Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dental cowards form an orderly line to the left

I have had a life-long fear of the dentist since I was a teenager, I think. I would break out in a cold sweat at the thought of visiting a dental office. Which is kind of ironic, because my mother is more fearful than I am. She wanted to be sure that her children wouldn't end up with the same phobia, so she worked hard to find a good dentist. And she did. Dr. Howard was an avuncular boisterous man, and I liked him. No worries, so far. My mother insists that I refused to get braces, but I don't remember it that way. Still, it was a good experience. I didn't mind having my teeth cleaned, and didn't have much fear. The problem came when I had to have my wisdom teeth out at 18. With a different dentist. I developed an allergy to the pain medication and wound up so sick I lost 14 lbs. in a week. I had a dry socket, which means the blood didn't clot and the nerve was exposed to air. I popped Tylenol like candy for a while. Until my dentist introduced me to clove oil, and instantaneous pain relief.

I did really well for a long time, going to the dentist when I needed to, maybe not getting regular cleanings, but does anyone? After my second child was born, I had to have a root canal. And the experience was as bad as I had imagined. The sensory nightmare of the shots, the drill, the cement, all of it, was enough to put me off dentists for a long time.

A few years back, I broke a tooth, and had to have another root canal. I didn't have a regular dentist at that point, so I went to what I term a "chop shop." I had a very intense panic attack outside the office that day. Still, I went through with it, mainly because I had incredible pain from an abscess and it had to be dealt with or I was going to jump off of a bridge. I ended up with an ill-fitting crown, that they redid twice. It was still never right.

Soon after that, we found an amazing dentist. His office is decorated in Craftsman style, warm woods, cool lights and just an aura of relaxation. Entering, I was still terrified, but intent on making sure my children have good dental care. I eased them into it, and would sit in the room with them as they received their treatments, constantly It served to help me be less skittish. had to have two teeth pulled by an oral surgeon, which was awful, and did nothing for my dental phobia. But I was convinced I needed to get over my fears, and I pushed myself to do so.

I needed a lot of work, but over time, it was all done. Now, I am in my last phase, and wearing Invisilign to straighten out my overbite and stop me from grinding my teeth at night. And I see the dentist monthly. My phobia is completely gone. I still don't like dental procedures, but I no longer cry. I am quite proud of my courage and sticktuitiveness.

My kids love the dentist, and see him regularly. This is a feat accomplished with kids who have autism. Dental fears are right up there as far as fears go. But the process of spending time with our dentist (who also goes to our church and works in the childrens' department with my kids) My youngest, JBean, went from terror to looking forward to seeing him. That's a testimony to a great dentist.

My dentist is worth his weight in gold. And that's about how much I pay him. I wouldn't have it any other way.

T, who is over it

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
photo source

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes life is just beyond not fair

I wrote this a couple of days ago, but couldn't publish until now. I wanted to post it, so I am going ahead and doing so.

I'm sitting here in my no-tell motel,a stone"s throw from califmom's house. she offered me the couch, but I didn't want to impose. Being that tonight is the night before her husband's funeral, it didn't seem right to stay. I flew up this afternoon, and spent the evening with her and some of our Blogher/twitter people. We laughed and ate and drank...almost forgetting what brought us together. Almost, but not quite.

I hate the fact that tomorrow we will be sitting in a church saying goodbye to her husband. Afterwards,we will drink. Sadly, I will board a plane for L.A. on Tuesday. I can't be here...I have my own obligations at home.

The good news is she has really good support here in real life. I just wish it could be me.

Still, she has angels, one of whom is, @mcqueenie23 who is organizing a meal fund, so if you want to donate, either message her on twitter, or hit her blog. All of you who read are awesome, you know this, right?

UPDATE: Califmom posted her post about the funeral, you might want to read it.

T, who hopes you can help

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Proof my children are a pain in the butt..but it's better now

This week I had the supreme pleasure to visit Pelican Hill Resort for Mom's Day Off with my girls, the bloggers from OC Family. I brought the kids with me, and they spent the day at Camp Pelican, the kids' club…keeping the kids occupied so mama could relax= WIN!

I drove up to the front of the hotel, a beautiful property, located on the ocean, and the valet took one look at my 2001 van that has seen better days and said, "May I help you?" Giving me a level stare, it was clear he thought I was lost. Ah, but I have learned how to deal with this! I acted as though I belonged there, and told him where I was going, and if he didn't warm up, he at least thawed a bit. As I opened the door to get the kids out, I prayed all of the flotsam that accumulates in the back would stay put and not find its way onto the pristine cobblestones below. The god of Minivan Crap heard my prayer. Of course, the valet parked my car out of sight so as not to besmirch the Bentleys and Mercedes that were draped all over the circular drive.

Once inside the spa, though, the attitude changed completely! Everyone was so wonderful at this award-winning spa. I headed to the locker room, and changed into my robe and slippers, then was escorted to the waiting room before treatment was to begin. It was a luxurious and relaxing place, and as I sipped warm tea, enjoyed the soft lights, fresh flowers and water features, I didn't want to leave. I was booked for a massage, and soon Gregory, my therapist, came to get me to begin. I was taken aback because this man was the size of a linebacker on a pro football team! But he had very gentle hands, with just the right amount of pressure. As he was massaging me, my body started to relax and I swear, I needed to pass gas. I was lying there, trying to will myself not to do so, also trying to relax at the same time. And then? He started massaging my hands, and I swear this is true, he pulled my finger! Well, now if you had a dad, you would know what happens when you pull his finger, right? Just me? So the conditioning set in, and I found myself silently praying I would "remain silent" and not just let one go. My prayer to the Anti-Flatulence gods was answered. Thankfully, I was spared that particular embarrassment!

I did find, though, that my glutes "needed work". (that's "butt muscles" for those of us that are fitness-lingo-impaired). I wear the Skechers Shape Up shoes, and apparently, I wear them too much, because my butt was really, really tight. (I always thought it was good to have a tight butt?!)Also, I seem to carry my tension in my uh..backside.the jokes here just write's just too easy. Since the muscles never really get a chance to relax, it can cause back problems. And as he was getting those particular muscles to release (which meant pushing on my butt cheeks as hard as he could…ow!) all I could think is, "This is proof my children are a pain in my posterior!" Yeah, that. In any case, an hour later, and sufficiently pulled, prodded and pummeled into pudding, the warm, gooey kind, I decided that I was going to take Gregory home and hide him in my closet. Once I go back again, I am totally going to steal him.

The massage was followed by refreshments afterwards, and a quick dip in the jacuzzi (with a disposable bikini swim suit…the less said about that the better!) But of course, I cannot do anything that is "less".. so suffice it to say, I haven't worn a bikini since oh… 1989? Of course, the alternative was to go in au naturel and that just isn't my thing. This isn't the Eighties, and I am NOT 21 anymore. I wear clothes now. Almost always.

After we were dressed, we headed over to the Coliseum Grill for an amazing salad with grilled prawns the size of a baby's fist. No, really. We also met Kim, our editor and Steve, the Big Cheese, head honcho CEO with a sense of humor from Churm Media..responsible for our OC Family and other local publications. We had quite the nice chat. Steve was a very good sport, hanging out with bloggers who are known for candor. His education has now begun regarding tampons and using Facebook while in the bathroom.(Beckey called it a "Facebook Dump"). We ended the meal with tiramisu gelato and coffee, and more laughter. It was wonderful. Some of the girls were able to experience a post-lunch sit in their own private cabana with a view of the ocean. Which makes me wonder…did it come with a cabana boy? Sadly, though, it was time for me to go home, I didn't want to push my kids too far with a new experience. I felt I needed to get them home. Turns out, they would have loved to have stayed longer. Who knew?

The entire experience surpassed my expectations. The massage I had was the best of my life. I can completely understand how much of their client base is local. Though they are expensive, they would inspire loyalty from the repeat visitors. Some even come to the spa three times a week! I cannot even imagine. Nevertheless,it was a joy to be able to see what I am missing by not being able to live the "spa lifestyle." My kids have informed me that we need to "get rich" so they can go back to Camp Pelican. They were given parting gifts, which they thought was the coolest thing, ever. The care they received there made all the difference. I was able to completely relax knowing they were in good hands. I do plan to go back there, as a bit of a treat to myself when I can. I wonder if I could sell my children to finance that particular endeavor?

T, who wants to go back, right now

I was not paid to write this post, but I did receive the best massage ever. No one made me write this...I just loved my experience so much I chose to write about it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, April 19, 2010

No witty title, just a simple and heartfelt goodbye Bob

Early this morning, Bob quietly went gentle into that good night. And we mourn and we rage along with califmom, Leah, and her kids. In a situation like this, I suppose it is human nature to make it about yourself. What if it had been my family? How would we survive? What would we do? But, tonight, I refrain from going there. Because Leah needs me. She needs us.

She needs us to mourn with her, and make her laugh, and remember to sling the sarcasm.definitely do not forget the sarcasm! At some point, Leah may appreciate that Bob ended this life on Velociraptor Awareness Day. It just seems...right. Bob was a nut. In any case, she needs us to acknowledge what has happened, and to cry with her and to carry on as though everything was the same. And as though everything were different. She needs us to post our ridiculous tweets and goofy pictures. She needs normalcy, or, as much as she can get.

Or at least, that is what I think she needs. To be honest, I have no earthly idea what she needs, I can only guess. Which makes me feel very helpless...not a place I am used to being!

Tonight, JNerd and I, for wont of doing something, raised our glasses and had a shot of Patron, the premium tequila that was Bob's favorite. We drink to a life well-lived, and well-loved. We honor Bob's life. And we drink to the missed opportunity of being able to drink that shot with Bob himself. Just before he got sick, I met Leah and Bob in San Diego. We had dinner, and since I was driving later that night, I conservatively refrained from doing shots with the two of them. Though I didn't leave for hours afterward, I stuck to coffee that night. We reasoned we would have a "raincheck." That raincheck never came. A month later, he was sick.

So, tonight, we raised our glasses to a wonderful guy. An amazing and supportive husband; a loving father. And though JNerd had never actually met Bob, it didn't matter. Imaginary unicorn internet friends are ALWAYS there for one another. But don't let the smiles fool you, I have been in tears for them all day.

You say you want to help? I am so glad. Because this is a family that has been fractured, and with the expenses coming, they will need your support. Bob was also the sole income, so there will be some adjustments and transitions made. (Though I am not sure what those will entail,I can only imagine). So, yes, they need our help. You can go here, and donate via Paypal. Don't feel awkward, just think if it had been your family. Also, for the record, this paypal account was NOT Leah's was borne at the request of those who wanted to help. Posting it on her blog made it readily accessible. They say it takes a village. Bullshit, it takes the Internet. And, when she is ready, we will be here.

T, who is mourning along with my friend

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A fairy, a fort and a kiss..and they all lived happily ever after. For now.

One of the best things about homeschooling is that my kids have the opportunity to explore the things they are most interested in. JBug plays the piano, completely self-taught. She isn't a concert pianist, but she can play what she hears and likes. Pretty impressive.

On Friday, she held an impromptu photo shoot with her siblings. These are her pictures, taken completely by her...I just did a bit of photo tweaking. Clearly, she has an eye for photography, as well as an ear for music. Artistic, much?

What's better than kissing your brother? Making him grimace while doing it!

T, who couldn't get these shots if she tried

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The one where I am given a book: My Brother Charlie

I am completely remiss, and a terrible friend. I wanted to tell you all about the book my friend Chris gave me when she attended a children's literacy event. She brought me the new book by Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter, Ryan. My Brother Charlie is about Charlie, a boy with autism, and the family who loves him. Callie and Charlie are twins, but only Charlie has autism. The book is told in the voice of Callie, who loves her brother, but admits life with him can be hard sometimes. It is sweet and heartfelt, and I have to tell you, when I read it to my daughter, I get a lump in my throat. The pictures really set the tone of the book, straightforward and bright. Charlie can ruin playdates, but he loves the dog and gives great hugs. Throughout the book it is obvious how much Charlie is loved by his family.

Thank you so much, Chris, for thinking of us!

T, who has the best imaginary unicorn internet friends

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm so aware of autism I'll give you the shirt off my back!

Autism Awareness month is almost half over, and if you don't already have your autism awareness t-shirt, what the heck are you waiting for?! Yes, I know we are already aware of autism, but believe it or not, I still run into people who don't know about autism! No, really. I swear. Like the sweet grandma at the grocery store who thought my daughter was just "overtired." So our job is not done, friends. I don't know about you, but I often don't want to have to tell people in so many words about my kids. I let my shirt speak for me. I know, I know, I don't have to tell them anything, but work with me here...

All the cool kids are wearing them… don't you want to be one of the cool kids? Well? Don't you? That there is my son, and he is the coolest of the cool. I didn't plan to have him wear red, it Just Happened. I enjoyed taking the pictures with him. He was a really good sport, as usual. He is used to Momma's bizarre bloggy requests. A t-shirt picture was easy! This is where I got mine…isn't it snazzy? Fits well, and hey, it's red! (yes, I know the "official" color for autism is blue, but I never claimed to like boxes much. Well, that is, unless they are small, blue and velvet and contain jewelry. Barring that, I think the red looks pretty good, don't you?

You know you want one! Go. Now. And just to sweeten the deal (because, after all, I an nothing if not sweet) Cheap? Shame on you! You can enter the following code for 10% off ANYTHING on the site Custom T-Shirts..but you know what you really want is an autism awareness shirt, right?

just enter the code at check out!


T, who figures her favorite color this month is red

I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive a really cool t-shirt

picture taken with Canon T1i. Edited with Picnik which makes my photos look like a rock star. Or pro level. Or something.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The One where I get schooled...again

NERF Reactor GunImage via Wikipedia

Homeschooling can be a lot of fun. What? Stop laughing, no really. I mean, the times I lie awake at night worried that my son can't do Algebra and my daughter can't read well enough are just a million laughs. The stress and responsibility I feel when it seems the kids cannot function academically, socially or behaviorally the way I believe they should, well, it makes me want to drink. And I am not talking about Tang or Milk here, either. Send Mama a martini!

Often, though, when I feel like I have reached my limit…when I think I am doing my children a great disservice by schooling them at home and that they would be better off in a public school setting, with all of its weaknesses and the lack of placement for higher-functioning autism/Asperger's? Well,the kids go and make cognitive leaps, seemingly overnight. Almost like they have to prove me wrong. They show me that it isn't that bad, and that it always gets better. Or, you drink. Something the kids didn't show me. And just an aside, I talk about drinking, but do very little of it. It doesn't make a very good coping mechanism, to be honest. Karate works better. And yoga. And screaming. In the car, with the windows up. By myself. I tried it once with the kids in the car, and they flipped out. Thought I grew two heads. Note to self: save the theatrics for alone time, mama!

In any case, I have been laboring over my daughter's lack of reading fluency. This week, JBean started to read. And she did it the way her brother did…which is what I kept telling myself, even as I second-guessed her progress. "She will get there, and it will seem almost overnight." This is my wakeup mantra when I want to close the book on the whole homeschool experiment. One morning she woke up, wanted to read with me. I obliged. One hundred pages of Dick & Jane later? She is finally a reader, in her own mind. I knew she could read, but she didn't want to call herself a reader, she thought she wasn't "good enough." Yes, she read all of those pages in one morning, and was still rarin' to go when I called No Joy and begged for a break. My ears were tired!

This morning,needing an audience for her newest parlor trick, she waylaid Poppy, our pup, to show her what she had learned. And, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

So. I will keep homeschooling my children, because I believe that it works best for our family. They will continue to do outside activities and lessons and we will treasure this time together. They will grow and mature, and continue to trust themselves, as I try not to undermine that. And we will continue to love one another. That is, when we aren't wanting to hurl Nerf darts at one another. Although, now that I think about it...that could work. We'll just call it P.E. Kids need P.E. don't they? What did I do with that blasted Nerf gun?

T, who learns so much from homeschooling her children

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, April 05, 2010

I felt the earth move

Nope, this post isn't about sex or Carole King. This afternoon, we had an earthquake here in California, a nice long, slow one. It was fine, just surprising. The quake was centered in Mexico, and was a 7.2. All part of living in Southern California, and waiting for the Big One.

Some quick pics of our celebration:

Spring cupcakes

My girls, and their cousins

the Easter Bunny brought rain boots

Poppy, with her toy from her Easter bucket. Yes, that is a flamingo..isn't it funny?

T, who hopes your holiday was a happy one

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, April 02, 2010

What you can do for califmom's family RIGHT NOW

SO MANY have asked how to help Leah and Bob, and this is the first thing we can do:

We can give. I know, I know..the economy. But. Every little bit helps. Can you find any amount? Not going to insult your intelligence to tell you to give up your Starbucks or any other thing. You know what you can afford. Do what you can.

Childhood friends of Leah's aka califmom, have started a fund to help the family with the expenses that come with Bob's illness. Insurance doesn't cover it all, and added expense of eating food out, keeping kids occupied... well it all adds up. So. Here is what we can do (posted from Michelle's facebook account):

Bank of America, Nevada
Account Name: Norling Family
Account #: 501008379041

If you're making a deposit in person, you must have the account number. BofA can not look it up for you, even if you have the account name.

If you would like to handle your donation by mail, please make your check payable to the Norling Family. Remember to write the account number in the memo portion and mail it to:

Michelle Wolfkiel
P.O. Box 193
Minden, NV 89423

She plans to make deposits on Fridays and balance updates will be available on Michelle's facebook account.

From Michelle:

Not going to worry about thank you's right now, but we will make every effort to keep track of everyone's name. Thank you all in advance for your love, prayers, and generous support of Leah, Bob, and their children.

As we celebrate Christ's ultimate sacrifice this Easter weekend, I ask you all to please give until it hurts.

Please feel free to repost this information wherever you think it might do the most good. You should also know this is a non-interest bearing, free checking account and EVERY penny will be available to Leah's family when they need it.

T, who knows you want to help

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