Dancing in her Dreams??

It’s 5/15/16 ~Unbelievably half way through May. It’s my stepdaughter’s birthday. She’s 35 and a Special Education Teacher. Her name is Missy, but Jessica and the rest of the family affectionately call her “Sissy”. She’s Jessica’s Big Sis and Jess worships the ground that Sissy walks on!!!

I’m sitting here in awe at the beauty of this particular Sunday morning Sunrise you’d just have to see in person. A country Sunday at our seasonal campground in the beautiful hills of Litchfield, Ct thinking of my litter dreamer, jessica???. she has big dreams of being an actor, and WHY NOT???  Jess has every rite just like everyone else in this world to dream of a future full of wonder, joy and excitement. All doors are open to her, special needs or not!!!

She reads, loves music, watches videos, just like any other “typical”  teenager?. She feels love, compassion, excitement; however, last week while we were waiting for her bus on our front porch, I said “you finish your Sophmore year in High School in less than a month
and that means next year in your Junior year you can go to the Junior Prom”?. (Oh did I forget to mention that she’s addicted to her IPhone, Pandora and DANCING?)

Sadly she turned to me and said no mommy, I won’t be asked to the prom. I said why not. She came right back at me and said, because of my face. Well, my heart just broke for her. She now knows all about having Down Syndrome and that she’s different. She hasnt’ quite grasped the fact yet that she’s just a little different BUT A LOT alike her peers!

What do you say to your beautiful child who has a vision of her future which she feel she feels is less than her peers just because of her looks which she is very aware of these days? I tried to reassure her that she was just as beautiful on the outside and she is on the inside, but you could see the doubt in her especially bright and beautiful blue eyes. Heartbroken, I could feel her pain!  I rememberd in High School there were “classes” of people and depending on which “class or click” you belonged to meant EVERYTHING for those 4 long years.

When she comes home from school each day she says she sits alone in the cafeteria eating her lunch every day. Nobody asks to sit with her or asks her to sit with them.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS WORLD, when a child as kind and compassionate and friendly as Jessica has to eat alone at the lunch table???  A sixteen yr. old who just wants to be “typical” and fit in. She’s started dressing as a “stylin” teen as we jokingly laugh and call it. LOL  She watches the other girlls ever so carefully and takes it all in, hoping to desperately fit in. So I reasure her constantly each day as I accept the hundreds of hugs she so freely and lovingly wants to give me, and I hope and pray with my strongest faith that our “Awesome Blessing from God” will see that she is beautiful on the outside, and JustJessica is a only little different but a lot alike. I pray every day and night that God will watch over her and make sure hear dreams are heard and answered??

Happy Sunday to all and I wish for each and everyone of you a week full of “wishes in your dreams”??

Momxiety ?

Do you suffer from “Momxiety”?
Hello JustJessica fans,
I haven’t posted to my blog is a long time. It’s been a crazy Winter, but I’m back. I read this articla from an email I get from “Momapedia@mamapedia.com”. I receive daily articles and felt this one applied to me and my life with my daughter “JustJessica” as you know her from justjessica.org. She is the apple of my eye and is becomming quite the independent young teenager. She’ll be 17 in October and is showing awesome progress with her “life skills” and much much more! Today, she got dressed, fed herself and went to the bus stop all by herself. It was truly a milestone.
I then read my email entitled “I Suffer from Momxiety” and it was me to a T. I thought there may be some moms out there who feel the same way, so I’d like to share it. It’s a bit long but is an example of how we love our “special kids” as well as any of our typical children. I welcome comments :-). Have a beautiful day!
~ the mom?
I Suffer from Momxiety
May 4, 2016 by Jorrie Varney of “Close To Classy”
Photo by: iStock
A derivative of anxiety.
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with uncertain outcome involving your children.
2:03 am.
The light from my phone hurt my eyes as I checked the time. I rolled over coming face-to-face with my wide awake two-year-old. We blinked at each other as he rested his chubby hand on my cheek.
“Why are you awake, buddy?” I asked sleepily.
His grunts of annoyance did little to answer the question. I felt his forehead for fever, but there wasn’t one. I watched him toss and turn restlessly for the next few minutes. He appeared to be searching for sleep, but it wasn’t happening. His insomnia soon became my insomnia as he thrashed around with his legs landing on my back and his arm across my face. I began mentally compiling explanations for this unusual night waking.
1. His eczema.
I slathered him in body cream after his bath, and didn’t notice any problem areas. And he doesn’t seem to be itchy. I crossed eczema of the list.
2. Teething.
He recently turned two, it could be his two year molars. I felt around in the back of his mouth. I was able to feel his smooth, unswollen gums before he shoved my hand away in obvious irritation. Not that then. I proceeded through my list with no resolution.
3. Dry diaper.
4. Belly ache.
5. Itchy pajamas.
6. Bad dream.
7. Growing pains.
8. Thirst.
9. Undiagnosed terminal Illness.
As a nurse my mind finds its way to terminal illness fairly quickly when I run out of rational explanations. I’ve seen a handful of odd cases and they hide in the back of my mind, waiting for opportune moments like these to spring out and say, “Hey, remember that time in nursing school when that one kid…” you can fill in the rest. So we laid silently in the dark as my mind wandered and my momxiety reached a fever pitch.
The same toddler insomnia plagued the next several nights. Somehow he remained unphased by the lack of sleep. I, on the other hand, was exhausted. Coffee was no longer working. When exhaustion breaks coffee, it’s time to call for backup. I turned to a friend who knows my propensity for freaking out and jumping to conclusions. She also happens to be in the medical field and her expertise was desperately needed. I explained the situation and my list of “not its”.
“What am I missing? What the hell is causing this?” I asked.
She speculated that it could be a growth spurt, or he could be going through a developmental milestone. “Is he learning or doing something new?” She asked. Her words prompted my rational mind to regain control.
Of course! He recently moved into a new classroom at daycare and has been learning a lot. Counting, ABCs, and he knows more songs than any given Pandora station. This had to be it! Imagine my relief when I realized he wasn’t suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome. With her words of reassurance, I was able to put my mind at easy and work through this normal developmental milestone.
I’d like to tell you I’m normally very rational and this freak-out was an isolated incident, but that would be a lie.
When my kids aren’t feeling well, or they are acting out of sorts, it’s easy for me to go from rational to irrational in the blink of an eye. Most times the answer is right in front of me and makes perfect sense, but I’m too busy panicking about illogical diseases to notice. This is the curse of momxiety.
The overwhelming need to fix whatever is broken arrived the moment my first child was born. Anxiety is one thing, momxiety is a whole other monster. I am a chronic sufferer. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t worry about my kids. For me, the worry has always been part of the mom package. It has been there since day one and I have to willfully suppress it so my kids can be kids.
I’m not a helicopter parent. In fact, I try hard not to be. I want them to stumble and fall, that’s how they learn. My rational mind knows this, but my momxiety often has other plans. The minute there is potential for an unfavorable outcome my momxiety bursts through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man, snatching my kids out of harm’s way. It’s beyond my control. Momxiety lurks in the shadows waiting to transform me into that mom at a moment’s notice. I don’t want to be that mom. I envy the moms that are cool, calm and collected. That’s the mom I want to be.
On a regular day there are a thousand scenarios playing out in my head. Few of them are ever rational. For example, when we took the kids to Disney World, I spent several weeks prior to our trip worrying they would be abducted from the park. Yeah. It’s like that.
I’m a complete nut job.
But, really, I’m not. I love my kids and I worry about them because I want the absolute best for them. Every day I debate what the best actually is, but I feel fairly certain having a mother who is an over-the-top control freak is probably not it. So, I’m working on that. It’s a work in progress, but I know some day my diligence will pay off.
My hope is, my kids will look back and say, “My mom was the best, she was always there for me.”
Because at the end of the day, that’s my goal, to always be there. Being the best mom I can be.
Momxiety and all.
Jorrie Varney is a registered nurse and mother of two adorable misfits, who chronicles her parenting triumphs and misadventures on her blog Close to Classy. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter
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The Gift of Encouragement …

Gentle words are life-giving; they release potential, light our path, and spur us on to amazing accomplishments. Husbands, children, friends, and grandparents – people of all ages and stages are desperate for the blessing of encouragement. In fact, they need it as much as plants need water. A miracle can happen when someone is encouraged. As Max Lucado said, “Plant a word of love heart-deep at a person’s life. Nature is with a smile and a prayer and watch what happens.

Often times my daughter reaches out for words of encouragement. In thinking back over the years, she started asking “how was I at…”. Her requests to me were related to many things that were I saw as just ordinary tasks, such as putting out forks, knives, and napkins on the dinner table. To her it was a great accomplishment to place them on the table in the right places. The places I had taught were the correct way to set utensils. This was a huge accomplishment.

I guess, I need to always keep in mind that the “little things in life” are really what’s important as I was taught. As a parent of a child with special needs, I must remember that the accomplishments my daughter makes in life are so important in the eyes of the beholder…HERS.

I hope I let her know what a fantastic job she did by getting the forks and knives in the right places, the next time she sets the table for dinner…
~ dw

~ The Quiet of the Night ~

As yesterday drew to an end, I quietly reflected on how it related to my new blog, mommy & me?

I found myself feeling very blessed to have had so many supportive Facebook (FB) friends that liked and commented on my first blog. THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. I felt a sense of pride and genuine purpose for contributing to JustJessica on a level other than the publicist. The ice had been broken and all of you who commented and liked my first blog entry have my sincerest gratitude.

We have always stressed to our children to live each day by the “Golden Rule”, do unto other as you would have them do unto you. It is amazing to watch Jessica learning this life skill and putting it into practice.

It may seem so simple for a typical person to grasp, but for a person with Special Needs, they must make a conscience effort not to think soley of themselves but to learn how to help others without expecting a reward or anything in return. Jess, like other invididuals with Down Syndrome has an inate desire to please people, especially myself and her father. Jessica constantly asks and needs verbal reasurrance from us and sometimes we forget that that this is very important to her and is part of her very being. A compliment and great appreciation increases her own self worth. We as her parents are sincerely astounded when she behaves in this manner especially when asked.

So ending my reflection for January 6, 2016, I quote the lyics from the song I used as my Senior High School yearbook quote bacl in 1979.

“Sometimes, not often enough
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always Centeraround those we love
And I think about those people
Who mean so much to me
And for so many years have made me
So very happy
And I count the times I have forgotten to say, thankyou
And just how much I love them”
~ The Carpenters

Jessica, never doubt that when you so unselfishly are willing to help others without being asked, this proves to us that you have learned God’s Golden Rule. A valuable “life skill” given freely from your heart❤️

May you receive many blessings for this kindness Sweetheart?, we love you❤️

I’m The Mom – A Newbee Blogger

~Welcome to “Mommy & Me?”~

“I’m the mom” as I affectionately remind Jessica all to often, and this is my very first blog.  Although I may feel a bit nervous, I am thrilled to have a place to share my thoughts, feelings, stories and so much more about living in and loving everything surrounding Jessica’s world.  If you have found the Just Jessica website you’ve met my husband, Fred.  He is the artist and creator of the Just Jessica cartoon.  If you have not yet read “Jessica’s Story” here on the website, we invite you with open arms to find out more about our daughter Jessica.  There is so much to learn and share about the world of Special Needs and my hope is that all of you who visit the Mommy & Me? blog will feel comfortable enough to share your ideas, experiences, stories, ups and downs and whatever is on your mind.

I will never judge and in turn hope not to be judged.  I believe this blog can and should be a safe place void of the negativity that unfortunately has spread throughout the world.  This should be a safe haven where we come together to unite and vow to uphold the dignity of all the lives touched in any way by a world that must open it’s eyes and accept everyone as Special.


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness. ~ Helen Keller