Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I watched a little TV

What did you do on Monday, January 12, 2009? Anything interesting or extraordinary? I went to work. I drove home. I took my daughter to dance class. I watched our current president, George W. Bush, address journalists at a press conference for the last time. Since I was at work, I didn’t get to watch it live. I watched most of his press conference from web video later in the evening. If you only listened to it as sound bites on the radio, you got to hear how in denial he really is. However, you missed some very important aspects of his behavior. I could only describe him as erratic & strange. It could be explained away if he had a brain tumor & his behavior was affected: fidgety, posturing, inappropriate smiling, aggressive, loud, rambling. I can’t think of a better way to say it.

I think I was more stunned (yes, still) by his answer to the “biggest mistakes” question. A few things really struck me: “we shouldn’t have hung the Mission Accomplished banner”, “not finding WMD in Iraq”, “could have landed Air Force One in Baton Rouge”. You can tell that he doesn’t genuinely understand the NATURE of his mistake or that they were his fault. The mistake wasn’t the damn banner. It was not accomplishing the mission. It was not having a clear strategy for occupying or exiting Iraq. The mistake wasn’t not finding WMD. The mistake was invading a country on the premise of WMD possession, ignoring weapons inspectors that found nothing, only listening to intelligence that supported his belief and ignoring the international community & UN. The mistake wasn’t not landing the plane. The mistake was appointing a man that ran horse farms to head FEMA... "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie!" It was not paying any attention to what was going on in New Orleans for over 2 days and then not caring. It was not getting people off rooftops or out of the AstroDome for 7 days. It was allowing thousands of families to live in FEMA trailers for years after the storm had come & gone, long after the flood waters had receded. It was cutting funding that would have shored up the levees before all those people lost their lives, their families, their livelihoods.

It makes me sad that Dubya continues to fall back on the mantra that “history will judge his presidency”. At least he knows what people will think of him during his lifetime. Does he truly think in 100 years his crimes will look any less damning? Actually, I think he does. He’s wrong. I remember learning in high school that Ulysses S. Grant’s 8 years in office were rife with corruption and incompetence; that he was a joke. His presidency was 110 years before I was sitting in Mrs. Riddle’s American history class, looking at political cartoons. I truly hope that one day my great granddaughter will be sitting in her American History class, learning that George W. Bush’s 8 years in office were rife with corruption and incompetence, that he was a war monger and a joke. I hope she learns about his starting a war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians just to avenge his daddy. I hope she reads with shame about our torturing detainees in Gitmo. I hope she reads about the Obama administration prosecuting the criminal acts perpetrated by his predecessor. Unfortunately, I also think history will judge us, the American people, harshly as well. After all, he had 8 years in office, not just 4.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tell Sarah I said "Wassup!"

Dear Friends:

We may have thought we wanted a woman on a national political ticket, but the joke has really been on us, hasn't it? Are you as sick to your stomach as I am at the thought of Sarah Palin as Vice President, and possibly President, of the United States?
Since Palin gave her speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Vice Presidency, Barack Obama's campaign has raised over $10 million dollars. Some of you may be Republicans, some of you may be Democrats, but none of you can be happy with Palin's selection, especially when it comes to her positions on women's issues. So may I suggest the following fiendishly brilliant alternative?
Make a donation to Planned Parenthood. In Sarah Palin's name. And here's the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her name, they'll send her a card for EACH gift telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.

Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood
website: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

Click "Donate" and select "Donate in Honor/Memorium" at the top of the page.

Please note:
You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the "In Sarah Palin's honor" card. I suggest you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor Arlington, VA 22202

Feel free to send this along to all your friends and urge them to do the same.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

10 years he's put up with my crap!

On Friday, August 1st Kevin & I celebrated 10 years of marriage. Well, we reached that milestone; the celebration came later. On Friday, I had to work late on a report for a client. I cooked dinner when I got home: steaks, mashed potatoes & broccoli. It wasn't very good and it's my own fault. I'd started cooking before I realized we were out of butter. Should I have sent Kevin to the store for some? OF COURSE! Did I? Of course not. I just used sour cream in the potatoes & some pesto compound butter that I had in my freezer. Those two dishes were just awful. The steaks, even though they were NY Strips were too fat & gristle laden to be enjoyed. That I won't take the blame for.

It was reminiscent of our first anniversary. I'd gotten a new pot from Williams-Sonoma and got it into my brain that I simply MUST prepare our first anniversary dinner in that. So, I find a chicken recipe that I've never tried before and give it my best shot. I can tell it isn't going to work out, the chicken has no color and likely no flavor, everything looks like rubber. Each thing I try to repair this dinner only makes it worse. I plate it up anyway and we both eat a few bites. Politely, Kevin waits for me to complain about dinner first. He's relieved to hear that I don't like it either. We skipped straight to our wedding cake that was actually stil great a full year later. Kevin had two pieces! We ended up going back to the grocery store for a frozen pizza & eating that in the floor in front of the TV later. It was a great day.

We actually celebrated our anniversary on Saturday, August 2nd. Lewis Black (Kevin's FAVE) was in town for one night, so we bought tickets. The sitter came over at 5 pm and we were out the door by 5:10pm. We had 6pm reservations at Kincaid's in Norfolk. That meant driving through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and sitting in that back up, parking in the garage & walking down to the restaurant. We made it to the hostess station with about 60 seconds to spare and were seated immediately. Dinner was fabulous. I told them when I made the reservations that we were celebrating our 10th anniversary and asked if that time was early enough to get us to the show. Of course, Chrysler Hall is only a block away, so there was no problem there. Apparently, they made notations on our reservation about both events. Our waitress mentioned them and the manager dropped by with good wishes. I ordered a house salad with vinagrette dressing, asiago crusted mahi-mahi (with a sauce I cna't remember) served on mashed potatoes with some steamed veggies. Kevin ordered French onion soup, a filet mignon served over mashed potatoes with onion straws on the top and the tiniest little silver gravy boat on the side. Mine was good, but Kevin's melted in your mouth. The potaoes were the lightest, fluffiest, creamist I've ever tasted in my life. Our dessert, burnt cream. I've always called it creme brulee but it was most excellent. We were given our dessert for free which I realize compared to the cost of the meal isn't much, but we appreciated the gesture. On, I forgot to mention that I drank a bottle of Chateau St. Michelle Reisling and Kevin had two most excellent margaritas on the rocks.

We left dinner & walked down the block to see Lewis Black. It wasn't too terribly hot so we just took our time, held hands & talked. The show was fabulous except for this young couple behind us that were incredibly drunk. They laughed when the rest of the crowd didn't, yelled "WOOOO!" everytime he said something they really agreed with and kept a running "exchange" with Lewis on certain comments.... as if 1) he could hear them and 2) as if he would have cared anyway. Anytime someone asked them to be quiet or keep it down, he responded with Fuck you, bitches!" Classy, huh?
Eventually an usher came and spoke to them. It didn't stop him, but it did slow them down a bit. Ugh.... either way, we didn't let it ruin our show. It was a great show, even though I did like the "Red, White & Screwed" show better than this one. Last night's show had much, much less political commentary in it. The opening comedian was a total riot & half of his act was semi-improv. He'd ask people on the front couple of rows their names & occupations... then joke or talk about it for a few minutes. It was really funny stuff.

I got a lot of "I love you"s mixed in with a few what he loved or why throughout the evening. He made sure I knew he thought I was sexy which only makes a girl feel sexier. He thanked me for planning such a great evening for us. It was really a wonderful evening. When we got home later, paid the sitter & got her out of the house, things got better, but that's not really for your ears & eyes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So, it's been a while

Hey everyone! Well, by now I'm assuming only one or two people actually check the blog. Since I last posted a lot has happened:
Gatlinburg Vacation Spring Break pics
booked another "3 Blondes Storm the World" trip to WDW for September 2008
I turned 37
Evie passed the 1st grade
Florida Vacation FL vacation pics
Evie turned 7 birthday pics

I'll have to write more on those as we go along. In the meantime, you can scroll through the pictures and see what we saw.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I was merely ACTING!!

Evie did the funniest thing the other night. She & two friends were playing outside on Sunday. They could smell smoke outside and apparantly heard a siren of some kind. They're all convinced there is a fire somewhere nearby. Just before Christmas, a townhome just around the corner from us burned to a shell. We drove past the fire & emergency vehicles on our way home from her Christmas choir concert. It's consumed quite a bit of her thoughts since. Early last week, a nearby brush field caught on fire. Currently there is a forest/brush fire burning in North Carolina, just south of us and the local news is all over it. It's been burning for a few weeks now and the rains over the last week have brought it mostly under control. However, the weather conditions have finally brought the smoky smell up onto the Peninsula & Northern Hampton Roads region. Knowing this, the parents didn't react as quickly as our children would have liked.

Each kid is freakin' out in a different way: Bryan is insisting that we all come outside because something is burning nearby. We have to find it! Victoria is making guesses about what it could be & what we should all do now. Evie simply comes to the back door, clutches her fists to her chest & yells in this anquished voice, "We're DOOMED!!" and then runs back out.

That's my girl... the drama queen in the dress and crooked tiara.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Don't be a hater....

This post is for those of you that can't understand I'm a busy woman. I haven't had a single spare minute since I lasted posted in October. Okay, even I can't make that believable.

Let me e'splain.... no, there is no time.
Let me sum up.

Halloween: Evie was Mulan. She won a costume contest at her dance studio. She's adorable. I'll post a picture here soon.
Thanksgiving: My older sister Rose flew up for a visit. We had a blast. Evie loves her Aunt Rose & I love my sis. We ate turkey.
December 18th: Last day at Compass Technology. Like the other rats, I left this sinking ship just in time.
Christmas: Found an excellent airfare, so Rose came back up for another visit. We had a blast. Evie loves her Aunt Rose & I love my sis. We ate ham.
December 31st: New Year's Eve we bowled & drank.
January 2nd: I started a new job with AHM Direct & so far, I'm liking it. Several of my friend rats from my old company are here. Good times with good friends.
mid-January: Join Gold's Gym. I go 3 times a week because I'm a glutton for punishment.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Evie update with a happy ending... no, happy beginning

Where to begin…. Well, I’m sure many of you have read my posts mentioning Evie’s lack of attention span and her inability to focus on a task. There have been occasions that Evie’s missed recess, music, etc. because she had to stay in class to finish her work. Luckily for us, she wasn’t disruptive to the class. She was only a distraction to herself. She’s cried so many times and said, “I guess I just can’t be good, Mom. I can’t do it. I must be a bad girl.” Of course, we reassured her that she wasn’t bad or stupid. We’ve helped her out whenever we could, short of giving her answers. At the end of last school year, we discussed ADD with her kindergarten teacher. We began the process in early August to have her tested & evaluated by professionals that specialize in this kind of thing, outside of the school system. We filled out lots of questionnaires that asked all sorts of specifics about her behavior, life, habits, medical history, family dynamics, social interactions, etc. Her first grade teacher answered lots of similar questions & submitted those to the doctor. They saw her several times and tested her on many different things.

Fast forward to the beginning of the school year. Evie is behaving in class, but isn’t completing her work. She isn’t even starting it. A full days worth of worksheets is coming home in a packet, stapled together. Kevin & I both spent 2 ½ to 3 hours each night for the first couple of weeks, just getting her to complete an assignment. Not a single time did we have to give her the answers to the questions. We just had to bring her back to the worksheet when her mind wandered. Some picture she had to write the first letter of reminded her of a movie she’d seen or something that happened at recess. She’d either want to as us about it or tell us about it. We’d have to tap the paper in front of her, “Evie, focus.” We were all getting exhausted & frustrated. On more than one occasion, I just broke down and cried. I was so afraid she was going to quickly learn to hate school and none of us wanted that. The last 2 weeks hadn’t been as bad. She still wasn’t doing more than half of her assigned work and was never, ever doing the self starting, self-directed work. The saving grace was that we’d fallen into a routine at home. After a snack, we headed straight to the kitchen with little argument. She completed her work in far less time and was only then allowed to play or watch a video. Of course, after the first month of school, incomplete work would start to count against her unless she did it in class.

This past Thursday, Kevin & I met with the psychologist to review her results & findings. Evie has moderate ADD, with no hyperactivity component. She scored average or above average on many of the things they test on regarding cognitive skills, imagination, understanding complex concepts, etc. It was obvious that she’s a bright, clever girl from most things. She showed well developed social skills & good impulse control. She showed none of the signs for aggressive behavior or acting out. The portions of the test centering on attention span and focus were below average, some well below. On parts of that test, Evie didn’t even show up on the graph but only because by the end of the 20 minutes, she’d totally checked out and was no longer paying attention at all. There weren’t even any false positive answers, which indicates she was focused everywhere but the test.

On Tuesday, Evie and I headed back to her pediatrician, who had already received the psychologists report. We discussed all our options and Dr. Barron wrote a prescription for a long acting Ritalin. She takes one dose in the morning before school and it last long enough to get her through the school day. She doesn’t need to take it on days she doesn’t go to school, (weekends, holidays, summer, etc.) She can take it on weekend days where we need her to focus and pay attention (like next Saturday when she’s in a wedding). I explained to Evie what her form of ADD is like. I highlighted all the things the doctors said her brain did really well. Then I pointed out what her brain does differently because of her ADD. I stressed that nothing is wrong with her, just different. I told her she’d be taking meds that would help her pay attention, focus, listen to and follow instructions.

Yesterday was her first day on the meds. Her teacher was well aware of the process we were going through, the diagnosis and where we were in the time line. I sent in a note to Ms. Fitzpatrick letting her know Evie had started the meds and asked her to 1) send me a progress report this week and 2) keep her eye out for a list of side effects.

I called Kevin on his cell phone yesterday afternoon to see if he was picking Evie up. She answered the phone for him and was just bubbling! She had a fabulous day. She finished every single bit of her work, even the self directed stuff. She completed her DOL, wrote all her sentences from the board with no help or interference. She completed her work in time to have free play before lunch. All of this is a first for us.

Ms. Fitzpatrick sent a note home with her and even read it to her at the end of the day explaining all of the above. She used the word “remarkable” to describe how well Evie did. Evie was over the moon proud of herself for doing the work and getting a good note home. Evie did use the phrase, “The medicine did it, Mom!” I was quick to point out that the medicine didn’t do it, SHE did. Medicine isn’t smart. Medicine doesn’t know the answers. Evie knows the answers and the medicine just helps her pay attention long enough to write them down. I wish you all could have seen how thrilled & amazed she was with herself and what she could accomplish, with just a little nudge.

It’s really validation for Kevin & me that we did the right thing. It’s proof that all along she was really bright enough to know the answers but just didn’t have the focus to finish (or sometimes even start) the work without someone hovering over her, keeping her on task. I realize one day doesn’t make a pattern, but it’s a DAMN fine start.