Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break

Spring break was here and gone before I knew it! We had no plans, except for one day, which I will tell you about. The rest just kinda . . . . . happened. This triggers the planner in me every year – it makes me wonder about summer and what will fill my son’s days for those three months. If one week is a bit too much unstructured time for him, what about the entire summer? Yikes.

Our one planned day involved having some friends come visit from out of town. We all lived in the same city years ago and we met because of . . . you guessed it, Down syndrome. Our two boys have enjoyed each other’s company a lot lately, and we have even met halfway between our towns to eat together as families. It is nice to have another mom of a teenage son to discuss similar issues with. She is a thoughtful and conscientious mom with lots of good ideas. Because of her other two teens’ activities, she stays super busy but is so devoted to her middle guy, my son’s friend. I love her. Move back, please, J!!

When they arrived, we went straight to our nearby indoor pool for the boys to enjoy some swimming. This was mutually beneficial, as we moms got to get in lots (not all) of our confidential chatter without being overheard! When they were waterlogged, they got changed and we walked to a restaurant for sustenance (and a milkshake). The boys seemed somewhat more shy while we were at the table with them. Maybe we should have set them at their own table? At any rate, it was a great day with very special friends. That was a highlight of our spring break.

Now the boys are texting each other. We are loving this typical teen behavior and glad they can keep their connection going. Now it’s their turn for confidential chatter!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wild Weird Wednesday

Life Lessons for Today:
  1. Plans are nice, but life happens.
  2. Interruptions happen.
  3. It is good to breathe deeply.
  4. Unexpected appointments happen.
  5. Some things take much longer than the time I allot for them.
  6. It is good to breathe deeply.
  7. Some people are much too precious to sacrifice because of time stressors.
  8. Waiting can be productive (cleaned out my purse, texted a few friends) and good for a relationship (played hangman with my son).
Thanks to Laurie at Living Power for a great post about waiting that I just read yesterday. How timely! She has some great ideas to fill our waits as we occupy exam rooms, etc.

I was still reminding myself to breathe deeply at almost 6:00 p.m. What a weird and wacky day. I had more waiting this evening, but with a plan.

Wait! Isn't that how I started this? Plans are nice, but life happens. My plans are not my own. His ways are higher than my ways. I can rest in that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Very Brady Kind of House with Flower Power

We have several unique features to our house, which was built in 1970. One of them is our "coke bottle" glass surrounding the front door. Oh, boy, was that gonna be the first thing I fixed! Nearly 13 years later, it still proudly guards sentry at the front. We have a cool wet bar with avocado green countertops, which I hear are back. The wet bar also boasts a lotus type light fixture. Groovy!

I have gotten rid of the swag lamps that once hung so gracefully from my bathroom ceiling. We have floored over the previous kitchen linoleum and tiled over "genuine Mexican vinyl" in the laundry room (wish I had a picture of that!). But our entry floor still looks like . . . avocado with potato chips in it. The avocado part is my description, but a visiting kid once said, "Hey! That looks like potato chips in your floor! Is it?"

An area rug kinda covered it, but I found another recently that I LOVE and it covers a little more. I don't feel the need to be rid of the floor anymore, especially when I think of walking on potato chips.

Do you like my new rug, too?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making Life Easier

I have been organizing a friend's paperwork. Because I like it. I know that is strange, but she is dealing with a long term medical crisis in her family and she asked me if I could take it over for her for pay. She and I have been friends since college, and there is no one I would rather do this for.

I have enjoyed getting her stuffed chronologically filed and her bills on a schedule to be paid automatically. Dealing with several years' worth of paper has me thinking of the most efficient ways to do this, and it has me dealing with some of my own paper clutter. Photographs are my main paper issue. I have so many that I could never part with --so many in frames and oodles of albums. Space is becoming quite an issue!

I recently purchased an external hard drive and have moved over all photos from my computer. It feels great to have these backed up, but what about all of my pre-digital stuff? Looks like some serious scanning is in my future.

Tonight I was really getting down to the last of the photos and making some decisions about more albums, etc. I have even put several photos of ancestors in an album, all black and whites, names, dates of birth (if I know), and how they are related. Sweet N was right there with me, asking what he could organize. We even moved a little furniture around, placed a few things, and he got into a drawer with cords and electronics. He sorted and untangled these for awhile and did not want to quit! Later he said, "It feels good to be organized, doesn't it? It sorta makes our life easier, right?"

Oh, out of the mouths of babes. But where is that voice when I am tossing random things in a drawer and slamming it shut?Ok, just had to go and scan this one for ya! It is my paternal grandmother (standing, middle) who was the oldest of 5 girls. They posed with their mother for this shot in about 1936. I think each one looks absolutely stunning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pascal Duquenne? Oui!

I like watching actors who have Down syndrome enjoy their craft. I came across this guy recently online (only in my dreams would it be in reality) who is an actor from Belgium.

Watching his trailers is fun! Not only does he act very well, he does it in his native French, which is so cool to watch. He is 40 years old now and, wow-- handsome!

I wanted to show you a trailer from a movie of his, but you tube is not cooperating with me today, so look him up.

Check out his credits below:

Pascal Duquenne
Born 8 August 1970 (1

Vilvoorde, Flanders, Belgium
Years active 1991, 1996, 2004, 2006
Awards Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
1996 The Eighth Day
Joseph Plateau Award for Best Belgian Actor
1996 The Eighth Day

Pascal Duquenne (b. 8 August 1970 in Vilvoorde, Belgium) is a Belgian actor. He shared the prize for a male role in 1996 Cannes Film Festival for his performance as Georges in the movie The Eighth Day, with Daniel Auteuil, who played Harry.[1] He currently lives in Brussels. He has Down syndrome.[2][3][4] In 2004 he received the very high civil distinction of Commander in the Order of the Crown (Belgium).[5]

Monday, March 7, 2011

This and That

I could not resist the potted tulips at Kroger recently. I took them out for their photoshoot debut on Saturday, and they did beautifully, don't you think? I am in love with them. I almost did not splurge this way, but each time I glance their direction, they pay me back with loads of joy.

We had such a nice weekend, despite our weather turning chilly again. It was okay, just not the mild spring-like temps that we have been teased with lately. It was so fabulous that N got an invitation to go to a concert! Social opportunities are the best and we are just as excited as he is when they come along. Yay for friends, for getting out, for enjoying good things! We are thankful.

While at the concert, he ate everything that did not eat him first. I think his growth is slowing, but his appetite is not. While he is already taller than I am (5' 4"), this fast metabolism is not going to last forever, and what happens when he can't devour so many groceries anymore?? He has some habits in place that need to be tempered. But then . . . . so do I. (Like the 7 dark chocolate kisses that just disappeared while I have been sitting here.)

Happy Monday.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thyroid Tune-Up

I am thinking it is time for a thyroid tune-up for me. My start to the new year was energetic, but lately I am like a wind-up toy that is almost wound down! I could take a nap at almost any time of the day with no problem.

I have thyroid disease and have known it and been on medication for it for about 9 years. The years that I was undiagnosed were so frustrating. I felt like a really bad mother because many days (which developed into years) I could not hold my head up, much less be a fun and energetic mom. When I look back I want to cry for those lost years. But, thanks to a wreck where we were rear-ended (!), a doctor felt of my neck for whiplash and discovered the swollen thyroid.

Having a doctor to palpate the thyroid, not just go by blood work numbers is KEY. I had had so many “normal” blood workups. Medication made for a slow but steady recovery, and I have enjoyed lots of good health since. It makes me sad for the thousands who are undiagnosed, though. And sad for the years I lost.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults include:

Early symptoms

Easy fatigue, exhaustion

Later symptoms

If you or someone you know is struggling with undiagnosed “feeling bad”, don’t give up! Keep seeking the solution. Perhaps you need a different doctor or someone to go with you who will be persistent.

Stress can contribute to the destruction of the thyroid. Learn how to manage your stress and delegate. Raising a child with special needs can be stressful!

What’s your favorite stress buster?