I got some clarification from Carrie today about the carousel. It seems I misunderstood Make-A-Wish’s search for the carousel. They did get Lauren a brand new one. The delay and approval process was regarding placing it at the school, and insurance concerns. As soon as that was completed satisfactorily, they delivered this adorable merry-go-round. Carrie said it has sure gotten a workout since it was installed. The kids are all very excited.
Carousel carousel-help mecarousel kidscarousel

It’s in one of the activity rooms where they do therapy, and it has already become a great incentive. The kids know if they do their work (therapy), they get rewarded with a ride on the carousel. I took a little video of the kids riding on it. I’m going to try to post it. The calliope music is really cute and the horses go up and down.

This story really should be posted on Lauren’s website, but the Reeds are extremely busy and who knows when they will get around to writing a blog entry. I thought it was so sweet, I wanted to write about it myself.

The story really began about a year ago when Lauren’s music therapist told Carrie that Lauren has perfect pitch. She wants every song to be sung in the key of C. If you sing one of the dozens of songs in her repertoire in any key other than C, Lauren won’t sing with you; she’ll just watch and listen. Then when you stop, she’ll pick that song up in C. She loves to sing and does so for hours on end every day. Her therapists feel that music is the very best tool for developing Lauren’s communication skills.

About the same time, the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Carrie and Brian about granting a wish for Lauren. They gave thought to the typical ideas — a trip to Disney World, a bedroom makeover — but none seemed like a good option for Lauren. Then Carrie got the idea of a small carousel; the kind you see in front of grocery stores. Lauren loves to ride a merry-go-round. So Carrie asked Make-A-Wish if that would be possible. They had never had a request like it, but were very excited to pursue it. The cost of a new one was out of the budget range, but a used one might be possible. After several months of looking and seeking approval from the board, they called Brian and Carrie to tell them they would be able to grant Lauren’s Wish. Carrie decided immediately that she wanted it placed at L.I.F.E.

The carousel was delivered yesterday. As they were bringing it in and setting it up, Lauren saw it for the first time. Now here’s the incredible part: she started singing! But not just anything. She sang “Round and round, round and round,” and then “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”. She was communicating that she knew the carousel went round and round, and she was happy!

She’s going to have many hours of fun on it, and so are lots of other children.

I bought a new laptop yesterday. This is the first new computer I have ever bought for myself. When Roland left, I had some old system that had been upgraded from spare parts, and in 2000, Intel gave me a desktop system through their HomePC program.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been talking with Ken and a couple of guys at work who were all adamant that I should not consider anything but a Mac. They all used to be PC owners, and after using a Mac, said they wouldn’t consider any other system again. After much research, comparing Windows systems and Macs, changing my mind several times, and reading the latest ratings from Consumer Reports, I decided to “bite the apple”. I bought a MacBook. I wavered between the 13.3″ and 15.4″. Consumer Reports rated the 15.4″ MacBook Pro as the best laptop out, but they didn’t rate smaller screen systems. In the end, it was my budget that was the deciding factor, and I got the upgraded 13.3″. I do love the small size, especially after Richard bragged about his little Vaio and how much he loved it when he was here last month.

I was intrigued by the OS and software, and thought it might be just plain fun to try something different. I didn’t want to wait until October when Leopard comes out, so I’ll have to pay $129 for the upgrade if I decide to buy it.

I brought my new system home yesterday afternoon, went through the setup, installed the iLife08 software that came with it, and connected to the internet. I downloaded Firefox (I’ve heard it beats Safari, and it’s familiar) and discovered an extension that synchronizes my bookmarks on different systems. That was really helpful, so I didn’t have to set up all the feeds for all the blogs I read. I just synchronized them with my desktop PC.

Today, I picked up the laptop to take it into the other room, and when I did, I lost my internet connection. After struggling all afternoon trying to reconnect, I was ready to toss it! I finally called Daryl. I figure he’s going to have to learn Apple systems pretty quick so he can bail me out of the jams I get in to, and he might as well start today! He was ready to drive over when I discovered one problem was a typo in the WEP password. That still didn’t fix it, but he realized I needed to set up my router to allow the new system to connect. Apparently, when I connected to the web last night, it must have been through some neighbor’s wireless signal. Daryl used LogMeIn to set it for me. We’ll be looking for a software that he can use to remotely connect to my Mac through either his Windows or Linux system.

I know I have a lot to learn. I’m sure there will be many frustrating moments, but I want to try to figure out as much as I can by myself. I guess if Mom can get herself set up to order her prescriptions online all by herself (yay, Mom!!), I should be able to figure out a system that is advertised as the most user friendly on the market.

Any and all suggestions are welcome, but please don’t anyone tell me I made a mistake. There’s no going back now. I bit the apple and it’s on its way down.

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