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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The House That Love Built

“The House that Love Built”

The Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan
Their mission is to provide a “home away from home” for families of children and youth
seeking medical treatment.

As I write this post I am sitting on the front porch of The Ronald McDonald House. It’s a beautiful warm summer night in Michigan, I am feeling extremely relaxed and blessed that I am able to spend the last week of Hailey’s Conductive Education session with her. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this trip a reality. We are very proud of Hailey for all of the hard work that she is doing, and the progress she is making.

This is the house where families meet
to continue their lives, to eat and sleep.
to find their strengths and dry their tears,
to look forward with hope to better years.

Bricks and mortar seldom reflect the true nature of a house. For that transforms a house and makes it a true home, it is not the structure itself, but the love and resilience of the family who finds comfort within. The staff and volunteers here are some of the kindest people I have ever met. Their compassion is genuine and they are happy to help in any way they can. Donated goods, services and volunteer assistance help keep expenses down. The house is extremely organized. It sits on 5 beautiful acres with a walking path, picnic tables, children’s playhouses. It has 17 bedrooms, a kitchen that has four kitchenettes, it has a recreation room, laundry room, dining room indoor play room and great room. I’m sure I have missed a few things. While we were there the house had many different donations of food. The Olive Garden brought food in one night, Starbucks contributes regularly as well as random outside contributions. They offer a shuttle service that can take you to Drs. appointments, to the Conductive Learning Center etc. One of my favorite things is when they bring in therapy dogs!
Occasionally we have thought about a therapy dog for Hailey, but only time will tell if she will benefit from one. In the mean time we can still appreciate and enjoy them. When you stay at the RMDH you get free passes to some of the local Museums, fitness centers and even a zoo.
The suggested contribution is $25 dollars a night , but no one in need is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. If you are considering sending your child to the Conductive Learning Center or if you have to travel a long distance to take care of your child’s illness, I would highly recommend staying at a Ronald McDonald House, currently there are 297 houses in 30 Countries and Regions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hailey at Conductive Education

I just can't wait to join Hailey, Natalie and Tommy tomorrow at the Conductive Learning Center in Grand Rapids Michigan. They have been there for the last 3 weeks and Hailey has just one more week left of her session. We are extremely pleased with the progress that Hailey has made in the short time she has been there. So pleased that they are actually considering moving to Michigan so that Hailey can continue to benefit from this program. Of course the one big obstacle is the expense of the school. It is rather expensive so I will continue my fundraising efforts as well as help them in any way I can. Boston is ranked one of the best if not THE best in the country for its hospitals and schools, it's a real shame we don't have a Conductive Education Center here. It would benefit so many people in the special needs community.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hailey Practicing how to side step

Another thing that Hailey has been working on at Conductive Education is how to side step. Notice her getting off of the bed all by herself, that is a fairly new accomplishment for her. I am so looking forward to joining them in Michigan this weekend to attend her last week! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby sign language

I found this resource through Kidz, a great blog written by many talented woman (including myself) I am honored to be part of the kidz krew. Thank you Tara for sharing.
babysignlanguage Now, don't let the title fool you. Though this is helpful for many babies even babies who do not have special needs, it is a place for any person who would like to learn some basic sign language. So many people can benefit from learning sign language, just to list a few, sign language not only benefits individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also those who are non verbal. This could mean people with Autism, people with Cerebral Palsy, sometimes after having a stroke, people find themselves with speech impairments, teachers can benefit from learning sign language as well. The list is really endless. You never really know when you are going to need sign language.

The website contains these free digital resources, among others:

Free printable Flash cards

Free printable wall chart
Free Tutorials
Free video dictionary
Facebook Community
Learning just a few signs can cut down on the level of frustration you may have when communication is compromised. You don't have to be an expert in sign language to benefit from using it.
So hurry on over and start learning baby sign language today! Why not equip your child with many different ways of communicating! Leave a comment about who you think may benefit from sign language. Thank you for reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ben and Daniel

You may all be familiar with these boys, I have painted them a few times before. Ben and Daniel are the cutest and most delightful boys to paint. When Cary (there mom) from about the small stuff uploaded her vacation pictures on facebook, I just new there would be more paintings of them in my future. What I didn’t know was that she would want them done before Fathers Day! Oh gosh ,could I actually get them done for her before I leave to meet Hailey and Natalie in Michigan for the last week of Conductive Education?!?! Of course I will, because I know how much Hailey is benefiting from CE, and so I begin again raising money for her next visit. Thank you Cary for contributing to this wonderful cause! And thank you for sharing my artwork with your family and friends!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hailey turns 4

Today is Hailey's 4th Birthday, I can't believe it! Where does the time go. She is not home to celebrate her birthday she is busy working hard at Conductive Education. I just wanted to recognize her beautiful day and wish her the best. The funny thing about my blog is that I have thousands of hits over the course of a month and very few comments. I often wonder if people don't know how to leave a comment or if they just don't want to or feel it necessary to comment.I know my stats show that people read from many locations around the world, this would be a great time to show the love by wishing Hailey A happy birthday while I get a glimpse of who my readers are, let me know which state you are reading from in your message. Thanks! And my wish today for Hailey is that her birthday bring her as much happiness as she brings to everyone who she has graced with her beautiful smile. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dogs Lovers

Doggonit, please vote for Ty!
So...as many of you know I love to paint, I’ve recently entered a contest that Dog Art Today and Mutt Lynch Winery are hosting. It's theirAnnual Dog Art Wine Label Contest. All artists are invited to submit one dog-themed work of art. The winning entry will be made into a label for their limited edition wine (only 500 bottles) and the winner will win a case of wine with the artwork on the label. The theme is “Naughty” so I painted a picture of my brothers boxer dog Ty chewing through a door. The text I wrote to accompany the picture reads For a nice treat drink Muttitage… rich in “anti BOXER dents” The voting starts today, you can vote only once per computer I would love it if you took a minute to vote and share this on your facebook with your friends. The voting ends on Saturday May 21st so please don’t waste anytime.Thank you in advance!!!!!!!! Janet

Please click on the link below to cast your vote! I'm #26

Friday, May 13, 2011

Conductive Education Day 3

If you want to see determination just watch our Baby Girl Go!
Keep The Faith Baby, Keep on Moving

So wish I knew how to add music to this I think Myley Cirus (The climb would be so powerful to this video)! "Ain't about how fast I get there ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb".

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hailey at Conductive Education!

This is only Hailey's 2nd day and she is doing soooo good at The Conductive Learning Center! Natalie gives me daily updates and pictures. Here is a video of her marching with both knees while sitting down. It definitely brought tears of joy to grammys eyes. I can't believe that she is finally there, we have wanted this for Hailey for a couple of years now and for all of you who have helped to make this possible, through donation, love and time. Thank you! xoxo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hailey is my Hero

What would you do if you had a medical emergency and your special needs child or grandchild is in your care? I definitely hemmed and hawwed over writing this post. I tend to be a more quiet person
and like to keep things to myself when I get sick. I really didn’t want to announce it over the internet that I had, well, lets call it an episode. But the fact remains that an emergency can occur when you are alone with your child who is non verbal or unable to let someone else know that you are in distress? Hailey is my hero.

While I was looking forward to having a well needed quality Sunday spent with my beautiful granddaughter, things went terribly awry. We were shopping at our local B.J.s when all of a sudden I had an overwhelming feeling take over me. The first thing I thought of in the few seconds I had before I went down for the count was where can I go in the store that Hailey will be safe. I didn’t have time to explain what was happening to a store clerk nor did I have time to explain Hailey had a disability etc. I couldn’t even muster up the strength to get my phone out of my bag. I headed for the ladies room, I thought if I can get to a confined space and call 911 or my husband I can tell them exactly where I am and Hailey won’t be in the carriage or able to escape. (she doesn’t walk but she can scoot all around the floor) As I was pulling my phone from my pocketbook my girlfriend was calling in, I had enough breath in me to say I am at B.J.s very sick in the bathroom and Hailey is with me. Brenda was coming from across town and I thought it would be quicker to call my husband who was less than 10 minutes away. I needed him to get here so that he could take Hailey. Moments after that phone call, I could hear 8 woman coming and going in the stalls next to me (I tried to call for help, but my voice wouldn’t come). I couldn’t bang anything to get the attention of others, I was loosing consciousness rapidly. I am typically a very strong and healthy individual but something happened to my nervous and circulatory system that caused my blood pressure to drop critically low 70 over 50 and my heart rate and pulse plummeted also. Anyway to spare you all of the gory details, Hailey began to crawl away and escape underneath the door, I got down on the floor and said “you get back here and stay with grammy” she crawled over to me and stayed with me. I wanted to be able to touch Hailey and reassure her that grammy would be alright. Laying down immediately brought the blood back to my brain and I could feel myself coming back. That is what saved my life. Hailey stayed right with me. Finally a woman saw me on the floor in the handicap stall and said “are you alright” I said “no, i’m very sick, I have my granddaughter with me, she is non verbal and she has Cerebral Palsy, she cannot walk, I need her to stay with me until my husband comes but you need to call an ambulance ” Unfortunately the roads had been blocked because of a Parade and 45 minutes passed before my husband and best friend arrived to take Hailey. The ambulance got through but I couldn’t leave Hailey until I knew she was safe with a family member. Hailey was so brave and she stayed with me on the floor for at least an hour. I believed she saved life. If I had been at home when this occurred chances are I would never had gotten on the floor. Looking back I may have been able to do things a bit differently but when you have a medical emergency there is not much time to think. I wrote this because I know a lot of parents are home alone with children who have disabilities, we never expect that something will happen to us, but if an emergency occurs, what precautions do you have in place to keep your child safe?