Friday, May 29, 2009


Jake had a second round of allergy testing. To say he was upset would be an understatement. He is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, grass, trees, dust mites, cats, dogs, horses, corn, wheat and oats. I am sure I am missing a few from the list. I should probably build him a bubble to live in.

MADSEN Cycles Link Contest

Follow the link. I want to win this for a friend:

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Thursday, May 28, 2009


If you read the paper or watch the news, you've most likely heard about the Jon & Kate controversy. It is a hot mess. Now family members are coming out to defend the rights of the kids.

I find it a little suspect that these "loving" family members are speaking out now -- especially since Aunt Jodi pocketed $30K to do it. Me thinks they might just be suffering from the same thing that got J&K in trouble - GREED.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parental blunderisms

A common refrain in our household when I was growing up was: "It's a fridge not a television, shut the door." Well they say you become your parents (I'll pass on the alcoholism, thanks) so I guess its natural that I found myself saying the same thing to Molly. Except when it came out of my mouth, it sounded more like: "Shut the door, that's not a refrigerator."

Uh, oops.

P.S. I also told my kids to go play on the Davison Freeway but I was kidding. Not sure of my parents were ...

Friday, May 22, 2009

33 years young ...

Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do me a favor ...

The summer months are upon us (finally) and that means more time outside. Our bodies will be wearing less and exposing more to the harmful rays of the sun. ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN. ALWAYS. Slather yourself and slather your kids. Don't even assume if you have darker skin that you are safe. Did you know Bob Marley died at 36 from melanoma? While those with more melatonin in their skin are less susceptible, they are not immune. I want you in my life for the next 10 years, 20 years and beyond ... So make sure you are protected when you go out today!

P.S. If I have to tell you who Bob Marley is, remove 10 points from your coolness factor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jillian Michaels is evil

I am on Day 9 of Jillian's "30 Day Shred". A group of us are doing it "together" or as much as you can when you only meet online. It has really helped me to have a group to be accountable to about exercising. I haven't seen any changes in my body (possibly a one-pound weight loss)but my energy level is so much better. I've also added in a B Complex vitamin which is supposed to increase energy and metabolism. I want to finish the 30 days then move on to a new video as well as walking. Right now, its enough to do the 30-Day Shred without collapsing in a heap. If you have seen the video you will really understand this: I have a horrible desire to knock Natalie over. *snicker*

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I did not attend my final MOPS meeting of the season and get a manicure and eyebrow waxing -- for free!

I do not think my MOPS leaders are the best -- and not just for the free salon services. I am not signed up to be the new crafts leader and I am not scared to replace the current one (who did an awesome job). I did not let Molly have a doughnut as soon as we got home. And I did not get a birthday check from my in-laws -- of which I will not spend every. single. penny. on me.

So what did you NOT do today?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building strong children

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
~Frederick Douglass

As I write this blog post, my kids are happily playing upstairs. Their bellies are full and they have no worries about their next meal. They have an overabundance of clothes, books and toys. There is a solid roof over their heads. If they are sick tomorrow, I could take them to the doctor. They have two parents who love them with all their heart and soul. In so many ways beyond their imagination, my children are blessed. It would be hard for them to fathom a reality where this was not the case.

Yet for so many children in the United States and around the world, there is no imagining. This is their reality. Every day is a struggle for even the most basic of needs. I can't pretend to know what its like to be a child struggling with extreme poverty here in the U.S. or in an impoverished country. But I do know what it is like to be poor. I know what it means to be hungry. I know what it means to worry about what tomorrow will bring.

When my dad left our family, he left it in shambles. We were lucky to have a house given to us by my Grandma. That's a blessing most people can't even imagine. What we didn't have was very much money. My Mom made $12,000 a year to support three people -- which would actually make us rich by most third world countries. But we were in the U.S. and we struggled. We stretched our food and our clothes to make them last. We had no health insurance for several years -- and of course I managed to need emergency services twice in that time. Its a true testament to my Mom that my brother and I are now both college graduates.

We are two of the lucky ones. Not all stories have a happy ending. I wish that every single child in this world could go to sleep happy and content like my children. While I know this is probably a reality not for my time, I try to help even in small ways. There are hundreds of ways that you can get involved. Right now, I am focusing my energies on two of them: Compassion International and Project Archangel Julie: School Feeding Program in Maai Mahiu, Kenya.

As you tuck your children in tonight, think about a child across the world -- or even down the road -- who is not as lucky. Then do something about it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Three Things Thursday

It's another great addition of ...

You can write about any three random things that come to your pretty little mind - be it totally silly or completely serious. Then drop by the blog of Michelle, inventor of the Three Things Thursday and all-around super person, to let her know you did.

Without further ado, my three things are ... countries I want to visit before I go to Heaven. I've never traveled outside of the U.S. except to Canada. Given the fact that I grew up 10 minutes from the Canadian border (and my closest option was Windsor) it never felt any different than visiting ... say Ohio. I will say Toronto rocks as a big city. Anyway, back to the list.

1. England. I think this is a good first option for the foreign language impaired. There won't be (much of) a language barrier.

2. India. A country that is as beautiful as it is destitute. I have such a soft spot in my heart for the people and culture of this country.

3. New Zealand and Australia. Okay, technically two countries but if you are going to travel that far you might as well hit them both.

So there you go ... further insights into the wacky mind that is mine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On medicine and melodrama ...

So much about being a parent is just guessing. I want to do what's right for my kids but half the time I barely know they need. I try, I really do. Most of the time all I can do is just pray to God that I am doing right by them. So it was with a fairly heavy heart and some reservations that we made a (possibly) life-altering decision for Jacob. We started him on an ADHD medicine this morning. I am not against medicine and I think it can be very helpful. I couldn't survive a day without the medicines I take. But this is my child and no matter how helpful medicines are to a person there is the potential for side effects. The idea of Jacob taking medicine for his condition came up a few years ago. We pushed it aside then to see if we could make it without going that route. Unfortunately, its become clearer in the past few months that he needs help. Not help to make him easier for us or his teachers to handle. He needed help for himself. You can't help but hurt to see your child so obviously out of control of his own body, his own brain. Its like his behavioral pediatrician said: "He is like an engine with its idle set to high." Even my Mom noticed it this past weekend. He is more impulsive, more antsy and just more out of control.

So we consulted with his behavioral pediatrician about what the options were for him. I trust his doctor implicitly. He is not a medicine pusher and he looks out solely for the best interests of Jacob. This is just a trial run for the medicine. If it doesn't help him, we will stop it. If he hates it, we will stop it. If it works and helps Jacob, then great. He is already a very bright child. (And that's not just Mama talking. He has tested higher than 85 percent of the second graders in reading and math on a national test. His reading level tested above the fifth grade level. He's in first grade.) What I hope is that this medicine can help him control himself and therefore help with his social immaturity. For all his brain smarts, he lags behind his peers in social skills. This is not unusual for a kid with an autism spectrum disorder.

I know some of you might be thinking this is all a bit melodramatic and it could be. Its hard not to feel emotional when this is something you and your spouse have wrestled with for years. In the end, all you can do is hope my kids realize I did the best I could for them - and I always did it in love.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother of the Year

Its nice to finally be appreciated.

Mom of the Year Award

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Three Things Thursday

Three things I am thinking right ...

1.) Is Jake pretending to be sick? He slept late and said he didn't feel well. I kept him home with the understanding that he will not be going to the arcade tonight. His school is sponsoring a Mother and Son event at a local arcade tonight. We had tickets and he had been excited to attend. He said he doesn't care to miss it so maybe he really is sick.

2.) Do I have to get weighed at my new doctor? I really hope not. I ordered the 30 Day Shred after a few of my online friends were buzzing about it. I have not started it yet. I loathe the scale.

3.) Can I take a nap? I have been on a new medicine and it is kicking my butt. I have the energy level of a sloth. I could sleep all day and still feel tired. I am hoping my new doctor (see #2) will put me on something new.

So what three things do you want to share today?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Prayers needed

My friend's little baby Dylan has to have heart surgery to repair his aorta. Without knowing technical jargon, I can explain it as his aorta is collapsing. If it completely collapses, he will die. The doctors are meeting today to discuss a plan of action for the surgery. Ultimately, I ask that you pray for Dylan to have a complete healing. Also pray for guidance for the doctors in making the best decision. Please pray for Dylan's family to have peace during this time.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

If Dante were alive ...

I think he would have added a tenth circle of Hell called: "Watching a cartoon based on the game Candyland with your daughter."

Truly terrifying.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Jacob Einstein

They want to move Jacob into third grade next year (from first) so they can start him in the gifted and talented program. He has already completed all of the first and second grade reading and math curriculum. He took a standardized national tests and he was in the high 80th percentile nationally for second graders.

This all hinges on us helping him to get his behavior under control. They'd like us to trial him on an ADHD med (something we had on the back burner) to see if it helps with his impulsiveness. Since he has the academics down, the only thing holding him back is his behavior.

My head feels a little whirly right now -- its a lot to take in. I skipped second grade and I found it hard in terms of "rites of passage" moments (driver's license, turning 21, etc.). His birthday is earlier so it won't be as hard for him but still. Do I want to do that to him? At the same time, he is bored at school and they are doing everything they can to challenge him. Do I want him to try meds? We have noticed his impulsiveness increasing lately. This might help at school and at home.


I really need to pray, pray, pray (and you can pray for us too!)
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