Monday, September 29, 2008

Secret Squirrel

Ok, so we've realized by now that Playette likes to practice things on her own well before she shows them to us.

With that fact in mind, while I was out of town, BD took Playette to PT last Thursday and they worked on stairs.

So, on Saturday, just before swim class (which she apparently did not appreciate as much as the week prior, evidenced by the 30 minute show of tears she put on for BD), the following scene was caught by cell phone.

As you may have heard, it's back to BRU for us for some more babyproofing devices. Woohoo!

Wouldn't it be nice if we won these for our more mobile Littlest?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gadget Queen

Yeah, me!

Stop laughing.

I have come a long way on this trip, both literally and figuratively. Aside from the anxiety, and eventually enjoyment, of attending my 10-year college reunion, here's a list of some things I packed:

cell phone
digital camera with rechargeable batteries
plugs so that I could charge all of that stuff both in the car and out

I almost can't believe it myself. I am so not technically inclined.

But it was cool. I don't know that I'll make this a habit, but I see myself becoming more open to the idea of not hating gadgets at least.

Why am I even mentioning this? Well, because I'm blogging from 30,000 feet right now. There's this new "Why didn't I think of that?" idea that allows travelers on certain planes to access the internet and I decided to give it a try.

Though the trip was a nice reprieve from the day-to-day grind, I'm so ready to be home...and I will be in only 6 short hours.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In-Room Dining


Not that it's not good, 'cause, really, it is, but when I flew across the country, I kinda had this idea that I'd be footloose and fancy free. Nah, not so much with that. I'm the only one at the party and I'm still pooped.

Actually, it's been all about the room service for the second night in a row. And Tuesday night? I totally ate the remaining food from my "I'm about to get on a plane and Lawd knows they aint gonna feed me" stash.

I miss my little family. I just called and they're out to eat, of all things. There's Playette, my social butterfly, hanging out with the big kids again. And they're all having sushi. Again.

But just when I start to get bummed, my phone makes a noise...hmmm, a text message from Playette? And a photo?

dear momma, yogurt is good! malea

Thanks for the smile, Fam.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get it Down: 31 for 21

Get It Down; 31 for 21

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. In celebration, Playette and I will be participating in our first Buddy Walk on the first Saturday of the month (BD will be out of town). I've heard good things about Buddy Walks over the past year, so I hope we have that same experience. (It was all a little too much for me this time last year.)

Another thing I'll be doing is the Tricia-designed "2nd Annual 31 for 21 Challenge".

For more details, click that last link right up there.

The goal is to blog everyday for the month of October. 31 days to raise awareness of Down syndrome (a.k.a. Trisomy 21). Get it? 31 for 21!

I'll be posting a little or a lot, depending on the day. There will be photos, videos, observations, information, and whatever else sounds good at the time.

Feel free to join in. Be sure to let me know if you do. I'd love to read along.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Long Day

I'm actually glad to be tired today. After little sleep last night and traveling all day, I might actually get to sleep at a decent hour and avoid jet lag.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm all about Reverse Manifest Destiny. West to East, baby. It's exciting for me to be here in NY, my home-away-from-home for so long.

It's kinda bittersweet though..not just because I'm so close to friends that I miss so much and don't have the opportunity to see, but also because I'm staying in the town where my mother grew up and, up until a few years ago, my grandmother was the lady everyone knew and said hello to and asked about. She lived here for so long... worked at the local high school, in the neighborhood park, taking care of people, and just loving everyone.

The thing is, all she did was move away.

It still is hard for me to be here though because the memories are overwhelming. I can't help but think of when my mother took me to buy new school shoes at the place that is now a drug store...and when we took the dogs, Pierre and King, to that same vet that sits right off the main thoroughfare...going to the deli at the bottom of the hill with a bag of cans so that we could buy snacks with the change we received for the deposit...the blue house that I loved so much that is now white and remodeled to the point that it's now almost unfamiliar.

At least the tree out front is still there.

I miss my extended family. Not the dysfunction, of course, but the good times. You couldn't have paid me to believe that only one family member would attend my wedding and hardly anyone would have met my daughter.

*shaking it off*

So, tomorrow, off I go to do the work that I'm here for. To inspire and educate. To represent.

It's good to be "home."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Catching Up

On Friday, I attended a workshop led by STOMP. Being a parent of a child with special needs is one thing, but when you throw the military aspect in there, it just becomes a whole 'nother thing altogether. Imagine what it must be like to have a baby, get news that rocks your world, adjust and get settled and then...move across the country.

That's not just my story. There are many others out there just like us. It happened before and it will happen again in two years. Plus, Playette will be 3(!) then and in this world we live in, 3 is a magic age. Everything changes. IFSPs become IEPs. Early Intervention officially ends. (Well, at least I think it does. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm kinda living day by day over here.)

So, anyway, two ladies from STOMP came and talked to us about how to work with military insurance and what types of assistance STOMP can offer in general and then they they talked in detail about IEPs, SSI, Medicare, laws, communication, record keeping, etc.

What I thought was cool was that each of those ladies has a daughter with Ds, one 10 years old and the other 20. Not that I wouldn't have listened otherwise - it was just nice. None of the other parents/educators there has a child with Ds.

I had only committed to coming on Friday due to our packed Saturday schedule, but they convinced me to bring Playette to meet them the following morning. I felt so good about that. They genuinely wanted to meet her. There was no doubt in my mind that they had pure, sincere motives in wanting to get to know my baby. They knew, and I knew, that I'd be calling and that over the years we'd probably get to know one another quite well and this was their chance to put a face to a name. So I got up earlier than I needed to on Saturday and sat through just one hour of the all-day seminar.

You know, it's nice to have someone love on your child with no prejudices or reservations. That type of relaxing feeling is just why I wanted to have the Ds'elebration (yeah, the name has really grown on me). I wanted parents to know that no one was looking at their child with anything other than love and acceptance. That they could come and relax and eat and get good info from folks who had been there, done that, and bought the Maroon Spoons.

More on that later.

So, Friday night, we had Ms. J come over so that we could join in on the birthday celebration of one of BD's classmates. I had such a good time. The sushi was fantastic and I think everyone was just being nice to the girl who doesn't get out much because I am so sure that I ate more than my share. I also was reaching my goofy peak, so much so that it would have been better if I had had at least one drink to blame it on. Poor BD.

Example: Lady that sat across from me is preggo with twins. She told me a story about someone being rude to her and that, coupled with Tricia's horrific story from the other day, had me all kinds of fired up. I told my tablemates that it was high time that someone took one for the preggo team and started whooping some ass on their behalf. I claimed that I could quit my job and be a Personal Pregnant Person Protector.

Yup, all off of half of a glass of water.

I graciously bowed out of the bar hopping that followed dinner, stopped at Le Dee-pot to try and find shower cleaning chemicals, and relieved Ms. J a few hours early.

Wait. Can I get a soul clap for BD right quick? He is the man. The man who got up off the couch during college football and took my place in the STOMP seminar so that I could get my hair done in preparation for a pretty big week, work-wise. Big ups, BD, big ups.

He did that right after Playette and I returned from....bump ba da dummm....SWIM LESSONS (yeah! clap clap clap) So. Much. Fun. Playette even went under water 4 times. She looked shocked, but she never cried. SUCCESS!

(Sooo, who's placing bets on how long it takes for the ear infection to show up?)

After all of that, we went to BD's advisor's house for a kick-butt BBQ. So nice. Great people. Beautiful home. Playette really enjoyed the other kids and I...really enjoyed the beans. Plus, they told us that we can come and "visit" them any time we want to partake in the lovely drive their gated community is known for. Bonus!

Today was my first attempt at Ds'elebrating. Not everyone that was invited could make it, but that was ok. There were the 3 of us, plus 5 adults and 7 children. I think the size and make-up of the group was great. I had invited one gentleman that I met at the workshop on Friday. He and his family have only been in town for a week and they got the opportunity to talk to my super-informed mama friend, Girlee (ha! now you get a nickname too ;-) and then I got to play with the kids and sing songs that would be entirely inappropriate if there were no kids around. Score!

Plus, Girlee's oldest daughter? Loves Drop Dead Fred. Too bad it took us so long to find out that factoid. If I wasn't so ancient, we could totally hang out.

I've got a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. First, a personal training session at 0600 and then a full day at work, my only day in for the week. Why? CAUSE I'M HEADED EAST! Reverse Manifest Destiny, baby. My first time on the right coast since we moved. I am giddy with temperature change anxiety. I'll be gone Tuesday-Sunday.

Since it's work and it's so last-minute, I don't know that I'll get to see anyone and that's a shame. I'll try though. I wish I had time to drive to DC. Maybe it's best that I can't. I might go into city shock and then what?

I hate to leave home and am so excited all at the same time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking for Clarity

So if there's oatmeal in the chocolate chip cookies, that makes them healthy, right?


Damn you, Chips Ahoy, and your oatmeal-y chewy goodness.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Infinite Possibilities

Some of the settings for video on the camera are still all wonky, I guess. BD will need to step in and help me solve this so that the color and clarity are better next time.

It's Like Chrismukwanzakah

I just got home from the Bootcamp End Celebration and I had my hands full. A t-shirt, a workout journal, a gift card, and a certificate. If you can believe it. Out of everyone that participated in the before and after weigh-ins and measurements, I lost the most inches overall. "WOOHOO!" I say. I'm going to try not to over-analyze and just accept it for what it is. Can a sista get another gold star for that?

So do you want in on my plan? Ok, listen close. I'm done with Bootcamp (it just doesn't work well with our schedule next quarter), but I have committed to meeting with the instructor, a personal trainer, once a week. I figure she can work me for that hour and help me plan a few more workouts to complete on my own for the rest of that week. We can also talk nutrition, which I suck at maintaining, and it will be much harder for me to hide because there's no group of buff people surrounding me. Just the two of us. I need that type of accountability. Plus, since I've agreed to work out in here home gym, the rate is extremely reasonable. Everybody wins. I also need to get in the habit of being able to do this kind of stuff on my own. I relied so much on my Tae Bo classes in the past that when we moved here, I didn't know what to do with myself and I did nothing as a result. I hope this will teach me how to motivate myself anytime and anywhere.

Full Disclosure: I haven't worked out since Wednesday. My bag has been in the backseat of the car for two days and...nada. I have to get some workouts in this weekend. I never said this was going to be easy. I am super out of shape and overweight. Don't let the certificate fool you.

Also, I need to set up 3, 6, 9, and 12 month goals before I see her again.

Feel free to ask me how it's going.


Oh! Playette starts swim lessons tomorrow. I've been waiting for this for MONTHS! We signed up for the next available class back in June and this was it. Figures that she has a cold and can't actually participate. Boo.

But we're going anyway. BD said we paid and we're going. Dry and all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Starting and Stopping

That's what I've been doing quite a bit lately.

I had a full post in my head and half on paper about Playette turning orange, but I think that moment is gone. She's still my little Rainbow Brite, but so much else has taken place this week that I don't have the details and the emotion where they need to be to write about it anymore.

Then there were other things that I wanted to write about, but it seemed that every time I got on the computer that there were much, much more interesting things to read about than what I planned on writing. I mean, seriously! Just the drama in the disability community alone about Sarah Pallin is enough to keep me occupied all day.

[My thoughts in a nutshell? I think it's great that people are talking about Ds more, and the exposure may lead to better education of those that aren't "in the know," but I am far from believing that she can really do much to change the lives of kids like mine. Politicians say things. And politicians have staff that say things for them. One statement isn't enough for me. I'm cynical like that. Her darling little boy, Trig, is 5 months old. It's going to take her much longer than that to understand with true compassion what it's like for us regular folk to face the challenges we do. I do like that she has shown Trig to the nation and maybe that action alone will change the fears (yes, fears) some people have of those that are different from themselves. Americans who otherwise would not have interaction with someone with Ds can see that Trig is a person first. He's a baby just like any other and when he's a man with Ds, they can connect the two and know that he has a family and friends that care about him and that he's capable of all he sets his mind to. For that, I am appreciative, just as I am of any other parent of a child with Ds that is in the public eye.]

My comments are all over the web and I don't have the time to repeat them all here. If you think you know how I feel about all politics? Chances are, you have no idea. And if it turns out we don't agree? Let's play like grown ups and not act like a lot of folks I've seen. Is it always like this during election years? Where folks turn on each other and protect their candidates like rabid mama bears? Was I just too naive to notice in years past?


I will share a quote that is now one of my favorites:

"When parents of people with disabilities are treated as heroes or saints, they are implicitly told that their disabled children are a terrible burden that must be overcome or endured, an instant ticket to martyrdom."

And, WTH, here's the post and my response is in there somewhere if you have the time and desire to read more.

Sooo, remember this post?

Yeah, so I got a call last Friday with a tentative job offer attached. What?! So soon? I wasn't ready. I'm still not. There was no interview, no long, drawn-out process as is typical with my employer. I talked to the two people I knew-ish that work there and was able to get some inside information. And a phone list. Yesterday, I had a non-interview of my own volition. I learned what they do and a little about how they do it. I learned that the drive will add 10 minutes to my (ahem, 5-7 minute) commute. I learned about the work-life balance and the flexible work schedules. I learned that the salary is, in fact, way more than I'm making now.

But it's different. And I'm comfortable right now. And so many other things that maybe I shouldn't be worried about. But the truth is, I am. I feel like I made a commitment to my current job. I've put a lot of time and effort into learning it and performing my duties well. I've made an impact. I'm needed.

After thinking it over and talking to a couple of people, I've learned that my idea to let my boss in on my offer and hope that she'd counter and offer me something more to get me to stay was just a pipe dream. She doesn't care about people, she cares about business. And the reality is, if someone offered her a 20% raise, she'd drop us like hot potatoes and say it was nothing personal. So why am I still floundering with this decision?

Maybe because the new place is a grown up office. Mine, not so much. We're in an open space, we yell, we wear flip-flops sometimes and then, when the mood strikes, we take our shoes off. We do whatever it takes to make things happen. We're policy makers. Imagine the internet start-ups of years past, but with a little formality thrown in for good measure. We clean up nice.

The new place would have performance appraisals and I'd have to wear heels and be on time and not be blogging in my pajamas at 8:30 am. But, then again, I'd be in at a set time and out at a set time. My husband couldn't just pop his head in to visit or get Playette's diaper bag from me on his way to pick her up (5 min away) from daycare for therapy. Seriously, I know we've never been at the same place during the day before, so why does that even come to mind now?

See how hard this is? I have until Tuesday to make a decision.

And this is now planned for September 21st. Call or email me for more info.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You Better Work!

After an evening out, we came in the house tonight, got the Littlest ready for bed, and I wound down by getting on the computer as usual.

I clicked on a thread where a fellow mama linked to an article she wrote so I went to look.

At the end of the article was a gallery of beautiful little ones with Ds.

Wait? Is this the same thing I submitted Playette's photo for?

Why, yes, yes it is!

Check my girl out.

I need to ask them to change her name, but trust me, that's her.

And I recognized so many of our friends. Too cute!

Aw, I just keep smiling.

In case you're wondering and scratching your head, her age was miscalculated. I provided her birth date only. It's not hurting anyone, so it can stay like that.

Monday, September 1, 2008


So I'm sitting at the computer, lost in Blogland as I tend to be sometimes, and I hear a cry for help coming from the bathroom.

It's the guest bathroom. We really only use it to bathe Playette in because it's the only bathroom we have with a regular tub (the one we call Playette's bathroom has a shower only and bathing her in there didn't go well - I think the walls on three sides thing freaked her out, but who knows for sure).

Anyway, so I hear this, "Wife! Help!" and I take off running from the office, across the living room, up three steps, into the bathroom. This was no meager feat. If you read the previous post, you know that I'm in P-A-I-N from the torture that was Saturday's workout. So I race to get there in what was probably like 3 minutes in real time - only to see that BD has Playette standing on the counter, leaning on the mirror.


Apparently this is a mirror game they play before getting in the tub (result: she now waves at herself every time she sees her reflection in anything). I never get to see the game actually take place. I just see the cute, teeny resulting hand prints on the mirror that build up because, hey, like I said, no one really uses that bathroom and I spend too much time in Blogland, amongst other things.

I guess Playette was really enjoying the game. So much so that she relaxed and popped a squat right on her towel that was between her itty little feet and the counter.

Wait? Moms aren't supposed to say that, are they?

"Dropped a deuce" then?

Alright, alright...poo-poo'd. She poo-ppo'd on the counter. Anyway you say it, it was fun-ny. And I'm writing it here because I never want to forget. My poor child has me for a mother.

For anyone that's worrying about cleanliness, all is now well. Bleach is my friend.

Soon after, Playette, done with her bath (no bleach!) and in her pajamas, was caught making further explorations of the office (you'd be proud that I filed my piles today) within the prettiest streak of setting sun just moments ago.

We had a good day.

Tomorrow: Dentist appointment & back to work

Remaining Muffin Count: 10