Monday, August 29, 2011

We're Dry! Updated 8/30

As some may recall from our spring thaw we had a little bit of a water episode at our house. Well, Miss Irene didn't get us, the sump pump did it's job and we stayed dry. I can't say that for the majority of our local community. The main road connecting us to the world (interstates, stores, work) was flooded from the Connecticut River. Asa and I took the "long" way in this morning. Our little road bordered by a brook sustained some damage but was passable. Many other roads were not and as of this morning the majority of bridges crossing the multiple strings of rivers in our area were closed until they could be inspected for damage.

Here is video of the Quechee (pronounced Qwee-chee, like Queen) covered bridge going over the Ottauquechee River in Vermont. I worked for 6 years in the building just next door/upstream from the white Real Estate office in this video. There is a small hydro dam here and the drop below the bridge is about 25 feet (below the bridge) did I mention that's the height below the bridge? This was only one of multiply small bridges that got washed out during yesterday's storm across our region.

Updated 8/30/11:

Here are a couple more video's of West Hartford, Vermont. My grandfather grew up in the hills beyond the river and my "family resting place" is just on the other side of the road from the river in the cutest little cemetery you've ever seen, it sits on a hill so the water did not get this high thankfully.

The White River at West Hartford, Vermont, rose 16.47 feet by 7:30 p.m. yesterday 8/28, the last information available. The highest crest measured was 20.67 feet, which surpasses both a flood in November 1927 and the Hurricane of 1938, according to the weather service.

DURING the storm click here and here to see videos. The white thing floating is a hay bail in the second video, there are rumors that some unlucky cows didn't make it out of harms way. AFTER the storm click here, look at the front of the white house across road, the front is completely gone. The Village Library is to the left and the Country Store is the big red building to the far left. Our cemetery is just beyond that up a little hill behind the church (the cutest little church you'll ever see too, though it's vacant now).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My mother has a cute antique looking image of a little kid sitting on a chamber pot hanging in her bathroom. There is a caption below the image that says "Efforts". I never imagined Potty Training would be such a HUGE EFFORT. We have put forth the effort and we've had success!

Friday evening I stopped and picked up all the necessities I thought I would need for a successful weekend of "going on the potty". 2 packages of Cars and Toy Story Fundaroos (these bad boys are pricey!), a new wider opening seat insert, glass jar with lid and a 1 lb. bag of M&M's.

We started right in when I got home with one successful attempt and lots of cheering. Saturday morning we woke up and picked out a pair of Fundaroos. We sat down and had the talk that our undies needed to stay dry and we needed to go on the potty if we had to go potty. Through trial and error - error being one # 2, with a little #1in our first set of fundies. We tried again, picked out a new pair and kept those dry for a couple hours. All and all on Saturday we successfully peed on the potty 5 times, we started to call it making yellow and that was a hit. We totalled only 3 pairs of wet fundies, 1 being the first error.

We ended up going to the Fair Saturday night and rather then having to finish our first day of potty training using port-o-poos we opted for the good old pull-up. Sunday morning we started fresh again, lots of "no-goes" and Ace insisting he did make yellow and deserving a yum I told him we did not get an M&M unless we made yellow on the potty successfully. Mid-morning only 5 minutes after we sat on the potty I walked into the living room and asked again if he needed to go potty. He responded "YEAH", this was a little too overzealous and quick. I asked him if his fundies were wet and he said "yeah". He was standing in the middle of a lake with wet foot prints leading to and from - UGH. He had held it for so long and then I imagine he couldn't anymore. A BIG clean up ensued and we started fresh again. Sunday was certainly not as successful as Saturday. We had only a couple successful attempts but the last one of the day after tubby was ex-streamly successful.

He is working on it at Daycare, trying to stay consistent and successful with our efforts. At least I know now that we CAN do it and we will work on it a little more everyday. I have to say this was one of my biggest stresses for Preschool and hopefully he will cooperate and go when he needs to there...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A letter from NDSC regarding the Change-Up

Thanks Leah!

Dear Friends,

Last Friday, as many of us were enjoying the fun and fellowship of the NDSC Convention in San Antonio, Universal Pictures released the film, "The Change-Up". According to reports, lines in the film attributed to the Ryan Reynolds' character include: "Why aren't they talking - what are they retarded?" and "This one, he looks Downsy" in referring to two young children in the film.

Though no one at the NDSC has seen the film (nor do we wish to, at this point), the comments we've heard - and the lack of a response to the contrary from the Studio - indicate that Universal has engaged in bigotry for laughs. While we don't want to use our national platform to publicize or promote this movie in any way, we do want parents to be aware of this content, so those who choose to see it aren't taken by surprise by these words, which could be painful, if they are heard out of the blue.
What can you do? If you're on Facebook, add your comments to the pages of Universal Pictures ( and the movie itself ( Although there are reports that negative comments on these social media sites are being removed, it's still worthwhile to add yours for them to see. Likewise, you can share your feelings on your own Facebook page and/or Twitter account, asking all of your friends and followers to please not go see the film.

Though it is unlikely that Universal will pull the movie, as they have millions already invested, changes and/or additions can be made to the film before its release on DVD, as occurred with "Tropic Thunder". Consider writing the producer and director at the addresses below, and in your own words sharing with them why you find the language in their film so hurtful. Also, while you may or may not wish to ask them to pull the film, please definitely ask them to edit the film prior to its release on DVD to remove the outrageous scene mentioned above. Failing that, you can ask that they add a PSA from Special Olympics "End the Word" campaign, or the NDSC's "We're More Alike" series.

Neal H. Moritz David Dobkin
Producer, "The Change Up" Director, "The Change Up"
Original Film Universal Pictures
5930 West Jefferson 825 8th Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90016 New York, NY 10019

Though sometimes it feels like we're spinning our wheels, your advocacy is making a difference. Please make your voice heard.

David Tolleson
Executive Director
National Down Syndrome Congress
1370 Center Drive, Suite 102 · Atlanta, GA 30338
770/604-9500 · 800/232-6372 · 770/604-9898 (Fax)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good Taste

The other night Brian and I were talking about our taste in movies, music and TV shows. It was the day the announcement was made on the nightly enterainment shows that this season would be the last for Desperate Housewives on ABC. Brian proclaimed proudly that we were a good judge of quality entertainment because we had stopped watching DH last season when it started getting so far fetched, he followed by our taste in music and movies (that we would go see if we had the time :-) was pretty good and he was quite convinced by his statement.

We have seen the previews for The Change-Up with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman that is in theatres now. This was one movie Brian was using as a judge of our entertainment qualities. It looks like a hoot and so up our alley. Today I was enlightened, I never imagined how ironic Brian's statement was and what holds true - the judge of quality can't be made from the cover or in this case "the previews".

Here's why:

I do not dwell on the term "developmentally delayed" because it is just that, a term. I do not dwell on the words Down syndrome, because it is just that, words. I do dwell on words and stereotypes that degrade the one person in my world that is beyond terms, words, diagnosis's, stereotypes... It shatters my world when certain words are used as a punch line to a joke and humored because people who have NO CLUE use them to put my son in a place where he doesn't belong. It puts him in a different part of society, why? Why should he be labeled and placed in a different category because of terms or words. Specifically when the individual or in this case many individuals do not know him and obviously never blessed to know someone like him to have any reference of sensibility or sensitivity (or choose not to) on the subject. No one deserves to be laughed at or the butt of someone's despicable joke. When you know or are related to someone with special needs and hateful/hurtful terms are used for a laugh rather then to educate it is down right unacceptable.

Thanks for the heads up McKenna

I think I need to research my entertainment values more carefully... The Change Up won't be on my movie bucket list.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quite the Character!

Playing dress up is always fun, but what makes it the most fun is picking out your own outfits! Minnie was from Friday and Hawaiian Shower Guy was yesterday. The shower cap is not a shower cap at all, it is the micro fiber cloth cover for my mop! This kid has quite the imagination, he had no help what so ever with either of these get-ups, it was all his own doing...

Friday, August 5, 2011

A whole lot of a lot about nothing...


I feel like I should post something since I haven't in awhile, but it's been a whole lot about a lot about nothing lately. We've been busy doing a whole lot of nothing... I recently moved my entire business office at work, it seems like no matter what kind of moving you do it takes a lot out of you and takes forever for things to get back to normal. A lot of changes in personnel in my tiny office of 4 people which takes a blow to your whole work dynamic.

We've been doing a lot of yard work at home, that mid-summer clean up is such a necessity. Bushes, shrubs and plants seem to have grown to untamed and call for a trim. Weeds are out of control and gutters are full of fallen pine needles. Asa loves to help in this department and is a great helper, watering, mowing and pulling wagons of weeds to throw in the woods for mommy.

The sun has already started to change position here in the north. It is true testament every year at the beginning of August that the sun hangs a little lower in the sky and you can tell Autumn is only a few weeks away. By the end of the month there will be signs in the slight change of color of the trees. You can almost read the story in their leaves saying they are getting sleepy and it's almost time for their Winter slumber. There's still many summer things I'd like to accomplish like going camping at least once! I'm wondering if I can cram all the things I've meant to do all summer into one month, I may have to widdle my list.

About Me

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My name is Jackie and I am a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin to many, and a dreamer of sorts. I dream of many things and one is a life full of acceptance, achievement and success for my Super Hero son Asa. He's got extra good stuff that comes with a little thing called Down syndrome. We live in the beautiful state of New Hampshire with our 2 Bulldogs; Rosie, Frankie and 36 chickens.