Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We interupt this blog party ... to end the word

Spread the Word to End the Word

A personal message from John C. McGinley

Hi, I’m John C. McGinley. I’m an ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society, and today I’m teaming up with Special Olympics to bring you a message that’s important to me.

John C. McGinley and his son
John C. McGinley and his son, Max

So many times in life you are asked to change…

Change your clothes. Change lanes. Change jobs. Change the sheets. Change flights. Change your tune. Change horses midstream. Change your latitudes and your attitudes!

Change, and the ability to adapt, is to the human condition as air is to the lungs. We change, and in the doing, we thrive!

In fact, we just elected a president who promised, above all else, to “change.”

What if, on March 31, you elected to change the way you use the words “retard” and “retarded”?

Hardly seems like the largest of sacrifices. Not when you consider the changes in language that you have, so willingly, already elected to integrate into your vernacular. You no longer use the words nigger, or kike, or faggot, or jap, or kraut, or mick, or wop.

Why would you? Why on earth would you? Those are all words that hurt. Those are all racial and ethnic slurs and epithets that perpetuate negative stigmas. They are painful! And that is not okay. It is wrong to pain people with your language. Especially, when you have already been made aware of your oral transgression’s impact.

Make no mistake about it: WORDS DO HURT! And when you pepper your speak with “retard” and “retarded,” you are spreading hurt. So stop it. Stop saying “retard” and “retarded.” Those words suck! You are better than that and you definitely do not need to be “that guy.”

There is no longer any acceptable occasion to lace your dialogue with the words “retard” and “retarded.” Without fail, those words are the stuff of hurt. They, straight up, are. So, stop it! Stop using the “R-word.”

The 7 million people with intellectual disabilities (around the planet) who are on the receiving end of this hate speak are genetically designed to love unconditionally. These “retards” are NEVER going to return your vitriol. Ever! So what could possibly be the up-side of continuing to use the “R-word” in your daily discourse?

We love you. We do!

And, just in case you missed it and you need an extra hug? We love you!

You do not need to love us in any kind of reciprocal fashion. You don’t. (It’s not that kind of bargain.)

But, how about on March 31, you elect to change? A word? Two stinkin’ syllables?

On March 31, join us and “Spread the Word to End the Word.” And the word is “retard!” It HURTS! So help us to cut it out.

Thank you! We do love you!
John C. McGinley

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm feeling good ...

I forgot to mention that I did go to the doctor this past Monday ... and it was confirmed that I had bronchitis. By the time I went, I think I had been hacking for like 10 days. It was horrible. So I got an antibiotic ... and then I came down with sinus pain. WTF?! So two days this week I had a horrible sinus headache ... but I'm now happy to finally be feeling better!


I've sort of been in a funk regarding my weight ... and my health in general. Haha. I guess I'm technically slightly overweight ... the heaviest I've ever been. Ugh. I am one of those who always has intentions of working out and dieting, but it never sticks.

So I've decided that I am going to do this, damn it. I joined Weight Watchers online this morning, only because I like that it holds me accountable and it gives me good ideas for healthier food choices.

I also grabbed my iPod, cranked up the NKOTB {woot woot!} and went speed walking for a half hour. I will work my way up and quite honestly, I could have gone for another half hour. I just happened to be back at the house after a half hour, so I quit. LOL. Sit ups and arm work will come later today.

And ... I have been a total slacker on taking my vitamins, B12 and Juice Plus. I am committed to taking them every day ... I have to. I can tell the difference in my hair. Haha.

I will be looking hawt this summer. Hawt, I tell ya. Haha. Anyone wanna join me?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sasha. Reese. And Life.

Tonight we met up with Sasha's family for dinner and play time. It was so great to see them and to see how well Sasha is doing. I still love the fact that Nika and Sasha will continue to be able to grow up together* ... pretty amazing, huh?

Is it just me, or do they look so much older than they did just a couple months ago?
Haha ... this snap cracks me up ...
I think I remember you ...
Payton has the two of them in a headlock ... Comply or answer to Ms. Thang!
The kiddos {clockwise} ... Mason, Bongy {Sasha's older sister who was also adopted from Russia when she was an infant}, Nika, Payton and Sasha ... so cute!
*For those of you that are confused ... haha ... Nika and Sasha were in the same grouppa in their baby home in Russia. In grouppa terms, they essentially were part of each other's family unit ... so does that make them pseudo siblings? Sure, why not?!


I want to update you on baby Reese ... she is free! DJ returned to Eastern Europe {McKenna stayed home} a few days ago to finalize Reese's adoption and today was Gotcha Day. Here is DJ's account of the moment that he left the baby home forever with Reese ...

The walk from the building to the outside gate is about 50-75 yards and is a small brick path lined with light poles. Visually it was very surreal to walk down the path holding this little child and watching as the exit gate got larger and larger. I almost expected to hear background music playing. Best of all, Reese, unsolicited, actually started to smile and laugh as we were making our march to the door.

Sob sob ... I'm such a sucker for this kind of stuff. I am beyond thrilled for DJ, McKenna and Reese ... such a lucky, lucky little girl! And I can't wait to meet her!


I saw this quote on another blog the other day and I thought it summed up my life pretty good ...

"God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome myself back to my blog. Thank you, thank you, thankyouverymuch. These past two weeks have been rough round these parts.

To say the least.

The kids and I have all been sick ... I'm the last to recover. I'm in the process to trying to get all the junk out of my chest ... I really think I have bronchitis. Guess I would know if I had went to the doctor. Sigh. Doing that today at 6 p.m. as long as I can find someone to watch my kids.

Kyle has been working really long hours trying to open a new hotel. All I can say is that I bow down to those of you that are single parents!


This past Thursday, I went to see New Kids on the Block. Yes ... it was my third concert on this tour, but really ... who's counting? I'll do anything for love. Haha.

We left town early afternoon to head to Baltimore ... we wanted to make time for traffic and dinner. After dinner, we still had like an hour to kill before we needed to head to the venue. Just then, my sister told me she needed to find a bathroom and she took off running. I went after her and turns out she had vomited and came down with the stomach flu ... just.like.that. Ugh.

After realizing she would not make it through the concert, we called her husband to come pick her up. Mind you we live about 90 miles from where the concert was, so it was going to be awhile before he could get there. Thank God we had that hour to kill before we needed to head to the venue ... we spent our time bonding in the lobby of a hotel, as we needed a bathroom nearby.

It came time for us to head to the venue, but my brother-in-law still wasn't there. I felt horrible leaving my sister there ... sick and stuck in the middle of Baltimore in a hotel lobby. Fun. But she was okay with it and my brother-in-law rescued her just as the opening act was getting over.
Speaking of opening acts, the Jabbawockeez opened for NKOTB. I hadn't seen the show, but they were the winners of America's Best Dance Crew on MTV. They were pretty cool ... I especially liked the part where they broke out in an late 80's/early 90's retro get down.

The NKOTB were amazing, like always. I.love.them. It really is just so nostalgic for me. And I can't wait for the summer tour!


My dad and my step-mom were here over the weekend to visit. We had a nice visit and we wish we could see them more often. They live in Florida about 10 minutes from Disney ... Mason calls them Mickey Mouse Grandma and Grandpa. Ahh, so many grandparents to keep track of ... haha.

And just to prove how not.so.great I've been feeling, I took zero pictures while they were here. Man, I suck.


My sister, brother-in-law and I took the kids to a local park that overlooks National Airport in DC. The flight pattern is such that the planes either take off or land right over the park, depending on the wind that day. It is pretty cool.

Up ...
... up ...
... and away!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three Thoughts

1. Tired. It has been a long eight days of sickness in the house. I've been hacking so much, I sound like a 95 year old woman who started smoking at age 10. And no, I don't smoke.

2. Migraine. Refer to #1.

3. NKOTB. Tomorrow. Woot woot! Please God heal me by tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Where did my baby go?

{1 year old}

I seriously can't believe Mason is five years old already. It seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with him after trying for so many years.

And he is five already?!

It all sort of hit me today when Mason lost his first tooth. Since when do I have a kid that is old enough to lose a tooth?! It has been loose for awhile, but the final straw was when Chicky knocked it loose enough to pull today ... err, that is his story, at least.
He cried because he was nervous for me to pull it ... and I think it freaked him out that he was about to lose a part of him. And I cried after I pulled it because he is such a big boy, he makes me so proud ... and I can't believe he is so old!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sick. Sick. And pretty much sick.

Oi ... what a week.

Monday started off with Payton refusing to walk. After running around barefoot in the nice weather all last weekend, she injured her left foot. I didn't see any splinters, so I figured she must have bruised it. She was not screeching in pain {as if it was broken} ... she would just sit and whimper until I carried her.

So no school on Monday for Payton ... I mean, she wouldn't walk!

By Tuesday ... the snot, cough and fever had rolled into town. Payton had all three ... Nika just had snot.

So no school on Tuesday for Payton either.

These yuckies lasted all week, with Nika's progressively getting worse and with wheezing coming to town to visit Payton.

So no school for Payton on Thursday or Friday either. Although if I were a really good mom, I would have known that Friday was a teacher in-service day and I wouldn't have shown up in the carpool lane to drop off Mason, all the while wondering where everyone else was.

I took Payton to the doctor on Friday to make sure it wasn't anything more than a virus ... and I wanted them to take a look at her foot. Although she began limping on it by late Monday, she was still favoring it by Friday. They agree that she probably just bruised it and to give her motrin to reduce swelling for healing. If that doesn't work within a couple days, then I will be asking fr xrays. They also swabbed her for strep, which was negative.

Last night Nika went downhill fast. In addition to her snot, she is now barking like a seal. My poor baby. No fever though ... yet. Can you say croup?

So late this afternoon, Payton was laying on me. I could tell something was wrong, as she had just woke up from her nap and she was so lethargic. A couple minutes later ... vomit everywhere.


And on top of all of this I am also barking like a seal.


Before bed, I flushed out the girls' noses, dosed them up on cold medicine and layered the Vicks on their chests. Mmm ... I love Vicks. I put some on my own chest too. Reminds me of my childhood. You think it matters if my Vicks expired like ... say, five years ago? Haha.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nibble, nibble, nibble.

One of my favorite take out meals is the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap from Red Robin. Have you ever had it? Yum ... it is scrumptious! With the chicken wrap comes french fries and two rinds of cantaloupe.

Now I might have mentioned before ... err, I know I have mentioned before ... how much Nika loves food. Even cantaloupe ... and cantaloupe rinds. She devours them.

Nibble, nibble, nibble.
Mmmm ... this is good stuff.
Does it matter if I eat the rind?
Look lady ... would you get that camera outta my face? I'm trying to eat my cantaloupe! Geesh!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adoptions All Around

McKenna and DJ had court this morning and they are now the ecstatic parents of Reese! They now have a 10 day mandatory waiting period, during which time they will return to their children at home and then go back for Reese. Hopefully by early April, Reese will be home for good!


Cara and Gary over at Adding On are leaving for Russia in three days! They are adopting a seven year old girl, Anastasia. Cara and Gary hosted Anastasia for four weeks over the holidays. They fell in love with her and now they are close to bringing her home for good! Anastasia has mild Cerebral Palsy and if she were not adopted by the time she turns eight, she would be sent to an institution. Don't even get me started on that!

So hop on over and let's give them all the support they need throughout their journey! We all know how incredibly expensive international adoption is ... so if you have the ability to offer any amount of financial support to Cara and Gary, there is a paypal button at the top of their blog.


Gillian and Sergei over at Expecting Evangeline are working hard to adopt a little girl that has Down syndrome from Eastern Europe. To help raise money to do so, they are currently hosting a fundraiser for which one lucky person will win a Canon PowerShot Camera! Click here to learn more about the fundraiser.


Renee and Frank over at Bringing Kellsey Home are also working hard to adopt a little girl that has Down syndrome from Eastern Europe. To help raise money to do so, they are currently hosting two fundraisers, the first of which one lucky person will win a cruise. Click here to learn more about the cruise fundraiser. They also are currently hosting a silent auction ... read more about that here!


Brigitte and Joe over at Living a Van Nice Life are working hard to adopt a little boy that has Down syndrome from Eastern Europe. To help raise money to do so, they are currently hosting a fundraiser for which one lucky person will win a iPod Touch! Click here to learn more about the fundraiser.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spread the Word

"Most of the kids love unconditionally. So much love. It's so much love ... like love that you can't even believe is real."

"It defies rational thought to why you would pick on that group. There are 190,000,000 kids and adults in the world with intellectual disabilities ... 7.5 million in the United States. When you pick on that group, you've picked the perfect storm of cowardice to exercise your {hatred} ... because they are not going to return serve. Because that's not what they are equipped to do. They are equipped to {hug} ... not {fight}. So why pick on that group? It doesn't make sense."

Listen Up.

This just about sums up my day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Concrete. Drawers. And the bag lady.

Today I am sort of wandering aimlessly when it comes to blogging ... just like the bag lady that I had nightmares about as a child. For real ... there was this bag lady ... and I really had nightmares about her.


Our community association is finally filling our roads. We have lived here almost four years and we are still swerving around manholes. But before they fill the road, they apparently need to repair the concrete in the gutters and at the end of our driveways.

So right now my driveway looks like this ...
... which is fine, nice and dandy ... but couldn't they fill both halves of my driveway so they at least match? I mean what is more annoying than having two different colors of concrete? Ahh call me petty, but it sure does annoy me!


My daughter ... also known as Chicky ... has this little obsession with emptying drawers. It only takes her about 2.2 seconds, so by the time you catch her ... the damage is done.

And it drives me crazy! Her obsession also goes beyond drawers ... toy bins are also game. Ugh.


So are you wondering about the bag lady I had nightmares about as a child?

Ok, I will tell you the story.

There was this woman ... she was a homeless woman {aka: bag lady} and she wandered the city we lived in. When she walked, her head bobbed up and down ... up and down. I was a young child and of course, I thought she was so bizarre. Her actions in general were so bizarre that there was no way a child like me wouldn't have stared at her.

So one day I spotted her across the street and I watched as a lady walked her bike down the sidewalk with her child in her bike's child seat. The child pointed at the bag lady and just then, the bag lady grabbed the bike and shook it ... with the child in the child seat.

I swear ... I was terrified of the bag lady. I had nightmares about her ... nightmares that she was going to come to my house and get me.

Isn't it strange the things that stick in a child's mind? I will never forget the bag lady ... although I wish I could.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Have you ever been geocaching? Have you even heard of it?

Geocaching: Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

I first heard about geocaching a few years ago when a friend from work told me about it. It sounded sort of strange to me, but sort of intriguing as well.

Years passed and I never gave it another thought. Until my sister-in-law and brother-in-law randomly went geocaching. So I called them nerds ... and then I asked when we could all go. Ha!

Today was the day ... my brother-in-law pulled up three caches within walking distance of our house, so we set out to find them. It was actually fun and it was sort of a race to see who could find them first.

Cache #1 ... the clues told us it was near a stream and under our feet, meaning somewhere on the bridge that crossed the stream. The prize for this one went to my sister-in-law ... she found it tucked up under the bridge after I had just looked right where she found it ... GRR ...
On the way to cache #2 ...
Cache #2 ... hidden in a log ... guess who found it?! Yep ... that would be me! That's riiight. Okay, it was totally not hidden well, but whatever ... I found it. Ha!Mason looking to see what was in cache #2 ...Cache #3 ... a tree "ornament" ... found by Kyle and Mason ...
And Ms. Addison ... along for the ride ...
Where's Payton? Clearly she didn't want her picture taken!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baby Reese {Update}

If you have visited my blog before, you have most likely heard me talk about my friends, McKenna and DJ. They are in Eastern Europe right now meeting their newest daughter. Their blog has been made private during this time and I have been fielding tons of emails from those of you wondering how things are going.
After a few days of internet troubles, I just talked to McKenna and DJ. They are in region safely and have met Reese! Isn't she friggin adorable?! McKenna and DJ are in love and they told me that Reese is the sweetest thing ever. They are very anxious to get her home and get settled as a family. They have court on Tuesday and will have a 10-day waiting period after that before Reese can come home.
Thank you everyone for your support of them!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Phew ... it feels so good to sit down! Am I the only person who is on her feet from sun up to {past} sun down everyday? I mean really ... with the exception of a half hour or so during naps, I am literally on my feet all.day.long.

Can a girl just grab a chair for like ... 5 minutes?

This morning I decided to let the kids play hookie from school. Bad mom, I know. Payton really only had Mom's Morning Out and neither of Mason's teachers were at school today, so I didn't feel too bad.

It's okay to have a hookie day every once in awhile, yes?

So the kids and I went to pick up my grandmother, Gigi {pronounced gee-gee}, as they so fondly call her. We headed off to Costco, because I can't do it myself with the kids. By the time I fill the cart with kids, there is no room left for bulk goods.

And the Lord knows I get a whole lotta bulk goods when I go to Costco.

So we filled up two carts full of stuff by the time we were done. Gigi had about 66 samples of free food ... err, Gigi and Nika had about 66 samples of free food. I think I'll have to take them back to get a couple cans of that salmon they were drooling over.

After my grandmother picked her jaw up off the floor from all the stuff I bought, we went home, unpacked the car and we all ate lunch at the kids' picnic table on the deck. We had gorgeous weather today ... makes me want summer to get here now.

Crazy kids ...
Queen Gigi ...Nika ...
Bubs and Chicky ...
Oh, so bashful ...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Will work for toys ...

This morning as I was feeding Nika some yogurt, I needed a barrette to keep her bangs out of her eyes.

Me: Bubs, can you run upstairs and get me a barrette for Nika?

Mason: Sure, Mom.

He brought back a barrette ... but by that time I needed a paper towel, because Nika had dribbled down her shirt.

Me {as I am holding Nika's hands so she doesn't smear the yogurt further}: Can you get me a paper towel too, please?

Mason: Ugh MOM ... can we just have ONE day where I don't have any jobs?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Getting to Know You

I wanted to let you all know that I am participating in Getting to Know You over at Dancing Barefoot. All you have to do is leave a comment on the Getting to Know You post telling them who you are and who five of your favorite blogs are {how could one person possibly narrow it down to five?!} ... easy peasy!

Then every Monday the folks at Dancing Barefoot are going to be featuring random blogs ... I mean, who doesn't love to "meet" new people? I know I do!

So go on ... get to stepping ... go let them know who you are and who you love!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


For years now, I have been getting those automated emails ... "So and so joined Facebook and they want you to join them!"

Seriously? As if I have time for another networking site. Err ... maybe I do. Okay, I'm pretty sure I don't, but I'm also pretty sure none of us do. Ha!

So I caved and signed up. Sigh. I did get sucked in big time in the beginning ... but I've learned to take a step back. Now I say if your status update is listed in my last 20 or so updates, then I got your back. If not, maybe next time. Ha!

My favorite night of the week for Facebook is Monday night ... as I sit watching The Bachelor, my favorite show. I'm addicted to it, I can't help it. Just like every other season, they said it would be the most dramatic ending ever. Right, right ... it has gotten a little old after all these seasons.

But this season I think they told the truth. Dramatic is right! So once the After the Rose portion of the show began, I updated my Facebook status to this ...


10:07pm March 2

And the following hysterical conversation ensued ... oh, the drama ... see how this stuff sucks you in?!

Linda Paulson Nargi at 10:08pm March 2
This is sheer craziness!!!!!!!!

Shylo Ulcak at 10:08pm March 2
I know!!! OMG!!!

Sarah Falise Masci at 10:08pm March 2
OMG what???

Lori Warner Kirby at 10:10pm March 2
Poor Melissa!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously! This is nuts. Although I have said for weeks I thought he was going to pick Molly.

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:10pm March 2
Sarah do you watch it? What time zone are you in? Do you want me to say?! LOL

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:10pm March 2
Oops, I guess there ya have it! LOL

Sarah Falise Masci at 10:11pm March 2
Yes say! I am not watching this season. :) But still dying to know of the craziness.

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:11pm March 2
OMG commerical, hurry up! LMAO

No kidding! Geesh...

Sarah Falise Masci at 10:11pm March 2
Is tonight the finale or something?

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:12pm March 2

He picked Melissa. But now at the after the final rose, he says things are not the same and he can't stop thinking about Molly! So he is breaking up with Melissa and asking Molly for another chance!

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:12pm March 2
Yes, the after the final rose is on now and he is about to break up with melissa

Shylo Ulcak at 10:13pm March 2
This is insane!

Crap, did I spill the beans too early....

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:15pm March 2
Can anyone tell if she has the ring on?

Shylo Ulcak at 10:16pm March 2
It doesn't look like it to me.

No ring. I feel uncomfortable for her...and him too. Yikes.

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:17pm March 2
Yeah, I can't believe they are making them do this in front of Chris and live cameras!

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:18pm March 2
LMAO she is like "mm hmm"

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:18pm March 2
Whoa, she said "you are such a bastard!"

Linda Paulson Nargi at 10:19pm March 2
She's killin' me- and it's hysterical that she just called him a ba$tard

Shylo Ulcak at 10:19pm March 2
My jaw is on the floor right now, lol

Potty mouth...LOL

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:21pm March 2
I love living vicariously through these people! And there was the ring. I really thought he was gonna say he wanted Deanna! LOL

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:21pm March 2
Ugh Michelle ... I'd be calling him more than a bastard! LMAO

He's a man of many tears. I can't wait to see what Molly says.

Joanne Hansmann Charland at 10:30pm March 2
You should post this conversation on your blog because it's flipping hilarious!

Linda Paulson Nargi at 10:40pm March 2
But.......... what is going on with her hair? It's scaring me.....

Linda, you are hysterical!

Linda Paulson Nargi at 10:48pm March 2
She's waiting for Ashton to jump out!

Jennifer Brown Hebert at 10:54pm March 2
Don't do it, Molly! He's a dog!

Bethany Bosman Balsis at 10:56pm March 2
Hell yeah we are floored, Chris!

Linda Paulson Nargi at 10:58pm March 2
This ain't right............

Part 2?? I'm not sure I can handle much more.

Shylo Ulcak at 11:03pm March 2
I know, what else could there be??

Amy Strottman Flege at 11:04pm March 2
Its all nuts it you ask me. I think he should just give up!!!!

Jennifer Brown Hebert at 11:05pm March 2
Is he going to break up with Molly on Part 2?

Jennifer Shay Toussaint at 11:33pm March 2
Reality Steve had it right! Kind of wish I hadn't know so I could have gotten surprised tonight! Can't wait for part 2

Kristen Van Meter Faulkner at 11:54pm March 2
Yes. Add this to your blog. Freakin' hilarious!