Thursday, December 6, 2012

Theodore Mouse Goes to Sea, Hotwheels and Other Childhood Memories


When I was  a little girl my favorite book was Theodore Mouse Goes to Sea. I am not sure what happened to my copy of the book--either it was lost when my grandma's house burned down or I lost it somewhere along the way growing up. I have been looking for a copy for about 10 years, knowing that someday I wanted to be able to read it to my kids. I tried Amazon and eBay and never could get my hands on it. Today I went to a used bookstore that carries Melissa and Doug stuff because I was looking for gifts for Matthew for Christmas, and there it was.

There are a lot of things from when we were growing up that we always planned on sharing with him, hoping that he would love them as much as we do--The Muppets, books, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Labyrinth, and, of course, all things Disney. And luckily for us, he is a big fan of all of them.

For Joe, one of the big things he wanted to share with Matthew was his love for Hotwheels and Matchbox cars. When we first started dating, many moons ago, one of the first stories he told me about his family was how his grandfather used to take him to a neighborhood shop in Brooklyn and buy him a new car every week or so. It meant so much to him, that he told the story at his grandfather's funeral last year and how he hoped to be able to do that with Matthew. A couple of months ago, my in-laws found all of those cars in their garage and Joe brought them home to Matthew, and they are being put to good use again. This kid is nuts about toy cars, I am wondering where we are going to store all the ones he will get in his Christmas haul.

I guess that expression, "Everything old is new again," is true.

What are some of the toys, books, movies, or experiences from your childhood that you are looking forward to sharing with your children?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Matt Lights up Christmas!

Yesterday I got the idea to combine Matt's new obsession with all things Christmas with his Vision/Deaf & Hard of Hearing lesson by hooking up my iPod and the Christmas tree to the switch he uses to learn cause and effect. He had a great time and so did I :)

The Generosity of Strangers

A few weeks ago, there was a message in a special needs Facebook forum that I'm a member of where a friend was giving away a Tumbleform II chair with a wheeled base that her kids had outgrown to anyone who wanted it. I jumped on it with zero hesitation. For our family it was an answer to a prayer, more mobility for Matt outside of the wheelchair and that it wouldn't have to go through insurance to get it. Any parent with a child who has special needs knows how expensive medical equipment is and how insurance companies will go out of their way not to cover it.

Upon learning a little more about this chair, I found out that we are the third family to use it and that it has been well-loved. The first family who used it has a son with Cerebral Palsy. When he outgrew it, it was passed it to a family with 9 children, some of whom have special needs and all of them very much loved. I was blessed enough to "meet" their mom, Meredith, in a group for special needs parents and was immediately mesmerized by her family's testimony. She has a blog about her family, their faith, and homeschooling that I love, please stop by and check it out.

We made the hour drive to their home and felt instantly welcomed. I was so excited that I was finally going to meet them in person after chatting on and off for a few months. We didn't get all of the kids together during this visit because both Matt and their kiddos were all in various stages of illness and we didn't want to expose all of them to each others germs, but hopefully we can soon.

Matt loves his new chair, it is far less confining and restrictive than his wheelchair. He has especially loved sitting in it since we put up the Christmas tree because he can get closer and look at the lights.We are so thankful for their generosity and even more when those Facebook friends become friends in real life.