Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nothing exciting but I said I'd post

It's been a couple of days now. Nothing exciting going on at home. I went to a lovely wedding of an old friend from nursing school tonight. It was good to see some old friends. And it was very nice to come home to 4 sleeping kids! I guess I should get some sleep tonight. We have cousin M's birthday party tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary and some random thoughts

Today is our anniversary. First of all, I forgot all about it, but in all fairness, I had no idea what date it was. I just knew it was Thursday. If I had realized it was the 28th, I would have remembered. Gerald remembered. I didn't think much else of it. We usually don't do anything too fancy and this year money is tight right now, seeing as I"m temporarily unemployed (and loving it-I'm dreading Sept 8th but that's another topic). So, G comes home from work today with a card, a cake, and the best present ever...a pint of Ben and Jerry's Brownie Fudge Ice Cream -with a cute little bow on top. I felt really bad that I didnt' at least get a card. Usually, I always do cards. He's having fun making me feel bad that I dropped the ball today. I can't wait to eat my ice cream tonight-it really was a good gift. Thanks G. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now some random thoughts

1.) An update on Brandon's first day (yesterday). According to his teacher, there was some oppostional/defiance issues. And some kind of incident with water at snack time. Yeah, I kind of forgot to tell her that he has an obsession with water. He could make a mess with water all day long. The first day he refused to hold any kid's hand. But teacher said today wasn't perfect but it was better and when I dropped him off I saw him walking in to school holding hands with 2 little friends. Not bad Brandon. Yesterday, I asked him about school and he got mad and said, 'I don't like my teacher'. I asked him why and he said 'she won't let me have water' in a very pouty voice. Luckily she had already told me the water story and I knew he couldnt' have more water only after the 'water incident' had occurred.

2.) Gerry likes school and is doing well. Thank God for that.

3.) Samantha is doing well. Not perfect but good. She's had 2 pee pee accidents and thrown up once all in 4 days. They don't pay those teachers and aids enough money!

4.) I just realized that Samantha talks like a pirate. Tonight she got out of bed and said, "My blanket be falling off" I couldn't stop laughing and just kept imaging her saying that with a cheesy pirate accent....arrrr my blanket be falling off!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School!!!

What a wonderful title-what a wonderful day! The kids were so great getting ready this morning. Today was Samantha and Gerry's first day back. Over the summer, we didn't have much of routine and it seemed to take us like 2 hours to get out of the house. I was determined to start the school year off right. We woke up and they all ate together. Then all the kids got dressed at the same time and all brushed their teeth and made their beds without any fights. I think Gerry was really excited and so he was compliant and the others kind of followed along. Everything was going well until we stated to walk to school. We got to the end of our street and Gerry said his pants were falling down. Sure enough they were and I couldn't send the poor boy to his first day of Kindergarten in that condition. I ran back home and got a new pair. By then I was worried about being late if we walked. I like to start walking early so we don't have to rush-it makes everyone happier. Then we get to the end of our street again and Abera says he has to go #2 and it can't wait. Ahhhh I hate being late. I started getting rushed and told them all that we now don't have enough time to walk-we'd have to take the car. Sammy lost it. She wanted to walk so bad. She sat down on the sidewalk and just started screaming. So after the potty, I decided to take a chance and still walk. We had to rush and Sammy unfortunately cried almost the whole time because she couldn't keep up with her brothers. Usually it's not a big deal because we make it a slow walk but she just couldn't keep up the pace. She had composed herself by the time we got to school. She found her teacher (whom she adores) and never looked back. Gerry was actually excited. He's been so nervous about things lately but today he didnt' seem that scared. He let me kiss him goodbye and found where his class was waiting outside and found his old friend and that was that! They both had good days today they said. Gerry said kindergarten is very fun!

So in the afternoon, I decide to walk to pick them up and we finally get to school and Samantha wasn't there. After checking with a couple staff members I discovered Sammy was put on the bus. I have no idea why but she was listed as a bus rider and even had a bus #. We don't get bus service from our house because we live so close to school but Samantha qualifies for the special ed bus. But I told everyone and their mother from last spring on that she wouldnt' need the bus because I'd be taking Gerry to school everyday anyway and they won't let him ride the special ed bus so no use in sending Sammy on the bus if I have to take Gerry anyway. Anyhooo, the bus came back to school quickly and Samantha got right off and saw me and said hi. She didn't think it was strange that the bus took her and brought her back. She had had fun. The whole walk back Gerry and Abera kept saying "next time please take the car". It was hot out by then and they were being lazy... Oooh and Abera picked up a dead bird!!! Luckily it was near our house so I grabbed his arms and ran inside and scrubbed his hand off for a long time. I don't like dead animals!

Well, sorry this was so long. Just felt like blabbing about the first day back. I'll have all the details of Brandon's first day back on Wednesday(should be real interesting). Abera starts after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Major Award!

All I could think of was the dad from a Christmas Story when he won that lamp. The other day the library called and said Brandon won a raffle prize from the summer reading program. He won a goody bag from the library. I told him about the prize and he was sooo excited. We didn't know what would be in it and the next day we went to the library to pick it up. When we got it and he opened it up he kept saying, 'I'm so happy!' and 'This is my lucky day!' He carried that bag around the whole rest of the day and showed it off to everyone he saw.

There was a wooden puzzle. 2 books. A coloring book with crayons. Lots of rubber bath toys. A beach ball and an inflatable spider. I hope I didnt' forget anything :)

Here's a picture of him with his 'surprise' (not prize) from the library.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What do these things have in common?

I was changing Brandon yesterday at the pool bathroom and there is an echo in there so he started having fun and screaming random words. This is what he screamed:

Daggone Cars!!! (that's what we call the Disney/Pixar Car movie)



goldfish crackers!!!!!!

It reminded me of that old gameshow where you'd have a word and the person kept naming things to describe the word so the other person could guess.

Oh and I also forgot another conversation we had:

Brandon: Mommy, I have girl friends
Me : Oh good, it's nice to have boy friends and girl friends
Brandon: Yeah, I'm not afraid of girls anymore.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Samantha's Birthday

Samantha had her party this weekend at a local petting farm. It was a beautiful day-a tad bit on the hot side but only in the sun. It could have been alot worse. I'm too tired to run upstairs and get the camera so I don't have any pictures to show. Maybe tomorrow night. Samantha did get a bicycle with training wheels and is doing really well. Her right foot was having some problems slipping out and she would end up pushing the pedals backwards and braking when she was trying to pedal forward. She was getting frustrated easily but ended up doing much better by the end of her first ride. Other than that, we went to the pool this weekend (very cold water!) This week we will be getting ready for school. School doesnt' start until the 25th but this week we have an open house/meet your teacher day. I also need to get all the last minute school supplies that we need. Oh and I never ordered a Care Bears backpack so I guess Brandon will have to use his ugly scary Incredible Hulk backpack. Sorry, nothing exciting going on lately.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One mom's review of Tropic Thunder

A very wise mother went to see the movie the other day and wrote her review. I think it was very well written. This will probably be my last Tropic Thunder post and then I'll go back to my usual postings.

It's a very well written review-please take the time to read it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

He said it better than I could have-Tropic Thunder

The following is from a Washington Post editorial by Timothy Shriver. I have put it here but the original can be found at

What 'Tropic Thunder' Thinks Is Funny*By Timothy ShriverMonday, August 11, 2008;

I've been told to keep my sense of humor about the film "Tropic Thunder,"which opens this week. Despite my requests, I have not been given the chanceto see the movie. But I've seen previews, read about it and read excerpts ofthe script. By all accounts, it is an unchecked assault on the humanity ofpeople with intellectual disabilities -- an affront to dignity, hope andrespect.Consider this exchange:Ben Stiller's character: "There were times when I was doing Jack when Iactually felt retarded. Like really retarded."Robert Downey Jr.'s character: "Oh yeah. Damn."Stiller: "In a weird way, I had to sort of just free myself up to believethat it was okay to be stupid or dumb."Downey: "To be a moron."Stiller: "Yeah."At another point, about acting like a person with intellectual disabilities,they say:Stiller: "It's what we do, right?"Downey: "Everybody knows you never do a full retard."Stiller: "What do you mean?"Downey: "Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, actretarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic, sure. Notretarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe.Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pongcompetition. That ain't retarded. You went full retard, man. Never go fullretard."I worked with the Farrelly brothers on a film on this topic. I know aboutedgy comedy. I'm also told that movies are equal-opportunity offenders.So here's an equal-opportunity response to the equal-opportunity offenders:People with intellectual disabilities are routinely abused, neglected,insulted, institutionalized and even killed around the world. Their parentsare told to give up, that their children are worthless. Schools turn themaway. Doctors refuse to treat them. Employers won't hire them. None of thisis funny.For centuries, they have been the exception to the most basic spiritualprinciple: that we are each equal in spirit, capable of reflecting thegoodness of the divine, carriers of love. But not people with intellectualdisabilities. What's a word commonly applied to them? Hopeless.Let's consider where we are in 2008. Our politics are about overcomingdivision, our social movements are about ending intolerance, our greatphilanthropists promote ending poverty and disease among the world's poor.Are people with intellectual disabilities included in the mainstream ofthese movements? For the most part, no.Why? Because they're different. Their joy doesn't fit on magazine covers.Their spirituality doesn't come in self-help television. Their kind ofwealth doesn't command political attention. (The best of the spirit neverdoes.)Sadly, they're such an easy target that many people don't realize whom theyare making fun of when they use the word "retard." Most people just thinkit's funny. "Stupid, idiot, moron, retard." Ha, ha, ha.I know: I could be too sensitive. But I was taught that mean isn't funny.And I've been to institutions where people with intellectual disabilitiesare tied to beds or lie on concrete floors, forgotten. I've heard doctorssay they won't treat them. I know Gallup found that more than 60 percent ofAmericans don't want a person with an intellectual disability at theirchild's school.I've talked to people with intellectual disabilities who cry over beinginsulted on a bus. I've received too many e-mails from people who aredevastated not by their child's disability but by the terror of beinglaughed at, excluded and economically devastated.It wasn't funny when Hollywood humiliated African Americans for ageneration. It's never funny when good and decent human beings arehumiliated. In fact, it is dangerous and disgusting.This film is all that and more. DreamWorks went so far as to create amini-version of Simple Jack and posted it online. The studio has sincepulled it down, realizing it had gone too far, even in an age of edgy,R-rated comedies.So, enough. Stop the hurtful jokes. Talk to your children about languagethat is bullying and mean. Ask your friends, your educators, your religiousleaders to help us to end the stubborn myth that people with intellectualdisabilities are hopeless. Ask Hollywood to get on the right side ofdignity.I hope others will join me in shutting this movie out of our lives and ourpocketbooks. We don't live in times when labeling and humiliating others isfunny. And we should send that message far and wide.

*The writer is chairman of Special Olympics and a columnist forwashingtonpost. com's On Faith discussion site.*

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Remember my post about Emma!

The little girl having the very risky heart surgery. Well, amazingly she is home from the hospital. The surgeon said it was 'unexplainable' how her pulmonary pressures were so low. They were supposedly extremely high from the heart defect that should have been corrected at birth. The pressures were one of the reasons the one surgeon wouldn't operate and why she was not given a good prognosis by anyone. Before surgery the family was warned that she may need a trach or be in the hospital for 6 months IF she survived at all. She is home now! The surgery was a big success-thanks to all the prayers...I guess that's the only way to explain her unexplainably low pulmonary pressure.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Comment #2 and 3 and (31/2?)

Remember every time someone makes a comment regarding the # of kids I have, I'm documenting it on the blog and I'll see how many we can get up to.

2.) Today at Chick-Fil-A (surprise, I went to Chick-Fil-A!) the cashier asked if they were all mine. I said 'no, the oldest isn't mine but the other 4 are all mine' (I had Gerald's 8yr old niece with me). She said, 'you're a busy woman'

3-(3 1/2) Later on at the grocery store the checkout guy says.'you have your hands full'. Then like 3 minutes later he said the same thing!
Today Samantha told me to close my eyes. She took my hand and took me to the other room. She then said 'suprise'!!! And showed me this. She was so proud of it. She had tried to put all the supermen in the car but only their toes would fit.

So after getting dinner ready, I go into the living room and this is what I found. The salad is in a salad spinner. When I asked why the figurines were in there, Gerry said they were spinning-well, duh, what else would they be doing in there?

We went to a farm today to go berry picking. The kids loved picking blueberries. True to form, Gerry had only 5 blueberries in his bag when we were done. He ate the rest as he was picking. Gerry looooves blueberries. We have tons of blueberries now and I think I'm going to make blueberry delight tomorrow (yummy). We also got a huge box of peaches. I didn't mean to get so many but all the kids just kept adding peaches and before I knew it, the box was filled. Sorry no pics - I forgot to bring the camera.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Note to Ben Stiller

Hey Ben Stiller- You're a Simple Jack-Ass! Up yours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I said it.

Samantha's nails

The other day Samantha found some nail polish and did her own nails-and yes she did get some on the carpet but not as much as it could have been.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I was tagged by Shea

Well, I was tagged the other day. Apparently I have to list 6 "quirky yet boring and unspectacular things about myself." Then I have to choose 6 other people to 'tag'. I'll leave a note on their comments section to let them know they were tagged.

1. I have to eat junk food at night after all the kids are asleep. Usually chocolate chip cookies or Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

2. I drive a minivan and love it. Cliche as it is, I said I'd never drive one but when you have 4 kids, you're options are limited. DH has a big SUV and I hate getting the kids in and out of that thing.

3. I love to watch House Hunters.

4. I could eat spaghetti every day of the week.

5. I never wear make up. Just never got into the habit. I guess I'm too lazy.

6. I would love to learn how to surf.

I"m going to tag Gerald, Steph, Jen, Laura, Rebecca and Christina

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nothing in Particular

Abera is learning English so fast. And it's cute to hear his little accent-although that is getting less noticable lately. There are a couple of funny words that come out because of his accent.

The first is how he says 'ridiculous'. This is what he said to Gerald the other day, "Daddy, you so dikless" :)

He likes to eat 'slimy' (salami)

And speaking of speech problems. I cant' roll my r's and in Ethiopia they are rolled. Unfortunately I can't properly say Abera's name because of that. Abera thinks it's hilarious that I can't roll my r's and today we were playing around - I was trying to say his name with a rolled r (and failing miserably). And he was just cracking up. Finally, he got up and said, "mommy, I think you need new batteries" LOL

Today, Brandon fell asleep on the landing of our stairs (he usually doesn't nap so this was unusual). While he was sleeping he kept saying "oreo cookies, oreo cookies" I guess he was hungry.

We went out last night to dinner and a movie (Stepbrothers-wasnt' that impressed. Why does every comedy out there lately have to use the R word!!!-that wasn't the only reason I wasn't impressed. It just wasnt' that funny. There were some good parts but mostly really crude humor).

Pray for Emma

There is a family that needs your prayers. Little Emma was recently adopted from the Ukraine. She has Down syndrome and a heart defect that should have been repaired a long time ago. She was adopted by a wonderful family and Emma has changed so much since coming home. This is very high risk surgery - so high risk that one cardiac surgeon refused to do the surgery and said there was no hope. They have found another surgeon who will be operating on her heart this Monday. Please say lots of prayers for Emma and her family. She has come so far.