Saturday, 27 April 2013

A lil' Q & A with Treyton's Posse

As some of you may know Rockin An Extra Chromosome has been nominated for a Liebster Award. Check out my excitement about my nomination Here.

With this nomination comes the requirement for me to answer 11 questions asked by Treyton's Posse.

Some of these answers are gonna be looooonnng! I tend to expand on my answers soooooo with that being said here are a few questions and a few answers.

Q:   Why did you start to blog? 

A:    To Blog or Not To Blog.  This was my first blog post that I wrote.  I had been on the fence for a long time on whether or not I should blog.  If I started blogging I wanted to make sure I would and could commit the time into it.  I didn't want to start and then get busy and then slowly just stop.

One day I just decided to stop making excuses and just "do it".  My initial reason for starting a blog was to show those who chose to follow my blog, or those who just happened to stumble upon my blog, that having a child with T21 is, for the most part, so very ordinary.

I wanted those who were desperately seeking comfort or support after receiving a prenatal diagnosis, to find my blog and see how awesome Stella is, how fabulous her life is and also how perfectly boring and ordinary it is.

My initial vision was to show someone considering termination that, that wasn't the answer.  That their baby would change their lives for the better.  That having a child with T21 is NOT the end of the world, but the beginning of a whole new one!

Then I started blogging and something awesome happened. Something I didn't really except.  I started "meeting" other parents who share my passion for their family, who share my love of writing and who also share a similar journey to mine.

I am a very relationship oriented type of person.  I thrive on feeling connected to others.  Having found this online community of parents/families who have a child with T21, who go through similar struggles, has been wonderful.  To feel connected even though most of us live in different provinces and even different countries......monumental, at least to me!!!

Q:   When you were a child what did you dream about being when you grew up.
A:    I remember being about 7 and thinking that I would love to be a nurse.  Then when I was a little older I thought I'd like to be a teacher.  Then when I was in my late teens I thought about working with children with special needs, which I find VERY ironic.

However,  I never actually ended up following any of those dreams as by the time I grew up, I didn't want to be any of those things. At the ripe ol' age of 19, I decided to get my office administration diploma.  My sis and I actually took the course together.  What fun we had!  But we studied too, and worked hard and at the end of the course I got a really good job.  I was a customer service-import/export administrator at a chemical plant.

I sold acid.

Seriously I imported and exported chemicals. Acid....all different kinds, Nitric, Sulphuric....

I can honestly say that I LOVED my job.  I had great co-workers and a pretty nice guy for a boss.

But then in 2005 I decided to leave my nice paying job to become CEO of McGarvie of my toughest jobs to date.

Q:   What are better cats or dogs?

A:    Cats.  Here are a few REALLY compelling reasons as to why cats are better.

  • I grew up having a cat as a pet so I am already biased towards them
  • Cats are wayyyyyyy less work.  I have three young children, the thought of picking up more poop (I already wipe a lot of butts, thank you very much) does NOT appeal to me.
  • My children love to challenge my parenting skills, I am not interested in making sure I am being the 'pack leader' as well.  
  • I love to go for walks, but I don't have the time to take a dog for walk EVERY day.  
  • If we want to go on vacation it's way easier to find someone to come and feed a cat every other day then it is to find someone to watch a dog.  It's true.

Q:    Assuming money was not an issue, where would you travel to and what would you do once you got there?
A:    If money was not an issue, I would go with my hubby and my McG girls and take them to visit where I was born and spent 17 years of my life....


Bermuda is a very small island, but it is NOT cheap to travel to let me tell you!

Once there I would show my family my old neighbourhood and the grade school and high school I went to.  I would take them to all the beaches that I used to go to.  I'd take them to the aquarium that their Aunt Wendy used to work at and I'd take them to the restaurants that I used to go to with my family when I was little.

Q:   What do you prefer and why: Apple IOS or Android.

A:  Well,  between the two of us (meaning Mickey and I), we have 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, 1 MacBook Air and 1 MacBook I'm gonna go with Apple.  Honestly I have never tried out the Android operating system.  I am not really a techie so I have no reasoning as to why Apple iOS other then, I really like how easy it is to use.

Q:   Baseball is widely know as "America's Pastime". Do you agree?  If not, what do you think should be considered America's Pastime?
A:    I'm gonna be honest. I don't watch sports....ever, unless Mickey is watching some sort of game on the TV.  Also, I live up North in good Ol Canada and I'm 100% certain that Canada's pastime HOCKEY!!  Maybe I should get the hubby's opinion on your question.........

And that is 6 out of the 11 questions......STAY TUNED for the final 5 questions!!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Liebster Award.....Rockin An Extra Chromosome has been nominated!

First of all I just want to state how cool it feels to be nominated for a Liebster  award!!

Liebster (German) = beloved, cherished, esteemed.

What is a Liebster award?  This award is a 'peer award' given to upcoming bloggers who have less then 200 followers.  (so far to date I have 19 followers)

I first heard about the Liebster Award from Rob Arnold.  He is the man behind Treyton's Posse.  I first found his blog when I joined a blog hop (I think).  Either that or from the Down Syndrome Blogs website.  I read sooooo many blogs that I sometimes have a hard time remembering where exactly I first stumbled upon a blog.  What I enjoy about his blog is the calmness and logic and love that comes through in his writing.  His post on the death of Ethan Saylor was one that stood out for me.  He came across calm, rational and logical.

WOW! Seriously, I am just so honoured that a fellow blogger thinks my blog brings value and is worthy of recognition.


This nomination requires me to post 11 facts about me and to also answer 11 questions that Treyton's Posse has given me.

Hmmmmmm, so let's finish this post with 11 facts about lil ol me.

1.     I despise (with a capital D) onions.  If a recipe calls for onions, I will either use half or a quarter of what the recipe calls for.  Sometimes I will even omit it all together (onions in chicken pot pie???? Just the thought makes me puke a little).  I don't care if the chicken pot pie doesn't taste as good, onions are nasty.

2.     I used to be a part of an improv troupe.  (Improv? Improv is a form of theatre where most or all of what is performed is created the moment it is performed).  During my brief few years of performing I loved it!  When I got married we had improv at our wedding reception.   Once I became preggos with Olivia, however, I kind of slowly stopped going.  My priorities changed.  But I have many a great memory of those days.

The Impromaniacs was the name of our troupe 

There were more people in the troupe...they just weren't at rehearsal the day these photos were taken.....

3.  I am the youngest of three. I have an older sister and an older brother.  My big sis lives in Victoria, BC and my big brother lives in the US of A.  Salt Lake City, Utah, to be exact.  I truly miss living near my siblings and I am very excited to be able to see my sister and her kidlets again this year.  As for my bro, I haven't seen him in a loooonnnggg time! I am hoping that we can finally get our shit together and see him next year.

some really old photos of me and my sibs.  

4.    I would LOVE to be on the TLC show "What Not to Wear".  I love clothes, and I think I have a pretty good fashion sense, so I don't feel I need help per say, but I would love to spend a week in New York with two amazing stylists and be given a whole new wardrobe! And let's not forget a sassy new hair do and make up! So seriously, feel free to nominate me....this is their last season so, now is the time people!!!

5.  Zombies? Vampires? Werewolves? Ghosts?  These are a few of my favourite watch...on TV.  Remember Ghost Whisperer with Jennifer Love-Hewitt?  Yeah, I used to watch that show EVERY Friday night.  It was cheesy, but I loved it.  Mickey started calling it Friday Fromage.   Then just last year the show Grimm began. I am HOOKED!

6.   I am not very fond of being call Ann.  Yeah, my name is Anna, not Ann.  I know, so trivial, right?  But as a teenager it would just bug the hell out of me when someone would read my name (as in look down at my name that was neatly and clearly written on paper (A-n-n-a), and miss the last "a" entirely and call me Ann.  Now that I am a mature woman (snicker), I am not bothered AS much when someone calls me Ann. Instead of being annoyed nowadays I just straight up correct them.  "It's Anna, not Ann." is usually what I say.  I am sure I come off as bitchy but hey, get my name right and then "bitchy Anna" won't have to rear her ugly head.

7.    I like to refer to the current city that we reside in as ButtFuck, Alberta. Here is the blog post I did on how we ended up in Alberta and why I call it BF, Alberta.

8.     Before moving to BF, Alberta, I was a certified fitness instructor.  I have let my certification expire so now I just workout when I have time (so never).

9.     When I was younger I played the violin. Yet another activity that I no longer do. Hmmmmm, I see a pattern emerging here....

10.    My first real serious boyfriend was Mickey. I was 20, he was 21.  We have now been married for almost 13 years.  He is my best friend and I love him more and more every day.

And last, but certainly not least

11.   Amusement parks are a form of torture, at least to me.  Wanna see me scream and cry and possibly pee and poo my pants? Then force me to go on a roller coaster, or a Ferris wheel or a ride that shoots you up in the air really high....pretty much any adult ride. Yup. Amusement park=torture chamber to this here lady.

There you have it! 11 things you may, or may not know about me!

Stay tuned for the next few post where I answer questions that Treyton's Posse asked me and many of the other nominees!!

Here are the other nominees:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tumbleweeds, Crickets and Glee

You know those old western movies with the lone cowboy sitting on his horse, looking out into the vast, flat open land, while tumble weeds gently bounce and roll by?

That's how it feels to me when I post something important like (the justice that ETHAN SAYLOR deserves) and I get nothing.  No comments on Facebook, nobody shares my post, nothing....


I hear nothing but crickets and see nothing but tumble weeds floating by.

I am not including all those in the DS community as we are ALL screaming, demanding change, demanding justice.

I am talking about those who aren't directly involved.  It seems that nobody truly "gets" it or perhaps even cares.

How do tumbleweeds and crickets have anything to do with Glee?

You may be asking yourself this question.

They have nothing to do with Glee.  But I am very doubtful anyone will be sharing this post either, hence the tumbleweeds and crickets.

(wow, I am beginning to sound VERY bitter.... perhaps I will have to delve into this at a later date..)

For those of you who haven't watched Glee in a while or ever, the writers on Glee decided to do a show about guns.

They decide it would be a good idea to have Becky be the girl who brings the gun to school.  For those of you who don't watch Glee, Lauren Potter plays the character of Becky.  Becky (Lauren) is rockin an extra chromosome.  The fact that the writers wanted to give Lauren a "real life" role in this episode is awesome.  Lauren is a great actor and should be given more in depth parts.  But to give her this role...

I have been trying in my head and on paper to properly and coherently write down my views on that Glee episode.

Then the other day I was reading a fellow bloggers blog post.

WHAM! She was saying EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Her name is Becca and her blog is:
The Bates Motel

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Is It Just Me....

Or do people really suck sometimes?

Today, was not one of my better days as a mother.  

Today is Sophie's birthday so I wanted to do something a little special with the girls to celebrate Sophie turning 4.  I took them to the library.  No, that was not the "special" part as we go there lots and well, we never stay long as Stella gets into everything and I can't really pay much attention to the other two McG girls so we usually just quickly go in look for a few books/dvds, clean up the monster mess Stella created in the kids area (ok, really only I do the cleaning, the girls usually just watch...) and then high tail it out of there.

I did not bring the stroller this time so check out was extra busy as I attempted to keep Stella from running out the door all while checking out the girl's books/dvds.  Stella was seriously pissed that I kept picking her up and not letting her walk so she was yelling pretty loudly as we were leaving the library.  I was sweating and walking fast while yelling at the older McG girls "KEEP UP, KEEP UP!"

Did I mention I was sweating?

The "special" event I had planned in my head for Sophie's birthday was to take the girls to Edo Japan for lunch.  Olivia loves the sushi and Sophie loves the shrimp.  Olivia was all keen to go.  Sophie...not so much.  "I don't want shrimp, I just want veggies and dip for lunch".  

Despite Sophie's objection for shrimp I did convince her to at least let me get the food "to go" so that  Olivia could have her sushi and then I would make her her veggies and dip when we got home. She agreed after I bribed her with an orange that she could eat while we waited for our food.

So in I go....three little girls in tow.

We go in the restaurant and I order our lunch.  The big McG girls sit on the bench to wait for the food and I put lil miss Stella beside them.  She sits and waits,  she climbs all over the bench while I pay and then I sit beside her to make sure she does not fall.  Then things go a tad crazy from there. Sophie is asking for help with opening her water bottle, Olivia is showing me what a big girls she is by getting our chopstick and forks, and Stella is moving everywhere on the bench as I try and give her bits and pieces of cheese for her to eat to keep her still.  

And then the big oopsie.

Stella kept trying to get into my purse, so I move her over to the other side of the bench and the other side of me where she can't get in my purse.

Yeah, that was the END of the bench.

I didn't clue in until it was too late.

I look over and there she is falling in what looks like slow motion, on to the floor.  She falls on her head.

I scream or yell or something and quickly pick her up.  She is screaming her head off which is a good thing, I think.  I hold her and comfort her, while poor Livi and Sophie are asking "Is she ok, is Stella ok?"

I don't answer them. I can't. I am trying to hold it together so I don't loose it in the restaurant and further upset them.

A few minutes go by. Stella calms down.  I check her pupils, they dilate evenly.  I stand her up, she sees a little boy and immediately walks over to him saying "Huuuhhh" and trying to caress his face.  She is still sad and fussy but seems to be ok.

I gather up our food, gather up Stella, and once again talk curtly to my kids "let's go, let's go!".  I practically run out of there.

I was upset.

I was mad at myself for not thinking and putting Stella on the END of the bench.

I was embarrassed and perplexed.

The restaurant was busy, and yet nobody came over to see if Stella was ok, or to ask if I needed help.

Oh, they all stared, but not one single person bothered to come over and make sure a stranger who clearly was distressed and worried and overwhelmed, was ok.

Not one person seemed concerned that a child fell on her head.

Sure Stella was ok, she wasn't unconscious, she didn't have any blood oozing from any part of her body, but a kind gesture, a "Is she ok? Can I help?" would have gone a long way.

I don't know, am I asking too much of complete strangers?

I know that if I had seen a child fall, I would have at least gone over to make sure the child was ok.

Maybe nobody saw, maybe they were all too busy and didn't see.

Or maybe sometimes people just suck.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

An Avoidable Death

Robert Ethan Saylor.

I am sure some of you know who I am talking about when I say his name.  Probably mostly those already apart of the Down Syndrome community.  For those of you who do not know who Robert Ethan Saylor is, I will fill you in.

Ethan was a 26 year old man.  Ethan also happened to rock an extra chromosome like our sweet Stella

On January 12 of this year Ethan went to the movies with his aid/friend to see Zero Thirty.  When the movie ended, his aid went to go and get the car. Ethan went back into the theatre because he wanted to see the movie again.

The movie theatre manager asked him to leave as he had not bought another ticket.

"On January 12 of this year 26 year-old Ethan Saylor (he has Down syndrome) went to a Maryland movie theater to see the movie Zero Dark Thirty; Ethan was accompanied by a caregiver. After the movie the caregiver went to get the car at which point Ethan went back in the theater because he wanted to watch the movie again. The theater manager asked Ethan to leave but he would not. The manager requested the help of three mall security guards (all three were off-duty county sheriff deputies).
According to reports Ethan, usually a happy individual, became agitated when the guards approached and one of them touched him. When the security guards saw Ethan’s response the other two joined the first and when they were done he was lying on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind him. It was there on the ground that Ethan died from asphyxiation"Treyton's Posse - The Death of Robert Ethan Saylor is Terrifying For The Down Syndrome Community

Here is another blog post by another blogger who gives the details of what happened to Ethan.With a Little Moxie: Robert Ethan Saylor 'What Happened'

Ethan's death was 100% avoidable.

The perpetrators got only a slap on the hand.

Ethan did NOT die because he had Down Syndrome (as one report has eluded to)

Ethan was a person.

Ethan was loved.

Ethan deserved compassion.

Ethan deserved empathy.

Ethan deserved understanding.

Ethan deserved patience.

Ethan received NONE OF THE ABOVE.

There is currently no outside investigation going on.


This is about human rights.  Please read another blog post from: With A Little Moxie

This event affects all of us in the Down Syndrome Community no matter where we live.  Stella will one day be 26.  She will one day go to the movies, or somewhere else without me.

I expect her to be treated with kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding, patience and respect JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.  The thought of something like this happening to her, causes great anxiety and fear in my soul.

I am joining my voice and am asking you all to sign this petition to help get justice for Ethan.


Don't turn away.  I know that this doesn't effect everyone directly, but this is about a human being who is not getting the justice he deserves.


Sunday, 7 April 2013

An Overnighter and Bon Jovi

Mickey is a hard man to buy for.  Birthdays, Father's Day, Christmas..... you name it.

I had NO idea what to buy him for Christmas last year. I'd ask him, "Babe, give me a list of what you would like."

"Ok" was his reply.

Yet, no list was given


One day his sister texted me to tell me that BON JOVI was going to be performing in Calgary on April 2nd and that tickets were going on sale at Ticketmaster at 10am that day. BAM!!

I jumped on that computer and bought some sweet ass tickets!!

Fast forward to April 2nd.

We skipped off bright and early, giggling and waving goodbye to our three little McG girls.  They stood at the door looking forlorn and sad, with just a single tear rolling down each of their cheeks.  We did not notice their sadness as we were just soooooo happy for a teeny tiny break....

Ok, so it didn't go quite like that.

Mickey's sister came over, we gathered our bags, kissed our McG girls on their cheeks.  Stella was a bit  sad, but Jaime (her aide) was there and took her downstairs to play.  We closed the door, walked calmly to our car and off we went.

The drive to Calgary was uneventful.  But I must say that I truly do not like the fact that we have to drive so damn far!!!

We spent the afternoon shopping. Ahhhh, retail therapy! How I love thee.  Believe it or not, Mickey is a fabulous shopping partner.  Sure, he spent a fair amount of time on his phone whilist I tried on clothes, but he did his fair share of shopping too.  He is a bit of a meterosexual.  I am pretty sure he would disagree, but it's the truth yo.

At the mall.

After, spending a wee  bit of money, we went back to the hotel and put our feet up for a lil bit.

Then of we went to enjoy our VIP Bon Jovi tickets.

Ahhh VIP.....what a farce.  You think I would have learnt from our VIP Rihanna ticket fiasco, but no....

Riahnna ticket fiasco you ask?  Well, in 2011 Mickey bought me VIP Meet and Greet tickets to see Rihanna in concert.  The concert was FANTABULOUS!  We were in the second row! I could literally, almost, if I had really long arms, touch Rihanna.  That part was awesome.  The fiasco part was the "meet and greet" and I use that term VERY loosely.

My arms just needed to be a little bit longer.....and I could have touched Rihanna...not that I would have, but that is how close we were.

My idea of a meet and greet was one where I would hang out  with Rihanna have a drink and a chat, get a picture and an autograph and walk away feeling super stoked about meeting one of my favourite artists.

Apparently Rihanna and her peeps had a totally different idea as to what "meet and greet" meant.  To them it went a lil something like this.

Wait around for about an hour BEFORE the show to see if Rihanna would be ready in time to meet with us before going on to sing.

Seems hair and makeup and whatever else miss diva was doing did NOT allow for a pre show meet and greet.

Fine, ok, no biggie.  I'll enjoy my beverage with her after the show. (Oh Anna, silly, silly woman)

Fast forward to after the show; we are all wrangled up and taken back stage to a room.

We are given beverages, and by beverages I mean water.  We are given some cheap ass "goodie" bag of crap.  Such as a water bottle with the Rihanna tour logo on it, a tour poster...and I am pretty sure that was it.

We wait for another hour.  By this time it is midnight, my feet hurt, I am tired and really just want to go home.  I have begun to realise that Rihanna will NOT be joining us for a drink.

Then, we are told to get into a line. Our line is then ushered into the hallway.

More waiting.

Slowly we get closer and closer to a divider.  We see shadows behind it and then a bright light flashing. The line keeps moving, the shadows keep moving and the bright lights keep flashing.

Finally it is our turn.

We walked on the other side of the divider and there stood Rihanna. Lookin all.....perfect! Meanwhile after hours of waiting, then a concert, then more waiting, I looked greasy, with makeup not looking fresh at all....pretty much like shit.  So we walk up to Rihanna, stand beside her, look at the camera and smile.  The flash goes off, and we are then whisked away down a hallway....and that is that.


Sooooooo, one would think I would learn and would have bought tickets, just tickets and no VIP.

But here's the thing, I honestly thought that the only way I could get really good seats was to buy VIP tickets. Seriously, I assumed that for some silly reason.

And that long drawn out VIP ticket explanation brings me to April 2nd.

Bon Jovi, VIP tickets.

What did we get with THESE VIP tickets?

A buffet dinner, all the wine and beer you can drink, until of course, you leave the VIP room to go and watch the concert.  Oh and a grab bag with a leather photo album and a book of pictures showing the making of their newest album "Because We Can".

No, no meeting the band.  Just......just the and........and wine.

But hey, I made sure I got my money's worth!! Oh yeah! I made sure!!

Enjoying our VIP pre show buffet with random strangers we sat beside. They were lovely and LOTS of fun!

Three glasses of wine in......

The concert was fun and Bon Jovi started the concert singing one of my favourite songs...."You Give Love a Bad Name"  Oh yeah baby!!

It is a good thing this was my last glass of wine..... 

BON JOVI.....and some security guard. I wonder how many pictures people took with him in it?

As much as I enjoyed myself that night, I woke up feeling tired, but NOT hung over! (yay me!) I woke up at 7am and I then MADE myself go back to sleep for another hour.

After a lovely breakfast, we visited one more mall (hey, Medicine Hat has one dinky little mall so when in Calgary I always try and make the most of my time), and then drove back to "The Hat".

Our McG girls were so very happy to see us and their Aunty looked to still be in one piece so all went well for her too.

In the future I will NOT be buying a VIP ticket package....unless I know for certain that I will be able to have a drink with the band or something awesome like that.   But, it was a wonderful break and so nice to just hang out with Mickey like we used to.