Thursday, June 23, 2011

Celebrity Sighting

I don't know who I was more excited to meet...Hannah or her mom. They're both total rockstars in my mind.

They came over yesterday.

All the way to our house, just to help me, and I couldn't have felt more honored.

I'll talk more about what we were doing and why later on, but I just felt like I had to share.

Beth and Hannah represent a lot of what I'd like to eventually see in my own personal mama-daughter combo.

And, let me just tell you, people that go out of their way to help me? And my kid?!

You're stuck with me.

It means the world.

Monday, June 20, 2011

And We're Off!

I woke up, dragged myself out of bed, and went to get Playette so that we could start our respective days. This is how I found her:

And, in case you're wondering, that's not how we left her last night. She really does wear pajamas, not her bathing suit, to bed.

I guess it's safe to say that we'll be spending a lot more time at the beach and pool as she's developing a true affinity for the water.

And WOOT! on the self-help skills, huh?

Let's go, 4!


When I dropped her off at school, I had a chat with the Director about the bag of Playette-gear that was sent home with BD when he picked her up on Friday. Was it presumptuous of me to think that their intent was for us to take said bag with her to a new room? Or was everyone just asked to take their cubby items home for the weekend because they had painters coming in?

It really could have been either one.

And it turns out that it was really both.

I didn't know how to take that at first.

You mean, you're moving my kid because she meets age requirement to advance? And that's it? I don't have to fight or cry or go through all the requisite emotions that typically come with such a transition?

That was weird.

They, uh, well, they treated her like all of the rest of the kids in her class.

Damn shame that this is the exception and not the norm.

It actually made me nervous! Like they were trying to get one over on me!

Director was all, "Let's try, if you're ok with it, Mom. Let's give her a chance and see how she does. I have no reason to think that she won't be just fine. She's been doing wonderfully so far."


Isn't this what I've been asking for?

Isn't this in line with my own personal philosophy when it comes to my kid?

And the very thing that the school district refuses to do?

I just didn't know how to receive it.

Story of my life.

Let's go, 4!


I hurt my back again yesterday so I'm off to take some meds and rest. Sitting here really isn't the most ideal situation. Because it hurts.

But I'm glad that I held off on the Percoset for a bit because I did just get a call that I'm being considered for a job I applied for a while ago. They'll schedule the phone interview with me later this week now that they've established that I'm still interested.

Let's go, 34!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

'Tis the Season

Around these parts, the end of June marks the ushering in of about a fortnight of celebrations at the Smith-Smiths'.

Today alone, we've got Juneteenth, Father's Day, and Playette's Birthday.

Which also means that I've been blogging for another full year. Wow.

We'll have a few days to enjoy our usual routine and then then comes my birthday, Independence Day, and our wedding anniversary.

I hope I'm not leaving anything out.

But, yeah, this is pretty much our holiday season.

Yesterday, we hosted a party for the Littlest at our neighborhood pool and clubhouse. She's wayyy into Dora these days so we had a luau themed pool party with a some character references sprinkled in.

Cate, you should know that one of her friends came in the suit and I gasped and clutched my non-existent pearls.

The party actually went really well, so I've been told. The kids were happy. The parents were cool. If something was awful, I missed it. Do I want to know? Eh. I think yes, but maybe I should remain blissfully ignorant and go with the whole success thing. We had help along the way, so I needn't be such a pessimist. I mean, from the decorator/photographer to the extra-juice-purchaser to the sure-I'll-wake-up-at-dawn-and-make-your-side-dishes-no-problem and more, we had a lot of great support and I really, really appreciate it.

It was short and sweet. The kids swam during the first hour and then we brought them inside for a lunch of hot dogs, chips, drinks, fruit, and salads.

On Friday night, I panicked, worried that we wouldn't have enough seats for all of the kids when it came time to eat. I pictured everything crumbing to pieces as children cried because there was no spot at a table. On Saturday morning, it came to me that we still had the rubber alphabet/number mats somewhere. Those were found and became the ultimate dining circle.

I was so impressed by our guests, let me tell you. They all were on their best behavior. Amazing, it was. I'd show you pictures of how poised they really were, but I didn't get permission to put their pics on the interweb, so you'll have to trust me on this one.

After eating, we - well - we ate again. This time it was ice cream and cake after singing to the birthday girl. She was soaking it all in and loved being the center of attention.

This is her SURPRISE! face.

I tried to skip out on opening presents, but thankfully I checked in with a friend first who informed me that kids actually enjoy that part and it's way different than the way most baby showers make my eyes go all glassy for two hours.

She was right. Of course. They were all into it, wanting their gifts to be opened next, wanting to help rip the paper off, wanting to see Playette get excited about what they had picked out for her. It was really cute.

Man. The presents. How could I have been so naive? I totally didn't expect the massive pile of presents. I mean, she has never been given so much stuff at once. We're very grateful for everyone's generosity and she's going to be trying out new things for a very long time.

So, after that, we were officially done. Tra-laaaa!

A little later than I had planned, but it seemed that just about all the kids were appropriately worn out and the parents I spoke to were happy that naps were imminent.

Those of us that remained took our time cleaning up while taking intermittent swim breaks, followed by margarita breaks, along with burger and cake and ice cream and dance breaks.

Gotta love a good after-party.

Dora's on to something with that whole "¡Lo Hicimos!" thing.

We did it, indeed.

Four years and counting...


We came back to the house to find the AC had conked out on us. Thankfully, the day had cooled off some so that the indoor temp of 85 didn't feel a degree over 83.

Ah, it's the little things.

We had houseguests and I tried to assure them that this was not the norm and that sweating in your sleep is not a typical occurance when you come to visit us.

And then, of course, we woke up to everything in the freezer being melted. Ha!

When it rains, it pours.

But that was nothing that a gluttonous celebratory breakfast couldn't fix.

Hey, I felt like I earned it. Not only did I get back into Weight Watchers' good graces this week (yay for not having to pay!), but I also ran an 8K race on Saturday morning (yay for my fastest time yet!). I'm not sure that I completely leveled the scales, but it was something and this weekend is one of no-guilt-allowed. Tomorrow, I'm back on the wagon.

And both items are now fixed. Huzzah!


For those that enjoy hearing more about the details, we offered sunglasses, water wings, leis, and flower hair clips as take-home items for all that were interested in such things. Finding luau items was pretty easy and I just added them up piece by piece from places like Oriental Trading and Party City. I was thrilled to find the Dora and Diego water wings at Family Dollar.

Also, anyone who was there? I probably have cute pics of your kid. Holla at me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blog Reader, Blog Reader, what do you see?

Totally coincidental, this whole apparent vision theme. This actually happened the other day and I didn't get the chance to post it.

So. Anyway. Here's your riddle:

Click to enlarge if you so desire.

Any idea what it is?






Give up?

Here was Playette's response, after seeing the step stool overturned. At first, I didn't know what she was referencing, but then it clicked.

It takes me a while to figure things out sometime.

Someone should really label me and put me in a corner. Right?! That's totally what I deserve!


Sorry. School stuff has me all stressed and cynical today. I'm sure to rant about that later.

Back to her response...

"Mmmmm! X! Uh-yew!"

Translation: "M! X! W!"

Do you see it?

She was sooo excited to see her letters.

This made me smile, y'all.

I couldn't be more proud of her.

It's not that she knows three letters. She knows them all and so much more. This is just another example of her critical thinking. She loves to learn.

And no one else, NO ONE, on her "IEP team" can know these things about my child. They can't possibly understand why I fight so hard to get her to be considered.

If they did, they'd stop bucking against me for the bare minimum.

It's not fair.

I know...

Life's not fair.

We're not looking for a hand out, just a hand up.

Or a step, if you will.

Whatever works.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I know, I know, but still...

In what was probably the early 80s, I recall watching an episode of Donahue. The topic was surgery that would correct one's vision. I remember being riveted, swearing that one day, absolutely before I got married, I would have this done. There was no way I was walking down the aisle in glasses.

Always a thinker, I decided in my approximately nine-year-old mind, that by the time I was ready, enough time would have passed to ensure that the procedure was safe.

It would be many years later, but when the opportunity arose, I bought myself some perfect vision. 2003. I beat my self-proclaimed deadline by almost 3 years.

And that's how much I hated my glasses.

I say all of that because, as shallow as it may sound, I really, really didn't want my daughter to have to go through those feelings.

I've stated before that I know what it's like to grow up Black and female. In a lot of ways, that's difficult enough in my mind. But I don't know what it's like to also have developmental delays and a diagnosis that's written all over my face.

I don't's little and common and silly, probably, to even devote this much thought to the issue,'s just one more thing to add to the pile of reasons for people to look at/treat her differently.

Today, after three hellish hours in The Most Popular Opthamologist in the World's office, we came out with a prescription.

And I ordered my baby some glasses.

I'm not normally mushy about a lot of milestones, but this one got me. It didn't feel good. I felt like I had let her down. She's not quite four. It's so early. I'm the one who passed this on to her. guiltguiltguilt.

The doctor showed me what her vision is like untreated. Ugh. Why didn't we know sooner?

She didn't want to try the frames on and I didn't blame her.

But we did the right thing and in two weeks or less, her world will be that much clearer.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Preventive Maintenance

When I was in college, learning how to operate and repair massive ship engines, I'm pretty sure that one of my textbooks had this same title.

That was such a lifetime ago.

But what's interesting is that, even though I surely do not remember half of what I once learned, the principles still apply today.

I always think of that parallel whenever we take Playette to see the Pediatrician or some specialist. Almost every time we have an appointment, it's not because she's sick. It's just preventive maintenance.

There's a list that parents and doctors use when it comes to kids with T21. It's a reference guide of what needs to be done and when. We all know the deal, more or less.

Thyroid checks regularly, along with CBCs (I always ask for a "manual diff", which makes medical professionals think that I'm one of them, but really I just heard it said when Playette was a newborn and it stuck with me).

Then there are neck/spinal x-rays for AAI as well as tests for Celiac Disease that start at about age 3.

Most of us find it pretty typical stuff to see a Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Audiologist, Ophthalmologist, and ENT, even if our kids aren't showing symptoms of anything.

It's just what we do.

So, in that vein, it was recommended that we get Playette a Sleep Study. Now, you may be wondering, "Haven't you done that already?" but no. That was a Swallow Study. Twice.

Orrrr you may be thinking of the non-sedated EEG we did more than two years ago. Similar goop in the hair, but looking for something totally different.

This most recent test, which we have attempted to have done in the past and never really got there for one reason or another *coughINSURANCEcough*, came about after the last ENT visit where it came up, again, that Playette snores and fidgets in her sleep. In and of themselves, not such a biggy, but when you add in that extra chromo, it means that a sleep study is in your future. Sleep apnea is not uncommon in the Ds community and you can also get info that may lead you down the path to a Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy (T&A).

So that's what we did, as a family, on Tuesday night.

Because we're all about being miserable together.

No one escapes.

It wasn't too bad, actually. I mean, we were all sleep-deprived the next day, but there are much worse things.

We got there at 7:30pm and left at about 6am. It took some time to get the machines or whatever (I have no idea since they weren't in the room with us) going and then more time to stick all the electrodes thingees all over Playette's body.

It was kinda like watching the making of Thriller.

She was much more agreeable than I expected and we were actually glad that we did it now, when she could be amazed by the process and not just 100% irritated. She did try to take the one off of her foot for a while and the final straw of sticking something up her nose was met with some distaste, but all-in-all? Not horrible.

Even though, personally, I thought she looked hilarious. I wish I had gotten a picture before the hole was cut out over her face. That was classic.

Playette seemed like she was ready for bed at just the right moment, but that didn't last. It was if, all at once, she remembered that she was in a new place and there was no way she was going to sleep through the party.

Even though that was kinda the point. To sleep.

BD and I tag-teamed until she finally passed out.

And then something in the room set off my hacking cough so BD made me get up and take the other bed while he took my place sharing the one with Playette.

Because doing this once is one thing, but doing this twice? Uh-uh. We weren't trying to go out on a technicality.

This one is going in the books as a mission accomplished even though the results won't come back for a couple of weeks.


For those that wondered, the second hospital visit that morning was for me. Just an appointment. Nothing to be concerned about. BD had taken the day off so he was lucky enough to sit through it all with me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Restating the Obvious

I'm not Superwoman!

I am reminded of that every time our chosen way of life sends my husband away from home for extended periods of time.

I mean, it was no deployment, for sure, but two weeks away is two weeks away. And I had to manage on my own. Which I happen not to enjoy. At all.

I know, I know...I'm not the first and I won't be the last.

But I am SO HAPPY that BD is back home. The first time he took Playette up for a bath after he got back, I was just stuck. Right there, in the middle of the floor with my mouth hanging open. My buddy was home!

What I do appreciate, though, is knowing that when I have to do it, I can do it. Shoot, a trip to the beach one day and a pool the next? Total rockstar status for this mama.

I wish I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts and emotions while BD is actually, you know, gone, but I can't. I created that boundary long ago on this here blog and so, lucky you, you just get to wonder a lot and then read these boring blah-blah-blahs once the time is up.

I'm so sure that my in-the-midst-of-it-all whining would be much more entertaining.

*blank stare*


We've been keeping busy this week. Today alone, we all woke up in a hospital (cheap family vacay FTW!), BD and I went to another one across town, and then spent an hour in a pharmacy, all before noon.

It's an exciting life we live.

I'll share some more about what we were doing tomorrow.


Oh. And I'm party planning.

She who hates kids' parties is now knee-deep in frivolous details.

So, uh, if you know where I can get a Dora shirt with a Hawaiian theme, please let me know. Birthday reference would be a bonus.

Because if she doesn't have this exact item, the party will be ruined!

Do you feel guilty yet?

Don't worry. I've already ruined the party once.

Now, it's all about how many times it will happen - not if - so, no pressure.


At some point today, I will get around to completing Week 4 - Day 3 of Insanity.

For the record, I do not look like the lady in this random Walgreen's Gatorade display ad that I took a picture of and am using for motivation.

I mean, yet.

I don't look like her yet. hair is too short.

And, uh, she probably doesn't consider Cupcakes to be a major food group.

Like some people I know.

This may end up taking a leeettle bit longer than 60 days.