Sunday, February 28, 2010


So I took Playette shoe shopping today. I was guessing that it was time. She was falling all over the place and I figured it was another one of her ways of telling us that her feet attire were due for an upgrade.

(Please don't worry. She's fine.)

So off to the outlets we went.

Wait. That makes it sound too simple.

Actually, there was an early wake up, lots of laundry, kitchen cleaning, hair doing, room straightening, and toddler chasing. So our morning jaunt had to wait until after lunch. Which didn't go well because apparently the cucumbers that she eats at daycare all the time are poisonous at home and macaroni and cheese is disgusting after three mouthfuls.

Which, seriously? They're not. I know because I ate everything she didn't eat and it was wonderful.[/bad habit]


As soon as humanly possible, I gently placed my hysterical child in her carseat, started driving, and five minutes later she was out.

I let her sleep long after I parked the car so that I could enjoy the nice breeze and the first few pages of my new-to-me book.

It wasn't long enough, but whatever. I tried not to be greedy.

Thankfully, the store wasn't too crowded. We got her measured and I got to looking for what was available in her size. Not much, actually.

I ended up with these:

Which...are cute, I guess. But very pink.

I mean, I'm ok with pink to a certain extent, but it's not my favorite choice as everyday-wear. I prefer options, but there just weren't that many.

Playette loved them though and off she ran, around and around the store, laughing and looking back every so often to make sure I was still chasing her and begging the forgiveness of everyone else in her path.

It was when I caught her that I noticed that there was a whole 'nother wall o' shoes! In her size even. I've been shopping at this particular store for quite some time. Why hadn't I seen them before?

Oh. Because they're boy shoes.

Good grief.

So the toddler shoes aren't all kept together?

They're gender segregated?

Boo and Noted.

I know that girls typically get more variety in clothes, but the boys surely aren't lacking in the shoe department. I saw lots of stuff I liked on that side.

So Playette got these, too:

And suddenly all felt right with the world.

I'm such a rebel.

Saturday Snippets

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sick Daze

Playette wasn't feeling well last weekend, but she was having so much fun with her new friends (more on that soon) that she really didn't crash until she was back at daycare on Monday. BD went and picked her up early and she's been home ever since.

Which means that I've been home ever since.

Big ups to SAHMs everywhere.

Well, except that rich lady on RHoOC. If you watch, you know the one. Not that they're all not really, really irritating.


Check out what happened when I tried to keep the Littlest occupied with some activities.

Thanks again, Phamily, for the wonderful birthday gift. She doesn't pass out every time she plays with it, promise!

Again. Some More.

Because maybe after watching this video another person will get it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

But Wait, There's More!

Our trip to LA didn't end with the I'm Down with You shoot.

Right after we were done there, we headed straight to visit Lisa and her family. This was our second visit, the first being last July.

It's always so much fun to hang out with them. I am so happy to be around this family. I know that sounds hokey, but seriously. I find big families fascinating. Not in a "put them in a petri dish" kind of way, but more like the kind of envious longing that comes from just never having lived that kind of life before. In Lisa's house...six kids seems so do-able. Now, I know we're "company" and the kids surely test their parents more than they do me, but still. I like the feeling of being a part of a group. And the activity. The sheer diversity of it all. So many personalities. And then I imagine what it will be like twenty years from now, during the holidays and such. It's pretty awesome.

No contradictions outta you, Lisa. Let me live in my visit-every-so-often fantasy world, k? ;-P

All of that activity does mean that it's hard to get a good picture sometimes, but I can live with that.

Baby Swap 2.0

Just because I feel like gushing more about their kids, who are so extremely kind and welcoming to my Littlest, five-year-old Daisy drew this portrait of Playette, which currently holds a place of honor on our fridge:

I love the detail of her hairstyle and the objects she was carrying around in her hand an the time. There was no help from any of the grown-ups with the name spelling either.

And thirteen-year-old Kevin? Well, check him out standing up for his little brother and any other people offended by the use of the r-word here:

Kevin will be giving this speech at his school early next month. While it's not related to our visit, I still wanted to share this here because I'm really proud of him.

So, in the quest to top the last visit, this time we ventured out to dinner. When Lisa asked if I was open to that idea, what do you think I said?

I am such a dork. The only one cheesing like we were on a grand prize cruise or something. I am also the only one not seated next to children that need much assistance. All part of my fantasy.

I love this pic of Finn:

When we left the restaurant, it was like a parade! (tee hee)

Lisa, you can totally laugh at me now. I deserve it.

BTW, Lisa wrote a great post about having a big family here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Experience: I'm Down with You

I know that many people "in the Ds know" are aware of this project, but this may be new info for others.

From the time I first saw the video and website months ago, I've been excited for the day I'd be able to purchase this book. It's important for me to have Playette see people that look like her, beautiful and capable and in the public eye. She already has a nice collection of books showing people with all kinds of differences and I'm Down with You will be a welcome addition.


By the way...

I highly recommend these books for all children, because, really?...They're gonna run into people that don't look or live just like them at some point and wouldn't you want your kid/niece/nephew/grandchild/friend's kid to be informed and just be able to go with the flow? [/soapbox]


So, imagine my elation when Playette was invited to participate in one of the final photo shoots for the book!

We didn't hesitate with an affirmative response and a couple of weeks ago we packed up the car and headed down to LA.

She played shy at first so I had to sit with her on my lap while the pictures were being taken. We practiced signing to take her mind off of all the attention. Here she's showing the photographer one of her favorites: music.

We had a great time hanging out after Playette was done. There were other families present and talking to them and meeting their children was so much of the experience.

I told BD that we were leaving at least three times over two hours. It was so hard to walk away. (And not because it was special-special. It's just nice to be around people who I can tell without hesitancy that Playette will be three in June and not just "two" when asked how old she is because I don't want to hear the, "Oh. Well. She's so tiny," or the "She's not talking?")

We also met Katelyn, which was awesome for me because that little girl's face got me through a rough time after Playette was born. Seeing her on the Toys R Us catalog did something for me that I hope seeing Playette will do for others. I was inspired and it was an honor to be able to share that with her parents.

I didn't get a picture of Playette with Katelyn (they were both having too much fun to stop and pose), but I did get a couple of other opportunities.

At one point when I was chatting away, another parent came up to me and said something along the lines of, "I thought you might like to know that Sharon Stone is in the other room playing with your daughter."

And that she was. For a really long time, too. They got along quite well.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Potter of recent Glee fame. She told us that she started back filming the week prior so we can look forward to seeing her on the show again when the new episodes air.

Now that all of the photos for the book have been taken, the work begins on choosing just the right shots and putting it all together for final production.

I'll be sure to keep you posted as I learn more details and you'll see me cheesin' from here if Playette actually makes it in the book.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blasts of Motivation

I'm a pretty lazy laid-back person, most days. I mean, emotionally, I can get riled up with the best of them, but things that require actual physical effort sometimes get put on the back burner. You know, the usual stuff like...well, I'm not gonna say after all because BD would just use this post as evidence and then I wouldn't have a leg to stand on in the Court of Smith-Smith, so...

Sometimes, though, sometimes I just get motivated.

For example, BD looked in the cabinet under my bathroom sink the other day and KAPLOW! Organized. He shockingly asked how that happened. I'm sure he would have believed that little elves came in the night and did it much easier than her did when I told him what really happened.

So, with that in mind, lemme tell you what I've done with my latest burst.

I was at a seminar-group therapy type session thingee last weekend called "From Heartache to Hope." It was interesting. There were only about six of us there and it was only two hours and I don't know that most of us knew what to expect, but it did result in some interesting conversations. At one point, one of my fellow mamas mentioned that what I said about the mood change after Playette was born (woeful and non-congratulatory, at best) was helpful to her as a Labor and Delivery nurse. She encouraged me to contact our community hospital and offer myself for outreach opportunities.

That I did. I don't know why I hadn't done so earlier.

So I called that hospital along with the 4 others within an hour of our house.

People do this all the time. Raise awareness of Ds amongst medical professionals. Serve as resources for families dealing with a new diagnosis.

Why not me? (Lord knows I've spent enough time saying "Why me?" Time for a change, maybe?)

At the forefront of my mind is the Sanchez family's "I Did It" campaign. Playette wears her shirt proudly. And every time she does, I am reminded that somewhere someone is reading a copy of Gifts 2 and learning the positive impact that people with Ds can have on the lives of the people that love them (just like any other family member or friend, really, but people seem to need to be informed/reminded of that when it comes to judgment, I was there once).

BTW, the Sanchez family is adopting another child with Ds, Sofia, from Eastern Europe. Have you heard? There's a big fundraiser coming up. Learn more here.

You know, this outreach thing isn't easy. People aren't exactly opening the door to me, telling me to come on in. They're skeptical. They're not returning phone calls. They think I'm calling asking them for help instead of me offering it to them. It's frustrating to say the least.

But I'll keep pressing.

Somewhere there's a mama out there. She's scared of what will happen when her baby is born.

Or perhaps she's like I was and she's going to be stricken with grief when her baby is born. She might just need someone to listen to her cry like I did.

She may be lacking in support from family and friends and need reassurance that it's going to be ok from someone who has walked that path.

Maybe she'll want to see a child with Ds and meeting Playette will make her smile.

And then she might feel less sad if she had a doctor who was a little more sensitive in delivering a diagnosis of Ds.

I don't know what she'll need. I don't know what will help.

But the thought that one person has the opportunity to make a difference will keep me going.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Timothy Schriver must have a dedicated red phone for this stuff by now.

Good grief.

You know, I try to refrain from political conversations on this blog for a few reasons. One is because the division of the Ds community does none of us any good. I've seen good people get hurt by daring to disagree with a portion of their readers. [Why attack someone for that?] Also, one of the few lessons I retain from my upbringing is that I shouldn't talk about politics in mixed company (along with salary and a couple of other things). People have reasons for believing what they believe and I respect that.

I'm saying though.

I posted about this.

And about this.

So it's only fair that I'm posting about this.

Why aren't her supporters expressing their disappointment? I know that the Ds community is fraught with people that connect with her via her son Trig, who happens to have Ds, and flat-out adore her, but I haven't seen one post today that says, "Wow, she really let us down here," or even a simple "I don't agree."

I wouldn't expect you to stop loving her, if that's the way you swing, but a little acknowledgement might go a long way. It would with me at least.

So I'll say it.

I'm appalled. Disappointed just doesn't cut it.

We're in the midst of a movement. People are listening. People are watching. No one, not even a person who's supposed to be on your team (whether that means the same political party or the same diagnosis), is supposed to get a pass for doing or saying something that contradicts the forward progress of the collective.

This is about our children. And the way that everyone treats them.

It's not ok.

Or am I missing something?

I mean, this was satire, too, right?


This clip keeps giving them to me.

I watch these shows. These movies. And it hurts every time I hear it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

I'm calling Playette by another name today because I'm happy to finally be starting to pinpoint what her language sounds like so that I can describe it to others.

Piggle Wiggle - she says something that sounds like this a lot; I believe it to be the basis of her dialect.

Heavy D - most specifically from "We Got Our Own Thang"
(starting at about 0:15 in - I dare you not to dance in your chair, teens of the 90s)

So, MPW is sick today. As she was yesterday.

She has taught me, naive first-time mom that I am, that I was, in fact, not going to avoid being vomited on ever, no matter how much I wished that to be true.

Orange. Pedialyte. Everywhere.

She was so sad yesterday. Just defeated looking. Too tired to raise her head. Too drained to stay awake. Too preoccupied with her indescribable-to-us pains to smile.

Today is slightly better. She's smashing Cheerios into the cushions of her chair. She's laughing at times. She's even giving us a little MPW-ese, followed by some buh-diddly-dees.

And she has also found the time and strength to come up with a new game:

Repeat, ad nauseum. Apparently, it is quite The Fun.

Unfortunately, the two of us have had to bow out of the Super Bowl Party of the Decade, hosted by DJ Pauly D and Brett Michaels.

But BD is there, representing for us all with a box of pink Franzia in hand. That's my dawg.

Go Saints!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Get Thee to a Winery

I like Hamlet. Don't hate.

So, BD had a birthday recently. The big 3-3. I know he wasn't expecting a big to-do, which made it that much more fun to surprise him.

A group of friends agreed to participate in a wine trolley ride with us. I'd long heard how fun these tours were, and BD is a big wine lover, so it seemed the perfect time to give it a try.

BD became suspicious when the babysitter showed up at 10 am on a Sunday. Not exactly her typical shift. Then, one of his friends showed up. Hm. Not exactly his typical shift either. We headed downtown and then I think it all started to click. It was time to partay!

At our first of five winery stops, BD proved what a dedicated student of the liq he is.

I was busy taking pictures of the pretty wine bottles. See that spittoon there? I thought it was for decorative purposes only. So I didn't use it. I really enjoyed Ventana vineyards. Way more than I needed to. Lesson learned.

I can never get a serious pic out of him, but I like this one.

Our ride. There is nothing better than being driven around, lemme tell ya. First thing I would do if I hit it big? Hire a driver. Trolley optional.

We had a great lunch in the garden of one of our next stops. I had to take a picture of Dwayne's lunch. Because people calling BD by the wrong name is funny to me.

I wanted to buy this shirt for about 15 people, but since I'm not wealthy I took a pic to share instead.

Group shot before heading home. By this time, I was feeling quite sassy saucy.

BD thought we were all done when the tour was over, but nope. We had all the trolley-riding folks, plus some, over for a pizza and brew themed extravaganza. I'm not much for party planning, but this seemed to work just fine for my ability level. I even got him a cake!

And I took a picture of it. Because people calling BD by the wrong name is funny to me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And now...more on OJT

A few weeks ago, I talked about doing hair.

Exciting, I know.

I could probably come up with something to say about wrangling Playette's hair every week.

I don't though. And I won't. Promise.

But I came across these photos that were taken about two months ago. I was so proud of my little creation that I had to document it. (We were folding clothes at the time.)

So, these pics are for the people I promised to show these to and then forgot.


Monday, February 1, 2010

More on "Blame It"

Last spring, I posted about Jamie Foxx and his sister, Diondra.

Well, they're in the news again. This time, for the Grammy Awards, which aired last night.

So, in case you haven't seen it, here's the performance (Diondra comes out and dances at the end, hard to see if you don't keep your eyes peeled at around 3:30 and after).

[sidenote for the hip hop heads: I cracked up at all the shots of Jay-Z during the autotune-filled performance. Like they were waiting for him to look mad and storm out of the room or something. C'mon now. He's off that.]

And here's a red carpet interview where she fawns over Nick Cannon. I got a kick out of that. Why? Well, it just seems like such an adult crush. And she articulated it so well, while also being sure to graciously congratulate him on his marriage to Mariah Carey.