Cheerleading competition

Today was the day!

Emily’s first cheer competition!

She woke-up at 1am feeling nervous and wanting her phone so she could listen to music!

I truly don’t know if she slept again but at 6:30am when I went in to wake her up, she was awake!

Before her performance, I went out back to see how Emily was doing, one of the other mom told me how Emily gave an interview to our local newspaper.  Apparently, when the mom told Emily she did good on the interview, Emily replied; “Well, that wasn’t my first time!”  LOL, that’s my girl!

The videographer (Jonathan) was a little shaky but here is our team’s performance!  Keep your eyes on Emily at the end of the video, she wipes her eyes, I think the emotions of what they just did in from of a big crowd got to her.  🙂

Emily’s team’s performance on YouTube

And here are some pictures, these smiles tell the story better than I can.



We got there around 8:30am, left for lunch than returned.  Awards were at 4:30ish

Emily got an award!


Look at her and B. holding their banner!

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Our girls were so happy!

Thank you again to our coaches (Megan, Chloe and Celine) and to Julie who’s always there to fill in and help with the routine.

Thank you Cheer Olympia

Thank you for creating this opportunity for our girls.

  • One of our girl has epilepsy.  She was nervous this morning and by the time she got to the coliseum, she already had 2 seizures and had another one while waiting to perform.  Her mom calls them mild seizures.  I don’t know how familiar you are with seizures but in my mind (someone who doesn’t know much about seizures), I can’t fathom going to compete as part of a cheer team  after having 3 small seizures.  That’s dedication!  This girl, is one of my heroes!
  • Another one of our girl had 2 years of physio therapy before she could walk.
  • This is also true of Emily, doctors and therapists agreed she would never walk.  She started to walk independently just before she turned 4.
  • One of our girl who is full of spirit, really flirty and sassy, needs one of our coach to hold her during the performance but this doesn’t stop her.  She is a huge part of this team.
  • Another girl, who’s becoming a real friend to Emily, has attended her younger sister’s cheer competition for years… Now, her sister is there, cheering for her.  She loves cheer so much that she joined 2 teams!  How’s that for dedication!
    • Emily and B cheered super loud for her when she took the floor with her other team.  The smile on her face was awesome when she saw her teammates cheer for her.

Our girls are amazing and I am so glad they have found their cheer club!

Next competition is in 2 weeks and it’s away!  Our hotel room is booked and we are getting excited for a road trip with our team!

Is this how the hockey mom and other cheer parents feel?  It’s like we’ve entered an alternate dimension where our girls are integral parts of a team?  Where they contribute, chat, share meals and now go on a road trip?!?!

My eyes are tearing up, just writing this, which makes it hard to type!

The motherhood thing has really turned me into a crying mess.


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Find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome at 5p- Society


Lessons from everyone (Guest Blogger)

Tonight, I am doing something new!  Please take a minute to meet Matt who was kind enough to invite me to join as a collaborator.


Lessons from everyone

Prior to getting my masters in Special Education, I worked as a job coach for a local non-profit that worked with individuals with special needs. During this time I worked both “in house” as well as at various group homes and job sites through-out the community. During my few years at this job, I met and interacted, and learned from the most amazing people.

The individuals I worked with had varying disabilities and varying levels development and communication skills. Working at job sites, busy insurance companies lunch rooms or at local grocery stores, I was always amazed and awed at my friends work ethics, at their willingness to help co-workers and customers. I saw social skills, as well as pride in their work that personally is lacking in many people.

When I worked “in-house” there was one individual that I worked one-on-one with. This one friend had Lesch–Nyhan syndrome (LNS). Along with cognitive disabilities, being non-verbal, LNS has a distinct symptom which includes self-mutilation. When agitated my friend would try to harm himself. He was missing numerous teeth as well as fingers. This is a very difficult disease.

However, what struck me most was my friends smile and his laugh. He loved “communicating” with others and he and I could be silly for hours. Some times when he became agitated I would calm him, he would nestle his head in my shoulder and I would hold him so he could not harm himself. We would stay that way until he was calm and then the smile would return.

I learned so much from him as well as the others I worked with. These friends showed such grace in the face of some major adversity. They put their all into everything they did, regardless of what it was they were doing. For the most part they were ready with a smile, they cared it you seemed upset and they really wanted to communicate. During my time working with these friends, I learned that life is meant to be lived to the fullest, that people should strive to help each other and try to comfort one-another. I learned, put your all into whatever you do.

I have not worked at this job for many years. Yet sometime I will see some of my old friends as I stroll through town with my family. They all remember me and I remember them. They now know my kids and we stop and say a quick hello. I have lived in numerous places and worked in even more and these friends are some of the best I have ever met.


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The author:

Matt Connell, EdD., MBA is a Co-founder and CEO of the online educational community for parents. His undergraduate education focused on the study of sustainable agriculture and energy as well as business. He taught special education to at risk students in the Hartford, CT public school system. His doctoral work was on group emotional intelligence and building teams. He has had the great fortune of traveling extensively; both domestically and internationally. He has had the even better fortune of marrying his amazing wife and having two amazing kids.


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Find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome at 5p- Society

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