Monthly Archives: May 2013

My favorite movie of all time…

I have many favorite movies of all time, it just depends on the time period you are referencing.

For example in the 1970’s my favorite movie of all time was Star Wars. I wanted to be Princess Leia so badly. A girl who could not only rock donut hair but save herself from the Evil Empire.

In the 1980’s my favorite movie all time was The Breakfast Club. Tia and I memorized every word. We even formed a ‘breakfast club’ of our own. Thought we were so cool. Oh and let me tell you I had the BIGGEST crush on Judd Nelson. I was always falling for those rebels.

In the 1990’s, well they were lean movie years. Looking back I would have to settle for Toy Story. It is simple really, who couldn’t love this tail of friendship? The fact that the movie is timeless is a bonus. Who doesn’t want to have a friend sing to them, “You’ve got a friend in me”?

In the 2000’s it would have to be the Perfect Storm. Hello Clooney with a side of Wahlberg!

The 2010’s would have to be the Avenger’s. Who knew Ducky would go from this in Pretty in Pink…

To this hunk of, well, hunk…

However if I had to pick one movie, the ONE movie of all time that is my favorite. The one movie I will watch every time is on, the movie that this family can most probably quote line for line…

You guessed it, The Princess Bride. It is literally my favorite movie of all time.

 Now if you are a faithful reader you saw the ending coming….

This post was brought to you from the lovely ladies at Finish that Sentence Friday. What is your favorite movie of all time?

Finish the Sentence Friday
Brought to you by the lovely ladies of hook-ups:

Now it’s your turn, what is you favorite movie of all time?


Driving Ms. Crazy

I apparently have a face. A face that anyone from friends to loved ones to perfect strangers can say anything they want to me, without repercussion.

For example, just this week I was in the Supermarket. My cart was loaded down with the $1 Friendly Sundae cups. Now I realized I looked kind of ridiculous. I had plenty of salad fixings but then about 10 of the Sundae cups.

Anyway this woman in front of me says: Oh my, you must really enjoy those!

I wanted to reply: Look lady, I don’t even EAT ice cream. These are for the older child and her father. The one who will take a WHOLE gallon of ice cream to the fire station. This way they each get their ice cream at night. Oh and the older child can get her own serving. This leaves me more time to play Words With Friends. But I held my tongue.

Another example? Once day during Mass, during the moments when you give Peace to the individuals in the pew behind you a man replied: Peace be with you, with that one you will probably need it.

But the one comment, the one that really frosts me? The comment that makes me crazier than crazy warrior mom?

“Boo will be fine, she will grow out of it”

Excuse me… She will “grow out of it”? Let’s get this straight, people. Boo will continue to make gains. Boo will continue to astound us. But Boo will never be “normal”. Boo works very hard to be an almost-2YO in an almost-5YO body.

I am not trying to be Downer Debbie. I applaud everything Boo does. But I also am privy to the hard work it takes to get her there. Boo works harder at being Boo than a Harvard grad trying to get a minimum wage job in this economy.

I wish I could believe that Boo will “grow out of it”. But I cannot. The past two nights I listened to her cry herself to sleep because she doesn’t understand we are not in a hotel and Allie cannot sleep with her. I have watched her bang her head when she cannot have one more cupcake. I have witnessed her meltdowns, her laughter and her tears.

I have watched her hug Allie in one moment and swipe at her face the next.

Yes, Boo has come a long way. Such a freaking long way. She still needs a translator half the time to those who do not know her language. Boo still brings home art work that we know her aide did (trust me, her aides are much craftier than I am!).

And that, that one thing, is what really drives me crazy. That the people who love her the most thinks this is something Boo will outgrow. I know they mean well. These friends, family and strangers.

But Boo is never going to ‘catch up’. Boo will be all that she can be. Quite frankly that is enough for me.

This post has been brought to you from Theme Thursday. Hosted by hosted by Something Clever 2.0, The Next Step, The Insomniac’s Dream, and Mom With Her Running Shoes On. Please visit the hosts below!

So let me know, what really drives you crazy?

PS–oh, one quick catch-up. Boo unfortunately will not be attending the birthday party. It is being held the same day as the NSTAR Walk for Children’s Hospital. Since Boo is our Team Captain she has to attend! But she was invited and that still counts.

You start with this fun idea…

Last week, we took a family vacation, seven fun-filled days of togetherness in a car. We started in Niagara Falls. Well first the saga journey started with a trip to the US Passport office.

Since Hubs and I are planners (yeah right) we decided at the last minute that the girls needed Passports just in case we wanted to go to Canada. On day one of the trip, we would be in the car for over 10 hours, who knew where we could end up ?

Did you know that it is not possible to get a passport on the same day you apply? Us, well, we are idiots. We did know that both girls needed to be there with both parents. Boo had an appointment at CHB  (imagine that) so we thought, two birds one stone.

Except we were wrong. You can pay a huge amount of money to receive the passport the next day. We forked over the money, because it is entirely possible we will get lost and somehow cross the border. While we joke that it might be a nice to have the Canadian government babysit the children so we can have some couple time, we are afraid Allie may stage a coup.

Imagine, Allie the PM of Canada. Heck, this kid would probably crown herself Queen.  Yup, better get the passports.

We told Boo’s program that she would be out for a week to visit Niagara Falls. They asked, kindly, if we remember that Boo has sensory issues and really HATES loud noises.

Oops, kind of forgotten about that part of her personality. We were just looking at the pictures online and thought how cool would this be?


We were not getting parents of the year, I guess. Because we decided to go for it anyway. Putting the girls in the car at the butt crack of dawn, we took off for Upstate New York for two days of fun or torture. We arrived 11 hours later and after a quick hotel check-in we were off to the US side of Niagara Falls.

Let the adventure begin!

The US side of the Falls is so pretty. A nice State Park with lots of paved trails and views of above the falls.

But we dared to go further, into the falls, into the Cave of the Winds. This was a lot of fun for Allie…

Boo, on the other hand? Well she decided to keep much more difference between the Cave and her chair (notice she is facing the Cave to make sure they don’t sneak up on her)…

The nice Park Ranger took a family photo that we can pass off as Boo entering the Cave. But Allie noticed Boo’s hair wasn’t wet and fears that might give away her secret.

After being up since 4AM and then the excitement of the Falls we headed back to the hotel for some hydro-relaxation-therapy at the pool. Sorry no pics of us in bathing suits. Trust me your eyes will thank me.

Day 2 we went to the Canada side of the Falls. Because we are ignorant Americans we were kind of afraid to drive over the Border. Where would we park? Would the Canadians speak English (after all, I don’t speak French when they come here)? How would we pay (do they accept dollars, what is the exchange rate)? So we decided to walk over the Bridge/Border. Except we ran into one small problem. It seems that Canada isn’t really handicap accessible…

There was no way to get Boo’s chair through! Hubs had to go through and ask the nice Border guard to open the door for us. No photo because, well I am afraid of Border guards. Once we got through the gate we were off to explore Allie, Boo’s and Hub’s first foreign country (hey, I went to Spain at 16 and that totally counts).

And not to judge the whole of Canada on our short 15 mile walk through Niagara, but seriously, would it hurt them to put at least one handicap ramp along our route? Thankfully Boo is small so we could lift her chair up and down the stairs. Allie, well she had to walk. Again, not judging a whole country….

Thankfully the views were spectacular.

After getting our fill of the Falls we headed to higher ground (think a mile up hill, straight up hill). We found an Oasis….Margarita Ville, Canada!

I warned you we were ignorant American’s!! After rocking it out with Jimmy Buffet we headed back out to the Sky Wheel, I think that was the name. I blame the frozen margarita. Where the girls (and us) had a great time seeing the Falls from above.

this was a miniature golf course under the ride

Why did both Hubs and Allie take pictures of the dinosaur? I have no freaking idea. I think it was the 90 degree weather…after the Sky Wheel the adults were in need of refreshment, Allie needed ice cream. And apparently Boo needed a frog fix so we headed to the Rain Forest Café (yes, I know Boo has sensory issues…think of it as waterboarding I mean therapy).

After refreshing ourselves we headed back to America…

 Where the girls got some much needed rest…

Before we woke their lazy butts up at the butt crack of dawn to head to Chicago for our nephew’s graduation. Why did I wake Allie? She said the best part of the trip was the pool. Hello, ungrateful child????

But this is what we learned on our excursion…foreign countries are not scary. In fact the residents of Niagara Canada spoke better English than those at home. Also, they do take American cash and credit. However we never did learn where that handicap ramp was located. In the end, Boo rocked her new chair, Allie had ice cream and the Hubs and I enjoyed our Buffet drinks.


A good time was had by all. And that my friends is the story of our Niagara Adventure.

Oh and one last note…if you do walk to Canada, the way back is much more accessible however it does cost 50 cents per person to come back to America. In quarters. So make sure you are prepared. Otherwise you might have to leave someone behind.

 Kidding! We did not leave Allie to take over Canada. However we did let her borrow the two quarters to come home with us.

And I am back into the rat race

Last week our family took a vacation from all that is work, school, therapy and the Internet. This is what I realized on my week away:

  • You can live without the Internet (I only checked e-mail twice)
  • You can go into Words With Friends withdrawals (I managed to play a couple of times)
  • You can survive 20-plus hours in the car with a husband, a 9YO and a 4YO. Just bring books, snacks and an IPAD/Kindle/IPOD touch.
    • Your 9YO can manage to kill batteries in all 3 of the above BEFORE you reach your destination to recharge
  • I only managed to live without the internet because everytime I tried to go on my Kindle Boo would steal it to watch Austin and Allie videos
  • My husband has a strange addiction to Bass Pro/Cabelas
  • You can go into blog withdrawal. I found myself wondering how everyone was surviving without my comments on their blog!

Okay, back to the vacation story. We took the Allie and Boo out of school for a week to celebrate our nephew was graduating Navy basic training (proud Auntie moment)…

Holy crap, when did he get so tall?

Since it is a long drive to Great Lakes, IL we figured we would make the most of the adventure. We put the girls in the car at 4 am (or as I like to say, the butt crack of dawn) and headed to Niagara Falls (or as Allie pronounces it…Viagra Falls).

Why Niagara Falls, you ask? Well, more on that adventure tomorrow.

After spending almost two days in Niagara Falls, we again put the girls in the car at the butt crack of dawn and headed to Chicago, Il. Roughly 11 hours later we met up with my nephew’s family, along with his brother’s girlfriend. Or as I like to call her, my future niece-in-law. (future as in a long time from now, a VERY long time from now)

On Friday I was one of my nephew’s four guests to witness his transition from Seaman Recruit to Sailor. It made the 23 hour drive more than worth it. To watch this young man I have known since he was a terrible two-year old transform into a confident young gentleman. There are no words to describe how proud we are of him.

I also am in awe how the 890 graduates stood so still in formation for the two hour ceremony!

We were supposed to leave Saturday morning, but decided to take just one more day to spend with my husband’s family. We went to a place called Bob Chinn’s. I highly recommend the experience. Just bring your credit card ($60 crab legs, but hey it was graduation!). 

The best part of the weekend? Being able to watch the Bruins game in Chicago with our  nephews and their parents. Something we never get to do. Oh and Allie thinks the best part of the vacation was the pool.  Hubs votes for the crab legs.

On Sunday we again left at 4am and headed to home. Since there was no way any of the girls in the car (including myself) were going to survive 25+ hours in the car we stayed one more night on the road. Finally we made it home on Monday evening in time to rescue the crazy puppy’s babysitter.

It was very difficult to go to work/school today. But we managed. Of course, I kind of forgot to get lunch stuff for the girls on the way home and the bread was well…inedible. But balonga on Ritz crackers is always a good combination, right?

Check back tomorrow to find out how Boo survived Niagara!

Workshops…not the end of the world!

When Boo began her new program in preschool it included monthly workshops. The workshop is once a month for 2 hours where a parent observes the ABA/discrete trials that our child undergoes every day.

The first workshop was very difficult for me to observe. I am happy to report that every month since then has been easier. At first I was just so unprepared. I didn’t know what ABA was or the whole ‘compliance’ issues.

Eight months later, I love the workshops. I get to know Boo’s therapists/aides better. I learn that Boo is not saving her stubborness for home. I realize why Boo is so disjointed on the weekends without the routine of her school day. Not that this knowledge will help me with devising a weekend routine.

But if you are honest with the team and allow them to be honest with you (in other words, don’t think your daughter is a princess) both “teams” end up serving Boo in the best way possible. I relayed some issues we are facing this summer (we live near a beach and Boo is afraid of the sand) and they will invent a program to make the beach easier. 

The other bonus of the workshop is I can fill the team in on Boo’s medical updates. I can tell them face-to-face what programs neurology and/or developmental medicine want to add and Boo’s team is usually one step ahead of the game.

We are never leaving this town. I still haven’t figured out why Boo’s program isn’t available everywhere. But I think we should make it our mission to find funding for your town.

Sometimes life is just good…

As many of you know from my recent pity party once and a while I break. But more often than not I just know it is going to be okay.

Last week I had a PTA meeting. Husband was working (surprise!) and after a weekend of spending way too much money I couldn’t justify a babysitter. Off to PTA we go…

As I sat there in the meeting Allie had Boo in her chair and read stories to her for an hour (we were in the school library). When the stories got old, Allie took out my Kindle and the girls watched Austin and Allie.

I have a lot of fears with Boo. All of us have frustrations with her. Yes she is cute but she is also a lot of work for the family. When Boo wrecks Barbie-ville or the latest fairy house. it makes her a little hard for Allie to love. But at the end of the day, the love of the two sisters is something that makes my heart stop for a moment and just stop.

Stop worrying, stop trying to be supermom and just stop trying to make everything just right. Stop and take a moment, a brief moment, to enjoy my girls enjoying themselves QUIETLY while I enjoy the company of other women. Even if it was just at a PTA meeting!

PS–I swear this is a true story, the girls sat quietly in the corner reading books  and watching the Kindle until almost 9pm. Proud momma moment.

21 questions will Allie

Michelle, one of my favorite bloggers, had the best blog idea the other day. (I did warn her I was stealing using her idea. Since it was so funny I decided to share it with you. Michelle came across a list of questions and wondered how her children would answer. Kind of like Liebster questions with funnier answers. Of course after seeing the questions I had to ask Allie….

  1. What is something your mom always says to you?
    1. I love you
  2. What makes your mom happy?
    1. When she gets to sleep in
  3. What makes your mom sad?
    1. When we have trouble doing my homework
  4. How does your mom make you laugh?
    1. By tickling me
  5. What was your mom like as a child?
    1. Just like me, basically, because you had homework, school and stuff like that.
  6. How old is your mom?
    1. I think it was 49 
  7. How tall is your mom?
    1. Okay, stand up—maybe 4 feet? 
  8. What is your mom’s favorite thing to do?
    1. Relax and watch hockey
  9. What does your mom do when you are not around?
    1. Work
  10. If your mom was famous what would it be for?
    1. I would have to say cooking
  11. What is your mom really good at?
    1. Baking
  12. What is you mom not really good at?
    1. Singing 
  13. What does your mom do for a living?
    1. I don’t know the name, but you work near a hospital
  14. What is your mom’s favorite food?
    1. Lobster
  15. What makes you proud of your mom?
    1. You love kids and people (this question took Allie a LONG time to answer)
  16. If your mom was a TV character who would she be?
    1. Rocky from Shake it Up because then you could sing and dance
  17. What do you and your mom do together?
    1. When we have Girls Day
  18. How are you and your mom the same?
    1. There is a couple things: we love each other and we are both girls
  19. How are you and your mom different?
    1. I’m good at dancing
  20. How do you know your mom loves you?
    1. You hug me and tell me all the time
  21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
    1. There’s a couple: The Irish Pub


Abby was pretty spot on with her answers. Other than I am not almost 50 and I am a bit taller than 4 feet. So now I dare you to go ask your children to answer the questions!


Liebster award season continues

Kae from Where’s My Pacifier recently gifted me with a Liebster award. Who knew the award season for Leibster was so long?

Since my about me page was just updated to roughly 3 pages long, I will skip the 11 random facts and get down to the 11 fun questions Kae stole received from Jill M.

1. What musical artist are you listening to these days? Whatever Pandora decides to put on my play-list. I am still not sure on how liking a Philip Phillips song translates to me liking the Beastie Boys but it’s all good.

2. If you could be any animal which would you be and why? I think I would stick with human. Why? Because not being able to go to Irish pubs is a deal breaker.

3. What do you say when your kid asks why the sky is blue? I tell them to ask their teacher.

4. Favorite food? Lobstah

5. If money were no object where would you travel on your next vacation? Back to Disney World, so far the best vacation ever for Boo.

6. How do you like your eggs? In brownies, in cookies, in cake

7. Favorite Reality TV Show? Real Housewives of NJ. I want to be adopted by Carolyn Manzo.

8. What was your very first real job? A hardware store

9. What book is on your nightstand right now? Well, truthfully none. But I have The Laws of Gravity waiting for me in my Kindle

10. What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate. But I really don’t feel guilty about it.

11. At what age is your earliest memory? 4-ish, I think.

Thank you so much, Kae for the award!


It is 5-minute Friday…ready for a Song?

Song is that sound in time that takes you back…

Hearing Jimmy Buffett and bringing back to when your now husband convinced you to go on a date by promising to take you to a Buffett concert.

Hearing The Who and and bringing you back to the moment when Boo started dancing in the Jeep and saying “song, song” wanting the Who over and over again.

Hearing “Baby I need your loving” and being transported back to your wedding day.

Hearing “Just a Dream” by Carrie Underwood and remembering how you cried the first time and only time you left Boo in the NICU to go sleep.

Hearing Selena Gomez and remembering the first time Allie realize that the characters in a TV show are also people.

Hearing “Celebration” by Cool and the Gang and remembering being in Spain with Tia when you taught the tour guide the song.

Hearing the theme song to Austin and Allie and seeing in your mind the first time Boo danced.

Song….this has been 5-minutes. What song brings you back to a memory?

Five Minute Friday
This is Boo, last summer, dancing in the Jeep to “The Who” 
(FYI she has no shoes on because she tends to throw them OUT of the jeep along the highway!)

Boo and Yoga

We are incredibly lucky to have found Jessica, Boo’s Yogi. I have written before about Yoga for the Special Child. But for a quick update for those new to this blog, we started Yoga with Jessica about a nine months ago. It was truly an act of Fate that we met, her daughter is a ‘peer’ classmate in Boo’s integrated preschool.

Jessica is an absolute treasure. On top of running a husband and a house with five children, she is also a co-founder of Heartbeats for Down Syndrome. In her “spare” time she teaches yoga for children like Boo. She does both private (for children like Boo who would not be able to concentrate) and small-group glasses for young children.

I have seen Jessica teach a group class with a mix of typical and not-so-typical children. But, biased here, I like the solo lessons. Boo cannot follow directions. Most times Jessica has to move Boo into the position. What we have found is if Jessica’s older daughter does the lesson with Boo the results are beyond terrific.

I started Boo in Yoga for the Special Child to help with Boo’s frustration at being non-verbal. That didn’t happen. What did happen is a significant change in Boo’s bowel issues, a language explosion and a willingness to do the Yoga on her own.

Today in hydrotherapy, her PT was concerned about the toe-walking and a tendency for her right leg to turn inward. To demonstrate she asked Boo to stand on one leg. Boo didn’t understand. But when we said, Boo tree pose…viola! Boo stood on one leg in an almost perfect tree pose.

Hey huge milestone there!

It is difficult, between Jessica’s commitments and my own life we tend to interfere with Boo’s Yoga schedule. One of my goals (and Jessica’s) is to make her lessons more routine. I have noticed, when I put the extra time in (between homework, life and everything else) Yoga for the Special Child works.

Honestly, we should probably go 3-4 times a week. But between work, school, therapies and life it just isn’t possible.

But Yoga isn’t for just the “Special Child”. Allie loves Yoga. Because I am not a Yogi nor one who can mediate I am not the best mentor for the girls. But before bedtime when we put Boo through her poses, Allie joins in.

And we all relax, if just for a moment.

To learn more about Jessica’s story please visit Heartbeats For Down Syndrome or the National Down Syndrome Society.

This post was inspired by Rachel Tao of Poop who shared a story of childhood yoga and then recommended I post Boo’s experience. Rachel is one of the calmest bloggers I have “met”. She always sees the message in the little things. Something I need to learn how to do. Thanks, Rachel!

To find a Yoga program for the Special Child look here (I really recommend finding someone on this site and not just anyone.) for Yoga just for the child I found this site but cannot totally endorse it since I found Jessica simply by putting out a cry on Facebook.