Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Still a Wonderful Life

After a LONG absence I am once again posting on my blog! I have so many things to be thankful for. Here are some highlights: Richard and Krysten are officially engaged! Their big day will be November 9, 2012 in Chicago. We are so happy for them!
Janet is working at Sonic drive-in, and I think the thing she likes most about her job is her co-worker Josh! Janet and Josh are engaged, but haven't set a date yet. Catherine has been wanting a cat for a very long time and she finally got her wish. Introducing Joplin. Summer seems more fun when you are watching a baseball game don't you think? Amy has participated in Miracle League of Michigan for 2 years now and she loves it! Here's a picture from this season.
Today is the third day of kindergarten for Amy! She has grown up so fast. It is hard to believe she is in school all day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Toots and Ws

Amy had a visit from the speech therapist on Thursday this week, and Mrs. Morrison was showing Amy pictures of fruits and vegetables.
Apple...banana...carrot.... And then she showed Amy a picture of a green pepper. I'm thinking "She's not going to know this one, we don't really eat green peppers." When Mrs. Morrison asked her what it was, Amy said,"It's a W."

We were both puzzled--trying to figure out where Amy saw a "W" . Mrs. Morrison said, "No, it's a green pepper. It's a vegetable."
And Amy said, "YES! "W" while doing the ASL sign for vegetable.
Mrs. Morrison and I both realized Amy was trying to pronounce "vegetable" and it just came out sounding like "W". I think the best part was the expression on Amy's face! "Isn't that what I just said??"
Amy still has trouble pronouncing her "F"s, so the pictures we were looking at were "Toots and Ws"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I was asked to participate in a survey about being the parent of a child with Down Syndrome and as I was writing my comments, I realized that maybe I haven’t shared this experience with many people…

Before Amy was born, my OB/GYN gave me the option for prenatal testing but I declined because I wasn't going to terminate the pregnancy. He told me that they could look for markers of Down Syndrome in the next ultrasound which I agreed to. No markers were found and everything looked normal.

Less than 24 hours after Amy was born, someone I did not know came in my hospital room and told me that my daughter has Trisomy 21. I did not know the doctor that delivered the diagnosis. He was the pediatrician on call at the hospital. He didn't have a very good bedside manner. He told me the diagnosis and then left and I was all alone to absorb it all....I didn't want to believe it. It was a total surprise. I was heart broken. My perfect little girl wasn’t quite perfect…. My dear friend, Tricia whom I have known for many years, is a parent advocate for children with special needs and she was the one I turned to. She gave me hope. Bryan was very encouraging when I told him the diagnosis. He simply said, "Aren't we blessed to be the parents of this precious little spirit." and then I knew we could do anything that would be required of us!

Before Amy was born, I had many preconceived ideas about what a child with Down Syndrome was like--the limitations and the challenges. My first hand experience has been much different. Amy is a delightful child and I enjoy each day with her. The absolute joy she experiences when she learns something new is exciting to me. I appreciate each milestone more than with my other children. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

Here's a story I love that expresses my feelings beautifully:

"Welcome to Holland"
by Emily Perl Kingsley

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it. to imagine how it would feel. It's like this..."

"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting."

"After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

"But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay."

"The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place."

"So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met."

"It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts."

"But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

"And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss."

"But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things....about Holland."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What sound does a pig make?

Amy knows lots of animals and the sounds they make, but the sound a pig makes has been a challenge for her... She's been working on it and I had to write about it!

Mom to Amy: What does a pig say?

Amy says: Wo wo wo

Wonk wonk wonk

Oh-wonk Oh-wonk Oh-wonk

Oh-wink Oh-wink Oh-wink!!!

So cute!! Yeah for Amy!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! I talked to my sister Tami today and she reminded me that I hadn't updated my blog since October....So here's a short entry. We had our family picture taken and here it is! We are very blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family! Our Christmas day was fairly quiet. Janet and Catherine both spent the night last night so they could be here first thing in the morning to watch Amy open presents. Amy loved each present so much that we had to coax her to open more gifts. After opening presents and eating the cereal from our Christmas stockings, Janet and Catherine went to Tony's house for the rest of the day. Bryan and Amy and I went to visit Kathy Jano, who was sick. (She was supposed to come over today and play games) Then we went over to the Clawsons for waffles. (I think they invited the whole ward...) Next we prepared a DELICIOUS Christmas dinner. Spiral sliced honey glazed ham, potatoes, green bean caserole. Bryan and Amy and I played the Wii until we were all too tired to keep our eyes open and then I decided I needed to write this new post. So as the day is ending, I am very tired, but very happy! Love to you all! Esther

Friday, October 9, 2009

Amy Clegg Can!

What a week! We had another wonderful Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness at Kensington Metropark last Saturday. A cool new feature this year was called the Avenue of Achievement. Each family was asked to make a poster with their child's talents, accomplishments etc. and Annie, Janet and Catherine made a BEAUTIFUL poster for Amy! I wanted to share it here. It's not as cute and wonderful as the original poster, but you can get an idea of what it was like. Thanks Annie, Janet and Catherine! You guys are amazing!

Amy can swim with her daddy!

Amy can go to school! This is a picture of Amy's first day of Preschool.

Amy can Sign! She knows over 130 ASL signs, and she loves the Signing Time DVDs.

This is the sign for "more"

This is the sign for "food" and "eat"

This is the sign for "ball"

This is the sign for "cracker"

And this is the sign for "train"

Here is the last picture. I think it's my favorite. (Okay, they are all my favorites!)

Amy can do the chicken dance! Janet taught her the chicken dance and it is so cute!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Amy Laughs

Amy makes me laugh almost every day!! I've decided that I really need to keep track of all the cute and funny (and gross and funny) things she says and does. So here's another funny moment. I wrote about how Amy was drinking from the doggie water dish. She watches everyone including the dog. I found her in the kitchen again--this time eating Tux's dog food! YUCK! I picked her up and said, "Amy, we don't eat dog food! That's for the dog to eat..." And as she was listening to me, she was tilting her head back and forth like Tux does...HILARIOUS!!