January 26, 2012


Hannah, in her room in the early morning, talking to her goldfish:

Good morning Sweeties!  Would you like your breakfast?  Look!  It's your favorite!  TetraFin Goldfish Flakes with Clear and Clean Water Formula!

Here it comes!  Are you excited?  Delicious.  Look!  There is a piece--it's swimming past you!

That's okay.  You'll get it the next time.  

Have a nice day!

January 22, 2012

Tummy Trouble

Whooboy!  We're glad that we're heading over to the other side of Hannah's gastroenteritis drama!  

Friday afternoon Hannah had her first session of the Singing Hands (the signing/singing choir with SPARC--see post below).  She. LOVED. It.    She was totally enthralled--lots of friendly, diverse people, getting-to-know-you games, learning new music and signs.  It seemed to be like a high-energy summer camp session.  There weren't just 4 teachers--there were about 10 adults there--some musicians, some theater people, and some ASL interpreters.  Parents were invited into the theater to see what the class did, and it was fun to see all the students (ages 10-18) show off their stuff!  Hannah volunteered to sing the song they had learned, solo, while another student signed it (it was like an echo-song).   Hannah was BEAMING.  She definitely loves the stage.

She couldn't wait until Saturday's dance class.  Alas, 3:00 in the morning found her listless amidst a messy carpet.  Stomach Flu.

A big stomach flu.  I will spare the details other than James did about 10 loads of laundry in 11 hours while Hannah and I lived in the bathroom, dozing on towels.  By the middle of Saturday things had slowed down.  She still couldn't keep a sip of water down, but the interval between episodes was getting longer. An hour later I tried a dropperful of water--she was SO THIRSTY.  But when that triggered her, we decided to head to the ER for some fluids.

The hospital was terrific--they had her hooked up to the IV within a short time.   Once she had some Zofran for nausea and two boluses of fluid she was almost perky.  Or, at least, awake.  We were out within 3 hours--a new record for us!

She's been holding down liquids, but hasn't asked for food yet.  I expect she'll be asking soon enough--she's been well enough to play on the computer and is drawing while watching some TV, so she's definitely on the mend.

She did tell me that when she was at Singing Hands that everyone shared something about themselves.  She told the group that she went to Disney World and got the stomach flu on the first day there and had to go to the hospital (for 3 days...).  Guess that will teach her to brag about the stomach flu!

Stay healthy folks!  There are some mean viruses out and about!

January 14, 2012

Mummies and Elvis. A match made in heaven.

Yesterday we went into the city.  We met with the director of a really cool arts program that seeks out children with disabilities.  It's an inclusive program that offers several classes covering a variety of performance arts--dance, singing, instrumentation.   It sounds really terrific--and, it's FREE!  There will be four teachers in each class--two who are trained in the arts field (dance teachers, musicians, etc) and two who have experience with diverse experience with children with developmental disabilities.  Half of the students will be typically developing.  At the end of the semester there will be a BIG SHOW, featuring Jason Mraz and many other performers, who will be sharing the stage with the students.  Hannah is VERY excited about this! She's signed up to join the Singing Hands choir (singing and signing) and the Modern Movement class.   The dance class is her favorite (even though she hasn't started it yet).  The modern dance performances will include computer sensors attached to the dancers that project color on the back wall of the theater during the dance. So cool!

And, there is a documentary crew that will be filming throughout the semester to make a film about how to make the arts accessible to children with disabilities.  Below is the preview.


After our meeting with the director, we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.  It's our local art museum.  We go fairly regularly, since it's free.  In addition to their own extensive collections, they have traveling exhibits that require a fee--last year there was a terrific Picasso exhibit, which I saw with my friend Catherine (Lois's mom!).   The current exhibits are Mummies from the British Museum, and a photography exhibit of young Elvis, when he just signed his first record label.

The Mummy exhibit started with a 3-D movie!  We all liked that, but the rest of the exhibit was less interesting.  I guess after going the museum in Cairo, Kate and I were not impressed.  

Of course, Hannah was interested in the gift shop...

You KNOW that Hannah loved the Elvis exhibit!

Her souvenir choice was a pen in the shape of an electric guitar!

January 7, 2012

Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie-Special Needs

I'm terrifically excited about this new TV movie on ABC--January 29th at 9 p.m. !!!

It's a story about a Special Education teacher who wanted to take his class to Space Camp.  He knew that all the gifted classes could go, but none of the Special Ed classes could take such a field trip.   It's based on a true story.

And guess what?  One of Hannah's dear friends is in the movie!  If you've followed us over the years, you'll recognize Abby Corrigan in the movie.  Abby has a twin sister, Emma, who has Down syndrome. When the girls were preschoolers, their family produced the documentary film Emma's Gifts, which focused on how being different doesn't mean "less than".  Abby has grown into a fabulous and dynamic performer, and this is her first TV movie.

A Smile as Big of the Moon has a few actors that have cognitive disabilities, and some who are acting as individuals with disabilities.  Abby's character has bi-polar disorder and ADHD.  And there is a young man who has Down syndrome in the movie, so keep your eyes open!

(To see more of Emma and Abby, look at these posts.)