A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"I never knew"

I never expected to feel this way. I mean, of course I knew that I would love my grandchildren when the day came. After all, I am a very loving, nurturing person. I knew when the day came for me to have a grandchild that I would be blessed and that I would feel elated. But I never expected to feel a love as deep and as strong as I do for Hailey.
That being said, the day that Hailey was born, and with the level of complications that she had, emotions were overflowing, questions surpassed the highest mountains and uncertainty scared the hell out of me.
After awhile, and one heck of a roller coaster ride, reality and acceptance sets in and love and admiration grows even deeper than you ever thought possible. Hailey is an amazing little girl who has taught our whole family how to live a brand new life, a life that we never new existed. She brings us to new places and gives us a new perspective on what is most important, she has shown us how to be better people and more accepting and aware of others. Things that we never thought we had the time to do. Well, suddenly I have time, because for me the world seems to have come to a standstill and all of the things that we thought were so important are now insignificant. I have learned that we take things for granted everyday. I never realized that we are the fortunate ones just by being able to do everyday simple tasks like being able to walk, or talk, or by being able to feed ourselves. Well Hailey has opened my eyes to the fact that those things that we take for granted everyday are not simple tasks, they are not simple at all for many people. Who knew? I’ve heard about people having disabilities, but really I closed my eyes to it all. I had no idea how large of a community it really is. Now, that is not to say that people who cannot do these tasks cannot grow up to be great people, who can teach us so much about life, real life. On the contrary, people with disabilities are by far the strongest and most determined people that I know. Kind of funny yet contradictory that we perceive them as people who are weak. They will endure more in their lifetime than many of us will even begin to endure. (And we think we have it tough. See, it’s that perspective thing kicking in again) I challenge everyone reading this, to start the New Year off with a new perspective, a new outlook on life and new found respect for people who have a disability. I never knew that such a world existed, and I never knew that I could love someone so deeply as I love my granddaughter Hailey, but it is true, I do...who knew?

God doesn't give children with disabilities to strong people: He gives them to ordinary, everyday people, then He helps the parents to grow stronger through the journey. Raising a child with special needs doesn't TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family. Author Unknown

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Good Intentions"

At this time of year reflection on the past and resolutions for the future tend to occupy our minds. Resolutions are hard to keep for everyone. In families with special needs children it is even more difficult. It was my intention to do a post on New Years Resolutions then I decided that I hate making resolutions, to me they feel like added pressure and commitments and who needs more of those? So Instead I decided to post a list of “Good Intentions” I have derived a list of 10 good intentions or things that I will keep in mind in the upcoming year. Then I will post it on my refrigerator as a subtle reminder. Please add your suggestions to the comment section below.

1) Be patient with others who don’t understand and sometimes say thoughtless or hurtful words. Instead of being bitter, channel your energy into educating them.
2) Promote independence by involving your child in everyday activities. Even if it gets done faster by doing it yourself.
3) Ask yourself what small thing you can do in your community to help raise awareness for people who have disabilities.Then make those things happen.
4) Hug your child even more than you do all ready if that is possible.
5) Laugh...If you lost it somewhere along the road, try and find your laughter. It is in fact the best medicine (and you don’t even have to fight your insurance company for it).
6) Get involved in your child’s school. Volunteer to read books, or serve snacks etc. Meeting the parents of your child’s classmates can be a lesson learned.
7) Enjoy the moment. Don’t let the everyday hustle and bustle of life overshadow your precious moments. Savor the moments and enjoy them while they are happening. After all, there is no rewind button on life.
8) Celebrate the smallest of accomplishments. Praise and encouragement are two very important things to do for your child’s development.
9) Share what you have learned in your journey with other parents who have similar struggles, you will teach them and you will also learn from them.
10) Get off the Internet! Make sure that you are prioritizing your time with constructive play and quality time with your child. This is therapy for both of you without feeling like a traditional therapy and so rewarding too. Save the internet for when your child is asleep.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


When you care about someone and want the best for them even if it means putting your own needs last. Love is selfless. Love is when you see the best in a person even if others don’t care enough to take a good look. It is understanding their every word, even though they haven’t verbally said a thing. It is believing in them, when others think things are out of reach. It is appreciating them for who they are and not wanting them to be someone they are not.
These are just a few of the things that define love to me, what is the meaning of love to you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Giving the gift of Time, Quality time"

Why not give the gift of time this holiday season? At the risk of this title sounding a bit commercialized, note that I am not selling watches, or clocks. For most of my life I have always worked in retail, this time of year is always an extremely busy time for everyone. Even if you do not work in retail you are still extra busy either working long hours, or shopping for long hours, there is just too much to do and never enough time to spend with your family. Having a special needs child there are the endless therapies, school activities, Drs. appointments, more therapies, more Dr’s appointments and I just want to remind you to breathe, take a moment and realize what is most important in your life. Quality time spent with your child and with your family is priceless. This year I have decided that I would not work overtime, and that I would not spend countless hours in the mall, buying things that my family doesn’t like or doesn’t need. But instead I have compiled a wish list of things to do with my granddaughter and with my family, things that I always wish that I could do, but never make the time. Well, you know what, life is too short, this year I am just going to do it! The first thing that I would like to do is decorate a gingerbread house with Hailey. Now, I am definitely not your typical grandmother, one who stays at home and bakes delicious baked goods (I don’t have the domestic gene at all, I could however paint you an awesome painting) So, I guess I will have to buy one of those pre-fab gingerbread houses that you buy already made and decorate it ourselves. I will buy lots of candy, gumdrops for the walkway, m & m’s for the rooftop and candy canes for the doorway. Maybe we will invite a few of Hailey’s cousin’s and have a gingerbread house party! Another thing that would really put us in the Christmas spirit would be to watch a live Christmas musical at our local high school. There must be a local school or play house putting on their own rendition of The Nutcracker. I don’t think it is necessary for us to go to a big playhouse downtown and pay for a high ticketed performance, just in case Hailey experiences a bit of sensory overload. She enjoys music and she might enjoy seeing little ballerina’s twirling around dizzily on the stage. We definitely should go around the neighborhood and see the pretty lights. I know she will enjoy that this year. Maybe we could take a train to New York City for the day, I hear there is Disney’s “A Christmas Caroll” train ride in Central Station. This may be too ambitious of a wish list, but, if nothing else, I vow to spend quality time reading books to Hailey, and cherishing whatever time we can manage together, because she makes me smile, and I think that I make her smile too.