Family

Ride to Rangeley - Autism Society of Maine

Copper Conferencing is supporting an upcoming summertime local fundraising event that is over 2000 miles from our main office in Colorado.  This particular event is important because the cause, autism, hits home.  My nephew Sam is one of the proud children sitting on the Harley Davidson in this poster

Download AUTISM_poster.pdf

and the commercial below.  He has autism and is truly an inspiration to all through his amazing progress.

What is truly staggering are the facts behind autism.

Facts and Statistics :

  • 1 in 150 births1
  • Nearly 1.5 million Americans2
  • Fastest-growing developmental disability
  • 10 - 17 % annual growth
  • $90 billion annual cost3
  • 90% of costs are in adult services3
  • Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention3
  • In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion4

2003, 2006 Copyright Autism Society of America. All rights reserved.

  1. Based on prevalence statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007).
  2. Based on the autism prevalence rate of 2 to 6 per 1,000 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001) and 2000 U.S. Census figure of 280 million Americans.
  3. Jarbrink K, Knapp M, 2001, London School of Economics study: "The economic impact on autism in Britain," 5 (1): 7-22.
  4. ASA calculates that the annual cost of autism will increase to $200-400 billion in 10 years. February 2003

Autism Society of Maine

Autism Society of America

 


A borrowed love letter

Amydupee My darling Amy,

In your letter from our recent anniversary you wrote some words very dear to me, about my having enriched your life. I cannot tell you what pleasure this gave me, because I always feel so overwhelmingly in your debt, if there can be accounts in love.... What it has been to me to live all these years in your heart and companionship no phrases can convey.

Time passes swiftly, but is it not joyous to see how great and growing is the treasure we have gathered together, amid the storms and stresses of so many eventful and to millions tragic and terrible years?

Your loving husband,

Dupee

(OK...originally written by Winston Churchill to his wife Clemmie)


And then there was Laine

Like many of you, I have children with very different and distinct personalities. Laine McGlew Dupee is the fortunate middle child in our three child family. Why fortunate you ask? Well, simply put, she is a sweetheart who gets her due attention, simply because she is hard to resist. She has a big sister to look up to. She get's along famously with Madison. She also has a baby brother to play with, Chase. The best of both worlds.

Laine is our family performer. She is ironically shy when it comes to one-to-one introductions but can stand on a stage and belt out lines in the christmas play like nobody's business. Those are certainly proud moments for Amy and I as parents. No shyness there. And forget about being shy for the camera...see pics.
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I do not remember a picture taken with Laine where she is not posing. Laine's first name came from her great grandmother, Elaine Masgagni. Laine is in essence, Elaine without the 'E'. Seemed to us to be more modern at the time but the spirit of her name comes from someone Amy loved very much. Elaine passed away a few years back, just having gotten to know Laine. They called Elaine 'Great Momma.' Laine's middle name is Amy's oh so Irish maiden name.

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We miss you Tucker!

On October 2, 2007 we in the Dupee household had to make the very difficult decision to put our family pet, Tucker, to rest.  He was just a few days from his 10th birthday.

Without providing the lengthy details, Tucker had been sick since July, things worsened, his health continued to slip and we began to suspect the worst in September.  That day, October 2, it was clear that we had to make this decision as his quality of life was horrible.  Selfishly, we wanted to have him make it through his 10th birthday in just a few days on October 6th, but that day's events opened our eyes to his true suffering.  We made the difficult decision.

When one decides that a family pet is a great family "add", one also "signs-up" for the day described above, in some shape or form.  Domestic pets simply live shorter lives than we do.  We were not ready for this as a family.  The kids were devastated.  My wife beyond that.  As a professional homemaker, she was with Tucker an average of 20+ hours/day for nearly 10 years.  Needless to say, she was more than attached to him.

These few pictures below are a very small tribute to a great dog. 

Rest easy buddy.  We love you.

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More photos to come, just not on this computer...


Not Just Another Scoop of Spaghetti

I mentioned in my last post that this year has been monumental.  Not only did I leave a position I held for 7 years at a great company with great people, but my wife Amy and I had our third child...and it was a BOY! 

Chasecrop5x7 Charles Aiden Dupee

  • Affectionately nicknamed "Chase". 
  • Born 04/03/07.
  • Healthy as can be. (...and Mom is doing well too!)

Every 'dad-to-be' wants a boy, and so have I...since the topic of having babies was even discussed. Now, Amy and I have two beautiful girls (Madison(8) and Laine(5)) that, thank goodness, came before I actually did have a boy.  Why?  Because there is something about having a girl first, for me, that made me actually appreciate having children at all.  It is really hard to explain, but if I had a boy first, I truly believe that I would have viewed it as well, acquiring another toy...selfish as it sounds.  Just another thing I wanted...and got.  The girls have helped me appreciate what being a father was supposed to be...but this came at a price.

The price= dealing with those friends/dad's/dads-to-be in the so-called 'friends and family' circle that had boys first...or not. Well, after years of social taunting, smart-ass comments and general beer-induced ridicule , I can officially announce that I am not simply a "girl factory"...to aggregate and simplify their very terminology.

Quite honestly, boys, the ones spawned from the audience above, scare me.  I mean, my girls have been relatively easy for Amy and I to manage to this point, all things considered.  The boys that they have grown up amongst on the other hand...<gulp>.  I have been the most nervous when around the"boys".  My observation has been that boys are a nightmare of sorts as soon as they can walk: They want to jump off of everything, don't listen, act before they think, eat...eat...eat with much of their food becoming worn...not eaten I might add.  My girls have been a blessing. So I am preparing...for 'the boy'.

Anyway, I was once told many years ago in conversation, from what I thought at the time was a credible source, that having a third child is likened to adding "another scoop of spaghetti".  Simple right?

WRONG. Having a third child is anything but simple.  In fact, being "back in diapers" is merely the start of a completely different lifestyle, let alone the things that inately come with a new baby. Here are a few "tongue-in-cheek" observations that I , and ironically some of those dads that mocked me for having only girls above, have discovered about this new "lifestyle" before me.

1.) Size Matters.   

  • We had to swap to different, larger vehicles to accomodate...more passengers.  It is not even about the size of the family at  a certain point, so much as it is the shuffling of the kids and their friends plus...a new baby and the stuff for the baby (Strollers, etc.).   There is a very short list of vehicles available that can accomodate two mommys, 3 or 4 kids plus a baby and all the fixins' to go to the Zoo for the day and not take two vehicles at 2 times the cost and headache to get there.
  • I cannot wait until we run out of physical living space to accomodate growing children and their gear...thank goodness music does not take an entire corner of the room to collect in CD-form any longer. Long live the iPod!

2.) Restaurants are officially a PIA.

  • Eating in restaurants with the family will never be the same. No more getting a table for four and sitting down with relatively short waits at dinner time.  A six-top table and the waits that come with it, are required.  Now do this with parents or for that matter, anther family.  Restaurants suck now.

3.) Figure out how to be in more than 3 places at once.

  • With children 8, 5, and newborn...and work, how does a family get all the kids  to their varied, and distant: activities, schools, playdates, sports, etc.?  Exactly.

4.) Planes.

  • Plane trips are managable, even with two kids.   Three kids may require a charter flight every time we fly to see relatives back in New England.  We shall see...but I am bracing for the worst of the alternatives in this case...driving.  Not only will flying a family of five be a veritable nightmare to manage: bags, crying, car seats, curb-side drop-offs, hours and hours befoe your flights, but think of the $$$ expense.  I should add two more $$ for five. Add a vacation to a ski mountain to the mix...and I cannot even imagine what it will take to "get away" on a family vacation to Orlando and see Mickey. 

5.) Do I need to go on??  OK...College.  What is this going to entail to send yet another child to college 18 years from now?

As you can see, from the perspective above,  having a thrid child is already shaping up to be much, much, much more than another scoop of spaghetti.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Meantime, I am a very proud new father, who finally got the 'toy' he always wanted.  Selfish, ain't I???