Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three!

Oh, poor little neglected blog. There is so much you don't know. So many things that have happened in the past several months that haven't been written here in Elijahland. So many changes occurring.
First, there's this:
Yep, our little family is expanding to five - soon, in fact.  December is approaching quickly: 
Soon, we'll have our hands even more full. Oh boy!
These two awesome sons of ours are going to be big brothers to one awesome little bro. 
We're thrilled - and busy with all that life entails. Something tells me things aren't going to be slowing down any time soon. I am totally and completely okay with that. Life is crazy, but it sure is fun. We already love our three boys. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First

Today was our firstborn's first day of first grade.
Little brother, Oliver, wanted to be in pictures too, so he got to help hold Elijah's sign.
Oliver wanted to go to school with his big brother. "Oliver school, too," he kept telling me.
I felt nervous today and on edge. It's hard to send your kid to school and trust those who take care of him (especially since he can't tell us what he thinks or feels or how his day went). The first day of first grade was so much easier than the first day of kindergarten, however, and we're pleased that Elijah has the same paras as last year. He's known at his school and they care about him. That means so much.
And, it helps that Elijah LOVES school. He waved goodbye to me before he got out of the van this morning and practically pulled his para into the building.

When Elijah got home, he was all smiles and full of joy and affection. Elijah doesn't usually make all that much noise, but at supper he was babbling so much it was like he was telling us about his day. Oh, how I yearn to be able to understand what he's saying, to get inside that head of his. He's been more verbal lately and we have renewed hope for the development of speech.

It doesn't take words, however, to know that he had a really amazing first day of school. Can't wait to see the changes this year will bring.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Alive (and Well)

I never intended to take such a long break from blogging (sorry about that).
The last several months have been super busy.
We've been living life to the fullest.
Swimming, camping, fishing and the Fourth of July = lots of summer fun. 
It's a good life.
I have lots of updates, my dear readers (are you still here?).
But, that'll have to wait until the next time.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you all know we are still alive (and well).
And having lots of fun while we're at it. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not a New Debate


When I was a kid, my mom worked for our local devision of The Arc - an organization that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She still works there, actually. As a result, I was around people with disabilities a lot as a kid. I have such fond memories.

Back then, the medical diagnosis was mental retardation (and, yes, this sentence makes me feel really old). These days, if you're not aware, the correct diagnostic term is intellectual disabilities. Mental retardation is an outdated term.

I still remember my mom coming home from work one day and talking about the debate to change verbiage. I remember the conversations we had then about how it wasn't just about the words used, but the attitudes behind it. We talked about how people would find a way to demean and abuse whatever was the new medical diagnosis.

Which brings me to the word retard, a word I have a hard time even typing. It's a demeaning word, something that has been twisted and contorted over time to mean something cruel. It's a word - derived from a medical diagnosis - that was so misused over time that the medical diagnosis itself needed to be changed. Just think about that for a moment. And yet, everyone knows what group of people the word retard is referring to. And everyone knows it's not nice. Whenever the r-word escapes your mouth, you are - intentional or not - making fun of people with intellectual disabilities.

It's disrespectful.
It hurts.
It's not funny.
It makes you sound uninformed and unkind.

As someone who enjoys writing, words matter to me. I implore you to examine the words you use. If the r-word is part of your vocabulary, consider trying to come up with something better. Not only that, examine how you think and feel about people with disabilities. Do you consider them with love and respect? What we say about each other matters.

This isn't a new debate. It is something I've been hearing about my entire life. But, there isn't a debate about this: a whole lot of people are hurt by the r-word.

Don't say it.

---
Tomorrow is Spread the Word to End the Word Day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Sweet Memory

I had a memory a few weeks ago. I'm finally taking the time to write it down...
Fairytales do come true - sometimes with baby legs in the face
Andy and I were at a department store. Except this wasn't any normal shopping trip. We were on our way to visit our sweet little Elijah in the NICU. I needed to pick up a few things for my ever changing new mom body. If you must know, I was in dire need of nursing bras. If I hadn't needed something so important, we wouldn't have been shopping instead of visiting our son.

I quickly grabbed a couple of things and longingly looked at the baby clothes as we walked by the infant department on the way out of the store. My hand rested on a blue and white outfit, allowing myself to feel the softness of the fabric between my fingers. I dreamed about dressing our baby boy and taking him home.

Standing there, I recalled months earlier when we'd been in the same store and I saw some cute infant clothes.
"Andy, look at these," I gushed at outfits that were tiny and pastel.
Andy nodded, but didn't admire the cuteness as I did.
"Yep, that one outfit is 20 dollars, Lisa. And the baby will wear it for how long? A month?"
"I wasn't saying we should buy them," I replied. "I was just admiring them. They're soooo cute."
On that day, we left without buying anything for our baby-to-be.

But, on the day we took a detour to on our way to visit our son in the NICU, I held the blue outfit - and all of my dreams - in my hands. Andy took the outfit and it's matching blanket off the rack and out of my hands without a word. He looked at me and I looked at him and we knew each other's thoughts. We were going to buy this outfit for our son. And we did. Then we drove to see our sweet baby and dreamed of the day when he would get to wear it.

Elijah did eventually wear the outfit - probably a total of two times.

It was worth every full-priced penny.
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