Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the Word to End the Word

I've never given much thought to my use of the word "retard." As a matter of fact, I would say it to myself quite often when I had done something I felt was stupid. Since Landon's birth I have become quite fond of message boards for parents of children with Down syndrome. One clear message that I have gotten from those boards is that the "r" word is hurtful, derogatory and disrespectful to those with intellectual disabilities. Though I never inteded to be mean and hurtful, because I said it to degrade myself and/or my actions, it is clear what I was implying with my word choice. That only stupid acts are done by "retards". And that completely undermines any accomplishments and the many abilities of those with intellectual disabilities.

So friends, I am asking you to join others to pledge to never use the "r" word. Click below to make your pledge, or, make it to yourself.

Click here to read a message from John C. McGinley, actor, and father of a child with Down syndrome.
My pledge: For my son Landon, so that others may accept and respect him for who he is and for his abilities and not judge him for his disabilities.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Irish Festival

For the first time ever, we went to the Irish Festival in Church Hill.  It is an event that celebrates the Irish heritage and proceeds benefit many charities.  They have two stages of music and entertainment, from Irish bands to Irish dancers, vendors selling Irish wares and even better - Irish food (fish and chips anyone?)!  They also had a childrens' area set up with fun activities for the little ones.  It turned out to be a nice day, at least compared to the crazy weather we've had lately!

McKayla really enjoyed watching the Irish dancers, though she wasn't a big fan of the bagpipes.  She definitely doesn't take after me in that regard, I could listen to them all day!  Landon really enjoyed seeing the sites and listening to the music.  He was happy and talkative and intently watched everything going on around him.

While McKayla and Dustin went to play in the children's area, Landon and I sat at a picnic table where I was able to get some really cute shots of him.

We had a great time and I'm really looking forward to going next year!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Danza Down

Check out this amazing dance troop!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let's Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day!

First, I apologize that I haven't posted in such a long time.  It's been nuts and I've been tired.  More is coming, though, I promise!

Second, if not for my little Landon, I don't know that today would have held as much significance for me.  It is not something I am proud to admit, but I am proud that I have a 13 month old teacher that shows me all people have something positive to give to this world, no matter what their abilities may be.

Today is March 21st, and is World Down Syndrome Day.  March 21st was selected because it represents the scientific terminology for Down syndrome - trisomy 21.  Since Landon's birth, it has been my mission to educate myself, for his benefit, but also to educate others, for the benefit of all.  Unfortunately, time and energy (or lack thereof) tend to hinder my progress.  I just read a friend's blog and she has offered up wonderful suggestions for ways to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.  They are simple and easy, yet imperatively effective in raising awareness about the wonderful people whose bodies hold an extra chromosome.  Please take a moment to visit Hannah's Shenanigans.  Hannah's mom is a great writer and you'll enjoy reading and learning about Down syndrome as well as her amazing daughter Hannah.   

So I implore all those who read this blog, whether it is today, tomorrow or next month - show your support and post a comment about what you did to celebrate this day and the folks this day was created for.  

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's Snowing!

I was a little skeptical when it was reported on the news that we were going to get snow.  We haven't had a good snowfall in several years.  But last night, we were pleasantly surprised to look outside and see the snow floating down, big flakes flying everywhere!  

Our poor cherry tree, however, may not be too excited about it, since it has already begun to bloom.

McKayla was VERY excited to go play in the snow.  I was a little disapointed that this isn't good snowman making snow.  We did throw some snowballs at each other, but couldn't even come close to making a snowman.  If you notice the plastic bags on her feet, well...we haven't even thought about buying snowboots...because it rarely snows!  Her makeshift snowboots worked quite well, though.  Her feet stayed dry!

Landon didn't get to participate in the outdoor festivities but that didn't cause any frowns.  I got some really cute pictures of him.  For your viewing pleasure: