Friday, February 29, 2008

Sometimes I just want to

There, I feel a bit better now...
Can't get into the why, what and how in this public forum; let's just say that certain choices and decisions I made earlier in life are really HAUNTING me..

Vaccines, smackcines,

and cooties!!!!


Things that made my day today...

Salamander getting accepted into an 'extra credit' after school science program (YEAH!!!! The kiddo LOVES science, and he is sooo excited..)

Salamander's creative solution to the age old sport of 'school lunch swapping.'
Due to his specific and extensive dietary needs, he cannot swap any foods with his class mates. BUT, in his own way, he figured out a 'work around'. He always has a box of raisins in his school lunch for a quick snack. Well, apparently he's been swapping HIS box of raisins with boxes of raisins that his school mates have been bringing in... the EXACT same brand (as NOT all brands of boxed raisins are gluten free..). How do I know he's been swapping? First, he brought back FOUR boxes of raisins today (the loot for the week, I venture to guess.. LOL), and the pictures on the back of the boxes are different than the pics that can be found on MY stash!!!!!

GOOD FOR HIM!!!!! This kiddo will do just fine....

My horoscope for today....

Earlier this week I commented on my general feelings when it comes to horoscopes....But that still didn't stop me from checking out today's. And it's a beaut!!!

You have certainly felt better than you do today, dear XXX, and it's likely that you're running on aspirin and antacids. The sour stomach and headache you are feeling are simply the result of a recent overindulgence. Don't worry, you'll be fit as a fiddle by tomorrow morning. Next time someone offers you a third helping, however, you might want to consider declining!


Uhm, excuse me while I go reassure my neighbors that I have NOT succumed to that long overdue fit of hysteria after all...

OK, men in white jackets have been called off.

The last time I 'overindulged' as implied above was on a Friday evening in ..... early September 2007!!!

Oh yeah, recent ........ NOT!!!

The British Nanny...

(no, no.. I am NOT referring to a rather memorable line in this movie)

Did you all catch the hullabaloo around UK's Prince Harry having 'been caught' actually doing what he had signed up to do? That is, fulfill his military duties, which, oh my gosh, includes taking HIS turn at the front in Afghanistan?

Good for him, by the way. From what little I've gleamed in the press about this young man, he seems to be the type that is not afraid to get dirty, and certainly not the type to take the 'privileges' (if there are any) of his birth for granted.

But apparently, the British government disagreed with this young man displaying some 'cohones'. The Ministry of Defense issued a statement that 'Prince Harry will be withdrawn from Afghanistan'.

Sjeesh, now this is what I call a British Nanny gone wrong...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Mom Test

(With apologies in advance to several wonderful men/dads that I am proud to call my friends... Forgive a girl will ya? You guys DO make such easy targets...)

The Mom Test

I was out walking with my 4-year-old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my daughter asked."Because it's been on the ground. It's dirty, and it probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Momma, how do you know all this stuff? You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly. "All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mom Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mom."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

"Oh...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test, you have to be the dad."

''Exactly," I replied back with a big smile on my face.

Larry King Live .... last nite..

I missed the actual show, but just found the link...
(be patient as you may have to 'sit' through a few commercials first..)

Nice job to all involved.. J-Mac is a pleasure to watch, and I am happy that at least for him there is a positive spin to his journey. Let's hope he can achieve his more immediate dream of having his own house and living independently.
And I just absolutely adore Dr. Karzinel.. he has a way of breaking a difficult problem/question down to its basic components.


Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup (to borrow another one of 'Ducky's' catch phrases).

Knock, knock, anybody home? Now -what- are we going to do about this???


OK, those of you that know me know that, when my hot buttons are pushed, I have a very big mouth and don't mince any words..

One of my 'hot buttons' is obviously autism and the insane notion that the current scary incidence rate is 'all better diagnosis and genetics'.

Another hot button is civil responsibility.
My neighborhood happens to be in a crossroads of major access roads to the local hospital (and that fact has literally saved me from a boatload of trouble more than once). That means that, on same major access roads, appearances of ambulances with flashing lights and blaring sirens is a rather frequent occurrence.

Same major access roads also lead to both my boys' schools, so it's also not an uncommon occurrence for said ambulances, me and a carload of other drivers to all be on the those roads at the same time.

So here goes to all those moronic drivers that THINK they can 'quickly skip ahead of the ambulance so they don't have to pull over and wait' (yup, saw it happen again this morning).





And oh, as we're on the topic of civil responsibility: 'SHOVEL THE SNOW OF YOUR $!#$@! SIDE WALKS'.

There, I feel much better now...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Too funny....

Now I am not necessarily a big believer in the predictions of horoscopes (doesn't mean that the predictions are not 'spot on' every once and a while.. but heck, if you make things generic enough, anybody can find something that applies ...).

But for shits and giggles, I DO check my horoscope every now and then. And the jest for yesterday's was that I "was going to be contacted by a person from overseas regarding a business/financial arrangement that sounded too good to be true and that I should proceed with caution."

Guess what just showed up in my email inbox? Yup, one of those overseas "I have a business proposition for you" scam mails (excerpt below):

I have an obscured business suggestion for you. I will need you to assist me in executing a business project from [..] to your country. It involves the transfer of money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us.

I got a good laugh out of the whole thing.

And no, I won't be endeavouring 'to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this obscured business'...


is doing a LOT better (bouncing through the house, singing and dancing; his physical appearance is 'back to normal'). So my judgement is that we were dealing with a, temporary, metabolic hick-up...

He is chewing a lot on things though (shirt, toys, sucking on his fingers), and he's been asking for his EDTA chewing gum. Clearing Lead and Mercury again???

So far...

today's already a total BUST....

Potatey was up last nite pretty much every 2 to 3 hours. Nightmares. Of the screaming out loud, running out of his room crying 'Mommy, mommy, I'm scared, where are you' variety. And he can't really articulate what is making him so scared once he's lucid.. (he HAS been clearing a TON of metals as of late, his UTM (Urine Toxic Metal) reports are, well, intense.. and I'm sure the nightmares are related to his kidneys and liver working overtime.. I've seen this happen in Salamander as well). Anyway, due to the nightmares and some other stuff I had maybe 3 hours of sleep myself...

Miraculously I got everybody up, showered, dressed, through breakfast and Salamander on the school bus, Potatey in the car and off to his school.

9 am, my cell phone goes off (I'm driving Potatey to his school at that point). It's the nurse at Salamander's school.. 'he threw up at school (again...), I am looking for somebody to come get him from school''. Click. (as an aside, I LOVE the 'I'm looking for SOMEBODY to come get him' phrase. Now who'd you really think would be getting Salamander from school, hmm????)

Sigh, this has been the 4th 'puking shortly after arriving at school' incident in about 2 or 3 weeks. Something is going on here, I'm just not sure what. Car sickness from riding in the back of the bus facing backward (hey, he's an almost 10 year old boy.. riding in the back of the bus facing backwards horsing around with your school buddies is what 10 year old boys do)? Anxiety about certain events at school? Stomach bug (there's a TON of nasty bugs going around right now)? Metabolic difficulties (Salamander's UTMs have been almost suspiciously quiet as of late.. so maybe his body is gearing up for the next round..)? Any and all of the above?

So I raced Potatey to his school (who pitched a fit after deducting from my end of the phone conversation that big bro was going to get to 'stay home for the rest of the day'), turned around and got to Salamander's school. Nurse was already anxiously awaiting my arrival.

I took Salamander home, he's 'chillaxing' now and he does look 'out of it' (he has that wonderful 'vampire look' that I've learned to recognize as a warning sign of metabolic difficulties; pale white/yellowish face, bright red lips, red circles around the eyes, spaced out look in his eyes). I'll give him a snack and some of his metabolic support supplements and then in an hour or so I'll be able to gauge if he's bouncing back. If so, then we'll make an attempt at getting school work done (4th grade is TOUGH, and it's very easy to fall behind on the school work...).

Will I get any of MY work done? Well, not during the DAY, that's for sure...
Instead I'll use the daytime hours get my 2007 taxes finished up. THAT is something I CAN do while Salamander is working on his school stuff or otherwise engaged....

Off to make myself another MONSTER pot of coffee...

Oh, and really, AN EARTHQUAKE IN THE UK???????

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Life just isn't fair...

Someone who's become a very dear friend let me know about something devastating that is happening to her family.. and it's not that she and her family have had an easy ride over the past, give or take, 14 years....

So how come that, for some of us, difficult situations just keep piling on top of difficult situations piled on to already difficult situations?

Frequently, life just isn't fair....No, no, no, no, no (to borrow an expression of a favorite movie character of the boys).
You all know that I don't spend a whole lot of time in "Woo is me", or "Woo is us" land.. I just don't have the time or energy to waste asking the "Why" question or singing the "It's not fair" song... There are however these days that 'it' all just seems to 'pile on', and you can't help but wonder...
OK, 'nuf of this. So today sucked (for many, many reasons). Tomorrow will be a better one...
[and Blogger's formatting quirks are driving me NUTS!!]

Dubious Honor....

I've now had the dubious honor of having had two kids 'rejected' for the same pre-reading readiness program offered by Potatey's school (Salamander used to go there as well). For two ENTIRELY different reasons...

Some days a momma just can't win....

Another one....

The director at Potatey's school stopped me on my way out this morning. "Remember Little Boy X? I was talking to his mom the other day, and she told me that Little Boy X had just been diagnosed".

I do remember Little Boy X. This little guy is about 13 - 14 months older than Potatey, and as this little guy tended to 'transfer' between class rooms on the upper limit of the age window, while Potatey tends to transfer on the lower limit of the age window, Potatey and Little Boy X shared classrooms a few times.

I remember Little Boy X's spectacular tantrums around drop-off and pick-up, around getting ready for outside time, around getting ready for going back inside, around any 'significant' transition.

I remember Little Boy X's inability to sit still for more than a nano second, his issues with personal space, the fine motor difficulties.

I remember Little Boy X's 'need' to have his shoe laces tied 'just so'. I remember Little Boy X being absolutely terrified of the water sprinklers. I also remember a memorable episode at school that involved a bubble machine and loud music. I remember Little Boy X's fascination/obsession with cars and being able to identify every car he saw by make, year, model, engine size from the moment he started talking.

I remember Little Boy X pretty much living on antibiotics, yoghurt and string cheese.

I remember ear tubes, asthma attacks, night terrors, and not gaining weight despite consuming massive amounts of dairy (Little Boy X's mom and I worked for the same company at one point and we talked about our kids.. a LOT.. Little Boy X was her first..).

I remember sitting down with Mom and talking for several hours about how ear infections, asthma, always being sick, behaviors, tantrums were definitely related to consumption of certain foods for MY two boys.

I remember gently coaching Mom to keep a close eye on Little Boy X's development, as Little Boy X reminded me a lot of Salamander at that age.

I remember Mom looking into dietary changes, and trying to taper down on Little Boy X's dairy consumption and giving up after 48 hours as the 'tantrums are just too much'.

I remember staff at Potatey's school gently counseling Mom that there was something different about Little Boy X; different from most 3 and 4 year olds.

I remember giving Mom my e-mail address and phone number and encouraging her to 'contact me any time, any place, if and when you need to talk or want to learn more'.

Then I changed jobs, Little Boy X and Potatey no longer shared a class room, Little Boy X 'graduated' to public Kindergarten, and I lost touch with Mom.

Not even halfway into the school year, Ms. Kindergarten Teacher contacted Little Boy X's parents and expressed her concerns. Little Boy X now also has a younger sibling, and Mom started to realize how different Little Boy X's development was from his younger sib's.

So Mom had Little Boy X evaluated.. and as you already guessed, Little Boy X was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

The director at Potatey's school told me 'how devastated Mom is over the diagnosis.' The director asked me if I had any advice for Mom, and that 'since Little Boy X is so smart, he'll be OK as he gets a little older, right? Your guy [Salamander] is older now and he seems OK.'

I told the director to, if she talks with Mom again, give Mom my name, phone number and e-mail address once again and to tell her, once again, that she can 'contact me anytime, any place, if and when she needs to talk.'

Right now, I am devastated for Little Boy X and his family (eventhough the 'diagnostic' conclusion of this, all too familiar, story was an, in my mind, inevitable one ...).

Yes, I remember Little Boy X and his mom. I hope she remembers me too and that, this time, she WILL contact me. And then I'll do whatever is in my power to help Little Boy X...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Whoa Nelly....

Me thinks that 'the horse has left the barn'

(and there's no stopping us now.....and by us I mean those of us that think the current vaccine schedule leaves MUCH to be desired when it comes to safety..).

I LOVE these gals..

At the risk of offending any and all...

THIS is hilarious.. (and I can so relate.. while Salamander does not have a Bipolar Diagnosis, the tendencies are definitely there...)

I LOVE the boyo to pieces, but he can be... uhm well... a tad challenging.. And he's not even a teenager yet...

And Then There Was


Boyos are back in school... So now it's time for momma to clean up "The Disaster Zone", and then 'off' to work...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What An 'effin' Disaster..

[sorry for the stinky formatting.. blogger is acting out....]

So a bit earlier today, the boys and I were put in a position where we had little choice but to attend a certain social event.

Now my alarm bells were ringing PRIOR to going.. over the years I've learned to ask lots of questions about the set-up, amount of people, food, indoor environment, outdoor environment, pets, other kids, color and make of the furniture, etc., etc., etc., to minimize the 'element of surprise' (both for my kids and the organizers of the event..LOL). And this time, I got very little in terms of answers....

The boys and I should NOT have gone.. and the hell with other people's perceptions the next time these types of events show up on our calendar.

Let's just say that there were quite a few people at this event that could have benefitted tremendously from a good smack upside the head with this book (yes, I've read the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it). The whole atmosphere of the event struck me as 'wrong, wrong, wrong' to my deepest core.

After spending about 30 nauseating minutes listening to one woman natter on about how her perfect darling was going to take gymnastic lessions on top of her already very full calendar of French lessons, music lessons, soccer lessons, and God Only Knows What Else, while at the same time attempting to keep my two boys out of all the priceless antiques in the house (turned out this was a 'no kid' event; organizers forgot to mention that), the boys and I made our escape to The Game Room. Which, Praise the Lord, had a mini pool table.

I spent the next 30 minutes teaching my boys the basics of pool (Salamander certainly has the makings of a decent pool guess what I'll be getting myself for my next B-day?), and then we made our exit... And not a moment too soon as both boys were 'done'.

Now we're back home and the boys are happily scaling Mt. Everest in the backyard and destroying imaginary snow dragons.
THIS is the kind social event that -I- can relate to...

[there is a reason why these days I avoid social events that do NOT involve kids with special needs or parents of said kids like THE PLAGUE]

Sibling Fights..

Now all siblings fight, right?
And most sibling fights revolve around toys, games, clothes, rooms, etc, right?

Not in this crazy house. MY boys fight over the fact that Salamander gets to wear a full B12 patch every 3 days, while Potatey gets to wear 1/2 patch once a week (to quote Potatey: "That's not fair that Salamander gets a whole patch, and I only get 1/2 patch. You love Salamander more than me..").


[for full disclosure: Both boys have difficulties, of genetic origin, in maintaining adequate intracellular B12 levels; pop over to Dr. Yasko's board and search for 'need for B12 in all forms and all routes'. Yup, that's my boys..]

Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick....

So I watched Shoot 'Em Up with the absolutely yummy Clive Owen the other night..

Let's just say the "R" rating is completely justified; this is one utterly violent, sick, twisted and sometimes downright evil movie.

And I haven't laughed THIS HARD in a looooooong time.......

[not to worry, I won't let the boys near this kind of stuff. I watched this very late at night, when the boyos were sound asleep upstairs..]

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler...

Aren't they beautiful?

And here are the 'sled runs'...

What can I say.. Moments like these make it all worthwhile...

Us vs. The Hill....

Just came back from sledding our butts off (and yes, I am sure I'll be sporting a few nice bruises on that part of my anatomy).
We had a blast... And even better? We had the whole darn hill to ourselves!!!! (I guess I live in a neighborhood full of CHICKENS!!)

Boys definitely inherited their mom's 'Crazy Gene'. Potatey decided, after going down once WITH me, that he was ready to tackle the hill on his own (or together with his, equally looney, brother). I shot a few fun videos that I'll be uploading later today.

It's warming up fast outside now, I hope Momma Nature will do another mom a favor and leave some of the stuff to play in tomorrow...

Snow (pl)(d)ay

Well, after a slow start here, we DID get about 5 or 6 inches of snow; the nice fluffy kind of snow.
So after before breakfast supplements, breakfast itself, after breakfast supplements, and snow removal around the house, we'll go PLAY!!! (we have a killer hill about 3 blocks from the house and I can already hear it calling for me.. LOL).

I'll bring the camera and will attempt to shoot some videos. Especially Salamander has become quite the kamikaze on that hill. (and I'll be kamikaze-ing right along with him).


P.S. Added at 8.50 am.

My lovely neighbors just took care of HALF my snow removal!!!
Drive way = plowed
Side walks = plowed

That leaves me with just the walkways to the front and back doors and the front and back porches. Piece of cake (especially with the help of my two lovely boys..)

Friday, February 22, 2008

LDDI Scientific Consensus Statement

Hot from the press.. The Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative (LDDI) just published its Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Have NOT had a chance to read it yet, beyond quickly browsing through the Press Release (contains a quote from Dr. Martha Herbert!!) and the Summary document (second paragraph states: "Environmental agents that we are confident cause learning and developmental disabilities in humans include: alcohol, lead, mercury, PCBs, PBDEs, manganese, arsenic, solvents, PAHs, pesticides and nicotine/environmental tobacco smoke.").

I'll reserve judgment either way until I have a bit more time...

P.S. Added at 3 pm today. Look at this 'clip' from the Introduction of the Consensus Statement.

Children are not little adults

§ Environmental exposures start early: preconception,
during gestation (in utero
exposure), via breast milk, infant formula
and then through contact with the

§ For their body weight, children eat and
breathe more than adults, thus a small
exposure translates into a big dose.

§ Their organ systems, particularly the
nervous system, are forming and are thus
more susceptible to the effects of

§ Young children are prone to hand-to-mouth
behaviors that expose them to higher levels
of ambient chemicals.

§ Children rely on adults to ensure that they
develop in an environment in which they
can reach and maintain their full potential.
No Shit....

TACA Call to Action

Ring, ring.... Ring, ring....
Jenny's calling....

See y'all in Atlanta sometime during the weekend of June 28th.

For full disclosure, I don't think the CDC or the FDA are 'the bad guys'.. in fact I've had the pleasure over the course of my professional career to get to know quite a few people that work for these organizations. And by large they are committed, caring individuals with personal and professional ethics that are beyond reproach. These people 'took the job' because they want to make a difference, and not because of 'the perks the job had to offer' (believe me, for the regular Joes and Janes in the trenches, there ARE NO PERKS; I can't even buy those that have become my friends a cup of coffee, I can't even sit down with them for lunch, even if we all pay for our own because of the potential for a perceived conflict of interest). So no, I am not a believer of the 'big conspiracy' theory.

So why am I going?

Because I do think that the LEADERSHIP, especially the POLITICAL leadership, of these organizations need a wake-up call (and I'm talking about those parts of the political leadership that testify in front of Congress to show 'we've done a good job this past year, so please don't cut our budget for next year'). There is an autism epidemic, plain and simple. This BS of continuing to 'spin the data' to support that 'it's all better diagnosis, and we are now classifying schizophrenics as having autism' just has to STOP.

It's time for all of us to come together, to stop the denial, finger pointing and blame gaming, and WORK TOGETHER TO HELP ALL WITH AUTISM, KIDS AND ADULTS ALIKE, NOW (and to ensure that the autism epidemic does not become a bigger problem than it already is...). There are a lot of really smart, dedicated, and resourceful people on both sides of the Great Divide, and just THINK for a moment about all we could accomplish if we could just 'recognize that there is a problem and then play nice' to solve the problem.

[yeah, yeah... Dream On, Dream On... but ya know what, girl's gotta dream every now and then.. and that's exactly why -I- am going to Atlanta]

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Sorry.. started umpteen gazilion new posts, but can't seem to find 'the right tone'..

I am in turmoil, and I am having a really hard time articulating exactly what I am in turmoil about and why.

A lot has to do with Salamander and how to teach/guide/support him in his ventures into the 'neurotypical' 10 year old boy social scene. Salamander truly has made marked progress in navigating and participating in a variety of activities, but some attempts are definitely more successful than others. I realize that my Momma Bear instincts go into 'warp drive' when his attempts are less succesful and that I immediately want to 'jump in and make things right'. However, I need to pull back and let Salamander figure things out on his own, and yes, let him make his own mistakes; after all, that's how we learn..

Other parts of my turmoil have to do with 'recovery stories', especially as most of the 'published' recoveries seem to be about kids that were diagnosed by the age of 2, went through 3 or so years of intense therapies (biomed and more traditional), resulting in complete recovery by the age of 5 or 6. Salamander didn't get diagnosed until he was almost 6, and we've been working HARD for a little over 4 years now (using biomed and more traditional therapies). He's come far, very far, but 'complete recovery' as in 'indistinguishable from NT'? Nope...(and I'm not saying that that should be the end goal either.. I want for Salamander to be healthy, happy and have the skills and confidence to get through life in one piece.. and let's just say that we have much work left to get to that point...)

Lastly, my turmoil has to do with continued reports in the media that seem to 'blame' teenage boys' violent outbursts after years of bullying on said boys having been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. As in 'having Asperger's Syndrome equals blowing your stack in your teenage years and doing harm to your school mates'. I've tried to articulate my issues with these media reports on some of the autism blogs, but once again, I just can't seem to find the right words..

So for now, I'm going to give up on trying to quantify and qualify the why, what and how of my turmoil. I'm just going to let my emotions stew for a bit.. (and try real hard to get more than 2 hours of sleep...)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

So tired...

[WARNING: This is NOT going to be an upbeat post.. ]

Today, I am tired of cooking three full meals and two snacks, times 2 (as each kiddo has different dietary needs), from scratch, every single day.

Today, I am tired of making 6 different batches of nutritional supplements, times 2 (as each kiddo has different nutritional support needs), every single day.

Today, I am tired of the nasty, cold, bone chilling weather, as it makes my fibromyalgia flare up (OK, all the caffeine I consumed today is NOT helping), and the boyos are going crazy being couped up inside all day.

Today, I am tired of doing all and everything that has to do with the boys care and wellbeing (physical, emotional, educational, social, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah) on my own.

Today, I am tired of being mother, friend, therapist, cook, medical doctor, nutritionist, facilitator and God only knows how many other hats I wear every single day.

Today, I am tired of not knowing HOW I am going to pay for the boys next batch of nutritional supplements.

Today, I am tired, tired, tired, TIRED!!!!!

And I just want to go to sleep, hoping that tomorrow will be better....

[now don't any of you dare think that I am tired of caring for and loving my two precious little boys.. I am not.. I am just tired of continuously fighting a loooooong uphill battle.. Yes, how dare I, eh? NEWSFLASH: I am HUMAN!!!]

P.S. Just found this in my mailbox.. and this is making me feel a little bit better....

We have been alerted that Jim Carrey will be on Oprah February 18th to talk about his upcoming movie, HORTON HEARS A WHO. We know that Jim will also be talking about AUTISM as Jenny McCarthy's son Evan is so close to his heart. For show times

February 28: Autism Breakthroughs The heartbreak ...and hope of autism. Jason "J-Mac" McElwain inspired theworld with his incredible shot-making at a high school basketball game. Larry talks to the teen and others about the disorder. Holly Robinson Peete, Doug Flutie and Toni Braxton join the discussion to bust myths and present breakthroughs. It's an uplifting hour with those who know! This will air on the Larry King Show

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What would you do...

if you won, let's say, $2,000,000 in a lottery (ignoring for a moment that the feds would take a chunk out of this prize)???

I would
  • donate to a project that has become very dear to me.
  • donate to the National Autism Association for their Helping Hands program
  • pay off my credit cards
  • invest in a Trust Fund for my boys
  • give (free and clear) some of my windfall to two very dear friends that have been 'there' for me every step of the way on this crazy rollercoaster
  • use the remainder to put a down payment on a nice little place in Hawaii

What would you do?

And on it goes, and on it goes...

And so it goes, and so it goes
But am I the only one who knows?

freely borrowed from Billy Joel, "And so it goes."


Don't mix open packages of cheese with the kids food, when you know that at least one of your kids goes anaphylactic after ingesting even trace amounts of dairy.

Don't buy whole fish (scales and all) when it is impossible to remove all scales from said fish and one of your kids has sensory issues, especially in the oral department. Said child will poke at his food (and potentially gag) as he simply cannot stomach it (and no, he's not doing this to 'challenge' you...)

Don't mix open packages of pretzels, bread and other gluten containing products with the kids food, when you know that both your kids have Celiac's Disease (of the ultra sensitive variant where even exposure to a few crumbs can create weeks of 'fun').

Don't use dryer sheets (antimony!!) when drying their clothes, when you know that their mom is working her butt off getting all kinds of nasty metals (including antimony) OUT of their systems.

And on it goes, and on it goes...

While YOU may not see 'what the big deal is' and while YOU may think I 'flip out over these issues because I want to make YOUR life hell', this is NOT about YOU. This is about the safety and well being of the kids; nothing more, nothing less.

So please, while abiding by my 'crazy rules' may be a MAJOR inconvenience,. just humor me..

(it is this kind of b... s.... that makes me soooo tired)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Speechless.. twice in one day


That's me fainting.

Unbe fill-in-the-blanks lievable....


So here I am, attempting to relay the craziness of the past 36 hours in the boyos' life (post on THAT here) in Reader's Digest format to the person who, you'd think, would have an enormous vested interest in anything that goes on in said boyos' life.

[Why the Reader's Digest version? Let's just say that I have to contend with serious attention span issues whenever this person and I attempt to engage in conversation on matters that do not pertain to himself, himself, and, oh did I mention, himself?]

I haven't even made it through BIG CRAZY EVENT NO 1, when I hear from the other end of the conversation: 'Oh, I now work with this really neat woman. She has a huge apartment in Big City X and a second house in Popular Waterfront Location on Cape Cod Y.'

WHAT THE F??? [I was actually STUNNED into silence.. and those of you that know me know that THAT doesn't happen easily..]

You know what? If I wasn't spending the equivalent of a year's worth of tuition at a Top 10 college PER YEAR in ensuring that OUR boyos have the best possible chance at living a healthy, happy, productive and LONG life, then I'd be able to spend money on beautiful apartments and second homes too.

Gimme a break.....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brownie Points...

OK, this is going to be one of those 'everything but the kitchen sink' posts as the past 24 hours have been kind of a 'everything but the kitchen sink' kinda ride... Murphy's Law struck like lightening out here, as only Murphy's Law can (for those of you that are going 'Huh?' Murphy's Law = everything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong).

Let's just say that I am a friggin' MAGNET for Murphy's Law.

I won't go into all the nasty, dirty details. I've done the spitting fire, spewing venom, rehashing, dissecting etc 'off line' with two very close friends (and believe me, none of what I wrote was stuff I want to put up here.. hey, my kids may read this blog at some point!!).

In summary, the past 24 hour involved
  • a flooded basement (the weather's been crazy out here, I live in an area with a very high ground water table and my sump pump system UTTERLY broke down on me),
  • a robbery in our street (that apparently took place RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE, so the local police paid me a visit just as I was putting the monkeys to bed in the hope that I could be a material witness.. NOT.. I didn't see a darn thing), and having the police pay you a visit at bed time when one of the monkeys definitely has a BIG anxiety problem.. well, you can figure it out,
  • momma having to stay up very late to take care of the basement/anxious monkey issue while still finding time to make Valentine's Day treats,
  • a few upsetting things happening this morning when I dropped Potatey off at daycare (as disclosed previously, Potatey has severe food allergies; let's just say that the upsetting things HAD to do with food, specifically food Potatey CANNOT have.... No, no, he's fine. Same cannot be said for the feelings of a, well meaning, teacher I'm afraid),
  • a manic pizza baking session (from scratch, thank you very much, GFCFSFEF etc etc blah blah) and delivery of said pizza to Salamander's school for a noon time Valentine's Day pizza party,
  • a potential new client that I was going to meet at 2 pm called and asked me if we could meet at 1.30 pm instead (WAAAAAAAH.. sure, OK, no problem; let me just wave my magic wand and ... metamorphosis.. ),
  • Salamander's school bus breaking down, which of course triggered major anxieties in Salamander (nobody bothered to inform Salamander or his class mates that their regular bus had broken down and it would take some time to get another bus), with resulting behaviors and misunderstandings on the school bus

Now I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day, for multiple reasons. But I guess in the end it all turned out. My new client hired me for some contracting work, for 10 hours a week for at least the next 3 - 4 months (and this is a paying client.. always a good thing). My goal is to have 4 solid clients by this summer; I currently have 2 clients (well, 3 actually; but I'm not sure how 'solid' this 3rd one will continue to be.. so I'm on my way)

As to the brownie points? Check out this local gal, she now has a yum, yum, allergen free brownie mix (Fudge Brownie Mix). My boys went wild over the results...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If you ever wondered...

[and really, anybody that knows, loves and/or cares for a child with autism SHOULD be wondering about this..]

what it is like to live in our day to day world with significantly altered sensory perceptions, then you need to pay close attention to the first few minutes of this video (it will take a while to load). If I experienced the world like that on a daily basis, I'd be running away screaming too...

The remainder of the video speaks to a project that is near and dear to my heart (and yes, I am honored to call several of the people featured in this video FRIENDS).

And if you made it through watching this entire video (I still cannot without crying.... even after having seen it umpteen million times), please consider a donation to this group. Plans for all that's talked about in the video are coming together nicely, what we need now is MONEY.

P.S. If the passionate testimony of the moms featured in the video above doesn't make you want to do something, then maybe this scary graphic will.

Be afraid, be very afraid, as in 5 to 10 years all these kids will be all grown up. And then what?

[yes, that's the kind of sh#t that keeps me awake at night. I am fortunate that Salamander is very high functioning and responding very well to his treatment plan, but even for him I worry about employability, and just basic life skills as in how to stay clean, how to stay healthy, how to stay safe...]

Enough already ...

with the 'everything is pink and red', overpriced flowers, perfume laden chocolate and contrived romance bull crap!!!!!

My thoughts exactly

[BWAHAHAHAHAHA.. evil cackle in the background]

Running for Class Clown... uhm.. President

Enjoy this gem that I taped last week Friday at Potatey's school. This signifies Potatey's first public appearance in his bid for Class Clown, and personally I think he's going to win by a landslide!!!

I apologize in advance for the chopiness of the movie.. It's hard to keep a steady hand when you have 70 lbs of Salamander draped over your shoulders...

(oh, and pay very Close Attention to the, very brief, Appearance of the "Man" Behind the Elephant)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My baby bird...

spread his wings this afternoon and SOARED!!!!

To clarify, the baby bird I am referring to is Salamander (Potatey mastered soaring when he sprung from the womb, and has been dive bombing the world and life in general ever since.. LOL).

I had signed Salamder up for an After School Sports program run by his school and coached by one of the teachers.. Just picture 15, almost 10 year old, boys with a lot of penned up energy (they've had to 'behave' all day after all) bouncing off the walls, running around like mad, screaming, hooting, hollering .... like only 10 year old boys can.
Today was a 'try-out' session for Salamander, as neither school nor me really knew how things were going to pan out. Salamander can get a bit.. well.. agitated in loud, noisy crowds, especially when a lot of 'bumping and crashing' is involved.

Imagine my surprise and delight when, when I appeared at school as I had been asked to 'observe' Salamander and how all the interactions were going in general, Salamander utterly, totally and completely ignored me for well over an hour (exactly what you would expect from any 10 year old boy when his mum shows up eh? it's just NOT cool to even admit that you HAVE a mum, let alone that she is watching what you are doing). He ran around with his school mates, yelling and playing along with them.

Of course we had a few bumps, but before I could even step in, Salamander's school mates had intervened (Salamander got very angry at a school mate for tagging him out in dodge ball; and angry and 'exploding' are synonyms in this house.. we're working on this..) pulled Salamander away from a potentially ugly situation and brought him back to the game.

Bottom line: Salamander did AWESOME. And once he got home, the first thing out of his mouth was 'Can I go again, for ever this time?'. Sounds like a resounding endorsement eh?

He's come so very very far. We still have far to go (the moods/anger/ explosiveness, ADHD and LDs will continue to require a LOT of work), and I know we will have to go through many more difficult moments to 'get there', but what a difference from where we started when Salamander was just a little shy of six.

Yes, my baby bird spread his wings today and soared (and now mum's gotta learn to let go..)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

It's been way too long...

And I really don't have any excuse for my prolonged absence, other than that 2007 has been a very challenging year for a whole host of reasons. I am going to try hard to get back in the blogging habit; that is, as long as I have stuff to write about that is suitable for publication in the public domain. A lot of what I've been experiencing and writing about since April of 2007 simply is not stuff I want to have 'out there' for everybody to see and/or (ab)use.

Salamander is doing good (he recently pulled out of our annual half November - half January everthing goes to H E double toothpicks period), Potatey is doing good. And me.. I'm enjoying this (most likely temporary) quiet in 'The Storm'.