Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Who, Me and My Weird Marriage?

The other morning, J. was out of the shower and rushing around, getting ready for work, just like he does every morning. And I was doing what I do every morning, sleeping. There, the secret is out: I am a night owl, and the earliest I go to bed is 1 a.m. That's early. Usually, I am closer to a three ay-am girl. Consequently, I sleep until at least 8:30 in the morning. So I was just waking up as J walked into the bedroom, announcing:

bye honey, I'm headed to work.

I rolled over and cat-stretched luxuriously:

"Whee! Work!

He glared at me, more mock-glare than anything else, and arched an eyebrow.

"Do you wanna go to work?

Thinking of blessed freedom, interaction with adults all day, not dealing with tantrums and cajoling little people to do things they don't want to do or running around picking up after them, I was probably a bit too enthusiastic.

"Uh huh, uh huh!"

J rolled his eyes.

"Ok then, you go to work, I'll stay home."

I shot back with:

"Works for me! ...I'm goin' to wo-oork, I'm goin' to wo-oork!" ...Wait, do I have to wear pants there?"

I could tell he was laughing at me, inside, where it counts.

"Yeah, they kind of frown on you if you don't wear pants."

Now I could gloat. After all, I was just getting up and he was headed an hour and a half away to work. (I know, right? Crazy, but that's his commute... )

"I don't have to wear pants at work. Just typee, typee, on the keyboard."

He grinned sardonically.

"Hmmm, I better leave that comment alone, it's too easy."
Me: busy realizing where this conversation has gone (where most of them go around here, the gutter)
"Apparently, so am I."

There went that eyebrow arch again.

"Oh really, then why am I going to work?"

I closed in the for the kill.

"So you can buy me things and I'll sleep with you. I'm good that way."

Flashed him my best come-hither stare, followed by a big, goofy grin...

He kind of choked a bit as I waggled my eyebrows at him.

"Annnnd I definitely need to leave that comment alone and walk out the door while I still can."

After almost twenty years, I still have that boy right where I want him, friends. This hot mama says so.

T, For the Win

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Will NOT Accept That She's a Decade and a Half, that's a Damn Lie... Statistic

I looked at her, she looked at me. We eyed one another warily. I was completely new to this gig, she was fresh from the oven. I held her legs aloft, determined to pull this off. I was woman, surely I could accomplish this task; it wasn't too daunting for me. I grasped the edges and pulled. The side came loose with a loud ripping sound and I trembled. One more to go. I pulled firmly on the tapes, with newfound confidence. I had this! I pulled the diaper out from under her bottom,the cool Spring air hit her parts and she let out a wail. More like a car alarm Four alarm fire air raid siren. I promptly burst into tears, knees knocking and... peed myself. No, really, I did. I bet she doesn't even know that. well, now she does.

I was a new mama, straight out of the hospital, with a baby that I couldn't give back. She hadn't cried much in the hospital, I wasn't used to it, and the sound of her distress really set me on edge. Fatigued muscles that were never meant for passing a grapefruit had just had enough. Thankfully, I was wearing a huge postpartum pad, the kind they give you on the mother/baby floor attached to those sexy net underwear you know the ones, a cousin to support hose and the size of grandma's shower cap and that could probably absorb a small lake. (good thing!)

And that was my introduction, fifteen years ago, today, to motherhood. It got better.(spoken in my best Monty Python accent, of course)

Happy Birthday, baby girl. I am so very proud of you in so very many ways. and if I enumerate them here now you will be even more embarrassed, so I should probably quit while I'm ahead.(and not tell the story of how you projectile-pooped all over the nursery door in front of Daddy's coworkers at the very next diaper change...)

T, who is NOT old

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Monday, April 27, 2009

A Walk With a Purpose (I would walk 500 miles...)

For the first time, my family and I participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies this weekend. We walked with Team Maddie and really felt part of something bigger than ourselves. Is it wrong to say we just about enjoyed it? My son walked the whole three miles with J and me, but JBean rode in the wagon all the way. It was a pretty easy walk. Heather and Mike Spohr lead the walk at the beginning, holding the banner for the entire March for Babies. Heather also spoke about Maddie, her prematurity and how instrumental the March of Dimes was in Maddie's treatment as a baby.

There isn't one picture of me there, but I assure you, I was. I tend to take the pictures, which always happens. There are so many events that I have no record of attending because I was busy behind the camera. I figure my children will grow up traumatized since I apparently was never around. Oh well, drop another quarter in the therapy jar...

It was an honor to walk for Team Maddie, and doubly so because JBean was a 31.4 week preemie, and spent 30 days in the NICU, so March of Dimes was a great place for us to be, too. My family agreed that we will make it an annual event, and start seeking out other walks for other causes as well.

These are just a few pictures. If you want to see them all, check out my flickr account.

T, who really WAS there

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Giveaway: Aware of Autism? I'd Like To Buy You a Bracelet! (Since I Can't Teach the World To Sing)

Erin has stirred up quite the storm over at Queen of Spain, and I agree with her wholeheartedly. The timing is a bit awkward, because we are talking about giveaways and transparency and writing. My comments can be read over there, if you so choose, I won't beat a dead horse. The crazy thing is, though, I am doing a giveaway!

But here's the thing:: It isn't for some sponsored product, like bathroom cleaner or foot fungus soap, it's for autism awareness bracelets. And here's why: I bought three bracelets from Jularie Jewels at eBay at the beginning of April. They were very inexpensive, and despite being handmade, I didn't have high hopes. When they arrived I loved them sooo much that I contacted the seller and asked for 10 more to give away on my blog. I paid for them. Out of my own pocket, because it is a cause near and dear to my heart. And I wanted you to have one.

I purposely waited until almost the end of "Autism Awareness Month" because I wanted the bracelets to go to those who are intimately familiar with autism and would continue to wear them. For us, autism awareness occurs every day, when we interact with our children. So here is what I am asking:

While traffic is nice, please only enter the contest if you are intimately familiar with autism as in, have a child or family member close to you who has it.

To enter:

Please comment in comments with the thing that makes you the most aware of autism, or a story about how autism affects you and leave me your email so I can let you know if you win! (I promise I won't send you any fake British lottery notices or anything)

Everyone gets one entry. I would love it if you tweet the giveway, or if you wanted to sub to my blog because you think my writing is the bomb or if you wrote about the giveaway on your own blog because you believe in it, but I am not going to manipulate you into doing any of those things simply to raise my SEO or rank. And I don't think you should do any of those things just to get extra entries on anyone's blog. But...that's just me. You can disagree with me and I will still love you.

I only have EIGHT bracelets. (I bought 10, but my daughter whined and I had to give her two of them). I WISH I had one for everyone, because I wish all moms who desired a bracelet could have one. I really do think these are nice bracelets, as I said, I have three of my own, one for each of my children. I don't get anything special for giving these away, except satisfaction of knowing EIGHT more women have a bracelet.

GOOD LUCK! I will choose the winners by random number generator (because how can I judge the quality of comments??) the second week of May. Love you all!

I hope you love your bracelet as much as I love mine!

T, who hopes you enjoy the bracelets as my gift to you

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

How I Became Mostly Sane, Or At Least Faked It Real Good

It's official, today I was deemed mostly sane. By mutual agreement, I ended therapy with my therapist today. I had been seeing her three times a month for over a year. Why? Well, when you have this happen, and then, within a year, this and this.. it helps to have someone to talk to.

I am pretty well-adjusted, but even mostly sane people need someone to talk to about life now and again. I really believe in therapy. My therapist was my sounding board; I could tell her things I cannot say out loud, about autism, about my children. It felt safe. But though I enjoyed those times, I haven't felt any urgency to attend for a while, now. I am doing well.

Originally, after the fire, JBean started seeing her, because we didn't know if the behavior we were seeing was trauma from the fire or if she had autism. She never really clicked with the therapist, who was a wonderful woman. JBean just never opened up to her...part of her personality is closed to those she doesn't know. There are times that I don't know my daughter well, either, though as her mother you would think it would be easier. I understood the lack of progress. So once they reached an impasse, the therapist recommended perhaps pursuing evaluation for JBean, which we had planned to do, and had told the therapist about. And I took over the spot and continued therapy.

It helped me get a handle on the feelings with diagnosis, and gave me permission to feel how absolutely much it sometimes sucks to have children with autism. I was able to explore how overwhelmed I felt, and the grief that threatened to paralyze me as I walked the road of autism diagnosis once again. I didn't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings, and I was able to work out my emotions with fear and trembling, and know the world wouldn't come to an end. Because that was always an option before...

I have always been strong, and I know that. I have survived circumstances that would have crippled others. That's not bragging, that's fact. You know if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you stronger. But I have always had a secret fear that I would someday fall apart and end up in a rubber room somewhere. I am not really sure where it came from, but I know I have felt it since I was a teenager. The dread of the other shoe falling has always been something that could stop my heart. There are times I feel like a beautiful crystal goblet, precious and transparent, but one high C can shatter my butt all over the floor.

About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder based upon past history (and the fact that I was watching Oprah and saw myself in the stories, went to my doctor who took one look at my out-of-control anxiety at that point and referred me to a psychiatrist.) I started medication, and it didn't take much at all to regulate me. Seriously, almost nothing. Over the years, I found I don't need medication at all, with cognitive behavior therapy, diet, exercise and better ways to control anxiety. In fact, my therapist has serious doubts that I was ever bipolar, and I am starting to doubt it, too. Maybe it was another case of seeing hoofprints and looking for zebras again. Maybe there really are horses that leave prints in my house. It's certainly better than the elephant under the coffee table that used to live in my house as a child.

I come from a very dysfunctional family, and yeah, I know, we all do. But, I made a conscious choice to change the patterns in my own family. And I have. In my home, we communicate. We let others know when we are happy, sad, pissed off. We talk through it, not just stuff it under a mattress. We apologize and take ownership when we screw up. We voice what we need. We have healthy relationships, but it isn't without effort. I don't suffer fools gladly, especially those who refuse to acknowledge problems. Life is too short not to just look it bold in the face and just fix it. This is why I live far away from my family. I love them, and want to keep it that way.

And this is why I no longer need to see a therapist. I'm ok. I can handle life without worrying I am going to fall apart. I trust myself now, perhaps I always did, I just needed to know it. So, life can get in the way, but I am ready. Nothing a Starbucks mocha or a blueberry vodka & tonic can't fix. Want to join me?

T, who wishes I could bottle the confidence I feel and sell it, I would be rich

How about you? How do you take care of yourself?

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Mom Logic..or Lack Thereof

I entered this contest and I am supposed to write a post about my Mom Logic. Thing is, I can't say for sure that I actually have any! I took Logic in college, and barely passed with a C. Sure, I can argue. But when it comes to actual cogent argumentation? I was clueless. Turns out, God was just preparing me for living with my family! (either that or he was just beyond bored one day and decided to mess with me) What logic lives in a house with autism? What is logical about fear of a flushing toilet? Going into conniptions at the sight of a spider? Refusing to leave the house for fear a small dog may maul you? Arguing to wear the same dress, again, or not going out? This is just a smidgen of what I face as a mama in this house.

To be fair, it's not all me. You cannot reasonably discuss fears with someone who is afraid. And you can't convince someone (especially if that someone is 7 years old and has autism) to do what you want them to do, just because it is the logical choice. Little beings are not reasonable. and autism is even less so. Talk until you are blue in the face and what you will have left is...a blue face! (and maybe some interesting pictures for your, I don't actually have any pictures of me, blue in the face, but if I did, they would be interesting..)

I think I still have the potential to be a very logical person in there somewhere. Before I had kids, I had a brain, and as such, I had logic. But with each child, my brain, it shrunk. And now, not only can I not remember things my husband tells me we discussed (I think he may be trying to Gaslight me, send help!) I can't wage word war on my children and come out on top. I know the logic is still there: when I am away from my children for any length of time, my brain bounces back and I can have coherent conversations. The numbness that is my brain's self-defense mechanism against the crazy wears off.

At my worst moments, with my children I have been known to be very illogical. If the Father of All Logic (no, not Socrates, Mr. Spock) lived in this house, he would cock his eyebrow at me, with the sardonic look he was known for on Star Trek and tell whomever would listen how "highly illogical" I was. And then I would probably get pissed off and get all up in his grill, tell him to take it back because I would be so high strung with him watching my every move and all, and he would end up havin to use that Vulcan nerve pinch that he does, the one that makes everyones' eyes roll back in their head, knees buckle and pass out? And well, that would suck thank you very much!

If Spock was in my house, my son would be so thrilled, there would be no living with him. As I write this, there are no less than 10 Star Trek episodes on the DVR. And that is after I have pared them down!) Also, my oldest daughter would be thrilled to hang out with Spock, I think he would "get" her in a way that no one else does. She isn't that much into the emotions as much as the cold, hard facts of life. Some days I think I am the weird one, and everyone else in my family is the norm. And technically, by the definition of "norm" they would be normal, the majority of my house. So, I am the crazy one. Yeah, I can't believe it either.

Case in point: Exhibit A, Bring On Da Crazy! I don't think that screaming as though I am throwing a tantrum (which I kind of really wasn't, just wanted my daughter to get what she looked and sounded like..I swear. WHAT?) is a very logical approach to an out-of-control child. But there are times that nothing else works. I come up empty and throw a Hail Mary pass. Just like almost every other Hail Mary in sports history mine doesn't work either. I was hoping she would laugh, instead she just gave me the weirdest look, the one where I have no idea what is going through her head. Then she threw herself on the ground and amped up the volume. As if to say, "HA! I win this one, woman!" I backed off, because, Yeah. The ground is hard! I guess I just wasn't committed enough.

Need more "evidence"? I have blogged the interactions that I have with my children as well. How logical is discussing pooping robots, zombies and quesadillas in the same conversation? (certainly hope hands were washed before eating!) Or the non-sequitur that is my son's idea of social exchange. How do I maintain any semblance of sanity and logic in the face of the comments he makes? There is no rhyme or reason to my motherhood, some days.

I mean, logical thought when your son has just mooned an entire construction crew in line at McDonalds (who thought it was incredibly funny and egged it on)...I challenge you to find some! I know I certainly couldn't. I wanted to find a deserted island and a margarita! (Jimmy Buffett, where were you when I needed you? Probably on some boat somewhere..where it was 5 o' clock, dammit...) I wanted to fall through the floor. Instead, I calmly took our food to the table and we ate. Now that's not logical. I could have gotten the food to go so that prying eyes wouldn't bore holes in the back of my head, as they wondered what the HELL kinda mother was I, that I let my son show his butt crack to the world? (in my defense, he was 4 then, hadn't been diagnosed with high-functioning autism then, and hasn't done it since. He is 10 now).

My family defies logic. (except for my oldest daughter, JBug who is very logical, at least on her end). But that presents its own set of problems. She is also a teenager, and they have a brand of logic that someone over 30 just can't comprehend...mainly, you are wrong. If you question this, read the last sentence again! Period, that's the end of that. With her reasoning and lack of emotion sometimes, if I didn't know better, I would think she was a Vulcan.

And all of this is why having Spock over would just never work. JBug and he would be like Mendel's pea experments...alike, but normal people wouldn't be able to understand them! And of course, they would gang up against me, on some issue or other. So I am sure I would get all emotional and they would cooly tell me how illogical I was being, and my daughter would inform me the argument I am using for her to load the dishwasher is a fallacy and I would pull my hair out and threaten to jump off a bridge. (Just kidding on those last two). Just an aside, I DO NOT recommend allowing your teen to take formal Logic, unless you just like feeling stupid a lot... I mean, I can argue with the best of them, but how do you argue LOGIC? She thought she was so smart, calling me on my "invalid" arguments... then I wised up.

I just reminded her..I am Mama. I invented arguments before she was born, thank you very much. And, Mama wins in the face of, kicks butt on, trumps any logic that is in that book she is studying. Yup. When she gets to be a mama, then she can use the same ace in the hole. Until then, suffer baby!

So, going back to the beginning, my non-logic works for me. You can't learn my brand of logic from a classroom. Socrates didn't teach it, and if he did I am sure he would have gone mad. To outsiders, it would appear my methods may not work. I can live with that. I reserve the right to do whatever the hell I think works. Cause I'm the Mama. And Mama Logic is whatever I say it is. Today, I think it's about pooping. And robots.

Your turn... what do you think is your Mom (or Dad, or Gramma...) Logic? Tell us in comments...

T, who figures it's enough

This was a post I wrote for the Mother of All Bloggers Contest, and when if I make the Top 10, I am going to need you all to vote for me! So cross fingers, toes and let me know you're out there!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Hot to Write With Any Wit, Or At Least, That's The Excuse I Am Going With

Just a quick post...It's hot. Today is Monday. The car door's automatic lock is stuck, so the passenger has to get in from the other side and crawl through.(thankfully, there are no pictures of this, because if they wound up on YouTube I would have to be killing somebody) I am feeling bleh, just sort of down. Weary. We didn't go to park day because of a fit (and it wasn't even mine!) Now we have to go to ballet and it is still insanely hot. Last time I checked the temperature, it was 99 degrees. In. April. Crazy.

But, I have things to be happy about, I am just needing to remember them. Besides the obvious stuff like health and family, I bought a kick-ass pair of 4.5 inch heels. (that's right, your heart out) that were completely impractical, but on sale. And sexy as hell. So..

And finally, these cute leaded glass garden stakes, that my husband, J, bought for me.. they are wiggly, and make me unreasonably happy.... It's Spring, beyotches! Now, go and find your bliss!

T, who will write more later tonight

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Friday, April 17, 2009

I Need YOUR Help. Yes. You. Don't Run Away, Really, It Won't Take Long...

I need your help with something. As you know, I don't beg for you to love me, I really don't promote myself much, but I would big pink puffy heart love you (yes, you!) to go here and nominate me for the Mother of All Bloggers contest. I am not under any illusion that I will win, but after all, it is an honor just to be nominated, right?? I just want to feel like this hobby that makes me about enough for a mocha a week, if I am lucky, is actually worthwhile.

So, today, please go to my profile at MomLogic and vote for me. I need 10 votes in just a few days in order to qualify. It will just take a few moments. Help me explain to my huband that I am not just wasting time online... even if the house does need to be cleaned.

Thanks so much!!

T, who just wants to play with the big dogs

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Witty Title Not Forthcoming, Since I Was Stuck in Traffic and My Brain Turned To Mush

Asperger's, HFA, quirkiness, crazy-making behavior..whatever you want to call it...My son, the fruit of my loins, and paper in my birdcage, is not known for his patience. He wants everything now, now, now! This could be part of his Asperger's, or it could be that I am a crappy mom and have never taught him to delay gratification. I am going with the first one. I mean, I can delay my gratification all of.. let's see... I have not did just eat a molten chocolate lava cake while writing without sharing.. yeah, ok, I am a crappy mom. What' ya gonna do? Sue me?

Today I had to take my daughters to their aunt's house, about 25 minutes away. In rush hour traffic. Which, as anyone who lives in Orange County and drives camps cusses in traffic knows, is really get stuck at every freakin' red light, then crawl for 15 feet at a time traffic. The only rush is to stand still. My son does not endure inactivity well. He gets bored. And, when he is bored, he has to let everyone around him know it. So, let me set the scene:

I am driving, JBug is riding up front, JBean is behind me and JBear is behind her. Complaining. A lot. About the stupid traffic. Ad nauseum. And I stop for another red light, probably the 457,823rd red light on the route. And from behind me comes:

"Red light, you'd better move it.
"I mean it, I have a bazooka."

(and just where did you get that, young man??)

At this point, I am snickering, because, well, I just am. But I am trying not to call attention to it, so he will hopefully continue.

The light stays stubbornly red.

"I have a bazooka and a hand grenade. Those can do much more damage than you'd think."

I am now biting my lip to keep from laughing out loud....

The light still doesn't turn green.

"If you pulled the pin on a hand grenade and covered yourself, you'd still die, it's not like the movies."

At that point, the light got the message and turned green. Lucky for the light, because I would hate to see what would happen when JBear pulled the bazooka out.

(and maybe I would want to borrow it...)

He is the master of the non-sequitur, this kid. He keeps me in stitches. (when I don't want to kill him...)

So the other day we were driving (shuddap, yeah, I know, driving...big surprise huh? Why in the hell they call it "homeschooling" I have no idea...I am always, always in the car) ..We were driving and my daughter commented on the new building for Karl Karcher Enterprises. AKA Carl's Jr/Hardee's... makers of those absolutely porny commercials for their food, which I won't link...want to see, google them. Now, not only am I not observant, I didn't know they were building. I am the one who drives by a gas station and JBear will comment, "Oh they painted the bench red at the gas station. It used to be green." And I will think..."there's a gas station here??" And yeah, I have passed it twice a day for 7 years. So?

In any case, we are talking about this building, not important, just chatting, when from behind me (it's always behind me) I hear:

"If they cloned Yoda and made him evil, the Jedi wouldn't stand a chance."
Me: ::Doubletake:::

WHAT? Where did that come from? Yes, that's right, The Master of the Non-Sequitur (or as I like to call it, the "WTH Moment")... strikes again.

I am absolutely never bored with my on-board entertainment

T, who carries a pad of paper in her purse in order to write this crap down

awesome Far Side reenactment photo from The Rocketeer, used under creative commons

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In the Scheme of Things, Does it Really Even Matter?

forgive me, but after today, with attending little Maddie Spohr's memorial, I am not so in the mood to you get just a short blurb.

This last weekend, my beloved twitter was attacked by an evil 17 year old kid with too much time on his hands. Because I don't want to give him any more press than he is already getting...this made me think about security online, and how, well, it doesn't exist. Twitter is from the Belkin school of security, clearly, and well, this cartoon from User Friendly says it all...(click to enlarge)

I am holding out though. I need my twitter. I just wish they would get more serious about security.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

For Maddie and the Spohrs

For the past week, I have been seeing and participating in the flurry of tweets surrounding the loss of Madeline Spohr. I have been heartened to see what twitter is capable of, as thousands rally behind the family. This is my contribution.

I held her, the tiny thing, she was 3 lbs. 14 oz. Born premature, 31.4 weeks. I was fortunate, she was born on the cusp of 32 weeks, the time when doctors agree many of the problems with prematurity are minimized. I held my tiny newborn, and sobbed.

She was in the hospital for 30 days, during which time I lived at the Ronald McDonald House. Though I was only twenty minutes away from home, I needed to be close to her. My husband brought the kids to the RM House and that was how we lived for a month.

When I brought JBug home, she was still so small. She wasn't even five pounds yet. And I was scared. The thing I was most afraid of, after dire warnings from the neonatologist? RSV. Respiratory Syncyhtial Virus is extremely contagious, and most babies get it before they turn two. In adults, it isn't anything to be concerned about, it causes a cold. In infants, especially infants with a compromised immune system, it can be deadly. I took it to heart.

For the entire season, (we brought her home in September) I didn't go anywhere with my daughter. I stayed home until May, when the RSV season was deemed over. JBug also got monthly RSV vaccines, immunoglobin her body needed to try and stay strong and fight off the disease. Synagis is expensive, but it is covered by most insurances if your baby is at risk.

Risk factors include:

  • prematurity
  • lung problems
  • heart problems
  • low birth weight
  • daycare
  • family history of asthma
  • older siblings
  • smoking around baby

I remember the fear I felt, every time one of my children coughed. We used hand sanitizer by the truckload. But JBug didn't get RSV, and we breathed a sigh of relief. The next year, I called about getting the shot again, and all doors were closed. She was too old at that point, no longer a risk. And we were again lucky.

I know the fear I felt during those months. But it is nothing compared to Heather's fear. And she wasn't so lucky. Her sweet Maddie died last week. Mama did everything right. Maddie was past the "age of danger."

And yet, we are still attending a memorial service tomorrow.

Life isn't fair. My chest still tightens at the thought of those days, and the fear that took over my life. My heart goes out to Heather and Mike Spohr. And I hope yours does, too. They could use some help with expenses. A Paypal account has been set up for them. Please donate whatever you can.

Thanks tons. Let's put social media to work for good.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

That Explains a Lot...

"He is not here, He has risen, just as He said..."
Happy Easter!!

T, who is taking today off...probably

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Who Is To Blame For Bullying?

teh funny will be back tomorrow...but I had to comment about this..

Apparently an 11 year old boy hanged himself because he was being bullied daily by classmates, called names, and accused of being gay. His mother repeatedly tried to get the school to do something. Now, it's too late. When will these schools learn?

If you create a culture of hate, you are directly responsible for the aftermath.

Mom needs to sue the school. For one reason: to send a message. Bullying is not "boys being boys." It's not "what kids do." It's wrong, it creates a dangerous environment. It makes it impossible to learn. It steals a child's soul. No, I do not think I am being overly dramatic. No one has the right to be evil to one another.

Bullying comes in many forms, It can be physical, it can be emotional (outcast,fighting words, intimidation), it can be's all designed for one purpose: to cause the target pain.

Until schools get the message, we need to keep fighting. There needs to be a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on bullying. Period. It is never ok. It is our job as parents to protect our children. And this child's mother tried. She wasn't taken seriously. Enough is enough.

Sending the message to the school district, (and others that continue to look the other way) in the form of a Big Fat Check won't bring mama's baby back. But it will cause schools to think twice about pretending not to see what goes on. They bear a responsibility for this. They were aware it was happening, and did nothing.

Knowing bullying is going on and letting it go is tacitly approving it.

That child's blood is on their hands.

T, who believes a child has a right to be safe

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Friday, April 10, 2009

I Have a Warm Spot For Zombies: They Have Their Own Category On My Blog

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins the newest book I have to have.

Every once in a while a book comes along that you have to read, at first glance,just for the title. I am a fan of Christopher Moore.(You Suck, a Love Story) I love Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.(Good Omens) Douglas Adams is wonderful.(So Long And Thanks For All the Fish). Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of my absolute favorite books (think: a cross between Jane Austen and Harry Potter). I like my fiction silly, intelligent, insightful and tongue-in-cheek. So when my daughter told me about this book, I laughed out loud.

I am a fan of Jane Austen and her writing style. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies melds Jane Austen and Shaun of the Dead into a piece of literature featuring class snobbery and... zombie attacks. They had me at zombies.

No matter how good or bad this book may be...the concept is Pure Genius Man, I wish I'd thought of it.

T, who is sure they are already fighting over the movie rights

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Now Let's Play: Name That Smell!

There's a new post on my homeschool blog about Learning Styles. It's short, sweet and you want to read it. Now go. It's ok, we'll wait...

One of the hallmarks of autism is an extremely acute sense of smell. This can be a problem at times, because it makes food unpalatable and causes embarrassing situations. My 7 year old has a keen sense of the olfactory. She cannot stand to have me close to her before I brush my teeth in the morning, or after drinking coffee. (as you might imagine, since I run on coffee, this makes mornings challenging) She wants cuddles but doesn't want me to breathe. Have you ever tried to keep from breathing? It's not good for your health! 100% of the people who stop breathing? DIE.

Some other quirks: The garbage has to be taken out often, or she has to stay out of the kitchen. Cat food and vienna sausage (aren't those pretty much the same thing??) make her gag. The smell of body, clean or dirty, can make her antsy and complaining.

If she is around an offending smell, she cannot shut it off, and will often proclaim loudly how icky it is.
Embarrassment, thy name is JBean. Yes. It is. She doesn't like perfume, and smells that you may consider pleasant make her highly agitated. And, she is going to let you know about it. A lot. (we are working on this, I assure you...but she is only 7.

an aside...because autism is a developmental delay, my chid may appear to be 7, but acts more like 5. Think of a dog being 3, and in Dog Years, that's 21 or so. Autism Years are similar...except backwards. Confused? That's ok, now you are in the state I live in. Wait, you say, I thought you lived in California...? Yeah. Shut up and let me get back to my story. Geez.

Proving there is no rhyme or reason when it comes to autism, my son is exactly the opposite of my daughter. Smells that most reasonable people would find repellent, such as gasoline, tar, sulphur, rubber tires...he finds soothing and stimulating. While one is trying to keep her lunch down while refusing to inhale, the other is breathing deeply.

I am what is known as a "super-taster." I have an overdeveloped sense of smell and taste. I don't wear perfume (have only ever found two that I can tolerate without an instant headache) and highly perfumed anything is something I avoid. Being trapped in an elevator with a woman wearing perfume is a horror of mine. But there are scents I like: lavender, vanilla, chocolate. Most candles from Illuminations, at least the food scents, I love. And citrus anything is ok, too. I am not keen on the smell of flowers, unless they are actually naturally growing. Body wash in florals make me sick.

All that to say, I have no idea where my children got their sense of smell. Probably off the turnip truck they fell from, I would imagine. No wonder the kids don't like turnips.

T, who wears perfume about twice a year

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