Thursday, October 31, 2013

Would you CARE?

It's the last day of the 31 for 21 Challenge. I didn't really make the goal of blogging everyday. However I was beyond happy to participate. As this is the last day I was thinking about Robert Saylor. How this young man with Down Syndrome lost his life because those who are there to protect were not trained to work with those whom have special needs.

Because while you might be aware of Down Syndrome you might not really understand it.


Then last week I read an article about the C.A.R.E. program. C.A.R.E. stands for Children and Residents Encounter program. It is the brainchild of the Colerain, OH police department. To my understanding, this program is designed to educate emergency personnel to those within their community with special needs. Be it Alzheimer's, autism, mental health issues or behavioral issues.

Colerain has an estimated 1 out of every 150 residents on the autism spectrum. Chances are pretty great that at one point the emergency personnel will come into contact with a person who has special needs.

C.A.R.E. is a program where the family gives the emergency personnel information regarding the child's (or adult) health and mental issues. The parent provides detailed information: are they on a monitor, do they have anger issues, what medication are they on, do they elope, what if anything do the police need to know if they are responding to your home or anyplace in town where that person might be in need of assistance.

Just think, if the police had known about Robert he might have lived. They would have been aware of his triggers, known he had Down Syndrome and been trained to deal with a person who has diminished capacity.

Yes, apologies to all the parents I just offended, but our children have diminished capacity and do not understand that  their behavior has unintended consequences. Sadly, neither are the first responders always educated.

One argument against C.A.R.E. is that we are giving up our children's privacy. Do you really want your neighbor who listens to the police scanner (my MIL) know that your child is suffering from (insert your child's diagnosis here).  Heck, I do it everyday here on this blog! But I see their point. Some parents are not "out" they don't want the neighborhood to know that their child is autistic or bipolar or clinically depressed.

But in an emergency does privacy matter? If your child has suicidal tendencies wouldn't you want the first responders to know? If your child is prone to throwing lamps in anger wouldn't you want the first responders not to respond with force but with patience and kindness? If you child is deaf and does not hear the police say stop as they run in fear would you like them not to use force?

If you were Robert's mom wouldn't you have wanted the police to know that her child didn't understand why he couldn't just rewatch the movie? While I have never met Ms. Saylor I can imagine her anguish.


Upon learning about the C.A.R.E. program, I reached out to our local police and fire departments. I asked them about signing onto the program, or a similar idea. I explained how the Ohio police department minimized training costs and related expenses. They replied that this was one of their long-term goals.

Which I appreciate.

But I want more. I don't want a goal I want a program. I want our police and fire to have a card on Boo. I want them to know her name, what she looks like and how to react should they encounter her during one of her eloping episodes.

Screw her privacy. Her life is more important.

To be preachy, so should your child's. Forget their privacy or your embarrassment. Contact your local police and fire departments. Tell them about C.A.R.E. or another program that will protect everyone. If that doesn't work, tell them about your child! Tell them you have a child in your home that has special needs and they NEED to have this information.

Think of Izzy and her mom, whom the area hospital knew and still couldn't protect.

Think of your child and their temper tantrums. When they are out of control and you are doing the best you can but the neighbors call the cops to protect you.

Think of your child who climbs or wanders and the new neighbors do not understand that your daughter is autistic and does not realize they cannot swim in any pool they come across.

Think of your son who is manic depressive and might encounter emergency personnel during one of his psychotic breaks.

Truthfully, the neighbors and police and EMS are not wrong. When faced with an out of control person or a child that looks much older than they are developmentally, they have no other thought than to protect those in control. They will try to reason or restrain with compassion. But in fear for themselves and those around them they will also respond with force.

It is not anyone's fault. Not your neighbor's for calling the police, not the police for seeing an out of control person and trying to restrain them, not your child's fault for having a disability and not your fault either. Ultimately we need to protect our children and those they come into contact. I think C.A.R.E. is a great start.

Think of Robert and know that could be your child.

Screw privacy and think protection.
 
In Robert's Memory and in Respect for a mother's grief I end this month of Down Syndrome awareness in their honor.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The truth about Allie and Boo

When I first started blogging I was a little nervous about the world of blog. Who would I meet, how much should I share, would anyone even read my ramblings? I also wondered on the fairness of outing my children's lives. Was it fair to them to tell the world that they are awesome but have bad days? Is it my place to tell some one in Australia (no offense, Bron!) that Allie had a bad day at school or that Boo had a meltdown?

Also, my husband think the internet is the devil and Facebook it's spawn. That probably colored my thinking.

However I knew that Boo's experiences were important to share. I knew that OUT THERE I would find some one, any one, who had the same what the heck am I doing  approach to life. Turns out I first met Kristi and then Joy and then a host of other characters (admit it, you are all characters). You don't have to have a child, or a child with special needs, I just knew that I could reach out and help just one person not have to go through the uncertainty I lived through. I also hoped I would find some one out there that would tell me THIS is what Boo has, THIS is why she is so delayed.

Hey, if the science isn't there the community might be.

If I touched just one person this blog would have been worth it. But I didn't touch one person, I made connections with so many that this blog evolved into something more. More than Boo. More than a Mom who suffered from holy crapness. More than the tale of how Allie's love for Boo transcends and teaches others that sometimes a person is just a person and all the labels in the world do not matter.

I found an extended community and began to feel weird that I wasn't reaching out to those who love and actually know us if they saw us in the grocery store.

Then I decided to come out of the blogging closet. If felt wrong somehow to be hiding Boo's accomplishments and stumbles from those who could have immediate impact. Her therapists, her friends, her family, her teachers. The people who might read this blog and say "Hey Kerri let's try this...."

What I never imagined, though, is that I would actually meet my virtual friends or that real life friends would start calling them Allie and Boo.

I know most of you have guessed that Boo isn't her real name but neither is Allie. Boo came from when she was in the NICU and I used to say, I know you have a Boo Boo but I am going to make it better (yep, I thought I was all knowing back then). Boo was my secret name for Bridget because in my heart I knew she was more than the Boo Boo. I knew that she would be awesome and spectacular. I would whisper to her, you are my Boo. Maybe not perfect in the conventional way but in the mom way. I love you and will cherish every moment of the time you are with me. This was before I realized she would survive the NICU. It was also during the moment when a NICU nurse asked me her name and I spaced. In my defense I was working on having a C-section 4 days before and about an hour sleep since then. I remembered the little girl in the Monsters Movie, Boo. She was afraid but not only overcame her fear she kicked butt. Bridget became my Boo.  If she could be brave at just a week old, I could suck it up. When I created this blog Boo was the natural name to call her.

Allie though, was different. Allie was Bridget's approximation of her name. I know, I should have chosen Sunflower so that you would know that is not her real name. But I never imagined a time when one of you would meet her in person. I was trying to protect her identity and her privacy, to some extent.

But then I came out and someone called her Allie. She was kind of like, my name is....Then I met Kate and she gave me a weird look when I was telling a story to her Joe and realized I had never clued her in that Allie's real name is something different.

I asked Kate what she thought about me coming all the way out with the girl's names. She said that I have such an honest blog that it would be natural for me to use them. But that I would have some explaining to do! After all I use mine and David's real name. I put everything out there, the good the bad the ugly and trust all of you not to judge but to offer advice and support. Why wouldn't I trust you with the girl's names?

So as of today, I may still call Bridget Boo. Sorry it is just kind of natural for me. But Allie will be her own person, just as she is in real life.

Friends, let me introduce you to Abigail or as she likes to be called Abby. The best big sister Boo could ask for and she is kind of a cool if sarcastic daughter as well.







Monday, October 28, 2013

So scary it's good

Last week I totally messed with Jen and the Spirits. This week her directions were quite clear:

This week's topic for our Halloween week is Scary songs. You may take full liberty with this topic my friends. Scary because of the content? The appearance of the performer or the song is just that darn bad. Or maybe you have some definition I haven't thought of yet. Get on it. I wanna know why those songs scare you!

Full liberty? HA! I am so taking her up on that and not reading the rest of the directions. Scary got me to thinking how the kids of today have no idea what music is, and that is freaking scary. They are too involved with how the look or sound. Personally I don't even think they listen to the lyrics.

If they did they would realize that all Rhianna does is repeat the same verse over and over again. Say Nah Nah, what's my name....

But my friends who are not teeny-boppers, we know music that would scare the pants back onto Miley Cyrus. Singers that wrote their own music and it made sense. The fact that they also could never be featured on Teen Beat adds to their cred. Is Teen Beat still a magazine?

These are the scary artists that should make the "artists" of today shake with fear.

The ULTIMATE Harry Chapin.



Let's face it, he had the face only a mother could love. Or a gold digger. But his songs? They moved you. They made you think. He was the ultimate storyteller. And you were willing to listen to the story over and over again even though you knew that Harry would leave Sally at her door.

The INCREDIBLE Jim Croce


You never messed with Leroy Brown and you didn't mess around with Jim. His song Operator still brings chills to my arms. Can you see Justin Timberlake making a song that could last over 4 minutes and you didn't change the station?

The BODACIOUS Heart. Can you imagine Nancy or Ann Wilson on the cover of a teen magazine? Those girls could kick Lady GaGa's bare butt on the powerhouse Nancy's vocal ability. Added to Ann's guitar playing? In an era when girls really didn't play instruments (yes, before the dawn of time I am that old).  They are Scary Women indeed and they could go crazy on your Baracudda. Rich would probably enjoy that....


The POWERFUL Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young). Look at David Crosby. Yes, I know he is rumored to be the father of Melissa Etheridge's children. Stephen Stills, um so not the handsome man. Neil Young? That is one scary dude. The saving face of CSN was John Nash. But that aside can you see the tweens swooning to Southern Cross or understanding the impact of their lyrics? That Chicago was more than a city and Ohio more than a state. These men believed in their words and used it to educate us all.



 
 
The LARGER THAN LIFE Queen. I'm going to say it here. Freddie Mercury was a ROCK GOD. The fact that Fat Bottom Girls would be a rap or country song today is just some of the magic that is Queen. Yes, their music is often used in movies and music today. But only because it is incredible. It lives on. But if Queen started out today? They kids just wouldn't appreciate the talent. Trust me on this one. As I am writing this post Allie looked over my shoulder and asked: Who's that? I explained, she said yeah I don't really like that song. You can't dance to it.

Kids, no appreciation. Yes, dancing music is nice. But songs are supposed to be more than a manufactured dance. They are supposed to move you.





Lastly in the spirit of Halloween (and probably Jen's true intent) the DIABOLICAL Alice Cooper. Not only did he scare the crap out of my parents when I went through a "phase" he could probably make Bieber crap his pants. Although I remember him on the Muppets so I will always have a soft spot. Hmmm maybe he wasn't so scary after all!



This mix to scare young people was brought to you by the ultimate DJ Jen and her crazy cohort in music crime Kristi.



Does God make mistakes?

This morning's conversation after being late for school:


Allie: Mom, who made up the days of the week?
Me: Um...God

Allie: Well, he made a mistake.

Me: Um....really? I'm not sure God does that.

Allie: Well, obviously he did make a mistake. There are not enough days between Friday afterschool and Monday morning. He put in too many work days!

 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Thanks

This week it is (again) easy to give THANKS. That is capital letter thanks, mind you. It's been a very busy week let alone weekend.

10. My friend R answered my call, well text, this week. David was supposed to race with me this weekend. However he had some excuse called work. I have never raced alone so I asked R to go with me. And she did! We had a great day together.

9. "R" accomplished her goal of finishing a 5K in under 30 minutes! She wasn't expecting to do it today.  Woo Hoo I was so glad to see her smile as she crossed that finish line. '

8. After the race I convinced "R" to go to attended the free after race celebration. We had a great hour just chatting.

7. The family was a plus 4 to another friend's Halloween party invitation. It was a costume party and I am not quite sure who had more fun, the adults or the children.

6. We all wore costumes, even Boo. She was the child in PJ's who should have been in bed. Also known as the one kid whose mother was smart enough not to attempt a costume that she would have to put into a car seat.



5. Boo showed everyone how to twerk.

(apologies, still haven't figured out how to import videos from my phone. To see Boo twerking visit her Facebook page!)

4. We had a great time at Allie's school Halloween celebration. 

3. My mother-in-law watched the girls so R and I could do the 5k. 

2. Crafty Auntie K did the pumpkin carving with Allie and Boo so I didn't have to ruin another Halloween.

1. The true heroes of the world showed us the true meaning of bravery and what it means to ROAR. Thanks to the children, parents and staff of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital Medical Center in Lebanon, NH for making my week.



Now it's your turn. Tell me what you are thankful for this week.  After looking at those kids out rock Katy Perry I am sure you can think of just one thing this week to be thankful!

Ten Things of Thankful

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ROAR!!!


If you haven't seen this video take a minute and listen to them ROAR!!!!

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Not everything needs a tag line

Dear Chicago Tribune,

I am not a resident of your city and in fact have only visited Chicago once in my life. But I am requesting on behalf of the parents in your community to redefine the newest tax approach for Kane County.


The premise is nice, from my reading, the intent is to increase property taxes in Kane County, IL to create funds to support individuals with developmental disabilities. As a mother of a child with special needs I usually support anything that will assist my child receive the services she desperately needs.

But to call it a disability tax?

How about calling it a social service tax? Or Community Building tax? Or even help thy neighbor tax? 

The services provided would include: education, therapy, training and other services to allow those with developmental disabilities the opportunity for independent living. These same individuals with your county's support would then become a part of your working community.

As a home owner from Massachusetts, I agree taxes are out of control. After all, we are number 6 in the US for highest residential property tax rate.

I do not wish my child's disability to be a ' tax burden' on anyone. And I agree with the opponents who say that the tax code need to be redrawn and that the federal and state support should be better mandated.  However, I am thankful that she is a 'social burden' as she enriches everyone's life she comes into contact. In some ways, I think this is a great idea. Instead of raising your taxes and you not really knowing where the money is being spent, you will see your tax dollars at work. The median household would be spending just $55 a year to impact lives in a meaningful way.

How incredible.

According to the article in the Tribune, Kane County has almost 16,000 residents whom this tax would benefit. I hope it does pass and is used as it is intended and not mired in the bureaucracy that seems to overtake good intentions.

I commend Kane County for taking a proactive approach to inclusion and support. I think it is beyond wonderful that you saw a need for your residents and are doing your very best to enrich their lives.

I just really wish you would think of a different tag line.
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Things heard....

David has been working a lot of weekends. A LOT of weekends. In one way it is nice. I am sure I am not the only parent who experiences the household running smoother when the only dissenting voices don't have an actual vote. On the flip side having another vote means that you are not losing your mind when you get a tad irritated when asked for the 100th time for a cookie before 9 am.

At one point I realized I was the one person in the house being unreasonable. But the girls should hold some responsibility. As I was slowly losing my mind this weekend it occurred to me that while I am probably not alone in wondering if it I ran away would they find me?

Here are just some of the phrases that popped out of my mouth this weekend:

No you cannot have a cookie (7:30 am)

Quit licking me

Yes Allie, you do a terrific jump rope in the living room. WATCH OUT FOR THE TV

You already had three donuts (8 am)

Boo, you cannot feed Bailey stickers. Or blocks or what the hell did you just stick in his mouth?

Is it wine o'clock yet?

Fine have a cookie (8:45am)



 



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the threshold of tweendom

The night before last Allie woke me up at 2:41 am. Yes, that is the exact freaking time. I threatened her that when she is in her early twenties I am breaking into her apartment at 2:40 am to wake her up by scaring the crap out of her.

What is it with kids that they SNEAK into your room only to put their face right in front of yours and whisper scream: MOM

Also, how come they never go to Dad's side of the bed?

Back to my story....Allie had a good excuse this time. Somehow at the dead of night her tooth that has been hanging on for three months finally fell out.

At 2:41 am.

She asked me if she should put it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy. I explained at 2:41 am that the Tooth Fairy's list was already scheduled for the night. (I think I get props for thinking that quick on my feet at 2:41 am).

Last night after she brushed her teeth. Including the one that fell out, and I quote: I want the Tooth Fairy to see that I take care of my teeth. I asked her why she didn't pay that much attention to the ones still in her head and got the eye roll.

The Eye Roll and The Tooth Fairy. She is on the cusp of tweendom but still has her imagination firmly in childhood.

I'll deal with the 2:41 am wake-up calls for as long as she is anchored in innocence.

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's a spiritual thing

Even though it is a little early, Jen has instructed her team of DJ's to create a Twisted Mix Tape to celebrate Halloween.

First up, of course is Michael Jackson in Thriller.



Slowing it down a bit we visit the Ghost of Patrick Swayze. I fell in love with Patrick when he was in the Outsiders. The only Curtis with a normal name. Yep, I'm old but that has been established. But Ghost? Man that dude could spin a wheel.



Of course what is Halloween without the Monster Mash? Vincent Price he was the man of the Spirits.



Then there is the always reliable Ghost Busters. That was full of spirits.


Last but certainly not least, I recommend a little AC/DC to round out your list of spirits. Because once Jen realizes I completely messed with her touchy-feely Spiritual quest with a bunch of Spirits I will probably be on the Highway to Hell.




Yes, the rule was actually: Songs that are SPIRITUAL in some way. Since my songs contained spirits she cannot be mad. Right? Right, Jen?

PS--Suck-up Bonus points:  The Outsider's character that Patrick Swayze played was Darrel Curtis big brother to Soda Pop and Pony Boy.  I remember reading the book WAY before the movie. I think I fell in love with all of the boys that were so bad they were good.









Monday, October 21, 2013

I ove you

There are so many ways to say I love you. This week's Listicle is to name 10 ways to say the most important words a person wants to hear.

10. I ove you. This is Boo's approximation. Allie and David have been working on her saying it. Me? Not so much. Call me stubborn but I don't want it to be rote. I want her to FEEL the love and say it to me. But my heart still overflows when she says it back to me.

9. Wine. Nothing says I love you then when David brings home a bottle of Pinot Grigio after I have had a hard day/week/year. Yeah, I know it says a lot about me. Probably not good but it means he gets me especially if it is followed by...

8. Chinese food. Dinner combination plate #1 without beef teriyaki and extra chicken fingers so I will have lunch the next day.

7. Some one, anyone other than me, cleaning the bathroom.

6. Hosting anything. Girls night in (By the way Becky & Jenn it is time for another one), Christmas, family celebrations, just because we want to do something this weekend. Being able to host means that friends and family get it. That it is easier for me to stay home and not disrupt Boo but still connect with everyone.

5. Having my nephews and pseudo niece (what else do you call one of their girlfriends that became family?) visit us for the weekend. Having the three of them be there for the girls, for me means the world to me. 

4. The "boys" texting me during a Bruins game.

3. Allie saying that she loves me the most. Petty, yes. Heartwarming of course.

2. Bailey laying at my feet after Boo goes to bed and letting Boo lay on him before she does.





1. David telling me that I am perfect for him even when I feel so imperfect it is ridiculous.

I know, you expected me to be flippant. But love never should be.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The week in thanks, I don't know what number

This week I am thankful for quite a lot....

10. My nephews and pseudo niece visited last weekend making Allie and Boo's week.

9. Unlike other children, mine are home and safe.

8. Unlike other friends, the government shutdown hasn't threatened my mortgage.

7. David attended the field trip.

6. Allie had the BEST RIDE EVER





5. Crafty Aunt K will be recruited to make the Halloween costume and pumpkin carving since I am not worthy (according to Allie). K you have been warned!

4. Boo has only had two accidents this week. I am counting that as an potty success.

3. Zach raised the money needed for his service dog!! Thank you for everyone who contributed to his campaign. Zach will get his forever friend next summer. I will keep you posted.
2. The Patriots came from behind and won on Sunday. It was quite amazing and unexpected. Apologies to the Saints fans.

1. Bailey our crazy puppy turned crazy dog had to have surgery due to his addiction to eating sticks. Thankfully the surgery went well and while Boo was sad not to hug him she seemed to understand that she had to be gentle. Now if the freaking pup would stop eating sticks I would be even more than thankful.

What are you thankful for this week?
 

Ten Things of Thankful

Friday, October 18, 2013

The very best part

The best part of my day is putting Boo to bed. This is my time with her. The time of day that I will not let anyone else interfere. I am steadfast that no one puts her to bed other than me when I am home. This moment is when she hugs me with her whole body as I carry her to her room. She hugs me around the neck with her legs around my waist. Lays her head on my shoulder and snuggles close.

I lay her down on her bed and say I love you. She replies 'ank you'. While I wish for some day to hear her tell me she loves me, 'ank you' is enough for now. I lay her down, cover her with her blanket and slowly walk out of the room.

I say one more time, Night, night Boo I love you and hear, 'ank you' one last time. My heart swells with love all the field trip pain melts away. I don't care that she is delayed, just that she is sleeping in her bed. I don't care that she cannot say or understand I love you. Because I know that while she might not understand it, she knows that she is loved.

That is how I finished the sentence this Friday, the best part of my day is....

Tell me, what is the best part of yours?

Finish the Sentence Friday

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thanks

Yesterday was a crap day. For me. Not for Boo though. I wanted to let everyone know that not only did she survive the field trip she enjoyed herself. According to David she not only touched a pumpkin but plucked an apple out of a tree!



I know I wasn't alone yesterday in my meltdown. Other parents experienced the same emotions I did. They just didn't spew to the entire world. But I am glad I did. I almost did not post yesterday, fearful that I would offend Boo's teachers and therapists. Fearful that I would look like an idiot when David took her and Boo did not melt down. Fearful that Boo would melt down and I wouldn't be there to hold her in my arms.

I want to thank each and every one of you though, for supporting my meltdown with texts, e-mails and comments. I cannot tell you what it meant that you understood. Or if you didn't understand you empathized.  A friend put it so well, this was a case of mommy guilt at it's worse. Something we all go through during this crazy period of our life called parenthood.

Since parenthood is going to last for the rest of my life I know that there will be other moments when Mommy Guilt overwhelms me. I always thought Catholic guilt was tough, man I knew nothing before children!!

Including how I never knew that parenting was a team sport. So, thanks to each and every one of you who are on my team.


 
 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm taking the easy way out....

Today I am failing as a mom. I am taking the easy way out. No, this isn't a post for you to say Kerri you are fine, stuff happens. I am not looking for you to make me feel better because I do not deserve it. Because a mom isn't supposed to be selfish. A mom is supposed to put her pain, her failings, her fears and her sadness aside for her child's joy.

But I am not doing that today.

Today I am hiding my head in the sand, okay my body at work, and letting David take Boo on her field trip. Last year, I took Boo and we went to a pumpkin patch and apple picking. This year it is the same trip and I am bowing out. This is Boo last year:




You might not be able to see it, but there are tears running down her face. I let her go at her own pace (way behind her classmates). When we got to the patch all the kids were running around, she was overwhelmed. By the dirt, by the pumpkins by the noise, by who knows what. Her teacher came back with us so we were not all alone but by the time Boo got her pumpkin everyone had proceeded to the apple orchard. Again Boo tried but she was in her own world. She hated the field trip and I felt awful for making her go outside her comfort zone, even if it was what she needed. So I held back the tears (incredibly thankful for sunglasses) as the teacher gathered all the kids around for the sign along. Boo was there but not there. Her mind tired and I saw her retreating into herself.

The field trip ended and we left the farm. I cried all the way home. It wasn't the teacher's fault, the students or the other parents. They all included Boo. These feelings are my own and incredibly selfish. Because I looked at Boo and felt bad for her. That she didn't enjoy herself but more than that. That I looked at Boo and saw her disability.

Not what others perceived but, as Kristi posted on Friday, how being in Public showed me how my child was not typical.

And moms are not supposed to do that. We are only supposed to see the beauty and innocence of our little ones. I failed. I cried. I realized that this is my problem and cannot blame anyone other than myself.

I know that this year will probably be different. Boo has more mobility, more words and is no longer afraid of dirt. I am sure that David will come home and tell me what fun it was, that she had a great time. So I apologize to her. Because I cannot face it. I will not chance it being a repeat of last year. I simply do not have it in me to go on another field trip of nightmares.

This is my failing, not Boo's.

I'm so sorry Boo.

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I like surprising people

I have kind of a strange taste in music. Some would call it twisted. I tend to listen to anything, my Pandora includes the Eagles to CCR to John Tesh to Big & Rich. If some one asked I would probably say I gravitate to country and/or pop music. But once in a while I like to really confuse my family. And that's when my mix-tape includes the RAP:


I just love when Eminem mixes his music with artists we thought would never ever ever be on stage with him. I like most of his songs, but the ones when he brings in other artists are my favorite.


Dating myself here, but I think this was the first rap song I ever knew. There was something so incredibly cool about these three women who not only entered the man-world of rap but freaking dominated it.


Eminem owes his career of radio hits to Run DMC. The first group that I know of who took Rap to the mainstream by taking on the Bad Boys of Boston. Run DMC set the standard of how to get your rap song on the mainstream music stations. Although Rich or Clark will probably tell me I am incorrect! Although Eminem did feature Aerosmith in Sing for the Moment.


Going back to my 80's roots...



I think the Beastie Boys are probably the most underrated rappers out there. Of course, they probably shot themselves in the foot by being too mainstream making us fight for the right to party. Gratitude, though? I wish I could live by their words: "What's gonna set you free. Look inside you and you'll see".



Well I warned you I like Country. And Jason is hot country who can rap.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A word from Allie....

I wish some one had warned me that Fourth Grade came with so much homework.

Me too, Allie, me too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This post should come with a warning

Okay if you got past the title of this post, you have been warned. I rarely get political / controversial on my blog. I have my opinions (too many according to my husband) but this blog is supposed to be about Boo, our family and how we live in a world we were not quite expecting.

But then the Government shut down and I got a tad irked. I'm lucky. I live in a State where the local government is shouldering some of the federal government's responsibility. But others are not quite so lucky and this unfairness is what has sparked the coming rant.

Again, you've been warned.

To Whom Ever Is Listening in Washington (DC that is),

I'm confused. I am not sure what the problem is at the Capital. However it appears to be a temper tantrum between two sides who seem to have forgotten their purpose. You see, it doesn't matter if you are a Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or have purple hair. You haven't provided a sound defense for what you are currently putting our nation through.

Quite simply, you are making us look like the dysfunctional family we have become. Which would be okay if you would stop airing dirty laundry and start airing common sense. You shut down National Parks, Monuments and buildings with signs that were at the ready to tell the World that the reason vacations and school trips were canceled were due to a Government shut down.

Exactly how much did those signs cost?

This impasse has affected more than government programs but local businesses. A hotel was shut down in VA for having the nerve to stay open during the shut down. This family-run business located on Federal Land had reservations to uphold and now will lose their hard earned patronage while you squabble.

You left the Supreme Court in session and maintained your staffers yet children will go hungry if their local governments cannot underwrite WIC.

Employees have been furloughed with no promise of retroactive pay. These are not young single people living with their parents but men and women who have served their employer, the US Government, with diligence and now may not be able to pay their mortgage or feed their children.

The NIH has been affected by the shut-down leaving cancer patients without protocols and trials.

Next will it be Social Security? Which, is not an entitlement, but something our seniors have spent their lives paying into and now depend on for little things like food, heat and medications.

Our paychecks continue to be garnished for taxes that are to support Government services and you are not providing them. In truth you are forgetting your purpose to your constituents.

It appears that our own Government is attacking those most likely to be hurt to prove their point. Both sides seem to be so stuck in their position that they are not willing to see the fallout.

In the end the question is why? This is the question that the President, the Senate and Congress has not answered for the American People.

Thank you for your time.







 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Ultimate Soundtrack

When making my mix-tape this week (on time!) I tried to stay current and then realized that the last 4 movies I have seen were from Disney. Oh, and Grease since that is Boo's current obsession. Proving I am a product of my teen years my ultimate soundtrack would have to include:


We should probably live by the line: Just once in his life a man has his time and that time is NOW and I am coming alive?


If you are going to have a soundtrack then you need John Cusack to pay your mix tape. In a boom box outside your window.


I always felt bad for Ducky and after St. Elmo's Fire I never really liked Andrew McCarthy anyway.


 
I fell in love, LOVE, I tell you with Lou Diamond Phillips thanks to La Bamba and of course he played the best Young Gun...


Bon Jovi, Lou Diamond Phillips and a great song? What a way to end my teenage years. But uh to live like a teen in my mix tape, if only Cusack would be in my driveway. Cause I know, just know, if he went to my high school he totally would have crushed on me.


Monday, October 7, 2013

31 for 21..okay 30 for 21 I am a day late :)

This post appeared last October when only about 3 people read my blog! Anyway, I am reposting it today to explain why I am participating in the 31 for 21 Challenge and why I am so thankful for their Community adopting other children who do not have Down Syndrome.

In typical Kerri fashion, I was a little late in following the rules.
                                                                                                                               

(originally posted 10/12/13)


I am trying to participate in the 31 for 21 challenge. Typical me, I am already late! But better late than never, right?

The 31 for 21 Challenge is in celebration of National Down Syndrome Month. Although Boo does not have Down Syndrome. A lot of the therapies created for kids with Down Syndrome work for her. So in appreciation...here we go!

Sign language has been key to Boo's development. Without it I know Boo would still be non-verbal. For Boo, she learns the sign then pairs the verbal/sign and eventually she shouts the word (music to my tortured ears!).

Because of Boo's speech therapist works primarily (weird coincidence!) with Down Syndrome children, she was an expert in sign and really believed Boo would benefit. C was so right. Boo still uses the more sign, although she will say it in tandem. Signs work for concepts, more than items now. Especially open and close. Boo relies on her signs to get her wants across when words fail. I find that when Boo is tired, she will sign more. C believes that there is more motor planning involved with speaking. Whereas signing is a visual concept Boo gets more readily. She can watch how the sign is formed, unlike a verbal command where so much is done internally.

Her first sign was "more". I loved "more". "More" meant Boo would eat (Teddy Grahams were a great motivator). Boo would sign for "more" food, bubbles and bounce. More gave way to "water", "open", "book", "close" and "bubbles". She signed for "puppy" and  "please" (did my proper mom's heart proud).


It sounds weird to say this, but thanks to Down Syndrome Boo has benefited greatly. Without her knowledge of signing with Down Syndrome children, C might never have decided to teach us how to sign. It is due to the trials of Down Syndrome children that my Boo was able to communicate. In thanks for them I ask you to come and join me in grabbing the 31 for 21 Challenge button!
 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I'm thankful Kate didn't run away

Ten Things of Thankful


For about six months now I have been stalking Kate from Another Clean Slate. If you don't read her regularly, you should. It is so cool to see how I should have lived out my late 20's early 30's. You know, if I could have handled living in a city. And been a young, beautiful urban professional.

As many of you know, I've been signing up for 5k's. So this week I am thankful that:
1. Kate answered my e-mail eons ago and rose to the challenge of doing a 5K with me.

2. That Kate finished her first 5k of this year. The bad part is she doesn't think she did well. The awesome part is I know better. The race wasn't that busy and she not only finished but finished looking as good as she had when she started.
Me, not so much.

3. That meeting a blog-friend in person is super scary, but turned out to be so comfortable. We seemed to pick up the conversation just as if we were e-mailing one another or reading her blog.

4. That David didn't freak when I told him we were meeting another couple for the first time that I had never met in person. (He is kinda paranoid about the land of Blog)

5. That when Kate saw David & I for the first time dressed for the Mullet High-5 she didn't tell Joe to lock the car doors and immediately drive away.


6. That David & I finished this race with our best time ever. 27 minutes. It really helped that the course was just about flat, the sun was hidden and the rain had stopped. Oh I am really thankful that the rain stopped an hour before race time.

7. David let me cross the finish line first this time. Even though he totally held back to run with me.

8. That my friend A landed 2nd place in our age-bracket. I was super proud of her. I finished 82 out of 180 runners. Definitely Kate and I were not last which is always my second goal next to just finishing.

9. The race ended with free beer (which I don't drink David got two!). When I had my first sip of wine and Kate her first sip of beer she noticed it was only 10am. Neither of us judged so I feel thankful for that.

 




And last but not least, I am glad to say that sometimes things just work out. At our race this weekend Kate and Joe had to endure meeting a bunch of people they don't know and everyone was just so happy to see one another. David & Joe got along great and they were not 'strangers' at all. I am not so sure I would've been that brave.

So, thanks to Kate for making my week!


For anyone who wonders why I was dressed so stylish...this is what the true Mullet Marathoners look like:


Oh and Kate, the next time we get together I a) promise not to make you run and b) will be dressed more appropriately!
 

One last thing, congrats to all my friends who participated in Buddy Walks around the Country today!



Friday, October 4, 2013

Life is freaking hard

I've always been a working mom. It has been too easy to escape to work everyday. With Allie I could not wait for my maternity leave to end. Let's face it, home with a newborn is kind of boring.

Then I had Boo and needed the routine of the office. Some place that I made decisions but not ones that would cause pain to my child. I looked forward to going to work and getting away from having a baby vomit on me.

Plus, being able to pay the mortgage is a wicked perk.

The hardest decision I've had to make is every morning going to work. Yes, the girls are in school. Allie in 4th grade and Boo in pre-school/SPED program. I don't want to take them out of their programs, but I wish I had more opportunity to be there before and after school.

Instead I rush home from work. To therapy with Boo or Homework with Allie. Have I mentioned how much I despise homework?

One of these days, I swear I will find the balance between bills and home life. I hope it is before the girls no longer need me home.

And that is how I finished the sentence, the hardest choice I ever made was...

What is the hardest decision you have made lately?




Finish the Sentence Friday
 
And in case you forgot, and really how could you! I am taking the challenge of 31 for 21! 
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I collect you...NOT

Are you a collector? I mean, serious, as in will ravage any antique/yard/estate/shop sale to obtain some knick-knack? Allie has collections. She has collections of Barbies, Horses (thanks Auntie K), sea glass and Nutcrackers (thanks, mom).

And now there is that freaking rainbow loom. Guess how many bracelet collections she has?

David doesn't really have collections. He is more of a pack rat. The man has a t-shirt from 1996 (He is wearing it now) and even one from 1983 (REO Speedwagon)--worn last weekend.

Boo has recently started a sticker collection. She doesn't take the stickers off the backing, but she walks around with them. I blame her Speech therapist.

Me? I don't collect so much. Don't get me wrong, I have knick-knacks galore. But I didn't buy any of them.  I like them, they are unique. Like the baking elves, Williamsburg signs, Cape Cod signs, Carolers (now only out at Christmas) and other what-nots.

I cannot believe I just said what-not.

The collection, though, I am most proud of is my friends. I have kind of an eclectic group. One I am meeting this weekend (woo hoo) for the first time in real life and others I have met via the blog. But also those close to home. The ones that I can just drop by and have a margarita with or a fine glass of wine.

No I do not collect wine. It really doesn't stay around long enough to collect.

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What do you collect? And also by