Friday, March 31, 2017

I caught a Man Cold!!

No seriously I caught a cold this week and it knocked me flat.  Sick all week, exhausted, hurting, coughing, sneezing, nose that would not stop!  I was miserable, and probably a baby, which made my hubby come right out and say it:  "Honey, Dear, You have a Man Cold just chill the hell out...."
(laughing hysterically)

Now lets put things in perspective here.  The last time I got sick was 3 or 4 years ago during Christmas the whole family caught the flu.  That's how many years of me not getting sick, and being healthy for the family?  Yeah, okay so I believe it was time for me to get sick.  I didn't want to, but my body said hey there pretty lady I think you're over due for a cold.  I just didn't read the fine print where it said they are going to give me a special cold... a man cold....

I had a horrible 4 days of sneezing, and coughing, and I hate to say it, but in order to just have my nose stop for 5 flippen minutes I shoved tissues up my nose.  Yep I did, up the nose!  I would walk around the house or just sit there with tissue up my nose.  Of course as soon as I sneezed they came out...

During this time, I slept, laid around, I didn't do a damn thing.  Didn't cook, didn't do laundry, didn't drive my kids to school.  It was great! I slept in, and rested.  I can see why men do this!
Now my poor hubby, he had to put up with me, and take care of the kids. I tried really hard not to touch much and not be around especially Declan since I didn't want anyone to catch it.  But that left it all on hubby to get it done, karate, dinner, Declan's dinner, diapers, homework, cleaning, everything....

Now now I was probably being a baby, I made him check my head, more than once, and listen to my lungs for pneumonia.... maybe more than once....   But I was coughing so hard I think I bruised my lung!

Today I feel much better, some coughing but definitely got my energy back. So no worries I will be back to normal very very soon..... or will I?   Having a week off was really nice. ;p

Below I will post the video my husband showed me for my man cold, it is really funny, but I will have you know he didn't cook me any soup, he only had to make dinners...

Also I wanted to say a big thank you to my husband, he has worked hard, and is a great dad.  We love you very much!

man cold video

Monday, March 6, 2017

what is it like being undiagnosed?

Being Undiagnosed sucks... no easy way to say it.  We can't be apart of clinical trials, treatment or cures for a disease we don't have.  We are similar, but not the same.  SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) just got a treatment, it is extremely expensive, but showing wonderful results. I am ecstatic that SMA families are receiving it.  I doubt we ever will be able to use it for us.  Why? Because the test results came back negative for SMA.  Five years into this new world of special needs and we are still undiagnosed.  There are support groups for us, families just like us. Traveling the unknown future. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing how much time we have.  We find groups with similar symptoms and it helps, it really does, but it isn't the same. We are still on the edge unable to jump in.  We come up with names to try to help the doctors and nurses understand what he has.  "congenital myopathy, muscular dystrophy, something similar to SMA or SMARD, but not really cause the results came back negative..." I have said that to so many people, medical professionals, teachers, friends, family.  God Damn It! All I want is a name! A name to curse, and name to fight for a treatment and a cure!

I couldn't sleep last night so I just started writing.  It began with words and became sentences, which became a story.  Don't fault me it was 2:30 in the morning.  Hopefully it will help you understand a little what undiagnosed families are going through.

too cute.


     Here you have a pen, but you don't know that it is a pen. All you know is it is an object.  You know what it does.  It clicks and writes with different colors of ink, but you don't know what to call it.  You know deep deep down it has a name and all you want to do is to know its name.   

     Here is Sara on the otherwise of the world.  Sara has the same object. Hers clicks and writes with different colors too. But Sara knows what to call this object.  It's called a pen.  She can say to someone "hey I have this pen.  Hey can you hand me my pen..." and everyone knows what she is talking about.  

      Do you know how hard it is to say to some one; hey hand me my thing that clicks and writes with different colors and have them look at you and think you're crazy?    
Now change the pen with a disease name. SMA, SMARD, MS, Cancer...  

My son is one of the many that are undiagnosed.  I know his disease has a name, someone out there already knows the name of it.  I just need to find them so we too can call it a pen.   

     Five years and still no name.  The docs are supposedly getting approval for exome gene sequencing. Its been, I think, two/three years maybe longer.  In the beginning all the doctors wanted to see him, now they are stumped so they move on.  
Well I'm tired of not knowing the name that has hurt my son.  Not knowing what to expect.  Not knowing his future.  Just... not knowing. 

We may never get a name or it may be so rare that my son is the first.  But it doesn't mean we should stop looking. 



for serious....

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Declan beginning of 2017

Since I haven't posted in a long awhile I wanted to give an update about Declan and how he has been.  He is turning 5 this month! I never thought we would get here, but it has gotten easier throughout the years.  He has plateau'd on some things and gotten worse in others.  We still quarantine ourselves during winter.  Everyone knows not to come near us if they are sick and I try to keep us as healthy as we can, but school and work don't help.  We have done great this season so far, only had the flu once and we got the tamiflu and kicked its butt quick.  The cold weather on the other hand has not helped Declan or us.  When the pressure is high it is the worst for him.  His whole body hurts and he can't sleep... which mean we don't get to sleep either.  We can't take him out when it is heavily snowing either.  Since I haven't learned how to turn into the hulk in order to carry his 300 lb wheelchair.  Maybe that can be my goal this year?  ha ha who are we kidding. So I am sure we are getting some cabin fever and may just go crazy.  So it was disappointing to hear the groundhog say 6 more weeks of winter.  I hope he is wrong.  I'm not sure if other kids like Declan have similar issues with the weather.  But cold is not our friend.
Declan is in his last year of preschool, and will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  Nervous is the word I would use, but I am positive he will do great.  He has been in preschool since he was three. Making friends where ever he goes.  He is talking much more but is still delayed so we have had speech therapy and are looking into getting some communication help with programs on tablets and such.  Look forward to those posts I'm hoping to get the ball rolling this year. We still have PT and OT therapies.  We are trying to maintain the movement he has, but those pesky contractors have given us a lot of trouble.  His right arm, elbow to fingers is where he has the most movement.  Due to an accident in August which broke his right leg femur we also found out both hips are dislocated.  They said it is normal for children like Declan that sit in a chair all day for this is happen. The pelvic bone flattens out and can't hold in the bone to keep it in place.  I still think it causes him pain and now he can not lay flat on his back so I wanted to talk to the doctors about putting them back in. Which mean hospital stay...ugh!!  His legs are still bad.  He is at a 45 degree angle and all we can do is stretch him and rub him down.  We've talk about surgery to cut the tight tendons but it will cause a lot of scar tissue so they don't like to do it until the child is 10 years old.  So we have some time.  We will be doing surgery on his right ankle though.  I don't know when but it is on the list to get done. Picture below:
right ankle turned in.
It isn't considered a club foot but that's what it looks like.  I don't know if this causes him pain, but we can't use the stander to help with weight baring and or the dafos on his feet.  It has progressed to an almost impossible location.  

His back, oh my his back I don't know if getting the Magec rods was good or not. I love the short 5 minute doctor's visits for the extensions every 3-4 months, but this poor kid can't keep his right rod connected to his pelvic bone.  Declan's bones are already soft and it doesn't take much for the clamp to get knocked off.  I've lost count how many surgeries this kid has had and I know we are in for even more.  The rods have helped a lot with his breathing though I can't argue that.  He has got a set of lungs for sure.  I also know if we didn't do something I think we would have lost him from all the pressure that was on his lungs.  The docs have us putting him on a bipap at night, and boy does he hate it!  We hate it.  It doesn't help him sleep better it makes him sleep worse.  Let me tell you almost 5 years of never sleeping through the night is rough and we value our sleep.  So when a machine makes things worse it is really hard to get on board to like it.  I think we will have a talk with the doc in the near future.  Some things you just have to say "stop, no more."  But I'm trying!!!  

I don't remember if I ever posted about Declan receiving his Gtube. We had to bite the bullet and take the plunge. When he got sick with pneumonia and we stayed in the hospital for a week they had to insert an NG tube through the nose and we couldn't get him off of it.  So we decided to go ahead and do surgery for the Gtube.  We've had a few ups and down with the it but overall it worked out well.  It is still very hard for Declan to gain weight and he is still on his own curve.  Following his own path.  Recently the hubby got a new job so that meant new insurance.  Turns out for some stupid reason United Healthcare has decided to not pay for any formula anymore, including those meant for gtube children.  Yeah stupid is a nice term.  So when we were looking at $280 a month for his formula out of pocket I went in search of something else.  I don't even remember how I came across it or why I remembered it.  A blended diet.  We use everyday foods, most of which I already have cause we eat them ourselves and use an industrial blender to puree the food and do bolus feeds throughout the day.  Well thanks to my mom and dad they gave me an early christmas gift, a Blendtec.  I love it!  It does a wonderful job.  It takes me about 10-15 mins to blend and cook Declan's food and put in a mason jar in the fridge.  Which we use throughout the day.  He gets 60-120 mls each feed and we feed him about every two hours.  It take about 5 mins to push it into his extension and we flush the line with warm water and done!  Over night we run water through his pump so he doesn't become dehydrated. There is a ton of help with support groups on facebook and I found a website called: They can help anyone interested in starting a blended diet for their Gtube child.  Before we started the blended diet we could only get three cans of formula into him.  But with the blended diet we can get a whole jar into him throughout the day.  Therefor he is actually receiving more calories than before and I'm not going to be upset about that.  He can also eat what the family is eating spaghetti, meatloaf, chicken alfredo... doesn't matter, we just blend it!  I feel like he is eating healthier and staying healthier.  He will outlive us all.
one blended feed vs. it's equal calorie intake with formula

blending his food.

Even though we struggle we love this kid.  He is both frustrating and hilarious.  This is one wild ride we are on, and it is teaching us so much.  We have become a better family, we have become better people.  I may not be able to hang out with friends as much as I use to, or go to every party, but don't stop asking.  I'm still here just with a lot less free time.  Drop off some Dr. Pepper and a romance novel and I will love you forever!  
If you have any questions comment below.
Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Spinraza (A treatment for SMA)

Please note: I am not a doctor, I'm not telling you this treatment will work.  I am just providing information about spinraza. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of this drug for your child.  Do your research! 

Spinraza, it is a beautiful word to SMA families.  It's not a cure, but finally a treatment.  I'm so glad I was able to see this happen in my lifetime.  This means so much to the SMA community.  I'll try to post some videos of patients on this drug, and of course links.  Do your research, and I hope it will help you.
Unfortunately for us, Declan will not be taking this drug.  Since he tested negative for SMA but positive for one mutation with SMARD, this drug will not help him.  I'm hoping since we provided a treatment for SMA, one is close for SMARD.  May this treatment help the many, but our goal always and forever will be to come up with a cure. 


  • SPINRAZA is a survival motor neuron-2 (SMN2)-directed antisense oligonucleotide indicated for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in pediatric and adult patients (1)
  • SPINRAZA is administered intrathecally  (Intrathecal administration is a route of administration for drugs via an injection into the spinal canal, or into the subarachnoid space so that it reaches the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and is useful in spinal anaesthesia, chemotherapy, or pain management applications.)
  • Initiate SPINRAZA treatment with 4 loading doses; the first three loading doses should be administered at 14-day intervals; the 4th loading dose should be administered 30 days after the 3rd dose; a maintenance dose should be administered once every 4 months thereafter.
  • SPINRAZA is an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) designed to treat SMA caused by mutations in chromosome 5q that lead to SMN protein deficiency. Using in vitro assays and studies in transgenic animal models of SMA, SPINRAZA was shown to increase exon 7 inclusion in SMN2 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcripts and production of full-length SMN protein. (meaning it replaces a missing protein.) 
  • Cost:    Spinraza, will not come cheap — and, by some estimates, will be among the most expensive drugs in the world.       Biogen, which is licensing Spinraza from Ionis Pharmaceuticals, said this week that one dose will have a list price of $125,000. That means the drug will cost $625,000 to $750,000 to cover the five or six doses needed in the first year, and about $375,000 annually after that, to cover the necessary three doses a year. Patients will presumably take Spinraza for the rest of their lives. (I am unable to find at this time what the actual costs are.)

______________________WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ____________________
 • Thrombocytopenia and Coagulation Abnormalities: Increased risk for bleeding complications; testing required at baseline and before each dose.
• Renal Toxicity: Quantitative spot urine protein testing required at baseline and prior to each dose.


There are many more videos out there about how this treatment is working.  I love it!!!


Farrell Family

Celebrating the little things

Here we are 19 months into the hardest, depressing, joyful, and educational 19 months I've lived so far.

   That was the sentence I saved from 3 years ago.  It's so amazing Declan is turning 5 in less than a month!  We can't help but to do a little dance and say HA! to all those doctors that said to prepare our selves. Like there was some sort of handbook for parents. "Best way to grieve..."  (face palm).  I don't think one can actually prepare one self to say goodbye to their child.  We never should out live our children, but it happens all the time.  Mom's and Dad's try to hold onto their children, their souls, and I think our souls actually cracks when we say goodbye.  So many things run through my head late at night.  How will I grieve? How will I love again? How will I still hold onto my other children?  How will my marriage survive?  Five years of me, fearing every cough, every hospital stay, every doctor's visit with more bad news.  But I will take the fear over the loss.  Because even though I fear daily for Declan, I can fight!  I would like to think in the flight or fight scenario I would fight till the death.  I'm just praying that Declan can tell me when he is done fighting so I never have to make that decision.  Until then I will fight, my husband will fight, our children will fight for their brother.  He isn't going anywhere.  
   Life is hard! It's depressing, and exhausting.  Parents try and try to make our children better than ourselves, while still adulting. The world is turning to shit and we are just trying to hold on to our little family, hoping that nothing will change.  It can consume you.  The hate especially, it's like a virus that spreads.  Now everything is online and it spreads faster.  Some change is good, some not.  I'm not getting into the world today, it would fill a book and who wants to read that!
   The title to this post is called celebrate the little things.  How do you celebrate the little things with your children?  Each child has something different to celebrate.  An "A" in science, yellow belt in karate, hearing your toddler say mom for the first time.  I had to wait four years to hear Declan say "mom", and it is still the sweetest sound.  I try really hard to celebrate the small things with D&K, to make sure they know I love them.  It is easy to get over shadowed with all of Declan's problems.  So some days the only thing that I am able to say to them are "I love you".  Everyday, day or night, I hope it's a habit we never get out of.  With Declan most things seem little, but are big for us.  Drinking out of a straw, and now he has moved onto drinking out of a cup, you have no idea how much work went into that for Declan.  Navigating through a store without hitting one thing... or person.... seems small, but it was a big deal for us.  How healthy he has been.  We celebrate what we can, and never give up.
   It feels like I'm painting this perfect picture of our family, and trust me when I say we are not.  We fight, we argue, we are lazy.  We have stepped it up for Declan, but he is actually easy to take care of.  Just different.  When I lay Declan down for a nap, he can't crawl out of bed time and time again.  Declan doesn't want to eat dinner? Okay that is fine, I just put it in his G tube.  He still has his four year old qualities, tantrums and all, it's just different.  We are not perfect, I'm not perfect.  We just don't quit.

Sorry this is short I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging. Pictures below:

Owen Grady riding a raptor 2015

Yep we broke a leg... how does that happen?

you'll be cool but never as cool as me.

2016 a knight riding his horse.

companion animal Jack. 

I am batman! 

j/k I'm a fireman. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August SMA Awareness 2014

SMA Candle lighting 2014

August is SMA Awareness Month 2014

                Spinal Muscular Atrophy it was such a big scary word when we first heard it.  Number ONE genetic killer of infants under two, 1 in 6,000 babies are born with SMA.  Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) refers to a group of inherited diseases of the motor nerves that cause muscle weakness and atrophy (wasting). The motor nerves arise from the spinal cord and control the muscles that are used for activities such as breathing, crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing.   SMA affects muscles throughout the body. In the most common types, weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding, swallowing, and respiratory function (e.g., breathing, coughing, and clearing secretions) can be affected. When the muscles used for breathing and coughing are affected and weakened, this can lead to an increased risk for pneumonia and other respiratory infections, as well as breathing difficulty during sleep. The brain’s cognitive functions and the ability to feel objects and pain are not affected.   

Scary right?  Let me tell you what SMA means to this family.
For starters how about determination: We do everything we can to help Declan, we quarantine ourselves during winter, we feed him as many times as we can, we get up all night long to turn him.  We are determined to keep him healthy.   Declan is two (and a half) and is still exceeding the doctors expectations.  I think he is just as stubborn as his parents and no one will tell him how his life is going to be.
Knowledge: Before SMA came into our lives we were blissfully unaware of the struggles of others in the world.  There wasn't much information on the internet and what you did find was all bad.  But with the sadness came newly formed friendships, and help from other struggling families.  I believe the knowing of  " YOU'RE NOT ALONE" helped us more than anything.  Declan is different with his symptoms and his mutated gene.  He doesn't match everyone out there.  But I know if I have a question or I need to rant I can count on these families to understand.  They understand the exhaustion, the fear, the humor and love that comes with SMA.  Now we know how blessed we are.
Humor:  You wouldn't think anything about these kids struggling with SMA would be funny, but holy cow Declan makes me laugh daily.   No he can't run up to me and tickle me, or laugh while saying mommy.  But Declan loves to laugh, and with how dark SMA can be we need to laugh.  Declan has a war cry.  His swords are straws and he always has to have two, but he will raise his hand up and let loose a loud and long war cry "AAAAHHHHHH!" before swinging down that mighty straw.  Or giving his sister kiss after kiss, or saying a word out of the blue, or he starts singing with the music on the radio.  This kid is magical, where ever he goes people smile, and if you're really lucky you will hear him laugh.  It's a beautiful sound and so very dear.  
Patience: I talk about this a lot, and there is a reason for it.  I am "short fuse mommy", I like things done quickly and correctly.  I love my sleep, and love my caffeine even more.   So when Declan came along and I gave up my sleep, and gave up the clean house, and yes even showers got postponed, I was a bit on edge.  Then I would look into these bright blue eyes that have so much love in them.  It's like looking into a soul of an angel so pure, so clean.  I would do anything to make sure those eyes stayed bright.  (don't get me wrong Declan has his devil moments, he has a temper too, and we don't always see eye to eye with one another, usually at 3am in the morning...)  I began to listen, and wait.  I've come to terms that my house will not be magazine worthy, and that my hair will always have that wilted "I haven't been to a salon in years" look, and my eyes will have that tired look to them.  I will tell you what I got in return.  Two years worth of physical therapy and Declan can move his right hand and arm all the way up and even lift his shoulder off the floor.  He is wiggling his toes, and working on kicking his legs.  He is reaching for me!   He has taught us anything can be accomplished with TIME.  We don't have to rush, we just have to experience every painstaking small feat along the way.    
Strength: I'm not just talking about the added arm muscle I am gaining from carrying this boy around.  I am talking about adding strength to my soul.  In the beginning we were pretty shocked, and I know I cried a thousand tears.  With each passing day we became stronger in our core.  Instead of just sitting there waiting for death to claim our little boy, we acted.  We dealt with things we could see and let go of what we couldn't.  Our son doesn't have any muscle, ok then lets start physical therapy, then we added occupational therapy, developmental therapy, and speech therapy.  I learned baby massage, and continued to act.  Declan doesn't need a mom that can't handle hard things, he needs a mom that will fight for him.  I argue with the doctors, and medicaid, and make phone call after phone call to make sure he gets what he needs.  I'm not afraid to stand up for my son.  My son doesn't have the strength to fight for himself yet, so we will.

I'm sure I can go on and on about what SMA means to us, but I will just talk about one more, and it is the most important one.
Love:  Oh my goodness what a powerful word.  My heart just bursts thinking about how much we love this kid with SMA.  I truly believe these kids come down to teach us how to love bigger and better.  We are connected, mind, body, and soul.  When he hurts I hurt, when he is happy I am happy.  Declan and I have a bond, everyone who knows us, knows this.  He is my baby, and I am his mother.  The love just pours out of him.  I hope everyone gets to feel this way someday.  It is magical. 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy... yes it's a horrible, unforgiving disease, but I'm not going to talk about that side today.  Today is a day for hope, and joy, and to remember those that lost the battle, but left behind a lasting impression.  I am terrified of losing Declan, but I can only deal with the now.  Declan is healthy, growing, and laughing.  The end of September he will be going in for back surgery where they will be putting in a Veptr like rod into his back.  We are staying positive and are very interested on how this will effect Declan.  Our hope is he will be able to breath easier, eat more, and sleep without pain.  The doc said he would probably gain about four inches after the surgery.  I will try to keep you posted.
I want to say a huge thank you to our family and friends that put up with our crazy needs.  We know we don't get to see you all that much, but hopefully you understand we still love you guys and we are always willing to help where we can.  
Thanks for reading about Declan, and you can help spread the word about SMA by sharing.  If you feel like donating you can always go to:

Declan in his stander

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August SMA Awareness Month

SMA Awareness 

One warm Saturday at dusk everyone supporting SMA lit a candle for those who lost the fight with SMA and for those who are still fighting.  It just happened to be the same day my sister got married!  She was gracious enough to be in our picture this year for the candle lighting.  

For those of you that have been living under a rock and not following my blog SMA means Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which  The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common "rare disorder": approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

SMA affects muscles throughout the body, although the proximal muscles (those closest to the trunk of one’s body - i.e. shoulders, hips, and back) are often most severely affected. Weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding and swallowing can be affected. Involvement of respiratory muscles (muscles involved in breathing and coughing) can lead to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other lung problems. Sensation and the ability to feel are not affected. Intellectual activity is normal and it is often observed that patients with SMA are unusually bright and sociable. Patients are generally grouped into one of four categories, based on certain key motor function milestones.  

Some facts about SMA: 
      Did you know one in every 6,000 babies is born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
      Did you know that Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is the #1 genetic killer of children under the age of two? 
      SMA is a pan-ethnic disease and does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity or gender.

Sadly, there is no treatment, and there is no cure. However, SMA was selected by NIH (National Institutes of Health) as the disease closest to treatment out of more than 600 neurological disorders. I'd encourage you all to donate to help find a treatment to SMA if you are able. 

SMA with Respiratory Distress
SMARD is a life-threatening motor neuron disorder.  Symptoms of SMARD are commonly seen within the first six months of life. Because SMARD undermines voluntary muscle function, infants who inherited a defective gene from both parents may be unable to lift their heads or may have other mobility limitations. Their inability to breathe or cough makes them susceptible to pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Children with the disorder stop breathing due to a paralyzed diaphragm and often die in their sleep. As a result, many children with SMARD never see their first birthdays.
With SMA- roughly 1 in every 10,000 children are born with this disease.
With SMARD- roughly 1 in every 1,000,000 (if that) are born with this disease.

1 in 40 people are carriers of the SMA gene.
1 in 50,000 are carriers of the SMARD gene.

If you want to read more about SMA or SMARD you can click on the tabs at the top on this blog and they will share more info.

It has been 18 months and we still are not formally diagnosed.  Everything has come back negative.  SMA, SMA x-linked, SMARD he only has one mutation and your suppose to have two.  We have done deletion tests and we can't find anything wrong with the other gene.  Our DNA is rather long and I guess Declan's DNA just likes to hide things so it as been difficult.  So here we are dealing with a day by day basis.  Not fully knowing, but fighting through anyways.  Today we have him, today he is smiling and laughing.  

We recently received a demo wheelchair for Declan to learn on.  It's been less than a week and we got him to go straight.  Now we just have to work on other directions.  We are super excited to start this new adventure with Declan and we love to see his face light up.

Above he has only had the wheelchair for about 4 days, and was getting mad at us for turning him around and touching "his" chair. 

I also wanted to tell you that believe it or not this cute little boy still gets into trouble.  Just because he can't walk or do most things physically doesn't mean he gets off the hook.    He is coming up on his terrible two's and him being different doesn't stop what naturally comes with growing up.  I wanted to tell you the first time I yelled at him.  As most of you know I am always carrying Declan up on my shoulder.  It just so happens that Dec has a thing for biting whatever he can get into his mouth.  This day it was my neck he bit, now mind you it wasn't a little nibble it was a full blown snap the jaws of life bite.  In another words it hurt like the dickens.  So I set Declan away from me (who was smiling at the time) and yelled at him to stop biting me and that it hurt.  You would have thought I just ended this kids world.  He gave me the saddest look with the puffed out lip put his head down and started to cry.  It was so cute I couldn't stop laughing, but each time he looked at me I gave him a stern look and he would again put his head down and continue to cry.    
It's not that I want to yell at my child, but even he has to learn right and wrong.  Just because he does things differently doesn't mean he still doesn't push mom's buttons.  Yes even the handicapped get put in time out.    

I do have to say this kid is incredible, he goes through so much.  He works extremely hard at everything he does.  Declan is truly a blessing to us.  He has shown us so much, has changed us forever.  I can't imagine life any other way.  I've finally found something I'm good at.  I will take the exhaustion, the constant worrying, the unknown future for each smile and laugh I get from this baby boy each day.    We don't know how long we get to keep Declan in our lives, but it's hard to not look to the future and live life one day at a time.  In the meantime we take lots of pictures (to much annoyance of my facebook friends), and videos.  We hold him tight and give him lots of hugs and kisses.  I would recommend the hugs and kisses to any of your children it is good for the soul, for yours and your child's   Most importantly tell them you love them every day and night.  If we have learned one thing from this experience it is life is hard and sometimes short so don't regret not saying something that should come easily out of a parents mouth.    

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