Sunday, May 31, 2009
On a serious note, I've had several other designers (not on CrumbSnatchers) plagarize my designs... using the same layout, elements, and fonts. I'm thrilled to provide inspiration but I respectfully request that you ask my permission before using my designs; and please do not claim those designs as your own. Thanks for your cooperation!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Only 8 more days until Daddy gets back from India!
Jenny got out of school early today because of finals, so we took Dominic to the movie theater to see UP. What a treat! First of all, Anna was taken care of at school and she hates the movie theater... it's too loud for her and she's never made it more than 10 minutes once a movie starts... so it was nice to take Jenny and Dominic out. The movie was AWESOME!!! I laughed out loud and got teary-eyed at the end. The first 10 minutes there was no dialogue... just wonderful music and the most incredible animation ever. Pixar produces my favorite movies. I couldn't believe that Dominic's attention didn't wander, he was totally mesmerized. I'm still smiling.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Their father left home when they were very little, he went to live with another woman and he has never been financially responsible for them. The grandmother works at home looking after the children. The grandfather works in the fields looking after his cows. He has baby cows that he breeds and then sells. He earns an average of $21 per week when he sells his cows but he only sells them once a year. The rest of the year when they do not have sales and do not have much money to eat, their adult children help them with food but their adult children also have families and are very poor so cannot afford to give them very much.
They live in their own home. The house is made of mud brick, the roof is tin sheeting and the floor is cement. They have four rooms and one outside kitchen. They have a wood burning stove. They do not have an onil stove. They do not have a water filter. They have a pila (which is a 2-sided sink that is a necessity in every family). They have water connected and pay $4 U.S. per month. They have electricity connected and pay $12 U.S. per month. They have one small closet for the childrens' clothes. They have two beds. They have a table and chairs. They do not have enough blankets.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
We got a double stroller right off since Anna fatigues so quickly and Dominic runs off. Jenny and Chris looked so cute, I could almost picture them with their own family (hopefully not for a long time, lol!).
Right behind us was an area for those with disabilities and shortly a girl in a wheelchair with her mom and aunt (?) sat behind us. Anna has a bit of an obsession with wheelchairs and kiddos who ride in them. Soon the questions started... "Mommy, why does she look like that? What's her name? Why is she in a wheelchair?" I said to her, "Anna, why don't you ask her?" So Anna turns around fully and asks, "What's your name?" to the girl. She was not able to respond, she had a trach and appeared to be fairly medically complicated. So I said to the mom, "This is Anna. She would like to know your daughter's name," to which she responded, "This is Caitlyn." Anna starts talking to Caitlyn while I explain to her mom that Anna has autism and may ask some inappropriate or uncomfortable questions. This mom and I made eye contact, and in those fleeting seconds, a lifetime of special needs appointments, heartaches, testing, therapy, worries, and hope passed between us. There is a special bond among mothers who care for children with special needs and it only takes a moment to establish that connection. I also explained that we are continually working on Anna's filters... what is socially appropriate and all that.
The mom responded with a very profound statement:
"YOU are her filter."
I've thought about that a dozen times since then. It's so true. I am Anna's filter. I interpret the world for her, I recognize when sounds will be too loud, when a crying child will set off a meltdown, when she is about to lash out in anger and hurt someone. I recognize how to shift those moments into a silly song to distract her or to take a walk to clear her head. I am teaching her to recognize those clues so that she can take care of herself too.
The mom and I made small talk; they lived locally and came quite often to Sea World. The mom said that Caitlyn seems to like the Shamu show, that the music and lights sparkling on the water seem to get her attention. She said, "You know, I can't really know how much she understands but she seems happy here." I thought about how hard it would be to not know what your child was really feeling or understanding.
Anna LOVED the Shamu show, as did Dominic and Jenny (Chris enjoyed it too!).
Look at the pure excitement on her face!
I've been thinking about Caitlyn's mom. She had such a peaceful manner about her; when she shared why they come to the Shamu show, there was no sadness or wistfulness, just truth. I feel that I sometimes over-explain Anna, that it feels like I'm making excuses for her or diminishing her being by labeling her. I wish I could just let her BE. I have gotten better about not noticing other people noticing her and I am a good filter for her. But I have a ways to go to get to true acceptance.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
So our family celebrates twisty love hugs. Give someone you love one tonight. I bet they will really feel your love.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
A Midwinter Dream
Thanks, mom!!! I can't wait to play!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I made this card for my mom and MIL with Kristin Conin-Barrow's Serenity mini-kit.
I spent the afternoon catching minnows with Anna and Dominic. Dominic was so cute... at one point he said, "When I grow up, I want to be God." After I finished chuckling, I asked him why. He said, "Because I could be big and have power." Where do kids come up with this stuff? LOL.
I hope all of my wonderful friends had lots of love today.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This is her boyfriend, Chris. He is completely devoted to her.
Keep your fingers crossed! Jenny applied to a music summer camp called Noise! and should hear back very soon to see if she was accepted. They are only taking 32 students and she really wants to attend.
Well, that's enough for my first post. Welcome!