Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gone Fishing......

She thinks that she will catch the little fish
"There is certainly something in fishing that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit, a pure serenity of mind." -Washington Irving

We've Gone Fishin'

Actually, we are enjoying the hot, humid playing, reading, gardening, relaxing and trying to catch out breathes from some busy activities.

So many things have happend over the course of the last few weeks. We had friends visit and spent a glorious weekend together.....I left on a Jet Plane and met up with an online friend [which was just delightful...and I have pictures to share]...I took a mini-vacation from work....went to my 25th High School Reunion...........played at friends and watched fireworks....went to a funeral......sent Katrina off to Maine,,,,,welcomed Katrina home from Maine,,,,Celebrated a 15th Birthday [with a surprise party]....Celebrated a 17th Birthday [while my baby was away in Maine]....sent Katrina off to Ireland.....bought a new dryer [which meant my dryer broke and I had to hang clothes to dry for a few weeks in hot, humid weather...not a good mix!]...excited that my new dryer will arrive this week......sent Otto off to basketball camp.....and that is some of the reasons 'We've Gone Fishin' and I'm not sure when I will catch up with my blog's.........but I promise someday I will!

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Interview with GOD

My friend Robin posted this link to a beautiful photo-essay and I just wanted to share.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Greatest Blessing In becoming a Mother

The Birth
At 6:29am she was born.
Of course she was helpless
and frail
to the path before her, but she was also
determined and
glowing with a newfound warmth.
Her body surged with
changes that shook the
foundation of
self image she may have known.
Cries arose with a welcoming echo
where before
there were many moons of silent growth.
Safe in the newness of
shared body warmth,
she looked for the first time at the
life so attached to her own.
joy, and
utter love
swept over her as the
soothing milk
worked relentlessly at arrival to hungry lips.
She needed not a name,
for that was something she had been granted
long ago,
during another birth
where she was the one
joining the world as an infant,
but not today.
At 6:29am a mother was born.
By Laura Schmitt

Seventeen Years ago today, at 1:16pm, I was given the greatest blessing in my life.....At that moment I became a Mother. Seventeen years ago today at 1:16pm, my sweet Katrina Leigh entered into our world and christened me into Motherhood. A Gift that I have been blessed to have received four times and a position in life, that defines who I am....I am a Mother.
Katrina Leigh,,,,,who is away today vacationing in Maine with family friends is spending this special day away from home,,,,but, while it may seem sad, it actually is glorious because I have done my job oldest daughter has her wings spread wide and is flying.

I don't have a scanner, but here are a few pictures from her scrapbook that I just wanted to share. I so wish we had the technology for digital photographs 17 years ago, because many of my pictures of my first precious baby are on Poloroid film that darkens as the years go by, and I was not able to afford film and developing on large scale back then.....but these images are very precious to me....because it reminds me how innocent we both were back then.....both learning as we went forward through life as
Mother and Daughter.

Happy 17th Birthday!!!
Our first picture together.....

My sweet little girl,,,it amazes me how much you and Emma Sage look alike. She adores you 'Nini'...all day she has been walking around singing 'Happy Birthday Nini'
Your First Birthday with Nana holding you.
treeens bday2

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In Loving Memory

A dear friend lost his father today......after Emma Sage and I had been out playing & taking angel pictures our friend 'Uncle Marty' came by to tell me that our friend Peter's [a long-time, dear friend of mine and Rick's Best friend] father was not doing well....Emma Sage loves her Uncle Marty and he watched us finish up our pictures and then brought Emma Sage up to his house to pick raspberries and go swimming...I think it was to bring some sunshine into a sad day. This child has a way of creating peaceful moments in others. We had a cook-out at Uncle Marty and Aunt Dawn's and watched fireworks....when the fireworks were over and we were all heading home, Rick got the phone call that we all knew was coming. Peter's father had passed on. Again, I happened to have a series of pictures of my sweet little girl taken on the same day as a freinds me, it is a reminder of how this little girl touches my heart and soul and makes me realize that everyday is a blessing and their is nothing more important in life than family and friends.

Father, Father, hold me now,I long to feel your touch.Father, Father, my heart weeps still,I miss you so very much.I miss your warmth, I miss your smile,I miss your gentle guiding hand.You taught how to hold a bat,When to walk, to run, to stand.You offered such acceptance,Always let me be who I am,Never questioning my decisions,You helped me become a man.You were ill when I arrived,At the start it brought us close,Often nursing me off to sleep,I was much luckier than most.To this day, I rejoice my fortune,Knowing I was a lucky one;To be born of a loving and gentle man,Who reached out and touched his son.Father, Father, hold me David Higgins, 2000


In Loving Memory of Peter T. Brown.
Emma Sage and Uncle Marty
Emma Sage and Uncle Marty,,,sharing a sweet moment.


"We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the
still small stirring within, the little whisper that says,
Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone's plea.
You have a part to play. Have faith.'
We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing
us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it.
And wherever they are, the angels will dance."
-Joan Wester Anderson

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mixed Messages

Be careful whom you associate with.It is human to imitate the habits
of those with whom we interact...One of the best ways to elevateyour character is to find worthyrole models to emulate. ~Epictetus

This is the quote from a recent article in 'Disability is Natural' titled, 'Mixed Messages'.

I love this quote, because all along, from the moment I had the first premonition that Emma Sage would be born with Down syndrome till today, I knew that Disability was natural and that there is a normalcy of difference.

We are all different, but we are like the pieces of a huge puzzle.....we all fit in somewhere.

I opted out of Early Intervention, based on a few points, but the main point for me was that I did not want to subject my daughter to a system that was based on identifying her differences and trying to 'fix' them.

We then delayed preschool, trying to enroll her in the little local 'Happy Face Nursery' school, which said that would gladly take her, but that we needed to provide her with an aide [which she clearly does not need her own aide] but that meant that we had to go through the local public school, which refused to provide the aide because at that point they had a 'self-contained' preschool....again exactly what we did not want for our daughter. We did not want her isolated out and made to feel that she was so different that the only place she fit in was with others who were being isolated away from the general population.

The following year, the school offered a fully inclusive preschool program, so we sent Emma Sage. She adored school....she was happy, she had friends, she delighted in the routine of school.

Then we were told because she is five, she needed to be isolated again, to be judged, to have to go through battery of tests, just because she was born with an extra chromosome...just to attend school.

Typical five year olds just bring their birth certificate and required paperwork and they are welcomed and educated. If you are born with a genetic deviation, you must undergo a vast pile of tests...tests that label you, belittle you, isolate you....for what, so you can then be educated?

Rick was the one that said "No" we will not subject our daughter to that. We refused to consent to the IQ test. We did consent to any test that would help identify Emma Sage's strengths and weaknesses, to better decide her learning style, but as for a test that is basically a mute point and one that we believe will only be used negatively against our daughter, we said "NO" and then were slapped with a court appearance.

The school was going to force us to do something we firmly did not want to happen to our daughter. Rick's position was, "When every five year old is required to take an IQ test to enter Kindergarten to be educated, then we will consent"....and you know that is NOT going to happen.

So we pulled Emma Sage out of school. A school that is truly inclusive these days, a school filled with students that are compassionate and embraced my daughter with open arms. A school who has a principal who has fought very hard for inclusion and teachers who team up to co-teach to make our school truly an amazing place. So it is very sad that we were forced to either 'submit' or 'leave'. We don't have the time or money to fight sadly, Emma Sage misses out on all the opportunities that I believe she would have loved at Valley View School.....and SADLY, the students and staff miss out on the essence of Emma Sage.

But there is a very positive point to this story. Emma Sage is going to be home schooled and will be completely involved in our local Home Schooling Group [which is large and amazing] and will participate in community activities and sports, so she will be able to maintain her friendships with her friends from preschool and will continue to make new friends as the years roll forward.

She will not be sent 'Mixed Message's by being pulled out of class [which by-the-way, we never have asked for ONE SERVICE from our school district,,,we have only asked for our daughter to be educated, so I don't understand why we were forced to submit our daughter to testing, when we haven't asked for one single service].....she will not be sent 'Mixed Messages' and for that we are so thankful this happened now.

We have a blog set-up to record our educational journey. You can find it here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Tribute to J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye
A tribute to J.D. Salinger's , The Catcher in the Rye, which was published on July 16, 1951.

"What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff~ I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.": Holden in chapter 22.

"And Emma Sage seems to have caught someone/something!"

Summer Reading

I'm an avid reader......always have been. I can clearly remember my father reading to me daily as a tiny little girl and teaching myself to read very early with books that my Mamie and PopPop gave me as a gift. When I was a young girl, I set out to read every book in the young readers section of our little local library and then moved on to the adult sections. I can't go to bed without reading.

I believe reading is one of the greatest gifts in this world.....a treasure greater than any precious gem.

So if you are looking for an amazing read this summer as you set off on a trip to the shore or the lake, or even in the backyard sitting on the lawnchair with your feet soaking in the kiddie-pool, here is my suggestion.

This book is simply one of the most powerful and beautifully written books I have ever read.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Katrina, Greta, Otto & Emma Sage

My four sweet children. I love you all so dearly.

We are about to get on the plane and I wanted to tell you that I miss you already and I can't wait to be back home to see you and give you a great big hug and lots of kisses.

Have fun!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Life has been swirling, twirling....

The Road Less Traveled

"To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." ~Oscar Wilde

and moving swiftly along. I am still catching my breathe from the wedding last weekend and many unexpected events have been happening, that have made life so much more busier....but oh, so much more fun!

First, we had a surprise party for Greta's 15th Birthday on the preparations for that kept this Momma hoping.....and then a magical phone call on Friday evening from my friend Laura [whom I met on my Trisomy21Online community....actually we met online when I was pregnant with Emma Sage at ParentsPlace.] called to say that they were traveling to Indiana and had car trouble and that she was in the State of New Jersey....and guess where I live! So we decided to call each other in the morning an see if we could figure out a way to get together. The car was checked by a mechanic and they thought they might beable to make the trip to our house and so we had a weekend party here...picnicing, playing, celebrating the magic of T21.....and yes, drinking some wine!

The children all got along so well and when it was finally time to say good-bye on Sunday, there were many tears [especially by me, as Laura and her hubby, Mark were like long lost friends and we had just be most incredible visit].

Now the next unexpected event...I'm leaving on a jet-plane,,,,,don't know when I'll be back home again [actually I do....just thought I'd sing the!] ...with Rick for his work and I'm getting to meet up with some other online friends who also share the magic of T21 in their lives.....

How absolutely incredible....what an amazing gift life truly is.

So when I return,,,,be see many photographs, from last weeks wedding, to surprise parties, weekend visitors,,,,and plane trip and get-to-gether and just moments of life.

oh, and if you have noticed....the blog fairie was busy working her magic on my blog....I just love the new colors and sidebars.....and want to say "Thank you, thank you, thank you"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Girl and her Kitty.....


I need positive thoughts, vibes, prayers.....

I know you will all laugh, since I'm a former, avid skydiver and Rick is in aviation....but I'm deathly afraid of flying, and I have to fly next week. Unplanned by me, something magical that just popped up on our schedule, and I must do this. I'm a wreck.

So if you all could keep my lightly in your thoughts and me reach a point of calmness before this adventure, I would greatly appreciate it. [if I don't reach that point, either a stiff drink or a barf-bag are going to be needed to get me anywhere near that plane].

and big thanks to Grammy and Nana [and Katrina and Greta] for pitching in to help me out and let me take advantage of this adventure.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Miss E

Emma Sage's little friend, Miss E, is having a birthday today.....she is the big T*W*O

We hope you have a magical and wonderful second birthday!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Guess where Little Miss was today?

At a family wedding..........and boy did she [and her whole family] have a glorious time.

Just a few photographs to tie you over......

Watching the party getting set up below.

The Beautiful Bride.....and Lola

Contemplating the possiblity of going into the pool...
Amazing view....this is Uncle Ed and Svetlanas house,,,where they hosted their wedding...truly a magical place.

and I'll leave you with one last one [I still have to upload a bunch....and you know me, a bunch means over 500 shots I took today between the digital and film cameras....but I promise I'll only post a few].

Emma Sage had a blast....she was truly in her element dancing, singing, playing, eating and just being her wonderful, social-butterfly self!

[and I'm one tired Momma]

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Momma says Om theme of the week is TREAT.

So I decided to present my first 'theme of the week' in a few different formats.

The first is through a photograph [like that would surprise any of you! lol!!!]

Ummmm,,,,Ice Cream

This is a picture of little Miss enjoying a treat at Gronsky's Milk House......what a delightful and delectable treat for Emma Sage....but more importantly, it was a treat for her Momma, because this came at the end of a very busy day. We had headed to NYC for her photoshoot,,,,rushed home to catch Otto's World Series Game [which they won...what a treat for Otto and his team] and we headed to Gronsky's with Grammy to stop and rest from our adventures.

A treat......of taste.
A treat......of time to reflect and just enjoy the moment [with no-where else that day to rush off too]
A treat.....sharing time with Grammy
A treat.....a little boy with a big trophy for winning the Little League World Series

and then I thought about the word 'Treat' a little bit more....and I moved from the senses of delectable treats to eat, and the relaxed moments of Motherhood to the action of 'treat' and came upon this quote.

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." ~Nelson Mandela

and I realized that if I could pick just one use of the word treat, it would be this quote. As a a human being.....the thought of children not being treated properly breaks my heart. So for this weeks wish would be that all children are treated with love, respect, guidance, support, nurturing and that all children are feed, clothed, housed and educated....and mostly, allowed to be children for as long as possible and not be rushed into the realm of adulthood. May their innocence and wonder be cared for as well.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Did you say Birdie?????


Emma Sage loves Badminton.......she picked up the game on the 4th of July and all she has been talking about is playing 'Bad-mittons'.....and she just cracks up about the 'Birdie'......

"Mommy, what is this?" holding up the [Birdie]....which did you know is really called a 'Shuttlecock'.....and then laughs and laughs when I tell her it is either called a 'Birdie' or a 'Shuttlecock'.

So, last week her favorite game was Bocce.....and this week, she can't get enough of Badminton.
Getting a good handle of the racket.
Look at that form!!!???!!!
Yes, all good Badminton players use their tongue protruding as a signal that they are about to score!!!!!
Badmitton girl 2
Look at that serve!!!

Badmitton girl
A future Olympian???? I do believe so.....

So my question to you all is this......Do you want to come play a game of Badminton? Momma is getting tired of loosing, and this little girl wants to play all day long. I promise if you come visit and play a few rounds, I'll make you a big glass of Lemonade and fresh baked cookies!!!!

Determination......Emma Sage never gives up,,,she never has. If there is something she wants to do, she works and works till she accomplishes the feat.

It was a big pull up from the rope ladder to the top of the playhouse.....but she did it!

Love the tongue??!!??

That tongue helps with determination I have come to discover, cause every time she is working real hard on a feat,,,,that ol' tongue comes popping out!!!!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006


During the last few days I have reflected on the whole situation with Indy's Child magazine and editorials that still target our children that have Down syndrome as something 'unfortunate' and in need of earlier and earlier prenatal tests to eliminate the burden of continuing a pregnancy that is deemed 'imperfect'.

While I watched Emma Sage playing with cousins and friends, celebrating the 4th of July, I kept thinking about all the people I have met during my journey with Emma Sage in our life, whose beloved children with Trisomy21 have died. Children whose lives were wanted, loved, cherished and missed dearly.

I made this little banner in the memory of all of these beloved children and a reminder to all that all children are blessings.....those with 46 chromosomes and those with 47. Our children are loved and wanted.....and cherished beyond what words can convey. We are fortunate...and truly blessed.

This is Maddy.............she is an angel in heaven, but the love and joy she brought her family and friends will live on forever in their hearts.
A Tribute to an Angel
My creation

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Unconditional Love


Unconditional Love

A treasure to be cherished,
A gift from God above;
Is the beauty of a friendship,
Touched by unconditional love.
A love that asks no questions,
Believes in all the best;
Never doubting, ever trusting,
Withstanding any test.
A love that weathers any storm,
And yet that love still stands;
Through the very darkest hour,
It still reaches out a hand.
There in that hand the sweetest gift,
That you can give a friend;
A heart that cares, a love that shares,
That will be there till the end.
A treasure to be cherished,
A gift from God above;
Is what I share with you my friend,
An unconditional love.

by: Allison Chambers Coxsey

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 4th of July

My creation

Who needs the is my jackpot!!!

My first two full rows.......I feel like I just hit the lottery.....who needs money, the joy of seeing images you created all lined up in a row like this is priceless.....

Thank you to all of you who visit my photostream and view the World As I See it.....and share in my most precious subjects, my children, my home, my community, my life.



Emma Sage adores her Grammy. Actually, I think Emma Sage adores everyone, but there are some special people in her life that make her light up with such joy.....Grammy is one of those people.

Grammy is Rick's mom,,,,,she lives a mile up the Lane from us and is not just my mother-in-law, but one of my dearest friends and mentors.

Grammy is not feeling well....and I'm asking those of you who visit us here, if you could keep Grammy in your thoughts and prayers. They are going to take her to the emergency room in a little bit, but last night at a family picnic, I could sense she was not feeling well [and she kept it to herself].

These are pictures of Grammy that I took on Saturday......the ones of her holding baby Livija just melt my heart, as Grammy has this amazing gift of being able to comfort and swaddle a child [who at this point Livija was over tired, over stimulated and would not for anything settle down to rest...and her dear Momma tried so hard to get her to sleep]....I told Marcie to let Grammy hold Livija and I guarnateed that she would be out like a sleeping angel within minutes.....and guess what!?! She was!!!!

Grammy we love you and hope you are feeling better soon.
A child needs a grandparent, anybody's grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world. ~Charles and Ann Morse
The Magic TouchGrammy's magic touch
Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree

Me and My Daddy

Emma Sage just adores her Daddy. While Rick travels often and for extended periods of time, there is not a moment that this little girl does not speak of him, ask for his where-abouts, calls him on the phone [her pretend phone] and when he returns home, Rick has a little shadow.

This past month was a long month of Emma Sage missing her Daddy, as he was only home a few days out of the whole month and we missed 'Fathers Day' with as you can see by the photographs below, we celebrated our Daddy when he returned.

Me and my Daddy
There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

Yo done yet?Me and my Daddy two
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ~Jim Valvano

My Daddy's home
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.~Richard Bach

Thank you Daddy for being the bestest Daddy in the whole wide world.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus



As you all know, Emma Sage has modeled in the past [nine times to be exact] and from the very first moment till the last, it has been an overwhelming, positive experience. We always have to sign a release and I understand that the client hiring her, retains all rights to her image. For me, the money [while it helps Emma Sage's college fund grow...and YES, I do believe she will head off to college if she so desires to] is just a very small part of the reason I consent to her modeling.........

The first is the experience....this child just adores the whole thing...from start to finish.

Secondly, the exposure....I view Emma Sage's modeling as a way to promote inclusion and awareness in a subtle but very powerful way. Showing the normalcy of people with Down syndrome in ads with other children......smiling, playing....celebrating life.

So you can only begin to imagine the feeling I have after my dear friend Jan had a very negative experience with allowing her son to model.

I was so overjoyed by Nash's gig.....the photograph that was to be used was just delightful.....showing three beautiful children in a neat summer WaterWorks park. A perfect image of Summer-time......and a very gentle and beautiful way to raise awareness of Down mention of it....just three precious, smiling faces having a fun summer day.

Just Wonderful.....a Perfect Image....and then

iccover706 editorial that slaps the face of every parent with a child who happens to be sporting an extra chromosome. A few little words....and that perfect image is smashed to pieces.

"My daughter was born with no signs of Down syndrome. I was fortunate. That's reassuring." So, what does that make those of us who do have a child with Down syndrome...unfortunate?

This publication is lacking in ethics in my eyes.....and something that was so joyous has turned into something so ugly and sad.

I'm not a very good writer, but here are a bunch of links to some of the emotions that I have felt and others have so eleoquently written about this use of an image and a non-balanced editorial.

I feel raped, used and oh so love my son................. [Jan's telling the story of what happened to her and her beautiful [and very fortunate] son.

"Indy's Child's" Injustice" [Nicole's thoughts on this travesty]

A Travesty [AlwaysChaos's thoughts and sharing of information]

Cute Kids Betrayed Parents [Disability Studies, Temple University]

Rotten Bastards ['Til my head falls off': A very open and powerful response to the situation...and one that has moved me greatly]

Media and Down syndrome [A Bump on the Road]

Spitting Nails [Not That You Asked]

I Was Fortunate [Bits of Betsy.....a must read, and make sure you have tissues handy, as you will need them!]

The Injustice of it [Big BlueBerry Eyes]

My hopes for my daughter is that someday, all people will be seen first as people, not their disability, not something that needs to be seeked out and distroyed.

There are no guarantees in life.........and we all need to remember that Eugenics is real and it is knocking loudly at our door [and it is arriving wearing a sheeps clothing].

Please share your story, and your displeasure, with this magazine:
Indy's Child Magazine
Attn: Tom Wynne, Editor
1901 Broad Ripple Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220