Tuesday, November 24, 2009


There are two magazines I have found that are for parents of children with special needs. The first is Parenting Special Needs Magazine, which is a free online magazine. After a quick browse, it seems like a good source of accurate information as well as inspiration. The second is Exceptional Parent Magazine which is available in print and online by paid subscription. I have subscribed to this magazine for about a year and have found useful information in each issue. Please let me know if there are any other magazines for parents of children with special needs that you know of and would like to share.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Mustn'ts

Listen to the Mustn'ts
by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the mustn'ts, child,
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts
The impossibles, the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child
Anything can be.

I was reading "Where the Sidewalk Ends" with my daughter last night and just loved this poem. It is short and simple, but emphasizes an important point. I think parents are too often told of their children's limitations....that they won't be able to do something because they're too big, too small, too short, too tall, not smart enough, not strong enough, too this or too that. This poem reminds me to ignore the naysayers and to encourage and support my children in achieving whatever it is they want to achieve. As Shel says, "Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." I came across an article this morning that proves this point, yet again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brennan and Jenna

Monica from Monkey Musings tagged me in the Name Tag game, where I am supposed to explain how we chose each of our children's names. We did not have any family names that seemed fitting, so we headed to the book store and bought a couple of baby name books. Eric liked unique names and I liked traditional names....so, in naming Jenna, Tanner and Parker, we compromised with names that aren't totally common, but aren't totally uncommon either. Jenna has my middle name (Noel), Tanner has Eric's middle name (Christian), Parker has Eric's dad, brother and nephews first name as his middle name (James) and Brennan has Eric's first name as his middle name. But, no big stories or significant background for each of the kids first names. Except Brennan. Jenna actually named Brennan. I'm not sure how she came up with the name (although one of her best friends from preschools last name is Brennan - but Jenna says she didn't know that when she picked it). But for quite some time before he was born, she said she thought his name should be Brennan. When he was born, we decided she was right. And, you could say, the rest is history - as the two have had an incredibly close bond ever since.
All of our kids adore and have great relationships with Brennan - but I think Jenna may be his biggest cheerleader. She is incredibly observant and notices and brings to our attention each new skill Brennan learns. You'd have thought it was Christmas morning the way Jenna was jumping up and down and cheering the first time Brennan got into a sitting position by himself. When friends of mine are inquiring about Brennan and how he's doing - Jenna jumps in and starts telling them all of the things he can do. She's just so proud. She holds him, hugs him and plays with him countless times throughout the day and always tells him that she loves him and that he's the best baby in the world. And I know that she means it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Quote

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things"

I saw this quote in a store a while ago and have thought of it many times since. I find myself enjoying the little things even more than usual lately....the sweet interactions between my kids, the funny things they say, their contagious laughter, their heart warming hugs. These seemingly little things really are the big things in life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our Fall Schedule and One Cute Cow

With our kids at ages 1, 3, 5 and 6, they are going in four separate directions during the week. Jenna is in 1st grade and is at school 7 hours a day 5 days a week, Tanner goes to Pre-K for 3 hours a day 5 days a week, and Parker goes to preschool 3 hours a day 3 days a week. Jenna, Tanner and Parker all take swimming lessons once a week, Jenna has gymnastics once a week, Jenna and Tanner both play soccer once a week and Jenna goes to an art class once a week and Daisy's once a month. Brennan currently has therapy 4 times a week. One hour each with a physical therapist, speech therapist and developmental specialist (who all come to our house), then one and a half hours at our local early intervention center where he attends a playgroup run by a physical therapist and two occupational therapists. One half hour is spent in their therapy room working on gross motor skills and the remaining hour is like preschool where they have a snack, circle time and play time. The amount of therapy he has seems right for him and for our family. Brennan's service coordinator recently asked if we'd like to add any services and I felt confident saying that we wouldn't. Three of Brennan's four therapies are scheduled while his siblings are at school, which I really like. It lets me focus on his therapies while also not taking time away from my other kids. So, there you have it - our fall schedule. And, just for fun, a picture of one cute cow on Halloween night with his Grandma.