Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So I know I haven't posted in awhile, and it could stay like that for a bit. Things are just crazy busy, and I know they're not even as busy as they have been in years past. We had a good Thanksgiving going out to League City to see our friends (more like family) Austin and Amy. Their daughter Avonlea is the same age as Emily, and it was interesting to see Lily and her play together. I had one of those "could have been" moments-if Emily would have been born without her different challenges, this would have been their age difference. But it didn't make me super sad or cry or anything, it was just an interesting thought! Lily is in a hitting faze, so we're trying to work on that. I remember with my little sister the three's were way worse than the two's, so I was somewhat prepared, but they really are worse! I think it's because when they are two, they are still learning things, but when they are three, they know better! I decided not to do Christmas cards this year. Something had to give, so that was what gave. I'll try to post something on here and maybe send out an email, but I'm sorry that we won't be sending them out! I still love getting them from people, and I will plan better for next year. I'm going home Dec. 14th with the kids, so my month is kind of cut in half, plus with church stuff I just am quickly running out of time! I'll try to post pictures, too. We got smartphones for an early Christmas present and I haven't really figured out how to upload pictures from my camera phone all at once onto my computer. Can you do that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sea World

The weekend of Halloween we went to Seaworld with Robby's work. He's been at the city 5 years, and every five years they do something to celebrate; usually it's a free day at the zoo, but this year it was a free day at Seaworld! We haven't gone since Lily was about Lance's age, so it was really fun to go. This picture was at the end of the day, in front of the dolphin zone that splashed us.
So we actually fed the dolphins, which I was so excited about. The dolphins were excited, too. They jumped up and splashed us, with the kids taking the brunt of it. They weren't so happy about feeding the dolphins after that!
Lance did like watching the Sea Lions, though.
Lily and Robby watching the whales. Lance slept through it.
Lily and I actually went on this. We're in the second row on the left. She was very brave. She cried a little bit afterwards because she got wet, but she wasn't too traumatized! Probably not our best parenting decision to take her on it, but oh well!
The front part of the ride. You go backward down that roller coaster part.
The kids got to wear their Halloween costumes for part of the day. Lance, as you can see, was thrilled about it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Morgan's Wonderland

Lily with her best friend.

Last Friday I had the chance to take Lily and Lance and go with a friend to Morgan's Wonderland. I have wanted to go there since it opened last year, and on Friday everyone got in for $5, so it was the perfect time to go. Morgan's Wonderland is the first park of it's kind that was designed and built with people of all abilities in mind. It was amazing! When Emily was here we knew it was being built, but it wasn't completed before she passed away. I really didn't take very good pictures, but every aspect of it was created so that individuals in wheelchairs or with other special needs can experience everything. They have swings that you can place and buckle your child in, or, for bigger kids/adults, you can actually wheel the wheelchair into place, fasten it in, and then let push the entire wheelchair so it swings! It's the same thing with the carousel. You can wheel a wheelchair into place, and then the entire spot moves up and down, just like if they were on a horse. The playgrounds were so much fun, and were all ramps. They have cars you can drive, a sensory village-basically a mini children's museum, a minature train that goes around the park, a full sized gym, and the list goes on.
When we entered the park I just started crying. I was totally caught off guard by the emotions that hit. It was just amazing to me that one man's vision created this park, and that children and adults like Emily could go and enjoy it side by side with their families. What a blessing! I loved seeing all of the kids and adults walking around and being pushed around in their strollers/wheelchairs. And I loved that it was just so natural. Lily and Lance absolutely loved it, too. They could have stayed all day. I'm just really grateful for people like Gordon Hartman.
I was talking with one of my friends about my last blog post, and what do you say to someone who has a child with differences/special needs other than, "What's wrong with them?" I think for me the thing I appreciated was when people didn't say anything! Not that I got offended when they asked what was wrong, because I know that's natural, but when people would say things like, "She had beautiful eyes." Or, "Tell me about Emily." Or who just treated her like she was a typically developing kid, and would talk to her and acknowledge her. Because "what's wrong?" just seems like you're focusing on the negative and not the positive, and who the person is not, or what they can't do, instead of who they are and what they can do. I guess it just puts me on the defensive. I think we can all be a bit "mother bear" about our kids! And for the most part people were great about really trying to see Emily and understand her.