Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pictures Are Worth 1000 Words

For all those faithful followers of this blog (and you know who you are), I will probably start posting photos. So stay tuned. Why do you ask? Well, there are just some moments that need to be shown not told.

Kenny Kodak Moments:
1. SETTING: Sunday, March 19 @ Nana & Poppy's House. Nana & Poppy have a piano. So lets see - 3 kids, 1 piano = lots of noise. Picture all 3 O'Learys bangin' away at this piano - Kodak Moment

2. SETTING: Sunday Night, March 19 @ Trumbull Marriott Hotel. 1 Hotel Room, 2 Queen Beds, 2 Adults, 3 Kids = A Bonding Family Experience. Honestly, I expected mayhem. In reality - I carried a sleeping 40 pound boy (David) up to the hotel room (1 asleep). Jaclyn & J.P. cackling away while J.P. finished his milk - Kodak Moment.

3. SETTING: Any Weekday morning prior to School, OLeary household approximately 7:45 am. Post Breakfast Parade. Jaclyn puts on her backpack, invites J.P. to put on David's backpack (which is twice J.P.'s size) and they march around the house - Kodak Moment.

Me: "Rae, quick get the camera and take a photo of me with J.P.
Rachel: (camera in hand) "Great photo honey, um, but...but...your hair"
Me: (fully knowing I look disheveled) "dont worry, just focus on J.P."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Yes, I know I am a couple of days late with wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day. However, I have a grace period since my kids now outnumber my brain cells.

I try to have a tradition of spending time with my Mom on St. Patrick's Day. Since I was young she always made this day special for me - wishing me a "Happy Name Day" - my middle name is Patrick.

This year, Nana (my Mom), myself and David went to the Bridgeport St. Patrick's Day Parade. It turned out to be a real nice day, or a "treat" as my mother would say. Upon arriving, David got scared of the marching band drums and loud music - actually holding his ears and running away. We calmed him down and he was able to see balloons and trucks about a 1/2 block from the parade. Slowly over time, we worked our way to front of the parade crowd. We bought a Green Trumpet and David had a blast. He saw the Bridgeport Bluefish and more trucks. We even had more marching bands come by - he was visibly upset by the sound - but intently stayed to watch. I was so proud to watch him overcome his fear and have courage knowing I was by his side.

The day ended at a local Irish establishment you may have heard of - McDonalds. No corn beef only McNuggets. Upon leaving David said, "Nana, would you be my Valentine?"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jackie and the Retrievers: Part II

Yesterday was our last game for Jackie & the Retrievers. We had a great season. What I enjoyed most was seeing the growth in the kids - not only in their basketball skills, but also in their bond together. That is why I love to coach - watching individuals develop into a team.

Jackie: I enjoyed coaching you this year. I enjoyed watching you happily dribble the ball up the court. I was so proud of the way you shot the ball and the way you played defense. Most of all, I enjoyed the nights taking you to practice. I loved spending time together, just you and I. I love you momma.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

David Beats Goliath

This is a must read article J-Mac's meaningful message for Autism.
Even better, if you download ESPN Motion, you can see the video.
Bring the tissues, if you decide to watch.

Things I learned today:
1. I must always give David a chance whenever possible.
2. David faces miniature hurdles each day that often aren't readily visible to me or those on the outside.
3. There is no known cure for what David faces.
4. I have hope, faith, promise and love for David.
5. David must be included in all things, so he can live a relatively normal life. By providing him with experiences, he can excel at a much greater level than if he were isolated.
6. Find a positive environment for David, an environment of adults and kids who accept him for who he is.

With the news of my previous post, I know siblings are blessing for David. Jaclyn and J.P. have been a great support system for David. Why? They interact with him with no strings attached. They love him, play with him, tackle him, play hide & seek with him, play tag & dress-up with him. He responds to them (and to other kids) so beautifully. They simply love him for who he is - their brother, friend and playmate.

Keep going David - you will defeat Goliath!