Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Tonite...

my beautiful precious Salamander (yes the one who had his Verbal IQ kinda guestimated as the assessor ran out of material to assess him with, as he had whipped his way through all the various levels in the ENTIRE assessment book without ever slowing down) spent about 20 minutes in my arms, crying so so hard....

Somehow, someway, something he read today had made him think of several years into the future; a future where he had left the house to go off to College. And instead of filling him with excitement, it profoundly terrified him. The thought of leaving his favorite stuffed animals (he has an enormous collection of wolves; his spirit animal), the thought of leaving his home, the thought of leaving his family, the thought of leaving all that's familiar and comforting filled him with so much sadness and dread that all he could do was cry, and cry, and cry (TG that he was at least able to communicate to me what is going on).

I just crawled into bed with him, held him and reassured him that he does not have to leave anything or anybody, that he does not have to leave his home until he's good and ready to do so. And then only on his terms. And if that means he wants to bring his wolf pack with him, then he darn well could and should....

I have no idea where this came from. All I can think of is that he, either consciously or on some unconscious level, must have picked up on the repeated "well, in X more years, Salamander will have moved out of the house and -this- will all be behind you" talk over the weekend.
My beautiful child may have an off the chart "mental wattage" (which, to be honest, terrifies ME in ways that I cannot yet articulate), but he's so fragile, oh so fragile....

My plea to the Universe? Please, may there always be kindred spirits for Salamander to share his life's journey with. Kind souls who will look beyond those incredible smarts and instead see and take great care with the sweet, but fragile, soul within.


This started as a response to a comment that was left yesterday to my previous post. I think it deserve a post of its own...

Thank you for that, thank you...

I'll admit that I did have a mini breakdown, when, after attempting to talk with Salamander's other parent about the implications of the educational diagnostic test results, I was "shut down and shut out" (this is after all a *hot potato* situation, so the other parent does NOT and will NOT want to get involved). So the "audience" got an up-close-and-personal glimpse of who's the deal-er and who's the die-er in the parental outfit.

And while THAT will never ever be acknowledged, there were some subtle signs yesterday of other people finally grasping that I am not a control freak, over-anxious, hysterical, I-can't-believe-she-does-this-to-these-kids mommy; but that Salamander has faced and will continue to face enormous challenges and that I take my RESPONSIBILITY of providing him with the tools to help manage/overcome those challenges very, very serious.

And the other key thing too is that, not only do I LOVE my kids to bits, I really really LIKE them and I really like BEING WITH with these two boys. And while others clearly love them, I don't think they actually like being with the boys nor do they truly appreciate them for the unique beings they are.

There was so much expectation for the boys to behave like "pint sized" adults. And they are NOT!! They are little beings that are growing, evolving, and changing every single day, and I am so blessed that I can watch and actively participate (at least for now; until they no longer want 'dear old mum' around.. LOL) in their journey.

I don't know if what I'm about to say is going to make sense. But the prevailing belief with others seems to be that I have completely "given up" my life (one comment that was made more than once was "how everything revolves around -these- kids."). And that may be how it looks to an "outsider".

I don't feel it that way, I don't see it that way; to me it's more that, right now (and hopefully for several more years) the boys and I share the road in our life's journeys. And I really like my traveling companions. At some point, the roads WILL diverge, the roads MUST diverge; but until that happens, I am going to enjoy every minute of our shared journey (doesn't mean we won't hit rough spots and that those rough spots don't SUCK; they do..).

Didn't mean to get this "philosophical", but my house has completely emptied out as of 30 minutes ago, and for the first time in about 80 hours I can actually "hear myself think".

Off to clean up the *bomb shelter* and then work, work, work....

I am adding a link to a Huffington Post piece that I think is very much worth the read. It fits...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Beautiful Oldest Child..

is gifted AND learning disabled.

I went back to the place I took Salamander to last Thursday for another round of educational diagnostic testing to discuss the actual test results. As I already knew (and is now confirmed by actual numbers), Salamander is very very very very bright. Very bright.

The other good news is that the individual cognitive skills are intact.

The not-so-good news is that integration of the various cognitive skills is where the problems are, especially in the *visual input* arena (which is consistent with Salamander's Non Verbal Learning Disorder diagnosis), which results in substantial difficulties in reading (with outflow into writing and math). There is a 50 (!!!) percentile points difference between what he is mentally capable of and his actual output. His reading rate, accuracy and fluency are at a first grade equivalent (he's in 5th grade now); his math computation skills are at a 3rd grade equivalent. I knew these issues are there; it's obvious from the in-school and home work struggles. But actually seeing it quantified.. well, I took another one on the chin....

Can these issues be remediated? Absolutely. Will the learning disabilities become less of an issue as access to the various cognitive skills is improved and integration starts to take place? That is certainly my hope....

But as always, there is a cost. A significant cost (time AND money).

I will do whatever it takes to allow Salamander to fully access his potential. But right now, I am screaming inside (cannot do that aloud, or even let on how much I am hurting inside as I still have an *audience*).
As always, I'll work my way through this bit of news too and then I'll *deal* (that's what I do.. I'm a deal-er, NOT a die-er).

And now for a momentary laps into *if only* and *whine, whine, whine* land... I so wish I had recognized Salamander's challenges at a much earlier age (momma let herself be lulled into complacency until he was 6 years old). While substantial healing and improvement can take place at any age, it becomes harder and harder as the children get older. And you'll find more and more *stuff* that needs remediation.

I was asked repeatedly this weekend when I'll *finally be done with all this stuff*.
My answer? Most likely never....

(and that question followed immediately after my hesitation to agree that *in 10 more years Salamander will have moved out of the house and all of this will be over*).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Question..

to my dear readers....

What would your response be if I told you that Salamander and I went clothes shopping IN A CROWDED, LOUD, AND CRAZILY LIT MALL, FOR 1 HOUR and 45 MINUTES, and that we HAD A GREAT TIME picking out cool and pre-teenage boy fashion conscious stuff together?

Please, in your answer, take into consideration what I have shared here about Salamander's metabolic/mitochondrial, sensory and mood (neurotransmitter) related challenges, the fact that the *atmosphere* around him is markedly different than usual and that it's been gloomy doomy here since Friday morning...

And yes, I WANT (need??) comments....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Will Be Back on Monday-ish..

Not because I don't have anything to write about.. I do.. my visitors are providing plentiful memorable and juicy source materials..

But none of resulting writing I would be able to put up here.

I'm only gonna write this: Arrogant, Self-righteous, Cluelessness. That should give you -some- sense of the atmosphere here (which is so different from the usual atmosphere).

And for the next few days I need to focus on protecting my boys (especially Salamander) from that (and not blow several gaskets in the process..)

I'll be back...

And then some things are just *too good* to not share (BIG FAT sarcasm alert)

Finding out that Salamander continues to get Skittles after each archery practice (hmm, now that certainly DOES explain why we continue to have bloated belly issues and letter reversals in writing now, doesn't it).

Finding out that somebody thinks it's perfectly fine to heat up the boyos' left-over Thai food IN THEIR STYROFOAM CONTAINERS IN THE MICROWAVE.

Coming to the realization that, while certain people DO love my two boys dearly, they don't particularly like actually spending time WITH them. None of the parties involved particularly LIKE kids period; and most definitely not the actual 24/7/365 work, the fatigue, the hassle, the altered life, the kids' needs always taking precedent...
And it makes me sad, and it makes me mad; these two boys of mine are so incredibly awesome, they have so much to offer, and they are both so incredibly brave considering the obstacles they've overcome and, especially Salamander is working so incredibly hard to overcome his remaining challenges.

And certain people are completely and utterly *blind* to that, as the boys', and especially Salamander's, accomplishments don't fit with their definition of what an accomplishment should look like.

Their loss really...

Friday, September 26, 2008

I WON!!!

Da Suit!!!!
I cannot -believe- it!!!!

Remember this post of Mrs. Stagliano's? And then the *subject* of that post ended up here?
And then it went here...

Soon you will find it featured here, I promise..

So NOT Good...

One of many articles published around the school situation in my town. Salamander's school is one of the schools mentioned.

I don't know what to think.. while I now have the legal right to move him out of his school into another school, doing that just doesn't make sense to me... We're in the beginning of 5th grade, and his team members have known him and worked with him since he was 5 years old. So moving him, in such a critical school year, getting a whole new set of people familiar with his challenges and what *makes him tick* brings with it so many many challenges.

Has he made as much progress as he should have? Nope. Is he at grade level? Nope.

But maybe I can turn this situation into win for Salamander, along the line of "We'll stay at the current school under the following condition: Salamander will now get X, Y and Z to get him to grade level, and to get him ready for Middle School."

I have to take some time to think all of this through (I do not yet have Salamander's 4th grade MCAS scores...). It's a good thing that his annual IEP review meeting was just pushed out with another few weeks...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crazy Day...

out here.. Lots of stuff happened and is happening.. All centering around education; status of education in the town we live in; current status of Salamander's education; attempting to get a grip on the exact nature of Salamander's LDs and how they affect his education; upcoming annual IEP review, and so on.

Lots to think about, lots to sort out. It just seems that getting a child like Salamander in a place where they can learn, can continue to learn and can become a fully functioning member of society is just a never ending battle.. When you address one thing, then there's the next thing that crops up, and then the next thing, and then the next thing (I can't stress this enough; while biomedical interventions can be a HUGE component of getting your child well, the gaps in your child's development that occurred while they were sick and then healing do NOT just take care of themselves).

I'll post more about the what, when, why and how as my thoughts become more organized. And yes, I am a tad stressed out as I get a better picture of the magnitude of the impact Salamander's challenges have on his learning style (and that we have a lot of work ahead of us to truly get him to 5th grade and then middle school academic level).

And what is not helping my stress levels one bit is the eminent visit of the paternal grandparents. They are flying in tomorrow nite. And by Tuesday morning I'll be ready for that *padded room*. Sigh...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Singulair and Suicide???

Just saw this on WBZTV, in their 11 pm news show. YIKES!!!!!

An excerpt:
"Dr. William Yee of Floating Hospital for Children in Boston says parents with children on Singulair should not panic. "The incidence of psychiatric and behavioral side effects is so uncommon that, as a generalization, this drug remains effective and safe," he said. Dr. Yee said if parents have any concerns they should not hesitate to talk with their doctor. A recent study by the American Lung Association found no link between Singulair and suicide, but the families we talked to don't buy it."

Sounds familiar, anybody????

In the same news show? Schools being recruited to administer flu shots to get as close to 100% vaccination rate amongst school age kids as possible. It would not surprise me if letters come home soon with the boys, taking the same approach used for any other medical intervention offered through school (dental check-ups, vision check-ups etc): "Please tell us if you do NOT want your child to participate."

You betcha this momma will keep a close eye on paperwork coming home from the boys' schools. And while I gladly let them participate in dental and vision screenings, we'll opt OUT of the flu shot.

Funny (as in weird) thing? I NEVER EVER watch this news show.. And I have no idea what made me watch it tonite..


So I've drastically reduced my caffeine intake since Monday...(2 cups Monday, 3 cups Tuesday, and only 1 so far today - from my average of 15+ a day).
And just now I noticed that my hearing (I have some hearing loss in my left ear) and my sense of smell are more acute..

Seasonal Sensory Shenanigans..

While Potatey does not have Sensory Processing Disorder in the sense that his sensory issues are debilitating and are interfering with his daily functioning, he DOES have sensory issues.

And every spring and fall, he and I go through the same thing. Every spring it's a battle to get him to switch from long pants, socks and long sleeved shirts/sweaters to shorts, T-shirts and sandals. And every fall is a battle to get him to switch from shorts and T-shirts and sandals, to long pants, socks and long sleeved shirts/sweaters. And for about 3 to 4 weeks, he will fight me with all he's got to NOT make the clothing transition (and then after that period, his sensory systems have become desensitized to the clothing changes and it's smooth sailing again).

While all of this may appear as a battle of wills, I know it is not (going through this in much more extreme fashion with Salamander has taught me that much). It truly is that his system needs to get "reprogrammed" to the tactile sensations of additional clothing or lack of additional clothing on his skin.

I started the transition in to fall clothes this week, as it is rapidly getting *nippier* here. So far, we've had lots of tears and tantrums in the morning (as opposed to his usual "running to his clothing drawers, picking something out and throwing the clothes on" deal). I know it'll be like that for another 2 -3 weeks or so, and then we'll be OK again.

[hmm, as this is happening every spring and fall, I am wondering if there is an allergy and/or Vit D deficiency component to this..]

This morning was a particularly exhausting battle (as he needed to wear BOTH long pants and a sweater; so a double sensory whammy) and yes, I admit it, I DID get frustrated. Especially as this is not the only battle I am fighting at the moment (see my post from last nite).

Two big things I am tackling today: I am taking Salamander to a Lindamood-Bell learning center tomorrow for additional educational diagnostic testing. He's in 5th grade now, but his basic spelling and math skills are no where near grade level (school doesn't quite see it that way..). And despite all the instruction he's had over the past 3 years in the Pragmatic Learning Center (so smaller group setting, lower pace), the skills are NOT coming on line and the gaps are getting larger. And he's getting very frustrated. So I need to figure out where the issues are (as obviously the current method of teaching him spelling and math facts are NOT doing the job - the information may stick for a day, and then "poof" it's gone again. Of course ifts easy to say that that is because of Salamander's ADHD (aka if only he "paid attention.."). My stance is; "No, we are asking Salamander's neurological wiring to do learn in a way that it cannot learn effectively, we need to find a method that DOES work with his wiring, so he CAN learn these things." Case in point - I KNOW he can learn, I know he can remember facts. I know he can RETRIEVE facts from his memory. Yesterday, he could tell me all about the wind speeds of the various storm categories, from Tropical Depression up to Stage 5 Hurricane. But the same kiddo cannot tell me what 12 - 8 is without getting utterly distressed as he doesn't have 12 fingers to be able to figure this out. So we need to find other props and then very laboriously, he can figure out basic math operations.. And that is just not how it should be.. NOT in 5th grade... Not when you are doing multiple digit additions/subtractions, multiple digit multiplications/divisions, and now exponents. You NEED your basic math facts to do these types of things (and no, giving him a calculator is not a solution. The output of a calculator is only as good as the input, and if you have no "numbers sense", how do you know what the calculator spits back at you "makes sense"?). So I just wrote a letter to school notifying them of the fact that I am going to do this educational diagnostic testing, and that my goal is to have the results available for discussion at Salamander's upcoming annual IEP review meeting.

The other big thing I need to tackle today is the events that took place yesterday in the Pragmatic Learning Center. While I completely understand that kids with challenges like Salamander melt down and that the melt downs can be intense and difficult to redirect (heck, I've lived THAT life for many years now), what happened (and I can't go into the details here) terrified Salamander. And I need to make sure he is safe and feels safe (as he cannot learn if he does NOT feel safe. Fright/flight will kick in and then HE will become the one having the meltdowns).

And then of course there's the usual paying work, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry and other house stuff that needs to get done.

So on that note, time for me to go compose a letter regarding the Pragmatic Learning Center issues.

Oh, I am going to try like heck to listen to AutismOne Radio's broadcast of the meeting called by Rep. Maloney to discuss vaccine-autism concerns. The broadcast starts at 1.50 pm EST. I HAVE heard that the broadcast will be archived for later access...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sometimes... (just needing to vent for a moment)

OMG - Salamander and I had our usual bed time chat... and it's no wonder that he was completely *off*, first during his home work and then later in the evening during the open house at Potatey's school. Stuff happened today in the Pragmatic Learning Center at Salamander's school that, well, I need to get my head around exactly WHAT happened and how come Salamander and several of his peers were exposed to it (there is a new student in the mix who has enormous difficulties with transitions and who is expressing his distress in big temper tantrums..). Salamander got very scared during these temper tantrum situations, but what he tends to do with traumatic experiences is to completely BLOCK THEM out until something triggers his memory, and then it all has to come out. I.e., Salamander was working on his math assignment in the PLC when things went *south*, he blocked the experience but then things got triggered as he started to work on that same math assignment at home...
There's a lot more to it.. but I need to process it all so I can write a letter to school expressing my concerns with what happened.

I am, however, absolutely blown away with how well Salamander, albeit much after the fact, could explain what happened, how it happened and how it made him feel. And not only that, he could even identity why things went *south* with that other student and why the approach to diffuse the situation used by some of the school staff wasn't working (apparently some staff use the "can you please not do XYZ, or can you please stop doing XYX" approach instead of the direct "[name student], stop XYZ now". So I am so proud of Salamander for starting to recognize when situation spin out of control and which approach works better, but I am so distressed for him that he had to experience what he experienced today. I fully understand why the other student may have melted down the way he did, but -I- need to make sure Salamander is safe, FEELS safe..

It may take me a while to add further *what happened* clarifications.. I know need to address several situations with school, AND I have quite a bit of other *stuff* to get done tomorrow as well...

I get so frustrated with how Salamander's challenges can present themselves (I almost wrote: "get frustrated with Salamander",but that really is not how it is. I am not frustrated with Salamander, the person; but I do get frustrated with the behaviors..).

We had a challenging afternoon here.. math home work was the usual torture. The kiddo, despite many years of drilling, cannot remember basic math facts.. nor does he truly grasp the meaning of mathematical concepts like addition, subtracting, multiplying, dividing etc... YES, I know I need to get to the bottom of why that is (and I have some evaluations and testing scheduled for later this week to do just that). He's in 5th grade! The basic math concepts and math facts should be firmly established by now, for Pete's sake..

Then, at the open house at Potatey's school, despite talking about school rules and what my expectations were for calm school behavior and talking about how this was Potatey's opportunity to show his school to us and introduce his teachers to us, within 5 seconds of setting foot inside the school, Salamander got all revv'd up and was off into the stratosphere to the next solar system (I know, I know.. sensory processing issues rearing their ugly head..). Running around, bouncing off the walls, screaming, climbing under the tables.. Oh joy. YES, I should have left him at home.. and I would have if there had been somebody to leave him with..

I completely *get* the why, what, how and when of Salamander's behaviors, I do. But that doesn't mean it's not frustrating to not be able to talk for even 4 seconds with one of Potatey's teachers about Potatey without having to interrupt to peel Salamander off the ceiling, or to redirect him from whatever destructive behavior was manifesting itself.

Not sure if I'll leave this post up.. just needed to get this off my chest for now.. I don't typically rant about Salamander or his behaviors as I so understand where they are coming from. I typically try to focus on the causes and what to do to work around the causes and try to not get stuck in *I just wanna scream* land..

But I AM human....

She's OK...

C.R just called me.. she's at home... she's OK..
Of course there's a lot more to the story, but it's not my story to tell. I'm just so glad to have heard her voice and to have been able to talk with her for a few minutes...

And now off to the next roller coaster experience.. Potatey's class room has an open house tonite (which starts at 6 pm.. ), and I have 35 minutes to get both my kids fed, get their dinner vitamins done and pack them in the car to go to the event. And then I have to make sure we leave to go back home no later than 6.45 pm to get everybody through their usual bed time routine and in bed at their usual bed times...

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Worried...

9:15 am Sept 23 2008 - NO NEWS YET. Will post as soon as I know more....Boys are getting increasingly worried too (they know a little bit about the situation - they were with me when I got the original call, and then of course there are the changes in after-school care arrangements today)...

I'm going to try and stay off the web as much as I possibly can today.. I have a lot of stuff to get done, and big difficulties in maintaining focus (and attempting to kick my *black stuff* habit is certainly NOT helping..), so I need to minimize my *distractions*...

NO NEWS YET ON C.R. I may try to call her later tonite if she doesn't call me first.

But, I DID manage to make it through the day on only two large cups of *the black stuff* as opposed to my usual 15 (there, I said it - and these are 15 LARGE cups...). And man, do I have a bad case of brain fog by now....
And I just got an email with a solid lead for another contracting project (I am in need of more work as my current project load got *thinned* as a result of the recent market shenanigans..).
Silver lining, glass half full, and all that...

My absolutely wonderful friend C.R who helps me take care of Salamander several afternoons a week (she's really become a dear member of my little family over the years) was admitted to the emergency room of the cardiac unit of a large hospital in Boston earlier this afternoon.... She called me real quick from said ER, told me she was having some heart problems and that it would be best if I made alternate care arrangements for Salamander for after-school for at least tomorrow... And that was all she was able to say to me before she had to hang up..

I am so so worried..

I would not have survived the past several years without her always there to be my back-up, to prop me up, to give me the courage to keep going no matter how much sh1t life threw in my way...

Please, please, anybody that pops in here.. send a prayer into The Universe for her.....

I Totally Forgot..

to report that Salamander is having an absolutely wonderful time in his archery class (it's the whole "Robin Hood" of it all). So far he's had three sessions (they each are 1.5 hour of a ton of mental and physical work - these bows are HEAVY and it takes strength and coordination to pull that bowstring taut and to not get all kinds of body parts caught when you release the bowstring.. Ouchie..), and this past Saturday he already earned his Yeoman badge!!!!

I am so proud of him. He's totally wiped by the time he gets home, but he just GLOWS (and I am going to do my darnest to keep him in with the Saturday morning crowd - they are a lot more relaxed, willing to adjust to what Salamander needs/can do, and celebrating all his achievements than the very uptight, very competitive Friday evening crowd)...

Going to Work on..

breaking my, increasingly more serious, caffeine addiction again....

I was doing pretty good around mid April. I was at a one cup a day habit (Starbucks!!), and for the rest I either drank water or tea. Then all kinds of stuff started to happen, and I hit that slippery slope and now I am back to scary consumption rates (hey, it was either caffeine or the booze.. ). And all this caffeine consumption is so NOT good for me. It's affecting my sleep, my digestive system, my thyroid, my adrenal glands, my kidneys and liver (plus the boys are nagging me to death - see, I taught them well about unhealthy habits - and it's getting a bit embarrassing to have two voices pipe up from the backseat of my car whenever we hit the Starbuck's drive-thu going "the junkie's back.").

So, starting today, I am going to wean myself off again (I've done it before, I can do it again). And right now, instead of sitting behind my computer with a gallon of *the black stuff*, I am sitting here with a cup of herbal tea.

(of course my timing sucks.. as I am going to have *company* this upcoming weekend .. the boys' paternal grandparents are *swooping in* for a visit.. and those that know me well know what one of their visits does to my stress levels... ah well, being in the throws of detox by the time they get here will give me a great excuse for my *biotchiness*.. LOL)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh, the Sweet Taste of Revenge...

So I absolute adore one of my neighbors.. but I cannot stand the sight of the other set (I was never that keen on them to begin with, but those feelings took on a whole other level after they told me, shortly after Salamander was diagnosed, that Salamander could no longer play with their precious son... who now, by the way, is the absolute terror of his 2nd grade class...).

This whole past summer, every single Thursday, Friday and Saturday nite, this set of neighbors has been throwing loud parties that last until deep in the night. And of course my kids sleep on the side of the house closest to their backyard.. So yes, getting them to go to sleep (and they both NEED their sleep) has been less than easy on more than one occasion.

Now these neighbors are sports crazies and they like to watch *their* games (Red Sox, Patriots, whatever) on their second floor balcony (yes, they have a big a$$ flat screen TV out on that second floor balcony.. it truly is pathetic).. which looks out over my backyard. They were attempting to watch a game at around 4.10 pm this afternoon, which happens to be the time that I had 5 crazy wild yelling hooting and hollering kids running around in my backyard. So needless to say, the neighbors could NOT follow their game because of the noise level in my backyard.

I got several dirty looks tossed at me from that second floor balcony.. and do you think that for one second the thought even crossed my mind to ask the kids to *pipe down* a bit????


If anything I added a little *oil to the fire* by suggesting even LOUDER games...

HA!! Karma's a biotch...

So NOT Cool...

Telling me that you'll *do stuff* with the kids, and then bringing them over to somebody else's house (as that somebody else's kids happened to be playing outside) and then LEAVING the kids at that somebody else's house (who then contacts ME to ask to come pick the kids up), so YOU can go back to whatever it is you WANT to be doing...

Getting an announcement in the mail that our town's current recycling program is changing, and that, instead of being able to use my current recycle bins (I have 7 large bins packed to the brim every 2 weeks with any and all things that can be recycled.. we take recycling VERY SERIOUS in this house), I'll have to cram all my recyclables inside a 96 gallon cart. All to allow for *automated pick-up* of the recyclables. Now I understand that it's a dirty smelly hot and exhausting job to have to pop in and out of the darn recycle truck at every house. So fine.. give me TWO 96 gallon carts, and I'll help get the two carts on the darn truck.
Nope - one per household. So what's more important? Convenient pick-up or recycling as much as possible? I'm going to have to cut down even more on buying anything with *disposable* packaging...


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Royally PISSED OFF...

I do not need to be lectured for over 30 minutes by a person who has NO IDEA what goes on in my house about:

  • while there is obviously a rise in autism, it can't be due to environmental factors as the environment is so much cleaner these days.
  • the fact that Salamander is really struggling with his LDs right now is really not that big of a deal as "he's obviously so smart, he'll be just fine."
  • and that, considering that there are 10s of thousands of kids with autism these days that, really I should just trust the school, as they *should know by now what to do*.

While there is truth in all of the above, it's not quite that simple and straight forward. And would it have *killed* the other party to just *shut up for 10 minutes* and let me say my piece?

After all, who's dealing with all this stuff on a daily basis; him or me??

For full disclosure, I like this guy. I really do. He's smart and articulate, he's very involved with his kids, and I adore his wife. Plus our collective brood absolutely love each other and they play great together. But sometimes the guy can be a really pompous d1ck.. and well, right now my tolerance for pompous d1cks is just not very high.....

Friday, September 19, 2008

It Is..

with very mixed emotions that I share these pictures....

The first picture is Salamander, aged approximately 5.5 years old, just prior to momma smartening up and realizing that the little guy wasn't doing too good.

This is Salamander now, approximately 5 years later.

And here is Potatey, who is now exactly 5.5 years old. THIS is what a 5.5 year old is SUPPOSED to look like... Man, was -I- clueless with Salamander....

Match Me If You Can...

Uhm... make that $310

Updated at 5.15 pm: There is a reason why I LOVE this community - $280 has come in since this morning (if I am counting correctly.. and my 'rithmetic may be off). THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!! You're all friggin' awesome.....

Hi y'all:

If you drop in here frequently, you all know that I have very strong feelings in regards to what Tori is trying to do with her Lend4Health blog. When I checked in this morning (as I do every day), she had the following update up. And I am 100% with her - we need to do something to get funding for the current loans moving again.

I'll start.. I am going to contribute $5 to each outstanding loan (personally, I wish I could fund all three.. but I can't... while I -AM- very creative when it comes to finding and generating money, the events in the stock market of earlier this week have put a, I hope temporary, hold on quite a few of my projects - so until those holds are lifted, my own revenue stream is pinched..).

My challenge to my visitors? Match me if you can..

Just Overheard...

Potatey yelling at his dad: "Dad!!! You've got to help me find your marbles!!!!".

Lost cause, baby, lost cause....Trust me on that one..

(I'll explain the *your marbles* bit later..)

A really GOOD late afternoon/evening/nite here yesterday. Potatey caught a break in detox, I think, and he was incredible!! (Yes, I am talking about the neurotypical guy). My dear friend C.R, who helps me take care of Salamander a couple of afternoons a week (actually she is much more of an auntie to the boys by now than *just* a care provider..) was completely amazed at how Potatey was talking and interacting (and Potatey doesn't really have any issues in these arenas to begin with) - far, far, far above typical Kindergarten level; there was an extra dimension to Potatey, no doubt about that. And the two boys together were awesome (and Potatey slept really well last nite.. a very much needed bonus)

Unfortunately, the break didn't last. This morning was crazy, for a variety of reasons. It'll take me a bit to dig out from under. And then there's some stuff happening with my dad too that add to the pile... I am gonna sum that situation up with that I got confirmed once again that mainstream medicine just doesn't get *it* .. they are so d@mn focused on their own speciality, they do NOT take the whole person into account... and the other thing is that, when they've done their thing, be it chemo, be it surgery, be it whatever, they're DONE.. and it's up to the patient's family to deal with the fall-out.

Wheeieeieeieeieeiee.... guess I'm goin' for another ride on the good ole roller coaster....Uhm, where do I go to get a permission slip to sit this turn out???????

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Holy #!$#!@ Sh1t x 3

Just got an UTM back for Potatey from last week. Well, I now KNOW how come he's been so anxious and having trouble sleeping at night. And I feel bad for having been less than patient with him, especially these past two nights. And part of me just wants to post the whole d@mn thing for the world to see. And I would do it if the test results were for me. But they're not, and there are plenty of crazies out there who would love to spin a test report like this completely out of context (and no, I am NOT chelating my boys.. they are clearing all this toxic crap on their own - lead, mercury, aluminum - you name it).

Clicking through a link to a link to a link to a link in another blog I found a post written by another blogger anonymously on yet another blogger's blog (did I lose you yet? LOL). The anonymous post was written under the umbrella of Betchfest Blog Exchange .. and while the post started off with a situation that I could not particularly relate to (although I could empathize), the poster then *dove right in*, and OMG.. this woman has turned into a fly on the wall of MY life (details of my actual situations are very very different .. but the overall reactions and feelings are exactly the same).

I am NOT going to directly link to the actual post.. it's one thing to vent in emails to friends or to drop little hints here and there on the blog, but another to have it all out there - with name, rank and serial number. But I'll leave you with two words - Spinning Yellow, and Betchfest. If you really want to know, you'll *search and find* (and if you tried that and come up empty, email me and I'll send you the link off blog). I am screaming inside my head right now..I have this angry lump sitting in the pit of my stomach, and I'm shaking.. part from relief (see? I am not imaging any of this shit or making it up), part profound sadness (as I am equally in a 'so what the f#ck do I do' place..).

And to complete the trinity, I got another letter in the mail, this time from one of my brokerage firms, informing me that they too had an *oopsie* involving my financial information and that I should be on the watch-out for identity theft (and that makes 2 letters in, what, less than 2 weeks?).

As I said ... Holy $#!@$@# sh1t x 3

And now I'm going to drag myself off to the shower and have my 30 second biannual meltdown..

12:15 pm - didn't even make it to the shower .... sh1t x 4 just happened....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008



Ah, I feel better now.

Despite an interesting start to the day (see previous post), the rest so far has been utterly frustrating. I've spent the past, oh, 7 hours or so wading through paperwork, cutting through red tape, attempting to get feedback from living, breathing people instead of going 'round and 'round in stupid prompt based answering systems, begging, cajoling, pleading and, yes, even bullying to get what I need to be able to make progress on several finance related matters that have been dragging on for waaaaay too long.

And I have precious little to show for my efforts....

And I feel tired, worn-out and old.. I LOOK tired, worn-out and old... (Potatey has been spooking a lot again the past several nights, so that ain't helpin' ... )

(and then it was 4.30 pm already and it's time for me to get Potatey from his after school program and to *switch gears* to get going on all my *other* jobs...)


In a weird kinda way... I just discovered that the little girl that gets on the same school bus as my boys and her little pre-schooler brother have all kinds of food allergies/sensitivities too. The family moved in on a street about a block from mine about 8 or 9 months ago (I really don't know for sure.. most of the time I am so much in go go go go mode that I really don't socialize with my neighbors much).

But mom and I got chatting this morning after she overhead me make a food related comment to my boys. Turns out the little girl has Celiac's disease (amongst other food related challenges) and the little brother is allergic to tree nuts (anaphylaxis). And mom apparently had been talking with the school nurse at Salamander's school (as that is where the little girl goes too) about trying to get in touch with other parents of kids with Celiac's, etc. School nurse has mentioned that there was at least *one other child, a boy in 5th grade* (yup, that would be Salamander), but had not gotten around yet to sharing my contact information with mom. And then imagine us finding each other like that at the bus stop of all places (the Universe moves... and all that).

The Celiac's/tree nuts thing is still a fairly recent diagnosis for mom, so she's still a bit shell shocked. She's definitely looking for some emotional support as well as food shopping/diet tips. And I certainly don't mind helping out another person. Plus it'll be fun to have somebody in my neighborhood to talk with who does NOT think I've gone completely *off my rocker* whenever I open my mouth and talk about the effects of food/environmental toxins on neurology and behaviors.

We'll see where this all goes...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Official Now...

I'll be working until I'm dead....

Not that my 401(k)s or IRAs were that great to begin with (heck, with all the *not covered by medical insurance bills* here), but I am sure that whatever was left (it was a nice safety net for when sh#t really hits the fan) is now dwindled to almost nothing. Truth be told? I have NOT checked my balances... and I won't.. as I really don't need the additional stress. I have always been a firm believer in diversification, and have tried to do that as much as possible. Hopefully that will spread the pain a little...

What I DO need to look at is the boys' college funds. Again, not a lot of money in them (most of what went in there is from the days BEFORE the *mainstream medicine does not believe that the boys' medical issues are real* bomb hit this house)... I could take the attitude of *well, now the boys will at least qualify for college loans*, but where are those loans gonna come from? And having a decent house does not guarantee a home equity loan anymore either (believe me, I recently tried.. just to get a cushion in place.. but as I have only been able to get my credit rating back up during the last 6 months or so, I am considered a high risk loaner).

What a mess.. what an incredible mess..

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fu-ull Mooooon...

Ay ay ay ay.... full moon tonite indeed.. the boys are KOOKY!!!!

More later.. crazy busy day out here... managed to get updates on both boys up on Dr. Yasko's parent board and have also been going over Salamander's supplement spreadsheet to figure out where to go next, what supplement to add next....

And now my brain hurts ....

(I'll figure it out though.. I always do..)

I'm just going to add to this post, as I am too fried to start a new one:

Words for today

Salamander super nasty BM at waking.

Salamander space ranger - lots of stimming at breakfast.

Potatey projectile vomiting (he's fine.. just a supplement capsule that went down the wrong *pipe*, but of course it happened 1 minute before the bus was to arrive...LOL).

Cleaning up my disaster zone house.

Three loads of nasty laundry.

Spending a lot of money on additional testing for Salamander.

Estimated tax payments.

Hounding the boys' dad for information for the 2007 (!!) tax returns (still don't have what I need.. GRRRR)

Writing updates for the boys for Dr. Yasko's parent board.

Cooking another batch of ketchup.

Making turkey/beef meatballs (in the oven this time).

Updating Salamander's supplement spreadsheet.

Two kooky kids bouncing off the bus (they were/are WIRED.. bouncing off the walls.. Salamander seemed more alert.... belly is a bit bloated again though, as is his face)

Figuring out what supplements to tweak/add next for Salamander.

Cooking dinner while two kooky boys are playing tag around my feet and all over the kitchen (yup, a few toes got crunched ..).

Me tossing the boys outside in the backyard for a bit to expand some of that energy (that's what our new playset has a climbing wall for.. LOL)

Making a start on sorting the boys year to date medical expenses, so I can start filing against their dad's flexible spending plan.
Both boys home from school tomorrow (staff has professional development day), so hopefully they will BOTH sleep in a bit (as Potatey's sleeping hasn't been too good the past several nites).
Signing off to clean up my very messy kitchen and to drag my tired a$$ to bed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Words..

Salamander having a great time during his first archery lesson.

His dad letting him eat a snack size bag of skittles as a reward - so NOT awesome.

Grocery shopping with just Potatey, and watching smiles bloom on other peoples' faces.

Taking the boys' to the movies to see "Fly Me to the Moon" in 3-D.

Watching them ride the escalators three times BEFORE going into the movie theater to buy our tickets.

Salamander taking charge and presenting our tickets to the ticket clerk, finding the room our movie would be playing in (we went to one of those movie megaplexes), and guiding me and Potatey to our seats.

All three of us getting a pounding headache from the 3-D glasses (we all have eye teaming issues).

Watching the boys ride the escalators two MORE times before getting in the car to go home.

Both boys dozing off during the car ride home.

Seeing Salamander's belly bloating return (skittles?) and him having a very NASTY BM.

Seeing Salamander's "brightness" from the past several days get dull(er) again.

Having the breath squeezed out of me reading Michelle O'Neil's Unconditional Love post.

Making an awesome (per Salamander) beef and vegetable stew (recipe posted).

Two anxious boys that were up frequently last nite and had trouble sleeping (don't ask me why.. I don't know ..).

Two boys waking up edgy and mean this morning (lack of sleep? imminent full moon? wet, sticky and gloomy weather?), and staying edgy and mean for a good part of the day.

Noticing this morning that Salamander's thyroid is swollen and that his face is puffy.

Having him drink lots of Penta water and seeing the puffiness diminish (but it's still there a bit); belly is a bit bloated too, and he has not had a decent bowel movement today).

Accidental BBQ sauce (recipe will be posted)

Potatey cycling between mean moody and super anxious.

Taking the boys to the store to go Halloween decoration shopping (we had a blast; and Salamander's sense of humor is now very age appropriate - potty humor goes over really well.. LOL).

Filling up the boys' supplement boxes for the week while they watch a movie.

Making a baked apple dish (yum, yum according to Salamander) and Tasty Chicken Tenders (recipes posted).

Me getting an IBS flare immediately after dinner.

Both boys so tired that they pretty much fell asleep in front of the TV. Potatey is in bed now (please, let him sleep tonite) and Salamander is soon to follow.

Me needing to post a couple of recipes and needing to compose an update post for Dr. Yasko's parent board (as I need feedback on where to go next for Salamander; there is no doubt that, right now, his mental clarity, focus and overall functioning are directly related to the state of his intestines).

Recommitting to Staying In The Moment...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Words Cannot Express..

Ah Michelle, what you described left me reeling ...

conversations and feelings like that... they are a far too frequent occurrence here.... and everytime it happens, my heart fractures in a billion pieces and I would do anything, ANYTHING, to take Salamander's pain away.... and sometimes I can, but so very often I cannot....

Seeing your child in physical pain is torture, but oh man, seeing our kids, as young as they are, in such mental anguish....

I have no words...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bus 7 - By Potatey

(he is 5 years and almost 6 months old)


I am *screwing around* today (got ya thinkin, didn't I?).

I have been working crazy hours for the past several weeks, and I completed two projects earlier this week. Of course I have plenty more sh#t to get done, but it can hold for a day.

So I've been posting recipes, and posting recipes, and posting some more recipes. Have fun checking them out, and do let me know what you think; either here or there.

Off to get some cooking and house stuff done before the boyos bounce of the school bus. Oh, I did take some adorable pics of the boys yesterday nite, and I still need Potatey's *A star is born* video to get up. I'll post them as soon as I have a moment.

Lend4Health Update

Yeah!! Some good stuff happening on lend4Health.

Brock's loan is now fully funded - a distant relative learned of the family's struggles and pitched in for the outstanding remainder of the loan request. Let's hear it for that relative!!!!

Delia's loan is NOW FULLY FUNDED AS WELL ($190 away from being fully funded. I think I'll go make a chance in that outstanding loan amount. Anybody else willing to join me?). THANK YOU!!

Jonah's loan request still has far to go, and his mom is finding herself in such a tough spot. Gosh, I know how hard it is to try to do all of this pretty much on your own. At least I've always been able to make due financially...

Adam's loan is more than halfway there. Let's all give it a nudge a little closer to being fully funded, OK?

And then, last but not least, the two little brothers.

OK, so here's my plan. I got paid by several of my clients yesterday, so I'm going to spread a little cheer... Please join me!!

(and after that I am going to post a bunch of recipes on my GFCFetcFKitchenChemistry blog..)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


or gut-brain connection part 2 ....

The difference in Salamander's handwriting.. between Monday/Tuesday and today... it is UNBELIEVABLE. I scanned samples in and will attempt to post them. You got to see this to believe it.

Writing from earlier this week - the writing in top part of the columns is Salamander's (I'll try to get a larger image online too).

Writing from today.

And per the wonderful Mrs. C.R, he had another really good afternoon. And yes, he DID do another HUGE BM.

His eyes are bright and shiny tonite...


I stopped by at Potatey's school earlier this afternoon to drop off his art supplies and a few snack packs (in case of emergency...LOL).

And all staff I bumped into commented on how well he's adjusting, how much fun he seems to be having, and how quickly he seems to master new things and routines. One staff member commented that Potatey *doesn't seem to lack for confidence.*

Bwahahahahahaha.. if what is meant is that Potatey meets life's challenges head on and grabs it by the horns (and if that doesn't work he kicks it in the b@lls or bites it in the a$$), then yes, they are absolutely right.

And I absolutely ADORE that part of his personality (and will do whatever is needed to make make sure he never EVER feels the need to dampen or temper that part).

And not for a moment do I take the fact that he is who he is and that he's doing so well for granted. It could have so easily gone a very different way.....

Potatey is a true gift (his actual name means Gift from God)... and, at those rare moments that I have a chance to step back and just watch him..... there are no words to express what a privilege it is to *share air* with him .....

Good (Gut?) Stuff....

Adding links to a couple of *back in the early days* posts of mine (one, two, three). They provide a small window into the gut related stuff that started this journey.... And as I am reading them, it makes me sad that a lot of the same debates continue to go around and around and around (and that newly diagnosed parents/kids continue to have to deal with the same B.. S.. explanations I was fed).

What makes me happy though, is to realize how much Salamander has progressed since then...

BUMPING THIS ONE TO THE TOP. KATIE WRIGHT POSTED ON AOA TODAY ABOUT HER SON AND A HORRIBLE IBD FLARE TRIGGERED BY HIS ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES. IT FITS WITH THIS POST. And I know where Katie is coming from.. I was there between end July and end August (minus the diarrhea and the screaming, but plus, as is now very evident, the enormous *stool back-up* and the incredible mood swings/aggressive outbursts). Gut pain is the WORST.. and it doesn't matter if your child is non-verbal or verbal. Salamander is VERY verbal, but he still was not able to tell me that something was going horribly wrong inside of him....(not until now, as he's starting to feel better and is realizing once again, that how he felt is NOT how a person SHOULD be feeling).

And yes, I too was told, for many many many years BEFORE making changes to Salamander's diet, that all his gut issues were *behavioral*, and that he was *doing this to get attention* (and oh, do I remember the acid diarrhea and vomit...). I try to stay away from stating HATE for an actual living person. But I HATE that doctor for her ignorance and her blatant disregard for Salamander's suffering, and for what that ignorance and disregard ended up costing him...

As I wrote about here, Salamander and I are working on getting his gut bug situation back under some measure of control. And it hasn't been easy. He's taking some pretty powerful naturals, and he hasn't been feeling too good. I have tons of kidney and liver support on board too, but still, his body has had a hard time keeping up.

Sunday afternoon things looked pretty bad. His poor belly was so bloated, swollen and painful (inflammation? backed up with stool despite rigorous magnesium supplementation?) that he could NOT get the zipper of his shorts even halfway up. And his face looked puffy too.

So I spent quite some time researching on Dr. Yasko's parent board to figure out if there was anything I could do to, at a minimum, address the bloating. I found several suggestions, did some additional cross checking, and ended up making two changes in Salamander's supplement regime. I started these two changes on Sunday nite (and discussed with Salamander what the changes were and what I was trying to accomplish).

When he got up on Monday morning, I thought his belly was a little less protruding, and I asked him how he was feeling and how he had been sleeping. His answer: "I slept good, mommy, but I was sooooo gassy." [insert raucous laughter]

Made the same supplement change to the Monday morning batch. Salamander went off to school. When he came home, I again thought his belly was less protruding than it had been that morning. I asked him *the question* and Salamander told me he had been *pooping and tooting a lot* [I did ask him how the tooting bit went over in class. I was assured that all the boys in his class thought it was hysterical. Go figure]

Same supplement change on Monday nite. Tuesday morning, no doubt, Salamander's belly was a LOT less protruding. He now comfortably fit into his shorts!!!! Same supplement changes on Tuesday morning.

When I saw him this afternoon, his belly was almost FLAT (still a slight bulge just below the sternum). The difference in shocking. And the puffiness in his face is GONE! [and my dear friend C.R, who takes care of Salamander three afternoons a week after school, commented that Salamander had been *so good, the best I've seen him in a long time*]. And I too noticed a real difference in his demeanor tonite - very calm, clear, focused, helpful, cooperative, going with the flow, flexible ....[anybody else need proof of the gut-brain connection???].

As we went upstairs tonite, I asked him how his belly had been. And he reported on more *pooping and tooting*. I reminded him that if he feels the need to pass gas while he's in the classroom, he should make an effort to get to the bathroom to do so, and that, if that's not possible, he should try to minimize the noise. His response? "I try momma, but when it's gotta go, it's gotta blow."


Time for a little note to his classroom teacher, perhaps, eh? Don't want for Salamander to get labeled as *class clown*....

I'll keep the supplement changes going for a few more days. I hope the effects I'm seeing continue (I'll take the *pooping and tooting* any day over that big bloated, swollen, painful belly...)

Response to Jeanne and Daharja...

Quickly.. today is turning into a crazy day (I just realized that Salamander's IEP needs to be revised and reissued by September 27th!!! and this is a really big year for us as we need to address transition to middle school/appropriate middle school program. So yes, I am freaking out big time). And I have the usual paying work stuff that needs to get done, and I need to make a dent in all the school related stuff (art supplies, snack packs) that I need to get in place.

Jeanne - thanks for linking to the good (gut) stuff post.

Daharja - the easy answer is that for my boys it took much more than GFCF to address stool issues. I have a list of foods that we avoid or use only very sparingly on my GFCFetcFKitchenChemistry blog (not saying that that is where YOU are going to end up - you made changes for your child at such a young age ... Salamander was 6 years and 3 months old before I started changing HIS diet). I also have done and continue to do a TON of gut healing/gut balancing work. It's a loooooong term, work in progress kinda thing (wish I could make it easier for you).

Is your child consuming soy and/or corn? It may be worthwhile to experiment with eliminating soy and corn (I know, I know) to see if that improves the poo situation at all. Another dietary approach to seriously look into is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (Elaine Gottschall) - I probably would have gone that route for Potatey, if not for the fact that SCD tends to be a fairly high protein diet. Protein, when digested, can add to a person's ammonia load. And my boys have trouble in the ammonia processing department, so I need to keep their diets low protein.

I have not had time to look into the qualified DAN! doc situation for NZ. If there is a qualified DAN! doc anywhere in NZ, it may be very worth your while trying to get your child to be seen by this person (and yes, I do understand travel, money, time constraints - we are on the East Coast of the USA; about a year into biomed for Salamander I ended up working with a DAN! doc all the way over on the West Coast..TG this person did traveling clinics with the Great Plains Laboratory folks.. ).

I will write more as soon as I have time.. what I may do, with your permission, is use your comment as an intro into an actual blog post. Please do understand that I am not an MD, I am just sharing what I've learned for my two boys over the years as their MomMD...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig????

Lipstick, Hockey Moms and Pittbulls?

Gimme a break.....

Is it just me? Both sides more closely resemble two 16 year old girls getting all catty over who would make the best Homecoming Queen at the local High School dance (and briefly the thought 'what a zoo' came to mind), then serious presidential candidates.

Do any of these, uhm well, can't really think of a polite phrase right now, actually understand the magnitude of the MESS they're about to inherit??? MESS that must be cleaned up????

Time to drop the rhetoric, people. What is it that you plan to DO once we vote your butt in that seat in that pretty house in DC? This is NOT a friggin' popularity contest...

I for one say, let's get a couple of autism moms to run the joint. We sure as heck are used to cleaning up messes, we're not too worried about whether people like us or not, and we're used to doing a lot with very little.

Autism Moms for President... It's got a nice ring to it, don't ya think??

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


'scuse the *salty* language, but you'll understand soon.

Never a dull moment in this joint.

Remember that cracked sunroof I wrote about a while ago? Yes, the one that was supposedly temporarily fixed until I have the money available to pay the car dealership their ridiculously high prices for having the burned out motor replaced? Yeah, that one.

Well, the mechanic that supposedly manually closed my sunroof (as it was stuck in the open position) didn't close it all the way. We had tropical storm Hannah come through over the weekend and I had my car parked OUTSIDE, as my garage is right underneath a very old tree (aka park car in garage during storm and run risk of car turning into pancake). So I get in my car today around 12.30 pm to rush to a client and what do I find? One full inch of water covering the floor of my car. NASTY!!! So here I am in my dress shoes and dress pants that obviously I do NOT want to get all wet and disgusting. Let's just say I got creative and managed to keep my shoes and dress pants nice (and that's all the detail you'll get.. LOL). So tonite, after the boys are in bed, I'll have the lovely job of attempting to pump all that water OUT of my car.

Then in the mail today comes a letter from my mortgage company informing me that some schmuck that used to work for said mortgage company sold my personal information (yes, you can guess where this is going) to a third party and that I should very carefully monitor any and all financial transactions to be on the look out for you-know-what. Lovely (especially as I've worked my butt off over the past 6 to 9 months to RESTORE my credit rating..). Yeah, yeah, the mortgage company has offered up assistance, and I WILL take them up on that offer.

Some really good stuff happened too. I'll make that a separate post.

Crazy busy today (even more so than usual).. so no time to post until much much later.
Did play around a little with the GFCFetcFKitchenChemistry blog yesterday - it still is very much a work in progress (aka WIP)..

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Just Love...

doing boy laundry after a weekend of playing HARD outside...


(yes, I had a few surprises in both the washing machine AND in the dryer...Yes, I DO check pockets and all that BEFORE tossing articles of clothing in the laundry... BUT my two boys would do a Black Ops guy proud in their ability to hide stuff...)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Kitchen Chemistry Experiments..

I was nudged today to consider adding a section to my blog capturing my various kitchen chemistry experiments. It's an idea I've toyed with for a while. Right now *formulas* get scribbled down in a litte notebook or annotated in *regular* recipe books as I adapt to meet the boys particular dietary needs. Needless to say THAT system is a mess.

Now the way this particular blog is set up, I can't ADD sections. But what I CAN do, is start another blog and that blog will be dedicated solely to kitchen experiments. The blog is currently under construction (although my fingers are itching to get it set up... but alas, time is a bit in short supply right now) - I'll work on it as I have time.

Introducing GFCFetcFKitchenChemistry.....

(I'd be happy to make this a blog where multiple authors can contribute.. I've met several *creative spirits* whose products deserve to be made immortal..)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Boys and I

had a wonderful time messin' about in the kitchen earlier today. Pics at the end of this post..

Tropical storm Hannah so far hasn't been too bad. Just an enormous amount of rain (my 2-season porch is flooded...), and somehow something was hurled into one of my kitchen windows and spiderwebbed it (debating whether or not I should remove the broken glass...there's a screen in between the spiderwebbed glass and the inside of my kitchen, but still, I'd rather NOT have shards of glass zipping through my kitchen in case the wind DOES pick up..).

We'll see what tonite brings and then we'll take it from there...

So who says there's no fun to be had with gluten free, casein free, soy free, nut free, egg free, potato free, corn free, yeast free brownies??? (yeah, those *regular recipes* are for ninnies).


Friday, September 05, 2008

Cinco the Linco Day

on lend4health!!!!!!!

Wishing I had time right now to craft a beautifully worded inspiring post that will make you all en masse run over to lend4health and contribute $5 towards an outstanding loan. But alas, I only have about 15 minutes as my printer is spitting out a next draft for a document that I need to have final by 5 pm today (type fast, momma, type fast...)

So, please pop over to Jeanne's to read her Cinco de Linco announcement, and then please, please pay a visit to lend4health and donate? Pretty please??? I think you can identify your loan as a Cinco de Linco loan in the additional instructions box in the PayPal screen (but don't throw tomatoes at me if this info is incorrect.. I'm going at warp speed and from memory.... Danger, Danger).

And a call to all visitors that pop in from Dr. Amy's parent board. There are two little brothers on the lend4health site that are attempting to get funding to get their genomics done. There is almost enough money collected for testing for one kiddo - in fact, we're only $120 (NOW $100)away from what's needed for one kiddo (that's 24 (NOW 20) $5 loans...). I know that it would be a real moral boost to these guys' mom and dad if we could close that gap (and after that we'll start working on the second kiddo). Remember, these are LOANS, not donations. THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Insanely busy, crazy, chaotic, confusing, stressing, frustrating, loony day out here.

So far boys have been doing good with going back to school. Potatey is having a blast - he is getting an absolute kick out of the bus trips. And, as expected, he's tackling the new situations, new environments with gusto (and it's interesting to hear him very precisely articulate his feeling around the new adventures - TG that he is so STELLAR at verbalizing and self talk..). Salamander was super tired this morning.. not sure what's up... main issue is that his usual structures at school are not yet in place (yes, yes, it's only the 3rd day of school, these things take time), which leaves him feeling unsettled and ungrounded (and then we have Tropical Storm Hannah brewing too...)

Will post more when I can..

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Can't Get Over Myself...

I've been working along, steadily and consistently, on two of my more *challenging projects* since approx. 8.30 am this morning. And I have made MORE progress in the past 4.5 hours than in the prior 3 weeks of harried, *30 minutes here, two hours there, trying to get things done late at nite when I am pretty much braindead, trying to get things done really early in the morning when I really should be sleeping* writing.

While unfortunately both projects are behind on deadline, I actually now do feel that I have a shot at getting both in reasonable shape by the end of tomorrow.

And Then...

Potatey climbed on the bus too this morning. Little hesitant getting on board, but then a big smile broke out and the excitement of the new adventure took over. Salamander was nice enough to be willing to sit in the front of the bus with his little brother for a few days, until Potatey is completely comfortable. Which really is a HUGE thing, that Salamander can give up on what he really wants (sitting with his OWN class mates in the back of the bus), to put somebody else's needs before his own.

I'll be completely honest.. I'm a bit lost right now... It's weird to be *childless* at 8.25 am
(the plus side? I have just gained a full hour in my day....And for the first time in a long long time I will actually have time to PREPARE for a work conference call at 10 am as opposed to *winging it*).

10.30 am update. One of my neighbors just called to give me a quick update on Potatey. She has twins Potatey's age and is driving them to school. She and the twins got there at the same time as Potatey's bus pulled up to school. Apparently Potatey had a huge grin on his face looking around happily and tapping on the window and waving like a maniac to everybody he recognized. And once the kids got permission to get off the bus, he bounced down the stairs and happily skipped into the school building. So glad to hear this. I KNEW that Potatey was going to do just fine, but it's nice to hear it confirmed.

Back to work...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


8 pm update: Yup, as expected both boys did go through somewhat of a crash and burn... We're working through it, we're working through it...

Salamander came off the bus with an enormous grin on his face, and rattling off all the bad jokes he and his buddies had been swapping during recess time and on the bus ride home.
He is radiating happiness.. not a given at all with this child... (of course there's always the chance for the good ole' *crash, slash and burn* in about an hour).

Potatey has been really happy all afternoon too.

So today's in the bank.. and tomorrow brings what tomorrow brings....

(and I am T I R E D....)

First Day of (Back to) School

Boys did GREAT this morning in getting up, getting showered, dressed and ready (hope THAT holds).

Salamander walked to the bus stop and, once the bus got there, got on without as much as a backward glance. Once on the bus, he walked straight to the back (he's a 5th grader now, so can now take *prime seating* at the back of the bus), plopped down and started chatting with his class mates.. with nary a look out the window to check if we were watching him. Part of me is immensely proud, as obviously he's getting to an age that you absolutely should be ignoring your family for your friends. But part of me was a little sad as obviously my guy is growing up....

Potatey has his Kindergarten orientation from 11 am till 12.30 pm today, and right now, he's in *all dressed and no where to go* mode. He's excited and he's anxious, and he just wants the waiting to be over... I know he'll transition just great, after all he's my *oozing confidence, ready to tackle anything* kiddo....

More on how the actual first day went later...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oh, Something Pretty Cool...

The first loan REPAYMENTS have been coming back into Lend4Health. Right on time (one even a day early). I guess you could say that, so far, the honor system is working (yes, yes, I know it's only been two installments.. heck, I HAVE to be optimistic about something..)

It's been one crazy a$$, loony, running around, do a minimum of 6 things at the same time kinda day... And it ain't over yet... I'll be glad when *back to school transition* is officially behind me (Salamander starts tomorrow, Potatey starts on Thursday) and we can settle into some sort of routine.....

And my internet connection turned into a total slug at 5 pm yesterday, and it's still very slow.. Not a good thing, as my ENTIRE business depends on hi speed access.....

Oh to my mom: in het geval dat je hier beland voordat ik de kans heb je email te beantwoorden... ik zal proberen om te bellen zo gauw ik de kans krijg. Waarschijnlijk gedurende de 1.5 uur dat Potatey morgen in school is (voor de eerste kleuterschool introduktie..), zo ergens tussen 5 pm and 6.30 pm jullie tijd.... So sorry voor de sh#t-zooi!!!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sad.. and Frustrated...

Added at 1.45 pm: And now Salamander is saying he's not feeling good....not sure if he too is dealing with die-off, or whether BOTH have a case of *Back to School Jitters* or whether BOTH are coming down with something. But it sure explains why -I- had/have trouble focusing on work stuff and why I've been checking on the boys pretty much every 30 minutes. My *mommy sense* must have been tingling...

So today is a gorgeous day... not too hot, not too windy.. just gorgeous....

And I'm stuck up here in my home office trying to make headway on a tough project.

And I just can't focus.

Truth be told? I don't want to be doing this right now, working on this.

I want to be outside, with my boys, talking with them, hugging them, playing silly games with them (like Potatey and I were doing over breakfast when Salamander was still sleeping. Oh, Salamander does NOT have a black eye, just an abrasion right next to his left eye. He looks like he duked it out with somebody, and I'm sure he'll be going to school on Wednesday proudly sporting this *I'm a tough guy* testimonial. And I made great video of Potatey's debut as a Country singer.. I'll post it later tonite..).

Potatey's a bit off today.. he's tired, and he says he's feeling a little sick. And considering last nite's BM, I am not surprised... And that's another reason why I don't want to be working. I want to be with him instead.

Off to take a shower, see if that will help me get over my *I don't want to be working today* mood and into my *Let's get this DONE* zone.

[what's not helping is that others that promised to be working today as well to get me some of the pieces that I'll need to complete another project have yet to put in an online appearance. While I completely understand (hey, these people DO after all have a life), I am more than a little irritated..]