29 May, 2007

Grace, faith and words

so the other day I was somewhere on the web and there was a note to Blog about religion on Friday the 25th... shocking I missed it.. but here are my comments anywhoo...
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The list of things I pray for is short. While I know that God knows about every hair on my head (or the forty-odd scraggly ones which are left thanks to Lucy beating me up with crazy girl hormones, coupled with my lack of nutrition--see previous post on Candy hearts not being vitamins...) anyway, God knows about the hair. I still have not completely resolved my theology to think that I deserve much air time, so I keep my prayer list short.

Descartes has a hard time when I say things like "Please God, please let me get Jake's leg into this pair of pants before we both completely lose it". I think that he thinks I am "wasting prayer" on something stupid. Although he will admit he hasn't exactly worked out all of the kinks in his belief system; like whether he has one.

Not all of my prayers are prayers of petition. My prayers are prayers of thanksgiving mostly. I really, really am thankful most days for this exact life that I have.

Then the next day I don't believe there is anything more than today, this day, and I am merely a collection of molecules (all organic baby!) and religion is a social construct created by the collective human intelligence as a way to deal with seemingly important moral dilemma and the inevitability of cell death. (note to self:speak with Pastor about this juxtaposition of emotion).

But overall this is where I land. I am currently Lutheran if for no other reason than the fact that my sister, Demanda, signed me up (another story, another time...). I like the idea that this denomination of Christianity started as a rebellion of sorts. I mean any thing that starts with someone nailing a list of 95 theses on the door of the castle church basically saying, "uhm I don't think so", that's pretty cool.

salvation by God's grace alone--Sola Gratia
through faith alone--Sola Fide
revealed through scripture alone--Sola Scriptura****


that's the gist of the Lutheran theology

Grace, faith and words... pretty good things to boil down to.


****by the way I am "ELCA" Lutheran... for many reasons..but one distinction I note in particular is that ELCA (versus Missouri Synod) does not look at the Bible literally (Biblical inerrancy), but rather with a mind towards historical/critical analysis...which is much more my style.

28 May, 2007

One tiled floor, one lame faucet, one lame finger

I tiled the floor in the downstairs bath
Ikea sucks.. they actually sell non threaded faucets the connector part that would hook-up to the water from the wall.. which basically require compression seals or soldering.. so no soldering for me since i do not have a solder torch thing available at 9pm
bad typing due to near loss of finger on left hand.. not really.. but still bleeding and it has been since 3pm... hmm problem?
stitches are for pussies (so says Descartes)...and perhaps for babies since Lucy got 'em a few weeks ago...but that is only because she is cute and the cut was on her face...)

night night

going to drink some Ouzo... thanks Squid!

26 May, 2007

What a day

This morning Lucy went and found a step stool and carried it over to the china cabinet so she could talk to the little Hula girl inside.. we have never used the step stool in front of her.. pretty cool.

Forgot to tell good news re:Friday.. a bright spot. Jake saw Shrek with his classmates and loved it.. sat nicely through the whole movie! His awesome teacher called in the am and said that they did not have very many kids and thought they might take a "community outing" .. I being very sick at the time was thinking... "I hope it is to Mexico for a week.." She had the kids buy their own tickets and choose their own snacks at the vendor. Apparently Jake was very good and had a wonderful time.

Today we shopped for a new vanity for the downstairs bath. The old one is mushy at the bottom and growing mold.. just proving that we only do home repair when something is seriously broken... got something decent at IKEA for less than 300 bucks. Which still sucks since it is not exactly what we want.

I just finished pulling up all of the "hardwood" and using a crowbar to rip up the old linoleum underneath... ugh ugh ugh some standing water.. loose toilet I think. Now I am going to search for the wrench so I can pull out the old vanity... hopefully everything can dry out tonight and we can lay new floor tomorrow.. wish we could do the tile on the wall and shower at the same time.. the shower is in bad shape, but that will be another project I suppose. Good news is we are laying some linoleum that is really cool colored.. and we purchased it about 5 years ago.. so that part is practically free.

Who are you honoring this Memorial Day weekend? No one in my family has died in battle..wait, maybe there was a Captain in the Civil War (I am a Daughter of the Revolution.. although I still haven't officially signed up). I will find that out.

My grandfather, Aloisius, Gloria's dad, landed on Omaha beach in the Battle of Normandy,
and lived to tell the story, so I guess I am lucky to be here at all considering 2,400 men (any women?) died that day.

All done Urps

In case you were out on Thursday night with me.. yes I did have a stomach virus..and I sincerely hope that the tekillya you were drinking kept you safe from my bug.

Would you like to know what an 11 month old can do unsupervised (or rather barely supervised as I was near comatose on the couch or letting loose my gut in my aquamarine toilet)?

She can empty out your purse (a new one since the other one was stolen) throwing $200 worth of ten dollar bills all over the floor. She can pull every single cookbook out of the shelving and mix said books with the plastics section previously liberated from their cabinet. I didn't realize I owned so many cookbooks and so many "disposable" Ziplock containers! She can also find a newspaper (which I was pretty sure had been recycled already) and strip it into little pieces and spread them all over the house. She did not however cry too much, choke on anything, or learn how to open the baby gate to the stairs.
When Jake came home from school at 3:00 we had a different kind of disaster since Jake is tall enough to get to the counter tops.. he pulled down every single container filled with carbohydrates he could find.. he (and Lucy) ate 1 box of cheez its, about 35 ounces of mini-wheats (yes the frosted kind.. fine I'm a bad mom was this really the thing that convinced you? read earlier posts...), the dregs of a bag of Snyder's pretzels (the bag was almost as big as Lucy and she was carrying it around after Jake got it down for her, sticking her fingers into the salty pretzel dust then licking her fingers) and half a bag of raisin wheat bagels. I am also fairly certain Jake ate some strawberries with the stems still attached.

At 4:45pm I finally called Descartes at work and gently asked when he might be home.. He arrived at 5:12 and by 5:20 peace was restored at the house, children were fed hot food and cold fruit with milk poured the same day it was served. Thank God for the modern man who can manage just fine without needing to ask his urpy wife anything except "When was the last time this teething baby had Motrin"?

23 May, 2007

MEAN MEAN MEAN

and they also got my little zippered wallet with all of my gift cards in it, because of course this was the one time that I actually brought the gift cards to the mall to use them...okay i know it is just money, but I just cannot imagine doing this to someone else... I would never take advantage of someone like that.. in an emergency, sure I would buy my family food.. then send the person money later.. somehow I doubt they are going to send me that target gift card in the mail.

i want to know who raised them...

22 May, 2007

What happened to all of the nice people?

I AM SO PISSED RIGHT NOW.. mostly at myself.. just realized that my wallet was stolen! Actually my entire purse from the friggin mall.. OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF MY KID'S STROLLER CREEPY!

more tomorrow when I am less crazed, have finished my work and completed the 19 calls I need to make ( i have made 11 so far)

21 May, 2007

Crazy is how I feel Right Now

I must quickly recommend this book. The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

It has really really been helping with Jake. When he is sad and crying I quote the sad page (using a very wacky cry baby voice)...and he laughs.. almost like he can stop being so sad because he knows that someone actually understands that he is sad!

And I love "Angry"
"Angry is how I feel right now,"
I shout with a mighty roar.
I mostly want to frown and growl
and stomp upon the floor.


which is exactly what he does, so when I raise my voice and use monster tone and say those words he smirks and stops being so darn awful.

Quite a Bit of Independence

When I meet Jake in front of our house as he gets off the short bus I always grab his blue Lands End backpack first. I want to read the notebook inside. I want to read it while he is still buckled in the seat on the bus, possibly before I even smile and say welcome home. Because Jake can't exactly tell me what he did at school, that notebook is the only way I know whether he ate his lunch, played nicely, wet his pants, stole his friend's cracker, had a bm, went to the library... I want to read it so I can talk to Jake about his day and fill in both sides, so we are having a conversation. I put Jake in his car seat then as I am walking back to the driver's side I grab the notebook and read the 4-5 sentences quickly so I can have the information when I get back into the car.

I say, "So you went to the library today".
Jake says, nothing, but he squints his eyes, which I think, am fairly certain, means "yes".

"And you sat with your friend from the other class"?

It doesn't say this in the notebook. I am guessing, but Jake does not squint, instead he purses (is that the right word) his lips together, which may, or may not mean "no".


and so on, until we drive up the steep drive and around to the back of our house.

There are days when the notebook says sad things, like "very hard time transitioning today". Or perhaps, "Jake had a rough morning, but settled down after lunch."(there really isn't that much time after lunch before leaving school!)

But today the note read
"Jake did amazing during circle this morning. He came up and took his name from the board all by himself. Then Jake picked a colored pen to write on the easel with, by himself. No physical prompting. He showed quite a bit of independence today. Great Day!".


so today is a good day, and I cried. Isn't that crazy. That notebook is such a good book. Reading it makes me laugh or cry (or both) almost daily.

19 May, 2007

All Together Now

I was just sitting here reading a friend's blog, and contemplating her life (which is her story to tell) and life in general, and being sort of sad then happy, then sad, then happy, then..well you get it..and then...

I saw my two kids actually playing with each other. Lucy handed Jake a toy and he took it and smiled, then he gave it back to her and she ran away, then she went back and gave it back to him...then he put his hand gently on her arm. with tenderness.

Other parents just sort of hope that their kids will not kill each other, share some toys and all shut-up at the end of the day so said parents can get some rest.

I pray that Jake will not actually kill Lucy by squashing her unintentionally while I decide to make a calculated and much-delayed trip to the bathroom. I hope with fervor that Lucy will not choke on something we have inadvertently left out for Jake to play with...and since he will not be able to warn us, that if Lucy does start to choke, I am near enough to give her a Heimlich in time. and I pray that my children will actually talk to me at the end of the day, because I would give up for the rest of my life, a full night's sleep if Jake could express himself with language and allow us to understand what is going on in his head...for just one day...heck, I would probably even do it if we had just one hour with him.

18 May, 2007

40 by 40

1) take a mini-vacation with my sister.
Went to San Francisco for a weekend February 2009!

2) "Clean sweep" my clothing. Keep the good and get rid of the bad.
I am trying so hard.. gave a bunch of clothes to Sage, and a bunch more to charity. ongoing 2010-2011

3) Read to my kids every day.
I am calling this as good as it gets September 2010

4) Submit a a couple of articles.
I am going to call this one done 2007 with the publishing of Can I Sit With You?
Also featured on Salon.com! March and April 2011
5) Go to Vegas with my girlfriends.
went in March, 2007 for Pink's bachelorette party!

6) Go to the wine county with my husband.
went on our Anniversary trip June 2008

7) Visit the Grand Canyon.

8) See a show in San Francisco.
went to a comedy club with Demanda in February 2009? I'm counting that.

9) Set up a monthly date night with Descartes.
once a week since August 2008

10) Buy nicer underwear.
December 2010

11) Make a budget.
October 2008 with Descartes.

12) Stick to the budget.
May 2011 we are getting there!
13) Drink more water.

14) Wear sunblock regularly.
my makeup (bare escentuals) has it in it!

15) Go swimming in the ocean.
Maui August 2007

16) Join the gym.
Joined the YMCA June 2007

17) Sing in public.
Sang in Pink's wedding April 2007

18) Practice the piano.

19) Buy a new refrigerator.
I cannot believe we did this! September 2007

20) Call and email my friends from college more often.

21) Make a book for my dad.

22) Make albums for each of my children.

23) Write in our daily family journal more regularly.
have just decided that this really is our family journal October 2008

24) Plan an adventure vacation (and take it!)
July-August 2010 I think our cross-country RV adventure counts.

25) Read an average of one book a month.
2011 has been a good year for reading.

26) Finish writing my book.
Which one? We will put Thinking Person's Guide to Autism to print this year, 2011!

27) Ride our bikes in Tahoe.
Fourth of July 2008

28) Have a family photo taken (that's worthy to hang on our wall for years).
My wonderful sister took a family photo of us this summer June 2010

29) Keep posting.
November 2007 National Blog Posting Month

30) Have a dinner party for 12 at my house.
I think Lucy's birthday sort of counts June 2008

31) Have laser eye surgery.

32) Donate blood at least three times.
gave in 2006 and 2007 and again in 2007 and twice so far in 2008

33) Make an ice cream cake.

34) Sew something someone can wear.
August 2007 I have cut the fabric for a skirt for me and dress for Lucy...
September 2009 I made a "poodle" skirt for Lucy

35) Fix the flooring downstairs.
on my way: re-tiled the bathroom May 2007. Bathroom re-model complete August 2008

36) Go to The Big Game at least once.

37) Finish the scarf I am making for Gloria...or some other knitting project, any knitting project.

38) Repaint the kitchen ceiling in either eggshell or satin, but not a little of both.

39) Give without remorse, regret or haste.

40) Do good works with my time; for my family, for my friends and for my community.






17 May, 2007

A little slice of Heaven

I started a project on Wednesday for an amazing beauty product company... went to the home office in SF..wow. The offices are all soft, sparkling white with crystal and gem lighting and glass everywhere.
It was so quiet. and clean. and sort of like the vision Hollywood gives us of Heaven..only without George Burns.

oh yeah, and I forgot how beautiful (read:coiffed) everyone is in SF.

There was a fashionista wearing a navy blazer with a perfectly fitted stripy blouse with a pair those longish plain-front shorts in white with mile-long legs propped up on nude open-toed high-heeled sandals that had those laces which tied around her ankles. She looked like a young Christie Brinkley... and get this.. she smiled when she walked by and said "hello" even though I was not waiting for her in the lobby.

16 May, 2007

spoiler alert

spoiler alert
if you do not want to spoil your dinner, do not read on about poop.

So there is one thing I thought I would NEVER do..and that is bribe with food. Not that our family isn't food-centric sort of automatically since that is one area Jake of life that Jake has mastered. It has always been a nice thing that every member of the family can bond over food with Jake.. but I really do not like it when parents bribe with food. I just don't get it. It sets up eating disorders and is not a sustainable model and attaches all sorts of weird thing to food that will then trigger the person their entire life...okay being melodramatic, but I really don't like it.

I have set all of my unfounded, biased, self-righteous, ridiculous opinions aside in the quest for Jake to be toilet trained. I broke down about two weeks ago and told him straight out. "If you poop into the toilet I will let you eat as much ice cream as you can in a sitting. I do not care if it is 8:30pm or 7 o'clock in the morning on a school day. If you poop into the toilet you can have ice cream".

Jake ate some ice cream today. I was not even home, but I had told Valerie, Jake's 1:1 at home (that's what I am calling her now, since he is not a baby, and she sure as hell never gets a chance to sit!)

She called me to tell me that she took Jake to the pot and lo and behold it was perfect timing..plop and the kid got to eat ice cream.

I went out and bought a gallon of the good stuff in anticipation of great things.

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15 May, 2007

See Ya Later Lucy

So I have taken on a "little" contract job again. Tomorrow morning I am doing my part to warm the earth by driving around the entire Bay so Descartes' parents can watch Lucy..wait, not only that, but they are going to meet me at BART so I can turn over my no-so-mini-van keys over to them and let them drive my little Lucy up the hill while I venture on over to San Francisco via BART and work for a few hours.

I hope it works. I miss her already.

12 May, 2007

Pow Wow whap


We went to the Stanfurd Powow this afternoon. It was dusty and a bit chilly and there weren't many places to sit,but the pageantry was interesting and the drum beats, well autistic or not, kids love drums.

We put Jake in his wheelchair, not really knowing how far we were going to need to walk, and Lucy in the backpack. Pushing a wheelchair through a eucalyptus grove is, by the way, one of those times when you are reminded that you have a special needs kid. It is very very hard to push a wheelchair through eucalyptus debris.I mean it's not like we forget, but trying to maneuver our particular leg-hanging-over, hand-raking-up-the-leaves kind of kid.. You do wish for a moment that the wheelchair wasn't there.. that maybe we could get it together enough to have him walk, and he could keep it together enough to stay with us if we let go of his hand.

It would have been nice too when we rolled up near the dancing if someone hadn't said my kid was "blocking the view"...i just breathed in and out and muttered 'have grace' to myself and moved on.

Jake chose to eat Indian Fry Bread. It is nice for me to know that liking donuts is apparently genetic, since that is what fry bread really is.. especially if you add powdered sugar. Oh yeah, did you know I am part Assiniboine. Apparently I am not 'enough' Assiniboine to belong to the casino... and my kids, well they are all washed out. I am the last of it I guess.

Oh dear.. while writing this Lucy has managed to get the snack bag from yesterday and has now spread honey-wheat pretzels all over the living room.

such a good mommy

09 May, 2007

Jake is a Potty Mouth

Our worst fears realized... you know I have always said that Jake's first words would be "I'm not retarded you stupid bitch." He has now said many words.. not repeated very many of them, but said them none the less, and none of them were those.. so I was wrong.
We have neglected to curb our language in the house, perhaps because we never thought we would need to, perhaps because this life is just a leetle bit more difficult than one might imagine. Either way.. it finally happened.
Jake is a potty mouth.

In the cafeteria at school today he is sitting with Anna, his aide, and the other children. Many of his classmates eat the school lunch, so I guess everyone had oranges today. I sent Jake to school with strawberries, so he didn't have oranges, but seeing that all of the other children had them, he wanted some. So he kept reaching for everyone else's oranges, and he kept getting told "no", then they find him his own orange, but Anna still needs to peel it, so he keeps grabbing and gets told to "be patient".
Apparently he got a leetle bit frustrated, and turned his head down and to the side (towards Anna) and said quietly but firmly... "Fuck."

Okay then.

So I got a call from the teacher who, by the way is very proud of Jake because he used the word in its appropriate context! We had a discussion and my theory is this: there is no such thing as a "bad" word. We make words bad or good or meaningful by the way we say them and where we say them and where we aim them. Just like playing with your genitals is not bad, it just shouldn't be done on the bus, or even in the living room. If a kid needs to explore their body.. hey--go to the bathroom or a bedroom.

No discipline for using the word, just gonna remind him that saying that particular word at school is not okay, but saying it in his room when no one else is around, that might be okay. And saying it when you drop a giant rock on your toe, or if you get shot in the leg.. it might be okay then too.

Just like saying "shit" after your kid's teacher tells you the story. Ahem, I guess that was okay.

08 May, 2007

Go Theta, I mean Go PTA!

This weekend I went to the California State PTA convention in Sacramento. Really. I really really did. How crazy is that? And when I say weekend, I really mean I left on Thursday morning and did not come back until Sunday afternoon. And I am still nursing Lucy. ouchie boobies.
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