Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah... (or help, my son won't tell the truth!)

Hey, there's a new post over at Sweet Schoolin' all about Teaching social skills and autism. Be sure to check it out...

Lately my son has been experimenting with creative truth-telling. Yes, it's a nice way to say he is lying his butt off. And it isn't like the things are that important. These exchanges are taking place with increasing frequency:

Me: Did you clean the cat box?
JBear: Yes, I cleaned the cat box, both the office and the bathroom. [earnest look on his face, not meeting my eyes, but then, with autism, he rarely meets my eyes]
[I check the box, it has not been cleaned]. Son, why did you tell me that you cleaned the litterbox when clearly you had not?
JBear: But I did. I cleaned it!
Me: JBear, I need the truth.
JBear: [scowling defiantly] I didn't clean it. I don't want to.

And then he goes and does whatever he was told to do in the first place. This can be anything from putting his clothes away, brushing his teeth, reading a book vs. playing Nintendo...

Now I know as a mother of a child with autism, I could be pleased by this latest development. Some idiots experts will tell you that a child with autism cannot lie. I present, exhibit #1: my son. And besides, being lied to is damned annoying. I want it to stop.

So I had a Come To Jesus talk with him today, and laid out some ground rules for him.

  • You must try not to lie. A man/woman/person is only as good as his word, his honor is all he has. If he cannot be trusted, he will not have friends. (yes, some people hang out with other people who lie to them, but how do you ever know if they are telling you the truth?)

  • Honor, meaning whether someone sees you as a person who is good and has integrity (can be trustworthy) will follow you the rest of your life.

  • Character is who you are when no one is looking...do you take that cookie? Do you return that wallet?

  • Your actions become your habits. If you continue to lie, it will become second-nature and you may not be able to stop.

There are such things as "social lies," and these can be complicated. But some situations are:

  • If someone asks you if you like their haircut, I don't care if you think they look worse than a dog with it's butt shaved walking backwards. You do not get to say that to the person. It hurts feelings.

  • You are not allowed to call your mother,"Old Lady," even if you do think 42 is old. There is a certain amount of respect that someone gets just for being older than you. Just because you think it doesn't mean you need to say it out loud. Engage your mouth filter.

  • There are times you do not have to tell the whole truth to everyone, always. A bit is sufficient. People who call on the phone do not need to know your mother is in the bathroom, pooping.

  • Sometimes it is kinder not to share the entire truth. You do not have the right to rub your intellect into others' faces, or make them feel small. Even if you really do know more about medieval weaponry than they do.

  • If you think someone is an idiot, keep it to yourself. Fighting words can get you into a fight. Yes, there are many idiots out there, but believe it or not, few actually know they are idiots. That's why they are idiots. Do not believe you are doing anyone a favor by removing the blinders from their eyes. They won't believe you anyway.

  • There are times it is easier to go along with what someone says, rather than argue them into the ground. Exceptions to this are when your values are compromised, laws are broken or you feel uncomfortable in any way. (refer back to when people are idiots)

We have a long way to go in the area of truth-telling, but I believe we have a start now. Now comes the repetition. Did I forget any social lies that he needs to know?

What's the craziest white lie you know of...either your own, or someone else's?

T, who is getting really frustrated with the lying

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Have Nothing To Fear..Except Everything

Lately we have been struggling with the 7 year old's growing list of phobias.

Bugs, especially creepy-crawly bugs have her terrified. If she sees one, she runs in the house like a screaming banshee (well she is always a screaming banshee, but she becomes a screaming banshee with one purpose: Escape). Currently, one of the targets of her fear are crane flies. Now, you know they are a bit scary looking, but crane flies are harmless. Only she can't get that. Big bug, long dangly legs. Dangerous.

In autism, it doesn't matter how irrational a fear is, once a child makes up her mind, it is very difficult to change. Theory of Mind, which means that she sees ALL situations with only her point of view, doesn't allow for anything but black and white. There is very little gray in autism. We work at helping her broaden her viewpoint, but it's very hard, and it can be really frustrating. Sometimes, I can actually convince her that the bug isn't going to eat her. She believes me. Just for that moment. Because, you see, once that bug is gone (because I never kill bugs, I catch them in a large plastic cup and carry them outside...a product of my soft-hearted son's insistence that all of God's creatures deserve to live) she won't remember that all of that type of bug is harmless. Apparently, the Harmless Bug has evil cousins that are Evil Bugs and even though Harmless Bug is, in fact, harmless, Evil Bugs are bent on eating my daughter for lunch. I can explain until I am blue in the face, and she cannot generalize the specific situation. So every time she sees a bug, either inside or outside, there is screaming and cowering, and sometimes running into the house.

Another phobia lately is of dogs, particularly our neighbor's rat-dog nasty-ass chihuahua. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. BIG dogs. Tiny little yip-yip dogs are like rodents, with great big eyes and little teeny teeth....the better to bite your ankles when you aren't looking. The problem isn't the dog, it's the owner. People don't realize that dogs are not human and don't need to be treated like babies. There is a pack order that they respond to. Possessive little dogs may seem cute, but if that dog was large, it would be dangerous. Teaching a dog, any dog, to be over a human by allowing ill-mannered behavior is just asking for trouble. And with little dogs, people don't see this.

I am not in the least afraid of dogs; I haven't met a dog I couldn't figure out or let's be honest, control if I had to. The Dog Whisperer has improved my skills, but I was already pretty good. The secret is...you have to show a dog who 's boss. You can certainly treat them well, but in the end, you are the alpha.

My son was also afraid of the dog, because it chased him into our house. That's right, the neighbor's let this dog run free and it ran my son into his own damn house! I then taught him how to stand up to the little booger, with body language and eye contact. ("Remember son, I am not at all suggesting this, but remember, that dog can be a football if worst comes to worst") Now the dog stays away from JBear, since he isn't a target anymore. But my little daughter, JBean is still afraid of the obnoxious thing. It has gone so far that she refuses to go outside, for fear it is running loose. Makes me so angry. I have talked to the neighbors, and they did bring the dog inside. But he gets out so frequently, there isn't much point. We have a leash law, but it's only in public. Still, by law, you cannot let your mutt run over other peoples' private property. So keep the dog out of my yard, off my driveway and away from my kids.

This is JBean's interpretation of the Evil Chihuahua...click on the picture to embiggen...

You know I homeschool, so my kids often spread a blanket in the yard and spread out their schoolwork. This dog is really cramping our style. When I went up to the neighbor's door, the dog tried to go after my ankles, but I let it know I wasn't afraid of it. I just wish I could teach JBean that she has nothing to fear. If nothing else, mama is there. And she knows I will protect her, no matter what. That's what Mama does. I will kick ass and ask questions later. And if that dog bites one of my children, it's War baby.

* I realize I need to say that I haven't hurt this dog, nor would I. I like all dogs...small ones for other people. I wouldn't have a small dog, but you can if you want to. Just don't let it chase my kids and bark at them. Ok? Ok!

T, who wants a big dog but doesn't want to have to walk it every day

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't Piss Off the Cat, For She is Carnivore and You are MEAT

Look who didn't get wet food tonight. Do you suppose she will eat us in our sleep?
(she gets wet food every other night...has dry food always)

Did I mention that the cats just about eat better than we do?? She has no reason to kvetch. Not that that ever stopped a cat...

T, who is sleeping with one eye open tonight!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick! You Have 140 Characters To Tell Me How Much I Rock: Go!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Hey, and welcome if you came for the Ultimate Blogger Party! What? Over here, in the corner. What am I wearing? Oh. It's not a lampshade! ..it's a hat. Whut? Never mind! Grab a drink! And some chocolate, don't forget some chocolate. Let's talk about blogging, because, well, what else would you talk about at a party for bloggers? And remember, this is a conversation, so your input is wanted...

In the beginning, when I started three years ago, comments were currency. You "paid your respects" by leaving a quick comment for the owner of the blog. It was your calling card. If you cared enough to read, you left evidence that you had been there. In return, the blog owner often would visit you once in a while. It was a lot of fun.

As the Blogosphere ballooned exponentially, it was no longer possible to comment on every blog you visited. It became harder to get noticed and find a core readership. When the marketing of blogging took off, suddenly, blogging was a business, not just a pasttime, and everyone had a blog. Who had time to comment?

I have been noticing for a while now that though my comments have decreased, my traffic has increased. While I love that new people are finding me, I would really like it if you came out of hiding, so I can get to know you. I started blogging for the community, and the connection to others. But I have noticed that unless you are one of these rock star awesome bloggers with a legion of loyal subjects, your comments won't be where most of your interaction comes from.*

*Barring giveaways to entice people to your blog and "extra" chances to enter contests by tweeting your link, subbing to your feed in order to increase your exposure...all things I won't do here. I may, from time to time, do a giveaway, but I won't force you to tweet my link or subscribe to my feed or blog about my contest... that feels disingenuous to me. It's not the way I roll.

::tap, tap, is this thing on?:::

But if you're like me, you will keep writing, and hope the writing pulls the unsupecting victims minions worshippers readers in, and that your wit and aplomb keeps them here.

Enter twitter. With 140 characters to say just what's on your mind, twitter revolutionized the blogging scene. For some, it became a time suck, and their blogs weren't so important. We call them "microbloggers." For others, it became a way to stay connected to those they blogged with and meet new bloggers. There were almost as many ways to use twitter as there were twitter accounts!

Jump to today. I will often tweet a blog post, and it would seem that twitter has become the new blog comment forum. Followers will comment on the post, via twitter, and not on the blog itself. So I will check stats and comments on my blog and feel mildly discouraged to find few (compared to last year when the comments were more plentiful) Then I will remember that comments and kudos came through my twitter stream. It would appear that Twitter is the new comment system.

But I think I kind of miss the old one.

Just an aside, I think Comment Luv is one of the best things to happen to blogging. I love clicking on the last post that someone links through my comments. Might it be you?

T, who says come out, come out, whoever you are

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shhh! It's a SECRET or Why I Love Blogging

And this is why I freakin' love blogging, the Bloggysphere and all that goes with it. I believe in true love, I admit it. Sometimes it is a bit worse for wear, but it is always enduring. Going on twenty years with my tech support, this year. But he didn't do it this way. I kind of asked him. Yep, after I swore I wouldn't get married. He wouldn't push,see? He knew I didn't want to get married, he respected that. We laughed it off when I asked and I felt like a complete idiot and just played it off.

He came back later that night and got down on one knee in the bathroom and I told him he was being stupid and to just get up off the floor. Then I hit kissed him. Couple of romantics, us. But it's a strong relationship if you can propose in the bathroom and be together 20 years and 3 kids later.

So apparently, this is not the first time, that distinction goes to dooce (doesn't everything?!) where her husband proposed in her comments. I guess. That's what he says. And pioneer woman fits in there, somewhere... but the first proposal with an entire blog goes to mommypie and The Boy. Visit and make sure to read the comments. All brought to you by Marci. She wants you to be a part of this, so make sure you head over to her blog, sign the Mister Linky and put your own spin on the love story, along with your marriage proposal story, too.

Say it with me now... awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

T, who loves a happy ending

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Don't Tell Me Motherhood Sucks

warning, this post mentions "breasts" without mentioning centerfolds, beer, strip clubs or any of the other items often marketed using womens' anatomy...proceed at your own risk

Breastfeeding an infantImage via Wikipedia

I am absolutely up in arms with the article I read this morning at The Atlantic. I consider myself an intelligent, well-educated woman. I am a feminist, and a card-carrying member of NOW. I also have three children, all of whom were breastfed until they were toddlers. It in no way diminished me as a woman. Breastfeeding is a feminist act.

My biggest beef with the article by author Hanna Rosin is the assumption that because a woman chooses to stay home and breastfeed, she is somehow downtrodden and repressed.

From the article:

In Betty Friedan’s day, feminists felt shackled to domesticity by the unreasonably high bar for housework, the endless dusting and shopping and pushing the Hoover around—a vacuum cleaner being the obligatory prop for the “happy housewife heroine,” as Friedan sardonically called her. When I looked at the picture on the cover of Sears’s Breastfeeding Book—a lady lying down, gently smiling at her baby and still in her robe, although the sun is well up—the scales fell from my eyes: it was not the vacuum that was keeping me and my 21st-century sisters down, but another sucking sound.

Breastfeeding is not a plot by an evil patriarchy to keep women subservient and out of the work force! How ludicrous! The resurgence of breastfeeding began., when La Leche League was founded, by women. It resulted in a way to de-medicalize birth and allow women to take their bodies back. Most of us are too young to recall "twilight sleep" when a woman gave birth half-conscious, strapped to a gurney attended by apathetic nurses. The baby was whisked away, fed formula and slept down the hall in the hospital nursery. It was a real practice, and it stripped women of their dignity.

The move to natural childbirth and breastfeeding allowed a woman to be in charge of herself and her baby. She didn't need to rely on doctors (chiefly male) to tell her to buy a pharmaceutical concoction in order to nourish her baby. She could choose to feed her baby on her own, just as biology lead her to do. Other women could come alongside her and provide support and nurturing. And so it is today.

By fulfilling this "circle of life" a woman can become more confident as a mother and a person. She, in a sense, finds her own power, within herself, not dependent upon any outside influence.With her "tribe" by her side, she finds what it is to mother. By putting the baby back in the mother's arms, mother and baby discover one another. The dyad of mother and baby are complete at the moment of breastfeeding.

The author goes on to state why she resented breastfeeding her third child:

This time around, nirvana did not describe my state of mind; I was launching a new Web site and I had two other children to care for, and a husband I would occasionally like to talk to. Being stuck at home breast-feeding as he walked out the door for work just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else.

It would seem she felt tied down and hoped that refusing to breastfeed would alleviate that feeling. The feeling is valid. Motherhood is a huge transition, and some have said the transition of two children to three is particularly difficult. It may be easy to second-guess the decision. This can result in mothers who push their babies away or want them to become independent at all costs. In this view, motherhood suffocates, and once the child grows to school age, life will begin again. Mother will resume her career and all will be right with the world, and her identity.

But perhaps she is painting with too broad a brush. Not all of us feel trapped by motherhood. Certainly, I could choose to work, I have that freedom. But I also have the freedom to stay at home with my children. I am not insecure in either of these decisions. I do not need to define myself completely by my career, nor by my children. I am still the person I was before I had children. And I am also profoundly different.

I chose to have children in order to spend time with them. They are not a fashion accessory, nor are they an inconvenience (most of the time). As such, I chose to breastfeed. I wasn't concerned with how much time it would take. Even in the beginning, I understood that life is transitory, the only constant we have is change, and that by choosing, for a season, to meet my infant's needs 100%, it did not negate my feminism, it fulfilled it. I was doing something for my baby that no one else could. It was my breasts, my food, my power that was growing this little being outside of my body.

My children are past baby stage now, and I am infinitely grateful that I took the time to breastfeed them and meet their needs without regard to how much time I was wasting. Time spent with children is never wasted time. I have a wise friend who says, "Pay now, or pay later." Meaning: invest the time with the kids now, and you will have less chance of the child acting out or feeling neglected. After all, don't women have children to spend time with them?

The author goes on to state:

The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. Breast-feeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.

Excuse me? What does this mean, I cannot work in any "meaningful way?" Whose definition are we using? She has made this an either/or proposition, and it doesn't have to be. I resent the idea that I can not make a contribution in terms of work because I breastfed. She is misguided. Sure, I will choose not to go to work for twelve hours as a high-powered executive, but I could pump while working.

However, while breastfeeding, I worked from home, and volunteered with organizations to empower women in my community. Maybe the definition of work needs to be expanded. And remember, even a baby breastfeeds for two years, (or less) the child grows up quickly, and mother begins to add activities into her life. Life isn't over because a woman pushes out a baby!

I am not faulting a woman for making a different choice than I do. (I might have ten years ago, but I have mellowed) I am simply flummoxed with the idiotic statement that breastfeeding represses a woman. To this I say: the woman is repressing herself. It has nothing to do with her breasts, it is about her brain. And choosing whether or not to breastfeed is the least of her problems! Until she comes to terms with her ambivalence regarding motherhood, what it means to her, and where she fits within it, until she figures out how she defines herself and her child, she will continue to feel repressed.

This isn't about breastfeeding, it is about everything else. So your friends judge you. Get new friends! You are upset because your husband can't feed the baby. There are tons of activities that he can take part in...take baby for a walk, rock and hold the baby, and how about loading the dishwasher?

Bottom line, breastfeed. Or don't breastfeed. I don't really care. Just own it and stop trying to justify it. Call it what it is: your own selfishness. Yes I will still be your friend: it doesn't define my social set. I don't have to agree with every decision made in order to offer my friendship.

I truly have sympathy for the author. With her carping and her finger-pointing, she is never going to be content. She is making motherhood harder than it ever has to be.

T, who realizes this article appears to be link bait, but had to weigh in anyway

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday Silliness..because life is too short not to laugh

(what, you were expecting inspiration??)

On second thought, let's not do this...it's too silly...

From Slashdot:
Bomb disposal teams were called in and a nearby pub evacuated after water company engineers mistook a Monty Python film prop for a hand grenade. After nearly an hour of examination by bomb experts,they deemed it was safe. After close examination, they declared that the grenade was actually a copy of the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" used in the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the device was a toy and that it had been no danger to the public.

I can't make this crap up, you guys. Life imitating..a Monty Python sketch:

ARTHUR: Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!
MONKS: [chanting] Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem. ARTHUR: How does it, um-- how does it work?
LANCELOT: I know not, my liege.
ARTHUR: Consult the Book of Armaments!
BROTHER MAYNARD: Armaments, Chapter Two, verses Nine to Twenty-one.
SECOND BROTHER: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying,'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and large chu--
MAYNARD: Skip a bit, Brother.
SECOND BROTHER: And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'

T, who has a soft-spot for goofy British humor

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Now You See Him...

I have been after my son to get his hair cut, but he wasn't having it. Whether it was personal preference, autism and hating change, he just was not agreeing. Until yesterday, when he said he needed a haircut:

"I want a mullet!"
Me: "A WHAT? I don't think so!"
him: "pleeeease? I want a mullet!"

Now, I remember the mullet, from back in the 80's, and John Stamos and Rick Springfield were hella hot...(oh admit it, you wanted to be part of Blackie's full house on GH,and didn't you wish you were Rick's Jesse's Girl??) huh. Guess that was just me...at least when I was 17. But that was then,and this is now, and my son isn't a wedding singer, and doesn't have an 80's cover band. And really, is he just asking to get his ass kicked?? Of course I didn't agree to the mullet, even though I polled twitter and some masochists told me to let him get one. But...hair is about self-expression, so I let him do whatever the heck else he wanted, while I sat biting my nails nervously. I was quite surprised. Here is the before and after

this is before, I think he's under there, somewhere
this is after, look, you can see, he has eyes!

It's a bit short, but it will grow. And anything is an improvement over what it was!

T, who can see her son again!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Social Media Fishbowl

The Blogosphere is abuzz over David Prager and the fact that he was twittering and Ustreaming while a perfect stranger walked into his house, used his bathroom and passed out in his bed. I am late to the party, but I have been thinking about this, and I kind of understand it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not that far gone. There is no way this Mama Bear would stand by while someone played Goldilocks in my bed, and I'm sure most others would feel the same. If I was sitting at my computer when the person walked in, yeah, I would probably tweet it. But then I would be screaming, calling the police, and locking myself in the nearest room, in that order.

I think however, I get how this kind of thing happened. In this age of social media, with everything so connected, it can feel like living in a fishbowl. I have found the humor in every day situations, In times past, some would have said it was material for their novel. These days, we are standup comedians, and... it's all comedy material. :tap tap:: is this thing on? Some have said those who are involved in social media are self-absorbed. On the contrary, we are usually outgoing, (at least online) and want to share our lives with others. We see the value in people. It isn't that those involved are narcissistic, as we have been accused. We simply want to share in the experiment that is the Internet. If someone spends a great deal of time on the phone, he is not branded a narcissist, he is seen as socially agreeable.

So then, why is someone who spends time networking with friends considered less than that? I have many friends online. Some I have met and some I may never meet. Yes, there are degrees to those friendships. Some are lifelong, some are buddies, some are mere acquaintances. But they all matter to me. I have helped many with autism information, and I remember details about people because I genuinely care about what happens to them. And if they drop me a line and need my help, and it is within my power to do so, I will provide it. That's the beauty of social media.

Years ago,it was all about BBS systems. Later it was forums and email loops.Not to mention chat rooms, where people connected in real time. This is just an offshoot of those, as the Internet evolves. Today, it is possible to connect to more people than ever before. It is not narcissistic to be involved with others. On the contrary, it's what makes you human.

T, who really loves the rise of social media

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don't Bug Me About The Oatmeal: Extra Protein Edition

"It has WHAT?" I recoiled in horror. My son had just said the Irish steel-cut oats that my daughter made for breakfast, the ones we all love, made in honor of St. Patrick's Day- had bugs in it. "You're crazy, kiddo, I checked it myself." "No, mama they're really small, you can barely see them." I told him to bring me the container, and I put it close to my eye, squinting carefully. Sure enough, tiny little crawly bugs, almost invisible to the eye were crawling around inside the container. On the oats. That she had just cooked. I felt my bile rise. Apparently we added a little extra protein to our breakfast this morning. That's when my littlest daughter started screaming. I understood, but this was over the top. You have to love autism.

You need to understand, JBean at seven, is pretty much bug-phobic. She doesn't like any of them, no matter how cute or interesting they might be. As you can imagine, this makes going outside a challenge. She just found out that the oatmeal she had eaten, and my leftovers that she had scarfed had contained hideous bugs the thing she hates most in life. She was on the verge of a panic attack.

Meanwhile, my eldest daughter, who had cooked the oats, was ashen. She had tears running down her face, and her mouth was frozen into a mask of horror. Surely, this could not be happening.

And my son, JBear, the fruit of my loins, the one who has no idea when to stop talking, continued to tell us all how we had eaten bugs, and they were there, in the container, and could you believe it? Trying to shut him up and deal with the now-death-grip on my arm from my youngest and console my oldest who of course, was blaming herself, because you know if anything goes wrong when she is doing something it is automatically her fault. Just ask her. And I was trying to control my roiling stomach. Amidst the screams of them all. Why is it when all hell breaks loose, I feel the insane urge to laugh? I guess I see the comedy in the situation...

My youngest decided then she needed to go to the bathroom. But, since she was absolutely freaked out about the possibility of bugs, she decided she wasn't going into the bathroom, because what if there were bugs in there? She declared she was just going to wet her pants, she didn't care. (niiiice, don't you want MY life? Sometimes, neither do I).

JBear, who was trying to help said, "If you pee your pants it will attract bugs!" Alrighty, then. Thanks for that kid. The screaming intensified:

"I have to go to the bathroom! No, I am going to pee my pants! I won't go! Ah, I will bring bugs if I peeeeee..." Completely out of control. I cupped her face with my hands, something she doesn't like, but that brings her back into focus and told her to listen to the sound of my voice. She needed to calm down. "We are going to do birthday candles to help you calm down, now." I told her. And I lead her through some deep breathing to slow her heart and her fears. It worked, and she did go to the bathroom. But then she was worried that maybe she peed just a little in her undies, and that it would attract bugs! I explained that doesn't happen, she was fine, and she could just go change her underwear if she was worried. So she did. With some cajoling and I walked her through it.

No sooner did she get done, my son started again about the bugs in the oatmeal. He hadn't eaten any of it (he is gluten-free) and so lacking empathy with autism, was fascinated by our predicament. He just wouldn't stop talking! How festive! Once I got him quiet, I convinced the girls that the bugs got in after we opened the container and we didn't eat anything except oats. Turned out when my son said, "bug" my littlest daughter heard, "Bug" and here that's code for the C Word, because I am terrified of them. (other bugs are fine, but the big black/brown ones send me to the moon. I suppose in a way it is funny. Unless you are me.) So the kids know not to say that word, that rhymes with the second word in "stagecoach." That kind of bug is what my JBean thought was in the can of oats...no wonder she freaked out at the possibility of eating it! Ugh. I explained that the bugs we were talking about were too small to see, and that they are called weevils. (not that it helped me, but she started to calm down.)

So of course, I had to tweet our gross discovery, because well, duh. And someone tweeted back not to share the recipe with her for something, in spanish. I didn't recognize the word. I clicked the link, not really thinking. LIttle daughter was sitting right there, next to the computer. The link was a picture of a frying pan full of grasshoppers. Nice crunchy ones, with garlic and chiles. And yes, it looked like a pan full of bugs. Crap. I blew that one. The hysterics started again. It took a half-hour to calm her down, but I finally distracted her with a book. (later my twitter friend apologized, but it really was not her fault, at all. Also, I found it interesting that in Mexico they eat grasshoppers. Don't the legs get stuck in your teeth??) Yes, I know in many countries they eat insects, but culturally, I can't get past my bias...

Anyway...it made such great blog fodder, so I owe her.

Once everyone is settled down, we spoke no more of it. But I would imagine it will be a long time before any of us eat oatmeal again. And you better believe I will be using a magnifying glass to check grains from now on!

T, who is feeling sick just writing this

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Your Green On: St. Patrick's Day

Sign on a beam in the Guinness Storehouse.Image via Wikipedia

As you know, today is St. Patrick's Day. Many celebrate it by wearing green or affecting an Irish accent. But what is the origin of St. Patrick's Day, and why do we celebrate?

Believe it or not, St. Patrick's Day as we know it, is an American holiday. It was first celebrated as a solidifer between recently-emigrated Irish Roman Catholics. Back in Ireland, the population was feeling the effects of the Potato Famine In America, there were so many new Irish immigrants, other groups began to feel displaced. Discrimination and violence was common, as the backlash against the Irish continued. The first parade in honor of St. Patrick took place to bring the Irish-Americans together, to celebrate their heritage and their numbers.

Today, most Americans have forgotten the purpose of the holiday, choosing to use it as an excuse to drink as much green beer as possible or pinch those who forgot their green. But now you know why.

Here are some useful Gaelic phrases for you:

What would you like?
Cad ba mhaith leat? (cod buh woh latt?)
I am thirsty.
Ta athas tart orm (taw aw-iss tart orr-im)
I would prefer beer/whiskey
B'fhearr liom beoir, uisce beatha (byarr lum byorr, isk-ihh bah-ha)
I am very drunk
Ta me are meisce (taw/may/air/mesh-keh)
My clothes are wet
Ta mo eadie fliuch (taw muh ea-dee flee-uck)
I am unwell (sick)
Ta me tinn (taw may tin)
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig
Ireland Forever!
Erin go braugh! (erin go bra)

My hovercraft is full of eels. (because you never know when you will need it)
Ta m'arthach foluaineach lan d'eascainn

Now you have all the Gaelic you need, so lift a Guinness to your health, and may ye be in Heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead!

5 great Irish movies

  1. The Commitments
  2. The Snapper
  3. Waking Ned Devine
  4. My Left Foot
  5. The Matchmaker
  6. Now it's your turn...what Irish movie is your favorite? Why?

    T, who's maiden name is Irish

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Interrupt The Regular Flow Of This Blog...

Warning, this post is about girly stuff, and time of the month and flow and bad skin, so be warned. If you are squeamish, come back tomorrow. Just know this is part of a being a woman, and sometimes you just have to talk about it. Because our mothers didn't talk about it, and now, we have to find all of our information on Google! More autism posts to come, but today we are discussing getting older and how much it sucks.

I didn't start my period until I was 15 and a half. I was the last of my friends and I used to read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume and just lament the fact that that special thing that makes me a woman hadn't happened to me yet. When it finally did, I was so excited, I just about told my father! (but I didn't tell him because, come on, my dad??) Also, he would have been absolutely mortified. He was a bit reserved, a firm gruff Army guy. Don't show weakness, never let them see you sweat. When I kissed him goodnight, it was on the forehead. So, yeah, telling Daddy all about my period? Not such a hot idea.

Ok, so like I said, I was 15 when I started, and I started with a vengeance. For years, I have had very heavy bleeding, 7 days, we are talking the Superwoman plugs. Right. I used to get cramps so bad in high school that I popped Advil like candy. Very hideous. Sometimes, I would even stay home, but I didn't get to do that very often. My mother was more the slave driver "If you aren't dead you can make it to school" type. So I suffered for womanhood every 28 days, like clockwork, spent 7 days sloughing off the dead lining of my uterus and called it part of Being a Woman. I got used to it.

After my 3rd child, I started slowing down a bit. It was nice. Now, no longer did a period last an entire week, I was down to 5 days. And a bit lighter flow, which was also a welcome change. Getting older has some perks, I suppose. But with age, comes your child growing as well. Which is all well and good, unless they are female and teenage, then they start the whole process as well.

I pride myself upon being a strong woman. When I was in an office environment, I was usually the strong hormone leader, and women would line up behind my cycle. (Did you know this happens? When many women work closely together their cycles will coincide, with one woman being the evolutionary hormonal leader.) I was the driver, and of course, right? And then SHE showed up on the scene. My daughter.

In the last year, she has played havoc with my cycles, and it is killing me. This last time, I was done. Done, I tell you! And just a few days later, I started my cycle all over again. And it is because she was PMSing and now is the young, fertile (ack I don't like using that word in the context of my daughter!) strong hormone woman. And I? I am a crone.

I am only 42. (and I am staying that age, after all, it is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...so only anniversaries from now on..the 1st Anniversary of my 42nd year and so on). I have noticed in the last few months that I have moles and brown spots I didn't have before. My wonderful smooth skin isn't so smooth anymore. Even on my eyelids, I have little bumps that make putting on eye makeup a pain in the butt. Don't get me wrong, YOU can't see these things. They aren't that noticeable. But I can tell, and it is bugging me! I now have a bump on the side of my nose that wasn't there a year ago. I see little laugh lines (bull, they are wrinkles you can't fool me) around my eyes. I look tired. In short, I look kind of like my mom!

This is not okay with me! My mom is old! And I am young! Vibrant! Energetic! I feel like those hot young 24 year olds! Except...

About six months ago, I wasn't feeling very well. I was running an errand and had a cold. I stopped in at Starbucks to pick up a chai tea latte, one of my favorite pick-me-ups when I am feeling under the weather, and noticed a schlumpy woman in Jamba Juice as I walked by. She was about my age, but was wearing a green velour sweatsuit. Her hair was back in a ponytail and she didn't look well. My thought was, "Wow, that woman is really letting herself go." And then I realized, I was looking at my own reflection! Yeah.

I think I have some sort of Body Morph Disorder. Many women look in the mirror and are appalled by what they see. I look in the mirror and see someone hotter than she really is. That day in front of Jamba Juice was a rude awakening. I am no longer young and hot. (if I ever was) I am growing old. Now I suppose I could just lie down and die, or grow old gracefully but I refuse to do that, I am too stubborn. Instead, I will just continue to be hot, thank you very much. Even if that hotness is just in my own mind. Sex (ack! She said THAT word) is pretty great at 40+... and youth truly is wasted on the young. If I could take my knowledge at 42 back to when I was 22, I would be unstoppable. But, since I can't do that, I have to settle for my new title, a badge of honor, and let the silly 20 year olds be young and insecure.They don't want to play with me anymore...to them, I am old. That's hard to accept. I am secure in my age, now I just have to become secure in my image.

T, who asks who that middle-aged woman is in the mirror

I Came From All Around Orange County Just To Tweet With You

Orange County Meet-up #tworco

This weekend I attended my first tweetup (that's where you get together with the people who live in your area who hang out on twitter). It was at The Jazz Kitchen at Downtown Disney. I wasn't sure what to expect, and arrived a bit late to find the first table full and it sort of felt like when you were in high school and walked in to find all the cool kids sitting at the table with no room left for you. (no, that's never happened to me either). So I took a deep breath and sat at the next table, praying others would show up. I brought J with me, so at least I wasn't sitting alone. I shouldn't have worried, very shortly, both tables were full. I had a very nice time and met some great people.

from left:@godotchris(can't see)@brd78,@melaclaro,@crispydragon,@SWgeek,@fstop23, @cloud79,@ladyblackwood,@mr_o,@kameelyan,@kirstenwright,@mannyaragon,@annwillmott

same, except @colorsign on right

from left:@ladyblackwood, @mr_o; on right:@fstop23

from left:@ksablan,@ocmarisa,@danasipper,@sipperphoto; Right:phraklet (next to @phraktyl, who you can't see)@ro, @cheapcheapcheap

@markdavidson,@DrYueh,(not sure),@thevixy

not pictured:@californiagirlj

If I misssed anyone, let me know, I will edit so I get it right. It was fun, and can't wait for the next one!

T, who was going to link all those names, but it is so late now I need to go to bed

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday the WHAT?

Today is Friday the 13th, but then you knew that. I am not particularly superstitious, but I got some bad news from a friend I really care about, and it just seems to fit the day. I am also kind of ticked off at God over it. This friend has had enough adversity lately! I can't divulge because it isn't my news to tell, but it has me really upset. Also, I would imagine she feels eaten by zombies right about now..

Seems like a good day for a rerun of my Zombies post....

...Warning, we interrupt this regularly scheduled post to bring you important news about the coming crisis:

And JoCo warns us about certain office cronies...

Zombies are everywhere! Look, they're in your House

The Army of Darkness is upon us! Oh, who will save us? Since this is a PG-13 blog, I decided to not post the really gory parts.

Look, they're all around us...even in the House of the Long Shadows (It had a good twist ending, which I loved.)

Quick, go here...learn how to defend yourself or you'll be food:

Zombie Practice

And to protect yourself from the coming Zombie Invasion, you need this shirt:

T, who wants to know who to yell at for TWO Friday the 13th in one year

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, March 13, 2009

THAT'S How Much I Love YOU!

My Comment Line - Call me!Image by greggoconnell via Flickr

There have been some great comments lately on Send Chocolate, and since I really believe in the community of blogging, I wanted to be able to expand upon the discussion. So I added Comment Luv to the comments. This allows you to showcase your next post, which I think is pretty cool. So, please, take advantage of it. The only negative, if you could call it that is that now Blogger members won't have their pretty little icons showing. But, you can participate however you choose:

Guest, w/ name and no registration

Guest, include name and info, without registering

Register w/ Comment Luv which takes 5 minutes, I swear, that's all. Then you can put your picture and all sorts of stuff in.

I even enabled video comments, so let's see how that goes.

I can even allow integration with Facebook, but I am still thinking on that one.

I did this so that we can enjoy the conversation, so don't let me down! Comment. Also, this way I can get you more information if you need it.

T, who is excited about this change

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Clicky Web Analytics