Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This is too funny

Date: September 1, 2005
To: Child,
From: Kevin, VP, Toddler Division
Subject: Quarterly Objectives

Happy new year, company members! As you know, our first quarter was a fruitful and productive one. By working together to delay our bedtimes, we acquired over 53,000 extra hours of valuable awake time. That’s 53,000 more hours of running in circles. 53,000 more hours of shaking our heads wildly and arching our backs. 53,000 more hours of the Parents straining to communicate that toothbrushes do not go in the diaper. We have seen the Parents falter and ultimately give way under our consistent efforts, and we are proud.

It should be mentioned that some of our members have made great strides in drastically limiting the variety of foodstuffs they allow to enter their face-holes. We are thinking especially of Child 3A0762C-0908, who now ingests only raisins and lukewarm water sipped from a plastic spork; Child 5B0755F-0528: ketchup on crackers and the occasional mashed grape; and, most breathtakingly, Child 8A0576L-0108: plain dried breadcrumbs licked off a moistened index finger.

For the second quarter of 2005, we’ve strengthened our resolve and shown what a little determination and a lot of screeching can accomplish. And we are ready for the next phase: Operation No-Pants.

Every morning without failing, the Caregivers initiate a dressing procedure that is tiresome at best and scratchy at worst. It distracts us from our viewing of Elmo and limits our access to our smooth smooth skin. Their motives are puzzling: either they are jealous of our smooth smooth skin or else are attempting to break our wills by imposing nonsensical rules and demanding that we comply. But they will not succeed, friends. Because we will resist.

So: no matter how sopping wet or poop-crammed your diaper is, refuse to let Caregiver remove it. Declare that diaper to be your FAVORITE DIAPER. Do not allow any larger beings to lay a finger on it. For motivation, imagine that said diaper is part of your body, like a real tushie over your tushie. If any attempt is made to remove it, you will scream. Remember: the Scream is your friend. Caregivers live in fear of the Scream. If you add to the Scream “No hit! No hit!” they’re sure to back away for fear of the authorities coming after them.

Once a clean diaper is on very little can stop them from dressing you. The soiled diaper is your last and best hope.

Now that you’ve mastered toddler-ese, use it! Declare your opinions at each and every turn, and make sure that they are as vague and baffling as your pronunciation. If Caregiver explains that dressing is a vital step in a traveling-to-playground initiative, screech, “Murfy! TOO MURFY!” Do not explain. Never explain.

But why do we resist, you ask? Why not get dressed and enter the playground, where fun could possibly had? Because, that’s why. Because because because. Because we must take every stand we are able to take. Also! Because Caregiver is deceiving you. There is another, better playground, a Naked Playground, with balloons and ice cream and cake. The soiled diaper will lead the way. This is true, we think.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pics of Oreo

Here are a few pictures of our new cat, Oreo. This first one was right after we brought her home, she's hiding in Sarah's dresser.

Sarah chasing down the cat:

Sitting pretty kitty:

Buddy Walk

We went to the Grand Rapids, MI Buddy Walk on Saturday. It was a long drive but we can't go to the one in Lansing, and we really wanted to attend one. The weather was a little chilly, but no rain, which was nice. There were about 500 people there, and it was so awesome to see so many people celebrating Down syndrome. There was a little boy who is one month younger than Sarah and he was just crawling all over the place & waving to everyone. He was so cute! And he was huge! I guess I don't really realize how petite Sarah is in comparison to other kids her age. We have friends coming from out of town this weekend and they have a little boy who is 4 months younger than Sarah, and I KNOW he'll be a lot bigger than her. A big thanks to all our friends and family who helped us raise over $300 to donate to the Buddy Walk!!! You guys are awesome!!
I was also able to meet the very first person I ever talked to who had a child with Down syndrome. She really helped me through the early stages after finding out about Sarah. She has a son, Jarod, who is about 4 1/2.
Here are a few pictures from our day!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Really long quiz

name = Amanda
piercings = ears
tattoos = nope
height= 5'9 1/4"
shoe size = 9 (ugh)

movie you watched = Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
movie you bought = see above
song you listened to = theme song from "Little Bear"
song that was stuck in your head = some lame one by Mike Jones (thanks Jeff)
cd you bought = iTunes
cd you listened to = Gavin Degraw
person you've called = my mom
person that's called you = Jeff
tv show you've watched = MSNBC

you have a crush on someone = yes, my husband
you wish you could live somewhere else = yes
you think about suicide = only that it's selfish
you believe in online dating = better than bars
others find you attractive = don't know
you want more piercings = no thanks
you like cleaning = I like things clean, but not the process
you like roller coasters = yeppers
you write in cursive or print = mostly cursive

long distance relationships = depends on the couple, doesn't work most of the time
suicide = against
killing people = against
smoking = against
driving drunk = Completely against
gay/lesbian relationships = not up to me to judge

ever cried over a girl = my children
ever cried over a boy = many times
ever lied to someone = unfortunately yes
ever been in a fist fight = no

shampoo do you use = Suave color
shoes do you wear = Saltwater sandals, tennis shoes, flip flops
are you scared of = something happening to my kids

of times I have been in love? = twice
of times I have had my heart broken? = can't remember
of hearts I have broken? = none, I don't think
of times my name has appeared in the newspaper? = at least twice
of things in my past that I regret? = a few....

pretty= Sometimes
hot= yeah baby!
friendly= Always!!
amusing= I'm freakin' hilarious
ugly= can we say 6 am?
loveable= yes
caring= yes
sweet= I hope so
dorky= I'm 27 & I play video games, you take a guess

5 letter word: mommy
Actor/actress: Reece Witherspoon
Candy: See's
Cartoon: Blues Clues
Cereal: Raisin Bran
Chewing gum: Big Red
Color(s): Cerulean
Color nail polish: clear
Day of week: Saturday
Least fave day: Monday
Flower: Roses & daisies
Jello flavor: Watermelon
Jewelry: rings
Special skills/talents: I can simultaneously cook, talk on the phone & keep a toddler out of the cat's water/food dish.
Summer/Winter: summer

|| Person who last.. ||
Slept in your bed: me, DH & the cat
Saw you cry: DH
Made you cry:
You went to the movies with: Dh, and the kids
Yelled at you: probably Emma
Sent you an email: aside from the spam? Jeff

|| Have you ever.. ||
Said "I love you" and meant it?: yes
Gone out in public in your pajamas: oh I'm sure
Cried during a movie: many times
Planned your week based on the TV: uh no
Been on stage: yes
Been to New York: does JFK airport count?
Been to California: born & raised
Hawaii: yes
Canada: no, eh
Europe: yes
Asia: no
South: south of what???
Australia: no, mate
Wished you were another gender: no thanks
What time is it now?: 10:37am

|| This or That? ||
Apples or bananas?: banannas
Blue or red?: blue
Walmart or target?: Walmart
Spring or Fall?: spring
What are you gonna do after you finish this?: play WoW
What was the last meal you ate?: muffin & coffee
Are you bored?: not so much
Last noise you heard?: me turning OFF MSNBC
Last smell you sniffed?: the litter box, need to clean it, ew

|| Friendship/Love ||
Do you believe in love at first sight?: yes
Do you want children one day & if so, how many? already have 2, contemplating more
Most important thing to you in a friendship is: laughter

|| Other Info ||
Criminal record?: rode in a police car once
Do you speak any other languages?: baby talk
last book you read: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
Name some of your favorite things in your bedroom?: my pillow
Worst feeling in the world: heartache
Who do you love: My family, my friends

|| You ||
Nickname(s): Mandie, Woman
Initials: ANW, yes like the drink
How old do you look?: older than I want to
How old do you act?: like I'm 18, with moments of 27ish
Glasses/Contacts: not anymore
Braces: used to have them, probably need them again, stupid wisdom teeth
Do you have any pets?: cat: Oreo
You get embarrassed: yep
What makes you happy?: happy kids, clean house, loving husband
What upsets you?: whining and feeling completely helpless

|| Finish the sentence: ||
I Love to... make others happy
I Miss... everyone in CA
I Wish... for acceptance for my daughter
I Hope... my children don't go on Oprah in 20 years & say I ruined their lives (LOL)
I'm Annoyed by... stupid college students
I Am...unique
I Want to be... content
I Would Never...steal your car
I'd Rather be... closer to family
I Am Tired of... housework
I Will Always be... who I am

Friday, September 16, 2005

Expect the unexpected

That should be the motto of the United States military. They make promises that are bound by signatures & mountains of paperwork, but at the whim of some Head Honcho in Washington, D.C., you're whole existence can come crashing down on you. Which is the big reason why we got out. Our friends, Robert & Tiana, are still in the Navy. He's been stationed, on shore duty, in Tennessee, for the past 2 years. They were preparing for him to be leaving early next year for a Pre-comm shipp in Mississippi. It's still being built, so there was no chance he'd have to go out on deployment until it was finished. Then, his Command dropped a bombshell: he's being shipped out to Afganistan with an Army Unit for 6 months, and he's leaving in 4 weeks. Wait, he's in the NAVY. Like boats and stuff. No sand, no cammies, no gigantic arthropods. I don't get it either. Somehow, the Army doesn't have anyone who can do his job (insert lame joke about lack of military intelligence here). They have thousands of ppl on ships all over the world, and they pick him, from Tennessee. While it's a given that the military can uproot you whenever they feel like it, this was COMPLETELY out of the blue. It's one thing to be told, while stationed on a ship, of by the way, we're going on deployment sooner than expected (which has been happening quite frequently) but it's quite another to be on SHORE duty, and be told you're going to a base, in the middle of a desert, with a completely different branch of the military. It's not like he's a SEAL, or a SeaBee. He's an IT, the military equivalent of Jeff. In fact, Jeff did his exact job while he was in the Navy. I just feel so bad for his family. But, this has solidified their resolve NOT to re-enlist. Thank you Mr. Bush.

Growing pains

Think I've discovered the reason why Sarah's been extremely, out-of-the ordinary, makes you want to pull out your hair, cranky lately. If my calculations are correct, she's grown an inch & a quarter in the past month. While my method of measuring her might not be scientific (put a book where her head is, stretch her out & put another book where her foot is) that's better than what they do at her pedi's office. So I'll take my measurement above theirs anyday. According to the Down syndrome growth charts, this puts her at about the 15th percentile for weight & the 25th percentile for height. Yay! This means, on paper, she's almost into 6-12 month clothes, lol! Although 6-9 month clothes still fall off her. Now if only her feet would grow a bit more. I'm finding her size 1 Stride Rite "crawling" shoes are getting a bit too tight, but she's not quite big enough for a size 2. In fact, I just measured her foot (almost 4 1/2 inches) and 4 inches is a size 0. The website I found says that for each additional 1/3 in, goes up a whole shoe size. So, if she's between 4 1/4 & 4 1/2, that would make her about a size 1. It's too confusing, I need more coffee. All I know is she's small, and she looks like she's 9 months old. But, whatever. She's handy carry-out size. Probably why the cat isn't so afraid of her, cause she's not much bigger than Oreo is.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Long update

A lot has been going on in our house lately. Last week, Emma & Jeff had their first soccer practice. It was a little chaotic, as parents were showing up at all different times, some not sure where they were supposed to be, one little boy didn't know if he really wanted to play, and then there were the bugs, lol. But, a fun time was had by all (mostly) and it was a nice "get to know you" type of practice. We have another practice tonight & then our first game on Sunday.
Also last week, Emma had her first real dentist appointment. I've been really bad about not taking her before now. I think she went once while we were in San Diego, but she had real "white coat syndrome" and hated being looked at or prodded at by any medical authority. So, at the time, I figured it would be easier to wait until she was older and more able to handle it. Well, they took x-rays (which she did GREAT at) and they saw a couple of spots that show decay. ::sigh:: Guess I waited too long. But, they're only in between her back molars, which have always been very tight. So, in a couple of weeks, we get to go back and get them taken care of. Jeff doesn't think we need to get them done, as she's going to lose those teeth anyways, but that could take years. She still has a ton of other teeth to lose before she loses those molars. So, we'll see how things go. We're only going to do one side, and then the other side a few weeks later.
Jeff also had a medical visit last week. He's had this weird, cyst looking growth (I know, TMI) on his back for a few years now. It really hasn't bothered him, but in the last year or so it's gotten a little bigger, so we decided to have it removed. The doctor doesn't think it's anything serious, probably a fybroid or other non-malignant growth, but we'll know for sure in about a week. He goes back to get the stitches taken out next week.
Emma's still loving school. We're in the midst of her first school fundraiser. Selling boxes of frozen goodies (i.e. cinnamon rolls, cookies and pizza). A college students' dream. Her class had a special event on Tuesday for Grandparent's Day. As all her G-parents are in CA, I went and took pictures of them all so she could show her friends. The kids served us juice & muffins, then we decorated a picture frame, and then they had recess. It was nice. There was another child in her class, who sits right next to her, whose mom did the same thing. His G-parents are in FL & Canada.
In Sarah news, she's cruising!!! She's starting to cruise the furniture and we feel that walking may only be a few months away! Her PT & I had set a tentative goal on having her walking by Christmas, looks like she'll most likely hit that! She also is starting to let go while standing and is hovering for a little bit before plopping down on her bottom. She's also up to 15 lbs. 14 oz. which is 5 oz. more than she was 4 weeks ago!
On Saturday we went to the animal shelter and adopted a cat, named Oreo. She's a 5 year old black & white short-haired cat. She's very lovable, but it's taken her a little while to get used to all the raucous that goes on around here. She spent the better part of the weekend either hiding in Sarah's dresser, behind the toilet or under our bed. She mainly only came out at night, after the kids went to bed. But, she's slowly starting to venture out into the rest of the house, even jumping onto the computer desk & the window sills. She knows where her food & water dishes are, and had no problem adjusting to her new litter box. She's even starting to lie down on Emma's bed in the evening when she goes to sleep! We got her a "kitty condo", a 2 story circular retreat, which also can double as a scratching post. So far, she doesn't seem into it, but it might take just a little while. Sarah's having a blast, chasing her around the house, and Oreo will sometimes even let her pet her for a minute, before Sarah makes some loud commotion and she runs off.
We recently found out that Jeff made the Dean's list for both the Spring 2005 semester & both Summer 2005 semesters! He's settling into his new position of Manager quite well, and things are going pretty smoothly now that the students have returned. He's now taking only 2 classes per semester. He even subbed for his computer teacher on Monday! He's down to the degree specific classes now, so it'll be pretty much nothing but math & computer classes from now on.
Well that's update from the farm! Hopefully I'll have some cute pictures to put up after our game on Sunday. I'm still trying to get Oreo to sit still for a portrait, not working too well though, lol.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Saturday mornings at our house

On the weekends, Jeff & I usually each get one morning to sleep in. Saturday's are normally my days, but since Jeff had his "surgery" yesterday, I figured he'd been it more than I. He's had this cyst looking thingy on his back for a few years, and it's gotten a little bigger lately, so we figured it was time to get it looked at. They decided to remove it, just to make sure it wasn't anything serious. If you know Jeff at all, you know that he hates doctors. He hates needles & he hates pain in general. The procedure itself was pretty quick. Just a couple shots to numb the area, the doctor used a cookie cutter type thing to cut out the "anamoly", leaving a precise circle cut-out. He then stitched it up and put bandages on it. We were in & out within a half hour. So, all in all, it wasn't that bad.
So, it's just the girls & I this morning, until Jeff wakes up. Emma's on the computer, at the Playhouse Disney website. Sarah's on the floor, playing with duplo legos, and I'm sitting at Jeff's laptop, drinking coffee. Ah, coffee.
Our friends Robert & Tiana were the ones to finally get me to drink coffee. They introduced us to "French Vanilla Creamer". I'm now a coffee snob. Just regular old milk & sugar won't do. I'd rather go without than have coffee without creamer. Because it completely covers up the coffee taste.
I think we're going to go & get the cat from the shelter this morning. I was called & told the scab on her back was NOT ringworm, but just an abrasion. So, she's free & clear. Then we need to go & get all the cat paraphernalia.
OK, totally off topic, I just saw the new Budweiser commercial. It's hilarious. There are the Clydesdales, all standing around, looking at a zebra, who has his head in an Intant Replay booth. There are two guys sitting there, and one says "This ref's a jacka$$." And the other guy goes, "No, I believe he's a zebra." Too funny. I guess you had to see it.
Ok, Jeff's up now, so we have to get ready.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Revision to previous post

After I'd written and posted my "Joy of Baths" post below, I went back & read it. I made it sounds as if that one bath a year is the only cleansing ritual I have. I also shower, on a more frequent basis. Like, every day. The baths are like a vacation, they don't happen very often and require too much planning, but are fun none the less.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The joy of baths

I rarely, as in once a year, take baths. I generally don't have time, and, most of the time, I'm not selfish enough to demand time to take one. Today, though, I decided that Sarah and I would take a bath together. I don't think we ever have, and we both desperately needed some sort of cleansing. It was awesome. We played, splashed water and got squeaky clean. Sarah, I think, is in love with the water. Apparently both my kids are, because Emma can spend an hour or more in the tub, alone. Sarah loves to put her hand in the running water, feeling it splash all over it. While I was awkwardly trying to shave my legs, I had turned on the water. All of a sudden, I see her put her head really close to the water and I'm wondering what she's doing. I see that she's drinking it. She's sticking her head into the running water and drinking it. That's my kid for ya. She loves water. And apparently she was thirsty.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I hate Mondays

Wait, it's Tuesday!!! Oh well, it feels like Monday. It's interesting how sleeping in too late can ruin what was otherwise a pretty decent 4 day weekend. Emma was off from Friday to yesterday, and even Jeff had Labor Day off. Aside from the children deciding that last night was the night to try our patience to it's breaking point, it was a pretty nice, relaxing weekend. Then, I kept hitting the snooze button this morning. It might have had something to do with being up until 12:30 this morning. Or the fact that I'm not used to hearing the alarm (even when Jeff got up before I did and dealt with the alarm, I NEVER heard it). Or it could just be that my sub-conscious said "nope, I'm too tired, go back to sleep". Whatever the reason, all of a sudden, it's 6:55am, and I am woken up by the bus driver knocking on our front door. How I can hear THAT, through the baby monitor, and can't hear the alarm going off a foot from my head is anyone's guess. I freaked out, jumped up and ran to the door (in my nightgown, no less) and told the driver, yeah, sorry, we slept in, I'll be driving her to school. Of course, how I was going to accomplish that, I hadn't quite figured out, as we needed to leave within 30 minutes. Both Jeff & I needed showers (cause if I'm going out in public, I don't want to smell, even if it's just to drop my kid off at Kindergarten), both the kids needed to get dressed and ready and we were out of coffee creamer. I wasn't happy. Emma woke up as I was running upstairs to talk to the bus driver. She, very sleepily, asks me "Why didn't you ake me up?" I told her that I overslept and that we missed the bus. While I went downstairs to roust Jeff up, she got dressed, her shoes on & backpack on, and proceeds to announce "I'm ready!" Did I mention she loves school? I told her she still missed the bus and that I was driving her. She still needed to eat and brush her teeth & hair.
So, we made it out of the house roughly 30 minutes later, dropped by Mickey D's for some coffee for Jeff (I won't drink it, I'm a coffee snob), dropped him off at work, and raced to school. We were on time....ish. We made it into the school before the bell rang, that's good, right? I reminded Emma that she would still be riding the bus home today and that there might be a surprise waiting for her when she got home.
That surprise is a cat. We've been talking about adopting a cat from the animal shelter for a couple of weeks now. The Humane Society of this county has a website where they go to the shelter, take pics & get info on all the animals there and post it on their website. We were browsing through the cat section and Emma decided she wanted a black & white cat, Oreo. She's about 4-5 years old. We're not doing the kitten thing here. I want a mellow, relaxed cat, who won't pee on my couch or scratch up my kids. This is the beginning of responsibility for Emma. I'm still going to be the one who takes care of it most of the time, but Emma's been begging us for an animal, and it's hard to cuddle with a fish. So, this should be interesting. We'd like to have a dog, but not in a rental.