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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Fun!

Ryan House is a state-of-the-art pediatric hospice and palliative care home in Phoenix for children with life threatening diseases.  But once you're a part of the Ryan House family, you're always welcome--and that's how we found ourselves celebrating Halloween over the weekend, a few days early!

The kids put their costumes on (Jenna was a leopard, Kyle was Han Solo, and Lauren was a black cat), together we set foot into Ryan House and that was the last time I saw all the kids together in the same area at the same time.  They all took off in different directions a moment later.

Jenna enjoyed the playground and the pumpkin painting craft table.

Lauren enjoyed the face painting and playing games.

Kyle wasn't interested in much other than convincing the staff to turn on the Wii (they didn't) and playing with the drinking fountain.

Do you like Lauren's black kitty cat costume?  It has an interesting story behind it.  Check it here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

City of Phoenix and Handicap Accessible Parking Enforcement

You're probably aware that parking in a handicap parking spot is illegal.  It is a crime.  It is just as much a crime if you park in that spot for 90 seconds while you sit in the car while the engine is turned on just as much as it's a crime to park in that spot for an hour while you go into a store.  You cannot maneuver your vehicle into a handicap spot, in any fashion or under any circumstance, if you do not have a handicap plate or placard registered under your name.  It is also just as illegal to block access to those parking spots--even for a few moments.  I know it doesn't seem like a big deal.  I know it's tempting.  I know that area of the parking lot is "right there".  So convenient.  It doesn't hurt anybody if you just hang out there for a little bit.  Right?

But it's illegal.  And the people you affect when you real-quick no-big-deal commit these offenses will be unnoticeable to you.  Know why?  Because they can't get out of their cars and shake their fists at you due to the fact that you're in or blocking access to their parking spots.

I am an understanding, patient person.  These are virtues I embody simply by way of being a parent of five year old twins.  However I do struggle to find patience or understanding enough to deal with my neighbors who block our access to parking spots.  Or who purposely choose to park in a handicap accessible spot "just for a minute" because it's the most convenient option for them.  Well, parking in a handicap accessible parking spot is the ONLY option for me.  It's not even for ME--not that that should matter.  Vulnerable five year old kids in electric wheelchairs are entitled to the courtesy and protection that handicap parking spots provide just as much as curmudgeonly elderly folks are (I love them, please don't construe that comparison to mean that I'm ageist--just trying to illustrate a comparison).  And it is NOT cool to even contemplate parking in these spots if you don't have to.  If you don't HAVE to park in handicap parking spots, why not rejoice in this freedom by parking in the furthest spot from the store's entrance?  Maybe it's just me but I think this is a BRILLIANT alternative!  Hike, prance, heel-click your way to the entrance from your treasured farthest-away-parking-spot.  Think of the calories you'll burn.  Why don't more people do this?  Why isn't this a thing?!?

This probably goes for all U.S. cities, but I can speak authoritatively that within the City of Phoenix it is crime to park in or block access to a handicap accessible parking spot.  There is such a thing as an Accessible Compliance Enforcement program here.  And they ticket the hell out of people who illegally park or block access to handicap parking spots.  This is a $288 ticket, you guys.  And they also can quickly determine if the handicap placard being used actually belongs to the driver of the vehicle who parked in the handicapped spot.  If the ACE unit isn't around and you notice a vehicle parked in a handicapped parking spot without an accessible plate or placard, you can note the license plate and report it via voice mail to 602-534-SPACE.  A warning letter will be mailed to the owner of the vehicle, which may not be as effective as a parking ticket but at least it's something.

So that's my public service announcement for the week.  It turns out that some people don't know this stuff.  I don't particularly enjoy writing such educational posts, but if I don't then who will?  Use your thinking caps, folks.  If your actions result in me not being able to park in the parking space I need to park in, you're doing it wrong.  Stop being assholes.  And three cheers to do those of you who aren't!  xo

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Play ball!

Him:  You know, this field is named after Dan Haren.

Me:  Yes, I knew that!  Hey, funny story:  Kyle's first major league baseball game was on Dan Haren bobblehead night.  He wasn't obsessed with baseball then like he is now, but Dan's bobblehead is still in the lineup on his headboard.  Recently he asked me who Dan Haren is, as he read the name on the front of the bobblehead stand.  I explained that he used to be a Dback, but was traded for Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Joe Saunders (Kyle knows who all these pitchers are, faces memorized).  Kyle asked me to turn the bobblehead around so he could see the back of the jersey.  He announced, "Number fifteen, Josh Bell!"  I told him no it's not Josh Bell, but his jersey number used to belong to Dan Haren.  Isn't that funny!  hahaha!

Him:  Sounds like he needs a Dan Haren bobblehead in an Angels uniform.

"Him" turned out to be Dan Haren Sr.  I think he's bringing his son's bobblehead next week to give to Kyle.  Color us humbled!


Another great night with Miracle League Arizona!  Unfamiliar with the Miracle League or have a special needs child who would benefit from playing a team sport?  Click here.