Monday, March 29, 2010

NY Trip Day 2: Color us Irish!

Daddy and Anthony donned their best green and braved the teeming hordes of preteen scamps and beer enthusiasts to take in THE St. Patrick's Day parade up Fifth Avenue!

We picked a choice spot across the street from the Plaza Hotel -- right in front of FAO Schwarz!
It was really inspiring and Anthony was up for it all -- he especially liked the sound of the bagpipes echoing down the long canyons of New York...

So many sights to see! Everything is so tall and amazing!

Like a city made of castles, floating high among the clouds...

Phew! So much to see! The parade kept marching on, far below. We were especially moved by the fire department and their tribute to those who gave their lives in 9/11...

After all that it was time for a break! So we headed over to Central Park for some well-deserved milk!

Then it was time, uh..."change our diaper." So where would you go? In this teeming throng of multitudes, where is a safe, quiet, cozy place to change a little man's diaper...?

Why, FAO Schwarz, of course! While the regular public bathroom (shockingly, in the baby department!!!) was full of young fellows looking for relief (and a place to leave their Heineken cans), it turns out there is a...HIDDEN, SECRET CHANGING ROOM...where mommies (and daddies!) can find a blissful oasis of solitude to get clean, complete with moist wipes! Oh, FAO Schwarz, we LOVE you!

Where there's something fun to enjoy for every little girl......and every little boy!

Lego Chewbacca!

The piano from Big...! What a wonderful day of fun and adventure, two fellas enjoying a first St. Patrick's Day in the magical kingdom of old New York...!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NY Trip Day 1: Anthony Takes Manhattan!

After a slight delay, our voyage to the Big Apple began. Anthony did so great on his first airplane trip! He seemed to find the bumpity bump of the plane and the hum of the engines soothing. When he wasn't dozing, he played on our laps or happily had a bottle.

We arrived in NY (well, Newark airport) on Tuesday at about 5:30 pm. We got so lucky with the weather! After a horrendous winter and then the nor'easter last weekend, spring decided to come just in time for our trip.

This was our hotel: It was in a great location in the heart of the Upper West Side- right across the street from Lincoln Center and just a couple of blocks from Central Park.

The hotel was nice, but they overbooked, and when we arrived they told us all they had was a smoking room! That wasn't going to work, so we had to wait a bit while Daddy calmly discussed the situation with them. Unfortunately, Anthony got a little belligerent with the front desk staff and threw a cell phone at the concierge. The police were called and Anthony had to spend some time "downtown" if you know what I'm saying.

The mug shot

We were starving by the time we bailed Anthony out and checked into our room, so we set out to find some eats. We wound up at a place right next to the hotel. Apparently, no one in NY has ever seen a baby before, and we were treated to a steady stream of folks coming over to welcome Anthony to town!

(There he is behind the wine glass.)

Finally, we all retired to the room to get some much-need rest. Our first night was truly an authentic NY experience!

Next...The Parade!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Slight delay......! >:(

Our 7:40 AM flight (which Anthony got us up at 3:00 AM for...) has been delayed until 9:20AM, as our flight crew got in late last night and it's mandatory that they get a certain amount of sleep -- this is a good thing! So we are going to legislate mandatory sleep for parents, in response! Here's mommy and Anthony waiting at the departure gate, having fun! Can't wait to get into NY tonight and start spreadin' da noooooooooooooooozzeeeeeeeeeee...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting ready for the Big Apple

A special package arrived for Anthony's birthday from Mommy's friend Mary. (Mommy and Mary have been friends since our days at John Bowne High School. We were very good students and never got into any trouble at all back then). What could it be??? It says: "A trip to NY wouldn't be complete without..."
But You Gotta Believe!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Elise!

Happy First Birthday to our favorite girlie, Ellie Wagner!
We love you!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Now that Anthony is a big boy of one year old and is gaining weight like a champ, his pediatrician has given us the okay to start replacing his formula with plain old milk. We're starting by mixing it half and half with his formula. He seems to like it a lot! He's also eating a lot more solid food- enthusiastically chowing down at least a half cup of fruits, veggies, yogurt, oatmeal, or pureed meat 3 times a day on most days. He's getting better at eating his cheerios too- some of them actually go in his mouth now, not just on the floor!

Lately he's decided that he can go ahead and handle the spoon himself during mealtime. His technique needs some refining though, because he flings the food OFF the spoon before bringing it to his mouth. All in good time...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spread the Word!

Today is the Special Olympics-sponsored "End the R-Word Day."

The R-Word is "Retarded, " AKA, “retard,” and in the last couple of years it’s become part of casual speech in an incredibly dismissive way. Whether it’s spoken by Rahm Emanuel, Rush Limbaugh or the girls at happy hour criticizing the new anti-cell phone driving law, “Oh my god, that is so retarded...” the phrase has become this popular adjective to refer to anything that’s not worth abiding by, that they find annoying or hindering…to anything that has no value.

As such, it’s used to casually dismiss. “You’re going to see that? Don’t be such a retard.” And people with Down syndrome or other disabilities actually have to endure the added indignity of not just having to hear this kind of speech, but also the insult of the user justifying themselves with the excuse of “oh, well, that’s not what the word means when I use it. It has a different meaning now,” and then roll their eyes at our seeming need for political correctness. “Here’s another word I have to pussyfoot around using.”

Before the civil rights era, you’d have heard the N-word spoken without a second thought, too. Because it’s that casual usage and need to defend a phrase that’s loaded with hurt that we need to evolve beyond as a society. Anthony is a person with Down syndrome and our fondest hope is that the world he grows up in is on its way to evolving into a more accepting and tolerant one, where it’s not so easy to dismiss someone with a label of hurt. Where he doesn't feel dismissed and where his value is embraced. Where we actually do think twice before ever using the N-word, the R-word, or any phrase or label that robs someone of their worth. Anthony is a person, an amazing, glorious person and no word is ever going to take that away. But don’t we all want our kids to grow up in a world less hateful than the one we grew up in? Don’t we all want that kind of progress?

Sarah Palin has a child with DS, too, and while there are many who wish she hadn’t somehow become “the face of Down syndrome,” it’s so much more important to look at our daily social behaviors and habits firsthand than to let differences of politics cloud our goals of making our culture a more accepting place for any person who is born facing additional challenges. The first step is becoming aware that the word hurts – that’s what this campaign is all about.

John C McGinley, an actor and advocate for Down syndrome awareness, said it really well. “Most people don't think of this word as the language of hate, but that's exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends. I choose to believe that most of us are fundamentally good and that we're just not aware that the word is offensive and that it hurts."

There's some great information about this campaign out there today, including strong support from the NBA...

...and the campaign website itself...
Thanks for taking a moment today to slow down and consider this great opportunity we have to retire something ugly from our world. Its time has come, its day is done. Let's make the R-Word a dinosaur and the future a little bit better place. If we each encourage one person to stop using this phrase, imagine what tomorrow might bring?
-Anthony's Dad