Thursday, September 8, 2011

No need for sunscreen

Something new is happening at our house and I can't say it is a real good thing. Amanda is waking up at 4 AM more often than not, and then staying up.

We're taking turns dealing with her for the two hours before daylight and we're handling it without too much difficulty. The thing is, she is being so darned sweet about it. She fixes my coffee and lays out her clothes for the day. We visit about a variety of subjects because she has developed an opinion on EVERYTHING.

School starts next week. Our hope is that the new school will wear her down so she will sleep a little longer. Who knew that 6 AM would be sleeping in.

If she doesn't start sleeping a little later I will have to give her to a dairy farmer. I know they wake up early.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A summary

She isn't different, she is unique and that is what makes her beautiful.

When Amanda walks it is more of a toddle with clinched fists. She is neither fast nor agile but she gets where she is going and it always makes me smile.

Waiting for her to walk "any day now" was the hardest thing I ever had to do as a parent, but she gets it done now.

A therapist asked me years ago, "What is your dream for Amanda?"

I replied, "I would just like to have a conversation with her."

Well, now she has a lot to say. The words may not always be in the right order and she can't pronounce the letter R, but wow, this young lady has a lot on her mind.

She is truly a teenager, because as my wife said today at lunch, "Sometimes she looks right through me like she thinks I'm an idiot."

We still have to help her with a great many things that a five year old can actually do themselves, but she is progressing. Will she plateau? I can't answer that. When I see her doing complex tasks at home and at my office that I never thought she could do, it gives me hope. As a parent of a special child, hope is something that is embraced and cherished. It is more valuable than money or prestige. It is the one thing that we all fight to gain because hope generates strength which is what we all need.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A nice trip

We took a trip to Washington DC recently. I had a convention to attend and it seemed like the perfect time to take Tina and Amanda out of town.

Amanda flies well. Her small build actually allows her to be comfortable in coach while us normal sized human beings wonder how many of the Seven Dwarves work for Boeing.

American Airlines does a great job with Amanda's wheelchair. We board right after the pilot and get settled in and then watch the other 140 passengers try to store their 280 carry ons on an oversold flight.

We stayed at a Homewood Suites. Tina and I had the bedroom with the kingsize bed and Amanda used the sofa pull out. We had enough supplies with us to survive Amanda getting food poisoning and cholera but she showed her maturity and had five perfect nights.

Our first full day we went from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Everybody asked me how Amanda did. She did great, her feet never touched the ground and she didn't have to climb any stairs. My legs hurt for two days.

While I was working the convention, Amanda and Tina went to museums and the zoo. Tina discovered the entire national zoo was an uphill experience.

The dinners were nice. We ate with one of my salesmen who had brought his wife and two daughters, for three nights in a row. The kids really bonded with one another and I thought it was special. Amanda all but overdosed on chocolate cake.

The main reason she wanted to go to DC was to see Dorthy's shoes at the Smithsonian. Amanda watches the Wizard Of Oz at least twice a week. So she all but burst when she saw them.

One of the upsides to trips like this, other than the enjoyment we have at the time, is how much Amanda matures. She is forced out of her comfort zone and has to try harder and the great thing about Amanda is, once she does something the first time, she will do it again.

We're through traveling for the summer, but she is counting down the days until our trip to Disney this fall. She says she doesn't want anyone to tell her about it because she wants to see it herself.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Latest trip

I had a quick trip to Chicago this week for an important meeting.

I flew out Tuesday morning from TXK to DFW. Had a nice lunch at TGIFridays and then proceeded to wait and wait for my delayed flight.

I ended up in the dreaded middle seat of an MD-80 but was fortunate enough to sit next to a retired minister. He saw the latest picture of Amanda on my iPad and commented on her smile. I'll attach the picture to the post.

We had a pleasant conversation about being a parent and he asked me about the challenges of being Amanda's dad.

I had a hard time really considering them challenges, it's simply what it takes to be her Dad. Like Monday night when she was so distraught about her softball game being postponed due to weather. I had to bear hug her until she relaxed. That's not a challenge, that is parenting.

The old man liked my outlook on it and I have to admit, his admiration made me feel pretty good.

My flight home was delayed more than two hours which ate up my hour and a half layover. I missed the last flight to TXK and once again questioned my company's choice for it's international headquarters.

But I got lucky. My area salesman for Texas was home in Lewisville, TX, only thirty minutes from the airport. He picked me up and started driving me east while Tina and Amanda came west with enthusiasm and gusto. At 10:15 I met my beloved girls in Greenville. I transferred my suitcase from on vehicle to another and then drove them the 120 miles home. They said they had a fun drive and were glad they could rescue me.

Amanda fell asleep in the car a few times as it was past her bedtime, but she never complained. We had her tucked in by 12:30.

So, when someone asks her about the challenges of having a traveling daddy, she can say, "They aren't challenges, I just do what I have to do."

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Last night Amanda sat on the couch and sang along with the funny duet called TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA. One song is 18 WHEELS ON A BIG RIG. She was adamant in her claim that it was the best song ever.

Her speech is nasally and slurred for the most part, but she loves to sing. Every morning when I drive her to school we play music and she sings. She only needs to hear a song a couple of times before she knows it so her catalog is quite extensive. But her school is so close we only get one song. In the fall she will go to the middle school, which is across town. She was concerned that I wouldn't like driving her so far, but I assured her that I don't mind because it will give us more time to sing.

It is things like this that make all the difference.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I haven't been procrastinating or even avoiding my blog, but I have been absent. The thing is, I just don't have a lot say because so many things are going so well in regards to the primary subject of my musings.

Amanda is finishing up her last semester in Elementry School and is looking forward to Middle School in the fall. She told me the school is awesome and full of big kids.

At this very moment I hear her through the wall yelling her cheer from her cheer team. She doesn't really have an inside voice so she is a natural.

We are back on the bench most evenings after work. Me with a Coke Zero enhanced with either lemon or lime and my sweet girl enjoys her apple juice. It's a nice time and we relax. I used to do it to give my wife a break but now it is more for me than anyone else. I find it to be a great unwinding from the day.

With all that being said, at the moment there isn't anything else to say.

Monday, January 24, 2011

They Did Fine

I went on a business trip to Washington DC last week. It was my first trip without Tina and Amanda in ten months.

What a difference that ten months has made. Amanda usually took it upon herself to punish Tina and everyone else she could find when I would travel. This trip was completely the opposite. She was cooperative and sweet and she and Tina had a wonderful time.

Along with my mother and older sister, they formed what they call, The Ladies Supper Club. Amanda is the self appointed president for life.

Those two hours each evening allowed Amanda to relax and gave Tina the relief they both needed to get through each day.

Something else that happened on this trip was Amanda insisted on talking to me on the phone. Tina finally entered the modern age by getting an iPhone 4. Seriously, she has only had four phones in twelve years.

Amanda and I spoke for about fifteen minutes each night. I thought it was incredible. She told me about school and dinner and I told her how I missed lunch for a meeting and had to wake up early.

I'll be upgrading to the next generation of iPhone this summer and then we can do face time.

The down side to this, is now I will have to travel a little more.

Why is this a downside? For example, while my room was nice, it was right above the the flags outside the building. The last night a front rolled in with thirty mile an hour winds and all night long I heard a steady, whap whap whap. The joys of business travel.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting back on track

The bench is covered in snow but it was actually too hot to sit on the last time I posted.

Amanda dropped out of the Christmas play she was in. It was simply too involved for her. However, she did participate in her 5th grade musical where she played air guitar, danced and sang. She truly enjoyed it.

In October she joined a newly formed cheer team for special needs girls. It is proving to be a great experience. The gym that is running it has a great group of teenage girls who are on the elite team who are helping. Amanda is actually jumping, which is something we never thought we would see.

In November we took a trip to Tucson where she once again showed how mature she has become. Traveling with her isn't difficult when at one time it was virtually impossible.

Tina and I are thrilled about this because that is the one aspect of the pre Amanda life we missed.

I think one of the reasons for my long absence from the blog is that I have been very content. The past four months have been as good as I can remember as a husband and father and I was simply lost in the moment.

But, there are a lot of changes about to take place and I want document them. Amanda will be thirteen in two months. She is constantly reminding us that she will be a teenager and things are different now.

In the fall she will be starting at the
middle school. And there will be quite a bit of travel this year.

So I will be more disciplined in my posting.

I think my iPad will help in the matter.