Friday, November 30, 2012

Why I'm Not a fan of "Tard" the "Grumpy Cat"

Every so often I find that I have to write a post like this.  It used to make me very angry when I ran into this sort of thing;  now, I just feel sad for people that clearly do not get it and have little intention of doing so.

Normally, I file this type of occurrence under "it will die in a few days and go away" but sadly, I am afraid this particular one won't for a while yet.  I'm talking about the current "Grumpy Cat" meme.  It's a cute cat.  I love cats.  In fact, I love all animals.  However, this particular animal's owners need a swat in the nose.

This "Grumpy Cat" as it is known, is a female cat and in the videos that the owners have posted on YouTube, it is a fluffy little sweet tempered doll of a creature.  However, it is unlike other cats, a fact that is made apparent quite quickly.  Her eyes are wider spaced and shaped a bit oddly, her nose is flatter and more button like than either of her parents, her jaw appears to be stronger and have a bit of an "underbite".  The ears are smaller and rounder too.  Sound familiar?  It should, as I have described all of these as markers of Down syndrome (and a few other genetic disorders).  "Grumpy Cat" obviously has some kind of chromosomal disorder, which is what gives her her distinct look and looser gait.  Like both feline and human versions, all these traits do occur randomly in the general population.  However, all together it is pretty indicative that a little something extra went somewhere.

Now my aim here is not to disparage the little thing.  Chromosomal disorders are quite common in the feline world (as they are in the human world).  Tortoiseshell cats, for example (of which, "Grumpy Cat's mother is one).  I did not know that male Torties could exist but they do as well;  they are all Trisomies.  We used to have a long haired female Tortoiseshell cat with thumbs that had a sweet disposition as well.  We chose to name our darling cat Fenchurch.

"Grumpy Cat's" owners chose to call her "Tard".

Once this factoid became a little more well known, it was retracted and changed.  The official story now, a few months later is that although they call her "Tard", her actual name is "Tardar" as in "Tardar Sauce".  The spelling error was explained as she was named by a small child,  at least on the talk shows.


I'm not sure which is more insulting.  The fact that they named this cat "Tard" in the first place, or the fact that they tried to kick a bit of litter over it after the fact.
This wouldn't be such an issue if this was some anonymous lady's cat down the street.  But, she's not.  This kitty now has it's own Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr and is actively being marketed with a line of merchandise, not to mention being turned into countless meme images by fans every day.  Most just refer to it as "Grumpy Cat" but the YouTube videos and Tumblr account still tell the tale of this little cat and her offensive name.

Even if she was, say,  the cat of an older lady down the street does that make it right?  What if I got a Bull Terrier and named her "Dykstra"?  What if I named a Siamese cat "Chinkerly"?  Do the obvious short forms of those names strike you as something that should be condoned, shared, marketed and taught to my children?  Even if I blame it on the kids?  Do you think my neighbours, my sweet Trinidadian neighbours, for one second would tolerate me calling a black lab after the mascot of "The Dam Busters" Royal Air Forces No. 617 Squadron?  Imagine me, standing on my back porch, calling this dog and my children in for supper.  Would some hasty explanation involving Lancaster bombers, the Möhne Reservoir and WWII ease their hurt feelings?  I doubt it highly as in this very hypothetical case I would have chosen to name my dog, regardless of intent, a very offensive word.  So offensive, that charges might even be laid.

The owners of this cat knew full well what they were doing.  The word, whether a short form of it's "full" name or not, is a slur that has been used to degrade, humiliate and even exterminate people for being different.  Ironically this is exactly what we are celebrating this feline for.

There has been a lot of backlash in many forums when people bring this point up.  The usual arguments, including freedom of speech, citing what the cat's "full name" is, you're too sensitive, calling a plea for tolerance 'political correctness'...  all show how ignorant and willfully blind people continue to be with the intellectually challenged.  My favourite one of course, will always be that "[R-word] people don't know that it's wrong, they won't know what you are saying" which totally negates any sort of cognitive or emotional reaction from a developmentally delayed person, which in turn dehumanizes them even further.  That particular "argument" is ignorance and Abilism incarnate.

As I've said before, I love animals.  I treat them with the utmost respect.  I do the same with humans too, even if, based on their actions I don't think they really deserve it.  Amazingly, fans of this special little kitty get their fur up quite quickly when you suggest that the cat's name is offensive.  Well, as a Mom of a kid with Down syndrome, I'm here to tell you it is.  I'm also not alone in my opinion.  I wish her owners and many of her fans would extend to humanity the same respect that they lavish on this cat.  Back-pedaling and calling her "Tardar Sauce" or "Tardy McFluffypants" or "TARDIS"  or anything of the sort to cover you calling a cat with an obvious chromosomal disorder "Tard" is just ill conceived, stupid, ridiculous, slow and quite feeble minded.

You know, all the things that people use the R-word to mean.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Boogie Wonderland

"No vacation goes unpunished." ~Karl Hakkarainen

[Warning: This post contains detailed descriptions of mucous, boogers and related grossness. In the event that you are not immune by being a health care worker, a seasoned parent or a seven year old boy, viewer discretion is advised. You were warned. *Cough*]

One of the perqs of being a "senior" nurse is the vacation time. Although we don't spend it all in one place usually, it helps to try and regain some semblance of a work-life balance. It's given to us in hours, which when you apply it to shiftwork, can have some pretty cool results. I work a wacky schedule that sees me work two twelve hour day shifts, two twelve hour night shifts and then have four or five days off before starting it all over again. I've spent 45 hours (4 shifts) of my vacation bank this week (as I refuse to work on my birthday), which when added to the five on either side, gave me 14 days off. Sha-ZAM!

Sounds great right? It certainly was leading up to it. I was almost skipping out of my last shift; it was truly difficult to resist shouting "So long, suckers!" at my relief that morning. I was OUT. I was DONE! I was on vacation and I HAD THINGS TO DO AROUND HERE!


Enter the Virus.

This house has been besieged by one bug or another since Quinn returned to school in September. First we had a round of colds which, in all fairness, were pretty tame. Except for Sean who, for a guy that only gets sick once every 3 to 5 years, got a whopper. He was completely miserable for a full week. I thought I was coming down with it for 12 hours, only to have it go away. It powered through all three kids and then finally sidled off into the sunset, only to be replaced shortly thereafter by Boogie Nights.

I went in to get the babies up one morning, only to find my son's face to be two thick streams of greenish mucous. Oh the huge manatees! I had never seen anything like it. He looked like a walrus. I can handle most things, but boogers and spit are two of my least favourite. He didn't seem to be too troubled by it, other than flinching when I attempted to wipe his face eleventy million times a day. His sister got it a few days later and Quinn after that. I had a few hours of it and then it was gone again. Sean, well, his cough came back. They all ended up with a cute little smoker's cough and I was happy to see the ends of the walrus impersonations (and the fights to suction out their little heads).

By this point, it was the beginning of November. Quinn decided to start having nosebleeds, probably to break up the monotony. An increase in the overall humidity fixed that. However, I found the kids with runny noses again, this time clear (much to my initial relief) and we started all over again. This bug quickly became "Boogie Wonderland" as sticky booger bits were everywhere on the kids. They were stuck on their nose, they were on the backs of their hands, they were stuck in their hair. They hung on like little hitch-hikers and needed a firm swipe with a baby wipe to remove them safely. All the kids learned to duck and cover when they saw me coming as it meant I was going to wipe/pick off/deal with some nastyness or another. Again, I felt crummy for 12 hours or so, but it cleared up again. Eventually this too settled down, everyone was sleeping again, coughs were productive and disappearing and I was poised to take vacation.

That was my mistake, right there.

Yes, we are talking about colds here. However, when you have Trisomy 21 (and an AVSD as well), you can get very sick, very fast. What is a cold for Zoe and Quinn could quite easily be pneumonia for Wyatt. I don't keep my kids in a bubble, far from it. However, this little factoid kept me awake many a night. Is he breathing okay? Is he blue?

About a week ago, his cough slowly became drier. I listened for the bark of croup and was sort of denied. Sort of. We proceeded as if it was croup and dealt with any fevers that popped up. As time went on however, it became more evident that he (and the other members of the family, but to a lesser degree) had what became known as the Martian Death Cough. The kids would wake up with their noses almost sealed shut with dried greeners. Then the coughing would start, the chest-burster cough that seared your throat dry. Once it really took hold, they would cough all through the night. Zoe had it first; she became more haggard looking every day as she lost more sleep because of it. She would cough and cough and her eating almost ceased completely. She even developed a new phrase "ohhh noooo!" Between coughing fits she would walk around and declare "ohhh nooo!" and be our own little Voice of Doom. We pushed fluids and tylenol and one night she actually got some sleep; by morning she looked a million times better.

Then it was Wy's turn.

He coughed off and on through the night for a few days without much problem. We pushed fluids and dealt with fevers as The Voice of Doom made sure that we took this seriously. He would cough and she would say "ohhh noooo!" very dramatically and look very sad. Then, somewhere around Thursday, things started to really worsen. His chest was an orchestra of rattles, squeaks and groans and you could see that his breathing was faster and took a lot of energy. As time went on, his hypotonia became more pronounced and he literally wilted before our eyes. Friday night was particularly scary, after listening to him cough non stop for what seemed like forever, I brought him downstairs at 4 am to asses him. He was burning up; in went the Tylenol and a bottle of juice. I had abandoned the sippy cup the day before as the need for fluids out did his need for oral development. You could see him using his intercostal muscles to breathe, you could see him assuming sleep apnea-head- thrown-back poses to sleep. He did start to look better once everything kicked in; I changed him into a onesie and went back to bed, one ear glued to the monitor. I could hear the chest noises through the monitor at times. He was going to the doc in the morning, no matter how much he rallied.

The doc agreed with me and stuck him on some antibiotics. I was a bit concerned at first as we could barely get the juice into him. His throat hurt badly from coughing and while all this is going on, he decided to try and grow some more teeth. Food was completely out of the question, even ice cream. What kid refuses ice cream? I even made some Italian wedding soup which was so chock full of yummy goodness that even big brother had two helpings. De nada. He was even fighting us on the Tylenol and liquid meds.

I spent last night glued to the monitor again (and snuck in there I don't know how many times to check his breathing). There were a few coughing fits, but not a lot. We are all sleeping in later these days, probably due to our nocturnal prowls, so I was pleased to see some of his spark back this morning when we woke them up at 10. He's even had some chatty bits today, which is encouraging. The indrawing is still there at times, but he is doing more. He's moving around the room again and pulling up on things, a feat that would have completely exhausted him two days ago. He's eating soft squishy things like yoghurt and applesauce and if I pretend to not see it, right now he's nibbling on a waffle while the boys watch the Grey Cup. Don't watch him eat it, don't even look at him. He may drop it.

Now it's my turn.

It feels like I am slowly being strangled and my chest hurts with the Martian Death Cough. Luckily, I can drink hot liquids and take things like Robitussin to help with the cough and Tylenol to get rid of my headache. I'm also officially on vacation starting today, so I will have plenty of opportunity to sleep (I hope). I will slather myself in Vaporub and steam the hell out of the bedroom with the vaporizer. I don't care as long as the kids are ok.

No good deed goes unpunished and, as it turns out, neither does any vacation. I should have known that slowing down would allow the bugs in. We are armed with plenty of fluids, Clorox wipes and healthy immune boosting num-nums so we should see the other side of this at some point. I look forward to the day where this place is no longer Boogie Wonderland. This was not the destination I had in mind for my vacation, but apparently this is what was needed for me to slow down. We are lucky... as I've said before it could have gotten very nasty, very fast. I also know many people that are facing so much worse with their kids right now. We'll take our medicine and count our blessings. In the meantime, pass the Vaporub. Menthol and eucalyptus are the new sexy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Monumentous Moments and Maternal Melancholy

As many of you already know, time is a major theme with me.  I probably sound like a broken record (messed up MP3 for you young'uns), as I'm constantly repeating things like "time is short", "time is fleeting" and "time is moving way too fast".  Sometimes I think that half the reason I blog is to capture some of the little moments with my family;  to freeze them much like the photographs I take, with the hopes that I may trigger a memory with them at some point.  It may seem melodramatic, but sadly that is the way things are from where I sit.  Life, health, comfort, happiness... my memory...  these are all tender and ephemeral things.  Perhaps it is my profession that makes me melancholy at times, I don't know.  I do know that my life has provided me with a profound ability to appreciate the smallest gestures and revel in the seemingly trivial.

I also seem to lead a charmed existence of sorts.  As I walk through my days, certain coincidences always seem to line up.  My last post was exactly like that:  a random late night conversation with new friends, a late night post from an old friend, an ensuing discussion with new friends, a quote researched for the white board, a conversation with the old friend when I got home, a random search for an image (that just happened to come from the school that the old friend and I attended).  Boom.  One post.  Is it fate?  Karma?  I have no idea what propels me along.  Things just come together sometimes and I have learned over time not to question it, rather just to go with it.  The ride is smoother and it is amazing what one can come across along the way.

Now that we've made it out of October and the 31 for 21, it's time to catch up on a few things with the kids that I touched on here and there.  It's hard to keep up with us normally for heavens sake, but with 31 entries in the same number days, our little triumphs were easily shaded out by the sheer volume of posts. 

Weeding out the clutter is still an ongoing battle.  Since The War on Time and Stuff, we've been continuing on with our organization projects and the disbursement of the kibble that is currently choking up our house.  I've continued to sort out the babies' clothes and lovingly put some things away for keepsakes and put the rest in bags to go to various places.  Logically, this is a necessary step as the twins' room has been overflowing with big bags full of tiny clothes for weeks.   There was a curious emotional side effect to this particular project however;  there were (more than) a couple of times that I found myself in tears holding some little article of clothing or another.  It seems silly, even at this writing, as we need to get rid of these things that we no longer have a use for.  However, before I took this project on, I did not realize how big of an event this was.  You see, after Quinn grew out of his baby clothes, I carefully packed everything up and put it away "for the next baby".  There are no next babies for us now... even if I had wanted more (and I do, as it turns out), that is no longer possible.  Although the clothes will go to keep other babies snug and warm, they will not be my babies.   This is quite possibly a little selfish, I agree.  However, it is a sad thing to realize that your babies are no longer babies, but children.  As wonderful and heartening and grateful as that makes me, I still cannot help but feel a little sad.  We will have many new adventures together, my children and I... but this part of my motherhood is rapidly coming to a close.

The "boy" and "neutral" clothing was passed on to an expectant friend last week.  Although our friends arrived shortly after the twins had finished demolishing the living room for the day, we had a good visit.  Her husband sat down on the floor and tried to interact with the twins; Zoe hid and cried a little, while Wyatt simply spun around and turned his back to him.  It was hilarious.  The twins did settle down a bit before they left, so they did get to see a little glimpse into our day with babies, plural.  After our little visit, we loaded the bags into the back of their SUV and I had another twang of sadness as we shut the hatch back.  I'm sure my friend had a little more than a twang however, as her new son arrived less than 24 hours later.   Now that he is here, in a way it makes it easier to part with these things.  I'm sure my friend will find herself in the same position sometime in the future.

The babies themselves are flourishing.  I had mentioned in September that they had finally become the same size again and were now wearing the 12-18 month size.  Shortly after I published that, Miss Z decided to have a growth spurt and is now approaching the 18-24 month size (that's growing somewhere around an inch in length in two months). I've moved the clothing in the organizer over as I said I would and I've dug out all the size appropriate bags and gotten the "next" clothes ready for the day I have to grab them in a blind panic.  It doesn't sound like much, but it involved a lot of sorting, measuring, washing and folding.  Took me most of a day in fact. The next thing of course, will be organizing all the winter gear.  In Canada, that's a big deal, especially with three kids.  It has to be warm, washable, waterproof and be able to withstand temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) to -30 °C (-22 °F).  The weather has been holding so I haven't been forced to face this reality... yet.
An equipment overhaul has been necessary too.  Although they are still little compared to their peers, they have outgrown their 'baby buckets'.  Sean spent a good part of today outside trying to figure out how to install the new forward facing car seats in the Whaaambulance.   It is almost as important to figure out where in the van the seats are going to go; this little issue presents it's own logic puzzle:  
"The Whaaambulance has two bench seats in the back that hold three people each. There is one ambulatory baby, one active six year old and a baby with DS who can't walk yet. Each baby has a new car seat and the six year old needs a booster seat.  The van only opens on one side, with two doors that open at 90 degree angles to the van.  Where do you put each seat so that Mommy can safely put the babies in and not aggravate her bad back? Where does the six year old sit to not feel left out?  Who needs to sit in the front seat more?  Please provide rationales for each."
I have no idea.  So far, we've got the baby seats sitting at the ends of both benches and the booster seat on the far side of the back bench.  Assumedly Wyatt is behind me and Zoe in the back with her brother.  This may all change by the weekend, but its the best we can think of right now.

Wyatt has also graduated from a giant high chair to a booster seat, which puts him on par with his sister (and frees up more room around our kitchen table).  We have also made big strides with his self feeding.  I mentioned in To Sip or Not to Sip that I had a plan to get Wyatt to stop drinking from a bottle and drinking from either a straw or a cup.  The cup is still very much a work in progress;  he takes it right out of your hand and fiercely guards it from you as he gulps/pours the contents down his front.  He also likes making it rain milk, so we really only do the cup thing when we're just about ready to mop the floors.  All kidding aside, he aspirated some milk one afternoon and with him already having a virus, I was a little concerned about it going to full fledged pneumonia so I put a stop to the cup for a bit. He also can't quite get the idea of the special spoutless Avent cup, so his sister has gleefully taken those over for now.  What he has done is master the straw.  We had a straw sippy cup for each of them that was a little more flexible at the bottom that we could squeeze a bit up into the straw  (I was delighted to find them in our collection of sippy cups that I had picked up/been gifted at some point).  I had to squeeze the bottom only a few times before he grasped the concept.  He would initially only take an ounce or so (before getting tired) and I would have to put the rest in one of the other cups that he was proficient with.  After a week or so we switched to "straw boot camp" and he was only given one of the straw cups.  Much to our delight, he quickly became more proficient with it.  He still plays with it and chews the straw a bit.  Much like the other cups, he can also wing that sucker halfway across the room.  But, he's using the straw and preparing for proper speech sounds, which is the main thing (and I didn't have to resort to the bear bong).

Zoe's language has exploded in the last little while.  I swear, in the space of a week, she went from babbling to a mix of phrases and single words.  She can also count to six, which just about blew my mind when I heard it.  Sean, when doing up the snaps on their jammies, counts them out one by one.  It's a cool trick as it gives the kids something to concentrate on and eighty percent of the time it prevents you from wrestling with a toddler doing the 'gator-death-roll.   Wyatt's crib is by the light switch in the room; although he can't reach it, she certainly can when she is there.  One day Sean was changing Wyatt and Zoe was standing up in Wyatt's crib;  as the light clicked off, she said "un!".  She clicked it on again and said "tooo!".  Off and on the light went until she got to "sick!" and then she cheered and clapped her hands. It is wonderful and terrifying all at the same time.

Wy is busy pulling himself up onto his knees whenever he can.  He is a determined little boy, of that I have no doubt.  I have opened the gate to the living room, half carried/half been dragged by Zoe to the table, buckled her in her seat and returned to find him halfway there.  Now, he easily pulls himself up to grab a toy off the table, to check for snacks, etc.  He's also demonstrated that he can cruise along the edge of the table on his knees, which is encouraging.  No one showed him how to do that, he just adapted on the fly (as he wanted a toy off the end).  The fact that he did it in front of his ICDSP worker made it all the more sweeter.  His speech has come a long way in the last month or so too... Mum-ma is still a little while off from being a regular occurance, but his sounds and interactions have increased exponentially.  He is now full-out babbling at times, has added just about all the consonant sounds and will get your attention any way he can think of.  If you manage to not pay attention to the "AYAH!" (his version of "HEY!"), or the screechlike babble that follows it or the waving/hand motions, he'll crawl over and pull on your pantleg.  If you still ignore him (as I pretended to do one day, wondering what he would do), he'll just flat out bite you.  After the inevidible yelp, you will look down at him gazing up solemnly at you as if to say "Well, I bloody well have your attention now, don't I?"

Tomorrow, they will be 21 months old.   I am mortified.  They are no longer babies, but toddlers.  It is a bittersweet time in all our lives.  Soon, Wyatt will be standing.  Soon, Zoe will be carrying on a full conversation.  Before we know it, they will be Quinn's age and in school (I am still having trouble comprehending that he is six).  In 3 months, they will be two.  The broken record (MP3) skips along in my head as I say this.  Where has the time gone?  ...Time... Time... 

I can't help but get a little wistful about it.  There are so many adventures ahead, this is true.  So many things to discover, so many skills to master, so many obstacles to overcome.  I will allow myself this small melancholia, tho'.  Within it's sad embrace lies a bigger oppourtunity, to reflect on how far we have all come.  Physically, mentally, emotionally... yes, even spiritually.  Our journey together has gone some places, man.  We have seen some things.  But for now, I will wax philosophical on the passage of time and yearn ever so slightly for the days when they were very little again.  For as they age, I do too, a fact that isn't completely lost on me.  I will sit and ponder this fact a little while before being distracted again;  for melancholy, like a cup of tea, never really gets finished in Motherhood.  I'm sure like most Moms, I'll warm it up again from time to time, only to be called away by something else.  Right now however, the cup is warm and I will savour it's draught.  It smells of bergimot... and baby shampoo and new beginnings.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

Today's post is a little different than what most of you are used to; we will return to our normal family escapades in a few days, rest assured.  However, today is November 11th or Remembrance Day here in Canada.  Amongst the usual posts of respect and reverence for our military in my news feed early this morning, I found this piece.  It is written by an old friend...  Our paths diverged when we were much younger;  I went on to be a nurse and serve my community,  he went on to serve his country.

We have a proud military history here in Canada.  We do not have the largest standing army, the most impressive navy or the latest jets in our air force.  However, we are well respected Peacekeepers.  My children are descended from distinguished veterans from both sides;  although neither Sean nor I chose this path for ourselves, we have a deep respect for those that do.

This day means many things to many people.  Some would rather that it never happened at all;  that is their right.  However, to those who have served, know those that have served or have family currently serving, this day is one of reflection.  It is not to "glorify" war, rather to recognize those that have gone before.

Today Canadians (and Americans observing Veteran's Day) will hear many stories of years gone past.  Instead, I will share a story that is ongoing.  As our first guest post on Down Wit Dat, on this November 11th, I give you "Jeff's" story.  Originally posted humbly as a status update to friends, I have gotten his permission to share his reflections here.

"As I sit here contemplating Remembrance Day, I have several thought I wish to share.

I am a former soldier who served my country for 14 years, and for the past 11 years, I have served and protected the citizens of Toronto. I never fired my weapon at an enemy, and I don’t consider myself a veteran.

As a young soldier I remember my first Remembrance Day parade, I recall the very old men who struggled to stand for “O Canada”, many in wheel chairs, with old faded medals pinned on their chests. These men were truly the last of the old breed, they were the last First World War vets, by then into their 90’s. I was struck by the look of sorrow on their faces during “Last Post” as they recalled those who never came home. Those men carried with them the horrors of war all of their lives and they never forgot.

More recently, in my new life, when news of a Canadian soldier being killed would come on the TV, I like all former soldiers, would covertly listen in. Our thoughts would go to friends that were overseas, silently hoping they were ok. I wondered if I would recognize the names I heard. Many times I didn’t recognize the names, sometimes I did. I like many former soldiers struggle with the decision I made to leave the army and whether I left the hard work for others to do.

In my new life I was often required to assist in the Repatriation of the fallen soldiers. I would take up a traffic point and when the motorcade passed me I would come to attention and salute. I promised myself on that first Repatriation, that I would remember the name of each man (and eventually women) that passed me. But, as the years went by and the number of times that I stood and saluted a fallen soldier went past 30, maybe even 40 times, I lost track. Both of the number of time I stood there and the names of the men and women that I was there to honour.

The names and faces of these men and women faded from my memory and the novelty of a Repatriation duty became a well practiced routine. I do however, recall one day that will be with me for the rest of my life.

It was a sunny fall afternoon and I was at my usual intersection. As I had maybe 25 times before, I stopped all the traffic. I turned as the motorcade approached; I came to attention and saluted the hearse. As the hearse made the turn, it slowed. The limo that carried the family stopped momentarily in front of me. The window was open and a boy perhaps 3 or 4, the young son of the fallen soldier solemnly returned my salute. I was struck with the sacrifice that that young boy had made for his country, and by the fact that he didn’t even know it yet.

At 11am today where ever you are, please pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our soldiers, sailors and aircrews. And, also by the sacrifices made by the parents, widows, and children of those who will never come home again.

Lest we forget"

I have little more to offer here other than to say thank you, to those who have served or are serving.  Thank you still to the families of those who did not make it home.  Lest we forget their sacrifice.  Lest we forget the horror, lest we forget peace.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
-Laurence Binyon, "For the Fallen"

Photo courtesy of York University

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy National Down syndrome Awareness Week!

The 31 for 21 and Down syndrome Awareness Month may be over, but here in Canada, National Down syndrome Awareness week has just begun.

With the 31 for 21, we promote awareness and advocate for those with Down syndrome.  This week is about celebrating with people with DS and how they contribute to our everyday lives.

My son is a little small for self advocacy yet, but he constantly inspires me to want to learn more. 

Medical Mondays

Teaching Tuesdays
1 Welcome to the 31 for 21
2 ABHDS #4 - Roots of Institutionalization and Eugenics
8 Thyroid Disorders and DS
9 Signing and Language Development in DS
15 The Brain #1 - How the Brain Works
16 Learning and Down syndrome
22 The Brain #2 - The Brain and Trisomy 21
23 ABHDS #5 - From Education to Eugenics
29 The Brain #3 - DS, Alzheimers and a Very Special Mouse
30 ABHDS #6 - From Eugenics to Extermination

Wyatt & Zoe/Wordless Wednesdays

Therapy Thursdays
3 The Joys of Noise and Mess
4 To Sip or Not to Sip
10 Wordless Wednesday
11 All About the Crawl
17 Angels
18 Speech and Language #1
24 Autumn Babies
25 Speech and Language #2 - Early Intervention
31 In the News

Factoid Fridays

Storytime Saturdays
5 Fast Facts on DS (Revisited)
6 Telling Their Stories
12 We Want Respect
13 More Birth Stories
19 Special Needs Bullying
20 A Little Longer and a Little Different
26 DSM - "Mental Retardation" No Longer Acceptable
27 "Retarded"

Family Day/Silent Sundays

7 DS, Coping and Caregiver Stress

14 Care and Feeding of the "Special Needs" Parent

21 He Ain't Heavy...

28 Little Monsters

This year's campaign features Nicholas Popowich, a self advocate from Regina, Saskatchewan.  If you would like to know more about Nicholas or the National Down Syndrome Awareness Week, you can contact the Canadian Down syndrome Society.

Happy National Down syndrome Awareness Week 2012.  This week we "recognize and celebrate the contributions made by people with Down syndrome, like Nicholas, everyday in our schools, communities, workplaces and families." (CDSS, 2012)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...