Friday, August 29, 2008

Provoked by Current Events

If you frequent my blog, you know, I don't speak out a lot about politics, or current events, unless I'm "provoked". Well friends, I've been provoked.

There's been a lot of talk in the "news" lately, about people with special needs. I've been wanting to write a post about it for awhile.

The first thing that came up, was the movie "Tropic Thunder". I haven't seen it, and probably won't, not after so many people have asked me not to. Apparently, they use the word "retard" repeatedly, and in a demeaning way. When it first came out, there were many protests. I had many friends, "out there" telling people not to watch it. "Send a message it's NOT funny!" Then I was emailed this article. It is so beautiful, and so well said. And if you have time, read some of the comments. THey are VERY interesting.

We used that word as a kid...ALL the time. Never meaning to hurt people. But it DOES hurt people. Some say "lighten up, it's not a bad word!" Well, it is when you are trying to make someone feel bad! And regardless if you are TRYING or not, we need to be respectful of someone elses feelings. I hope, like Mrs "Arnold" said, it will at least make people more aware.

Then my sister told me today, that McCain picked his running mate, and that SHE, has a baby with Downs Syndrome. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, still not sure. On one hand, I think she should be at home with her baby, on the other hand, I think this could be a good thing, for the disability world. On the other hand, her baby, is just a baby. What does she know about having a child with a disabilty. What does she know about the daily struggle most of us have? Tell me she goes to all his Dr appointments, and does all his therapy. Somehow, I don't think so. Now, I'm not knocking her, and I will leave my mind open to her, that's just a few thoughts I have right now.

I wanted to find out more about her, and as I was scouring the internet, I came across this video. You can see the full text here.

I've never really listen to Glenn Beck, but I really appreciate his comments, as well as hers.

I just hope that these two "stories" will inspire people to think twice before they use the "r" word, and that maybe, a parent of a child with a disability in the limelight, will invoke some change there as well.

What do you all think? Let's have a conversation!

Blue Emergency Cards: M to F

You know those emergency cards we fill out every year at school? Ours are blue, always have been. I always fill mine out the first day, and send it back the next. Anxiety will do that to ya! ;) I figured out yesterday, I have filled out a blue emergency card 15 times, in the last 9 years. 9 for Nick, 6 for Parker.

I remember when Parker went to school, getting TWO Back to School Packets, and having to spend the afternoon of the first day, filling out and signing. I knew it was coming, 3 packets, and fortunately, it was at 3 different times. Nick's was during the summer. Parker's on Monday, nnd Emma's was yesterday.

Again, I knew it was coming. But when I sat in Emma new class, while she was being "tested", and started filling out her card, I was overcome.

Last Name: Simmons First Name: the tears started to come. EMMA! I was writing Emma's name on a blue emergency card! Holy Crap! Student Number: oh great...another number to memorize. And then there's the little box called... Sex: F! F for female! 15 times I wrote M! Again I was overcome, to be writing F!!!!!

I know, I'm a dork. I have always thought how funny, they need a box called Sex. Because people name their kids weird things. James as a girl, Leslie as a boy. Goodness. They are the reasons, we have a box called SEX, on our emergency cards! haha But I digress...

So Emma is ready for school! Her teacher is SO cute, and sweet, and excited! It's her first year in public school! We'll have to be extra nice to her! ;) And of course she was SO impressed with Emma's intelligence, and fell in love with her! :) And Emma even came home, and drew her teacher a picture of herself, playing outside! Mrs K, I'll call her, asked Emma what she likes to do. I'm always afraid of this question! "I only like to watch Nickelodeon!" ugh Last week at dance, the dance teacher asked them, " Tell me one thing you did this summer!" Of course Emma said, "Played at my friends house!" She couldn't tell her, she went on a plane to the Atlantic ocean and watched the sunrise!" *rolling eyes*

So she asks Em what she likes to do, "Do you like to play outside, ride your bike, what?" Em said, "Play outside." Her teacher then said, "I do too!!!" So the picture, is of her teacher playing outside! So cute!

Now I should explain. I know how emotional it was when Nick went to Kindergarten. I also know how HAPPY I was when Parker went! But Emma is different somehow. See, when Nick started first grade, I started doing playground/hall monitor at lunch. I did it for 3+ years, including my pregnancy with Emma. I walked those halls carrying her in my belly. I remember the last time I walked down the 3rd and 4th grade hall, leaving to go to a Dr appointment. At that appointment, they told me she had to come out, and she was born the next morning.

About 2 weeks-ish later we, Em, Parker and I, went to visit, to show off Emma. And about 6 weeks after that, returned with Emma in a stroller, to roam the halls. She went from belly, to stroller, to walking around, in those halls. She has taken candy from the office, and roamed where she pleased. We were worried about Parker too, cuz he had been a "worker" at the school for 2 years before he started too. But he did fine. Last night, after back to school night, she wanted candy out of the office-you know, tootsie roles, or laffy taffy. It was hard to swallow, if you will, that she's a student now, and can't have candy whenever she wants! She cried and cried! So, her going to school is emotional for me, and shocking to most of the teachers!

Emma has a blue emergency card, and she is DEFINITELY FEMALE!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School 08-09

Well the first day went FABULOUS! Nick is excited about a new year. He really likes most of his teachers, and is on track to have a great year! We had fun at back to school night last week, meeting all his teachers, and "going" to his classes. It's good for my brain, to be able to picture him at school.

Parker LOVES his new teacher. Of course I embarressed him in the morning. Seriously, would I be a good mom if I didn't just a little?!? ;) I still had not met his teacher yet. This is a weird thing for me. I have known all their teachers before. So I headed back at lunch time, to meet her. She was excited to meet me, and I was quick to tell her, the row he was sitting on...WHO was in his row...not the best idea! She agreed, and it had only been a few hours! :) She also had written their names on their desks, with cool paint pens. and Parker had wiped off P, E and R, so his name is now "ARK". *rolling eyes* She said she was gonna call him that the rest of the day! I like this lady!! :) And here's something weird...He has a Nick, AND Jack in his all we need is an Emma! Funny huh...

Here are a few pictures from the morning...they really say it all...

Yes, Emma was still in bed, during the photo shoot. And the fact that Jack HAD to be in them funny. Oh for the days, when they LOVED having their picture taken with their friends on the first day! :( Silly kids... They'll appreciate me when they're old!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gramma's Surprise!!

FINALLY...I got it uploaded!

If you remember from THIS POST, my sister and I surprised my mom when my sister came into town for the first time in 2 years. It was SO hard to keep a secret! I am the worst, at keeping secrets! Luckily, it was only for a few days! I LOVE surprising my Mom...she's so easy! :) Once when I was living out west, I planned a trip home, but came home early, had a friend pick me up at the airport, and just walked in the house, like I still lived there! It was awesome!

So here is the video of surprising my Mom with my sister, and the kids!

Enjoy...we did!

Jack's Eye appointment

I know, this is the first chance I've had to sit down, and type! sheesh...


We went to see a pedriatric opthmologist. I debated back and forth between switching to a neuro-opthomalogist, but in the end, decided the "regular" optho, could get him in to the neuro faster than I could if need be.

Well guess what...his eyes are GREAT!! He didn't see anything, to need to see the neuro! Crazy isn't it? He said his optic nerves looked normal. "NORMAL??" Wow...

As far as the wandering/lazy eye, he agreed, but they are both a little weak, which is good! So one doesn't overcompansate! YAY!

The depth perception issue, the Dr said there was no concrete way to tell at his age, and nothing they can really do for it anyway.

Now for the kicker. The Dr says, "He has a moderate astigmatism, does it run in your family?" We both laugh. Dad, has a significant one, and I have a small one!" The funny part is... none of the other kids have it, that we know of, and Jack's is evidant, at 2 and a half. This poor kid can't catch a break! Well not really, but you know what I mean!

The Dr said he'd need glasses at a young age, but for now, his vision was fine, for what is on his plate! We have to go back in a year, unless of course his eyeballs fall out. haha...You know me...

So I think it's funny, the two things that run in the family, astigmatism, and cleft chin, Jack is the only one of our kids to get it. Well those and everything else! Oh are just special!! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nick's induction...

...into teenage-hood.

Woke up to this, this morning...

Mostly I'm mad that that much toilet paper was wasted... but have to admit, they did a GREAT job!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shunt or something else?

One more thing. We all know, I'm freaking out, as the one yr anniversary of Jack's shunt approaches. It's this Thursday. Well Jack's not making it any easier.

Sunday, after I had been at work Sat from 2 - 10, and he was asleep when I got home, he threw up. Then Dad tells me, he threw up, around 6 am. He threw up 2 more times. He was pale, but acting fine.

Today, he woke up around 6 am, got up, and came running back to me crying, and throwing up...again. When I got up to help him, I realized he'd thrown up on the kitchen floor- yes, I stepped in it. He cried and cried for almost an hour, until he fell asleep again. The whole time, grabbing his forhead, and telling me it hurt. He kept rubbing his face in my shirt, and couldn't get comfortable. I kept thinking maybe there was throw up in his nose, or sinuses...or maybe it's his shunt.


He soon went back to bed, but wouldn't let me leave. He laid down for about a half hour, then woke up, and smiled at me. He was fine for a few hours, then fell asleep early for his nap, which he has been getting rid of anyway.

So...I'm back to worried. HA...back to it...always man...just hate it when he gives me reasons.

Jack + School = Mom freaking out

K, So Jack's preschool is called Play and Learn. It's through Early Intervention. It's only two days a week, for an hour and a half. I'm nervous and excited about it. I mean, I feel like he's so little/young. And he goes without me. At least he'll think he's without me. I'll be behind the two way glass watching him. But maybe that will make it worse! I don't know. Standing behind glass watching him not play with anyone, or cry, cuz he wants me to stay with him. Or seeing that I know what he wants, but the teacher isn't getting it. ugh He has signs, but his own modified version. WE know what he is saying. Even the words he does have, again, are modified versions. Like "train" is "ain", but so is "rain".

And he is so different. He looks different, he doesn't talk- really. I don't know. I know I'm probably over analyzing it. I guess what I am frustrated with this week is, he is not in a category. He doesn't have down syndrome, or autism. We don't know what kind of learning disabilities he'll have, if any. Not that kids with those "labels" come with manuals, but they come with something! Ya know? I know he has hydrocephalus, but that is a HUGE unknown. Kids have such varying degrees of it. Well I guess degrees of "brain damage". Seriously, there are people who you'd never know, had hydro. Will Jack be like that? There are people who go their whole lives, not knowing their Corpus Collasum is missing, or displaced. Will Jack ever show signs of it?

And maybe Jack is the norm, for this kind of class. And by that I mean, all the kids in his class, have unknowns. I mean really, they are all under 3. How much can you really tell about how a 2 yr old is gonna learn?

And ya know...I'm just venting. I know, that it's only for a hour and a half. I know, that him being around kids his own age, may bring him out more, and he might start talking more. But... I will say, he HAS been taking more, and it is obvious, the more he talks, the more speech therapy I see he needs. But...will he "talk" for the therapist? I doubt it. I try to work on stuff, like blowing through his mouth, so he gets used to air coming out there, instead of his nose. But the more sounds he makes/attempts, the worse it sounds.

I've also thought, maybe repairing his hard palate early, would help. But the sh, and s sounds seem to be going back to far, and over his soft palate. Who knows.

Well, I'll keep you posted on how it all goes. I just need to not think about it too much. I might lose my mind!


Well hello there! I have a spare moment...ok not really, but boys are out spending Nick's Bday money, Jack's asleep, and Emma is "resting" watching her shows.

So... last sunday, my Sister came to town! It had been two years since we had been together! About a week before, she mentioned they were thinking of making the 9 hour car drive. We decided it might be fun to surpirise my Mom. Um was! it was SO hard to keep the secret! I am not very good at it. I shop at the last minute for gifts too. Just can't hold it in!!

Anyway, we got it all on video, and of course I made a little movie of it, but the @($*% thing won't upload. I'm not sure what the problem is, but as soon as I get it fixed, I'll share! But there were LOTS of tears, and laughter. Me, my Mom and Suzi, crying, and Parker laughing, cuz he thought it was funny!

We had SO MUCH fun, just hanging out. Mealtimes were a joke! 9 kids, and 5 adults. If you've been to my ya. My oldest boys, had to stand around the table, while the adults sat in the living room! It was funny. But we did good considering the severe lack of space! And sleeping...HAHA...

I have been thinking for a while, to switch rooms with Emma. Our room is bigger, and then I figured she and Jack could share. So the week before Suzi came, I attempted to myself. I got the beds moved. *rolling eyes* Parker was an AWESOME helper. Nick was at scout camp. So Suzi and her dh and the baby, had my old, Emma's new room. And the rest of them slept on the floor in sleeping bags, and blanket's on the floor. It was sad to see them go, but SO MUCH QUIETER!!! ;)

Drama camp was fun! Parker was a hit as per usual. His teacher told me like 3 times, how adorable he was! *proud grin* Emma had a blast, and there was a few old friends in the class too...which meant I had someone to talk to as well!

Soccer starts up this thursday. Emma has her pink shin guards. I crack myself up! I have created a monster don't ya know!

The boys start school on Monday! YIPEE!!!!!! Nick is taking Guitar this year! He is SO excited!! We decided to get him one for his bday! And of course, Dad had to get him an Amp too. *rolling eyes* So it's an Acoustic, that plugs into an amp. Jack thinks it's cool, and LOUD!!

Parker just found out his teacher today, and of course the kids in his class. He was a little disappointed, some of his friends weren't in it, but soon realized it will be great to make new ones. Oh, and he's on the hunt for a new crush too! oye

Emma starts on Sept 4th. Here in Utah, all kindergarteners have to be assessed...before they start school. Sounds evil doesn't it! Anyway, her testing and meeting her teacher, are on the 28th. She is SO excited! Her teacher is new this year. So we will BOTH be meeting her!

And lastly, Jack is starting a little preschool. But I think I'll save that for another post. I have a LOT to say about this here subject.

So that's the update. AS soon as school starts, I promise not to be gone so much! ;) Cuz well, the computer hogs will be gone all day! YAY!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Been around...playin'

Hey friends!

Sorry, it's been busy, then quiet, then busy.

Don't have time to tell all of our adventures, but there are new pictures on Flickr to give you a hint. :)

Coming up... in chronological order

Nick turns 13
Jack has his eye appointment
Soccer starts
Boys start school
Emma has her"assessment", for kindergarten
JACK...starts school. (must blog on this later)
Emma starts school
Parker turns 11

In the meantime, I need to...

have party for Nick (one friend + one movie + BOGO coupon for Cold Stone = 13 yr old bday party! )
try not to freak out about eye exam
get his scans from PCMC to bring to eye appointment CT and MRI's
get pink shin guards :)
get new sneakers for P and Em
school clothes at least for first day...I'm cheap. :)
freak about about Jack going to "school"
have party for Parker (he wants to have a scavenger hunt at the mall...hmmm...smell the wheels turning?)

I'll elaborate more later... must start in on my list!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This explains a lot...

I am Ariel!
Image hosted by

Headstrong and fiesty. You have a mind of your own that's full of romantic dreams about the world around you. Exploring exotic places is your ultimate dream, and although you can be a little naive you'll realize that there is something to be gained from your family's wisdom.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

When Little Mermaid came out, I was working at Disneyland. LOVED IT!! I had such a strange connection to it! Still do... I see why! :)

Leave me a comment on whisch one YOU are!

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's just funny...

To all my friends:

1. When you are sad --I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!
2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.
4. When you're scared -- we will high tail it out of here.
5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!
6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.
7. When you are sick --Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.
8. When you fall -- I'll pick you up and dust you off.
9. This is my oath...I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask -- because you are my FRIEND!

Friendship is like peeing your pants,everyone can see it,but only you can feel the true warmth.

Share this to 10 of your closest friends,Then get depressed because you can only thinkof 4.


To all my friends with husbands:


Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance - particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs,such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2..6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?


Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Please enter the command: 'I Thought You Loved Me.exe' and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Passive Aggressive Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly beta interface with circular reference loop capability. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good luck,
Tech Support


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


i am: a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend (sounds like an obituary*grin*)

i think: I need school to start

i know: the potential of my kids.

i want: my house to be clean

i have: funny kids.

i wish: I could snap my fingers-blink my eyes, and I'd be the person I picture in my head.

i hate: people who think they know everything...Ok..more than me... ;)

i miss: Nick (scout camp)

i fear: Nick will wander off, and we'll be on the news.

i feel: TIRED!!!

i hear: birds chirping, "signing time", Jack's excited squeal, Emma bossing him around, and silence, cuz the boys aren't home! :)

i smell: Fresh air!

i crave: yummy food

i search: For long lost friends

i wonder: What time the merry maid fairies are coming.

i regret: Not working longer at Disneyland, and missing the opportunity to be in the cast choir.

i love: The beautiful things in nature, I see everyday. The mountains, the sunset, flowers and trees, and the moon rising when it's still daylight.

i care: about helping others, through similar trials as Jack's

i always: TRY to see the silver lining, the bright side, to be an eternal optimist.

i am not: always succesful.

i believe: in eternal families, and free agency.

i dance: and I pull a muscle! :)

i sing: ...and I feel better-everytime.

i don’t always: think about things long enough, before I say them...oops

i fight: when you dont listen to me.

i write: from my heart.

i lose: mind. Let me know if you find it, I could really use it.

i win: because my kids are the cutest!

i never: stop worring about Jack, or the rest of them for the matter...

i listen: to my boobs.

i can usually be found: with a child at the end of my arm or on my lap.

i am scared: of the other shoe dropping.

i need: more money.

i am happy about: where and when I work. It's perfect.

I tag: Anybody who reads this and hasn't posted lately

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And so it starts...

Well it's been pretty quiet around here. Just workin, and hangin with the kids. Last friday however, I set out on a different course! :)

I signed up Emma and Parker for a little drama camp at the park. Parker's is from 9-11 am for the next two weeks. Emma's starts next week but it's only an hour everyday. But it should be fun. The boys have been to it before. The teacher does a great job!

Then while at the Rec office, I remembered about soccer. This is Emma's first yr she can play Murray Rec. Parker played competion the school yr after Jack was born. He didn't love it,took a yr off, and decided rec was more his speed! We found out that he knows all the kids on his team, and it's even coed! So it should be fun! That starts the 14th. Well their first game is the 14th. Parker's games are a few blocks away, and Emma's are at our school- within walking distance. So that will help make it easier.

So we'll have soccer 3 times a week, for the next 6 weeks. And school starts on the 25th for the boys, and the 4th for Em. I can't believe it's almost school. I start to have mini panic attacks when I think Em is going to kindergarten! YIKES! But for know, I'm have medium size panic attacks...

...Cuz Nick goes to scout camp in the morning. I have mixed feelings about it. He is SO excited!! But of course I'm nervous. He'll be gone for a week! They don't come back until Sat! He's never been gone that long before. He's gonna miss ME- don't tell him I told you! :) Jack isn't gonna know what to do! We'll all survive I suppose. We'll have more food for sure!

Emma also starts Dance on the 25th. OYE! We'll see how it all goes. Ya just kind of get thrown back into things don't ya? One day, your layin by the pool, and the next...goodness...

So say a prayer for me, that I won't have a break down tomorrow! And for the scouts to all be safe, and not stupid...ER than normal! I have told him 100 times...DO NOT WANDER OFF BY YOURSELF!!!

It'll be fine, it'll be fine, it'll be fine...........................

Friday, August 1, 2008

Here's something to sing about!!



I can't believe it's been over a week since I posted anything. WACKY I tell you... So...why...

I took the kids, and flew to Australia, to live in the outback.

Oh sorry, that was a dream I had last night. :)

I'm just tired, and then tired. And then when I can sneak computor time from the HOGS I live with, I can't think what to say. SO MUCH to tell you, so many things running around in my overcrowded brain, must get them out I tell you!!!


I just took my ambi en, and it's kicked in. SOOOOOOO I'll leave you for now. I did add those pictures of our mini vacay to flickr. So check them out if you feel so desired. And we'll chat soon!

Oh, and I have been quite addicted to Facebook lately. If you are my friend. I have a "bet" with Nick I can get 100 friends by the weekend. HAHA... I'm at 79. have to actually be my friend. We have to have "spoken" at one time or another. And by spoken, I mean, you read my blog, I read yours!! ;) Email me, I'll tell you how to find me!

All is well...ish..Sorry if I worried any one!