Monday, January 17, 2011

Moved to

Cold and lonely over here?  We're having a grand old time over at Wordpress!  And, until I get all the links to this site moved over (slow going), I'm going to continue to post my moved-to-wordpress message here.  If you were a follower or a subscriber here, PLEASE go over to my new location at and subscribe over there.  I'd love the company!

BTW -- I'm blogging weekly on 5 Minutes For Special Needs and approximately monthly on Living with Special Needs now too.  Check 'em out when you have the chance... and, thanks, as always, for reading.

xo maggie

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We Moved To WordPress

Visit us at Take a Walk on The Happy Side on Wordpress.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

5MFSN Visitors

Sorry folks, my old website is listed over at Five Minutes for Special Needs.  We'll get that fixed asap. In the meantime, if you're looking for my newly migrated blog, I can be found tapping away these cold Winter days over at Take a Walk on the Happy Side on Wordpress. 

Thanks for clicking through... BTW, if you like what you read over there, subscribe. (But don't subscribe here unless you want to receive this message over and over again.) 

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Mini Happiness-Project Fitness Challenge

Take a walk over to my new home at to read about my self-imposed Mini Happiness-Project Fitness Challenge.  Happy is as Happy Does!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Take a Walk Over to Wordpress

Please visit us at our new home at Talk a Walk on the Happy Side at Wordpress.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feeling Thankful!


Everybody and his brother are writing Thanks-giving posts today. I’m no exception… EXCEPT, this blog is my happiness project and one of the tenets of maintaining my happiness is to always stay focused on all the wondrous things I have in my life right now. So for me, this day is hardly different from any other except I’m in good company giving thanks AND I happily share in a HUGE Thanksgiving feast with my family… and thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Ya know, it’s pretty easy to be thankful for the good stuff. “Thanks God for letting me win the lottery! Thanks for this big beautiful house I live in. Thanks for my good looks and big brains (or is that the other way around? LOL) It’s the gifts we receive reluctantly… the tough ones that we might think [at least initially] are a threat to our happiness and well-being that challenge our thankfulness. But I’ve come to believe those are the ones that give us the most to be thankful for. And those are the ones I’m especially giving thanks for today… Because in the throes of the day-to-day chaos of my life… those are the blessings I don’t always take the time to appreciate.

1. I am so unbelievably grateful for the extra 21st chromosome that My Boys have been gifted. These two beautiful Little Men have taught me more every single day of their short lives than I learned in all the years preceding the births of my 3 children. More about the world. More about human nature. And more about myself. I am a better, more patient and compassionate person grounded in the things that really matter in life because of them. They are masters of unconditional love, dogged perseverance, altruistic intentions, inspiring motivation, undying hope, blind faith, living for today, and doing… just because it’s fun. I would not change a thing about them… especially not that microscopic little third copy of their 21st chromosome!

2. I live in the heart of keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ territory. Never mind that I can’t compete in that race…. I have absolutely no desire to even try. My focus is on my relationships. My children. My husband. My family. My friends. NOT stuff. And, I am oddly thankful for the financial challenges I faced in my young life and for those I’ve faced more recently that not only taught me invaluable survival skills but also enabled me to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle. It was knowing how to survive with little, and knowing I would survive no matter what, that afforded me the option of leaving my high-paying job to stay home to raise my beautiful children. Certainly, this is a case of “that which does not destroy us, makes us stronger!” And I am thankful for the strength and knowledge that I call on every day not only to survive, but to thrive.

3. I’m thankful for my college education in Psychology (that’s an easy one) and for my personal experience in seeing the benefit of professional counseling (sometimes tough). Having someone with an unbiased, non-judgemental listening ear to talk with, someone whose knowledge of human behavior and ability to relate it to our own behavior to help us to see the folly of our own thoughts and actions is invaluable. I am of the firm belief that everyone can benefit from counseling and I have successfully instilled that belief in my Old Soul (which, thankfully, will serve her well in life). And I am eternally grateful for the amazing and insightful Dr. Briglio in Lynbrook, NY whose ability to see and translate what I have not managed to decipher in my life, in my children’s lives, and on so many fronts, is nothing short of amazing!

4. I am glad that I’m 48. That’s not an easy thing to say because I know that I’m getting old… And I loved being 28! But, if I found myself in the wondrous place I now occupy when I was 28, I’m pretty sure I would not have had the wisdom to navigate these sometimes shark-infested waters as gracefully (if I may be so bold) as I’m doing it now. Now if you know me at all, I’m not the “graceful” sort. And I’m not even hinting that I’m a graceful old sod now so much as I’m thinking this life might have been an insurmountable challenge for 28-year-old “Margie” but for 48-year-old Maggie with her just-another-bump-in-the-road point of view it’s no big deal. and I am grateful I am me now.

5. Whoever wrote, “with age, comes wisdom” was sooo right. So was the guy who said, “youth is wasted on the young!” and the one who coined the term, “if I knew then what I know now.” All really smart guys… full of hindsight. Yeah, 20:20 hindsight is good but being nearsighted about the present is better. I’m thankful for the ability to appreciate my sometimes shady  past (only in my head, LOL), to NOT worry so much about what the future holds, and, most importantl,y to be able to bask in the sunshine of today… most days. In my children's movie, Kung Fu Panda, Master Ugway says to Po, “the past is behind us, the future is unknown but today is a gift… that is why they call it the present.”

So live for today and be thankful for it. There are many who didn’t get to live through today. Many who didn’t get to eat a Thanksgiving feast. Who didn’t share their day with loved ones. I wish you all a thankful and happy heart this Thanksgiving day and every day.

xo maggie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Welcome 5MFSN Visitors

Welcome visitors from 5 Minutes For Special Needs and thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to peruse the site and read some past posts. But, if you happen to like what you see and decide to sign up... please PLEASE  P L E A S E... do so on my newly migrated site at You see, I've been having some "issues" with Blogspot's ability to see and track my subscribers.  And, unfortunately, since they can't see you, I can't migrate you for this move.

This and the fact that today was my first post as a contributing author over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs necessitated the move... now!  I don't want you all looking for me here at my old digs when I'm over at Wordpress sprucing up the site and posting my long-winded advocacy rants and strange nuggets of happiness wisdom going forward.

Like it or not, my new site retains the same name and content but with a slightly different, disheveled look that does, appropriately and unfortunately, mirror the state of my life just now.  While I struggle to find moments to cram Wordpress For Dummies and update the new site, I'll continue to post on both sites... giving my faithful readers here a chance to Take a Walk over to Wordpress on their own time and terms.

So bear with me during my self-directed, trial and error, strictly-aesthetic make-over (pretty much how I address everything in life!). The look will evolve but my content will continue to be about my pursuit of happiness while facing the challenges of motherhood -- working 2 part-time jobs (as an inclusion advocate and a business editor/writer), re-building "this old house" and raising my 3 beautiful children: the venerable Old Soul and 2 amazing little men who share the same genes, including an extra 21st chromosome (aka: Down syndrome).

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll find the time to Take a Walk on the Happy Side with me over at Wordpress.  I'll see you there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Language Development Through Movies

I'm sitting here, where I've been sitting most of my day, working on my laptop to meet a self-imposed but necessary deadline for one of my 2 new part-time jobs.  The Boys, who are "suffering" on and off with a gastrointestinal virus (read: diarrhea) for the majority of 2 weeks now, have been marathon movie-watching most of the day... taking advantage of my distracted state. 

I don't know about your kids, but mine get a lot of expressive language practice watching movies and repeating the narrative.  They not only act out but speak the actor's lines... perfecting their articulation with repetitive viewing and rehearsal.  I and my speech therapist approve... MOST of the time!

The caveat? You have to know what they're watching!

Garfield: The Movie is our fifth movie of the day and, as it's late, they've planted themselves right smack in front of the proverbial tube -- a misnomer for televisions that no longer have tubes -- and are gazing up intently, necks strained, at the over-sized screen... I note they're being relatively quiet which tells me it's time for bed. 

Suddenly the following scene plays out: Jon is crushing on Garfield's attractive female veterinarian while Garfield is giving a cat-to-owner pep talking on the benefits of actually asking her out instead of making multiple unnecessary trips to the vet.  The pep talk begins with a very positive rant until Jon is out of Garfield's earshot when the belligerent orange cat culminates with calling his beloved owner a "Schmuck".  (I won't go into the meaning of that word here but suffice it to say it is not appropriate for anyone to say in good company much less 2 5-year-old little boys with Down syndrome.)

No sooner does that word boom out of our pseudo-surround sound system than both boys chime in together with absolutely perfect articulation..... SCHMUCK!

Huh?  OMG!!!

Now if the Old Soul didn't make such a big deal out of it by drumming into their innocent little heads that this is a word that nice kids don't use; If I wasn't covering my face and laughing;  And if they didn't know that shaking shoulders also means I'm laughing and trying to keep them from realizing it, they might not ever have figured out that this was a word the world, their big sister and their mama didn't really want to hear them perfect. 

Ahh, but mothering and language development are imperfect arts!  So if you hear My Boys use this nasty little word in the near future, please excuse them while we work on unlearning it.