#WW – A Little Indoor Enjoyment On A Cold Rainy Night

Ww Playing at Mcd

We stopped at McDonalds and had a little indoor enjoyment on a cold rainy night.

What do you and your family do for fun when you’re stuck indoors? I’d really like to know, please leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Feel free to head on over to my food blog From Val’s Kitchen, or to my Mom’s blog Here And There, for more Wordless Wednesday fun.

#WordlessWednesday – Where Sleeping Dogs Lie

In Dobby’s case, anywhere they want, and in the oddest positions.

WW - Dobby Sleeping

WW - Dobby Sleeping

WW - Dobby Sleeping

WW - Dobby Sleeping

Where does your pet sleep? I’d love to know, please leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Feel free to head on over to my food blog From Val’s Kitchen, or to my Mom’s blog Here And There, for more Wordless Wednesday fun.

How Do You Put Your Socks Away? Not Very Wordless Wednesday #WW

Ww Socks

Hubby folded some of my son’s laundry recently. It was a big surprise, and a nice one. I couldn’t help but notice he puts socks away completely differently then I do. When I buy socks, especially for my sons, they’re all the same. So when I put them away I just stack them in the drawer, no pairing required. Hubby folds one top over the other. I don’t personally like that technique because I think it stretches out the tops. I know some people also knot them. my Mom even used to have these plastic thingeys that slid over both socks.

Anyway. The idea of the top of one sock being folded over the other bugged me so much I undid them when I put them away. Petty I know. What can I say. I was putting them away so I did it my way. I don’t even know how many other ways there are to store socks, but I did get to wondering about that.

How do you put your socks away? I’d really like to know, so please leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Feel free to head on over to my food blog From Val’s Kitchen, or to my Mom’s blog Here And There, for more Wordless Wednesday fun.

Not Exactly #WordlessWednesday With Linky – The Messages Sent With Pants

I saw a lady in the store wearing these pants this week. The pants fascinated me. I’ve never gotten the whole writing on the pants butt thing, especially by people who say they don’t want men staring at their butt. But this one really made me wonder. Who were they wishing luck to and for what?

Ww Pants With Words

What’s your opinion on pants with writing on the butt? Is the spoken/visible message of whatever the words say stronger then the unspoken message (look at my butt)? I really want to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment. I’m sure there’s a difference in opinion on these pants for some, so please let’s keep it respectful!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.

The Battle For Something Beautiful Continues – World #DownSyndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day Logo

Today is March 21, also World Down Syndrome Day. I’ve written about World Down Syndrome Day before, in 2013, 2012, 2011 and my personal favorite 2009. They’re all worth a read but if you could only read one I’d probably say it should be 2009. The United Nations General Assembly officially declared March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day back in 2011, even though people had already been observing it for a few years before that. World Down Syndrome Day is recognized on this day because being the twenty-first day of the third month, it is symbolic of a third copy of the twenty first chromosome, or Down syndrome. Some of the goals of the day are to raise awareness, to educate, to promote acceptance, and to promote inclusion.

You’ve probably noticed that google changes it’s little doodle thingey all the time. Yesterday it was an animation of watering a stick flower for the first day of spring. A number of people requested Google use an image for today’s doodle, for World Down Syndrome Day. It looks like this.

Wdsd Google

I don’t know how many asked. I do know that this is not the first year they’ve asked. I logged in this morning and hit Google. Didn’t see the image. As Google they could make such an impact just by putting that doodle up for one day. How could they make an impact? Because it would get people looking at it and wondering about what it stood for. That’s where the awareness comes in. As with any other cause, not everyone would jump on board, obviously. But more people would be aware. But yet again, Google chose not to use the doodle. It’s their choice to publish doodles on random days with no meaning, and yet ignore an important socially relevant cause involving real people. It leaves me disgusted, but that’s a feeling I’ve grown accustomed to in my quest for “Something Beautiful”.

“Something Beautiful” is the name of a song. These are the lyrics.

Tell me what hurts the most,
Where you feel it in your bones.
Is this how you pictured yourself?
Do you feel like a ghost?
Half alive and so unknown?
Is this how you run from yourself?

And the undertow rushes in,
Pulls you out, pulls you in.
Spinning you all around,
Spinning you upside down.
And you don’t know which way is up,
And will this ever be enough
To make you whole, to fill your soul,
When all you want is

Something beautiful
That they can’t take away,
That no one can ever touch,
And nothing can replace.
Something beautiful
That you can call your own.
When the world shows its ugly side
All you want is something beautiful.
Something beautiful.

Can you touch the way you feel,
Or does it only fade to gray?
Is this how you cripple yourself?
And when the sky is caving in,
Crashing down from within,
Is this how you, you lose yourself?

Because you don’t know which way is up,
And will this ever be enough
To make you whole, to fill your soul,
When all we want is

Something beautiful
That they can’t take away,
That no one can ever touch,
And nothing can replace.
Something beautiful
That you can call your own.
When the world shows its ugly side
All you want is something beautiful.
Something beautiful.

Some things will never, will never, will never change
Some things will never, will never, will never change
Will never change
Unless you believe in
Something beautiful
Something beautiful
When all you want is

Something beautiful
That they can’t take away,
That no one can ever touch,
And nothing can replace.
Something beautiful
That you can call your own.
When the world shows its ugly side
All you want is something beautiful.
Something beautiful.

WW - Fun at the beach after winning the silver medal! WW - Fun at the beach after winning the silver medal!

 WW - C And Dobby WW C After Bowling Match

C Surfing

Something Beautiful is also what what I envision life and society should be. It’s a vision that I advocate for on a daily basis. Something Beautiful is a world that is better place for people with with Down syndrome like my son.

It’s a world where my son won’t be judged by how he looks or what his abilities.

It’s a world where people won’t stare because he looks different.

It’s a world where kids won’t literally turn their back and ignore my son when he tries to talk to them because they don’t understand what he’s saying.

It’s a world where the parents of those children will teach their children that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and as a human being.

It’s a world where people won’t presume he has no feelings.

It’s a world where people will recognize that individuals with Down syndrome have potential and can do many things.

It’s a world where my son won’t sit in a doorway watching other kids outside playing, surely wishing he was out there too.

It’s a world where people are accepting of others that are different.

It’s a world where people don’t sling the word retarded around casually, without care that they aren’t using it correctly and that they are hurting others by using it that way.

It’s a world where my son and others with Down syndrome will be treated like people, not like a condition. My son is a person, he is not his diagnosis.

If society ever gets to the point where it’s anything like what I envision and fight for, it will surely be Something Beautiful. For us to get there, awareness must be raised. Standing up for beliefs must occur. Voices must be raised before they can be heard. Everyone can make a difference. Yes, everyone. Wondering how you can make a difference? It’s easy. Two steps.

  1. Learn more about Down syndrome.
  2. Share what you learn.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t listen to this song. Not a single one. It’s become a mantra of sorts for me.

For me, and families within the Down syndrome community, every day is World Down Syndrome Day. Every day I fight for my son. It’s a tough fight. It can be emotionally bloody and it can hurt like hell. But I will never let it break me. I won’t let up until I’m dead or until we achieve Something Beautiful.

I leave you with the acoustic version of Something Beautiful, with the permission of the band Oleander.

A big thank you to Oleander, for graciously giving me permission to use this song in my post. And for always making amazing and relevant music. Something Beautiful is available on the Oleander website and iTunes. I make no money if you purchase it, by the way, I share it because it’s awesome and it has incredible meaning.

If you’re still here, I saw an awesome videos for World Down Syndrome Day that I want to share.

I Am A Person.

I Am A Person

THIS is a part of my dream, my goal, my vision.
I admit, I cried the first time I saw it. I admit, I cried again today when I watched it again.
I hope my son is alive when this day comes and I hope I’m alive to see it.
If you don’t use the R-word, thank you.
If you do, please take this to heart and consider that you are hurting others every time you say it.

“I Am a Person” PSA from Darkroom Productions on Vimeo.

#WordlessWednesday with Linky – The Face Of A Silver Medalist

Over the weekend my youngest son bowled in the bowling sectionals tournament for Special Olympics. His games got better and better and his third game was 26 pins over average. He got second place and took home the silver medal! I am so proud of him! We stopped at the playground on the way home to celebrate. He moves on to the next level of competition later this month.

WW - Fun at the beach after winning the silver medal!

WW - Fun at the beach after winning the silver medal!

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.

Why It’s Hurtful To Use The Word Retarded – Spread The Word To #endtheword

2014 spread the word badge

Anyone that knows me knows that I hate the abuse and misuse of the word retarded. It’s so offensive. I hear it a lot from kids and teens, they are the ones I always take the time to try and explain why it’s wrong and offensive. And I hear it from adults, many of whom say “I don’t mean it that way”. I try and explain why it’s hurtful to them. Some listen (or pretend to). Others say I’m not hurting anyone, I don’t mean it to be mean.

Well, I know how I feel when I hear someone misuse the word retarded. I can only begin to imagine how someone with Down syndrome feels when they hear it. To be picked on and ostracized by people that don’t even know you personally, just because you have an extra chromosome. To be treated as though you can’t have an opinion. To hear implications that you aren’t smart. Those things must hurt an awful lot. I have a child with Down syndrome and I know that I still can’t give the proper words and give the feelings he must feel justice.

Well, there is someone that can. For anyone that thought people with Down syndrome couldn’t have an intelligent thought or conversation, I have something to say to you. Well, many things, but I’ll go with this one – you couldn’t be more wrong or farther from the truth.

John Franklin Stephens, a Special Olympics Global Messenger, and a man with Down syndrome by the way, has written an article that was published today on Huff Post. The article is entitled “I Am the Person You Hurt When You Say the R-Word“. He explains how use of the word retarded hurts him and others. It is truly magnificently written. It’s brilliant. The analogies he uses describe how I feel perfectly. It is worth the two minutes it will take you to read it. It’s truly the best post I’ve read in a very long time by anyone. Anyone who thinks people with Down syndrome don’t understand things that are being said needs to read this. Anyone who thinks people with Down syndrome can’t think intelligent thoughts needs to read this. And above all else, anyone who misuses and abuses the word retarded needs to read this.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll take the pledge to not use the r word. Just click on “pledge now” on the right hand side. You have no idea how much of a difference you as one person can make.

One Thing You MUST Know Before Shopping Online

no music

This is a brief story of what happened to me when I tried to work with both a seller and a manufacturer to get a broken item repaired or replaced. This is not a brand bashing post. This is a factual accounting of what was to follow. I am sharing the story not to put a company down, but rather to share with you something important that I learned that I believe everyone that shops online should be aware of before making a purchase.

In late 2012 I purchased a Philips Fidelio docking speaker for my iPhone. It’s next to my bed and I use it as an alarm clock.  I loved the sound quality of it so much that I ordered a second one on 02/24/13 for my son on Amazon from a seller named Expansys because they had a good price. I could have purchased this unit from other sellers,including Philips themselves, for more money. I could have purchased similar docks made by other well known brands that were reviewed better. But, I chose to buy the Philips because of my experience and I chose to buy it from Expansys on Amazon because of the price.

My youngest son (well actually both of my sons) loves music. He plays music constantly, so the docking speaker gives him an opportunity to listen to his music while our iPod Touch charges. It cuts back on the amount of times where he comes to me asking “recharge”. He doesn’t use it as an alarm clock, just a way to listen to his music and charge his iPod. The child has no friends to play with after school, so he’s got me, the dog, the cat, his trains, his DVDs and his music.

In December my son’s unit stopped working. I realized that, according to its paperwork, it had a one year warranty. I contacted Philips on 12/26, who asked me to send them some info and proof of purchase. I sent it that day, by email and fax. On 01/06/14 I received an email that they couldn’t read my documents and to resend them. I resent it again. On 01/09/14 I once again received the same canned response that they couldn’t read my documents. I resent them again.

I telephoned after to follow up, and was told that they’d received the documents and the item was covered under warranty. They took my debit card and said they’d place a $1 hold on it, this was to be sure I sent my unit back since they were sending a replacement. February arrived and I hadn’t received a box to send the broken unit back in. Nor had I received a phone call or email.

One year since my purchase passed. I telephoned Philips again on 02/27/14 and was informed that Expansys was not an authorized Philips reseller so Philips would not be honoring the warranty. They could not answer my questions why I had not been notified sooner that they’d changed their mind and they had no explanation. They told me to contact the seller.

I tried contacting Expansys several times in several ways including email, telephone, and social media. I also contacted them through Amazon on that same day 02/27/14. Five days later on 03/02 they replied they would look into it and get back to me. One day later I received an email through amazon stating “Hello, this order is from a year ago, and we no longer have any stock of this product. We are unable to repair or replace this unit.” Frustrated I tweeted both of them. Philips, to their credit, once again responded asking for the model and date purchased. I sent it over by DM and received a reply this morning once again to contact the seller.

At this point it is clear to me that neither the seller Expansys or the manufacturer Philips is willing to do anything about my situation. I am out both $60 and my son is out one docking speaker. I can’t say for sure that I will never buy a Philips product again, although it isn’t very likely at this moment today. I can say I will never buy from Expansys again. But this post isn’t about that.

The message of this post is very simple.

If you shop online from sources other then the manufacturer directly, be sure to find out if the seller is an authorized reseller. If they are not I urge you to either buy a different brand or buy from a different seller.

The money you may save by buying from an unauthorized reseller just isn’t worth what it costs in the end if the unit breaks. Find yourself a bit lighter in the wallet sucks on its own, but when paired with the face of a child who’s crushed, well that  just sucks.

Have you ever had a bad experience with an unauthorized retailer? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!