Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy, Tears

I was just over at a friend's blog and read something that made me cry. But it was good!

I'm sure that I'm extra-emotional because I miss my kid, but still.

Who couldn't miss their little with BD sending me pics like this before I even got through airport security?!

Way to play dirty, dude. ;-)

I'm on reserve duty for the next week and a half, so BD is holding down the fort at home. We had a conversation this morning about the necessity of tiny, brown leggings and debated the pros and cons of cornrow removal.

Yup, we're parents.

Things have been pretty busy for us lately. I was fortunate to be able to participate in a long-awaited Girls' Weekend in Savannah, GA, which was followed by Spring Break, and then Playette and I road-tripped it to Philadelphia, returning home just in time for me to pack up and fly to DC.

So that's where I am.

Home. Ish.

Strange. I haven't been here in 3.5 years. So many things have changed. It has been great getting to see people and places that I've missed and I'm looking forward to the time I have remaining. The work I'm doing here is good and I'm not in harm's way. I really can't complain.

BD and Playette will be arriving on Friday so that we can spend some family time in the place where we all became a family.


I'd like to thank all of you that helped us to win the photo session! I'm really excited to take pictures with Natalie in May.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm all about it.

Wanna help me?

Ok, so last night, I entered the following pic in the Natalie Crater Photography "Mommy and Me" contest.

If you become a fan of the business on Facebook by clicking "like" on the page, then you can, again, click "like" on the our pic. That's it.

The contest ends on Sunday, April 24th at 11:59pm and the one with the most "likes" wins.

We can totally do this.

The prize is a $30 mother's day session, complimentary 8x10 print, and a special gift for me (woot!).

Bonus: I met Natalie because we both moved here at about the same time. She's a fellow Ds/military mom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Because We Like to Keep Things Interesting

I got a call this morning.

It was the head of Transportation for our school district.

He was letting me know that door-to-door bus service would resume.

This was not a surprise to me (other than the fact that he actually called), nor was it resolved without a lot of leg work on the parts of multiple people.

But the wrong was righted.

And it probably won't help our personal situation one bit.

But, you know, it's the principle.

So, hooray for victory and all that.


I dropped Playette off at her new preschool today...

On that note, I will go bury my head in a bottle of wine the sand now.

We'll sort the rest of all of this out after Spring Break.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I can't quite put my finger on it...

But something's different.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Like a Moth to a Flame

My child's clothing seem to be drawn to the toilet bowl.

She sits there, does her business, and then decides to strip down.

I'd be ok with it if she didn't decide to send the clothing swimming afterward.

Except yesterday when she sat there, did her business, took of her pants, stuffed them in, and then did more business on top. Like a cherry.

That instance deserved three WOOCHILEs and one PRIMAL SCREAM.

Yeah, I think I'll start rating my frustration. Maybe that will make it more like a game? And then it'll become fun instead of stress-inducing?



Ok, so this whole Time Out thing...

Have they come up with something new yet? I never got Time Outs as a kid. I got my a$$ beat. So, I'm really trying to break tradition here. But Playette seems to have this Time Out thing all figured out. She has no problem sitting on the step(I've seen a whopping 3 episodes of Super Nanny and this is what I took away from it). She waits it out (sometimes she tries to entertain herself), and when I come back to her she waits for me to come down to her level and talk (blah blah blah), she says ok when I ask her not to do whatever again, then says and signs sorry, and gives me a hug while patting my back and asking me if I'm ok.

It kinda feels like I'm the one who was on Time Out.

Wait. Is that the point?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

I just walked in the door from one of the biggest ClusterFs ever!

Ok, so if you've been keeping up with the story, you know that Playette now must be dropped off in the afternoon at the front of our neighborhood, on the closest city-maintained road.

I swear, in the last few days, I have learned more about what the colors of your street signs mean and renegade condo association law and public school transportation for children with special needs than I ever wanted to know.

Today? It was gorgeous out. Loved walking out there to get my girl. In fact, I told the driver that if every day were like this one (They are not. Tuesday, it was cold and rainy and I cursed all of the parties involved as I drove to that same main road.) that I might just enjoy this little change of plans we've had thrust upon us.

I still drive her to school on principle though. That whole "joke" thing? Screw them and their morning bus. I have since called the head of both Transportation and Special Ed Transportation (gag) and given them the business. I'm not finished either.

This whole bus thing won't last must longer anyway, but that's a whole 'nother story to be elaborated on at another time.

Anyway, so as the aide is getting Playette out of her 5-point seat straps and then chasing her down after she ran directly to the back of the bus, and I'm talking to the driver while we wait, I start to hear some commotion.

I'm going to try to keep this insanity brief, ok?

Let's see.

I just went to Paint and tried to make you all a diagram, but it sucked. You may need to break out your own napkin or something.

So there's this lady, A, and she's sitting behind a guy at the stop sign, B. Man C is stopped on the road, facing the bus.

A honked her horn. I would learn directly from her later that she had been waiting 3 whole minutes for Playette to be unloaded from the bus. She admitted to being very impatient since all that was going on was a little chat between the driver and I, or so she thought.

B started driving after the honk. He's maybe in his 70s? I only mention his age because it kinda matters in a bit.

C immediately darts to block B from proceeding past the bus.

And then this is where I start to notice something is up. Because I'm on the side of the bus closest to the curb, I couldn't see how the how thing started.

C begins to should at B. "YOU'RE BREAKING THE LAW!! THERE ARE KIDS ON THIS BUS!" amidst some colorful expletives.

Because, you know, the lights were flashing, the stop sign was extended. All that good school bus stuff.

But then...oh, lord...then C takes his left hand, balls it up, and punches B's windshield. It cracked.

B is very rattled and gets out of his van.

A starts yelling at C. C holds firm to his reason for coming at B the way he did.

B starts saying that he's going to get C's license plate number and have him arrested.

Not too difficult since C isn't going anywhere. He really believes he is in the right. C wants B arrested.


A then drives over to me, to get my name and phone number as a witness. It's at this point that she tells me exactly what happened and I jump at the opportunity to inform her that my daughter is riding an accessible bus and, well, sometimes that takes longer than 30 seconds to disembark.

A's face changed. She felt like an ass. Mission accomplished.

I then told her that up until a couple of days ago, my daughter was dropped off in front of our house. Not anymore though. So now everyone is just gonna have to wait it out whenever she's getting off the bus.

So there. Neener neener and nanny nanny boo boo.

Playette just keeps pointing at the bus. "Bus! Bus! Bus!"

They all. keep. yelling.

C does this whole Citizen's Detainment type thing and demands that the bus driver stay put. The aide gets off the bus and comes over to me. We are in awe of this whole situation. Traffic is backed up in both directions. I can hear people making up their own versions of the events already.

"B hit his head on the windshield! He's hurt!"

"C took B out of the car and beat him up!"

Messy, messy.

A neighbor comes up and asks me what happened. I tell her, adding in that this never would have happened a week ago. Because I'm that kind of an opportunist.

She asked me if the vans that carry people to the Senior Center would have to do so at the main road, too. Hm. Well, of course not! She seemed happy to know that. Toddlers, ok. Seniors, no.

Then C's wife drove up and started talking to me. I felt bad for her. She had nothing to do with this, but she was certainly going to have to deal with the consequences.

I felt bad for them all, really. Even A who admitted that she was the catalyst.

B made a mistake and now had a broken windshield.

C started out well, but his good intentions got buried in shards of glass. That was not his best decision.

What. A. Mess.

But, you know, my life doesn't stop because people are stupid. I needed to get home because I was expecting a social worker and a nurse to come evaluate my child and my life because we're cool like that.

So we walked home and left the circus behind.

I snapped this first though:

When those ladies arrived about 30 minutes later, they said that the police had arrived on the scene.

In the words of my neighbor, "This one will be in the newsletter."

I sure hope so.

I'll let you all know if I learn about any more details.


I wrote this post yesterday, but I thought that the
7 Day Blitz for Kirill
(though Monday, April 11th) should take precedence.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Fight

Do you know about Kirill?

Chances are, if you're a fellow Ds blogger-type, that you do.

If not, here are the basics:

Kirill is a little boy currently living in an orphanage in Russia. He has a family that loves and wants him very much. They went through all of the proper steps to bring him home only to have a judge tell them no in the final moments.

Hear me on this.

After the parents-to-be sat in court for hours, the judge determined them fit to adopt as a family, just not for Kirill.

Because, according to this judge, he's defective.

And he belongs in an institution.

Not with a family.

Read the whole story here.

I've said this for several situations over the past few days and I'll say it again.


So. Of course they're appealing this decision. But it will cost them a ton more than they had originally anticipated. With that in mind, a group of friends set up a way to help raise funds for this specific purpose. It's going amazingly well.

If you're able and interested in helping them reach the ultimate goal, please click here.

Each $10 donated gets you a shot at a long list of prizes. Want a new camera? How about a $500 gift certificate to B&H photo? Always had your eye on a Flip video?

Now might be your time.

There's no pressure and I won't hate anyone that doesn't participate. I just felt compelled to share something that has touched my heart.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Allez Cuisine!

*I have a strong, strong desire for a temporary topic change in the general direction of FLUFF. My brain is going to explode otherwise.*

So, there I was this morning, trying to print out W-2s (look at us! tax prep before summer! we're awesome.) while two phones continued to ring and I tried to figure out how to access a new Navy Reserve data system since I'm heading out to training soon...

And then I smelled it.

It was a smell that reminded me of a couple of things.

But, most importantly, it reminded me that I can't take an eye off of my kid for one second.

I guess the Cheerios weren't filling enough. Playette decided that she needed a side item.

Wanna see what my little Iron Chef decided might be tasty?

Because my morning wasn't crazy enough.

I picked her up, guilty look and all, carried her to the kitchen, wiped her mouth and hands, and called Poison Control.

(I'm so glad she was smarter than I was in high school and didn't rub it on her eyelids.)

I mean, I figured it wouldn't hurt her since I've heard plenty a home-remedy that included a spoonful of the gunk, but I really am not working with a ton of good fortune these days, so there would be no taking of chances.

Except, while I was walking and dialing, I made a mistake.

All it takes is one number, y'all.

I realized it wasn't Poison Control when I was asked if I was seeking men or women for my pleasure.

Well, then.

I hope I didn't get charged for that.


Oh, and Playette's totally fine. That teaspoon of rub didn't slow her down one bit.

And her breath has been eucalyptus-y fresh all day.


Monday, April 4, 2011

But Wait, There's More

First, let me thank you all for your comments and support. If anything can make a crappy situation a little better, it's knowing that you have an army of peeps behind you.

**insert sanity break to Google images of fighting marshmallow chicks here**

Ok, I'm back.

In all seriousness, I am very grateful. I know for a fact that BD and I were not the only ones mulling over Friday's situation ad nauseum this past weekend. So many people wish the best for us and our little girl and knowing that you're out there makes such a difference.

All that said, you'll dig this.

Playette usually gets picked up at about 10:45 am.

At 9:15 this morning, the phone rang.

It was her bus driver.

I think my eyes rolled out of my head.

She started out by telling me that they wouldn't be able to pick up Playette anymore.

Wow! She's calling to tell me that she got fired! Bless those other parents that complained, and rightly so. Here I am thinking-thinking and they took immediate action. Good on...

"Yeah, we're not allowed to drive the bus in your neighborhood."


Wait. What?

"Someone complained about the bus coming into your neighborhood, so now you need to bring her to the main road to get picked up."

They can't be serious.

Instead of just about anything else I could have said, I heard myself ask, "So, just when do you expect to pick her up, exactly? On that main road?"

The reason I asked is because, well, I kinda never know when they're going to show up. It could be 10:30, maybe 11:05. Good thing we can stay inside, out of the elements, while we wait.

Oh. Not anymore, huh?

So, the SUPER MEGA ironic thing that hit me is that they are now trying to make me work harder for piss-poor service.



This set into motion a chain of events that basically told the school, the transportation department, and my neighborhood to go eff themselves. They won't have me or my kid to mess around with anymore.

But, while that feels right, it also leaves me feeling like it's not enough.

I want someone to suffer.

For their incompetence, for their ineptitude, for their ridiculous lack of overall professionalism and common decency, someone should be made to look like the asses they're all behaving like.

Taking our bat and ball and moving to another field seems somewhat wimpy.

But don't get me wrong, what works for us is what works for us right now. And I'll surely find a way to get up on my soapbox. Trust.

There's just something about picking your battles.

How much time and energy do you choose to invest in each situation?

It truly has to happen before you can know.

I do want to say this though...

Bless the afternoon driver who was all, "No one told me not to drive in here. I'm bringing this baby right to her door!"


Bless my landlord, the complete antithesis to our former wack-a-loon in CA, who called me tonight all riled up and ready to defend our rights to her homeowner's association. She could not (unnecessarily) apologize enough and plans to embarrass them at the next meeting. She made me smile.

As do all of you.

This story isn't over.

By a long shot.

I drove my daughter to school today.

My daughter that loves riding the bus so very, very much.

And I'll keep doing it, ensuring that she never has to be tainted by those people ever again.

I can't protect her from everyone, but, dammit, that won't keep me from trying.

Friday, April 1, 2011


You know what makes me even sadder about this situation?

It's that we can fix it.

With money.

Money to pay for my daughter to go to a place that will not only respect her, but also us, as parents.

Everyone doesn't have that option.

And it's not right.

Or fair.

Or decent.

Go ahead and tell me I'm too sensitive.

That I need a thicker skin.

I dare you.

Hardy Har Har

So, I just put Playette on the bus to school.

The aide was all excited and said to me, "Yesterday, when we were on the bus, [Playette] told me, 'Good morning, Ms. Toni. How are you doing today?'"

My jaw dropped. Wow. That's FANTASTIC use of speech and something that I just haven't heard yet from my daughter.

I mean, she knows all of those things, but to string them together like that? Huge.

Just as I'm letting this all sink in and already trying to think of ways that we can get her to do this with people other than just Ms. Toni, the laughing started.


"I've been getting all the parents with this today! HAHAHAHA!"



Tell the parents of children with speech delays, and varying other disabilities, that their kids can speak...and well!

God, these people suck.


I've still been struggling with the private preschool thing, which is why I haven't shared the verdict.

But, well, this definitely adds one to the "Pro" column.