A Peaceful and Happy Place

(©Artwork by Lillian РAll Rights Reserved)

I arranged for the author of The Secret of the Wizard’s Wand, Terry Lowey, to read her book to Lillian’s 1st grade class this morning. After reading the book to them she had them use their imagination and draw a picture of a peaceful and happy place. Terry’s book teaches kids that they have control of their thoughts and can choose to change their thoughts. Lillian drew a picture of her house. It was absolutely heart warming to see what the children drew. Especially the children who drew pictures of their grandparent’s house – talk about a tear jerker!

Deep Down Hurt Your Chest Laughter

Every night before Lillian goes to sleep I do what we call “Happy Thoughts“. About a year and a half ago Lillian was having problems falling asleep. So, I began reviewing a few happy thoughts with her to help her fall asleep. We always do 4 of them (had to stop it somewhere or we’d be up all night).

Tonight when we got to the 3rd happy thought; for some reason Lillian decided to talk about names. She said her 3 names as she calls it – First, Middle and Last, then mine, then Thomas’ and then she wanted to know the cats 3 names. I told her Cinamon only had 1 name. Well, that was not acceptable. So, our cat’s new name is Cinamon Paige Darnell.

Now, for the 4th happy thought, I could not for the life of me figure out what she was saying (remember her speech is mostly unintelligible). So, she decided to spell out the word with sign language. She got out E, L, O, M and that was it. I was thinking what the heck is Elom. So, she spelled it again and after ELO I said “Electric Light Orchestra”. Now, I know it may not seem funny to you; but, I desperately have been needing to have some true, authentic laughter and that just did it. I’m thinking, here I am, past her bedtime, trying to figure what happy thought #4 is and she is spelling out ELO. Lillian was laughing really hard, too, and at the same time trying to say “stop” and do the sign for stop. Anyway, after many more minutes she did the sign language for cat and I finally figured out she wanted to give 3 names to my Mom’s cat. And she was trying to spell his 1st name – ELWOOD!! So, Mom and Frank, your cat’s new name is Elwood Arthur Romano.

I just thought I would share this with everyone; because it was a special gift to me tonight to be able to laugh so darn hard with my beautiful little fairy that it made my chest hurt!

What Does Old Mean?

Thomas, Lillian’s little brother (2 1/2 years old), and I were reading a picture book about Delivery Trucks tonight. There were pictures of the first delivery trucks which were horse and buggy style. I said, “That’s a really old delivery truck.” Lillian asked “What does that mean?” I tried a couple of different explanations and they didn’t sound right or help her understand. So, what’s your explanation? Let me hear it – I told her I would have to think about that one some more!

Remember Being a Kid?

A Plant is Growing

a little plant is growing and its a bump bump!Some plants made of of wood.The end

mrs.roskey & mrs.taylor

Another short story by Lillian. She wrote this a couple or few weeks ago. When she got home from school today she asked to put an entry on her site and we chose this one (and she’s still suffering from that darn stomach virus).

Remember Being a Kid?

The Bear Eats Bees

Once upon

the there

a bear




the bees.And rrrr!And he did!The end!

This short story brought to you by Lillian – I did not edit and will most likely not edit her posts. She wrote this one over the weekend. I was busy with who knows what; she brought the story to me and asked me to staple it together along the edges. I thought it was wonderful – Remember Being a Kid?

If I can figure out how to get her entire written story uploaded (instead of only the 1st page) I’ll get that posted as well.


So, do you remember being a kid? Well, this site and company is about capturing and remembering childhood through the eyes of a beautiful, special, 7 year old little lady by the name of Lillian.

When Lillian was 4 years old she began asking me to staple loose paper together for her in the style of a book. Then, she would draw or write stories or illustrations in her “book”. One day I asked her if she would like to write a book and she said “YES”. So, we have written 4 books since then (not published yet -that’s where Pink Elephant Books comes into the picture). We have ordered our ISBN numbers, located illustrators, the book printer we would like to use and once we and our company have the funds – we will publish those darn books.

Lillian chose the name of the company (Pink Elephant Books) and knows what she wants for the logo and we know how we want the website to look (again once the funds are there). In the meantime, we decided to share some of Lillian’s short stories, art work and photography. Some of the articles will be written by Lillian and some by me. She not only loves writing and making up stories, she loves to draw and is an amateur photographer.

My name is Camilla Downs and I am Lillian’s mom. There was no mistaking very early on how much of a love and passion for books Lillian held. She slept with books in her crib instead of stuffed animals for goodness sake! I believe that each of us has a unique gift that is tied to our passion in life and that this gift is also our strength. Then and now I wanted to raise my daughter knowing this and that if she was passionate about writing books, drawing and taking pictures then she should darn well do that! Lillian took this picture of me.

Oh yes, one other detail about Lillian. She was born with a Chromosome Disorder called 18p-. (The most common and well known chromosome disorder is Down’s Syndrome.) For more information about 18p- you can visit The Chromosome 18 Research & Registry Society. Lillian was born in 2001 and we did not know until 2004 that she had this “affliction”. Now, not everyone will agree with this; but, I tell Lillian periodically that she is very special and has issues and that she will use these “issues” to her advantage in her life.

The most prevalent issue Lillian has is her ability to communicate. Most of her speaking is unintelligible. I and close family members can understand some of what she says; but, most people would not understand her. I taught her sign language early on; so, we use that (I never taught her past the alphabet and single words) and now that she has learned to spell she will write out what she is trying to say or spell it with sign language. The school district has purchased an augmentative communication device for her that she is a whiz with using. So, we use this also. Lillian will use the V-Tec if it’s turned on; but, if not, she will use the other 2 methods (with some jumping up and down and some screaming thrown in). Has anyone ever played the game Cherades? Well, think about if you were playing it for about 5 years straight (and counting)!

Lillian also has some gross and fine motor delays. In addition, she is very short and small compared to her peers. Many of the children with this disorder are growth hormone deficient. Lillian’s was fine when it was checked last; but it’s time to be checked again.

There is something very special about this wonderful young lady – she has a unique energy about her. This is not only coming from her mom; but, others have commented on it as well. I invite people who have met Lillian (either in person or through me) and family and friends to Comment with their thoughts about Lillian.

Sleep Tight – Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

(©Photo by Camilla РAll Rights Reserved)

When I tucked Lillian into bed tonight I said to her the above – Sleep TightDon’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite. She said “How come you said that?” and I told her just because my Mom used to tell me that when she tucked me into bed. She said “Why?”.

I told her to let me think about it and see if I could come up with an answer. How about you? Does anyone remember being tucked into bed with this saying or does anyone tell their kids this? We would love to hear from everyone (especially me so I can answer her question). Also, let us know if you ever asked your parent why they said this or if your kids have asked you.

My Brain Told Me So

I work from home and am sitting at my desk in front of the computer quit a bit. I use file folders often and have a filing cabinet next to my desk. Well, Lillian loves to write her own information on the file folders and file her “paperwork”. Yesterday, she wrote, “Lillian – My Art! I’m pretty good at art!”. I asked her who told her she was good at art and she said “Lillian”; then she added that her brain told her!

I think I’ll use that answer some time when I get asked a question for which I don’t know the answer! Remember Being a Kid?