Monday, March 31, 2008
The incredible Quad at the UW.
A snap shot of the wonderful trees.
Max and Madeleine ready to go to College. They are "gifted" you know.
Proud Daddy and Son
My beautiful Madeleine, with her adorable new hair-do, cutie tights and fabulous smile!
Max: Full Steam Ahead!
Maxy under the tree and loving life! His smile is contagious and as Michael would say, "he has the best disposition in the history of dispositions and little boys"
Balancing on the 'wall' and holding Daddy's hand.
"To the Tree! To the Tree" (a quote from Go Dog, Go. There was a dog party there, you know)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Max and Madeleine play "school" at the Woodland Park Zoo's safari and Africa exhibit.
Playing Dress-Up! What would we do without ten thousand strings of gaudy Mardi Gras Beads!
Maxy hamming it up for the camera.
Madeleine wearing her sunglasses at night. Just call her Corey Hart.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Yes, it is true, Max is a piano prodigy. We have been keeping this a secret for some time since we were worried about the press getting wind of it. He has been playing professionally for about 6 months now, since he was like, 15 months old or something. We didn't start with piano classes until fairly recently (11 months) as we were concerned that it might pigeon-hole him into playing a certain style. But alas, we could no longer deny this exquisite talent and now the world should know that we have a real Mozart on our hands.
If you are interesting in booking a concert, a gig- if you will, you may email me. Don't be alarmed if I don't get back to you right away, we are indeed swamped with requests!
Friday, March 14, 2008
I know that I am sounding like an elementary school teacher (which, I am, after all), but I think explanations are important. I still see people stare and wonder about Madeleine's leg. I still see people get ooked out by seeing someone without an arm. So, let's just get it out there, shall we?
Everyone remembers the problem with Thalidomide. A tragic era for many parents and their babies. For the record, Thalidomide did not cause Madeleine's fibula to stop growing. The birth defects associated with Thalidomide are different than what Madeleine was born with. These babies were born with short, fin-like limbs.
Another type of limb difference is Amniotic Banding Syndrome. According to the Amniotic Banding Website it is:
"Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) also called Amniotic Constriction Band Syndrome is a set of congenital birth defects believed to be caused by entrapment of fetal parts (usually a limb or digits) in fibrous amniotic bands while in utero."
or in other words:
"Before the baby was born the body part(s) that was affected by ABS (arm, fingers, toes, etc.,) was caught up and entangled in string-like bands. This caused abnormalities that were present at birth"
Or, there can simply be a blood clot. When the limb buds were forming there was a blood clot and that limb didn't grow. This was the case with Madeleine's leg.
Okay, so I've been working on this post forever. I need to put it out there. The point is that shit happens. People are not born perfect. I know a set of identical twins and one twin got leukemia. The other didn't. I know babies with cancer. I know adults with cholesterol issues even though they are not fat. I know that I have a hormonal imbalance even though I didn't do anything to cause it (supposedly).
My daughter was born with a 'deformity'. She will never look like you and me in the leg department. She will always be an amputee (among other things, of course!). Does this matter? Um, no, not really. Did I ever think I would say that? Um, never.
If I knew then what I know now I would know that this isn't really that big of a deal. I hate admitting that, by the way. Because I see your stares. I hear the comments that kids make. I've seen kids shy away from Madeleine's leg. She didn't notice but one day she will.
A baby will be born without his hand. His parents are devastated. They curse God and wonder what they did wrong. They fear they had something to do with it (they didn't). They cannot imagine their little boy's life growing up without a hand. It is so so sad. He will face challenges that you and I will never know. Most of them socially.
But.... He will be precious. He will come into this world with grace and style. He will be beautiful and brilliant and have so much to offer. His parents will never want to know what life would be like if he hadn't been born. He is a blessing to his family and to the rest of the world.
I know this because I live it.
Expect to meet people with limb differences. Don't be surprised. Admire what they can do.