Friday, December 21, 2012


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.


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





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

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 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!"


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:



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.