Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unique Opportunity

We had a really neat opportunity recently to take Colin into New York City and participate in a photo shoot for Toys "R" Us and their Differently-Abled guide.  The guide was created initially when the founder of Toys "R" Us heard from employees and customers that there were sometimes challenges for finding appropriate toys geared towards children with special needs.  The founder spearheaded the introduction of the Differently-Abled guide which has been around for many years since.  You can read more about it by clicking here

We heard about the opportunity through the Special Olympics of NJ and decided to give the casting call a whirl since it was being held at the Special Olympics facility.  We found out some weeks later that Colin was selected to be one of the participants for a specific toy on the inside of the guide.  We were really excited to have Colin participate!  

We used the train to get in and out of the city and Colin LOVED it.  

Shortly after arriving, Colin was dressed in an outfit to fit his toy (he was going to be playing with a basketball and net) and then had to sit for "makeup".  He sat perfectly still and thought it was the greatest thing to get powder put on his face.  

Once he was dressed and ready and his "shoot" was set up, Colin got into "star mode" to shoot his pictures.  

The photo shoot was a tad bit challenging because Colin wanted to play basketball but in most of the photos while playing his arm blocked his face.  They were trying to "pose" him more which proved to be a bit difficult, however he was a trooper and they got some cute shots.  It was a bit difficult too because they sort of wanted us to take a "back seat" and have the helper be the one to elicit smiles and such.  He kept looking for us so we were just trying to get him to smile and pose the way they wanted to.  They let us sit in the shoot area with him and started doing some "close up" photos of him and once he eased back in again, they got some really great shots.  

It was certainly an exciting opportunity and we can't wait to see it come out in September!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Change is Never Easy

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally known down here at the "shore" as the official start to the summer.  And while this post will focus primarily on that, I did want to take a moment to acknowledge the REAL reason for Memorial Day weekend and to be thankful for the service that our past and current troops have done to ensure our freedom and safety.  I am grateful for all that 3 of my grandparents have done and for all of our veterans.  Thank you...

Ever since I was two months old, my parents have been taking me to the beach.  The length of time has changed through the years and then it only became natural that I would eventually end up here.  It's funny how life works out that way.  I've never seen the kind of changes that Superstorm Sandy brought with it to this area and driving through today on our way to the beach, I was reminded of all of that.  I cried again to see how much the area has changed and although it's been great to see the things that have been done to restore the communities, there is still so much left without any visible progress.  While I am grateful that my family was not impacted in the same ways, it's still difficult to see my place with so much change.  So, things will be a bit different this summer, but I'll be thankful for the things we will still be able to do.  

It's been a rough week for Kailey as it seems that she's got teeth on the move again.  My child literally looks like she's been possessed by the devil during these weeks of incoming teeth.  She's happy one second and then the next is throwing herself on the ground in utter craziness.  

Hopefully we will start to see this darn tooth pop through soon and we can get our loving daughter back! 

Happy start to summer and most especially, Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Best Buds

Today was a fun day with our good friends.  I love watching the kids interact and hang out together.  They really are like little buds!! 

Trying to get 5 kids to look at the camera at the same time is near impossible!! 

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Others stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts...and we are never, ever the same."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


A friend from high school who is on our Polar Bear Plunge team emailed me yesterday from work to tell me a "small world" experience.  The students where she works were working on a collage (they are in DC) where they were cutting out pictures from the Washington Post that were supposed to represent positive communication and highlighting that as opposed to the use of negative words and phrases.  She looked down and noticed that a student was cutting Colin's picture out of the newspaper.  She asked him why he was using that picture and he said because Colin just looked so happy and stress free and thought it would be good to use.  Colin is now on a student's collage somewhere in DC!  How awesome is that? It really is such a small world sometimes!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Proud Mommy

Months ago, an opportunity presented itself through the Special Olympics of New Jersey for a casting call  for young athletes for P&G Brandsaver's "Thank you, Mom" campaign.  After the casting call, we found out that we were being "called back" for a photo shoot and some of the photos taken during the photo shoot would be used for a coupon booklet released on Mother's Day weekend.  P&G's "Thank you, Mom" campaign was going to be highlighting the Special Olympics and would donate money for every coupon used.  

The photo shoot was a new experience for me and so much fun! The room was set up with LOTS of different food and drink choices, people there to play with the kids who had "stations" of their own to keep them occupied, wardrobe, hair, and makeup.  The guy that did my hair was from FRANCE and listed a bunch of celebrities whose hair he had done.  I was dressed in an outfit and then had my makeup done.  I LOVED the experience!  

Despite the fact we had to repeat the same "scene" several times, Colin was really cooperative because he loved playing soccer and loved the fact everyone there was cheering for him. The hardest part was that we were going to have to wait months to see the finished product on Mother's Day!  

It was worth the wait to open up my  newspaper and see that picture of my little boy on the front cover!  

Four years ago, I was a scared Mommy with a new baby with a diagnosis I wasn't expecting.  I felt like my "plan" had been changed and I wasn't prepared for what I thought my future was going to be like.  However, Colin has taught me so much in such a short time, far more than I ever could have learned on my own.  When I opened the newspaper and saw that picture I cried because I am so proud to support my little boy and embrace what our future is going to be.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Colin's 4th Year

Again, this video is being posted a tad late, but it's a video looking back at Colin's 4th year.  We love you so much Colin!  Looking forward to all the next year ahead will bring...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kailey's 2nd Year

I haven't been on my game as much as I have been in the past.  I FINALLY finished Kailey's 2nd year video so without further ado, here's how much our little girl has changed in just one year....

We love you Kailey girl!