Monthly Archives: March 2013

FMF: Broken

No FMF does not mean F*/*-/ my Family ūüôā

Five Minute Friday


It is time for 5 minute Friday. Here are the rules: Write for 5-minutes, without editing, back-tracking, over-thinking. Always hard for me to do! And in complete honesty I had to re-start this one. More than once. Because this week’s prompt brings so many thoughts.

 
Broken
 
 
Starting now….again (!)
 
When I think of broken I think of how we have not been broken by Boo but how how she has strengthened us. I remember when we first brought her home I wondered if our family could survive a child with (at the time) overwhelming health issues. What I learned was that I do not have to be strong all the time, my husband and I can take turns breaking.
 
 
I have been surprised how Boo has made our extended family bonds stronger. We have been completely overwhelmed by the support of our family, friends and community. By being “out there” with Boo and her spirit we have been truly blessed.
 
When her health stablized and we learned that she may be intellectually disabled it was like we were given good news and then but here is the price you have to pay….your daughter will be healthy (THANK YOU GOD) but she will struggle for the rest of her life. What comes easy for other children will be work for her. But she will GROW!

But I worried. So worried, that the world-at-large would look at Boo and think she was broken. You know, the stares at Church or the grocery store. You know in your head that their looks and judgement shouldn’t matter. But your heart kind of breaks.
 
I read about how having a child with special needs isolates and breaks a family. Boo has done the opposite. We have never hidden Boo’s struggles and because of that our friends and families have been accepting of Boo. They love her and protect her as much as her parents do.

Boo has a team of therapists, teachers, aides, friends and family that will make sure she is never perceived as Broken. Instead they see Boo.
 
End.
 
Be sure to visit the host, Lisa-Jo to see how others answered the prompt!
 
  
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If I could hang out with any celebrity it would be….

This week’s Finish that Sentence Friday is so much easier than last week’s (thank goodness!). Off we go….

If I could hang out with any celebrity it would be…not just one. I know I am a greedy girl. Here is my reasoning.

If I could hang out with any celebrity for cooking lessons it would be Curtis Stone. You know that guy from Biggest Loser and Top Chef. Oh you don’t?

photo credit: google images


Hmmmmm…where was I? Oh yes, not only do I think (based on all his TV appearances) that he is a good cook, I think my kitchen would look much spiffier with him in it.

If I could hang out with any celebrity for a glass of wine it would be Sandra Bullock. I think she would just be like having a glass of wine with a gorgeous girl next door that ignored us in high school but realizes 30 years later that we are super cool. We could watch Curtis while he cooked and we sipped.

If I could hang out with any celebrity for my girls it would be Selena Gomez because then I could make Allie’s wish come true. Plus if she really is a Wizard then maybe she can use her magical powers to clean my house.


If I could hang out with any celebrity for comic relief it would be Jeff Dunham. Yes, he plays with dolls. But come on that guy is freaking hysterical. Imagine having this at the dinner table with Curtis?

photo credit google images
what would we do without google?



If I could hang out with any celebrity for romance it would be Mark Walhberg. I know you were thinking George Clooney based on my New Years resolutions. And yes, he has a dream home on Lake Cuomo. But¬† his girlfriend is some ex-WWF wrestler and three times my height and muscle mass. I would rather eat weird food with Phil than take her on in the ring. But that aside, I have more of a chance running into Mark in Boston than I do meeting George on Lake Cuomo. This is only, of course, in the event that both my husband and his wife were ill-disposed. Not that I am planning anything….

If I could hang out with any celebrity for my husband it would probably be the Duck Dynasty guys because then they could take him hunting. I wouldn’t have to go, right? Maybe Mark would be available that weekend ūüôā

If I could hang out with any celebrity for travel it would be that guy from the Amazing Race who I cannot think of his name right now. I could google it, but you know who I mean. Phil something. It doesn’t matter, really. But imagine all the cool places he could take us to and the adventures we would have. Other than sky diving or bungee jumping or eating weird food. Never mind,I would like to change my pick to Oprah for traveling partner. First class all the way, Atlantis and I am sure her friend Gayle would make awesome accommodations for us.

 
And that is how I finished the sentence this Friday. I probably should have been more high-brow and chosen a Saint or some who uses their celebrity for good. But, well….that is just not me!

Please visit the hosts at:

Finish the Sentence Friday





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I’m exhausted, so I am doing a quick mind/blog dump!

I am so freaking proud of my nephew. He is part of the reason I am exhausted. Yesterday we woke up at 3 freaking AM to attend his swearing in as a Seamen before he left for Basic Training. I already miss him. He doesn’t live close by but thanks to the Bruins we text every time a game is on.

Speaking of the Bruins…you would think I would go to bed early? Right, I mean up at 3am…but no I stayed up to watch the battle with the Canadians. That we lost. I think the big, bad B’s had better shape up soon. Thankfully my nephew got spared the game. Although my other one was tortured with me.

Boo is sick. Again. With the creeping crud. Kristi I swear if her and Tucker keep kissing…kidding! Of course, mom of the year that I am, I sent her to school. No fever and she wasn’t cranky. So I figure go and get well.

My friend, who lost a child to SIDS a year ago is doing a fundraiser in her son’s name Colby’s Crusade. I do not know how she survived the experience. I think of all I go through with Boo and am feeling so blessed. That Kandi would not hide under the covers, but share her story and help prevent another parent having to suffer. I am in awe. SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies. More than cancer, Cystic Fibrosis or heart disease. Before Kandi told me, I had no idea that an estimated 8, that is EIGHT, babies die every day from SIDS. And there is no science that can tell us why.

And I get ticked that Boo is undiagnosed.

On a lighter note, the hubs and I actually watched a movie together and it was Disney (yeah us!). Rock of Ages, you would think with all the talent, Alec Baldwin at least, it would be a good movie. It was one of those you were positive would improve. But not so much.

Of course now I have an 80’s soundtrack playing over and over in my head.

Okay now going for caffeine. End of brain dump, thanks for reading my exhausted thoughts!

Are you in or out?

Are you out of the closet? The blogging closet, not the other one where I hid the fudge brownies!

I am ‘out’ to about all of¬†6 people that I know in my real life, as opposed to this still-toddler stage virtual one. This number does not include my husband, who has been told TWICE, but sometimes manages to forget. Only two of the four read on a regular basis. The others, I am not sure if I ever drew the map on how to get here. If they do visit here often they never let me know.

I remain on the threshold of that closet door wondering if it is a good decision to come out or safer to remain inside. On one hand, I get to use this forum like a therapist couch and on the other I am sharing more with strangers than my own circle.

In typical Kerri fashion I devised a pro/con list:

  • I don’t offend anyone that I will meet in the grocery store. Like the time I complained about the friend who drank all my wine.
  • I can be heartbreakingly honest without fear that a friend will be calling to ask me if I am okay. Because you just know I will respond, if you read the blog than you know I am not!
  • I don’t have to worry when I complain about how some random comment hurt my feelings and making that person feel bad.
  • I can say anything on this blog without a care that what I say may be misconstrued, gossiped about or whatever. If I don’t like something you comment on this blog I can delete it (like that SPAMMER who tried to sell you something in my comments section) and move on.
  • I am potentially limiting people who can help Boo.
  • I am definitely limiting their understanding of her.
  • I am shrinking my village/circle/support system by not being honest
  • Staying in the closet where there are brownies, I am definitely not offending any family members when I vent via blog. Just imagine the Yankee Swap at Christmas if I tick off a sister-in-law.
  • I am not getting phone calls that asks was it X who said that about Boo?
  • I’m not getting calls from Mom either in embarrassment (what did you & Tia do in SPAIN!) or in worry (why didn’t you tell me you broke!)
  • I am not letting Boo’s friends and family know all about her hard work and triumphs.
  • No one is telling my husband all of the crazy things I write. (total bonus)
  • By staying in the closet I may not be helping friends who are too scared or tired to ask for help
  • I am not boring any friends who get tired of Facebook posts about the “R” word, World Down Syndrome Day and fundraisers for my favorite cause Children’s Hospital. Although the fundraiser included beer so they probably didn’t mind that one as much.
  • I might get more Top Mommy votes and move up from oblivion (warning shameless plug below)
Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs
GO VOTE ūüôā

After reviewing the list, I am still on the edge of the closet. Because I started this blog as a means of therapy. A place I can say anything and not worry about anyone else but me. Then as it evolved into a daily occurrence (something I never imagined) with followers, I thought it was too late now to tell people. 

Do I send a birth¬†of a blog¬†announcement? Or a hey, I’ve been keeping a secret announcement like I did for Jenn and Tia.

Plus, I think there are brownies and wine around in this closet, for sure somewhere. Probably under the¬†shoes….

How to know if you are a mom

Quick disclaimer…this is not a dad bashing. But sometimes we all question (at least I do) if we are moms or something less. And taking a riff from Jeff Foxworthy I have come up with my own list to decide if you are a mom or not quite yet.

If you can tell instantly upon walking into the house the difference between your child’s hazmat, your dog may have pooped on the floor or your husband just broke wind…you might be a mom.

If your child wakes up at 3am and can find you snug in your bed, after traveling up a flight of stairs in the dark and totally bypassing the other side of the bed, the one closer to the door….you might be a mom.

If you get called at work to find out if that shirt that is folded in the laundry basket is clean or dirty and/or if that thing is the fridge is still good to eat…you might be a mom.

If you can tell by your child’s cry over the baby monitor if they will be going back to sleep quickly or if you need to run into their room to prevent a full-scale meltdown…you might be a mom.

If you can simultaneously cook dinner, do the dishes and stop a sibling squabble without burning anything…you might be a mom.

If you would rather lay on the couch and snuggle your child (at any age) instead of¬†going out¬†on a Friday night…you might be a mom.

If you eat the last fudge brownie in the laundry room while you let your child watch another hour of TV….you might be a mom. Heck, if you ate the whole tray of brownies in the laundry room you are definitely a mom!

If you have held a child on your lap while you have ate, drank or peed….you might be a mom.

If a child has crawled into bed at 3AM and it took the man person on otherside of the bed 4 hours to realize that there is a third person there…you might be a mom.

If you understand that meltdown-thirty ¬†immediately ¬†proceeds wine-thirty…you might be a mom.

If a child has broken and mended your heart at the exact same moment…you might be a mom.

If you have woken up on a Monday morning and thought to yourself thank God they go to school today…you might be a mom.

If you know the schedule of the PBS programming without looking at the guide….you might be a mom.

If you have ever turned a child upside down in public and sniffed to see if a diaper might need changing…you might be a mom.

And last but not least….


If you read this post and not only laughed but nodded your head…you might be a mom.

So, how do you tell if you are a mom?



Five minute Friday: Remember

Today’s Five-minute spark is: Remember

Remember when we first met? We were twelve and there was a crazy teacher in the room who wore rocks on her head. Thru fate we sat at that science table together. I was shy, you were pretty. You asked me over that day afterschool.

It was the first time a friend had invited me over, just me, that I can recall.

We were fast friends, ultimate confidants. We spent weeks at each other’s houses. I always wanted to spend more time at yours. You freaked me out with horror movies. I had to move my bed away from the windows after one Jason movie.

We traveled to Spain together, with a contract your mom made us sign that said we wouldn’t let others come between us, we would not fight and we would not leave the other alone in a strange country.

You taught me how to use a tampon, in Spain of all places. And when it fell out because I did it wrong you were the only one not to laugh but call encouragement and more explicit directions through the door.

When my family fell apart, you stood by. When you had the life I envied, you always made sure to I was a part of your adventures. You went to college, married and traveled to another country without me. Yet you were always there.

Then you moved back and we found that even years and miles apart, we were still as close as when we were 12.

We have survived break-ups, marriages and childbirth. When I had Allie you were there with joy. When I had Boo you were there with joy and more importantly understanding. You are my rock, my friend and my sister.

Remember when we were 12 and there was that crazy woman teaching a class with rocks on her head?¬† Who would have thought we would still be holding on 30 years later……


Be sure to visit the host, Lisa-Jo Baker of 5-minute Friday at

Five Minute Friday
Make sure you link up!
 

If only I could make her wishes comes true

Yesterday morning I was cleaning out Allie’s backpack. I know, most mom’s are on the ball and clean out the backpack the night before to make sure there wasn’t homework. Me? I wait until 10 minutes before the bus comes. Innocently enough there was some St. Patrick’s paperwork. A piece of paper with a 4-leaf clover where Allie had to write four wishes.

1. To see Selena Gomez
2. For Boo to stop having special needs
3. To stop having bad teeth
4. I would love some nice horse books

Okay, wish #1 is probably out. I do not think Selena Gomez tours. But I will set a Ticketmaster alert!¬† For wish #3 I know this is due to her having a pallet expander put in her mouth last week. It has not been fun. And I can totally grant wish #4 in her Easter Basket next week.¬† But back to the wish that broke my heart. How do you explain to your child that their sister/brother will not be ‘cured’?

Allie seems to take Boo in stride, I thought. Out of everyone Allie seems to take Boo as she is, just her little sister.¬† Of course I had to ask. First I asked what Allie meant by special needs. In Allie’s mind, special needs meant that Boo takes longer to learn stuff, things are harder for her and she has to spend so much time in therapy.

Why can’t she just be normal?


I explained to Allie that Boo cannot be ‘cured’ (I know, MOM–with exaggerated eye roll) but that she improves with every therapy appointment.¬† That only a year ago Boo barely talked and now she has about 60 words and just started using 3-word sentences. That today she can jump, ask for a cracker and climb up and down the stairs.

But I have no life because of Boo!


Allie told me that if Boo wasn’t in so much therapy then maybe we could do girl scouts, gymnastics, play-dates. I didn’t want to shatter her innocence that it was my fault she wasn’t enrolled in any of that stuff. Team sports gives me nightmares. Have you seen Dance Moms? No way in hell am I going down that road. I will take 15 therapy appointments a week!

But this comment opened my eyes to what we are doing wrong with Allie. I thought that by having her attend Boo’s appointments she would have a better understanding and be able to work with Boo in a positive way. And she has, I have seen Allie tell Boo to use her words or how to make her use skills learned in OT.¬†She can explain to her friends why Boo doesn’t understand or act like a typical 4YO. However, I did not realize that¬†Allie is beginning to resent having to spend 2 hours a day after school at the therapy center. She wants to be home or with her friends or anywhere else. This is something, though, we can fix. We can have some one pick Allie up afterschool so she doesn’t have to attend every therapy appointment.

However, she is not going to be able to do team sports. I am not that accomodating!

I wish she was normal too
 
I told Allie that sometimes I¬†wish Boo was normal, too.¬†Think about how much simpler life would be if only Boo was a typical 4YO. If we didn’t have to worry so much, attend so many appointments (slight aside-think of how my paycheck would increase if I could actually work a full week!) and not have so many meltdowns. I completely get Allie wanting a normal baby sister that she could have typical relationship. Even if that meant hair pulling and screaming matches.
 
But wait, there are perks!
 
We started talking about some of the cool things Boo brings to us, just being who she is. By not being that typical 4YO, she isn’t in Allie’s room destroying her toys (or worse, playing with them). That Allie gets to do more things because Boo isn’t involved in activities (other than therapy–is that an activity?). That we have gotten to meet some really cool people and be involved in things like World Down Syndrome Day and the NSTAR Walk for Children’s Hospital.
 
Allie thought the biggest perk was being able to cut in line at Disney World. I kind of agreed.
 
 
I really wish that I hadn’t misplaced that parenting manual with all the answers to life’s questions.
 
 
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Got socks?

Tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day!


The United Nations has designated March 21, 2013 as World Down Syndrome Day, a day to recognize terrific individuals who have Down syndrome. Countries from around the world will be wearing Lots of Socks to celebrate! I want everyone I know, either in real-life or this blogging one to participate.

DS Day

On 3/21/13, to celebrate the unique Down syndrome person, please participate in Lots of Socks! I am inviting you (and everyone you know) to wear brightly colored socks, mismatched socks, long socks, short socks, printed socks, one or two or three socks. If socks are not your style consider wearing a blue or yellow t-shirt in recognition of our friends who have Down syndrome. Or better yet, do both!

This is a great way to demonstrate that although the socks are different, they are still socks. Just as a child with Down syndrome (or any special needs) is still a child.

For those who may not know, children with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome 21, giving them 3. The good news is that with knowledge and medical advances the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has risen from age 25 in 1983 to age 60 today! People with Down syndrome attend school, work and participate in sports and other extracurricular activities. And while all people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, the effect can range from mild to moderate to severe.

So just like any child, a child with Down syndrome has unknown possibilities.

I hope you and your children will celebrate the extraordinary lives of people with Down syndrome by wearing lots of socks on 3/21.
For more information:
Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress
http://www.mdsc.org/
National Down Syndrome Society
http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/
World Down Syndrome Day
http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/

Oh so helpful

Remember the grand plan I had to whisk my husband away for a weekend? A great friend even offered to watch both girls. How lucky was I, that Boo didn’t terrify her? I guilted a family member into taking crazy puppy. Well, not really guilted. I told her that if she took crazy puppy for the weekend her husband would stop asking to get a dog.

We were all set for this weekend. Except, I told my mother. Whom I love! But then she asked if we were coming down for Easter. I explained that I didn’t want to travel two weekends in a row nor could I afford two trips in less than 7 days. I could tell she was disappointed.

I get home and tell Hubs. He “was looking forward” to going down South to get out of this freaking cold weather. I told Hubs my dilemma. His response? Whatever you want to do. HONEY.

Oh, so helpful.

Going back and forth all night, I decided I was being selfish. That the girls would love to see their grandparents. That we are the only ones ever willing to travel down there to see them. They always have to travel to see family. That the holidays are tough when it is just the two of them.

And then Boo got sick at about 3am. (side note, guess who was working?) Again, I was on the fence.¬† I know our friend will be awesome, and am so thankful for her offer. But…..

Between the guilt and the worry it just isn’t worth it. I cancelled our reservations and I will beg “J” to keep her offer open for when it is warmer. That we will try again for some time away. I was also thinking that this is something our parents never worried about. They never traveled without us. Back in the day, people just didn’t travel as often period. Let alone a vacation from their kids.

Yes, I admit, it would be a vacation from the girls!

I called Hubs and let him know that I cancelled the reservations. His response: Why? I told him my reasoning. His reply: Well if that’s what you want to do.

Did I mention how helpful he is?


Favorite holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday. First, I don’t have to go into debt buying a bunch of presents that no one really wants. Second, hello music and wine. Enough said! I joke that Hubs will work Valentines Day every year, but will make sure he takes March 17th off for me.

He does know the way to my heart. He even got a sitter for yesterday! Well, his mom. But woo hoo.

We decided to early for a late-lunch/early-dinner and then get the girls by 5-ish. Yeah right. See, there was this fire…..we had barely got into the Pub when his radio went off. You could tell he wanted to leave. He was like a little kid doing the night before Christmas dance. Luckily we were with friends so off he went.

A couple of glasses of wine, Irish jigs with strangers teaching the young ones how to clap to “No, Nay, Never” he returns. He felt it was the best holiday ever: beer, Sheppard’s pie, and a brush fire. And this happened:


Instead of leaving at a respectable 4pm, it was more like 7-ish. (hey at least it was 7-ish pm and not am!). We went to pick up the girls all was well. They had a fantastic time with their Grammie.

Best holiday of the year. No cooking, no shopping, no credit card debt and a picture I can embarrass my husband with!