Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Emma participated in the Lansing State Journal's contest to win a Lion King prize. To win, she down loaded a Lion King mask from the website, decorated it, and mailed it in. We were notified this evening that Emma won first prize! Eight other entries were selected from all entered in the mid-Michigan area. Here is her prize:
Prizes and Odds. Grand Prize: One (1) Grand Prize Winner in each category will receive four (4) tickets to the 3/19/2009 performance of the Lion King, a soundtrack CD, a Lion King plush toy and a Lion King keychain (ARV: $305). First Prize: Nine (9) First Prize Winners will receive a Lion King merchandise set consisting of a soundtrack CD, plush toy and keychain (ARV: $45).
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Today we had a very busy day. Early this afternoon Emma, Joe, and I went to Joe's school for a bilingual story hour. We heard Antonio Sacre tell stories about his childhood including the story that is in his first book, "The Barking Mouse." All of the kids in Joe's school received a copy of the book and Joe asked the author to sign his copy. We saw the Tomans at the reading. Joe & Emma had a lot of fun playing tag with Mr. Toman in the gym while I caught up on the news of the Toman family with Barbara.
Later in the afternoon we went to Emma & Joe's friend Elisabeth's 6th birthday party at Impression Five Science Center. The kids had a great time.
Emma has completed her first research report. Her teacher, Mrs. Daley, has encouraged the students to pursue an extra-credit research project. Emma decided to research the Underground Railroad during Black History Month. Last week we went to the public library and found books about the Underground Railroad and Emma took notes on each book. During her research Emma realized that Harriet Tubman was very important in the history of the Underground Railroad. This week I typed and printed her notes. Emma found images of Harriet Tubman and a map of the routes of the Underground Railroad. Today she organized the material and pasted it on to a poster board. She will present it to her class on Monday.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Down Syndrome is Contagious by Wendy Holden. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Wendy Holden, Kittitas County Parent to Parent Coordinator, lives in Ellensburg, WA. Eli, born December 30, 2000, is her sixth child.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by a triplication of the genetic material on the 21st chromosome. This trisomy occurs with the first division of the developing zygote, as a result there is extra genetic material present in every cell of the individual. Recently, science has discovered that this cellular abnormality is highly contagious. As result, family members (and even friends) of individuals with Down syndrome often find themselves exhibiting dramatic changes due to this "something extra" permeating their bodies at the cellular level. These changes manifest themselves in a number of ways.
Something extra in the visual cortex results in parents who view the world differently. In addition to seeing things in an entirely new light, these parents also report having an increased ability to focus on what is important. Spontaneous appearance of tears of joy have also been confirmed.
The section of the brain used in logical thought undergoes dramatic changes. Parents suddenly find themselves able to comprehend and discuss complex medical procedures. The ability to decipher long strings of acronyms appears almost immediately and it is not uncommon for affected parents of newborns to be able to differentiate between ASD, VSD and PDA. Familiarity with G-tubes, Pic lines and the NICU is another side effect.
Over time, the entire nervous system is transformed, enabling parents to perform tasks previously thought impossible. These changes result in individuals finding the nerve to advocate before large crowds, speak to classroom of medical students and educate the population at large about issues they are passionate about.
These changes are closely tied in to dysfunctions in the verbal abilities, which makes it virtually impossible for parents to bite their tongue. Often, individuals who previously considered themselves reserved will find themselves outspoken and effective communicators.
The pulmonary system is altered to a dramatic extent. Parents report having their breath taken away at the slightest prompting. The cardiovascular system develops similar vulnerabilities and reports of hearts pounding loudly and swelling unexpectedly are not uncommon. One mother reported that her heart skipped a beat when her son smiled at her for the first time. The extremities are also altered. Arms reach out to strangers for support, and in turn, hands comfort and nurture those in need. Legs strengthen and balance improves, allowing parents to stand firm in their convictions and walk without faltering, even when shouldering a heavy load. Scientists are baffled by the widespread scope of these symptoms. Equally perplexing is the response of those afflicted. Parents readily acknowledge fundamental changes in their being, however, almost universally declare a preference for their new, altered level of functioning. "I wouldn't change a thing" is a common refrain. Apparently, the presence of a little "something extra" enhances the lives of individual fortunate enough to be infected.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
On Sunday Emma & I went with Stacy, Daniel and Molly to see an afternoon production of Nate the Great at the Wharton Center on campus. Before the show the East Lansing Police Department had a detective activity with finger printing, police stickers and tattoos and chatting with the officers.