Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!

We got 11 inches of snow today. The last day of school before Christmas vacation was canceled. We are expecting more on Saturday night but how much is still up in the air. I should be weather woman -- you only have to be right 95 percent of the time to keep your job.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Three Things This Thursday

The challenge has been thrown by Michelle at Psalm 104:24 to post three random things on every Thursday. It can be recipes, craft ideas, good books ... whatever you want to write about.

So here is my contribution this week: Three things sitting on my computer desk.

1. An old cellphone I am sending to Cellphone Trade-Ins for a whopping $4.
2. National Geographic 3-D glasses (they belong to Jacob).
3. A stack of pictures to be added to a calender I have been coerced into making for my MIL. Which I am sure will be as graciously received as all of her other gifts with the very monotone "Oh, that's nice."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me Monday!

I did not wake up this morning to no power and a windchill in the negative zone. I did not fall down the stairs for the second time in two weeks (at least this was the first part of the stairs, not the second because I like variety) I did not get a call as I was walking out the door to say school was delayed two hours. I did not drag my kids to MOPS -- which wasn't canceled -- because I was bringing food and a Secret Santa gift. I did not say an obscenity after I smashed my elbow on the new DVD stand my husband built for my car. I did not have the uncooked french toast casserole leak on my passenger seat down onto the backseat floor. And the person receiving my Secret Santa gift wasn't not there. I did not have all of these things happen on a day when I was working on less than five hours of sleep.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yes, she is a Diva.

Just in case you thought otherwise ...

I think this may be the only time in three hours she bothered to lift her precious head up and acknowledge the humans around her.

But of course I did wait three hours to get a book signed, so who's the fool? In my defense, I got the book for free.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


All I am saying is I think a sip or two of whiskey would have the same effect -- and you get more for your money: Cold Medicine

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Where am I?

I had a conversation on Monday at MOPS with my group and I was talking to them about something in Michigan -- and I totally forgot I was IN Michigan. I was explaining to them like they'd have no clue. My body was there but apparently my mind transported back to Kentucky. Guess that's the hazard of moving every two years -- your brain never really knows where it is located.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I succumbed ...

... to the draw of the Christmas season.

I put up everything but the tree (which I will do tonight) and the outdoor lights (which is Dave's department).

I normally wait until after Thanksgiving but we are leaving tomorrow until Sunday.

Of course, now I have Molly asking me "Is Santa coming tonight? Tomorrow?" We have a Christmas countdown but you need to recognize numbers before that means anything.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yes, I sent her outside in just a cute outfit to try for a Christmas card photo. It worked.

And with her snow munchkins.

Yelling "SNOW!"

Jacob wasn't home for any daytime snow pictures so his photo for the card was taken inside.

Maybe I'll add some fake snow to it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me! Monday

My Charming Kids blogger MckMama apparently has a weekly tradition of listing her (and others) "Not Me" moments. So I am jumping in this week. Drumroll, please ...

I most certainly did not spend part of my afternoon paying an almost overdue speeding ticket. And my daughter did not ask the police officer if he was a good cop or bad cop when he was writing the aforementioned ticket.

I most assuredly did not say "wine" at MOPS when asked what I was thankful for this season.

I most definitely would never get irritated with librarian on the phone when she told me I would have to either buy a new DVD case or keeping paying $1 a day -- even though I did return the actual DVD. And I did not find the aforementioned cover sandwiched between the TV and the side of the entertainment center.

So what did you NOT do today?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I am an admitted book addict. I love to read and I can't help but adding more and more books to my library queue. Some of the books are okay, some are great and some really resonate with me. Enter Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch. The premise of the story is a suburban mother, disgruntled by her current life and haunted by memories of her ex, finds herself seven years in the past -- before the marriage, the suburbs and the baby. The best part: she is fully aware that she has gone back in time and has the gift of hindsight. She has the chance to rewrite her life or follow the same path. Raise your hand if you have ever wished -- even for a second -- that you could go back and make some different choices. The past is always prettier when you view it in reverse.

I'd have to go back a few more years then seven -- more like 13 years for me. Its not so much that I want to change my path but there are a few people I'd like to revisit. My entire college years were emotional for me. Where I had once been strong in high school, I suddenly felt unsure and upended. There were people along the way who I clearly wronged - or at least treated pretty badly. I wish I could do right by them. I made career choices that I wish I might have not made. Frankly, I was never cut out to be a journalist but I thought that's what I needed to do. And I will admit, there's a few boys I'd like to kiss again. I mean if I am going back in time, I might as well have some fun. ;)

But of course, there are no rewinds in real life. Plus I wouldn't really want to alter my course. This is my life -- the good, the bad and even the boring.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I hope this speaks to the state of race relations in the U.S. Even if I don't align myself completely with the Democratic ticket, I still think its amazing that a Black man was voted president. Amazing in a good way.

Someone on the news said it Dr. King's "dream" come to fruition. I don't think we are there yet but this is certainly a good start.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Day by day ...

It's the eve of Election Day and the nation is focused on change and the future. For most people, the future is this intangible "thing" that will take place next week, next month or next year.

But me, I'm a Mom, and I have to focus on today. If I start to look too far ahead, I might get dizzy.

So right now my focus is on how to get lip gloss out of Moo's hair and how to reassure Jacob that Fridays aren't horrible even if the tornado sirens will be tested.

Day by day ...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Not feeling the love ...

I am not loving my new pediatrician right now. We need to get Jacob into a developmental pediatrician. We can't get into one without a referral from our primary ped. Our primary ped would not refer until he saw the IEP. We sent him the IEP last week, we confirmed he received and still no call back. I called and said we really, really need the referral so we can proceed. Still no call. I am not sure what the acceptable time frame for waiting would be. Is this where I need to be the squeaky wheel that continually calls? Argh.

Happy Birthday, Miss Molly!

It is hard to believe that four years ago, I was in the hospital after having given birth to a teeny little baby girl named Molly. She was 4.5 pounds, much bigger than we expected her to be at 32 weeks, but still so tiny.

She spent two weeks in the hospital learning to eat and breathe; growing bigger; and generally learning to acclimate to world she was not supposed to be in yet. If I look closely at her heels, I can see the tiny scars from the daily glucose pricks in the NIMN.

We were blessed that her stay at the hospital was so short. Her first year was a bit rough with various illnesses as she built up her immune system. But today you'd never know she was a preemie. She's healthy, happy and full of life.

Happy Birthday Miss Moo. Mommy loves you!

P.S. This post is two days late but we were partying it up this weekend. ;)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One is the loneliest number ...

As a parent of a special needs child, I often find myself feeling like I am the ONLY one going through a struggle. I think its a common feeling amongst people but its magnified for parents of special needs kids -- whatever the special need may be. So I often find comfort when I hear about or talk to other parents going through their own issues. It might not be the same as ours, but there's comfort in the commonality.

Today we had behavior assessment plan meeting as an addendum to Jacob's IEP. I think it went well. Nothing earth shattering. We firmed up our plan of action within the classroom to make school successful for him. We are hoping to get the teachers an aide to help Jacob especially in the mornings when he seems most agitated or anxious.

Near the end of the meeting, two of the attendees had to leave to attend another IEP meeting. I found comfort in knowing its not just us going through the process. I mean I know its not just us but sometimes the concrete reminders are nice. We spent so much of last year feeling isolated in a struggle against his former school in Kentucky.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prayer vigil for Baby Stellan

Go here and read about Baby Stellan.

Things I never thought I'd do #2

Order self-warming toilet seat covers so that my son will actually sit on the toilet and not perch above it like a bird. Though I will say, it must take some coordination to squat the way he does. There's always a positive!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

In the awesome words of Kristina Chew ...

Autism is lifelong; it’s neither something that you catch or that you can be cured from, and focusing too much on trying to cure autism can distract from the pressing realities of teaching, supporting, taking care of, and being with people who are autistic.

Ten Myths About Autism

ABC has a list of ten common myths about Autism: Autism Myths

Again, we know these are myths, rumors or untruths, yet we still embrace those who spread them. Jenny McCarthy anyone? Oh wait ... I mean Mother Warrior Princess of Shining Light.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Snow, say it ain't so.

I swear I heard the weatherman say there was snow in the 10-day forecast. Dave assures me it will just be a flurry or two. Hrmph. Like that makes it better. Someone tell me again why we moved here?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Muffin Top

Oh muffin top, oh muffin top
Oh cursed, cursed belly flop.

Where once my abs were made of steel,
now they are like pudding left to congeal.

Fall pictures

Taken by the fabulous Danielle. Email me if you want her contact information. She does awesome work.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am on a roll ...

Another great quote from Jim Sinclair in his outline of the presentation he gave at the 1993 International Conference on Autism in Toronto.

Autism isn't something a person has, or a "shell" that a person is trapped inside. There's no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person--and if it were possible, the person you'd have left would not be the same person you started with.

This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.

Therefore, when parents say,

"I wish my child did not have autism,"

what they're really saying is,

"I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead."

Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.

Circle Queen

I saw this quote from the TV show House, M.D. in reference to how most of the world views autism (thanks in part to Autism Speaks and Jenny "Warrior Mom" McCarthy):

“Spoken like a true circle queen. See, skinny, socially privileged white people get to draw this neat little circle around themselves. Everyone inside the circle is normal. Everyone outside the circle needs to be beaten, broken, and reset, so they can be brought back into the circle. Failing that, they should be institutionalized. Or worse — pitied.”

How true, how true. We are so worried about making people fit in. There's no room for differences. And when they show up, we are hell bent on making them disappear.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's your agenda?

Everyone has an agenda.

A local coffee shop is giving away a free drink every day this week. Its a nice treat for customers. But it comes with an agenda. Get people in for the free drinks and hopefully they'll come back.

The same goes for politics. Draw people in with your rhetoric and hopefully they'll vote for you in November.

Of course, if you buy into their agenda, you are right. If you don't, watch out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So sweet

My friend Danielle snapped some pictures with her iPhone of Moo. Danielle is a very talented photographer and will be taking pictures of both kids on Friday -- with her real camera. As for these shots, Moo was already wearing the dress and I loved the look with the pumpkins. Its so Moo.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I found this quote on another blog and I love it.

"Birth is just the first of countless times we will confront the fear of the unknown for the love of the child." Peggy O’Mara

I don't know if there is a truer statement about having children. Children force us to confront fear every day some small - will they fall and hurt themselves as they learn to walk? - and some big - will they be content in their future lives? The big bad boogeyman seems to lurk behind ever corner.

The unknowns are overwhelming at times. I think I most fear them at night when the kids are laying next to me at bed. When they sleep, they look the most innocent and the most fragile. I wish I could keep them there forever -- warm and safe next to me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

On a lighter note ...

I can't get this darn song out of my head ...

Watching the video is like eating Trix with strawberry milk while snorting Pixie Sticks.

And yet I love both the song and the video. Better lay off the Pixie Sticks.


Its amazing the ignorance still perpetuated in the United States about autism when there is supposedly so much "awareness". Apparently, because my son can talk and be social, he doesn't have autism. I thought that's why it was called the Autism SPECTRUM. Because children with autism - like the rest of the world - vary in their issues.

But what do I know -- I am just a dumb Mom.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

No left turn ...

I have a question that bears repeating because I have never gotten a good answer: Why is it impossible to make a left hand turn at major intersections in Michigan? I would like to find the civil engineer who decided that in Michigan, we must go right before we can go left.

I think her or she is the same person who decided that all Michiganders must appreciate Bob Seger music.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thank you

When I was growing up, my neighbor's grandchildren would come to visit every summer. Their grandson, who was my age, would ask me countless questions about what day and year I was born and what colors shirts I owned. Brett had autism and in the 1980s and even 90s, there was little known about it. There were no organizations promoting acceptance. No TLC specials on it. As far as I knew, he was the only person with it -- at least in my insulated world.

Recalling significant dates in other people's lives was always interesting to him. He also liked to pace back and forth in front of his grandparent's house. He signed my autograph book by writing "a green shirt" and his name.

After his grandparents died, we lost touch with him and his sister. But the impact of knowing him has reached across the decades.

Today, I have a six-year-old son with autism. I know about self-calming habits like pacing; I know how minute details can become so important, so significant that they are recalled whenever or where ever. I know more about the science and mechanics of autism then I ever thought I would know.

But the important stuff, I owe to a man named Brett. By being himself, he taught me a valuable lesson. Its one I appreciate even more today. Like Brett, my son is not defined by autism. That's just a label. My son is a funny, intelligent boy with beautiful blue/green eyes who can't resist a humorous story. He loves chocolate milk and hates thunderstorms. He will draw you a map from his house to yours. He loves reading about the solar system.

His having autism is not a tragedy; a terrible disease to be cured. Yes it means we might need to make accommodations for him. But I am not looking to change him. I am simply here to support him and make life a little easier for him when I can. That's what every Mom does. Its what all people deserve regardless of their strengths or limitations.

So Brett, wherever you are, thank you for a lesson well taught.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I got the chicken pox vaccine booster yesterday. I am one of those rare wonders who had no immunity to chicken pox. I am not a huge advocate of childhood vaccinating for chicken pox -- especially since we don't know if the immunity will be for life unlike actually getting chicken pox. But I do advocate for adults to get it especially women of childbearing age.

But I digress ... I got the vaccination yesterday. Side effects are rare. Unless of course you are named Jenifer because if there is a side effect YOU WILL GET IT. Now I don't have a mild case of CP which would suck royally. But I do have a big welt on my arm that itches like all get out.

I really thought I had at least until my 60s to fall apart.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'll never do that!

You know how as a Mom you end up doing things you never EVER thought you'd do in your life? Well I had one of those moments today.

I was volunteering at Jake's school this morning. I was working with kids on their word lists. Well the teacher tells me Jake had an issue in the bathroom and needed assistance.

The kid pooped in the urinal!!! I had to dig a log out of the urinal. And all he could say was "I thought it would flush."

THEN (because I made him help me clean up) he threw paper towels in the toilet and the toilet overflowed. The janitor was walking into school as I left and I made sure to hold the door for him and wish him a good day.

Seriously, I have to laugh or I'd cry.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We've moved ...

We are officially in our new house. In fact, we have been here for over two weeks. I just haven't posted. Sorry. Believe it or not, moving actually takes a considerable amount of work. Seventy-five percent of the family is settling in very well -- I will let you guess which 25 percent is not. (If you guessed Jake, pat yourself on the back.)

Take one kids who hates change, move him to a new state, house and school and see what you get. I'd love to get into more detail but my Xanax prescription has run out and I have to be sober at the bus stop. I'm mostly kidding (not about Jake's behavior but about what crutches I would need to get through retelling it all).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Middle School moment ...

I saw a funny Flair on Facebook today ... The Middle School called, they want their drama back.

Very fitting for me today.

I made a very middle school choice last night that has now reaped some bad results. Yes its true -- you reap what you sow. I ticked someone off and they attacked me with a vengeance.

So what is the lesson in all this: I need to keep my mouth shut.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

Friday, August 08, 2008

10 days ...

In 10 days, we will be closing on our fifth house since 1999. Seriously people, FIVE HOUSES IN LESS THAN 10 YEARS! My military friends joke that we move more then them. The sad thing is, its not really a joke. Its not like we set out to move every two years, it just seems to happen -- jobs change, companies relocate, etc.

While I am excited to be closer to friends and family and we are getting an awesome new house, we love Louisville. Its been one of the best places we have ever lived and we've made some great friends. We love our church. We love the weather. We love Louisville. I love my volunteering work at church. Its never easy to say goodbye, but this one will be especially bittersweet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When did that happen?

When did my sweet baby boy get big enough to almost fill the entire length of my bed? It seems like he was just a sweet pudgy toddler -- and now he is a BOY! A boy who likes to cuddle at night but is losing interest in any daytime affection. A boy with a generous amount of hair across his upper lip that will one day turn into a MUSTACHE! (Ok that might be a few years off but he is part Italian so it could be by second grade.) It scares me this passing of time. Time, which used to pass normally, seems to go into hyper speed when children arrive. I see it more in J than M though I know one day I will be lamenting over her too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Killer sharks and stingrays ... Beware!

I realize that the ocean belongs to the critters that inhabit it. We humans are the ones invading their domain. But when I am swimming in the ocean, I like to pretend there is nothing swimming alongside me.

And then I saw this ... (don't let his small stature fool you, he could rip off a pinky or baby toe) ...

And he brought along his sidekick Stan the Stingray ...

Monday, July 07, 2008


We spent the better part of two weeks traveling -- once for business to Michigan and then to Myrtle Beach for fun. I love the beach and the ocean. There's something magical about it. What I don't love is coming home after the beach. Too much to do before we hit the road again next week (another business trip -- we need to find a new house in Michigan ASAP).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A herd of buffalo ...

What is it about kids that makes it impossible for them to walk quietly? I am upstairs and I can hear my son stomping across the floor back and forth. It sounds like he has weights on his ankles or he gained 500 pounds since I last saw him two minutes ago.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Super Size Me!

I've come to realize that when it comes to hips, there are three sizes: small, medium and SUPER SIZE ME, BABY! I fall into the last category.

Oh well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hot Hubby!

Do me a favor and vote for my hubby as the "Hottest Dad in Louisville". Its a contest our paper is running for Father's Day. His Dad ID is Dad ID:1109 (Dave Bement) and he is on page 54 right now. If you go to the voting section, he is on the second page top row second from the right. If he wins, he will get a gift card.

The web address is

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Please pray ...

Follow this link:

Week Three!

I've made it to Week 3 of the Couch to 5K program. I had to extend the second week because I missed a few days. But here I am at Week 3. I can't say I have a love for running at this point but it is getting easier. Only six more weeks to go ...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Unstrange Minds

New book to read: Unstrange Minds by Roy Richard Grinker.

A basic summary:
How did autism shift from being a rare disorder, occurring in 3 in 10,000 people to an "epidemic," occurring in 1 in 166 people? UNSTRANGE MINDS: Remapping the World of AUTISM, a global study of autism by Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropologist and father of a child with autism, answers this question.

About the title:
I like to think that this is what is happening to people with autism. As the general public learns to understand and appreciate people with autism, the autistic person is no longer strange or foreign. He or she is, instead, unstrange.

Amen, Roy. Amen! Placing a request for it at my library immediately.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Green the Vaccine

I really, really like Kristina Chew. She articulates my thoughts so much better than I ever could.

Check out:

I love this paragraph:

Somewhere in the not too distant past, those who were the “antivaxers” or “anti-vaccine advocates” started to characterize themselves as “pro-vaccine-safety advocates.” As Mike Stanton notes, the organizers of the Green Our Vaccines rally sound like their old anti-vaccine selves. But “pro” has positive overtones: Better to be for something and who can object to making things—vaccines—safe? (In the abortion debate, it’s “pro-choice” and “pro-life”—-who wants to be “anti-life” or “anti-choice”?)


I know it may be hard for some to understand the excitement about the Detroit Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup. Its just a silly cup won by a hockey team. And while the fans don't gain anything from material from the win, we certainly gain something emotionally. In a year where most of the stories of Detroit have been about murders and mayoral scandals, its nice to have something positive. Its nice to show the world we about more than just that.

We are Hockeytown.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Is it wrong?

I know, I do complain too much. But isn't a blog a place where you can be utterly selfish and self-consumed?

So here's my complaint -- or rather my series of questions: Why is the sound of the shower or bath running an instant call to my daughter? Is it Pavlovian? Why does she drop whatever she is doing to run into my bathroom? Why does she think I need company in there? Or a running dialog of what I am doing? Why does she need to sit rightnext to the tub when there is an acre of space around her? Why does she think I want her to splash me or throw things in the tub? Or press her self against the shower door?

If you can explain this to me, I would be eternally indebted to you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


If I am going to stay up to 1 a.m., the least they could have done was win.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Stanley Cup

The Detroit Red Wings are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Stanley Cup Finals. I always get nervous when a hometown team is in a big game -- even if I hardly follow them all year. I am going to have a hard time falling asleep I will be so nerved up, LOL.

A little personal tidbit: My husband almost proposed to me at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto by placing my ring in the Stanley Cup. I kinda ruined it though, LOL. That's a story for another day.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Growing Kids God's Way

Let me preface by saying, I love my church. I really do. But like any relationship, there are times when we disagree. Gary Ezzo and his Growing Kids Gods Way is one such instance. My church supports and encourages his teachings. I abhor them.

Ezzo and his wife are under the impression that their program is the only program for Christian parents. They go so far as to assert that if you don't use their program you are not a true Christian and therefore will not raise true Christians. They misuse Scripture to fit their ideals. That alone is frightening in its totalitarian attitude. But even more frightening is their lack of authentic medical advice (for example, they discourage on-demand feeding and encourage a rigid feeding schedule). There ahve been reported cases of Failure to Thrive amongst babies subject to their teachings.

The Ezzos have been dropped from two churches, their publishing company and even Focus on the Family has distanced themselves.

If you want more information on the Ezzos check out this report from the Christian Research Institute:

I already burned some bridges two years ago when I sent an email to the head of the Children's Ministries about the GKGW programs. This July, they are coming to the church to teach their misguided parenting classes. I am not sure what I will do -- write another letter or just let my refusal to attend be my answer.

Friday, May 23, 2008


We were supposed to go out for a nice dinner tonight with friends but Molly is sick. I can't risk exposing her to the other kids at the babysitter's so we aren't going. So now I am pouting. Plus the Tylenol kicked in so she is acting fine which makes me more irritated.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

30 plus 2

Thirty two years ago today was the best day of my Mom's life ... or something like that. ;) In a truly self-absorbed post, I have now relayed to you my loyal readers (all two of you) that it is indeed my birthday. You may start singing to me and come bearing gifts.

Dave and the kids got me a shirt and a new pair of running shoes. Stop snickering about the running shoes. I treated myself to a new workout routine -- Couch to 5K. Its a nine-week program to prepare you to run a 5K. At this point, running half a mile would be an improvement.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Everything aches. I thought it was from a particularly strenuous workout (thanks Lyndsey!) but now my throat hurts and my joints ache. The timing is not good. Dave is out of town. I have a meeting tomorrow in the morning. I need to get to the gym to start running.

And all I want to do is sleep and sleep some more.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Petunia Pig

Crap, I am fat. Seriously. These are not the rantings of a size 0 who thinks she is fat. I am now officially the heaviest I have ever been in my life (pregnancies not included, of course). I swear it crept up on me too. When I nursed Molly, I maintained a steady weight not matter what I eat. When I stopped, 10 pounds jumped on my back side. Since then, its been a slow incline up and up ... and lets just say more up.

I don't think being thin makes you any more happy. If it did, Kate Moss would be the happiest woman in the world and that just ain't true. But when I look in the mirror, I don't see myself looking back. And while I don't think going back to a size whatever will increase my worth, it will make me look better in a bathing suit. Ha!

P.S. I am in week two of fitness classes three days a week at church ... so I am making an attempt to change things.

P.S.S. I weighed myself while Aunt Flo was here and I had just eaten and I was dressed. ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

P.S. Happy Mother's Day!

I had a wonderful Mother's Day! I had a yummy brunch at Toast (brioche with ham, swiss and orange marmalade -- yum-o). The kids and Dave got me a docking station for my iPod so I can listen to music while I am downstairs. I got to take a Sunday nap. It was perfect.

And then bath time came. The kids dumped my entire bottle of BRAND NEW shampoo and pulled my ivy plant into the tub. As mad as the shampoo makes me, I am more upset about the plant. I got it when Jake was born. I've worked hard to keep it alive over the past six years. Hopefully it survives its bath.

The kids lost their stories except one on obedience. ;)

Here kitty, kitty ...

We've been adopted by two feral cats. Or our house has been at least. Last night I heard them getting their kitty groove on. Then when we got back from brunch today, they were having after groove cigarettes on our porch! Okay, they were just hanging out. They've been here all day and the kids think it is cool. One looks like Garfield and that's what Jake is calling him. The other is white with spots of grey stripes. I am worried that the orange one is sick -- his cheeks are swollen like when a hamster stores food. Hopefully he's just fat like his namesake.

I have no plans to domesticate the beasts but if they want to eat the mice around our house -- go for it! If I can get a picture of them, I will post it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's one of those days ...

How about we want a dessert and we ask Mommy for it. But we don't tell her what the dessert is -- just that we couldn't have it the other day at Mrs. Heather's house. Now Mommy wasn't there when aforementioned dessert was denied and was not told about it at the time. Yet we expect Mommy to know and offer only vague clues such as "it was dessert." And when Mommy says really she doesn't know, we insist YES she does. Mommy says "why don't you tell me" and you obviously know the answer but still refuse to say. Mommy gets more annoyed with the conversation and you get more annoyed and Mommy loses her temper and you lose your temper.

Was it really worth it for a stinking chocolate bar?
That's what Mommy wants to know ...

Note to self: Look at the picture and remember the swell of love one feels for the child ...

The Puzzling Spectrum of Autism Causes
By Kristina Chew
May 5th, 2008

What do TV, ultrasounds, insufficient vitamin D, air pollution, a mother having the flu while pregnant, mercury, have to do with each other?

All have been named as possible causes of autism. TK Kenyon looks at the puzzling spectrum of research into the cause of autism, some of which he labels as “just plain stupid”—the theory by economist Michael Waldman that tv causes autismautism causes tv—while others are “brilliant”—a 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), about a genetic variant that disrupts the transcription of MET, a gene that is a tyrosine kinase receptor and that “participates in brain growth and maturation, immune function, and repair of the digestive system.” As Kenyon further notes about the latter:

Children with autism often have symptoms of disturbances in some or all of these systems. This research ties together these disparate symptoms and explains why children with neurological symptoms often have diarrhea or immunological problems.

There’s something about autism that attracts speculation about “what causes it” and “why the increase”? People are quick to shake their heads at the suggestion that better diagnosis and more understanding about autism are real factors in the recent increase in the prevalence rate of autism, which is now 1 in 150 among children in the US, and 1 in 94 in New Jersey where I live.

Is it that people want to know why a child like my son can look so “normal,” with no obvious health problems (indeed, my son is very healthy, strong, and muscular from lots of physical activity)? Or why some autistic individuals seem to have behaviors that are highly reminiscent of those only absorbed—”obsessed”—with that quintessential product of the techno-computer age, the video game? Is autism about the “odd”/”strange”/”bizarre”/”abnormal” behaviors that one sees (and that are currently used to diagnose it), or is autism something invisible to the naked eye—-something in the genes, or just some kind of neuro-difference?

No surprise that the search is on for a biomarker for autism (one such candidate is accelerated head growth). If we could just pinpoint what causes autism, then we could figure out a cure.

I’m not at all sure what such a “cure” would look like. If I wanted to, I could say—could sculpt my words to prove—that my son has “recovered” to the extent that he could: He can talk now (in short, short sentences and not always clearly). He is curious about people and about children his age in particular, though his burgeoning and rather rote social skills do not make for too much actual interaction. As noted, he’s extremely healthy, and he’s extremely attuned to the world around him; to what Jim and I say and are feeling. He’s got more than his share of obsessions, anxieties, what can be called “tics” or “stims,” from holding his shoulders and hands a certain exaggerated way to (sometimes) constantly humming. He’s come much farther than anyone would or could have predicted when he was being evaluated at the Child Development Clinic in the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, almost nine years ago. His IEP, neurology reports, forms for the Department of Developmental Disabilities, doctors’ reports, all have one six-letter word somewhere:


And sometimes the puzzle to me is why it seems so hard, or unpleasant perhaps, or just unfathomable, to accept a genetic explanation for autism. As each day passes, I see more and more of Jim and of myself in Charlie and these observations reassure me more than anything else. Neither Jim nor I have autism. Charlie does.

I think there is (to me) the beginning of an answer somewhere in there.


Why can't Molly ever leave me alone? The girl is like velcro. It doesn't matter how much time I spend with her, she wants more. She follows me to the potty, to the shower, to the laundry room ... everywhere! Now don't get me wrong, I love her. But you would think being home ALL DAY with me would fill up her Mommy tank. She doesn't even have to share me with her brother since he is at school. And it is not enough to be next to me -- she has to be ON me.


So moments when I have had it up to here (point to the top of your forehead), I will drink wine and then look at this picture to remind me how sweet she is:

Friday, May 02, 2008

It is 4 p.m. ...

And I am going to have a glass of wine. :) Don't be jealous. If you saw the fit Molly had at dance class, you would have drank an entire bottle before noon. So there.

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Honestly, I really don't like to jump on "This Month is National Whatever Awareness Month" but this one is just as important to me as Autism. A good friend of mine has CF (hi Holly). We need to raise awareness about CF and increase funding for research.

So do your part and support CF research:

Monday, April 28, 2008

I survived!

I survived the trip to Dresden and I did not buy a single basket. Yay for me. I did buy a purse but it was less than $10 so I think its allowable. ;) I am still not sure I get the lure of Longaberger but it was still a fun trip. And Dave and the kids survived my absence. So maybe I should go away more often - HA!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Old Lady Bus Trip

My bags are packed for the old lady bus trip this weekend. We are heading to Longaberger land in Ohio (at least I think it is in Ohio). If the promise of a child free weekend wasn't so darn inviting, I might be embarrassed (sorry to the girls going with me, you know I love you).

But if I start blogging about bingo trips to Canada, somebody take the Geritol away.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I feel so guilty. Tomorrow, Molly and I are going to visit some friends in Nashville (who happen to be visiting from Maine -- can you follow all that). The guilt part comes in because I am not taking Jake. He would have to miss two days of school and he already missed two last week. (Did I mention that he ended up with a double ear infection on Friday?) As much as I want breaks from my kids, I can't stand to be apart from them.

Motherhood is a strange bird.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Break and Sick

We spent last week in Seattle. Jake wanted to see the Space Needle and we had free tickets. It was fun but hectic. Someone tried to steal our rental car, Dave got a speeding ticket, I had a panic attack AND the kids were out of sorts. But really, it was fun. Really.

What is not so fun is that three out of the four of us are sick. The kids started getting sick in Seattle (Ha! There is a new movie title "Sick in Seattle"). It turns out Molly is really, really sick -- she has viral pneumonia and an ear infection. I took her in to the doctor this morning after her temp reached 104.8. We have got meds and hopefully will be on the mend soon.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jenny McCarthy does not speak for me ...

When did Jenny McCarthy become the spokesperson for all parents with autistic children? I think her current stance on autism is crap (for lack of a better word). My son does not SUFFER from a DEBILITATING disease. He does not need to be CURED of autism. What he needs is a world that accepts HIM for HIM. That doesn't force its own ideals or way of thinking on him. He is extremely intelligent, loving and funny. He may not view the world the same as you and I -- but that doesn't mean he isn't a valuable member of society. I am sick of the countless theories about what causes autism -- vaccines, mothers consuming alcohol while pregnant, environment toxins, etc. How about we accept that maybe our kids were born with a brain that works a little differently? Not better, not worse -- just different.

Jenny McCarthy does not and never will speak for me. Ever.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

World Autism Day

Tomorrow is World Autism Day. I can't say anything better than what I read in Susan Senator's blog:

What I want for those young families just getting into the autism game is to understand that growth happens. For all of you. That eventually you will realize that you are a family with concerns other than autism, other than hoping your kid will "catch up" with all the others. There is a certain degree of living in the moment that occurs once you let go of some of that. And it is the living in the moment that gives you your sense of family, of having a life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sick ... again

Strep for Jake, sinusitis for Molly and fun for me. I think we are all a bit stir crazy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

For Tricia ...

While checking up with Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth at Confessions of a CF Husband
(Confessions of a CF Husband) I came across a link to Crazy in Love. The blogger is challenging us to write a list of things we can't wait for Tricia to experience as a parent.

Here are a few of mine:

* Pacing the floors singing anything that sounds remotely lullaby-like to your baby -- and enjoying it despite the late hour.

* The sound of their first real giggle.

* The first time they recognize that what they did made you laugh.

If you have some firsts for Tricia, please post them on your blog.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I am so happy that Molly is healthy and happy and has a wonderful vocabulary

BUT ...

sometimes I wish I could find the off switch.

Holy cow that girl can talk and talk and talk. If I leave the room and tell her where I am going and what I plan to do, she still calls "Mama, what are you doing? Where are you?" I have a constant narration of my life. I know how Will Ferrell felt in the movie Stranger than Fiction.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jake is SIX!

Yesterday, my sweet little first born baby boy turned six. I can't believe it. Where did my little chubby baby go? I can barely hold him in my arms he has gotten so big. At least he promises me that he will always want to fall asleep in my bed. I told him his wife might not agree to that and he said he won't get married.

We celebrated with brownies at school and O'Charley's for dinner. His big birthday party will be Saturday with all his friends. We are having a balloon maker/magician guy come. Hopefully he enjoys it.

Happy Birthday, buddy. Mommy loves you from the tip of your toes, past your nose to the top of your head.


Well we are moving back to Michigan this summer. I have mixed emotions. We love it here but we will be closer to family there. Jake seems okay with the idea because he knows he will get to see his Michigan friends again. Molly is clueless but I think she will have a hard time leaving "her Keegan".

I've been under tons of stress lately which hasn't been helped by this news. I even ended up in the ER one morning. I've mostly gotten myself back on track but I am awaiting some blood work results. The medicines I am on make me very tired so its hard to function throughout the day. I need lots of naps. Not good when you have a particularly active (and destructive) three year old.

Speaking of aforementioned three year old, she got kicked out of dance this morning for not listening. Threw a fit because I wouldn't let her play in the gym after class. Tore some tubing off the stairwell at class (its meant to soften the blow if you walk into it). She is currently in her room and I am sure she is destroying it. Sigh.

I am going to post a separate post about Jake because this one is too whiny.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Jake and I are both sick. In typical kid fashion, he has bounced back quickly. I feel like warm camel spit. I hope Dave comes home early so I can nap.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Something I already believed but some people need Big Brother to tell them before they believe it.

Thimerosal Exposure Declines, Autism Rates Increase

Exposure to thimerosal, a preservative that contains ethylmercury, during childhood is not a primary cause of autism.

Read more here: Autism up despite decrease in thimerosal exposure

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eye C U

My son's OT mentioned today that she thinks he has a visual processing disorder. Apparently he can't look track between two objects without moving his head. She said it could be his inattentiveness or it might be a eye motor delay. For now she will work on it with him but if it doesn't improve, he will see a developmental ophthalmologist. Just another to add to the list.

We are at a crossroads with Jake right now. His pediatrician wants him to start a trial of an ADHD medicine called Focalin. Part of me wants to try it to see if it helps. The other part of me is concerned about the side effects: loss of appetite, sleeplessness and (the big one for us) increased anxiety. He has generalized anxiety disorder. The last thing we need to do is turn the anxiety level up. His play therapist said she would monitor him (as we would at home). Still ... its such a gamble. It could really well or it could go horribly.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hate is not a nice word

I hate some things in my life right now.

Whine. Whine. Whine.

Specifically I hate dealing with my son's school regarding his behavior.

I hate feeling like they expect some action from me when there is nothing left for me to do.

I hate that I dread Mondays because its another school week.

I hate that a bad morning most likely means a bad day for him.

I hate that I can't fix things for him.

I hate feeling inadequate.

I hate that I bear the brunt of it all.

I hate that I feel sorry for myself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New therapy

It's a good thing Jake LOVES his therapies 'cause we are adding a new one. His play therapist (like a regular therapist but uses play to help kids) said he has no problem solving skills (or at least not age-appropriate). This becomes evident in school when he can't figure out how to properly interact with his peers especially in conflict. So his OT center offers a social skills class that works on exactly that -- social skills from dealing with emotions to playing with friends. Hopefully he will start in two week. :thumb

I really need to come up with a class that Molly can take -- something that is her own. At this point, she is spending too much time in waiting rooms. She doesn't see it as Jake working, just him having fun.

On another front, Jake is adapting well to almond milk and the non-dairy diet. He still wants to know when he can have dairy again but hopefully the desire subsides. Or we see no changes and he goes back to dairy. Though the latter choice means we will have to see if there is a different allergen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



Monday, January 21, 2008

I need a nap

Molly has not consistently taken a nap in about a year. She very obviously still needs one but refuses to take one. Part of the issue she stopped napping is that her previous nap coincided with when we needed to be in the carpool line. I'd just get her to sleep and it would be time to get in the car. However, without the nap she is a bear by dinnertime. If I am lucky, she will get in some shut eye while we wait for Jake to get out of school. I can't see her taking an early nap (say noon or so). And when she falls asleep late in the afternoon (around 4 or 5 p.m.) it throws off her bedtime. Its a lost cause, I suppose. As I type this she has just fallen asleep on the couch next to me and its 4 p.m.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't Got Milk!

Our doctor wants us to take Jacob off of dairy. He feels he is presenting physical and behavioral reactions to dairy. We are trying it for six weeks at least to see if there are improvements. The kid lives off of chocolate milk -- which apparently is common with a food allergy. You crave the food that is making you sick. Who knew? I never realized how many things have milk in them until I went shopping last night. Fortunately the kid eats so few things that outside of the milk we should be able to substitute.

By the way, he's not impressed with chocolate almond milk. Hopefully the $5 non-dairy organic chocolate syrup helps.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Prayers answered ...

I wanted to update on my nephew since I had asked for prayers for him last week. He had both a barium study and a CAT scan done -- both which showed no issues. So THANK GOD he is ok. It was a just a virus that didn't want to let go. Thanks to those who prayed for him.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Slap the stupid outta ya!

What do you do when someone you know is doing something so utterly stupid -- but they can't see it? I know that they have to come to the realization on their own. But sometimes I wish I could slap the stupid right out of them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


We met with the principal at Jake's school as well as Jake's teacher. I think the meeting went fairly well. We all seem to be on the same page with the same goal -- to help Jake. As Dave put it, the proof is in the pudding. So now we sit back and wait to see if they actually put some action behind their words.

Miss Molly is getting on my very last nerve lately. Our breakfast conversation went like this ...

Me: What do you want for breakfast -- a banana or cereal bar?
Moo: I just can't say. I am hungry.
Me: What do you want for breakfast -- a banana or cereal bar?
Moo: I just can't say. I am hungry.
Me: Seriously last time I will ask and then I am going to sit down. What do you want for breakfast -- a banana or cereal bar?
Moo: I just can't say. I am hungry.

I go to sit down and she dissolves into hysterics on the floor. Seriously? What the heck is wrong with the girl? Everything is a battle with her. If this is her at 3, I fear the future.

BTW, she eventually settled for a banana. Which had to be broken apart because some parts of it were not up to her standards. She'd make a good inspector at Ford.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Please pray for ...

Nathan, Tricia and their new little baby girl Gwyneth over at

My brother, SIL and little nephew. The little guy has not been feeling well. We aren't sure if its a virus or if he has reflux.

And for Jake. We are expecting t-storms tonight and it makes him very nervous. I have go out for about two hours and our neighbor will be watching him. Hopefully the storms hold off.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sick car

After picking up Jake from school, I noticed the "check engine" light was on. I also then noticed the coolant gauge was firmly buried in the H zone. It then occurred to me that the maple syrup smell coming from the engine vicinity was not good. I am not all inclined to know about cars so I drove it home (I've since learned it would have been better to pull over for a quick cool down). Of course, Dave is out of town and our other car is parked somewhere in airport land. I did have a friend check the car to see if I could at least drive Jake to school in it. As long as it doesn't start overheating again, we should be good. For now.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Jake starts school again tomorrow. I am not looking forward to him going back. Its been such a relief not to deal with all of the school issues for two weeks. No phone calls, no notes, no nothing. I should have done more to prepare him for going back tomorrow but I don't know that anything would make a difference. Sigh. Hopefully the transition is easy for him. He's started some new supplements earlier this week to help him focus and to calm him. We will see if it makes a difference in his behavior at school. I have no idea what the time frame is for actually seeing a difference. Speaking of school, we are supposed to meet with his principal on Wednesday -- sort of a pre-IEP assessment meeting. We need to decide if they are willing to work with him/us or if we should look elsewhere. Another sigh.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


For the most part, I sat on my butt today. Its warmer but rainy which makes me just want to veg. We did go out for a late lunch/early dinner (is that linner or dunch) and then to Home Depot. We also got tickets to see Third Day in May at our church. Score! The tickets were only $12 which is even better.

Jake is watching an infomercial and trying to convince me we need to buy Green Bags. Last week, he wanted me to buy Mighty Putty. No, he doesn't watch too much TV at all.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Please ...

Please do me a favor and check out this blog:

Pearls of Wisdom

If you read my Myspace blog, this is repeat information. Sorry.

Why is it that my MIL thinks I want her pearls of wisdom?

While we were at my in-laws for Christmas I was having yet another heartwarming and wonderful conversation (read with sarcasm, please) with my MIL when she laid this gem on me: "I think Molly is delayed because she was a preemie." Then she went on to glorify the virtues of my niece who is ONE YEAR OLDER than Molly. Herein lies the issue though ... now I am looking at Molly and thinking "well what if she's right?" I have nothing to compare Molly to because Jacob in terms of verbal and reading skills, he was light years ahead of her at the same age. But that's not fair to compare them because 1.) its just not good to compare kids and 2.) Jake has underlying issues that make him unique.

Molly has no color, letter or number recognition. She sings the ABC song but she has no clue what it means. Her motor skills are fine and she is verbal (though quieter when she is around strangers). Adding to this is that I am knee deep in reading about autism because of Jake which is probably making me more sensitive. But I would hate to miss something and not get Moo help if she needed.

When I read online, she meets some of the intellectual criteria minus the above mentioned color, letter and number recognition. Her ped had no concerns at her three-year appointment. My instinct says nothing is wrong. So why do I let my MIL and her constant verbal diarrhea bother me?

Long time, no see

Well since diet and exercise are not resolutions I plan to make (or keep), I will try to be a better blogger. Try being the operative term, of course. Keep your expectations low and you might be pleasantly surprised.

To bring you up to speed: the kids are older and cuter, their mother is fatter and we live in house not an apartment.

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