31 October, 2007

Mr. Incredible



My Mr. Incredible. Jake did a pretty good job tonight. Once he figured out what we were doing he used that happy voice and was practically dragging Descartes around...then he got very tired. He was ready for bed before we left the house.. and we forget the kid has a touch of CP and gets exhausted with that much walking. We cut out from the very very nice group of people we had glommed onto and headed on home, covered in chocolate.
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Gremlins

Daddy and Lucy the Gremlin
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3.7 Quake!

Okay, Okay! I will now go buy the rest of the supplies for our earthquake kit!

Flashlights that plug in then go on when there is a power outage number one on the list.

More " Normal" Than One Might Think

Jake is a bit restless this morning...probably something to do with waking up a lot earlier than normal...

how it's going down around here number #1:
Lucy--quietly sitting in a little chair eating her breakfast and watching "a show". Then she gets up to dance.

Jake steals her chair.

Lucy yells "Momma!"

how it's going down around here number #2:

Lucy is back in her chair watching "a show."

Lucy is laughing and singing.

Jake walks in to the living room and proceeds to walk in front of the television three or four times, garnering more and more protest from Lucy.

Jake throws himself at the television screen, covering the entire picture with his body.

Lucy yells "NooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Jake laughs and jumps on the couch.


These interactions make me so happy. Who knew I'd be happy to see my kids bickering?

Lucy Sleeps! Jake Wanders.

So is there a conspiracy? Lucy has slept through the entire night two days in a row (hmmm perhaps the Motrin at bed to go along with all of those teeth coming in is heloing? derrrr)

Jake has been up and either upset about wet pants (reasonable) or threatening to go out the doggy door (so uncool).

Did they get togethero the other day while I was in the shower and decide that Jake was going to take the early shift for awhile? Make sure Mommy never gets a full night sleep.

Good thing they are cute!

Happy Halloween. Not my favorite holiday....I am thankful that I have little ones to take 'round the neighborhood and we will not be on any major roads dealing with any drunk drivers.

Be safe everyone. Tinkerbell, Mr Incredible and I will be spending the day going from park to park I think.

30 October, 2007

5.6 Earthquake!

We just had an earthquake a bit ago and what do you know, our first response, after determining that we didn't need to go save any children, was to go to the usgs.gov and check out its stats! Nerd Alert!

If you felt it please log in your details... helps the USGS make better shake maps.

oh and go visit Can I Sit With You? while you are at it!

29 October, 2007

Hiding

I am hiding in the guest room. You see, Sage and I traded "desks". I gave her this pretty awesome Singer sewing machine table (old treadle kind) and I am borrowing a nifty fits-diagonally-into-the-corner type desk. It was a brilliant swap since her daughter is enjoying the Singer table immensely, and I can actually sit in an office chair again while on the computer for the first time since before Lucy was born.

So I am in here reading my daily dose of blogs, and can hear everything Lucy and Jake are doing (Jake playing cars!!!!!!!) and Lucy laughing at the "Grouch News Network" sketch on Sesame Street.

It is gong to be a long week, so I must escape when I can.

I do love my children. I am just not quite nice enough to hang out with those particular children 24 hours a day for 7 days with only 8 hours of childcare.

Hey Jake just found me. He is tapping on the door and saying something.. and has now tossed his sippy cup (empty) against the door.

I am off to be a good mom. Wish me luck.

28 October, 2007

Data Download

  • Helped Descartes finish the planter in the back yard. (We poured the concrete and set the posts last weekend.) Bought the lumber for the borders. Redwood is very expensive.
  • Spent Friday night playing "Did Jake go out the dog door?" ALL NIGHT LONG. The answer most times was "no." Spent a good portion of this morning researching very expensive (like 500 smackaroos) radio collar unlocking dog doors so dogs can go in and out but children cannot (unless they steal a dog collar..which would, at this point, not surprise me.)
  • Celebrated BQ's 40th birthday last night. Dinner, then fun conversation and staying late at the English Pub near Stanfurd. Good times. Cab fare home only 25 bucks. Cabbie almost drove into a wall near my house.. not good
  • My back is so screwed up that it is "buzzing" in my thoracic spine area. Kind of scary. It is burning right now.. thinking that is not a good thing.
  • My children made it through a most delightful Halloween party, managing not to particularly set-off my dear friends' children. Jake has a unique ability to ruffle feathers with his lack of following directions and all. At one point Jake was surrounded by little girls in Disney Princess costumes. Lucy ate three rice crispy treats...at least. So apparently Tinkerbell is a pig.
  • Remembered at 5:08pm that the flu shot clinic ends at 6pm at our doctor's office... raced the 12 miles and made it in time, with no line...and, get this:my kids didn't cry! Well, Jake did try to bite the nurse, but only because she was holding him down, and that does not fit into his happy place.
  • Discovered through much mind melting research that perhaps the reason the guest room computer is slow is because one of the applications, or the OS itself has a memory leak. Fixing said leak requires much more work. We have had the computer for nearly 4 years and i have managed to just open it up and swap out parts etc. I hate terrorizing the environment with all of my technology upgrades, (I would rather place my carbon footprint elsewhere!) but it may be time to get a new system.
  • Jake has NO school this week. None. Not a drop. Hoping for lots of nice days at the park since we can't even escape to Papa and Cookie's house because they are de-constructing walls to put an ELEVATOR into their house. Jake is not happy to be in a wheelchair lately ( and I don't blame him since he can walk...) but it does mean I need to come up with a better idea so that we can safely venture out of the house without him running off. My wrist is rotten from being twisted around when Jake does his famous spin move in an attempt to break free.
  • Can I Sit With You? submissions keep coming in. So exciting. Please share your story. I would love to publish it, and the deadline for publishing is coming up.
  • Must go to bed

24 October, 2007

You Can Just Tell

So I took both kids to the park this afternoon. They had a great time. Better yet, I had a great time, which means we are getting better at all of this. I am less fearful, and more playful.

I also figured out why Jake squats down in the middle of the water play area whether or not there is water on. He loves to squat and he is very good at it. Being very flexible helps. I can do it too. Hyperflexability sort of runs in my family. But here's the reason: when you are in the center of the water play area there is a sort of a focal point where all of the sound comes together. When he sits in that one spot he can hear the children playing in the sand box, in the water play area and on the swings all at the same time.
I never noticed before because I normally give Jake his space in the park, allowing him to roam safely away from me; for once not holding hands while outside.

Today I went over to him and bent down and covered him with myself, enveloping him in a hug, sort of just thankful for him, and I heard all of the sounds when I bent down. I never would have guessed a focal point would be there because there is only a half circle of cement around the water play area, and the wall is very low. This has been Jake's favorite place in the park since he could walk. It has taken me 5 years to figure out why. It makes me wonder what other amazing things he knows, and makes me want to run through every single one of his "odd" behaviors and figure out if there is a "reason" he does them.

The other part of our park story, aside from the little Gremlin Lucy enchanting a precious 3 year old boy and encouraging him to chase her all over the park, is that Lucy sat down next to a little boy and his nanny and asked nicely with a signed please for some of their snack. Thankfully they were more than happy to have her there.

When I joined them on the bench, the nanny asked "Does Jake like to sing?" (I had been using his name quite a bit encouraging Lucy to go hug her brother etc.).

I said, "Well, yes. When he is happy he makes singing noises."

and she said, "Yes, I cared for a boy just like him in the Philippines. I never understood the words, but he loved to sing."

I queried, "A boy 'like him'?"

and she said very plainly, "Yes, a boy with autism just like him."

"So you can just tell?"

"Yes."

23 October, 2007

The Sex Change of Zyax II

You have got to go read Liz Henry's story on Can I Sit With You? She is always an interesting read due to the ginormousness of her thoughts, and her ability to speak about them. If you haven't been going over at CISWY. get there right now and read what you have missed this past week or so. The stories are really rather amazing. It surprises me what we have all been through... what we do and say to each other throughout this life.

22 October, 2007

Spider Baby








spiderBaby plays peek-a-boo
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21 October, 2007

Rockin' Daddy


While I was at brunch today with a most wonderful group of women, my darling hoseband took both of my children to a pumpkin patch (which they had to abandon because the line was too long to pay for the over-priced squash) then proceeded to Safeway where he purchased 4 pumpkins.

We just carved our two (mine is on the left, Descartes' is in the middle). Lucy drew on hers..that girl is dangerous enough without a sharp object in her little fist, and Jake, well, he circled about, but seems to be just fine having his pumpkin remain un-scarred; his is on the right.

Who are we to say what a pumpkin "should" look like at Halloween? Jake's the smart one.. He's probably hoping I make pie with his unblemished pumpkin.
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19 October, 2007

How to be a Bad Parent Lesson #6347

...let your kids play in dog shit....


You may think that your kids are safely playing on the secured, no-way-out deck watching the street scene from the front of your house. You might think, "Hey. I bet my kids are getting hungry for dinner. I'll just run upstairs and make them something and have it all set when they come up. Wow, I am such a genius."

I thought all of those things. And then, just as I was setting cute little trays onto the counter with home made shredded barbecue chicken, persimmons and raspberries for Jake, and a little perfectly cut chicken salad and cheddar cheese sandwich for Lucy, paired with strawberry yogurt, persimmons and grapes... chocolate milk for the girl, whole white milk for the boy... happy mommy chair between the two to facilitate more consistent eating....just as I was all set. I realized it was too quiet. I had been upstairs for 7 minutes.

There is a reason Jake has protective supervision.

Jake had climbed OVER the baby gate and gone into the side yard. The side yard is a point of contention in my marriage because this is where our TWO golden retrievers relieve themselves. It is also where Descartes very, very, rarely and only with considerable nudging picks up said "relief packages." I clean it up once a month if Descartes doesn't; this is one of "his jobs" in our divided labor household. He has not cleaned it up, and I did it two weeks ago. (It has since been cleaned and sanitized mom...so no comments on that please!)

So there is Lucy hanging on the baby gate pointing at her big brother who is standing squarely between 15 gigantic piles of poo. There is none on him, none on his shoes, none on his hands. He is in the middle of it just standing there.

AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

This is one of those moments in parenting where I had to **really** think hard as to how to fix this situation. No one was really in danger.. those situations I have down, no problem... but when there are moments like these it is harder for my tired mind.. maybe it's because my adrenaline doesn't kick in. Moments like these.. I need a Double Strength Diet Rockstar.

So I put Lucy upstairs and gated her in and locked the dogs with her then I went around the back of the house and down to the side yard and plucked Jake out of the poo. It was only on his way out of the area, with mommy having startled him, that Jake stepped into a big old stooopid stinky pile of it.

I closed the gate behind us, stripped Jake down and marched him straight into the tub inside the house, shutting the door behind us so Lucy would not think that it was family bath time.

I used the rest of the Hibiclens and a bottle of dial soap. I trimmed Jake's nails and emptied the water a few times.... and there was never any poo on his body at all.. just his shoes.

Then I bleached the tub, and walked out of the bathroom with Jake.. only to find Lucy had fed her dinner to the dogs, and had started to eat Jake's dinner. Lovely.

I have now left my children unattended and let them play in poo and after all of that I still found myself trying to make [more] dinner while the kids are whining and ready to eat "right this very second."

Somehow we managed.

By the time Descartes got home I had both children fed, bathed, jammied and in bed.

Phew

16 October, 2007

Bullseye!

So Target got to me today. Yuh, ah, Target. The store with the big red, uhm Target, got me right smack in the center of my chest and made me cry.

I didn't know where to find coloring books. You know why? 'Cause Jake doesn't like to color. So I have never had any reason to purchase coloring books before Lucy, who love, love, loves to color. And in case I thought I had to? In the past I have purchased plain paper apparently because for the life of me.. I had no idea how much a coloring book should even cost (for the record I did not have a lot of coloring books growing up.. my parents did not see that I needed some one else's creative genius to figure out my own, and if I really needed help, my grandmother, Char was the amazing artist ever, and could really draw anything, then teach me how to draw it.)

So I found them, and I stood there with tears in my eyes because Lucy was pointing at what she wanted and I find my self in uncharted territory.

I wonder what is harder? Starting out with a kid like Jake who does not fit the norm, then being thrown for a loop with a more typical child, or starting out with one who does everything on schedule and with ease and following it with a kid who doesn't come close to the norm?

I guess I am lucky I had it this way because now every damn thing Lucy does is a miracle, and I also already know where the emergency room is.

12 October, 2007

i hate when this happens

I just yelled at my kids. I know we will all live. I didn't hit them or "smack" them or push or shove, and I only yelled once but I did it.

Descartes and I decided when we were first engaged that we would not yell in our home. I grew up with a family you could hear down the street. All passion and loud and then it was done, no hard feelings (mostly) Descartes grew up in a family where there was slow simmer for years, then someone would blow up into little pieces.

Somewhere along our dating way we got into an argument and I raised my voice, as I was taught to do, to make my point. He very calmly said "You don't need to yell at me. I will not participate in this conversation if you are yelling."
Well there is no better way to get me to be quiet, than to threaten me that you won't talk to me anymore. I am a talker... but it hit me then.. I actually didn't have to have a home where any one yelled. Ever. (emergencies excepted.. and since we rarely have a week without some sort of crisis, don't worry our house is till plenty noisy.)

But tonight I did. Lucy and Jake were whiny at 3:15, hungry and whiny, so in between throwing snacks at them I started to make dinner, as fast as I could. It was a quick meal, burgers (no buns), strawberries, bananas and home made sweet potato fries. Any whooo. they both rejected the meal, eating strawberries only. Then Jake got squirrelly in his chair and when I went to get something on the floor (his cup?) he smacked me in the head so hard my contact went to the back of my brain. Lucy stood up in her high chair to get out on her own .

I yelled. Not even sure what exactly I yelled.

Then I took them both out of their eating spaces and cleared the plates and said that was it.

then I took ten minutes to get my contact to the front of my head.

Mommy all done.

11 October, 2007

That's All I need Folks

So Lucy went to Nanny Kidwell's house again today and played nearly all day long... happily!
I think it's going to work out. Jake stayed at school all day (though it was a minimum day).. so guess what? I got to complete my errands...like this one:

Went to Barns Ignoble to buy a present for a friend (Squid actually.. her birthday is soon, uhm, now, actually, so go wish her a happy day!) and I went in, read the backs or jackets of several books, read a few more, selected two, went to the counter, waited in line, paid and went back to my car and pulled out of the space,,, and exactly 8 minutes has passed.. What? Seriously? I can do all of that in 8 minutes? Amazing.

When I went back to Nanny's house she asked me if I had taken a nap, "You look so well -rested. What did you do?"

In no particular order, here are the things I completed while I had "alone time" for the first time since August:
  • went to the grocery store
  • returned my rental car
  • picked up my Not-so-mini Van from the shop
  • went to the library to select books for home-bound patrons
  • went to the book store
  • folded (at least) two loads of laundry
  • put away at least 50 board books scattered across the floor
  • vacuumed under the cushions of both couches
  • vacuumed the entire upstairs of my house
  • polished a section of the hardwood floor
  • emptied a very full dishwasher
  • loaded it again to the max
  • curled my hair
  • brushed all of my teeth
  • put on makeup
  • changed my clothing
  • talked to the gardener
  • pulled some weeds
  • went to the bathroom by myself
  • cleaned out the fridge
  • got the mail
  • took out the trash
  • paid some bills
  • put medicine in the dog's ear
  • checked my email
  • checked every one's blogs
  • visited with Sage and Ki
  • read more submissions for Canisitwithyou.blogspot.com
  • talked to my sister, my mom and someone from Sears.
I did all of these things from 10:55-2:08.

three hours and thirteen minutes?
That's all I need folks.

08 October, 2007

Hey Lookie!

Our little Can I Sit With You? is so cool they linked to us at Tolerance.org!

Don't forget to submit your story! ciswysubmissions@gmail.com

07 October, 2007

Get Me A Gun

If one more f*cking person asks me what I think of Jenny McCarthy I am going to kill someone, possibly myself.

Okay that is extreme.

I am still growing and learning, as we all are, and I believe each family has their own journey.... as long as your journey doesn't hurt me (or your child), you can travel whatever road you want, and I will do my best to support you. So here is kind of what I think about a few things.. and I am so fired up right now listening to Larry King Live that I may throw up.

  • I believe that Jenny McCarthy saying her son has been "cured" is lame. I think we learn to live with autism, you provide your child with every opportunity to engage in the world and offer as many different ways to communicate as possible so the child can be heard. But fine, her kid is healed, or cured..not going to happen for every child with autism...not going to happen...so re-frame it Jenny...like "here is my personal story of hope that will probably not work for you, but buy my book and you can buy a piece of that hope." [To be fair, she does appear to have some sense that not all children will respond as her child did.]
  • I do not believe that vaccines cause autism. Jake didn't have thimerosal in his vaccines, most of the kids born after 2000 didn't either, so all of the new diagnosis? Maybe vaccines trigger autism in kids with a genetic predisposition? Maybe. We do know that measles, mumps and rubella can kill children, as can polio.
  • I do not think that every child with autism benefits from a Gluten Free Casein Free diet (GFCF). I do think that some children may benefit from diet change. Almost any child on the planet eating a healthy, preservative-free diet, carefully monitored by an adult who ensures that all dietary needs are being met.. most kids are going to be more focused, healthier and have better bowel movements. Paying attention to your child's diet is a good idea. Being righteous because you can bake bread with rice flour is not cool.
  • I think that actors/porno stars/whatever/entertainers are not scientists, doctors, or researchers...anecdotal evidence does not mean a cure. Ugh. I also do not believe that doctors are Gods or always right.. so there.
  • I do think that people correlate all sorts of things (good and bad) that should not be correlated : In the U.S. most people in car accidents have had french fries within two weeks of the accident. French fries cause car accidents. Also most people who win the California Lottery have been in a liquor store within one week of winning the lottery, possibly purchasing alcohol. Drinking can therefore help you win the lottery.
  • My child is never going to have Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy...unless he has the bends.
  • Any doctor Board Certified, DAN! TACA, Holistic, or working unlawfully and without credentials who tells you that they can cure autism, and all allergies, and ADD, and ADHD, and bad breath, and sleep disorders and corns and eczema with their wonder pill/magic formula is full of crap. However, if you want to take your kid to someone who believes that they can cure your child...go for it... unless you are harming your child, I support you in your effort.
  • NAET® is crap crap crap "NAET clears an allergy by rebalancing your body's energy when you are in contact with the energy of the offending substance." and my favorite "If you are unable to be tested yourself because you are a child, pregnant, disabled, or too weak, you will be tested through a surrogate. " Allergy testing by proxy? CRAP CRAP CRAP.
okay I am tired.. I think a lot of other things too.

I do know that I have lost relationship with a person who is very, very important to me because we did not try NAET. She thought that I was not doing every single thing possible to "cure my child."

I wasn't willing to throw money away holding vials of wheat flour and water in my hand while a chiropractor gave me some acupressure...maybe that does make me a bad mother.

I already knew that.

The Stein is Sometimes Half Full.


It was Oktober Fest in Tahoe this weekend. Each year we go with my sister and her husband and now there are four children who tag along. It is very hard to push strollers and wheelchairs over pine needles, but the sausages are good, we all love sauerkraut and the beer selection is just lovely.

So last year, and the year before we just bought the giant mugs. .It is one of those deals where if you pay a little bit more you get the souvenir mug and all of your refills are more beer for much less money. It is the way to go if you are going to have more than one beer. Which we may or may not have done in the past. I am guessing we had more than one in years past.

This is the first year that I actually stood in line and thought about my purchase. I wanted to buy four mugs. I wanted to think that we were going to stay and hear the ooompa band and the yodeling competition and have several beers each and relax in the crisp air, soaking up September sun. I wanted to be optimistic. I want to be those people.

The reality is that the chances of any one of the adults finishing even one beer without needing to deal with a kid-related crisis is pretty slim. Jaster and Demanda have "twins" (the boys are 7 weeks apart from two different wombs) and we have our independent sprite Lucy and our unpredictable elf Jake. We are not the kind of crew that gets to sit still, be patient or relax.

So I compromised. We bought two mugs and two cups. I feel like this every day. In nearly every decision I make. I want to think that I can take my two children to the park, a park with no gates...uhm no. I want to think that the kids and I can stop in and get some milk at the grocery store and have it take only ten minutes. I want to go to the movies, go on vacations and go out to dinner with my children.

I struggle to find the balance; sometimes the optimist wins and I buy four souvenir mugs...sometimes we drink out of paper cups.

05 October, 2007

Lucy Goes to Daycare

Lucy went to a new daycare on Thursday morning. She lasted almost a whole hour. The newest caretaker is really very lovely. Nanny Kidwell. She is petite and sweet and wants Lucy to transition in an easy not unhappy kind of way. So Lucy will go for an hour on Tuesday , and maybe an hour and a half next Thursday depending on how she is feeling.

Who knew that my precious, precocious, confident, crafty little imp would have such a hard time going to day care. It can't possibly be because she likes me that much more. I'm sure of that. I am always trying to get things done: the dishes, the bills, the laundry, the medical paperwork, the budgeting, the sweeping..

oh seriously.. Lucy has just found the plug cover for the wall (I had taken it off to unplug something) and now she is trying to put it back on. She walked across the room with it and sat down in front of the plug and is trying to baby-proof the house for us. Now she just said "please" in sign language, so I helped her put it on.

02 October, 2007

IEP Day

Jake's birthday means IEP at our house, probably just another reason why i get so riled up.. by the way, I am all fine now..it's October!

Our IEP went very smoothly. Always a delight when the teacher really knows and cares about your kid and is able to strike that delicate balance between praising and sharing all of his achievements while ensuring that he gets all of the services he needs.

The SLP is new to us, and new to our district. She has managed to get a pretty good idea of who my kid is in a matter of a month. Such a relief since we did not receive any speech last year at all. I am in charge of writing down all of the words we have heard Jake use appropriately
here goes:
  • dog
  • no
  • yes
  • 'Manda (my sister Demanda)
  • [my brother-in-law's name]
  • elephant
  • idiot
  • fuck
  • no home
  • out
  • outside
  • done
  • more
  • I'm jealous
I know there are more, but I am too tired to come up with any more.

Sorry Charlie

So I published my little story on Can I Sit With You? I think it may be the only thing on the web with my real name attached to it. I'm not really hiding anything, but I like being jennyalice here. She is much more willing to admit her faults and share her experiences.

Have you sent in your story? C'mon, get on it!

email to ciswysubmissions@gmail.com
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