Wednesday, June 29, 2005

See, I told you...

After letting off some steam in my post yesterday, I do feel better today. I called Sarah's doctor and we have an Upper GI set up for tomorrow morning, so hopefully she'll get some relief for her reflux & start gaining weight. While neither Sarah's PT or OT got back to me before they were scheduled to be at my house, they were both understanding, with the PT deciding to change the time to something more convenient. Plus, she also ended up coming off as a qualified PT, unlike how she sounded on the phone, where she couldn't even remember Sarah's name and it took her 5 minutes to get a decent sentance out. But, oh well, I guess this proves that you can't judge people before you know them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Serious pointless vent

Ok, I've just about had enough with these Early On people. They just don't seem to give a crap about me or my family. They never return phone calls, are really hard to get ahold of in the first place, and don't seem all that interested in helping my aughter progress. It took them 3 months to get their acts together to get Sarah in PT in the fist place, waited until the END of the school year to finally decide to put her in OT, then change BOTH therapists on me, who apparently are NEVER in their offices in order to take calls. I accidently made both the PT & OT home visits for today at 1:30pm. I've been trying to get a hold of the PT (the only one I have a phone number for) for 2 days in order to change the appointment time. She hasn't called me back yet. The first time I tried to get in touch with her, it took a week before she returned my call. No one seems to think that urgency is of any matter here. Her pediatrician doesn't seem to think the fact that my child has lost almost a pound in month, and is steadily losing weight, is anything to be concerned about. We already KNOW she's hypothyroid, but the endocrimologist doesn't think that it requires medication. ARE THESE PEOPLE STUPID????? I'm so SICK of everything right now I could spit. My house is falling apart, I've got ants & spiders & pincherbugs everywhere, Sarah's puking on every square inch of carpet in this place, Emma seems to think she's incapable of getting herself dried off & dressed after a bath, and my husband, bless him, is trying his best to get good grades at school, while still dealing with a jerk boss & working 40+ hours a week. Between getting the kids fed, dressed, the house semi-cleaned and dealing with throw up on the floor every 10 minutes, it's past noon before I can do anything for myself, including shower. And I seem to be put back at square one every Monday. I think I've got things under control by the time Friday comes around, then everything falls apart over the weekend, and I'm back where I started. I'm exhausted and I need a break, from everything. I had been planning over the winter to go somewhere for a weekend, no kids, no husband. Didn't happen. And not likely to, either, for the next 2 years, until Jeff's finished with school. Am I being too selfish, to want some time to myself without getting puked on, or pulled out of a chair to perform a simple task for my daughter, such as taking a stack of books upstairs? Or is this all just part of the job, that unpaid job I have of being a SAHM. Am I just supposed to sit back & accept the fact that this will be my life, forever? I've sacrificed a lot, in order for Jeff to go into the Navy, to come here to go to school, and to stay at home with my kids. I've given up college, a career, even friends, because that's what's been best for my family. But, every once in awhile, I just get tired. I get cranky and selfish, and this is one of those times. I love my husband & my kids to death, and wouldn't give them up for anything. I'll feel better tomorrow, I know I will. But for right now, I'm just not very happy.

Monday, June 27, 2005

New milestone for Sarah

Sarah has started waving to people. When we wave at her, she does the same thing with her hand, kinda staring at it, like it's not part of her body, but some strange foreign object. She hasn't really imitated when you do something, so this is the first time that she's done it. Hopefully, now that she's going to start Occupational Therapy, things will start moving along.
She's getting another tooth, a molar. Poor kid's been smacking her hand against her ear, like the pain is radiating to it. She hasn't been exceptionally cranky, or else I might think it was an ear infection. I think it's almost through though. That'll be her 11th tooth.
Emma & I went to Coldstone last night after dinner. Jeff stayed home with Sarah. We got a bowl for him, and when I walked in, with two bowls of ice cream, as soon as Sarah saw me, she KNEW what it was I was holding, and immediately started squirming in Jeff's arms. She was flailing around, trying to get to the ice cream, furious that Jeff wouldn't let her fly out of his arms towards the ice cream. This kid, who can't even crawl yet, knows the sight of a Coldstone Creamery container. Guess that shows what her priorities are.
Jeff started his second semester of summer school today. He's got English 201 and Computers in Society. His book for that class is entitled Computer Concepts. Jeff IM'd me from that class, thankful there's a wireless internet connection, so he won't be bored for the 2 hours he has to sit there. I told him to be careful, as that's the same ideology he had during his A+ class, which ended up being harder than expected, due to his teacher being a complete perfectionist. He seems confident though, that it'll be no problem. Apparently his teacher is a little older, so he doesn't think that he'll expect perfection like the other teacher did.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I've got to see this movie, dude

Ok, just saw the teaser trailer for "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire". Totally seeing that movie. I've just recently joined the Harry Potter bandwagon, at least with the books. I've seen all 3 movies so far and loved them all, but I wanted to go back & read all the books. I'm on book 3, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Considering I just started reading the books on Monday, you could say I haven't done much else. Aside from cleaning the house & taking care of the girls. But, the 6th book, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, comes out in 3 weeks. That means I have 2 2/3 books to get through by then, so I can buy the new one. They're pretty easy reads, but only because they're so exciting. I know, I'm sounding like I'm 13, but I don't care.
So Sarah had her cardiologist appointment yesterday. They gave her an EKG, which was normal. The doc listened to her heart with the stethoscope, and he was still able to hear her PDA, which even her pedi hadn't been able to do. But, he said it was "trivial" and we shouldn't be worried about it. He said he didn't feel he needed to see her again until she was 3, so that's a big load off my mind. But, when they weighed her, she was only 14 lbs. 4 oz., which means she's lost 12 oz. in a month. That's almost a whole pound. I don't know what's causing it. She's been on her medicine to help with her reflux for 2 weeks, and I really thought that would clear up, it's still there, but not as bad. She has been sick, she had a cold a couple weeks ago, and she IS teething, but I don't know if any of these were bad enough to cause her weight loss. I'm thinking maybe we need to put her on medication for her hypothyroidism. I feel paranoid, calling her pedi every couple of days, he's going to think I'm a hypochondriac, by proxy, lol. Other than the weight issue, she's doing really well. Moving around a lot, getting into trouble, like a typical almost-toddler; bugging her sister constantly with pulling her hair & puking on her toys, lol. She really does look up to Emma. You should see the way she stares at her, like Emma is the best person in the world. I think it's going to be hard on Sarah when Emma goes to K next year. Emma, on the other hand, can't wait for K to start. I keep telling her that certain things need to happen before she can go, but she doesn't understand. It looks like it's going to be a long summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Goodbye preschool

Today was Emma's last day at her CMU Human Growth & Development preschool. Actually, tomorrow is the official last day, but Sarah has an appointment in Lansing at 1pm, and we can't be at two places at once. So, it's been a bittersweet day. While Emma was at school, I went & picked up a little gift for her teacher, Mrs. Joanna Wright. She has been such an awesome teacher to Emma this year, being very patient and kind, and helping her with some very tough obstacles. She has also had about 20 student teachers during the course of 3 semesters, all of whom I know Emma is going to miss. I came back a little early, to watch Emma with her classmates and take some pictures while they were out at recess. I had a little chat with Mrs. Wright while I was giving her her gift, and she said Emma's made a lot of progress this year. She's also made some new friends. She and Jaida, whom she didn't like for the longest time, are friends now. They were inseparable today. They sat, nicely, next to each other on the Circle Time rug (where they shared the orange butterfly spot, which has been a source of contention between numerous students), they even played together on the swings, and followed each other around on bicycles outside. I got a nice picture of them, that I hope to be able to download to the computer soon. There's a driver or something missing, so I haven't been able to put any new pictures up for about a month. She's also become good friends with Wyatt, who has a new baby brother at home. I'm not sure how many of the kids from her class are going to Morey next year. I doubt any, as it's not a school that's close. But, I know Emma will make new friends nxt year, as she's about as social as any kid I've seen.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Steak & Star Wars

That pretty much sums up Jeff & I's anniversary date. We went to Mountain Town, a local brewery & restaurant. It was nice. We were there early enough where it wasn't that crowded. It was nice to eat a meal that didn't involve the words "french fries". We had dessert, too, which is even rarer. Then we went to see Star Wars: Episode 3. It was REALLY good. I think we liked it best of all. I even cried at the end, which is kinda weird, but hey, whatever.
One thing about the midwest that I'm noticing: people don't know the term "personal space". The theater was nearly empty, maybe 20 or so other people. Jeff & I got there about 20 minutes early, so we had picked our seats, and gotten our popcorn & soda. Not 5 minutes before the movie starts, well into the previews, a couple walks in & sits RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Not even a seat of space in between. Ok, I can see how that may seems a little selfish, but come on: the theater's not even close to being full & you choose to buddy up next to me? There were empty seats in the middle, in the row in front of us, behind us, ALL OVER! Then this woman I think fell asleep in the middle because she was breathing louder than the movie. I don't know, maybe I'm being too snobby.
Emma & Sarah were watched by a guy named Nate, who's a student who works with Jeff. He's a really nice guy & did a great job with the girls. They were both in bed by the time we got home. His fiance had come over (after we learned they lived right across the street) and the girls had a blast. Emma even conned them into making her jello Scooby snacks. She told me about it later, like it was a secret.
We're driving to Grand Rapids this evening, as Jeff has an interview tomorrow. They sent him a schedule for it. It's a pretty intensive interview, as it goes from 10am to 4pm, with sections entitled: Decision Quality, Composure & Conflict Management. Glad I'm not in his shoes. So the girls & I are on our own for the day. I was trying to see if anyone on either of Ds boards I frequent who lived in the area were available to get together, but so far, no one's answered. Oh well, if all else fails, we'll just roam around, maybe go see a movie. Or get the van's oil changed.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Edit to previous post

Cancel the BBQ, too cold. Bummer. :-( Oh well, guess it's a good thing I hadn't started the cookies yet! I think Jeff's still expecting them, though.

Out of the mouths of babes

Emma & I were reading a book from her school library this morning called "Where's Chimpy?". It's about a little girl named Misty, who has Down syndrome, and she's looking all over the place trying to find her toy monkey, Chimpy. Emma still doesn't fully understand what Sarah having Down syndrome means. And I don't mind that, but I also want her to be educated about it, and not, all of a sudden, have someone come up to her & make a rude comment about her sister or something.
Anyways, I started out by saying that the little girl in the book had Ds, just like Sarah. She said,"I want to have Down syndrome, too!" I guess she thought it was cool, since the little girl had her own book.
We're going to a BBQ at a park this evening, for all the Tech-Ops people that Jeff works with. I was volunteered to bring cookies. Which I was happy to do, until I realized that I don't have any chocolate chips. So, we may have to change which type of cookie I'm bringing, since Jeff has the car, which also has my purse & the stroller in it. So I can't even walk to the store. Oh well, looks like it'll have to be peanut butter chookies instead.
So, we have a sitter for 6 hours tomorrow evening. The only thing I know we're doing is going to see Star Wars. Other than that, we really don't have any plans. I think we might go to dinner. I wanted to go glow bowling but that doesn't start until 9pm, and we have to be back home by 10pm. We might try it. I like bowling, even though I'm not very good.
Ok, so I'm really tired of all the running around these medical people are doing with Sarah's heart check-up. I called the Heart Center, where Sarah's appointment is next Thursday, and asked them if they were going to sedate her for her echo to check on her PDA. Well, they proceed to tell me that they're not doing an echo, just a consultation with the Pediatric Cardiologist and an EKG. AN EKG!!!!???? They already KNOW she has a small PDA, why do they need to do an EKG? This check-up was just to see if the PDA was gone or not. For crying out loud!!!! They didn't even have her records from her pediatrician. Oh my goodness, the ineptitude is ASTOUNDING! It's times like this when I wish I lived in a bigger town that had more kids with Ds, so that they wouldn't always put Sarah on the backburner.
Ok, have to put a link to these pictures of this little girl named Kennedy. She's a year old and has Ds. She is absolutely adorable!!!!
I wish there were someplace around here that did these kinds of pictures. I would love to get some of the girls. Then again, maybe it's a good thing we don't, because I think I would go broke!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Happy Anniversary to us

Yesterday was Jeff & I's 8th anniversary. Since it's in the middle of the week (and we're po) we decided to wait until the weekend to go out. Luckily (or not, depending on how things go) Emma's preschool teacher and a few students were offering to sit for kids on Saturday night, from 6-11:30pm, for only $20. But, as of Monday, there weren't many takers, so it might be cancelled. But, even if it is, we have a back-up sitter. Our back-up is a guy named Nate, who works with Jeff at the college. He's a student, who is getting his degree in Early Childhood Education. He's a really nice guy, but at first glance, might seem a little scary. He's big, about 6'2", with a beard. While I don't care what he looks like, I know that Emma is used to small females watching her & Sarah. I'm only a little worried about Emma's first impression of him. But, even IF she is a little wary of him at first, something tells me it won't last. As soon as she realizes that he knows how to play, just like all her other sitters, it won't matter what he looks like.
Anyway, I made Jeff's favorite dinner last night (Hamburger Helper Stroganoff) and Emma & I baked a cake yesterday. It was kinda weird looking, only because the only cake mix we had was chocolate & Emma wanted to use the pink frosting with the sprinkles. Ok, whatever. So dark brown cake with bright pink frosting & sprinkles. Happy anniversary!!! Then, after the kids went to bed, we did what every other couple might do on their anniversary...we played video games. If you know us well at all, it's not surprising, as we're both addicted to video games. Especially World of Warcraft right now. We both just hit lvl 40 & finally got mounts. So, instead of walking everywhere, now we can ride horsies. Trust me, it makes a world of difference.
Jeff has an interview in Grand Rapids on Monday. So, we went out last night and bought him a suit. He had one that was made in Thailand, but that was 4 years ago, and it doesn't fit anymore. This one is very nice. We also bought a nice shirt & some Florsheim shoes to go with it. EXPENSIVE Florsheim shoes. Things were $100. I don't think I've EVER owned a pair of shoes that cost $100, and I'm a girl. But, he made it partly up to me by buying me a pair of cute strappy dress shoes. With a 2 inch heel. So now I'm very much taller than him when I wear them, lol. But they match the outfit I got for Mother's Day, so I'm happy.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Birthday cake & the doctor's office

What a combination in less than 6 hours. Emma went to her first school-friend's birthday party yesterday. It was for Sarah, who was turning 5. It was at a local McDonald's, and it was pretty fun. All the kids had a Happy Meal, a small ice cream and a piece of cake. Then they played games & ran around on the big play gym that they have. Emma had started to tell me that her tummy wasn't feeling very well while she was eating her cake, but I just thought she'd had too much. She didn't say anything after that. We went home, where Jeff had stayed with Sarah, because she was sick. She'd had a cold all week and it has started to get worse. When I got home, her temp was 102 and she was lethargic and could barely keep her eyes open. She hadn't been sleeping well and all she wanted to do was nurse. So, off to the Urgent Care we went. Of course, in typical "my kid" style, she perked up by the time we got there, but was still not her usual bubbly self. They took her temp (101), weighed her (still only 15 lbs.), and then stuck us in a room for an hour. She was pretty content just to lie on the table & be played with. A nurse came in and took samples of her snot (yucka) and a doctor listened to her breathing. I thought maybe, with her fever & weird breathing, that they'd order chest x-rays, but no. They diagnosed her with nasopharyngitis (a cold, but with an infection) and put her on Zithromax. Yay. But today, she's looking much better and seems to be in a better mood. Still doesn't want to eat that much, but what are you going to do?
In the meantime, while Sarah & I were at the hospital, Emma was having problems of her own. Jeff says that no more than 5 minutes after we'd left, Emma puked all over the floor and in the bathroom sink. He says that at least she recognized the fact that she has to vomit and was on her way to the bathroom, but didn't quite make it the first time. I felt so bad for my little girls. It's no fun to be sick. And, not to mention, both Jeff & I have a cold, as well. It comes in rounds for our household.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Disability can't keep woman from success in work, sports


June 8, 2005

Lisa Hannaman knows she's different. She was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes mental retardation and abnormal facial features.

But that hasn't stopped the 29-year-old woman from achieving independence and success.

Employed as a part-time aide at Alcott Elementary School in North Clairemont, Hannaman cares for special-needs toddlers, some with Down syndrome, who are enrolled in an early education program at the campus.

She's been at Alcott five years, and her upbeat personality and dedication to her job have earned her a San Diego Unified School District employee of the year award. "She's been so inspirational. Sometimes parents will get sad and depressed when they have a child with a problem," said Lindsey Linden, a resource teacher for the program who nominated Hannaman. "Parents look at Lisa and they can expect their children can have a happy and satisfying life, too."

While many of her peers with disabilities live in group homes or with their parents, Hannaman shares an apartment with a roommate in Mira Mesa and takes city buses to work. Using the money she earns from her job and supplemental income from Social Security, she takes care of her own bills.

"She is totally financially independent," said Beth Hannaman, Lisa's mother, who is a special education resource teacher assigned to the district's early education program. "She doesn't have a lot of money left at the end of the month, but she is able to make all of her own payments."

Lisa Hannaman is also an accomplished athlete.

Since she was 10 years old, Hannaman has been active in a wide array of events sponsored by Special Olympics. This year, she competed in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, where she won a bronze medal in figure skating and fourth place in pairs skating. It was her second time participating in world competitions.

She also runs track and line dances. In the summer, she is on a sailing team. In the fall, she plays soccer.

In addition, she is writing a book about her life, tentatively titled, "What it is like having Down Syndrome."

At Alcott, Hannaman is one of several aides who help supervise children in class and monitor them on the playground. Her job also includes setting out play equipment, snacks and lunches.

"I can't imagine the class without her," said classroom aide Karen DiCarlo.

She said Hannaman has a gift for connecting with children."

"She gets right down to their faces and talks to them. She's real good at communicating with them. She's very sweet."

Earlier this year, while Hannaman was in Japan, her co-workers nominated her as a district employee of the year. Three weeks ago, Hannaman was named the 2005 Classified Woman of the Year by the district.

The district employs about 6,800 classified employees who perform various support functions, such as being classroom aides, secretaries and campus security assistants.

During a ceremony honoring her, Hannaman delivered a speech that moved a packed audience to tears and standing ovations.

"I hope this award makes other people with disabilities want to work hard and follow their dreams," she said.

A couple of times a year, Hannaman speaks to parent support groups, physicians and social workers about her experiences and what she's been able to accomplish, despite her disability.

Crystal Pacheco, whose 7-year-old son has Down syndrome and who works at Alcott's program as a nurse's aide, said Hannaman is an inspiring role model.

"I have a lot of respect for her. I hope someday my son can do as well as she does," Pacheco said. "She makes us all realize that people with Down syndrome can live normal lives."

Hannaman's mother said while her daughter was growing up, she was not treated differently because of her disability. Around the house, Hannaman, the middle of three children, did her share of chores. She played on the neighborhood soccer team, participated in gymnastics and took swimming lessons.

"She knows she has a disability," Lisa's mom said. "The only time she ever used it as an excuse was when she was in fourth grade. She said 'I couldn't do math because I have Down syndrome.' That's the only time I heard her give an excuse she can't do something."

Hannaman moved out of her parents' house when she was 25, with some assistance provided by the San Diego Regional Center, a state agency that provides support services to people with developmental disabilities. The center helped her find an apartment and a roommate and teamed her up with a life coach, who visits her periodically to provide guidance and oversight.

Moving out was Hannaman's idea.

"My mother did not want to throw me out. I wanted to live on my own," she said. "I am really independent."

Eventually, Hannaman hopes to buy a condominium and get married. She's had a steady boyfriend for 10 years.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Fun in the sun

The girls & I were invited to go swimming at a new friend's community pool this morning. As it was already extremely warm by 10am, it wasn't hard to get the kids into the pool. She has 2 boys, Topher & Tolby, 4 & 3, and Seally, a little girl who is about 2 weeks older than Sarah. Emma had a blast! She's not used to going in big pools, so the water wings we bought yesterday, along with borrowing her new friend's inner tube, were on her at all times. But, she still didn't want to put her face into the water, even with the goggles we bought her. Oh well, it'll come with time. Sarah, who is battling a cold, I believe, was not a happy camper. We bought her a little floaty, that's shaped like a dolphin. She just sat in it, with her head on the little inflatable pillow on the front, and was basically solemn the whole time. In her defense, I had given her some baby Dimetapp to help with her coughing and runny nose only an hour beforehand. I took her out and she fell asleep on my shoulder while I was walking around the shallow end of the pool. She ended up taking a 3 hour nap. Poor little baby's just not feeling ship shape right now. Emma, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the pool. She didn't exactly fight me when it came time to go, but she deliberately stayed in the pool after I asked her to get out numerous times. I reminded her that if she didn't get out, she would miss her school bus. That got her out fairly quickly. We went home, and had just enough time to get a quick bath, eat lunch and run out the door for the bus. Can't wait to do that every morning starting in August.
Speaking of which, I finally took in Emma's birth certificate and shot record to her new school. They were the last pieces of info they needed before she was officially enrolled in the school. I put in a verbal request for a certain teacher, only because we'd met her before and the other K teacher is pregnant and will be leaving in the middle of the year. I know Emma has a hard time with that kind of stuff, so I figured I'd try to get the teacher that will be around the whole time.
Emma's preschool teacher and 3 student teachers are offering a "Parent's Night Out", where they will watch the kids for $20 flat for 5 1/2 hours. Considering our anniversary is next week, I signed Emma & Sarah up. I asked Mrs. Wright beforehand, to see if it would be ok for them to watch Sarah, as well, and she said it would be fine. But, $20 for 5 1/2 hours!!?? That's a deal! Generally we pay our sitters well, basically so they'll want to watch our kids again. Like, $30 for 3 hours. So this is a steal for 5 1/2 hours. I'll just make sure she's got enough food & drinks to last and toys to play with.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My score: 206

A total waste of time, but still interesting:
Basically, put an asterisk by each movie you've seen and then add 5 movies on to the end.

1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. Saw
3. White Noise
4. White Oleander
5. Anger Management*
6. 50 First Dates*
7. Friday The 13th*
8. Scream*
9. Scream 2*
10. Scream 3*
11. Scary Movie*
12. Scary Movie 2*
13. Scary Movie 3*
14. American Pie*
15. American Pie 2*
16. American Wedding*
17. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone*
18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets*
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban*
20. Resident Evil*
21. Resident Evil: Apocalypse*
22. The Wedding Singer*
23. Little Black Book
24. The Village
25. Donnie Darko
26. Lilo & Stitch*
27. Finding Nemo*
28. Finding Neverland
29. 13 Ghosts*
30. Signs*
31. The Grinch*
32. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original)
33. White Chicks
34. The Butterfly Effect
35. 13 going on 30
36. I, Robot
37. Dodgeball
38. Universal Soldier
39. A Series Of Unfortunate Events
40. Along Came A Spider
41. Deep Impact*
42. Kingpin
43. Never Been Kissed*
44. Meet The Parents*
45. Meet The Fockers
46. Eight Crazy Nights*
47. A Cinderella Story
48. The Terminal
49. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
50. Passport to Paris
51. Dumb & Dumber*
52. Dumb & Dumberer*
53. Final Destination
54. Final Destination 2*
55. Halloween*
56. Halloween 2
57. Halloween 3
58. Halloween 4
59. Halloween 5
60. H20
61. Halloween: the Resurrection
62. The Ring
63. The Ring 2
64. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
65. Practical Magic*
66. Chicago*
67. Ghost Ship
68. From Hell
69. Team America: World Police*
70. Hellboy
71. Secret Window*
72. I Am Sam
73. The Whole Nine Yards*
74. The Day After Tomorrow8
75. Child's Play*
76. Bride of Chucky
77. 10 Things I Hate About You*
78. Just Married
79. Gothika
80. A Nightmare on Elm Street*
81. Sixteen Candles*
82. Bad Boys 2 (what happened to Bad Boys 1??)*
83. Joy Ride
84. Seven*
85. Ocean's Eleven*
86. Ocean's Twelve
87. Identity
88. Lone Star
89. Bedazzled*
90. Predator
91. Predator II
92. Independence Day*
93. Cujo
94. A Bronx Tale
95. Darkness Falls
96. Christine*
97. ET*
98. Children of the Corn
99. My Boss' Daughter
100. Maid in Manhattan*
101. Frailty
102. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days*
103. She's All That*
104. Calendar Girls
105. Sideways
106. Mars Attacks*
107. Event Horizon
108. Ever After*
109. Forrest Gump*
110. Big Trouble in Little China*
111. X-Men*
112. X-Men 2*
113. Jeepers Creepers
114. Jeepers Creepers 2
115. Catch Me If You Can*
116. The Others
117. Freaky Friday (the original)*
118. Reign of Fire
119. Man on Fire
120. Braveheart*
121. Cruel Intentions*
122. The Hot Chick
123. Swimfan
124. Miracle
125. Friday Night Lights
126. Old School
127. Ray
128. The Notebook*
129. K-Pax
130. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring*
131. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers*
132. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King*
133. A Walk to Remember
134. Sweet Home Alabama*
135. Moulin Rouge
136. Boogeyman
137. Hitch
138. The Fifth Element*
139. Star Wars episode I: The Phantom Menance*
140. Star Wars episode II: Attack Of The Clones*
141. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
142. Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope*
143. Star Wars episode V: The Empire Strikes Back*
144. Star Wars episode VI: Return Of The Jedi*
145. Swimming with Sharks
146. Trainspotting
147. People Under the Stairs
148. Blue Velvet
149. The Sound of Music*
150. Parent Trap (the original)*
151. The Burbs*
152. SLC Punk
153. Meet Joe Black*
154. Wild Things*
155. A Clockwork Orange
156. The Order
157. Spider-Man*
158. Spider-Man 2 (in the middle of watching it)
159. Amelie
160. Mean Girls
161. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
162. Shrek*
163. Shrek 2*
164. The Incredibles*
165. Collateral
166. The Fast & The Furious
167. 2 Fast 2 Furious
168. Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow
169. Closer
170. The Sixth Sense*
171. A.I. - Artificial Intelligence*
172. Love Actually
173. The Sweetest Thing
174. Shutter
175. Ella Enchanted
176. The Princess Diaries*
177. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement*
178. The Breakfast Club*
179. October Sky
180. Remember the Titans*
181. Titanic*
182. Boondock Saints
183. American History X
184. Fight Club
185. Heavenly Creatures
186. Stealing Beauty
187. Like Water For Chocolate
188. Powwow Highway
189. Secretary
190. But I'm A Cheerleader
191. I <3 Huckabees
192. Ripley's Game
193. Coffee And Cigarettes
194. Taxi Driver
195. Silence Of The Lambs*
196. The Exorcist*
197. If Lucy Fell
198. Lady Jane* (one of my favorites!!!)
199. When Harry Met Sally*
200. Me, Myself & Irene*
201. Kung Fu Hustle
202. Sin City
203. Labyrinth*
204. Much Ado About Nothing*
205. The Cowboy Way
206. Paulie
207. Blazing Saddles
208. Galaxy Quest*
209. Guildenstern & Rosencrantz are Dead
210. Citizen Kane*
211. You Can Count on Me
212. Young Frankenstein
213. Raiders of the Lost Ark*
214. Starman*
215. St. Elmos Fire
216. Coyote Ugly*
217. The Other Sister*
218. Rainman*
219. Little Shop of Horrors*
220. Chasing Amy*
221. House of Sand and Fog
222. Mildred Pierce
223. The Big Lebowski*
224. Mallrats*
225. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
226. The Goonies*
227. Starsky & Hutch*
228. Saved!
229. The Upside of Anger
230. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
231. The Cat's Meow
232. The Rutles
233. Waking Ned Devine
234. Pirates of the Caribbean*
235. Little Women
236. Huck Finn*
237. National Treasure
238. O Brother Where Art Thou?*
239. Dick
240. Howard the Duck*
241. Garden State
242. Hero
243. This Is Spinal Tap
244. Almost Famous*
245. Before Sunrise
246. Before Sunset
247. Troy
248. Gone With The Wind*
249. Chocolat*
250. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes*
251. Now and Then*
252. Romeo and Juliet*
253. Ferris Bueller's Day Off*
254. Grease*
255. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
256. Mr. North
257. The African Queen
258. The Wizard of Oz*
259. Country Girl
260. The Philadelphia Story
261. Bringing Up Baby
262. The Aviator
263. An Affair To Remember
264. Sabrina*
265. Roman Holiday
266. Conspiracy Theory*
267. Stage Door
268. Rigoletto
269. White Christmas*
270. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?*
271. The Wedding Planner*
272. Arsenic and Old Lace*
273. A Day at the Races
274. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory*
275. Bend it Like Beckham*
276. Troop Beverly Hills*
277. A Beautiful Mind
278. Urban Legend*
279. Dead Poet's Society*
280. Kill Bill vol. 1*
281. Kill Bill vol. 2*
282. The Royal Tenenbaums
283. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
284. American Beauty*
285. A Chorus Line
286. Iron Jawed Angels
287. Phantom of the Opera
288. A League of Their Own*
289. Stuart Little*
290. Notting Hill*
291. A Lot Like Love
292. Along Came Polly
293. Billy Madison*
294. Happy Gilmore*
295. Igby Goes Down
296. Sid and Nancy
297. Bruce Almighty*
298. The Usual Suspects
299. Chances Are
300. SWAT
301. House of Wax (the original w/Vincent Price, thank you very much)
302. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World*
303. Gladiator*
304. Gosford Park*
305. The Jacket
306. Red Dragon
307. Hannibal*
308. Elizabeth*
309. Quills
310. Velvet Goldmine
311. Chuck and Buck
312. Titus
313. The Pillow Book
314. Queen Margot (thank you madame)
315. Sex, Lies and Videotape
316. His Girl Friday
317. Persuasion
318. Party Girl
319. Top Hat
320. Singing in the Rain*
321. Spirited Away*
322. House of Flying Daggers
323. Goodbye Lenin
324. Willow*
325. Battle Royale
326. Dude, Where's My Car?*
327. Drop Dead Gorgeous
328. Josie and the Pussycats
329. Romancing the Stone*
330. Mystery Men*
331. Bound
332. Crossroads (The Ralph Macchio one, not the Britney Spears one)
333. Dawn Of The Dead (the original)
334. Shaun Of The Dead
335. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy*
336. Angels with Dirty Faces
337. Deathrace 2000
338. The Terminator*
339. Unforgiven (1992)*
340. Virtuousity
341. A Life Less Ordinary
342. The Crying Game
343. A Company of Wolves
344. Brotherhood of the Wolf
345. Dirty Work
346. Chutney Popcorn
347. Love in the Time of Money
348. The Life of David Gale
349. Wimbledon
350. Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood*
351. Stuart Little 2*
352. Rocky Horror Picture Show*
353. Buffy the Vampire Slayer*
354. Star Trek: Nemesis
355. Flight of the Phoenix
356. The Mask of Zorro*
357. Selena*
358. Godsend
359. Enough
360. Murder By Numbers
361. Cube
362. Thought Crimes
363. Van Helsing*
364. The One and Only
365. Uptown Girls
366. Requiem for a Dream
367. Kontroll
368. Kinsey
369. Touching the Void
370. Whale Rider
371. Shark Tale*
372. Stargate*
373. Black Hawk Down
374. Madagascar
375. Finding Forrester
376. Shakespeare in Love*
377. Get Over It
378. Mary Poppins*
379. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade*
380. Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom*
381. Daredevil*
382. Green Mile*
383. 8 Mile
384. Clerks*
385. The Thomas Crown Affair (1998)*
386. The King and I (original -- the Yul Brenner version)*
387. Striptease*
388. The Void
389. One Special Night
390. Victor/Victoria
391. The Bridges of Madison County
392. Something's Gotta Give
393. Murder by Death
394. Marnie
395. One, Two, Three
396. Stage Door Canteen
397. Sister Kenney
398. Mame
399. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
400. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
401. The Pirates of Penzance
402. Movie Movie
403. Circle of Iron
404. Kentucky Fried Movie
405. The Mask (Jim Carrey)*
406. The Shawshank Redemption*
407. Minority Report*
408. The Graduate
409. Shock Treatment*
410. Phantom of the Paradise
411. Taxi
412. Benny & Joon*
413. Brain Candy
414. The Wrong Guy
415. Fried Green Tomatoes*
416. Monty Python and the Holy Grail*
417. Girl, Interrupted*
418. Ghostbusters*
419. That Darn Cat (the original)
420. Moonstruck
421. Bubba Ho-Tep
422. Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns
423. Can't Hardly Wait*
424. Punch-Drunk Love
425. Office Space*
426: Pee-wee's Big Adventure*
427: Sleepy Hollow*
428: Ed Wood
429: Big Fish
430. Sleepers*
431. The Princess Bride*
432. Being John Malkovich
433. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
434. A Mighty Wind
435. The Muppet Movie*
436. Rocky
437. Wet Hot American Summer
438. Showdown in Little Tokyo
439. American Ninja
440. Ready 2 Rumble
441. Field of Dreams*
442. Fever Pitch
443. For the Love of the Game
444. Eight Men Out*
445. The Natural*
446. The Sting*
447. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
448. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
449. U571*
450. The Hunt for Red October*
455. American President*
456. Rounders
457. Bridget Jones' Diary*
458. Jerry Maguire*
459. Lost in Translation
460. The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai and the 8th Dimension
461. Ninth Gate
462. Rosemary's Baby
463. Dave
464. The Meaning of Life
465. Garden State
466. North (Elijah Wood)
467. The Rules of Attraction
468. Magnolia
469. Rushmore
471. DOGMA*
475. The Smokers
476. In America
477. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
478. Life as a House
479. Party Monster
480. Anti-Trust*
481. Army of Darkness*
482. Merlin*
483. French Kiss*
484. Fahrenheit 9/11*

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Control freak

Well, after much hemming & hawing, and promises to do this right after spring break, and whining from Emma about being with her friends, I finally have a schedule set up for Emma to start riding the bus to & from school 2 days a week. I still want to take her the other two days, so I can briefly chat with her teachers about how she's doing. I know, it's a control thing. I truly wonder at how working parents can send their kids off to the sitters & then on a bus to school and back. Very strong, cause I don't think I could do it. I know they do it out of necessity, but I can't even fathom it. And next year, with Emma's elementary school being so far out of town, she's going to end up taking the bus probably at least 3x a week, maybe 4. I know I'm still going to want to take her & pick her up once a week to touch bases with her teacher. But the bus ride there & back is really long, about an hour or so. She might end up having to be picked up at 6:30am. Yikes! That's way early, even for adults. But the good thing is, if she takes the bus, I don't have to get myself presentable in the morning. Well, not so much.
A few updates: Jeff just finished the first of two summer school classes. It was an accelerated course on the American Civil Rights Movement. Only 3 weeks long & very stressful. He doesn't think he did that well, in fact, he'll be satisfied if he passes. I'm sure he'll probably wish he'd opted for the Credit/No Credit option.
Emma's losing another tooth. It's taking awhile to come out but it's definitely loose.
Sarah started her medication on Monday for her reflux. So far, I haven't seen a vast improvement, but it's coming along I think. She's only supposed to be on this for 2 weeks and then we'll see where she is with the puking. On a bad note, however, I think she's coming down with a cold. I think both the girls are. They've been coughing and sneezing and having runny noses. But they don't seem overly cranky, which you would think would happen with a cold. But Sarah's eyes are starting to get watery, so I'm maybe changing my mind and thinking it's allergies. I know Jeff has really bad springtime allergies, but I didn't think about the kids.
Speaking of spring, I don't know where it went, but it's not spring anymore. I think it's officially summer. It's miserable here. Humidity up the wazoo, and it's 82 degrees at 10 am!!! Insane. Our poor grass is dead, and I'm slowly trying to squeeze some life out of it. But I can't water until about 6pm due to the fact that it receives 100% sun ALL day. There's no shade whatsoever. Which is why we don't go outside very often. Maybe I'll buy one of those kiddy pools and set it up in the front yard (where there's at least some shade from the house) with a sprinkler. It also has the most green grass, so it's not just dead weeds & dirt.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

What a difference a year makes...

I'm volunteering for the Special Olympics today. The Michigan Special Olympics are held on the CMU campus every June. I wanted to work at it last year, but wasn't able to. I'm only able to help in the evenings, so I'm working both the Opening Ceremonies and the Closing Ceremonies/Dance. I'm thinking about bringing Sarah with me, only to help Jeff out, since he's having to come home early from work in order for me to go. We thought we'd be able to get a sitter, but no such luck.
It's funny, I think back to before we knew Sarah had Down syndrome, and I wonder if I'd ever have volunteered for the Special Olympics, or done anything pertaining to people with special needs, if we didn't have Sarah. And the sad part is, I probably wouldn't. Not because I don't care about people with special needs, but because it didn't relate to me first-hand.
I often think about how my priorities have changed since having Sarah. It's funny how something that can seem so terrible to most people, can seem like a blessing to others. I still cringe at the fact that 80-90% of people who find out prenately that their baby has Down syndrome terminate. I could NOT imagine our life without Sarah. She & Emma are the joys of my life. I know they are going to be the best of friends as they grow up. Sarah's going to change so many misconceptions and brighten so many people's lives. I'll try to take some pictures while I'm there and post them tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Go ahead, tease me

Ok, for those of you who don't know, we don't like Michigan. I like our little town, and Jeff loves his job, but his boss he could do without. The biggest reason we came out here is because of the free college tuition. So, Jeff's been working his tush off trying to finish college as quickly as he can. He has two more years, if he goes full-time, every semester, including both summer semesters. It's starting to wear on all of us. Recently, he's been putting out his resume, seeing if anyone will bite, even without a Bachelor's. He's gotten a couple, including two in Irvine, CA. Yes, CA, where we've been wanting to get back to since we moved here. We've discovered that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the country, just relatively cheaper. And it's not cheap to fly to CA with 4 people. We'd rather drive only a few hours. Even if gas is almost $3 a gallon, and housing prices are through the roof. We'd be close to family...and Disneyland.
Jeff had a phone interview with one of the jobs in Irvine. It's a major consulting firm, and would require about 20% travel, but I'm cool with that. The Navy trained me well for having my husband gone for extended periods of time. But the good thing is, he wouldn't be gone for 6 months at a time. So, I don't know what to think. We want to get back to CA, but we also want Jeff to be able to complete his degree. It's practically a requirement for most jobs, in order to be paid what he's worth. So, we're having a dilemma. You'd think we wouldn't have to contemplate this very much, but we are. Emma's starting school in August, Sarah's getting her therapies, we've made a couple friends. But it's California!! We've been hoping for something like this to come along! We'd definitely have to make a certain amount of money in order to afford it, as "just any ol' job in CA" won't do. Serious stress...