Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sashay, Chanté

And a few more, just because:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Make It Work!

What supermodel do you know that can look this good while covered in mac and cheese?

So demure...

Smiling with her eyes...well, and her mouth, but still...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anatomy of a Bike Trailer

When we moved here, I had a bike. I didn't ride it all that much, but I had it so that should count for something. Then, at the beginning of this year, BD got one too. He's started riding a lot more lately, but we hadn't been able to go together because we lacked a place for the Littlest.

I looked and looked and looked on Craig's List for a trailer. (Those things are expensive!)

I made calls, sent emails.

"Oh, it's sold already. Oops. Maybe I should take that ad down."


Or, mostly, there was just a lot of Nothing.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I saw this ad for a guy selling new trailers wholesale. He lived about two hours from us. Was it worth the risk of a possible scam for what appeared to be the deal of the century month?

Well, we took the plunge and all appears to have gone well. The box arrived at our house as promised and the trailer was put together in short time.

Playette needed a helmet, so BD rushed out and got her one on Saturday, courtesy of the wonderful Nikki P. and the birthday giftcard she sent Playette.

Here she is trying it on for size in the house:

And then in action:

We ended up having a great time. We rode down to the beach, met some friends to play by the water, met up with some more friends and rode over to an art festival, and then parked back at home before heading to gorge on sushi.

Who know Playette would love veggie tempura. Not me!

We logged 7 miles that day. The next goal is to ride a lap around the local race track. I really hope they let trailers on. They better. Shoot!

Novel Concept

It's not just the disability community that's trying to get folks to see that words can hurt. Check out the PSAs I saw on TV today. Two of the three played back-to-back.

Bravo to celebrities for speaking up and adding their faces to the cause. Who else thinks it would be so easy to just add the r-word in there?

I do.

But the sad thing is that we seem so far from that actually happening. People with cognitive disabilities don't seem to be at the top of very many people's lists these days.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Street Walker

Gotta love alternate Wednesdays. I swear, I do more on my "day off" than most other days, but eventually I get a break. Like now. So I'm blogging instead of any one of a million other things I could be doing. Trust me, I have lists.

This morning, after BD got Playette up and started for the day, we got ourselves all prettified and prepared for a session with the new ST via the school district. I fought this pairing for a while, eventually realizing that the actual lady wasn't as bad as my idea of what she would be like, so, yeah. I was wrong. She's pretty good. Imagine that.

She met with Playette at daycare last week and left me some very interesting notes. We then had a phone conversation, in which she came off very competent and patient. Today, though, was the first time that we were with Playette together.

It went well. Her style is much like our style when it comes to communication, which is great. Plus, it lines up well with the Communicating Partners model that I'm beginning to love so much. It's not all that different from the private ST except that it's not $115/hour out of our pockets, so, yeah, um, suffice it to say that we will be making some changes in that area very soon.

After ST, we went to the pool for Aqua Therapy, which was a lot of fun. I always enjoy that and as much as we can make therapy less like work, the happier I think all of us will be. As much as we like AT, and PT as well, we've cut back significantly lately. No one wins when the parents are burnt-out. No one.

So, back to ST. I showed her all of the many, many cups we've used over the last year or so. Here's a sample:

I swear, it feels like the pursuit for the perfect cup is neverending.**

Well, not quite, I guess. Because while I was showing the ST our cup collection, I remembered that there was one more. I really, really like this cup, but have no idea where we got it.

BD and I think it may have come from a Burger King kid's meal, purchased somewhere between here and Los Angeles, but really...huh?

Since Playette is still having trouble with creating a good seal when drinking and this all just kind of came together in my head this morning, I decided, after I dropped her off at daycare, that I'd try to find the thing.

[Insert wild goose chase here.]

Where we live, there's this one street that's lined with fast food places. If you want that kind of stuff, you go there. So, after I went to the BK by us and struck out, that's where I went. I started at Wendy's, crossed over to the KFC/Long John Silver combo, down and back across the big street to Wendy's, and then stopped at the Carl's Jr./Green Burrito combo joint on my way back.

I felt a little silly walking the streets, asking bewildered cashiers to see their kid's meal cups, but whatever. You do what you gotta do.

I smell like grease.

I didn't find the cup.

But you know what? I didn't give up. When I got home, I Googled it.

I saw one on eBay for $10.

Then it hit me. I learned from "Dragon Tales" the other day that you're supposed to look for clues like a detective, even if you don't have your kit because that serpent thingee stole it. Or something. (What, am I not supposed to listen while I'm doing Playette's hair? I'm totally in the running for Parent of the Year since I know what my kids is watching. Snerk.)

I went and dug the cup out of the dishwasher and saw that it had a phone number on the bottom. I called it. They transferred me to someone's voicemail. I left a message. Five minutes later I got a call back and the person on the other end offered to mail me some samples out of the kindness of their heart.


I did it.

And it wasn't even on my to-do list.


** If that clip doesn't do anything for you, I give up. I keep watching the first 10 seconds over and over and over again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And here they are...

Also, I failed to mention that the cards are blank inside. So they're good for more than just thank you notes.

Love. These.

Last Friday, BD and I spent the day listening to Dr. James MacDonald's Communicating Partners seminar. It was amazing and I got a lot out of it. One day when I have the time to condense my three pages of notes, I'll post about it here. As it is, I'm still digesting all the info I gathered at the NDSC Conference, so here's hoping I can keep it all together in my brain.

Suffice it to say that I found what the good doctor had to say potentially life-altering. The timing was perfect as I've been trying to figure out what's best for Playette in the coming year as it pertains to therapies and such.

Add in that I started reading Disability is Natural the other day and I feel even more empowered regarding the choices I want to make for the Littlest. For now at least. I mean, who knows how I'll feel in a year when she transitions out of Early Intervention.

Friday, though? Friday, I felt privileged to be privy to information that I probably never would have heard if my child didn't have what's classified as a disability. It's days like that that make me really grateful.

My Life: It's Complicated.


There's one thing I do know. As I've gotten older, and maybe because I had several opportunities to put these things to use over a short amount of time recently, I've grown to love "Thank You" cards. Really, I do.

When I get them, I save them. Because, honestly? Not enough people say "thank you" anymore. Not even when you give them a gift. So when someone does take the time out of their busy lives to say that something I did was helpful, I really appreciate it and I'd love it if the cards I send do the same for someone else.

A portion of my bookshelf at work with cards (and assorted stress-squeezie-thingees) on display.

It feels good to be appreciated, y'all.

Call me old-fashioned, it's ok, but getting mail? Real mail? (Not bills!) It's just perfect. Especially when it's unexpected.

All that to say, when we were at the seminar on Friday, the local parent's group was selling cards. I bought as many as I could afford right then and there.

I had it on my to-do list to run to Target to buy some more cards after I ran out recently, but these are so much better.

The backstory is that last August, there was a day where a large group of kids with Ds got together and just created. From that, some artwork cards were made.

There are currently four different packs and each pack contains the work of six artists. An adorable photo of the artist at work is on the back of each card. They are being sold for $5 per pack and all proceeds go to support the kids.

They make wonderful gifts for relatives, teachers, therapists, and friends.

So, if you're an old lady like me, or you're looking to turn over a new leaf in the "thank you" department, let me know. If there are enough orders, I may be able to offer a discount for those that buy multiple packs.

If you have a blog and want to post this, feel free. There's enough to go around!

(I would make no money off of this. I just really like the cards and I know that the person who led the effort to make them could use the space in her house back that the boxes of cards currently occupy. Plus, the sooner these sell, the sooner the kids can have an Art Day all over again.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is a test of the Emergency Response System. Repeat. This is only a test.

That's what Saturday felt like. A test. And Playette was the proctor.

BD was up and out early that morning. He had things to do, which was fine. I could handle what we had planned. First, a stop by the Ped's office to check on the rash on Playette's face. Apparently, Scarlet Fever is the next new "thing" around here and - I don't know about you, but - ever since Mary had Scarlet Fever in/on Little House on the Prairie, it's sounded very ominous to me. I know it's just strep throat with a rash, but still. Mary Ingalls had that.

I was also thinking ring worm (ew, I always hate the way that sounds) or some other flesh eating bacteria. Not that I would ever overreact.

Never that.

Since I overslept, it was a whirlwind to get to the doctor's office by 9am. When we got there, Playette displayed her typical-when-she's-with-me white coat freak-out anxiety and refused to cooperate with standing on the scale as well as just about everything else requested of her.

Turns out the rash was nothing to worry about. (Really? I'll keep watching.)

But Playette only wanted to crawl from then on out. I figured she was just continuing her protest of being in the Ped's office.

Next, we went to the drug store. More crawling.

Then, a department store. Surely, she'd want to play with the other little girl in the aisle, right?

Nope. She continued to cross her ankles beneath her and lift her legs. No standing.

I joked with friend on my way home that she was giving me a lot of grief, but she's surely be fine as soon as she saw BD.

But that didn't happen either.

And then I really started to worry.

I thought back to when I went to get her out of bed. Usually, she's standing in the crib, waiting to be lifted out.

Not that day.

We tried her on the steps. She won't be able to resist climbing, right?


At times, it looked like she was favoring one leg over the other. Was she in pain? I massaged her legs and feet, applied compression. Was it her joints, a bone, her hips, something worse? Should we head to the ER immediately?

In five months, there had not been one day that this little girl had not walked. Why now?

By this time, even BD was on alert. He called the Ped who advised Tylenol and time.

Ugh. Not enough for me.

I called FNPT. She was working, so while we waited, we took a family nap.

Raise your hand if you've never used a nap to avoid a problem.

Surely, she'd be fine when she woke up, forgetting that she was playing a prank on us.

But, no. Still with the no standing. Still with the no walking.

She crawled though.

We put push toys in front of her. Brief success! She took a few steps and then she was down.

It was sad to see her want to do what she normally would do, but just being held back by something that she couldn't express to us.

I cancelled our Sunday plans, sure that we'd end up in the hospital by the end of the night.

FNPT came by as soon as she was done at work.

And then Playette put on a show unlike any other.

She danced. She squatted. She ran around the kitchen island. She walked. She tried to climb up the steps. She even busted out a tune on the kazoo while she danced some more.

I swear.

This child.

Is trying to kill me.

I try not to freak out. Really, I do. I prefer to be a more laid-back mom. But this kid knows how to push my buttons.

I imagine her inner monologue to be something like this:

"Hmm. Unfazed by tears, I see. What? I fall down and she doesn't rush over as if I've broken into a million pieces? I'll show her. One day, when she least suspects it, I'll stop walking. That'll freak her out good. I know how to handle this one. (insert menacing laugh here)"

Don't let the cuteness fool you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

We All Fall Down

There are some great things about living in California. There's the weather (for the most part), the ability to ski and sunbathe within hours of one another, the ocean views for sure.

But there are some scary things too. Earthquakes for one. And then, if you're like me, you may have some tsunami paranoia as well.

But the fires. The fires. Oh, the fires.

I didn't grown up with things like that. It's all new to me. Seeing it on the news from 3,000 miles away doesn't do the situation justice.

It's amazing when you first see them close up. So majestic, so destructive. The people on the news are crying because everything they've worked so hard for is gone. They're glad to find a single memento unscathed amongst the piles.

Last year, when the fires got relatively close to us, it really hit home. We were never in harm's way, but it was never far from my mind. A couple of times - I can't remember where we were headed - we flew right over the fires in Santa Barbara and Watsonville and it seemed we were close enough to feel the heat of the orange glow.

And then there's the ash.

That stuff really travels. It reminds you how close you really are. The sky changes color and the summer air looks like it's been infiltrated with snow flurries.

When you come to your car in the morning, you can see the layer that has built up while you slept.

Yesterday, when I went out for my jog, I forgot for a moment that the fires had started up again. I tried to stay on-track and pace myself, focusing on keeping constant movement in my legs, but every few minutes I'd have to wipe my eyes.

These things, itty bitty bits of ash, kept hitting me in the face and distorting my vision.

I'd wipe, they'd reappear.

In an otherwise beautiful day, they were an annoyance and a distraction.

I was quickly reminded of a recent conversation with a friend. She was talking about a dream she had and the revelation that came from it. It gave me some perspective. (It feels, lately, as if I'm getting perspective shifts daily.)

Sometimes, stuff just happens. It's not bad, necessarily. Far from the worst thing that you've ever been through, but these little inconveniences can seem so big and try to take you out.

I couldn't help but think of my baby girl as I ran. She didn't ask to be different. ("She won't know she's different if no one treats her that way," revealed the friend.) And I didn't ask for the extra that came along with the package deal. But it's far from the worst thing that's ever happened and, really, we're doing fine. We have setbacks, but we also have victories. Plenty of them. It's so unfair to the victories for us to celebrate and so quickly let them go, while the setbacks get to set up residence in our minds.

When I add a dose of perspective, it all seems to make more sense why we fight the way we do to make life as good as it can be for her.

She's worth it.

This little stuff we have going on right now? So inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. My daughter will eat and drink correctly, speak clearly, run, jump, play, make friends, read, write, learn to care for herself and others, and decide which dreams she'll chase.

Honestly, I've been pretty bummed the last few days over a myriad of little things. It all seems big right now, and I have to allow myself to feel what I feel, but it's going to be ok. It just is.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

1,133 Days

Kristi just forwarded me this link and it's a classic so I thought I'd share.

I didn't even know they'd keep pages up this long!

Aw, weren't we cute? All giddy and oblivious to what was to come...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NDSC Conferece 2009 Recap

So after the whirlwind that was traveling to and from Phoenix, we made it home. BD was waiting for us at baggage claim and it was great to have the family together again.

But no time for mushiness, we had a mission!

After getting in the house at about 11pm, there was unpacking and repacking and a 3:30 am wake-up call to consider.

We were out of the house not long after 4 am and pulled up to the Sacramento convention center just before 7.


I went inside and was pleasantly surprised to be checked in by Lisa, who was volunteering. When I got back to the car, we came up with the plan that BD would head over to the house of the family friends who were so gracious to allow us to stay with them for the weekend. He'd get her cleaned up and fed while I attended the morning part of the nearly-all-day pre-conference session with Libby Kumin.

Ready, break.

First stop: "From Infant Babbling to Adult Speech: Helping Children with Ds Develop Understandable Speech"

Talk about overwhelming. Whew! I'm not sure I was good for any kind of long session like this after spending the prior three days learning about thrilling topics like appropriations law, audits, and various other acronym-filled Power Point sessions.

The good thing about this session was that a lot of people got their questions answered about their specific situations. The bad thing about this session was that a lot of people got their questions answered about their specific situations. (Ok, ok, so I asked a question too.)

Catch my drift? It was a long morning and Ms. Kumin was very patient.

My favorite part, though, was when she showed video of the young people she works with. At one point, there was a group of young women sitting around a table, discussing their plans for a party. It was really cool to observe and they all spoke clearly and with intent. They talked about their feelings, likes, dislikes. Very cool.

At lunchtime, BD came back and we met up with a great couple who was also attending their first conference. The wife found me through this very blog and we've been emailing and chatting by phone for months now. It was great to finally meet them and introduce them to Playette!

After lunch, I went back to the same session for a while, but I did peek into the end of the session hosted by Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, "Improving Feeding Skills and Speech Clarity Using Oral-Motor Therapy." I'd revisit this topic later.

Throughout the entire conference, there were exhibits set up in one large room so that you could check out all kinds of things. Want Sure Steps, Specs 4 Us, info on the new Gigi's Playhouse opening up in San Diego soon? All there. And much, much more.

At 3:30, I went to the Sharing Session called "Mothers Only, Birth-2 years" which was hosted by Kathryn Lynard Soper, editor of the much-loved-by-me book Gifts and author of The Year My Son and I Were Born. I found it very fulfilling to be able to tell her, in person, how what she'd helped put together and written had touched me.

The room was full, all seats taken, and we started out by creating a list of things we'd most like to talk about. There was no way we'd be able to press through everything in 1.5 hours, but it was nice to try. We were the epitome of "Ds crosses all lines" as there were as many unique stories in that room as there were women. Later on, I'd learn of a cruise called "Moms Need Moms" and if I could swing it, I totally would. We need that kind of time.

All too soon, it was time to head down to the Opening Session. I was looking forward to the "We're More Alike Than Different: Self-Advocates Speak to the Nation" portion and I wasn't disappointed. Tell me more about how you live independently, work, drive, have a college degree, are getting married, or - best of all - are single now and available! Gotta love Eleanor Bailey, a student in Portland State University's Transition Program, for making the most of her time at the mic.

To close out our long day, there was free food an Opening Reception. It was a great chance to eat free food catch up with our more local Ds support network. I wish we all lived closer to one another because we have some really cool families in our group.


I can't believe I thought I'd get everything in one post.

Stay tuned for Part II. I hate when I have to do that. Bah.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

That completely crazy, totally "these kinds of things always happen to me" kind of story...

Yeesh. I need to type this out, huh?

Leave it to me to dangle a story and not get around to wrapping it up for over a week.

Picture it: Our house, late July, 2009.

I'm feeling pretty good about things. BD has been gone for several days and Playette is still in one piece.

I woke up on Monday morning and took her in to daycare. My plan was to have her there for a few hours so that I could finish packing and also make sure that the house was in decent shape for BD's return the next night. Admittedly, we have different standards, so there were a few things to pick up. Just a few.

The dishes were clean and put away. The laundry was dry. Some was folded. None was put away.

What kind of superhero do you take me for?!

Goal: Leave the house at 11, pick up Playette at 11:15, flight departs at 12:24.

I was on time and so proud of myself.

I should have known it was too good to last.

See, when I picked Playette up, she was in summer attire for here - long pants and one of those waffle-longjohn shirts. Apparently, in the few hours since I'd dropped her off, she had warranted a change of clothes. For one, this wouldn't work because, well, it wasn't cute and we were going to see family. Second, Phoenix was twice the temperature of home, so I didn't want the poor baby to pass out.

"Never mind," I thought, "there's plenty of time on our direct flight to get her changed and gussied up."

So, I put her in the car seat. *click click click*

What was that?

Hm, nothing.

I tossed the keys in the front seat.

Closed the door.

Walked around to the driver's side.

Lifted the handle.

And nothing happened.

I lifted the handle again. And again. And again. And again.


I ran around the truck and tried them all, including the trunk and the hood. (Why the hood? Who knows.)


Well, crap.

And then it hit me.

The *click click click* was the sound of me hitting the LOCK DOOR button as I struggled to get a wiggling Playette into her carseat.

*click click click*
*click click click*
*click click click*

I just kept hearing it.

But I kept cool. I mean, it's a daycare center. People must do this all the time, right?

Some of the time, then?

At least one other time?!

They'll get a chuckle out of it, but the problem will be resolved immediately.

Not so much.

They wanted to call 911.


I mean, I'm from a place where you just don't call 911. That's for blood and stuff. Not for Playette locked in a car when it's 60 degrees out.

But, apparently no one had a better solution so 911 it was.

Now I'm embarrassed.

I was assured that the town's emergency service would respond, not the military's.


The MPs came and immediately wanted to bust out the windows.

Really? Right away?

Well, they didn't have a slim jim, but they did have a window breaker that they were itching to use.

Hm. I would have brought a slim jim. Just saying.

Plus, when I gave them approval to wait on the window busting, they gave me the "threat of calling CPS look" and then sought supervisor approval. Then they asked me if I had a hanger. Or a spare key.

Finally, I ask if they wouldn't mind just busting out one of the smaller triangle-shaped windows. I then got the look again. And the supervisor got another call because this time I was putting my child in harms way due to the potential flyaway glass situation.

I just couldn't win with these guys.

Thankfully, it was at this point that the firetruck came. WHEE!

At least it was the middle of the day and most people weren't dropping their kids off or picking them up because, wow, that thing blocked the entrance and the exit to the parking lot.

Luckily, the blocking wouldn't be for long because *du-du-du-duuuhhhh* they had a slim jim.

A few minutes later, Playette was "saved." Because really? She was fine. She was laughing at all of the commotion.

I'm kicking myself that I didn't take pictures, but, you know, my camera and cell phone were locked in the car.

Anyway, so I thanked my heros and rushed to leave. I still had a flight to catch!

One of the ladies at the center offered to drive us to the airport so that I wouldn't have to waste time parking and hauling everything back to the terminal. BD could come and pick up the truck when he got back. I accepted her kind offer and was ready to go until the original first responders decided that they needed to interview me.


Name. No, full name. Social. Husband's name, rank, social. Kid's name. Date of birth. Address. Place of birth. Explanation of what happened. Again. Sigh.

I'm irritated, but, at this point, I still think we'll be ok. The airport is pretty close.

We pull up and race inside. We made it. I exhaled. The lady behind the counter leaves. Hm, maybe she needed something from the back. We wait. And then I noticed the sign.

Counter closes at 11:54 am.
Personnel will return after flight departure.

It's 11:55.

We missed the flight.

Are you kidding me?

Now what?

Crying sounded good. So I did that. I also asked if security would ask if anyone at the gate would be willing to come back and help us. (It's a small airport. The gate was right-><-there.)

No luck.

Back to crying.

Eventually, I was able to rebook on another airline, with an additional stop. But at least it would get me there in time for work the next morning. Ugh.

That two hour flight turned into a 7.5 hour ordeal.

We made it there and back safe and sound though, so there's that. I always get those weird Final Destination kinds of feelings whenever we switch flights.


Next up: Conference recap.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Give Me a Sign

A request was made of my by Playette's primary caregiver in daycare a few weeks ago. She asked me to write down which signs The Littlest knows.

"Sure. Why not?" I thought. How hard could that be?

Never mind the fact that I had already provided such a list to the last room she was in (she recently moved from Pre-Toddlers to Toddlers) and I left a copy at the front desk for her file. I figured it would take me five minutes, max, to update the list.

You know one was nowhere to be found, right? So much for providing continuity. Obviously no one has been signing with her during the day.

Oh, and the third copy? The one I kept for myself at home? Who knows where that is.

But it's not like anyone is paying me to keep good records. So I totally get a pass.

Today I'm calling the list complete. Finally.

I know there may be more signs she knows, but, frankly, I'm sick of all the little sticky notes I've been keeping track on being everywhere. Tomorrow morning, I'm sharing the following:

All done
Thank you
Bye bye

I think we're up to 35.

And I'll be sure to give a copy to the front desk. Again.

Wait. Doesn't she also know "car"? And what about "french fry"? Along with "sink" "like" and "wash hands"?

Oh, I don't know.

Honestly, I know we've slacked off with the signing lately. Once Playette turned two about six weeks ago, right around when she started showing us that she had the both desire and the capacity to learn signs quickly, I started getting that nervous feeling. The one that walks right alongside the thought that I will never hear her speak.

Now, when we decided to start signing with Playette, I was very adamant that it would not have a detrimental affect on her verbalization. If anything, it would help keep her from being frustrated while waiting for her practically inevitable delay in communication to run its course. So less tantrums and all of that. It was going to be good for all of us.


But when you have a two-year-old that doesn't speak, it doesn't matter what you thought when they were seven months old. Because, really, most kids aren't talking at seven months.

But when your kid is two, all that matters is that your kid's peers are speaking and your kid isn't. Something must be wrong.

Damn the extra chromosome, something must be wrong.

It's very easy to jump to the other end of the spectrum regarding sign language.

It's a solid argument: Why give our kids with 47 an easier way out? Why choose the path of least resistance? Force them to speak. Keep the expectations high, just as you attempt to do in every other area. Treat them just as you would a child that has 46 chromosomes.


I still don't know, really. Please don't think that I think that I have the answers.

Case in point: Last Friday, at the conference, during the presentation of the person who literally wrote the book on communication as it relates to children with Ds, I was thoroughly and completely convinced that Playette was displaying classic symptoms of Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

I wasn't going all hypochondriac either. Or so I thought. It was like the light came on and I was like, "Oh, so that's what it is."

But then I told BD and he looked at me like I was crazy.

And he explained to me, step by step, why I was wrong.

Then, apparently, (and obviously my child is out to make me look like a fool because none of this kind of thing ever happens when I am around) on Sunday, not 48 hours after I had stood in a room of approximately 100 people and announced that I had diagnosed Playette with CAS based on the six Power Point bullets currently displayed on the big screen (yes, I actually did this - surprised?), she put on a show of just how verbal she truly is in front of the very same woman (BD was taking his turn in the session while I was elsewhere...probably moping about this very issue). So much so that BD says that she was all, "This little girl is right on track," or something. Like I said, I wasn't there. But other parents were impressed and inspired, apparently. And we should be proud of whatever it is that we've been doing to help her get to this level. (Trust me, I don't feel like we do much of anything, let alone the elusive "enough.")


No one ever said this would be easy.

I don't mind being wrong this time though.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sniff This

Before I "dazzle" you with my crazy story, allow me to share with you some photos of when I was actually doing a semi-decent job of parenting while BD was away. Not only did Playette and I go shopping, but we also went to a pool party and to see some fireworks over the weekend. And just when you think it could get no better...we went to the Garlic Festival.

I want to say that it was hot there, but after Phoenix? Hm. It was a mild 96 degrees.

I really don't get why so many people, present company included, get excited about paying to get into a place only to pay to eat. But that's exactly what happened.

At least we got there nice and early so that it wasn't crowded until right before we left.

Best part:

Playette really enjoyed it.

Posing with GarlicBalloonMan. This picture gives you no indication of how dangerous an effort taking this photo actually was. Which is probably for the best.

I regret not buying this shirt for a couple of reasons.

Staying hydrated. As you can see, Playette is in long pants. I am so out of touch with what passes as actual summer clothes that I thought she would be fine. As a result, she was one sweaty baby.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coming Up for Air

Hey there.

It's me.

I didn't mean to disappear. Really, I didn't. So let me tell you how it came to be that I did (well, partially, since somewhere along the way I had the foresight to plan a couple of posts in advance).

First of all, BD left me.

Are you still breathing?

Ok, so it was only for a week and it was for a necessary school assignment out at sea, but still. It felt like he was never coming back. I was alone with Playette, which isn't necessarily commonly referred to as an award-winning role for me (no secret that she's a total Daddy's Girl and I sometimes flounder at this whole mama thing), and kept much more busy than I had anticipated.

He left for San Diego on a Wednesday and then Playette and I flew to an oven Phoenix on the following Monday. I had to attend a training conference for my job and luckily BD's grandparents were available to keep the Littlest One while I sat in seminar after seminar after seminar for three days.

It ended up being great for the Greats (grandparents, that is) because they got to spend quality time with Playette and they absolutely fell in love with her in a way that comes from actually being around her. She's intoxicating, let me tell you. Sometimes she may lead you to the desire to actually be intoxicated, but a lot of the time she's just really stinkin' cute. That's my completely unbiased opinion of course. I think the Greats didn't expect such a cool kid and I love that they were pleasantly surprised. And also that she didn't tear their house apart or terrorize the dog...much.

I just remembered that I left out a completely crazy, totally "these kinds of things always happen to me" kind of story, but I'll save that for another day. Promise. It deserves its own post, I think.

So, while we were gone, BD came home. He got to catch up on PTI and enjoy all the chili dogs he wanted with no comments from me, which must have been amazing for him.

Playette and I got back on Thursday night. It was a total shock to the system to go from 110 degrees to 55 over the course of the flight, but we're soldiers. (Actually, we were more like whiny complainers, but "soldiers" sounds better.)

Never fear. We didn't stay home in the cold for long.

Because off to Sacramento we went!

This time we BD drove. After getting home at 11 pm, we quickly re-packed (more summer clothes, squee!) and went to bed. I wanted to catch up on TiVo, but BD was having none of that. I'm glad he stopped me because 3:30 am came very quickly.

We were out the door by 4 am Friday and just walked back into our house a little while ago.

The conference was a great experience, but I really wish I could have been in a better mood. Honestly, sitting in more seminars was not exactly on the top of my to-do list after the week I had in Phoenix, but we met some great people, got some really good info, and enjoyed ourselves.

Tired, we are.

I'll fill in the details as time permits this week. We've got to get back into the routine and I've got to work on losing the 5 lbs of fast food I gained while traveling.

If you have any questions about the convention, or anything really, let me know and I'll get to answering them.

If any new friends have made your way here....WELCOME!