24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Liam wants to wish you all a very merry Christmas! And tell you he's lost another tooth! He's looking very snaggly with only one permanent replacing the 5 he's lost so far this year.


We bucked tradition this year and instead of presents we gifted each other our presence. 

We took off with the kids to our favorite destination, the mountains, to experience some firsts: tubing, skiing, and snowboarding!


The kids have enjoyed it so much and wish we had done this years ago. 


Even  though Liam hates to travel (we laid him across Mimi's lap for half the car trip) and dislikes change, he's done really well. 


We got to cut down our very first real Christmas tree!


We are ridiculously grateful for the blessings we have been given this year.  It is not easy traveling with a significantly disabled young one: sleep is minimal, diaper rashes from long car trips, vomiting when he's nervous, afraid he feels left out when we take off to do the things he can't...but no matter the trouble, Liam's worth the trouble and we are grateful for every family moment when our kids are always headed in different directions these days. It's tough to find time to get us all together in one place and with Rylie transferring colleges to one quite some distance from us this next year we are cherishing and enjoying this Christmas. Much love from our family to yours.  ❤️







Merry Christmas!

Liam wants to wish you all a very merry Christmas! And tell you he's lost another tooth! He's looking very snaggly with only one permanent replacing the 5 he's lost so far this year.


We bucked tradition this year and instead of presents we gifted each other our presence. 

We took off with the kids to our favorite destination, the mountains, to experience some firsts: tubing, skiing, and snowboarding!


The kids have enjoyed it so much and wish we had done this years ago. 


Even  though Liam hates to travel (we laid him across Mimi's lap for half the car trip) and dislikes change, he's done really well. 


We got to cut down our very first real Christmas tree!


We are ridiculously grateful for the blessings we have been given this year.  It is not easy traveling with a significantly disabled young one: sleep is minimal, diaper rashes from long car trips, vomiting when he's nervous, afraid he feels left out when we take off to do the things he can't...but no matter the trouble, Liam's worth the trouble and we are grateful for every family moment when our kids are always headed in different directions these days. It's tough to find time to get us all together in one place and with Rylie transferring colleges to one quite some distance from us this next year we are cherishing and enjoying this Christmas. Much love from our family to yours.  ❤️







04 December 2014

Our Favorite Days

Liam's #fromwhereistand on Instagram
We've had a very beautiful fall in this area of NC this year. The colors have been gorgeous and long lasting due to extended amounts of rain. My Bradford Pear in my front yard just finished dropping its bright yellow leaves today.

I try to take advantage of the weather this time of year to get Liam outdoors. Liam does not handle heat well so it's too hot here in the summer to take him out for very long. We pretty much spend all July and August in the air conditioning which means when fall rolls around we are antsy to get out and enjoy our favorite season.
The only really good nature trail I've found around here that's wheelchair accessible.
 We have a nice short trail that ends at the river nearby that makes a really great place to take Liam on a hike. It's perfectly shaded all the way to the river landing. It's "wheelchair" friendly meaning it's flat and wide. The trail is not paved, it's gravel, and there are a few bumps in the off shoot trails but if you have a jogging stroller it's perfectly accessible.

I wish there were more places to be outdoors with Liam while he is in his chair. We all love being outside and hiking/walking but can't enjoy that much anymore with wee man confined to a wheelchair. You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone and we sure do miss the days of being able to explore and hike. You don't realize how hard life is in a wheelchair in the great outdoors until you're limited by where your wheels can take you.

My boys.
We came across this beautiful spot recently and was able to take Liam in his jogger for a short time through the trails along the river but the terrain became very rough and we had to abandon our journey and hang out at the river bank. Ian's such a great big brother and took Liam down to the river to dip his toes in.


No joke, I walked out to put Liam's stuff in the truck to take him to school the other day and this pile of leaves was in a heart shape on his wheelchair ramp. I was sure one of the kids did it but since it was very early in the morning and they all said they hadn't, I am taking this as a sweet message from the Lord. :) He loves Liam.

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27 October 2014

My other rant from the DR trip

When it was time to head home from the Dominican Republic and after checking in with Delta, we headed through to security. When we stepped up to security, I took our bags, shoes, and food and put them on the conveyer belt. I wheeled Liam to the metal detector and waited our turn. Security started speaking to me in Spanish. I spoke back in English and motioned that Liam couldn't come out of his wheelchair. They motioned me to take him out and continued talking in Spanish. I motioned that he doesn't come out of his chair and they just continued to stare at me.

Here's where stupidity really comes into play.

I am speaking English. I don't expect them to speak my language but since I just came from a counter where everyone spoke English and I was obviously trying to convey something about my obviously handicapped son, I assumed they would get someone who spoke English. I was not removing him from his wheelchair. Man, was I wrong.

They continued to look at me.

Finally a woman came across the detector to my side and asked me if he was a nino or nina. I said nino. She then motioned for me to take him out.

I might have started to get teary eyed at this point.

I shook my head no at her.

Rylie is standing to the side and telling me that they aren't going to let us through that I should just take him out of his wheelchair. I, however, was adamant that I not remove him from his "legs" and that it was a violation of all things sensical and humane for disabled persons to be treated in such a way. I knew Liam, who can not stand changes or transitions, was going to get upset, cry, and try to throw up on me right there in security at the airport all because they were too inept at how to handle a person with a disability who is in a WHEELCHAIR!

Rylie just looked at me like I was nuts.

The security lady just looked at me like I was nuts.

I wasn't getting anywhere.

Which meant I wasn't going anywhere.

I went against every fiber of my being and started taking Liam out of his wheelchair. And he started to cry.

Rylie took the chair apart and put it through the conveyor.

I stepped up to the metal detector carrying Liam who is now trying to throw up on me. Deep down I am thinking this is one of the most humiliating things I have ever experienced in my life and they kinda deserve to get puked on. At the same time I'm thinking that I don't really want to travel all day with puke on.

I walked through the detector when motioned through and by this time Liam was so upset and awkward to hold that I had to kneel down. I am now sitting on the floor just past the detectors waiting for them to come pat down Liam. The dude honestly did a tiny swipe of his left and right side and that was it. He couldn't really get to Liam with the way he was curling into me all agitated.

I was furious by the time it was over. I really was. Did they expect a 10 yr old, 15 yr old (insert an age), etc... to be taken from their wheelchairs and carried through a metal detector? The idea was preposterous and yet I was expected to do that with my 7 yr old. What happened to common sense? It apparently isn't very common these days, eh?

Coming into the US and going through security here was a breeze. When I got to the metal detector in Atlanta I looked at the man and I said "Please don't make me take him out of his wheelchair."  This sweet angel of a man said he wouldn't ask me to do that. I was able to go through the gates with Liam in his chair. After getting through we both got bomb residue tested (like Liam could make a bomb when he can't even hold a toy) and we both got patted down.

It would be great to have my grievance heard by the powers that be at the Santo Domingo Airport. I would just like them to understand a few things. I did email customer service after a few days of being home but I've never received a response back.

I want to be clear that I don't think they were doing anything malicious or intentionally humiliating. I believe they didn't think anything of what they were asking and didn't pay close enough attention to notice that Liam wasn't just another little kid in a stroller. If they had taken the time to look, and for sure they noticed afterword, my wee man is not your typical kid. He isn't even your typical special needs kid. But he is different and that was obvious.


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