Sunday, August 26, 2007

I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.~Eliza Cook

Mirror ~ Mirror

"It's important that someone celebrate our existence... People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people." ~Lois McMaster Bujold, "Mirror Dance", 1994

World Down syndrome Congress 2009

We are so very excited........

In August of 2009, Emma Sage and I will travel to the home of my beloved Mother.....IRELAND, to visit with her family and to attend the World Down syndrome Congress that will be held in Dublin.

Today, is 11 months since my Mother left her earthly bounds........and it hurts as much today as it did on the day of her passing.

This event is something that I so look forward to.....and will be a way for me to celebrate not only Down syndrome, but my Irish heritage.
This child's memory amazes me.

Tonight I was 'swiffering' the kitchen floor. Emma Sage was my big helper, with a wet paper towel in hand, she was wiping down the baseboards. She looks up at me, as I 'Swiffer' right besides her and says....

"Mommy, where did you get that?"

I 'with my limited memory of late' say "I'm not sure, I think Shoprite"

To which Emma Sage replies...."No you didn't, you got it for Christmas"

and yes, she was was a Christmas present from her and Otto last year.

[yes, I get practical things as Christmas presents]

She does this all the time.....she remembers places, things, events clear than I do.

Good thing......she will be my keeper before long!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"By the way, I love you!"

This morning as I sat eating breakfast with Emma Sage, she looks up at me and says!! "By the way, I love you!"

This little girl just melts my heart!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Letter to Society

This amazing letter was shared on the Down syndrome List Serve and I had to share it here. It couldn't have come at a more appropriate time for me, as of late, the focus on my staying home and raising my family, especially caring for Emma Sage, has come up in outside social circles. Working Mothers who tell me that they could not wait to go back to work.....and me looking at them with this smile that must express that I just don't understand that need. Anyway.......I found this to be such a powerful letter......and I just had to share.

Letter to Society

Written by Michelle M. Guppy

I thought it was thunder rumbling in those late hours of the night.
The calm, peaceful thunder that keeps you slightly awake, but yet
relaxed enough to still rest, and sleep.

But when the wee hours of the morning came, that thunder became not so
peaceful. Clanging and banging, but not in the rhythmic smooth way
that thunder is. That's when I knew it wasn't thunder. It must be
my son. He's up again. I tried to ignore the sounds, thinking they
would stop. I was so tired.. Weeks in the summer when school is out
can seem like months when you cannot find attendant care. But, the
mommy alarm in me wouldn't let me ignore it for too long. What if
he's wet. dirty.. hurt. Then, as I lay there longer still, I became
angry. Why me. Why again. Why not wait and see if my husband gets
up to check..

That made me angrier. Knowing that really, even though my husband
does his share, I should get up and do all that needs to be done,
because my husband has an important job to go to early in the morning.
He has responsibilities, meetings. A paycheck to earn. He must be
fresh to do a good job, so he can keep his job. Me, I don't have a
job, at least not one I get paid to do or can get fired from. I stay
home and care for my son and my family. I don't have to clock in. I
don't even have to get dressed.

And apparently, I don't have to sleep either.

So it was with that anger, (and perhaps a bit of self-pity), that I
trudged upstairs to my son's bedroom to see why he was awake. I
didn't need to turn on lights, I could follow the banging and clanging
of toys being thrown, a bed being jumped on. And by the aroma that
met me when I opened the door, I didn't need lights to tell me the
reason why my son was up clanging and banging.

So in the dark I changed my son so I wouldn't disturb the rest of the
family. I perhaps grumbled too loud as I tried to maneuver a diaper
on and off in the dark. I perhaps grabbed a stray arm that was in the
way of me cleaning him, a bit firmer than necessary. And when
diapers were changed, clothes changed, and sheets were changed, and he
went back to banging and clanging, I know that perhaps I said to him
way too angrily, "Go to bed!."

I'm not sure when he finally did go back to bed, but the next morning
at 9:30am when I was to pick up my other son from swim practice, he
was still sound asleep. He looked so peaceful, so sweet. Nothing
like what I heard just a few hours earlier. The guilt was quite a
mouthful as I recalled what I was thinking about him in having to be
up most of the night because of him. I hated to wake him up, but knew
I couldn't leave him to sleep while I went. So I woke him. Once
downstairs he was confused as to why he was turning to go outside to
the car, instead of in my bedroom to the tub, his normal routine when
he wakes up.

As I drove to the pool, I was now mad at myself, and not him. Mad
that I was mad about having to get up at night. Mad about being tired
all morning; and even madder that I had no one I could call to stay
with him when I have to leave - or just to give me a break now and
then. I was mad that my back still hurt after two weeks of pain. I
guess a decade of bending and changing and chasing and dressing had
started to take its toll. Along with nearing forty, adding ten extra
pounds; not to mention the lack of exercise because of taking no time
for myself, even when I have it to take. Too many other more
important things to do.

Then I happened to look in the mirror . Not the rear view mirror, but
the special mirror I have attached to my rear view mirror. The one
that allows me to watch my son like a hawk while I'm driving. So I
can see and hopefully dodge a drink he has launched my way. So I can
see when he's escaped from his seat belt and can pull over before he
gets to the front seat and grabs the wheel.

What I saw in that mirror humbled me.

I saw a little boy with blonde hair, sleepy eyes, and disheveled hair.
I saw my child in pajama bottoms that were inside out and backwards
because I had hastily dressed him in the dark in the middle of the
night. I saw a man, with a man's body, in a sleeveless t-shirt. A
man I admired and who was worthy and deserving of my respect. I saw a
child who tries so hard to navigate a world he doesn't understand, and
that doesn't understand him.

I saw my child who could not talk and who has autism, sitting there as
pure and vulnerable and as sweet and as innocent as a human being
could possibly be.

And I saw the real reason for my anger.

It wasn't the little boy in the back of the van sweetly grinning and
swaying his head to the beat as a song he likes came on. It wasn't
the little boy who couldn't sleep last night because he was wet.

It was society.

It was how society had slowly eroded my sense of self worth into
thinking that it was a burden to care for or clean up after someone
else. That the job of doing that, wasn't worthy of respect or an
honest wage. It was those subtle messages I am exposed to each and
every day, that say that to be worthy, you have to be beautiful,
perfect, smart, rich. I am none of those things in the world's eyes.
It was those messages I am exposed to everyday that say that I must
be self-sufficient and have a career. A title. A degree. The more
initials after my name, the more important I become and the more pay I
earn. I have neither, and get paid nothing. So what does all that
make me, or the job I do at home?

It was those messages that if you do have some sort of specialized
training or position, that you have to do something the world deems
worthy with it. I did go through a policymaking class that trains
you how to be a professional advocate. I am a part of an important
state agency council. But am burdened that because I have no help in
caring for my son, that the training and position is going to waste
because I am not able to go out in the world and put that training to
use. All I can do is stay home and feed, change, and clean up after.
No traveling to important places to work on important policies to
help pass important laws. No, the most important thing I do each day
is to remember to lock all the doors in my house so my child doesn't
run away or flood the bathrooms.

And it was that knowledge that had built up, that made me feel the
angry way I did in the middle of the night as I changed yet another
diaper, yet another set of pajamas, and yet another set of sheets; in
caring for my son. It was that knowledge that had built up that made
me wonder if that is all I would ever get to do. And if so, was it
worth it?

I was sad at how society places value and worth on so many other
things, except those things or people that matter most.

I was sad at how the jobs where you care for others, are the most
underpaid, understaffed, and ill-supervised.

I was sad at how society teaches that no, it's not worth it.

I was sad that at the realization that I had become a part of that

I was so consumed with finding someone to help me care for my son so I
could go out in the real world and get a "real job", a "real paycheck"
and do "really worthy things", that I saw caring for my own son as a
job that didn't matter. And by seeing what I did as just a job that
didn't matter - the person I was working for, my son, became an
object. One that didn't matter. One that had no feelings. By falling
into that trap, I understood why there was abuse in state schools,
nursing homes, and institutions. Some there probably felt as I felt.
That their job didn't matter. They were working for clients or
consumers, and not people. So what if they talked to them rudely. It
was just a client, not a person. So what if they moved an arm out of
the way bit rough. It just belonged to a consumer, not a person. So
what if they made them lay there wet or soiled a little longer..
After all, it was the middle of the night, who would know? Who would

I do.

And my Legislator should. My state should, and my federal government

And above all, society must.

I am not angry anymore, I am humbled.

At how God used my son, the least of these in the worlds eyes, to
teach me a most valuable lesson that all the beautiful, smart, rich,
degreed, important, initialed people in this world, could not ever
have taught me.

He taught me that all I have to do to define worth, is to look in the
special rear-view mirror of my car - and see what is worthy in God's
eyes. To see what's beautiful, rich, and intelligent in God's eyes.
My son's worth is that he is simply a child of God. Not enabled, not
disabled. Just a child. An individual. My worth is further defined
by knowing that in loving and respecting that individual that God
thought important enough to create, I am doing what is most important
in God's eyes as well.

Caring for him.
And that is something I will never let society take away from me again.

Yes my son, if caring for you is all I ever get to do, it is worth
it; and I'm honored to do it.

Please forgive me for the times I ever felt otherwise.

Written by Michelle M. Guppy
For all the Brandon's of the world and those who care for them .......

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I swear, this child has never seen the apprentice!

But her comment to me just before bedtime tonight has me wondering?!?

I guess my little girl was not in the mood to have her Mommy direct her evening actions.

First, she was having too much fun in the bathtub and really did not want to get out.....but she was shriveling up like a prune and it was time to get ready for bed.

Then, after she is dressed and brushes her teeth [and a few complaints when I told her she could not smear tooth paste on the mirror], I tell her she has to help me clean up the mess she made in the TV room [she was baking muffins in her little kitchen and emptied out a few drawers to find the 'ingredients she needed]

At this point she looks at me and says

"I don't like you anymore.......You're FIRED"


I tell her that she can't fire me as I work for free and to help me clean up. After a few rounds of 'clean-up, clean-up, everyone do your share' she comes over and hugs me and tells me that she was 'just kidding'!!!

Life has been so very busy.....

and I have actually been taking some time away from the computer.

Summer has been wonderful.....full of many activities and lots of exploration and fun.

Emma Sage just delights in learning about the world around her.

She has been catching up on sleep......she had given up her afternoon nap a few months ago [when I started caring for a newborn] and it really took its toll on my little girl. She really needs to be well rested, or she gets herself into trouble and has little breakdowns. She also has been tossing and turning at night, more than usual. I took a look into her throat and her tonsils [they have always been huge] but are like big plums in there. So I made an ENT appointment for after we come back from taking Katrina to college.

Now that the little one I watch is getting a better nap pattern [she started coming to me when she was 3 weeks old] I have been able to sit with Emma Sage and read a few books and sing her to sleep....she has been sleeping for at least two hours and I have my bright, happy-go-lucky little girl back [not the grumpmeister that had crept into her during her 'no-nap' time.

We celebrated Katrina's graduation with a fun family and friends party. I have to upload the pictures [that my father took] as I was way to busy hostessing to get any pictures. Emma Sage had a blast playing with all the children.

We celebrated Greta's Sweet 16 birthday, and Emma Sage keeps singing when she see Greta the theme song from the MTV show [My Sweet 16]......although she does not watch the show, she hears the promos from the girls she hangs out with her sisters 24/7! This child literally thinks she is a teenager.

Greta is busy with Field Hockey [double sessions] and is a starter on the Varsity team. She is also one of the seven that is on the field in 'sudden death'. Greta has been playing field hockey since 2nd grade and is an incredible player.

Otto is playing football......yes, you read that right. I caved in. I was so trying to keep him away from football [too much testosterone.....but more the fact that every man that I know who is older and has 'aches and pains...bad knees....bad backs' always tell me that it was from old football I just wanted to protect him. Well, he came home this spring and told me that he really wanted to play. It is a great program at the high school, called Voorhess Junior Vikes Football. He is in the age bracket of 5th and 6th graders. He is loving it.....and the coaches all love him. Being a 5'6 1/2" inched 145lbs Eleven year old boy has its advantages on a football field. The real nice thing for me is the games are under the lights on the high school field on Saturday nights [and I never have anything to do on Saturday nights] and his practice's are a field over from Greta's field hockey practices so I can pick them both up at the same time.

Katrina is heading off to college in six days......she is so excited and so ready. She is packed and looking forward to this new adventure. Emma Sage, Grammy and I are driving her down next week. I am looking forward to this little 'vacation' since I have not had a real vacation in about ten years. Two days on the beach will be a welcomed break.

and that is a little bit about our very busy,,,,,,but very delightful summer.

One Funny little girl.....

That is what I have funny little girl.

I know I have said it before, but it is so true. This child of mine just makes me laugh and laugh all day long. She is so funny and witty.

We have been learning about our 'senses'.......the five senses in our schooling.

So, she has been very aware of everything around her and what sense she is using to tell what it is........well, we were sitting in the living room, regrouping from a night of field hockey and football.

One of the kids [I won't name names! lol!] have very loud and smelly flatulence.

All of a sudden, Emma Sage exclaims....."Hey, I used my senses. I heard a fart and used my ears and I smell a fart and use my nose!" "2 senses"

We all about died laughing. Then she gets real serious [and we are on the floor rolling] and says "I'm sorry, I said a bad word"

She thinks fart is a bad word [as I always tell her it is 'passing gas']

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sadly, Sweet Gabi did not make it through the night....she got her brillaint wings last night at 12:50 am.....with her family by her side and in her Mother's loving arms.

You can read about the life of Gabi here....and leave a comment of support for her family.

Gabi was celebrated......and loved. Her life was truly a blessing.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

For those of you that pray......can you send some positive thoughts and prayers to precious little Gabi right now. This sweet little one is struggling to live.

Emma Sage has been keeping her hands clasped in prayer, saying "God, don't let Gabi be sick anymore"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lonely in Loving A Star
A rising star needs time and space
To gleam, to glow and shine.
Let the world behold, adore, embrace
–Warm memories are mine.
Away from the lightI moved,So there might
Be more for the world to see.
Alone at night,I long for the brightStar who belonged to me.
Shimmering, shining,Your gilded glow isLuminescent and coruscating.
Remembering and pining here below,
My star will see me waiting.
Into the skies
A million eyes
Look to you for truth.
While I alone
Have truly known
The brilliance of your youth.
~ Nancysue Krenrich Hamm

Friday, August 17, 2007


“I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world.”
Mark Twain American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910
and Miss Emma Sage just loves to make it is a good thing that there is not only one in the world.
My sweet, sweet child.
Today we played with bubbles.....what fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hunting Dragon-flies and Butter-flies

Yesterday, we spent some quiet time hunting.......butterflies and dragonflies......with our camera!

Man, dragonflies are the hardest creature to photograph....they move fast

Hard to tell, but there were about six different pairs fluttering about...

My photography assistant and her 'self-portrait'!!!


We love butterflies......

hate all the yellow-jackets of late....but adore all the butterflies.


and that is one of the things Emma Sage did yesterday.........

She's a Super Freak

Every time we meet
She's all right, she's all right
That girl's all right with me, yeah
She's a super freak, super freak
She's super-freaky, yowSuper freak, super freak
She's a very special girl
The kind of girl you want to know.....
~Rick James Super Freak circa 1981
I know, not all the words apply to my sweet little girl, so I just highlighted the chorus that applied.
Emma Sage has an incredible vocabulary......she amazes me day in and day out with her use and understanding of words. [although sometimes her diction and clarity are hard to understand...her meaning and usage is right on]
So where does the song 'Super Freak' come in?
Last night we were at the mall returning Greta's IPod that we had gotten her for her Sweet Sixteen Birthday. We ordered it using Rick's American Express points, but sadly when it arrived, it had a weird 'can't sync -48 error'. We took it to my brother-in-law, Jim [who is a computer genius] and he was unable to figure it out. Last night was the first opportunity we had to get to the Apple Store at the mall. [we were in and out in a few is a nice thing to have cute, sweet girls with you in a store filled with men who quickly came to Greta's aid. Turns out she needed a new Ipod as there was a functional problem with the one she got as a gift.
At this mall there is a very large escalator.........which fascinates Emma Sage. She asked Greta and her friend Kristen to take her on the escalator...which they gladly did. Except, they got up ahead of Emma Sage and started going down......Emma Sage was trying to keep up, but got overwhelmed with the deep drop, people coming up behind her to get on and watching Greta and her friend slowly descend. She got on, got scared, jumped back and fell on her bottom....with her feet being swept by the stairs that were coming out the top on their way down.......
I ran over to rescue her.....and she just broke down....crying.
She stood at the top of the escalator sobbing. [enough to break this Momma's heart]
As soon as she saw Greta and Kristen coming back up to her....she wiped her tears and said "I'm sorry Greta, I freaked out"
We all laughed. Greta picked up Emma Sage to bring her down [as there was no convincing her that she could try again and Greta would hold her hand the whole time]
As they went down, Emma Sage gained the confidence to get down and stand on her own.
By the time they made it back up to me....she was all smiles.
Move forward to the end of our mall trip.
We are in Sears, and they have a smaller escalator.
Emma Sage turns to Katrina at this time and says
"Nini, you take me on the escalator, I won't freak out......I freaked out on Greta, but I won't freak out on you"
Awe...........she just melts my heart....and amazes me on her ability to express her emotions and actions.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What is?.............

But, I REALLY love you!!!!

The response you get any time you try to correct Emma Sage's behavior. As soon as you stop to let her know that 'that is not proper behavior'....she looks at you with those big blue eyes and in the sweetest little voice says "But, I REALLY love you!"


We know you do honey, and we REALLY love you too.....and THAT is why we are correcting your behavior!
Never Say Beverly Beckham

Yes, another amazing read. I urge all of you to click on the above link and read this very perceptive article.

One thing that crept to the front of my mind when I read this article was an incident that happened to me this year at Emma Sage's dance class.

About halfway through the year of dance class, one Mother who always chatted with me and others, whilst running after her 18 month old.....stopped one day with tears in her eyes.

The Mother always stared at Emma Sage, and smiled and asked me lots of questions about her and Down syndrome.

On this one day, the window that looked into the dance studio, had been open for the first time since the children had learned the recital routine and they were executing it wonderfully [enough to bring a tear to every Mother's eyes that were there watching their little dancers]

She turns to me and says "Did I ever tell you I lost a little girl with Down syndrome?"

Me [with tears already to flow from the scene through the window] began to tell her how terribly sad I was to hear that.

I begin to venture forward with a question of my own [since I have dear friends who had tragically lost their little ones with Down syndrome to complications from heart surgery and/or other medical issues] I ask her "How old was she?"

"24 weeks" the Mother replies

I feel my skin get cold and raise in little bumps and a huge lump formed in my I now know 'why' her little one died.

"Oh, I'm so sorry" I reply.

She continues........."They lied to me. They told me that my daughter would never walk, never talk, never sing, never dance.......They told me she would be a burden and would ruin my life"

and here I sit, week after week, and I watch Emma Sage. I watch her walk, talk, sing, laugh, play with friends and dance.....and all I can think of is that "They lied to me"

[Now, I have tears flowing freely down my cheeks...there is no stopping them]

I get up and give her a hug and tell her how so very sorry I am for her and her little girl.

and then I tell her.....but now you know, they lie.....and you didn't know that at the time.....but you do now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Look to this day,
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today, well lived,Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Sanskrit Proverb

Perseid Meteor Shower.....

Perseid Meteor shower peaks this weekend and we spent last night and tonight with our eyes to the skies.

What an incredible sight. Emma Sage even noticed a few......and a few fireflies, which she said were stars on the ground.

I hope you all got a chance to check out the heavens..........

The First Ever Down syndrome Carnival.....

Cause of our joy has started a wonderful feature called Carnival of Down syndrome, where she highlights some blogs and favorite links.

Come on over to The First Ever Down syndrome Carnival and check it out!
Daddy made it home.....but he got sad news today. His dearest childhood friends, father and long time neighbor had passed away. He is waiting on news to see if he will travel for the funeral.

I am up online this late, as he has the TV on [I can't sleep with TV on] watching the Larry King interview with Merv.......his best friends father and neighbor of all of his childhood years.

Rest in Peace made this world a much better place.
Once when you were walking across the meadow grass, A little fiary touched you ~ but you never saw her pass.

One day when you were sitting upon a mossy stone, A fairy sad beside you, but you thought you were alone.

So no matter what you do, no matter where you go, A fairy may be near you ~ but you may never know. ~Annette Wynne

Guess who got her ears pierced?

Yes, my little girl is a big girl now and got her ears pierced.

We had gone over to Grammy and PopPops the other night to pick up Katrina and Greta who were out running and stopped to visit. When we got there, Aunt Heidi asked Emma Sage if she wanted to have her ears which Emma Sage exclaimed "YES"

Heidi had an ear piercing gun and sterile earrings from her days at Blue Cross and Blue Shield and they pierced her ears. I have yet to get a picture of her with her new earrings.......but here are two from the actually piercing.

Not a Flinch.....Not a Cry.



and she is so good turning them and squirting her antiseptic solution on it a few times a day.

So I wonder what Little Miss will be getting for Christmas? Maybe a new pair of earrings?

Victories, Sweet and Simple

Today's The Boston Globe has a piece written by their columnist, Beverly Beckham.

I have been loving reading her columns since she started writing about her grand-daughter, Lucy......

When I read the words of Beverly Beckham and the love of her grand-daughter, it always reminded me of my own Mother. Now that my dear, sweet Mother has passed.....Beverly Beckhams reflections of living and loving life with Lucy is so very poignant for me. In her words, I hear my own Mothers voice.

Thank you Ms. Beckham........

Victories, sweet and simple
August 12, 2007
'The victories, when they come, will be sweet," someone, many someones, told us after my granddaughter Lucy was born.

But we didn't believe in victories then or that life would ever be sweet again. We were stunned and scared and grieving the child Lucy wasn't. The words "Down syndrome" had rocked our world.

We should have listened to the people in the trenches, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers, people who knew and loved someone with a disability who kept telling us: She will be fine. You will be fine. You will be better than fine. Wait. You'll see. We've seen.

In the beginning it was milestones that made us hold our breath and when Lucy reached them, exhale. Victories? Not quite. Just markers on the progress chart, things to check off, to tell doctors and therapists: Yes, she can do that.

But sweet, too. Definitely sweet.

If only Lucy would smile, we said. She should be smiling. Why isn't she smiling? Peek-a-boo, Lucy. Tickle, tickle, tickle. We made funny faces. We stood on our heads. We did everything but hire a clown.

And she was only 2 months old.

I don't know when Lucy decided to grace us with her first grin, or why we didn't record it after obsessing about it for weeks. But I know she was laughing and smiling when she was only 3 months old because I pasted a picture of her in my journal and wrote. "Lucy was amazing in church today. She was wide-eyed and smiling."

And so Lucy smiled. And rolled over. And crawled. And cooed..................

Please read the rest of the article here........and as my dear friend Rebecca said in her e-mail to me this morning letting me know about the article.....after you read it again!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This says it all.

One of the most inspirational stories I have ever seen and heard.

Today has been a glorious day. A picture perfect day....and this news piece made it one of the best we have had this year!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Be happy. It's one way of being wise. ~Colette

Thinking of Daddy

Emma Sage is a Daddy's Girl......she loves her Daddy-O so much.

Since he travels often, she is used to him being away, but that still does not change her familiar pattern of missing him more and more each day he is away. She has a good sense of the world, as we always look on the globe to see where her Daddy-O has traveled to.

She also can say the names of many countries........but Italy is by far her favorite place to say where her Daddy has gone to.

Right now Daddy is not too far away....but he is away. After the first few days she only asks once of twice where he is.....and then it increases. Since by this time she knows where he is, she will either point out on the globe or question me 'Daddy in Australia?' etc.

Savanah is his current location......and she really likes to say 'Savanah......I go there?' since I told her we could actually drive to where her Daddy is.

He was supposed to be home tonight....and I had told her that the other day. But Mother Nature had different plans and hit the northeast with storms that cancelled any flight he could take to make it home to us..........and she is not a happy girl.

So Daddy-O.......these pictures are for you and her. We can't wait to see you when you get home tomorrow.



I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart. ~Adabella Radici

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Country Fairs.....

What could be sweeter [or hotter] than a night at the State Fair. The New Jersey State Agucutrual Fair is now held at the Sussex County Fair grounds. A fair that my cousin's family has been participating in since it started many, many years ago.

We always go visit our cousins, Fred and Sandy and girls and see their cows they have entered....both in Four-H and General showing........what fun!!!

Here are a few pictures from our trip up Monday night.


Emma Sage and Sandy. My cousins' wife Sandy has to be one of the sweetest people I have ever known in my life. She is soft spoke and so gentle and kind. Here she is talking to Emma Sage about the littlest cow they had there [they had 21 total during the week]. Randi is only four months old. This goes not only for Emma Sage and her cousins, but Sandy talks to all who pass by and want to learn about the cows.........what a treasure for those going to the fair and not having the opportunity to really learn about farming and dairy operations.


Uncle Mikey and cousins, Ronan, Rori and baby Sadie. My brother Michael and Victoria stopped by on their way to the fair [and Michael parked his truck at our house as he was on his way home from work] and took Otto up earlier with them...since I was still working. Emma Sage and I traveld up together [she fell asleep in the car] so I was basically alone with my own thoughts and able to listen to my favorite radio station [that is something you basically give up when you have kids in the they claim the music controll! lol!!!]


Ronan and Emma Sage getting to pet Randi



Hanging out with cousin Aubry......she is so good with Emma Sage....and you can tell she adores her cousin!!!!


Randi turning to say 'Hello there Emma Sage'


Miss Rori....what amazing eyes you have there young lady!


My Mother would have loved this photograph.......

What fun!

My little getting so big.
Did you know 'Red-eye' does not work on cow's eyes! lol!

Hanging out on the pile of what do you do Miss Emma Sage, yes, you throw it!

Playing a game....and guess who won a goldfish. Yep, my little ping-pong throwing champ....must have been her practicing with the hay [actually it was straw]

Emma Sage and her prize....whom she named 'Goldie' and who lived for a total of five hours in his new bowl at home. He was one beat up fish, missing is tail and top fins [poor little fellow]
The end of our night.....getting ready to go home and filling up on cotton candy [In France, the name of this sweetmeat is "barbe à papa" or in english "the beard of daddy"] as one of my contacts on told me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Great Equalizer

When Emma Sage was a baby, I remember listening to the Mother of a young adult with Down syndrome. She was talking about her daughters experiences in life, and one thing really stood out. She said that she always tried to interest her daughter in activities that were 'Great Equalizers'.

For her daughter, it seemed that water was the great equalizer. In the pool, her daughter swam like a fish and competed with both typically developing and differently-abled peers. The water was the equalizer. Her daughter also rode horses, and this was another area that the Mother said her daughter was able to participate and compete with typical peers.

I do believe that Emma Sage has found her nitch. She loves to ride. Her riding instructor [who is a phenomenal woman] said that she is just so delighted, because Emma Sage listens [as well or better] than typical six-year-olds and that her intent and focus is wonderful. She only has to explain things once or twice and Emma Sage picks right up on it and is able to execute the commands when requested.

We were blessed a few years ago to have access to [and share] a pony with a little girl that lives near by [except the pony's were kept at a farm about a half hour from here] through a program called 'Personal Ponies'. The little girl moved away last year [and so did the ponies] so we have not had the 'whenever you want to groom or ride opportunity' We are truly blessed that my neighbor down the lane [the one with all the wonderful animal pictures I share in our day to day outings] adores Emma Sage and allows her to visit with the animals anytime she wants [we are like the only people that she allows to do this] and she is going to be riding with Ms. Bonnie weekly.

So I decided that since this is an area that Emma Sage has the greatest of attention and desire, I would contact Personal Ponies myself. We are waiting on paperwork, but it looks like from the note I got from the National Director, we might be sporting a pair of ponies here that Emma Sage can take care of...feed, groom [her most favorite thing to do is brush a horse] and ride everyday.

Ah, the Great Equalizer.

Here are some pictures I took from last week....enjoy!

I love this picture........standing on the bucket to get up higher to brush!



Yup, she is still sporting a plumbers butt!!!!!


Moments like this just melt my heart......she just has such a beautiful relationship with animals....especially horses.



Miss Polyanna......thought I'd take a piggy break


Look at that she in heaven or what!?!