Friday, December 21, 2012

Uncle

I know you'll be sad,
But don't shed a tear.
I'm not sending
Holiday cards out this year.

The ones that we've gotten
Are all on display, 
So I'm glad that you all
Still decided to play.

I could tell a fib
And say, "We're just going green,"
But the truth is, in part,
Stamp prices? Obscene.

And if I'm being honest
A big factor, y'know...
Is that I let my membership
Expire with Costco.

But that hasn't stopped me
From bad poetry.
'Cause lucky for y'all
I can do that for free.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

See below for years when I had more motivation. I love the little story this anthology tells of our family.


2008



2009



2010


2011

(last year I sent out two versions, which seems downright comical to me now)







Note: 
In 2007, when Playette was just six months old, I was still a mess and barely interested in celebrating a holiday. So, in case you're one who's wondering...it does get so much better.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tales of Inclusion

Sure, she may not be able to count as high as the other children. And, yes, maybe her handwriting isn't as legible.

But there's no doubt that our girl is getting something from her classmates.

Yesterday morning, as we were playing getting ready for school, I heard her say something that stopped me in my tracks and made me smile.

"Nanny nanny boo boo, you can't catch me!"

Ha!

If those aren't the words of a  five-year-old, I don't know what is.

Remember, inclusive practices aren't about being exactly where the other kids are academically. That she's not. But she's learning and excited and having fun and we're just fine with that for today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Light of Recent Events

Yesterday, I sent the following note in to Playette's teacher. I share this here only because it may inspire others to send a word of encouragement and thanks to someone who has such influence on children's lives.

I got nervous that maybe I had overstepped a little, but I received a nice reply from the teacher this morning, so now I'm ok with posting it. *whew*


17 December 2012


Mrs. M.,


Today is a difficult day for many people, but, as a teacher, I am trying to imagine what it must be like for you. So many of us mourn the losses of the twenty-six people in Newtown, CT, but so few of us are teachers. So few of us know what it’s like to be responsible for the education and lives of the twenty-two children you’ll have in your care today and every day.


I just want to take this moment to thank you. I know it’s only words, but I hope that you know how much our family appreciates you and what you do for M every day. She is not your child in the biological sense, but I’m sure that you've hugged her, wiped her tears (and probably her nose, too), helped her when she’s fallen, encouraged her, disciplined her, laughed with her, and thought of her when she wasn't around. You've come up with ways that made her days a little easier to manage. You've shown her what it feels like to be successful. You haven’t focused solely on her developmental needs. To you, she is a whole person. She is M, another one of your funny, loud, crazy brood. For that, we could not be more grateful.


I also thank you for all of the extra you do to make your room a loving environment for all children. The centers, the rug with assigned seats based on what you know some children need, the photos of them on the walls, the artwork, the height markings, the words, the colors, the letters…all of the things that you've taken the time, and probably some of your own money, to put together. It all matters and helps to enrich so many young minds.


I would assume that your difficult job will get just a little bit harder today. Not only do you have to personally deal with the emotional impact of this tragedy, but there will surely be additional meetings, training, and regulations that you have to factor into your full days. There will also probably be some parents that have fears you will have to try and calm, yourself knowing that the world is a scary place and all we can ever do it our best.


I hope that you can accept these words like a hug.


It can never be said enough: We appreciate you.


With love,

The Smith Family


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do you see what I seeee?

About four months ago, I wrote about taking Dez to an open call for a diaper package shoot.

Today, we walked through Walmart and saw this:


closer....


options...



I don't mean to make it sound like I was surprised, all "Well, fiddle-dee-dee! Would you look at that? My son is on a package of di-yuh-puz."

I totally drove all over Robin Hood's barn this afternoon looking for these.

The pics are super crappy because, for some reason, I thought I didn't need a cart and Squiry McMoverson was not in the mood to let me get a good shot or four.

A few of the ladies who worked there got excited once they realized why I was taking pictures of diaper packages (cuckoo!), so then I got excited. Dez was grinning away the whole time. It was a cool moment.

This kid is oozing with swag.


He still has approximately 12 minutes of lifetime fame coming to him, in case you're wondering.

And now I need to figure out where I can donate these teeny dipes that our almost-eight-monther couldn't squeeze into if we paid him.

Note: White Cloud is WM's brand, but not all stores are carrying these just yet. They were around years ago, got replaced with Parent's Choice, and now are coming back. If you see them in your hood, feel free to let me know.

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Kid, I Swear

First, you may be wondering where I've been. Here. Sick. Again.

After having a nice Thanksgiving dinner, I got very ill for a few days. Eventually, I went to the ER and was diagnosed with a pretty bad case of pneumonia. Yes, again. Apparently, even though I appear healthy and feel like I'm getting back to being in the best shape I've ever been in, I have the lungs of a much less healthy person. That's scary. I'll see a Pulminologist in ten days. Hopefully, the x-ray will be clear/better/something.

In the meantime, I keep signing up for races to run in 2013. How's that for staying optimistic?

Sooo...yeah. Haven't felt like blogging.

Playette had a bad day at school on Wednesday. Her worst yet. And it was an early dismissal day! How did she manage to squeeze so much crap into an abbreviated schedule?!

The teacher totally bypassed the "red light" scenario and just sent an email, detailing exactly how my daughter chose to pretend she is being raised by wolves. She asked, at the end of the correspondence, if we wouldn't mind backing up her stern words with our daughter with some of our own.

Um, how 'bout she didn't even have to ask?!

And then I have to remember that everyone has bad days.

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating.

Because, obviously, I'm still struggling with this whole "perfection has no place in childhood" thing.

Ironically, Thursday was picture re-take day.

Because lots of people need do-overs.

Since Playette's pics came out goofy, at best, I dressed her up and took at little longer on her hair yesterday morning. We'll see how those turn out.

Then, BD surprised me with getting off work early and going by the school to volunteer. I was jealous! With Dez at home with me, that's not something I've had the pleasure of doing yet. It sounds like I need to though, because it may help with my skewed view of how other kindergartners act (Even though I am getting a bit of an education by watching this show from time to time. Have you seen it? Hilarious.).

BD relayed tales that both put me at ease and made me laugh. Our kid is delightfully average in that group. Not that I think what she did was ok, but at least she's in good bad typical company.

Here's yesterday's follow-up from the teacher. I'm not thick-skinned enough to share the message from the first day.

"She was better today. She didn't want to go outside, though. Mrs. S [the TA] stayed in with her and she colored. I figured that it may have something to do with how pretty she looked."

And my response:

"I'll make sure she's nice and dusty tomorrow so we won't have that issue again. :)"

And now some more smiley-type stuff to share:

  Rainbow Words Update


Fine Motor Improvement
She's getting much better at writing her first name. I'd show you except I can't get the picture to show up horizontally. Another time, then.
Us




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Feeling Festive

I saw this gem of a poem in Playette's school folder yesterday and it became an instant family favorite.

I hope that you all are enjoying whatever kind of day suits you best. For us, it's a low-key foursome. For you, it may be a house full of extended family and friends. Or maybe somewhere in the middle or even on the periphery.

Whatever you choose, it's ok. And don't let anyone tell you different.

Holidays can be hard, yo.

And that's why I love "Mr. Turkey". New traditions.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

The 700 Club

Apparently, this is my 700th blog post.

That's a lot of rambling over 4+ years.

Nothing profound this evening. I just wanted to do a quick update on the nightlight sitch.

I am super tired and not feeling well, so when the kids go down in a bit, I plan to head right to bed myself.

And then there's no school tomorrow. Gah.

But! I get to go to a Parent-Teacher Conference.

What is that even like when your kid has an IEP? I mean, I've had full-on meetings with the teacher several times so far. Should I just bring donuts and ask her if she watches The Real Housewives to pass the time? Or will we really have things to talk about that aren't the type of things that come up in a team meeting?

I guess that's possible.

But I still want donuts.

Anyway.

The nightlight, round 1.

It's supposed to take like a week to brainwash your kid with this thing completely, so we're obviously not prodigies or slackers because it didn't work. Playette woke up twice. Once at 5 am and again an hour later. The alarm was set for 6:15. We really wanted to set it for 7 (or much later, natch), but the idea is to gradually increase the duration over time so that it's realistic and attainable. That didn't keep us from wanting to cheat though. So we went with the "happy" medium of 6:15. Tonight, we move it to 6:30. In a perfect world, I'd be able to sleep until at least 6:45 during the week. Don't even get me started on my weekend wishes.

While she did wake up and come in our room, she was redirected by BD and that kinda nipped the "party all the time" atmosphere in the bud. Her room didn't look like a rock star hotel debacle by the time I walked by later on.

So that's progress.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Most Expensive Nightlight on the Block

Ok, so we got it on sale from Amazon, but still. It's got my frugal heart all a-flutter.

But sleep is a big deal around here these days and without it, I am we are crabby and snippy.

I had heard about other, at the time seemingly much older, children with Ds waking up at ungodly pre-dawn hours and disrupting not only their rooms but the entire family, but not my kid. No, my awesome sleeper would never do a thing like that.

I felt for those parents.

And now I am one of those parents.

I wake up to the sound of the Dora guitar more often than I would like.

Plus, with Dez on his own do whatever kinda schedule? We needed to do something. Anything.

So, when BD reported to his first day of work and learned how his co-worker had taught her five-year-old to stay in bed, we jumped on it.

The Good Nite Lite arrived today. I'll let you know how it goes.

Because, y'know, it's not a nightlight, it's a patented behavioral modification device designed to promote a child's ability to get the rest that is critical for healthy development.

Now that's a mission statement that will get a sucka to spend an extra 30 bucks!

If you've used it, I'd love to hear about your experience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shoutout

Playette came home from school today with this snazzy outfit folded up inside of her backpack. We were cracking each other up trying it on.

To all of the Pilgrims with cornrows, we salute you!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life Skills

Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what Playette will become when she is an adult. How will she spend her days? How will she best contribute to society?

I flip flop from sign language interpreter to teacher's aide to who knows what, but at the end of it all, whatever will be will be.

But she will do something.

This girl is smart. She is capable. She is eager.

=====

On Sunday afternoon, as I was chopping up vegetables to grill (you know, before they all go bad like I usually let them), BD came in the door with our weekly groceries.

I continued what I was doing and then Playette joined me in the kitchen.

"Mommy, need help?"

"Oh, no, baby. I'm fine. But thank you. I need to cut these up by myself."

"Ohhhhhhh. (It's always really long and drawn out like that.) Ok."

I assumed that she then left the room.

But she didn't.

Next to me on the counter was the coffee maker. Next to it is the container that holds the coffee.

She had gone to the center island, retrieved one of the boxes of newly purchased coffee from the mountain of items waiting to be put away, and began to open it.

I said nothing. I just stood there and watched.

After a moment of struggle, she asked for help because she couldn't get box #1 open.

"Mommy? I. Want. Help. Please."

I gave the perforated tab a little pull, but not too much.

She finished the job.

And then proceeded to load all twelve cups into the bottom drawer.

Knowing that was the only drawer she could reach, while she took box #1 to the recycle bin unprompted, I quickly threw those into top two drawers.

She returned and we repeated the process for box #2.

I was so flipping proud.

That was a self-initiated useful contribution to our household. 

=====

So, of course, I have now added "barista" to my list. She'd rock that ish.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

True Story

Scene: Yesterday, Bed Bath & Beyond (We call it "Triple B" around these parts.)

I walked up to Customer Service because I was in a hurry and don't know the store layout well.

=====

Me: Excuse me. Could you please point me in the direction of the glasses?

CS: You mean eyeglasses?

Me: BLANKSTARE

*tumbleweeds blow by as I cock my head to the side and wait*

"Is she serious?" I wonder.

She is.

Me: No. I would like to purchase drinking glasses.

CS: Oh. Uh. Go around that way and they'll be on your left.

=====

Am I the only one who does not go to Triple B for corrective lenses?

Please enlighten me.

Also? Why do I leave the house, ever?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slideshow

If you're interested in seeing the results of the kids' recent photo session, click here!

Courtesy of The Captured Life Photography.

Playette loves watching this. She dances and sings along. She's so vain.

The package I have is one 11x14, two 5x7s, and one digital image.

How the heck am I supposed to choose?!

Any ideas?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ready to Exhale

So, I made it through the month. 31 posts in 31 days.

And like any long-distance effort, I passed out at the end.

So I've been quiet. Recuperating, if you will.

Watching the impact of the storm, trying not to cry at the devastating aftermath.

Getting angry at peoples' skewed priorities. My own included.

And then eating candy to push down the emotions a little.

I'm sure that I don't have to tell you, but I would be remiss if I didn't include this link.

Of course, there are many, many other ways to help, too.

It's absolutely needed.

=====

In lighter news, and before I completely forget, here are a few of my favorite pics of the kids on Halloween:







Wednesday, October 31, 2012

7 Months – Time Served (BD’s Halloween Post)




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BD always closes out Down Syndrome Awareness Month around here. I look forward to reading what he has to say. And not just because he makes me sound way more awesome than I really am. He's a great father. Truly.

Enjoy. And thank you for sticking around and hopefully learning something new this October.


=====

Since March our lives have been crazy at best.  Somebody was pregnant and approaching the due date, which sent us through a very spread out range of emotions, experiences, dos and don’ts based on our experience with pregnancy and the birth of Playette. 

I was basically set to travel in and out of the area multiple times at random in support of  “the greater good”, and Playette was just trying to hang out with her sleepy momma and always on the road daddy.

Then things got interesting. In April,  Baby took his sweet time joining us and our time table was suddenly compressed.  We realized we wouldn’t be living in the area much longer and needed to start looking seriously at where we were going to live and put Playette in Kindergarten.  Here comes the stress in massive droves!

I was a ghost in the house for all of May, that’s right, a newborn, a demanding energy bunny almost 5 year old alone in the house with momma for pretty much the entire month.  We did have a few folks come help out here and there, but it was still a tough time.  At least I was reachable via phone/email 24/7.  In June I was gone for 2 weeks and I wasn’t available.  I was working some long days and the momma was at home working LONG days and LONG nights.

July was easy, I was home and had some time off, oh wait, we had to pack up the non-sleeping newborn and the now 5 year old (I missed her birthday while I was away) and head out of town to look for a place to live, go to a conference (great conference)  and finalize a place to live…awesome, as in ants in the hotel beds, long car rides and little success in finding choices in a place to live.  We finally settled on a place, queue the movers, couldn’t let that slide into August.

So we (they) moved in August and after a weekend of unpacking (we are almost done now) I made the first of many commutes back to the city of my job, because my old job doesn’t end until November (yet another awesome stressful hookup).  So I became a fulltime weekend dad, arriving home Friday evenings and departing early Monday mornings in order to support “the greater good” and be with the family as much as possible.

September seemed to fly by as we got into a routine, and then October smacked us in the face.  I had to be gone – gone til the end of the month.  That was rough.  We were all very tired, my job was wearing me thin, Playette was definitely showing out at home and in school, momma was drained, and the now 6 month old still refused to sleep through the night.

None of us were doing well be it on the home front or out on the high seas, but we pushed through it and last Friday, after some prodding and negotiating at work, I was able to walk through the door into the house I really haven't lived in yet and finally be home for good. 

It was the best feeling ever, to know I was home that we didn’t have any ridiculous moves or major life altering shifts coming in the next couple of years was like taking a giant weight off all our shoulders.  We have time to just be a family, which is something we haven’t been able to do in the last 7 months.  No negotiating living arrangements  no fighting with Malea’s school (fingers crossed), no disappearing daddy during the week or for a random month.  Now if we can get the little one to sleep during the decent hours of the night we will be cooking with gas!

It’s great to be back.  The things my family dealt with the past 7 months were very difficult, but have made us stronger and gives us an appreciation for the times we get to spend together, not stressing over the next steps.  And finally, as you all know, the fact my awesome wife held it down while I was all over the place given the situation is amazing and not something that many can do.  That’s what makes her special and is one of the many reasons I love her so much.

Happy Halloween!  See you next year.
BD








Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Costume Preview

Better photos to come!

(just have to take some first)



Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes ala Sandy

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hodgepodge



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1. BD thanked me this evening for my social event planning. We had plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment on Friday night for our neighborhood's Oktoberfest. Saturday, we spent the afternoon with families from a Ds support group about an hour away. And then this evening, we  were invited to a Halloween party for the kids at a new friend's church. A very nice weekend to restart as a family of four.


2. It's probably good that we got out if all these storm rumors are true and we get stuck in the house for several days with no entertainment.

3. They've already canceled school tomorrow. No bueno.

4. Dez is determined to make a fool of me and is doing the exact opposite of what he was doing while BD was away regarding his sleep habits. It's horrible. And stressing me out. We had made so much progress and now? Back to square one.

5. I'm actually excited about Halloween this year. It better not get washed out.

6. Robyn, I couldn't email you to ask about that book, so I hope you're reading this. Is it just that one that you really like? Should/must I read the entire series or does it stand well alone? Either way is fine. I'm just curious.

7. Even when there is no screaming, I still hear screaming. But right now, it's really screaming. I know that for a fact.

8. What does this little boy have against me? I love him so.

9. This is making my stomach hurt.

10. If anyone's looking to party all night with a six-month-old, c'mon over. Bring candles.







Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wonder

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I read a book this week.

It was one of those books that stayed with me long after I had put it down.

It was one of those books that made me look forward to the children being content in their beds at night so that I could read again.

It made me think.

It made me sad.

It made me scared of how it would end.

It's called Wonder.

Am I the last person to know about it? That's totally possible. It came out earlier this year and I've been a bit...busy this year.

It's classified at Young Adult Fiction, so it's a fast read.

It was brought to my attention by a fellow mother of a child with Ds.

Have any of you read it?

Interested?

I had been planning to go to a discussion about it tonight, but I couldn't quite work out the logistics.
But I really want to talk about it.

The themes so closely tie in to what I sometimes feel and, well, wonder, being my daughter's mother.

That's one perspective I would have loved to see (the book tells the story through the eyes of multiple characters): the parents. Did they see their son differently, truly? What were their fears? What were their dreams for him?

If anyone has any other recommendations for me, please share. I'm itching for some new, enlightening reading material now.





Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhale

Today was a good day.

I started off knowing that it would be the last morning that I'd have to start out on my own.

I feel like I was less subtle this time, just due to the sheer fatigue of it all, but BD has been gone all this month. Before that, ever since since we moved, he was only home on weekends.

Prior to moving, he was doing a good bit of traveling.

It has been a pretty hectic six months (that's putting it mildly) and it was all supposed to all end when he made it back home tonight.

Except things changed and he was here this morning.

There is nothing better than that kind of surprise.

Dez woke up from his nap to a much-missed, yet familiar voice.

Playette could not have smiled any bigger as she got off the bus and locked eyes with her daddy.

And I got my partner back.

I know that I can hold down the fort when I have to, I just don't like to.

And the good news is that I won't have to for a while.

At least I hope not.

Think positive.
Think positive.
Think positive.





Thursday, October 25, 2012

Getting Attached




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I had to go to an IEP meeting yesterday. As usual, I was nervous. I'm so used to fighting for what I feel Playette deserves and having her treated like a diagnosis as opposed to an individual. It's a shame, but true.

I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even now, when things seem to be going well.

When are they going to turn on me? This time? It's gotta be this time, right?

Well, if they're holding out, they've done it again, because this experience remains in line with those previous. We seem to finally have a team that is (gasp!) knowledgeable and logical.

My biggest issue going in this time was the changing of Playette's educational disability label. They had proposed (in the paperwork I received a week in advance!) that it change from Developmental Delay (DD) to Intellectual Disability (ID).

In a nutshell, I didn't agree.

So I fretted. And I asked for help from people I knew. And then I asked for help from people I didn't know.

And you wanna know what happened in that meeting?

Near the end, the Assistant Principal looks at me and says something like, "Regarding her label, yes, she does qualify for ID, but we'd like to take more time to get to know her and make an informed decision later. Maybe at the end of her first grade year? Would that be alright with you, Mrs. Smith?"

Mrs. Smith had to pick up her jaw off the floor.

Add in that other things I was going to request, they had already implemented and I was one stunned happy lady coming out of there.

We meet again in a couple of weeks to finalize the IEP.

My biggest problem now is that I'm not going to want to leave at the end of the two-year stint. The clock is already ticking. Loudly.

But I'll do my best to focus on the here and now.

My girl is finally being treated like she deserves and I've never wanted anything but just that.





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost in Translation




The other morning, as I was helping Playette get ready for school, I put on an old jacket in preparation for going outside in the cool morning temps.

It's gray and made out of sweatshirt material. All stretched out, zip front, with a hood. I thought nothing of it.

But then Playette spoke.

"Your name, Mommy? That's your name?"

Huh?

"My name? Where?"

"There," she said, and pointed to my jacket.

"Ohhhh," I answered. "No, that's not my name. It says Old Navy."

"Oh, baby."

She cracks me up.








Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Again with the Sight Words




I thought there may be have been more interest in the sight word issue, so I had planned to share more today, but maybe that's my own feelings talking?

That's ok. At least it's here for posterity.

I had another video that showed us playing a game, but the quality is really bad. No idea why. I'll have to try that again sometime.

This one here was taken a couple of weeks ago. On a really sunny morning before school. Hence the weird lighting.

Also, you can catch some of the articulation issues I mentioned yesterday.









Monday, October 22, 2012

Reading Rainbow


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I admit that I'm kinda obsessed. I've been forcing myself to have the composition journal be the very last thing I take out of her backpack on the days she's quizzed. I want so badly to know how we she did! But I know I need to take a pause so that she doesn't see how crazed I am.

Rainbow Words are sight words. Here's the letter that explains how it works:



This is what they look like:


Today, she came home with the blue words. 

[Insert happy dancing mama who needs a new hobby here.]

Because I learned long ago from my Guru how kids with Ds do best with learning sight words, I redo the cards like this:


All lowercase, no letters touching, contrasting colors (I think she struggles a bit more with learning straight from the ones that come home). These cards are both sturdier and easier to manipulate than the small colored papers on the ring. It also allows us to play lots of games (thanks to Auntie Tee for the tip!) that I make up as I go. 

One day, it may be everything laid out in a matrix and I say "Find me the word ________" or maybe I give her a small object and ask her to put that object on a specific word or maybe I just go old-school flash card style and she reads what I show her. We mix it up, I wing it, and she's enthusiastic. 

Most importantly though, with new words, I start out just showing them and reading them to her. I don't expect her to perform right away. She lets me know when she's ready to read them. She always shocks me when she starts to read them along with me. That's my cue to change up the strategy. 

We typically do the new words before meals and then practice in the morning if we have extra time after getting ready or while waiting at the bus stop. It doesn't take long at all. It's the games that get more involved and can take a while if we allow it to. It really depends on her mood. We always stop when she shows that she's done. It's pretty obvious when she's done. 

Ok, so here are some examples of the quiz sheets that come home and get me all giddy:


You can see that the first one shows a comment that continues on the back. What it says is that whoever quizzed her wasn't sure that she got "like" correct, but she was so fluent in everything that they gave it to her. 

I was at home all indignant like, "You didn't have to give her anything. She knows that!" 

And that's why it's good that it was a note and I didn't get all loud with anyone over (my precious) Rainbow Words.

Anyway.

Here's the rainbow that gets colored in after a successful quiz.


I'm noticing more that articulation is becoming an issue recently. The new blue words like "he" and "she"? Ugh. And then "small"? Not really sounding like how they should. Yet?

I did send in a short note a couple of weeks ago about "the" because she says it like "fa". But it's consistent so I wanted her teacher to know (she says "Smith" like "miff"). I deliberately chose "thuh" over "thee" because sooo many other things she says sound like "thee". 

What's interesting is that I was told in the last IEP meeting (eek - another one's coming up on Wednesday!) that to be considered fully successful in (this?) Kindergarten, students must know 32 sight words. And the color words aren't even required. These teachers just add them in to help children with all the color-related tasks they do in class. So I guess I can breathe a little in that regard? 

She's met the minimum.

And let me tell you, I am thrilled. She's strong in an academic area!

It's not that I thought she couldn't be; I'm just glad that she is. Make sense?

For so long, I thought that my slacker ways were going to screw my kid out of learning to read. So many other, younger, children had parents that were on top of this sight word thing and they were thriving. I was envious and felt defeated before I ever got started. I thought I had missed the window. I started a couple of times, but never kept it up.

It's great for me to know that she's ready and it's working now. I can let that guilt go. I love when that happens. Because I've got a lot of guilt.

But I still probably do to do something to help divert my mind from this stuff...just a tad.







Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hooah!

Army Ten Miler complete!

And I may have even hit my time goal. I will have to wait for the official results next week (?!) to be sure. It's close.

Regardless, it was fun and I feel good about crossing it off my list. What started as a middle-of-the-night fluke registration turned into a feeling of great accomplishment.

Dez didn't end up sleeping well last night after all, so it was great that I had friends that got me motivated and helped me push through. I am way grateful.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Mama is TIRED.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

One Down, One To Go





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One Down: As of about 30 minutes ago, Playette is gone for her first solo overnight with her grandparents. This is a huge help for me because I've got my 10-miler in the morning and, even though a sitter is arranged, getting out the door before dawn with one less kid does make things a tad bit easier.

One To Go: I weighed in this morning with WW. I am officially 1 lb away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Considering the kind of week I had, emotions pacified with Pop Tarts and Cookies and Cream ice cream, I am shocked. But I'll take it. And vow to make better choices. The box of Pop Tarts is empty, after all.

Think good thoughts for me, k? This race has my stomach all in knots! I haven't run this distance in two years. And I missed my last long training run due to the Littlest being ill. So. Nervous.

How nice would it be if Dez let me get some sleep tonight? VERY.







Friday, October 19, 2012

Future Thoughts




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Every day, I start out wondering what I might possibly be able to blog about. It's no secret that thirty-one days in a row is not my standard fare. Some days, it is harder to come up with something than others.

This morning, as I ran errands all across town, I came up with ideas and scratched them off of my mental list almost as fast as they came. Does anyone really want to hear about me not sleeping? Again? Or picking up my race packet? Or having to make time to go to the consignment sale because all of Playette's long pants have turned into capris overnight?

If I was in a creative mood, maybe I could make at least one of those be somewhat interesting. But, eh. It just isn't in me today.

So, as Playette was half-watching the Winnie the Pooh movie, I finished up dishes and picked over the mail.

Junk. Junk. Junk. Baby announcement! Junk. NDSC newsletter!

For those that don't know, the National Down Syndrome Congress is one of two national organizations that helps to support people with, and raise awareness of, the condition. NDSC is responsible for the annual conventions we like to attend along with thousands of other families.

There was a story in there that caught my attention. It was about a self-advocate-led session from the last convention on independent living. The two adults, a woman from a small town and a man from a large city, were interviewed and couple of their responses were so relatable to me and also gave me a boost.

One day, if that's what she wants (and maybe even if she doesn't - heh), I'd love for my daughter to get up and out and on her own. We've started teaching her skills already that I hope will carry over into adulthood, making her responsible and aware enough to manage her own household someday. If she needs support, so be it.

Anyway. Here are my favorite parts from the interview:


What is your least favorite thing about living in your own place? 

Lee: I am really having trouble thinking of  anything I don’t like — maybe paying property taxes.


What support do you now receive that allows you to live on your own? 

Mere: I live two blocks from my parents so they can come to me or I can go to them pretty easily. My mom
always checks my bank statements with me and helps me with money things. Dad helps me out with the car
and things around my apartment. I have staff  a few hours a week to help me with some programs like studying to be a medication aide.

Lee: My mom and I both keep track of  my checking, savings and credit card accounts; we compare our
Quicken results once a week. She helps me with my medicine that I take, medical appointments, insurance
and government forms. Dad helps me with speaking engagements and my jobs. Both of  them help me with
creating and sticking to a budget. My parents’ home is six hours away, but we are together about every six
weeks and I can call or Skype if  I have a problem in between visits.

=====

And, check here if you'd like to see Playette in the previous edition of the newsletter. She's on page 78.








Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kingpin


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In the effort to get out and about and not spend another afternoon rotting on the couch and then looking up and realizing that yet another day got away from us recently, we joined some friends and went bowling.

Yup, all of us.

The adults took turns entertaining Dez, but Playette was all up in the mix.

She really enjoyed bowling. She was screaming, cheering, dancing. It was infectious. We'll have to do that more often.

See? Just another family, doing regular stuff on a Saturday.

We're more alike than different.