to wear something.

I got home just in time to change and head out to church for the Crazy Love womens' event. What a great time we had eating scrumptious desserts from Leah, listening to a wonderful gifted speaker, and challenging each other to serve our Lord in ways that may be seem crazy. Crazy that is, until we realize how crazy is the love of God.

After church we did Leroy's birthday celebration. His birthday is on Tuesday, but dad will be out of town. He wanted pizza and grapes for lunch. Silly me, I forgot to buy grapes!

After cake and ice cream the little kids played outside. I think spring may be on it's way!I let the kids stay up a little too late to watch the Olympics closing ceremony. I'm sure I'll pay the price in the morning. But, it's the Olympics!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Amazing baby legs

Ruby is amazing. I only wish I could upload some photos right now, because she is so cute!

This morning while Ralph's P.T. was here she crawled up to my leg and stood up! She just flat out stood up! She is solid on her feet, too.

It's hard to really appreciate how neat and cool it is for a baby to stand up until you've had a kid with rubber chicken legs like Ralphie. I thought he might never walk!

Ruby will be one year old next month. I'll bet she is walking by then!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My computer complex.

So, I needed to use my husband's computer the other day. I HAD to. I needed to update some financial aid information for Richard and the website would not work with my old operating system.

I got in. Fixed the information. Then I got out.

Then guess what?

He says his computer is running slow all of a sudden. He asks me what I did. Jerk.

So now I really have a complex. And you really needed to know that, right? Or would you rather hear about my latest adventures in poop?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Kiss of Death

I'm using my fall-back computer. Windows 98. Which is why I have no photos to share today.

There is a song by Split Lip Rayfield called The Kiss of Death. You can listen to it here if you like dark, hard, punk bluegrass music - not necessarily safe for young impressionable ears. Yes, you may say I have odd taste when it comes to music.

The point is that, like the man in the song who has trouble with his automobiles, I have computer problems. It seems that I am the kiss of death to computers. Do I have some magnetic aura that trashes laptops? I blog, read blogs, edit photos, facebook and email.

That is all. *sigh*

Monday, February 15, 2010


Ralph just came to me carrying his hearing aid canister. He gave it to me and then started pointing to his ears. How about that?!

So I put his hearing aid in his ear and I sat down to help him play with his jack-in-the-box. He tilted his head while the music played. I hope that he can hear a distinct difference in the quality of sound with the hearing aid in.

Then he spotted the PS3 controller sitting on the side table. He grabbed it and shoved it in my hands and he started to say Caillou!!! Well, I knew what he was saying, but it really sounds like saying ooooooo with your lips pressed together.

We use the PS3 to watch Netflix movies on the TV. He knows that he can watch Caillou whenever he wants. Cool, huh?

I like the ways that he is growing up. Being able to ask for something that you want to do is a really great step.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Are we in Kansas?

We had the most amazing snow last week. This never happens in Kansas. Not that we never get snow, it is just usually accompanied by howling wind!

There was apparently no wind while it was snowing. Not even a hint of a breeze. The fluffy, delicate snow piled up on each little tree branch. So pretty.

A breeze picked up later in the morning and before long the tree branches were all bare and dead looking again. Sigh.

Leroy loves his baby sister. He is growing up so fast.

Check out those gorgeous chompers!
Look what happens when I leave the house to go shopping and daddy fixes supper:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My day...a long, weird one.

Ralph's transition meeting was good. Very informal. I sat at a table with several therapists and teachers and just talked and talked all about him, which was very easy to do! The room was an unused science lab which is currently used for trike and wagon storage. Ralph and Leroy just played around while we talked.

Everything was going great until Ralph got himself wedged inside a cabinet! I had to jump up and rescue him. Then Leroy got tired of playing with Ralph and started interrupting us, asking "how much longer?" Joy.

Anyway, I really like the school and their program. The teacher is very cheerful and kind, not syrupy sweet...oh that would drive me nuts. The speech therapist is always in the room. How about that? Lots of speech therapy!!

Ralph will go to the school for four days of testing early in April. After that comes another meeting to discuss their recommendations. Then he starts school after he turns three! Four days a week. Wow. WOW!

Today Ralph had an appointment with the audiologist in Kansas City. I really wanted to drive up yesterday and spend the night with my husband, who was working there this week. But, no. I had to do the whole Wednesday night thing...take my kids and their friends to AWANA, go to the grocery store, get Leroy's valentines ready for his party today, help three other kids get started on their valentines for Friday.

So I got up at 5am today to nurse the baby. Back up at 6am to load and warm up the van. I had Ralph changed, dressed, and ready to go when I smelled him. Ugh. Poop already! I guessed that it would be OK to get it over with for the day. After getting gas I rolled out of town at 7am.

After checking in at the hearing & speech clinic and rummaging around in the diaper bag, I realized that I left his hearing aid in the van. Oh dear. This would have been a great time to have a teenager with me. I had no choice; I had to go get it myself. Back down the hall, down the elevator, out the front door, past the guard shack to the van. The cool thing is that the van is too big to go into the parking garage so I get to park next to the guard shack. Easy in, easy out!

The audio visit went well. We made new earmolds. Signed paperwork for a replacement for the lost hearing aid and did a booth test. His booth hearing test went very well. His unaided results were just under the borderline for hearing loss. I was pleased.

We ate lunch in the cafeteria after the appointment. It was crazy busy and I was pushing this massive double stroller and trying to balance a tray. Ralph kept trying to pat the lady in front of us. Once, she got goosed real good and everyone in line had a great laugh. I was in luck because Thursday is the only day they have sweet potato fries. I LOVE these.

Ralph refused to eat so Ruby and I shared the fries. He did drink the milk, though. We hiked back to the van to load up. I took some time to change diapers, but Ralph was still dry. Hmmm.

We had to drive through Topeka on the way home to pick up some certified birth certificates. I didn't feel like paying for the toll road so I decided to take the old highway. I was driving along on 435, out by the speedway when I noticed a man about to run out into traffic. Oh dear!

Then I noticed he was a police officer. He was dragging something. It looked like he had a dog by the collar. I starting to freak out because he is running out into traffic...I'm driving about 70 and he's running into my lane! I start to slow down and he throws something into the far left hand lane.

Stop sticks! I was about to swerve to the left to avoid hitting him when it dawned on me what was going on. Just then a car came flying around me on the left and hit the stop sticks and kept on flying. Several patrol cars were hot on his tail.

Meanwhile, the officer that threw the stop sticks was pulling on the string and trying to get the heck off the highway. He turned, slipped on some sand, and fell on his side. This all happened within a matter of 10 seconds. By this time, I'm stopped. In the middle of the highway. Not quite sure what to do.

I guessed it was OK to keep going, so I did. A couple of miles ahead I found that the officers had the guy at gunpoint and traffic was crawling by very slowly. What a strange day.

After that mess, I was happy to get on the old highway and poke along. It was nice to not have to be in a hurry. When we parked at the state office building I got the stroller out and started to get Ralph out of his seat. He was soaked. And stinky. Sigh.

It was a ten wipe mess. And Ralph was wearing tights under his pants. And I didn't bring extra socks. I ended up strolling into the office with him wearing a coat, but no shoes or socks. Ridiculous. I shouldn't have worried, though. I wasn't the strangest person there, by a long stretch.

I love to people watch when I'm in a government office. One lady's ID was expired. The lady at the window was so patient and kind to her. Not your typical gov't agency type of gal! The woman with the expired ID ended up emptying her whole purse for the lady at the window trying to find bills, insurance cards...anything to use for ID.

We were out of there before long and on our way home. Can you guess what I found when I got Ralph out of his car seat at home? If you said a poopy mess you are right! That boy. Looks like diarrhea again.

I had to leave and go to the grocery store for valentine candy. I promised the kids that if they were good while I was gone that I would get candy for them to tape onto the valentines for their party tomorrow. I picked up some Gatorade for Ralph while I was there. I hope this poopy stuff goes away soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big day for my big boy.

Tomorrow is a big day. I think.

I have Ralph's transition to preschool meeting tomorrow. I have very little idea of what to expect. I'm having visions of me trying to listen and pay attention but having to jump up every two minutes to chase him down the hallway!

Preschool. He is so ready. But he is so little still!

I wish that he could be a baby a little longer, but that is just not his style. He wants to be where the action is. He wants to read. He wants to tie shoes. He wants to put on his shoes and coat and GO!

At one time I had thoughts of homeschooling Ralph. Now I don't see how he could be satisfied at home. But, I'm just not ready to let him go.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When you say retard... are talking about him. And he is NOT stupid.

Many thanks to The Unknown Contributor for telling the unvarnished truth.

Whenever you say “that’s retarded” or “Stop being retarded” you are referencing my daughter. You are saying that something is stupid, like my daughter. That it is useless, like my daughter, worthless like my daughter.

The medical community (uh, unlike general society) has figured out the connection between the insult and the basis for our understanding of the insult, and they have moved to change the terminology used to describe people like my child. She is now cognitively delayed.

Do you know why they changed the terminology? Because mentally retarded people are not a synonym for stupid, or ineffective, or useless, or uncooperative, or worthless. So do them a favor and delete the slur “retard” from your vocabulary.If you are not willing to do that, then maybe it is time to admit that something in your upbringing has retarded your sense of decency.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow Days!

Finally! We got some measurable snow here! You never know from one winter to the next if you will see snow or not in this part of the country. I finally had an excuse to drag out the thrift store snow pants for Ralph.

Wait! Let's bundle you up a little bit more.
That's better. Ralph's first ever romp in the snow!

Rose wearing dad's boots? One brown, one black!

Thomas spent the whole weekend shoveling. The WHOLE weekend. He got a little warm after a while. He cleaned the driveway and built three snow forts.
I spent the weekend mopping up puddles by the front and back doors. Priceless!