Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This morning, Emma gave her very last hug to Zakie, my baby.

Zak was my cat; my very first cat. She was 17. She was a very beautiful calico cat.
She completely trusted me. In the early years, she would come and lie on my stomach while I was soaking in the bathtub.

I was right beside her when she gave birth, twice.

Zak was not too fond of children. When my niece and nephew came for a visit, they would have loved to pet her but she would run away and hide..

13 years ago, when Amy was born, some people told me I should get rid of Zak because cats were dangerous for babies. I couldn't do that and was just careful to always close Amy's door while she slept.

Zakie grew fond of Amy very quickly. I would nurse Amy with Zak also on my lap. She loved that quiet time.

Then, 8 years later, came Emma. Emma didn't really pay attention to Zak until about 2 years ago. Even though Zak was old, she was always very patient with Emma. Emma would hug her by the neck and sometimes would lift her up that way. Never did Zak hiss or scratch.
So this morning Emma gave her usual greeting to Zak and Zak kind of fell to her side as if her left leg couldn't support her. I thought maybe Emma had held her a little too strongly and hurt the cat shoulder. Once Emma was in school I brought my cat to the vet and (I knew it was time) found out that she has a neurological trauma. So I said my farewell to my first baby.

So long Zak. We will miss you. Amy is a strong kid; she knows you're better off where you're gone. Emma won't drink milk from your dish again but remember all those truly affectionate hugs and the way she called you Bubble. (Because of our other cat, Trouble, Emma calls all the cats Bubble.) So long Zakie Bubble xox

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Emma, at Pirate night supper on the Disney Cruise ship. Couldn't she play beside Johnny Depp???
Oups, we're 5; we should not be drinking from a bottle...

Emma goofing around early morning in our Disney World hotel room (part of Emma's wish). She was so happy to have stolen her sister's Minnie ears...

Walk on Dixie. Emma loves riding. Today, she actually trotted...

Look at those 2. Emma looks like E.T. and Amy looks like she's having a blast!!!

Here is the poster promoting inclusion in the schools. (The photographer took about 70 shots... The star was a little bit fussy that day...)

***I am sorry I couldn't arrange this post any better. I am not too technical and it is now 11:30 pm and I'm off to bed...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The joys of childhood

Emma is almost done her first year of school!!! It's been a busy year for her. She adapted to school pretty well. Her EA is the most amazing woman. She is just like Emma. Busy, happy, energetic; yet firm...Glory be; Emma got granted a wish from the Children's wish foundation and brought us all to Disney World and a Disney Cruise. WHAT FUN THAT WAS!!!

Back to reality in March. They cannot get a conclusive hearing test on her and tried for the last 2 years to do a heart echo while awake. It's Miss Emma they're dealing with here. How can she possibly lied down still for 40 minutes when she runs to even grab a kiss from you? Emma knows only one speed: FAST. So in May, they finally put Emma to sleep in order to run all these tests. Now we are waiting for a very uncomfortable bowel test and a sleep study.

In June, Emma was asked to be part of an awareness campain for Community Living Glengarry. This year's theme is inclusion in the schools. Her beautiful face is now on book marks and posters all over our county.

But today, one of the simple joys of being a kid happened to Emma. There it was in her school bag, along with the rest of her stuff: a Birthday Party Invitation; Emma's very first Birthday Party Invitation!!! I never gave much thought to this event but it caught me; I almost cried from joy. I don't even know the little boy who invited her but we are definitely going!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006


My daughter Amy is 13 years old. She's had the 1 boyfriend in grade 5. She was heart broken when the relationship ended. Ever since then she's been very, very busy with horses. She owns 2 and cares for them (hay, water, etc), she takes jumping lessons and loves going to shows.
For the last 3 years, all she cared about was HORSES.

We are not rich people and we try to keep tight reins on this horse business because it can get quite pricey. Amy's horses' dreams are very high standards. She is quite ambitious. But people tell us horses are a good investment: it keeps boys at bay...

Last week, Amy's class went on a 3 day year end trip to Bear Creek Camp. Today, while talking to a friend, I asked Judy: Guess what Amy brought back from camp? Judy instantly said: Oh, no!!! I asked her what she thought it was and Judy, a bit concerned said: She has nits? No, not lice, a boy!!!

All of a sudden, she seems so self assured. There is mystery about her and, my cordless phone's battery has been dead for most of the week end...

Life has begun... I am not too sure which one (boy or horse) is worst. They are most likely both all right. But can we afford both???

Best of luck, Amy, with your life experiences!!!

Boy, that's hard to say, but it had to be done... So there...

Friday, June 16, 2006


Betsy enjoys praising me but everyone should know that I am the one blessed by her friendship. You see, I get excited about things... So I often grab the phone and call Betsy. Betsy is always there for me. I've barged in on her amd her family on different occasions, to pass on a book or a tape my sister sent about speech, to vent out frustrations or share a bright moment.

So, in Betsy's blog, while welcoming me to this new world, she mentioned that I should share a few stories about Emma. So here goes...

Emma was always very active, very curious. She has a great personality and enjoys getting into mischief.

Yes, she can drink milk from the cat dish. She can poor milk into my stew.

One day, after knowing our physio therapist for a couple of years, she suddenly took notice of his bald head. She made Brian bend down, caressed his shiny head while saying Woooow. Then she kissed it! I was soooo shy... But from then on, this became her ritual and Brian, I think, enjoyed the special attention.

Emma also has a thing for the microwave. She likes shoving anything in there. Wanting to leave my mother's house, I couldn't find one of her boots. We looked and looked everywhere. We finally left without the boot. The next day, my mother phoned to say she had found the boot...
in the microwave. Another time, after starting our microwave, she blew in less than 3 seconds, a beautiful Mickey Mouse pen that lit up. Oh, she also killed her dad's poker machine in there. There was a small black circle on the screen. That was it for the poker machine.

Emma also likes baking. She will put anything in the oven. Her babies, my slippers, the dish clothes. So beware, better look in there before starting the oven...plastic melts, you know.

Last one, for now. Last year while she was at a daycare centre, her aid was introducing her to peeing on the toilet. The aid left her for a second. On her way back, she could hear water running... She thought: Great, Emma is peeing in the toilet. Guess again Karen. Emma was peeing all right but she was standing, with her pants down, in a boy's urinal...

That's it for now!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I was never bothered with Emma having Down syndrome. The radiologist who performed her ultrasound really bothered me with statements such as: "You really have to love these children"
(why does he think people have children?) and "Nowadays, people want their children perfect looking and performing" (Maybe in his world; he makes kids sound as if they are machines or tools). He offered me these comments because I was 39 and decided not to have an amnio...
Then, when he saw the baby was a girl, he was really, really relieved and told me that the chances of having a D.S. baby was less in girls than in boys... After Emma was born, I reflected often over this guy who thought he had all the answers. Not anymore!!!

Emma is now 5. And I came to believe that because of her coming into my life, I am now a happier person.

Because of Emma, I have met so many wonderful people. I am now more assertive. I see very clearly what's important to me; not to others.

Because of Emma, I permit myself to jump over the cracks on the sidewalks while counting them out loud, and I enjoy doing it as much as she does! Without her, I would never do such a thing...

Because of Emma, I quit a very demanding job, took a "challenged" adult boarder (Gaby) and enjoy watching my 2 daughters grow while getting familiar (because of Gaby) with the adult aspects of being challenged (I'm getting ready for when Emma gets there.)

Of course, there are down sides. I am still changing diapers even though Emma is 5; it doesn't even bother me. Emma has a few health issues and we have integrated therapists into our daily routine. I have a very sore back from lifting (too ofen) a 45 pound child, but hey I love dancing with her sitter on my lap.

My biggest BEEF is when I hear people expressing beliefs that parents like me have to make so many sacrifices to their supposably previous perfect lives. I believe that by sacrifice, they mean becoming selfless. And where is it written that making sacrifices lead to unhappiness?

Emma has a bubbly personality. She is very independant. She loves playing with her sick grandpa and doesn't even care if he forgets to put his dentures back in his mouth... She is truly the sunshine of my life.

I don't put expectations up or down with Emma. I simply marvel at who she is and all of her successes are a reason to celebrate her life. There are so many expectations pushed upon "regular" kids (Don't move; you can't get dirty-don't say bad words-be polite-etc), I believe that if we treated them a little more leniently and remembered to let them be kids, they would grow up to be happier adults.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Hi, I am a new blogger. I am here because of my friend Betsy. We both have daughters with Down syndrome. Paige is 4 years and a day older then Emma. Betsy likes to say that my daughter Emma was Paige's nicest birthday gift ever but I think that Paige, along with her mother, were our nicest gift ever too!!!
When Emma was born she spent 6 weeks in NICU and, at the hospital they gave me a Down syndrome kit and there on a pink paper was Betsy inviting new moms to call her. Heaven be blessed, we lived in the same community!
Over the years, we became closer, not only because of our daughters, but because of our shared values, our honesty, our pleasures in just living...
Paige and Emma are now good friends. They didn't use to get along but they are now swimming together, they are horseback riding together, they are in the same class in the afternoon and love playing together.
Even though they both have Down syndrome, they are really, really different. Paige is gentle, delicate. She has a musical voice and can sit and pay attention for a long time. Emma is a go getter. She is very active, yet girlish. Her voice is kind of deep for a 5 year old.
Betsy and I also each have an older daughter. Dakota and Amy are 13. So there again, we kind of go through similar situations with the start of adolescence...
Betsy writes wonderful blogs and has inspired me to start my own. So, pleased to meet you all and hope to get to know you better...