To the Mom at the park whose son has Down Syndrome

Dear Mom at the park whose son has Down Syndrome, I’ve been to this park many times since before I can remember. I’ve played in the wading pool. I’ve run around on the grass playing with my imagination and later my younger brothers. I’ve rowed on the lake and run up and down the stadium steps. I’ve walked the lake dozens of times with my dogs. I’ve stumbled across the green grass in the dark with my BFF, both of us inebriated after her bachelorette celebration. I’ve nursed my baby on the benches around the lake, by the theater and by the basketball courts because that’s where he melted down. I’ve taken my baby swimming at the pool. I know this park well, but this was my first day at the playground with my little boy, Bear.

Greenlake Greenery

Bear and I have had such a journey to get here. I remember the NT scan and genetic testing. I opted for it mostly because it was one more opportunity to see him when all I could do was feel his little flutters. I needed that reassurance even though my odds of having a child with down syndrome were low. I needed that reassurance because the last scan I had of my first little guy missed all of his problems because abnormal nuchal translucency wasn’t one of them. I came close to that alternate universe. That universe where my first son survived and had such incredible physical challenges that life would never have been the same in so many good and bad ways. As my little rainbow literally face planted in the sandbox and started eating dirt I looked around in the hopes that no one would be judging me for letting him eat a little dirt before I reeled him in. After two younger brothers I know boys = loud dirt.

Bear loves dirt

It was then that I noticed you.

Your son caught my eye next. It might have been the way the light reflected off the fire trucks parked next to us. Or really it was the halo of loving energy he exuded that caught me, entranced me. He was laughing, having such a good time. Then I noticed something a little different. It took me a few moments of watching him to put my finger on it. Suddenly it clicked and I realized he has that magical extra chromosome. That chromosome that opens hearts and comes at everyone with love. I saw how tired you were, trying to corral him into the stroller as it was time to go. I saw his older brother patiently helping you and him. I saw his older sister resisting leaving because she too was having a ball. I saw his older brother getting behind the stroller to push him around. I saw you watching me watch you. I saw you turn away, maybe embarrassed or feeling self conscious or maybe angry because I WAS staring.

Mama, I want you to know what I was really thinking.

I was really thinking your son has such a lovely soul that shines right through his beautiful face. That crocheted blue hat he was wearing looked so soft and framed his face just right. Its color made his complexion even brighter. I was really noticing his cherry red cheeks, flushed and happy from playing in the crisp morning. I was really seeing his joyous self excited by all the people and commotion. I was really watching how lovingly his siblings interacted with him. I was really thinking to myself, “Wow. He is such a beautiful little boy.”

I want you to know what I was really thinking because I don’t want you to think for one more second that I was doing anything less than marveling at the miracles of your life. I was humbled to be in your presence. You’re a veteran mom and I don’t doubt you have had to fight a lot of battles on behalf of your children. I can only imagine how you felt after your NT scan, or if you even had one. I can only imagine the stares you’ve already faced. I can only imagine the challenges you’ve faced. I hope you know, in your heart of hearts, that you are winning and wonderful and my hero.

With RAWR, Marie

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Mug Alert: Philosoraptor

Need a moment of RAWR in your day? Try starting off in a philosophical mood.  Just do it dinosaur style…

Munday Munchies

Most weekends Raul and I do our major grocery shopping trip of the week. We pick a couple meals we’ll want to eat in the coming days by browsing food magazines, cook books and browsing online. This past weekend we didn’t go grocery shopping. I know! It’s a travesty!

All this talk of food and my almost empty fridge this morning has my inner rex feeling extra hungry. So I thought I’d share a little collection of yummy-looking, hopefully tasty treats for our inner Rex’s that will leave you and your little rexes saying “RAWR!”

Quick Side note: When my wiggly boxer, Sadie, gets hangry, she grunts and wiggles at me. I imagine her grunting would translate into something like this…

make me a sandwich

When your little rexes get hangry and grunt at you, you can make their dinos into a sandwich.

dinosaur sandwich

And don’t stress over the shape, this sandwich cutter makes it a snap. Find it HERE.

dinobytes

Maybe this is your first real foray into dino inspired meals, so let’s start easy. Mashed potatoes, Check! Broccoli, check! Dino toy, check!

On your way to a RAWR-ific meal, you can just dip your dino’s toes in the ‘tatoes with this yummy dinner set up. Give this to your small rex when they need a little inspiration to eat and you need a low commitment meal…

Dinosaur-trees-1

Or maybe you just need a small snack, a bit of protein to tide you over. With Easter just around the corner, this would be a great week to make some edible dinosaur eggs.

dino eggs

To learn how to make these click HERE

dino eggs2

If you’re feeling really creative, or you want to throw your little rexes a curveball this Easter, try making some GIANT dinosaur eggs! These are of the Brontosaurus or T-Rex variety.

dino eggs3

SHHHH!!! They’re really Watermelons!

dino eggs4

Once you’re done with lunch, dinner and the egg hunt, don’t forget dessert! There’s always room for dessert!

First a dirty Oreo dessert…

dirt-oreo-dinos

Or host your own archeological expedition into cupcakes….

dinomuffindough

I think that about wraps up our tour of tasty T-rex treats. Is your mouth watering yet?

In case you need some assistance fully embracing the Dino Dining methods, there is a book to help… click the image to be linked to Amazon.

dinosaur book

Do you want to know how to make the dishes above yourself?Click on the photo of any dish you want the recipe for and it will link you to the original source.

Happy Munday!

RAWR & ❤

Mug Alert: Lincoln riding a dino, yes, that’s right.

I love searching out those objects that bring a smile, a chuckle and hopefully a laugh to someone’s day. I’m terribly sarcastic and wholly inappropriate most days and only with the right people do I make any sense. Social interaction with anyone outside of my inner circle requires multiple mental filters. And yet, with all of this awesome creativity, even from the deepest depths of my comic self, I cannot come up with a good caption for this mug (that isn’t completely and wholly inappropriate).

This mug of Abraham Lincoln (yes, our former President Abraham Lincoln) riding a T-Rex is beyond words for me.

So maybe you have a better idea, dear reader, what’s your caption?

Abe riding trex

Moment of RAWR: Supermom Ninjas

This is a tribute to the Supermom. It’s Thursday. I know you’re tired. You are probably tired to the “I just put the empty paper grocery bag in the refrigerator and didn’t even realize I did it until I went to make dinner hours later” level. And yet you soldier on. In the name of love, responsibility and with a touch of the human spirit of carrying on, your actions are not lost. Someday your children will be old and will realize just how hard this all was.

I know you’re battling lost socks, single socks, dishes, the rest of the laundry, yummies, errands, work, unfinished homework, dirty diapers and poop patrols, dental appointments, dank trash, dust balls and more. It’s like you have to be part ninja or maybe just part dinosaur to get it all done and still survive. Either way, you know you can’t stop. You know the insanity of it all, doing the same chores over and over and wishing for different result. And yet you soldier on.

So for you, the Supermom, here’s your MOMENT OF RAWR.

DinosaurFunny_ninjas

 

Mug Alert: The first Om Nom Nom

My neighborhood is in the beating heart of the coffee phenomenon. I am surrounded by caffeine addicts. They are everywhere. Before 9am it’s like the streets are overrun with zombies and only the children remain normal, happy and giggling. Standing in line at one of the thousands of coffee shops leaves you recounting the list of rules from Zombieland. Then, almost like magic, there’s actually HUMANS leaving the shop, not zombies! That coffee fix is a serious thing, not one to be messed with. My beloved coffee addicts have taught me that coffee comes before words.

© Duskbabe | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images


© Duskbabe | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

I am the one in a million that doesn’t drink coffee. There’s something about it’s taste that just, well, isn’t my cup of tea. It’s mostly drinking it that repels me, but I’m not opposed to making it for my beloved coffee addicts. It’s taken a few years but I actually like making coffee now. It’s a great way to make easy friends… the zombies always smile at the person handing them a hot cup of java. It’s become an act of love.

In honor of my beloved coffee addicts, I’m starting the Mug Alert post. Now you can remind yourself and those you love to let out their inner RAWR, first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee done just right.

The OmNomNomivore

onnomnommug

Pick the Punchline

Let’s play a game… After reading through the suggested punchlines for this comic on another site, I’m a little curious what else can be thought up…

What's the Punchline?

What’s the Punchline?

Dinosaur sighting: The OnNomNomivore

I Love Brunch.

I love brunch SO MUCH… it makes me rawr.

Literally, I, “RAAAWWRRR” out loud because I am THAT excited for brunch.

When all else fails for dinner, I could eat brunch (which is Brinner in my home). When we travel I always want to find a good brunch spot, sitting back, relaxing and reflecting on a good/crazy/busy/lazy time usually makes for a great day. Brunch is almost like my weekly meditation, a slow meal slows me down, helps me relax before another crazy week. It helps me find and remember my gratitude’s.

Brunch at Campagne

Croque-Madame at Cafe Campagne

Finding Toast

I love finding French Toast that is thick and eggy, frenched and toasted to “just right.” Thick slices are key. I especially love a Brioche French Toast. In Seattle I can count on  Bastille to handle the french toast with respect.

I LUV finding waffles, the good ones anyway. I’m talking about the waffles that are thick and puffy, and round is always more fun. The most glorious waffle in all my years of searching was at Pomegranate. It was perfectly cooked to a soft and chewy inside with just enough crunch to satisfy and topped with house-made whipped cream and fresh summer berries. It was so good they haven’t ever repeated it, but they come close enough to still get my top spot.

I’m looking for the pancakes that give what’s on your plate the deserved name of “cake”, waiting to be devoured. Throw some fresh berries in the batter and you got pan-an-cakes in all their antioxidant-al glory. The summer outdoor patio is primo seating during the kinder weathered months and the Huckleberry pancakes are not to be missed at the Barking Frog.

I’m not above a quick sandwich either.  Some mornings (or afternoons) I just don’t have the patience to sit and wait for brunch to come to me. Some mornings, the hangry ones anyway, direct me to the nearest goodness available. In Portland, that place is the Grand Central Bakery’s Cafe. I love brunch so much I already opined upon their biscuit-egg sandwiches previously, in The Only Biscuits Worth a RAWR.

We’ll leave eggs for another day. I love eggs, but that’s exactly why it’s a post for another day.

All this talk of brunch and yummies had me wondering…What type of dinosaur am I?

It seems everyone has their favorite brunch meal and almost everyone is different. Some friends love a good vegan or vegetarian meal. Some of my friends scoff at anything without bacon. Some of my friends can eat a little of everything. Me? I’m all about the nomnomnom.

Call me, the Omnomnomivore.

DinosaurFunny-onnomnomivore

Because it’s Friday, rawr.

I’ma turn you into a dinosaur today. You know why? Because it’s Friday.

fridaynosaur

Shake it Up

Today is a dreary Thursday. It’s raining. I suppose that should not be a surprise as I live near Seattle where it rains 366 days a year. Yes, 366 days a year, at least in my mind.

What I’ve always found interesting on observation, since I was a wee rex, was how many different modes of movement exist that enable rain to hit my head. And FYI, don’t use an umbrella around here. We all know you’re a tourist or an idiot. When the rain hits, you just buckle down and push through, like a woman birthing without drugs. Woman up and put your umbrella down, or the wind will do it for you.

Oh, Marie, rain is not THAT big of a deal, right?

I know it may not seem like an annoyance and worth getting all up-in-RAWRS about because there are a lot of places that would like a good rain once in awhile. I am very grateful for all the moisture we get. It is the reason we are the Evergreen state and one of the most lush, green places (west of the Cascades) with a Gen-u-ine Rain Forest. I love all the greenery, really, I do! It’s just hard to enjoy it when it feels like the sky is peeing on you all the time. To understand my relationship with rain, study the image below for a moment.

That is how I feel in the rain. So now I’m going to have my moment and wish for the sun and RAWR about how annoying rain can be.

The most Annoying types of Rain I’ve Observed:

The monsoon down pour where the 1.5 seconds it takes you to get to the car door has you and everyone and thing with you drenched to the core. That only happens a couple days a year here. (God bless those living in real monsoons.)

The spring shower, where you look up and see blue sky above you, and yet, somehow, it IS raining on your head. It’s also the third time today this has happened.

The unrelenting rain, where it’s a steady patter, a lighter droplet, enough wetness to cause the dogs to go on a bathroom strike which is too bad for them because it can last for HOURS and sometimes days. Usually the rain wins and the dogs give in. They feel like the lion too.

The mist, a gentle, all encompassing cloud of misty humidity that upon touching curly hair magically turns it into a ‘fro no matter what chemicals were used prior to exposure to said mist.

The sideways mist, a strange cloud of mist moving past you with a ghost-like appearance. It will stop you in your tracks with mesmerizing movements until the cloud of ballet makes sense, “Oh, it IS raining sideways!” Curly hair is no match for this mist either.

Too many encounters with the rain styles above and you may be left feeling like this…

JimBentonComic-DinosaurShakeUp

So on this dreary day, join me in telling the weather to be kind. We all need a break sometime, or we may turn into dinosaurs and… well, you know.

Ode to the 80’s and the Moon

Ah, the days of Reese’s Pieces and ET phone home… Yup, those were the days, the 80’s. And eventually the wild-n-out RAWR of that decade morphed into the neon nineties. Somewhere in this mix of fashion adventure and extra terrestrials, an amazing shoe was born. It was over the top, the high top, to be exact. It was flashy. It was fahbyoulus. It was… the LA Gear Trainer.

LA-GEAR

Somehow (I can’t remember so it must be magic), I convinced my mom or my grandparents (again, I can’t remember, so maybe it was a wizard) to get me this pair of LA Gear High Tops, but in a crisp black and pink only (bottom right in image below). I will never forget the double laces and how supported my feet felt. I will always love the sassy touch of the side suede ribbing.

LA Gear Trainer

I do remember eeking out a small RAWR of excitement when I got my foot resting on the cushy sole, the double laces laced up, the velcro flap flipped over and velcroed down and the license plate flair promptly added to my key chain collection, I was ready to go. This is also when I discovered my power color. HOT PINK. And it made my wardrobe so much easier! Hot pink or Black leggings, check! Hot pink and black oversized sweatshirt, check! Hot pink or black scrunchie to complement my fountain bangs, CHECK!

So reminisce with me… In the spirit of the recent full moon, I’d like to share this handy mug. You can find it at Zazzle.com. Then, while you drink your coffee out of it, you can chuckle as you remember your early RAWRS.

moon mug

Someone tried but failed to erase the dinosaurs

While searching the far hills for some signs of creativity, my pick axe eyes landed on this fun item at Daniel Smith Art Supply. An eraser that whittles down to a dinosaur skull, a fossil eraser! Find yours here.

Fossil Eraser

Potbelly Adventure

Approaching a dangerous level of HANGRY this past week, Raul and I stopped in at a previously un-tested (by us) establishment aptly named Potbelly Sandwich Shop. I had a good feeling about this place. I’m not in Subway anymore.

Potbelly 3

Standing under the menu, trying to keep my mouth from gaping open and drooling, I carefully read through my options. Turkey is my go-to Beneficial meat so I order up.

With Mushrooms please.

Potbelly 3

The very nice lady behind the counter loads my sandwich into the oven where it ambles along the slow belt, toasting up under the heat. I’m too enthralled with my sandwich to look around. Quietly, Raul points out the T-Rex on their chalkboard cabinet.

Potbelly 1

A special lunch for someone who is REALLY HANGRY! RAAAWR!

Potbelly 2

Finally my sandwich is ready and I inhale it in three breaths. I was so HANGRY I forgot to snap a photo like my weird-self normally does, sorry! It was really good. Gooey cheese, turkey crisped at the edges, a nicely toasted bread and mushrooms.

As I’m cooling down from the HANGRY attack I finally look around the place and notice the fabulous job by the HVAC team. So clever!

Potbelly 4

Dino Friends at Freddies for Easter

While browsing the ridiculously low priced past-Valentine’s day candy to replenish my chocolate stash, I was shocked to see Easter toys already out! We’ve still got to get through St. Patty’s Day! So intrigued by the Easter toys and caught reminiscing about all my awesome Easter Egg hunts as a kid and their resulting chocolate stashes… I wandered the aisles until I stopped in my tracks at these cheerful rawrs.

Dino friends 1

They are NOT dog toys but dino buddies for your babies and big boys in cheery colors and a species for every species. A lot of kids come born with their RAWR out and unabashed and learn to tamper it down as they grow older, fitting in with society. Instead of the Rat Race, let’s stick with the Dinosaur Age and learn to RAWR a little.

Dino Friends 2

Dino Friends 3

Dino Friends 4

In my area, Fred Meyer sells Kroger, so you may find them at your local Kroger affiliate. Happy Hunting!

Dino Squishies at Target

With one big and one little Doggie-sidekick, I’m always on the look out for new “squishies”* or soft dog toys to keep their minds occupied. We have some pretty high standards too. Squishies must be well seamed, durable, and of course, enticing to gnaw on.

Dinosaur Dog Toys Target 1

Raul and I stumbled upon some new selections** at Target. They’ve got a few different color flavors to suit any dog. $7.99 for a slice of rawr, so check your local Target.

Dinosaur Dog Toy Target 2

If you’re looking for some solid dino Squishies, check out QPG’s other Dino collection. We’ve had good success with some of their toys, “Chicken” is a favorite.

Dinosaur Dog Toy Target 3

*Squishies is not in reference to any child. We do not condone doggies gnawing on kiddos. Or babies.

*We have not tested these particular dinosaur squishies yet, but will post a review when the girls have completed their evaluations.

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