Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Mommy Blogger Who Cried Wolf

Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf? Kept saying there was a wolf, the village got all scared and there was no wolf. Rinse. Repeat. Several times. And then when there really was a wolf no one believed him?

Since I've gone back to work, on top of taking a grad class and being a Mommy and Wife, blogging has gone out the window. But I kept promising I'd come back. Rinse. Repeat. And I don't. I'm beginning to feel like the Mommy Blogger Who Cried Wolf. And that when I actually post some Real Content no one will be here to believe me.

So - here goes some Real Content. And yes, it's New Years Eve and here I am blogging. But that's because our New Years Eve event got cancelled. Our neighborhood has a count down to 8:15pm each New Years Eve. Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on the fire pit in the cul-de-sac. Kids running around with glow sticks and silly string. And at 8:14pm the countdown to 8:15 begins. (this allows little ones to go to bed having participated in a modified count down and/or parents to head out to the adult parties).

But OhMyGod! it's cold out. And OhMyGod! it's windy out. So it was cancelled. Which I was actually quite pleased about.

So, me and my warm hot chocolate with butterscotch schnapps are inside the house chilling in front of the TV with Adam who is drinking his hot chocolate. And we're getting ready to watch Stonehenge on the Smithsonian channel.

Yea, we're kinda geeky like that sometimes.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

And I'm Back!!

I'm back!! My class is now finished and wow - this weekend has gone by sooo slow!! It's amazing how much time that class sucked up! Loved it. Learned so much. And best of all, I'm really able to apply the behavior stuff to my job (and Adam). I really got something out of the class personally.

So, watch out. Now that I'm back I'm also going to have time posting all that exciting stuff going on in my life, just as it is!

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Mommy's High Heel Shoes

I fellow co-writer of the SV Mom's Group has written a delightful children's book. Kristie offered me a copy to review.

I didn't read this to Adam, it just wasn't quite his type of book. BUT, my 2 1/2 year old niece - totally perfect for her! Especially since she just had a new sister arrive at her house and her Mom is getting ready to go back to work full time. And especially because ever since she could crawl she has a constant obsession for getting into any adult female shoe, especially work shoes! I couldn't have asked for a better book to read to my niece.

Although the story itself was a little above her head, the pictures are very engaging. In the story Mommy leaves to go to work. Her young daughter has fun staying behind playing with Mom's shoes. My nieces favorite part was finding the cupcake, ladybug and heart that are hidden on each page. She also loved all the different types of shoes.

My sister reports it has become one of her favorite books to look through. I know in the next few months she'll be able to grasp the story plot more and more, and each reading will engage her more and more in different ways.

Kristie Finnan also has a blog and website related to the book. Be sure to check out the shop to buy accessories to the book!

And Kristie - my sister and I both thank you for this children's book. We can't wait to see your next one!!

Cross posted to Yup - Another Review Blog.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Advice please?

OK. Seriously. How do people work and find time to do everything else and then time to blog? I'm swamped over here! But it's taking every hour of each day to stay afloat and still not leaving enough time in the day for fun stuff (like blogging!).
So, seriously - HOW do you people maintain blogs when you work full time on top of being a mommy?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Why is there only 24 hours in a day?

Wow. Look. It's me. I'm posting. I'm alive. Really. I am.
I'm just trying to find more than 24 hours in a day so I can fit everything in.

So, until I find more time I'll leave you with an update on Adam.

He's in the 5th grade. That's the grade this county starts Family Life Education (FLE). You know. Sex ed. The kid freaked out. So much so that I got a call from the nurse on the day it was too start saying he should go home due to a stomach ache and headache. Kid got himself so worked up he got a stomach ache (and lied about the headache for good measure)!

Then upon his confession (or rather us busting him), and us pointing out that he isn't going to hear anything he hasn't already. he pointed out that because our (conservative) county can't tell the kids everything, he didn't want to go and get misinformed. (They can't talk about birth control, oral sex or masturbation - EVEN if a kid asks). So, he'd just rather refer to us for info and not have to hear such information from his teacher and a room full of boys.

So, hubby and I only felt it our duty to make sure he gets informed completely. We watched Juno tonight with him. I think Parenthood will be next. We're great parents aren't we?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The White Trash Mom Handbook

Wednesday the SV Mom's Group I contribute to is hosting another Book Club. They are featuring The White Trash Mom Handbook, written by Michelle Lamar (of Every Mother Is A Working Mother and also a contributor to the SV Mom's Group).

This quick, honest and humorous book is a must read for all Moms.

One chapter I personally related to was the chapter on after-school activities for the White Trash Family. I'll admit, Adam does participate in a sport, and it's a continuous sport that does take up time. But, he can also choose not to go to class if he is having a play date, extra homework or just wants to play at home. It's one of the huge reasons I love this sport. It can take up as little or as much time in our lives as we want it too, and our participation can change as our family needs change.

Every now and then Adam will talk about playing another sport like a friend does. But honestly, I'm not sure how he would balance everything and still be a kid. I like that he has time for impromptu play dates with the kids in the neighborhood. I like that he has time to play with his hot wheel cars and Lego's. I like that he has time to curl up on the couch and really get into a book. I like that he has time to play video games (just don't let him know that - he'll want more time). I like that when he goes to TKD class it's because he wants to go because he enjoys it. And not just the sport aspect of it too.

There is much talk of Mommy Guilt. I don't want my son to have Child Guilt and not feel that he didn't have enough time to play as a child because his parents structured his activities to fill up his every waking hour. I guess that makes me a White Trash Mom. But I'm OK with that too.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

What I Did On A Friday Night

I've been back to work full time for 2 weeks now. It's an adjustment to balance work, child, hubby, school, housework and life. And when certain things aren't done I don't feel like I've got good control and balance.

But tonight I cleaned the fridge. And now I'm posting about it.

(Sad what I do on a Friday night.)

But, I somehow feel much better knowing that at least my fridge is clean again.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On this day

This morning I voted. I brought Adam with me. No matter who wins, history is being made. And I hope Adam always remembers putting his hand on my wrist as I pushed the final button to submit my vote. Because I am not only voting for me. I am voting for his future and his children's future.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #8

Adam was getting ready to do his homework. A project from his geography unit. He had to draw a birds eye map of one floor in our house.

Adam - Mom, Dad, I'll need a ladder and some duck tape.

Mom - Why do you need that to do you your homework?

Adam - How else am I to get a bird's eye view of the floor if I don't climb a ladder and duck tape myself to the ceiling?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Greeny and George

A couple of years ago Adam found an inch worm outside. And he fell in love with him. He named him Greeny. He got a container, filled it with grass and a moist paper towel, covered it with plastic and poked holes in it for air. Greeny's new home. He talked to him. He carried him around the house. After school he'd run up to his room and grab the Greeny's home. Outside he'd fill his toy wagon with grass and leaves. He'd put Greeny in the wagon and walk him around the yard. After all, all living creatures need fresh air, he'd tell us. He'd let Greeny crawl around on his hand and he'd ever so gently pet him. Greeny became his best buddy. His little pet. Greeny even got a few bed time stories read to him.

One day Greeny was gone when Adam woke up in the morning. I told him that maybe Greeny escaped and crawled through the open window to look for his family. This helped reassure him that although he couldn't have Greeny, Greeny was out there somewhere. And happy.

A week later Adam found Greeny. Under his bed was the shriveled up remains of an inch worm. The tears came. And came. And came.

As he grieved Greeny's untimely death he talked about wanting another pet. Hubby and I agreed. It was time for a pet. After all, Adam had completely proved to us he was willing to take care of another living creature, and had done so quite well and on his own.

Because of allergies dogs and cats were out. We decided on a lizard. Off to the pet store we went. Adam choose a Gecko Lizard. He named him George (yes - based off of Tom and Jerry's take of Of Mice And Men).

George has been with us for 1 1/2 years now. And I can honestly say, 90% of the time Adam feeds, waters and nurtures George on his own. At night time I often find him propped up on his bed watching George climb around his home. I've overheard conversations between the 2 of them. Conversations of small talk, talking to George and asking him how he is doing and also conversations where George becomes the listener and confident of Adam's worries and concerns.

And to think, it all started with a little 'ole inch worm found in the grass one day.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lazy or Motivated?

Our basement is completely finished with a laundry room, rec room and a room (could be a bedroom, but because there is no exit outside on that level we can't legally call it that). It was hubby's computer room. His cave. He could play his shoot-n-kill-em games as loud as he wanted. He could make his 'comments' as loud as he wanted.

But he actually got lonely down there. And we miss seeing him. So, we converted one of the bedrooms upstairs to his new computer room. It's working out great.

Except the remains of the old computer room. We decided to turn it into the exercise room. That way the rec room is free of exercise equipment for when Adam and his friends are being wild. But the old computer room/new exercise room still has some computer stuff in it. And it also has a cardio thingy, a kickbag and my excesses bike in it. None of them usable. Because it's a half-exercise, half-computer, but-mostly-a-mess-of-a-room right now.

And I miss riding my bike. (I know, weird, but I read not-for-grad-class books when I ride - it's MY time. And I'm told that exercise will help one lose weight - although I'm still waiting on confirmation of this myth).

So, what does any of this have to do with lazy or motivated title above?

Well, I wanted to ride my bike. But I was too LAZY to clean/organize the room and/or move the bike into the rec room to ride it. So, instead I've been going on bike rides outside. As in 2 hour bike rides a few times this week. The weather has been perfect. The scenery -amazing. I absolutely love being outside this time of year with all the colors.

So - am I lazy (because I didn't want to take the energy required to move my bike so I could ride it), or motivated (because I've been going for longer rides outside instead)?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Going Back

To work. Full-time.
And I'm panicking.

Working part-time was WONDERFUL. The balance was incredible. But it just wasn't cutting it for those unexpected bills. An opportunity to go back full-time with the county and not in the classroom presented itself. A position similar to one I had years ago that I loved. And so I took it.

I start next Monday.

I only have this week left. To sleep. To do projects around the house. To read books. To be lazy. And all of a sudden there is So.Much.To.Do. Book reviews to write, more books to read and the review. Blog posts. Cleaning out closets. Catching up on scrap booking. And the fridge - how is it possible for the inside of a fridge to get so dirty? You put things in, you take them out. It's all wrapped up in a container of some sort. How does it manage to get so dirty?

I feel like I'm at the end of my pregnancy and nesting. And Stuff.Must.Get.Done.Right.Away! Because life as I know it will be changing next week.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forgetful Lately

Do you ever have a great topic, or even just a good topic for a post? But you're not at the computer? You're on your way out the front door, falling asleep, in the shower, in a store, in traffic instead? And then when you do get to your computer you've completely forgotten what it was?

Maybe I'll start carrying around a little memo pad for those moments. How obsessive would that be though?

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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Via DC Metro Mom's, I was invited to a VIP Sneak Preview for Fresh City - Your Daily Eatery.

OK I thought - I'll go and grab a sandwich, collect a menu and maybe go back at some point.

There's no maybe with this one though. I will go back and lots. Good think it's only a 5-10 minutes drive from my house! (for those of you near Herndon, VA, its in the Clock Tower shopping center on Centreville)

What I truly liked about Fresh City is their selection of food. Like their name, it's fresh and lots of organic stuff too! But the menu is not full of dishes that I wouldn't know how to pronounce or be leery of trying. It's basic soups, sandwiches, salads, burritos and stir frys - great American food, but good, quality food (and did I mention lots of organic choices too?).

I meet the talented Julie (of Darling Hill) and her adorable children for lunch on Friday. The staff was great, the service was great and being an opening weekend servers came around with samples of cookies and smoothies to try too. When you walk it there are menus on the walls. After deciding what you want to you go to that 'station' to order it. They give you a number and bring the food to your table when it's ready. I tried the New England Clam Chowder (I am from New England, so why not?!). It was yummy! Creamy, lots of potatoes and clams. I also had the Asiago Roast. Their bread - so yummy too!

Their website if very user-friendly. With Adam being on a gluten free diet I always have to check out a restaurant ahead of time to see if it will work for his limited diet. Fresh City's website was very easy to find the gluten free list, and I was very happily surprised to see such a huge selection of menu items he can eat there too!

I do believe this will become a fast favorite of ours on those nights we don't feel like cooking!

Thanks Fresh City for lunch!!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is it with this window?

It's really just Joe Shmoe average window in a family room looking out at the backyard. There is really nothing special about it.

Except non-human living things are obsessed with it.

Remember the bird? He liked our window so much that he survived a cold and windy winter knocking on our window. Finally after about a year he stopped knocking. I was just beginning to enjoy the quiet again.

But this season? It's worse. About twice a week I find some sort of Flying Insect With Stinger (bee, hornet, yellow jacket, not sure cuz quite frankly I don't inspect him much after I squish him to death) buzzing around the window. And it's worse because he's on the INSIDE of the window.

At first I thought maybe he was getting in somehow via the screen. We've been opening the windows a lot to let some fresh air in, now that it's not sweltering outside. So I stopped opening the windows. And somehow once or twice a week I mange to find/hear another Flying Insect With Stinger buzzing at the window trying to escape through it.

Really. What is it with this window and non-human living things?!?

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Back to Reality

While hubby and my weekend getaway was more than awesome, Adam's weekend was not.

My parents came down to see the new niece and had no problems watching Adam Saturday night. Adam seemed to be OK with it too - he would still be spending Saturday and Sunday at my sisters house and playing video games with my brother-in-law, so he was all set.

Then Sunday morning my Mom left a message on my cell phone. Adam was refusing to take his meds. He has not.once ever tried this. By the time I had called her back he had taken them, but I also learned that he was grounded from video games for the day from my Dad. Because he:
-wouldn't brush his teeth
-feed his lizard
-instead of going to bed went into my room and watched TV for an hour
-wouldn't wear sneakers with laces in them
-talking back
Basically treated them like crap.

My Mom who felt he was acting this way because we weren't there was trying to convince my Dad to let him have video games so they could enjoy the day with him and have him lose video games Monday (when I had him). I told my Mom no, he lost them for the day and to tell Adam to be lucky it's only for 1 day. We've been having 'attitude' problems with him brewing for a week or so, so I doubted it was ALL because we went away.

So, we all get reunited and he just has a smug look on his face while being talked to by me. And his attitude doesn't improve during the day. I told him we could keep going away and having my parents stay with him until he listens to them. That got the smug look wiped off his face.

But, the attitude remained high all day. It remained all of Monday at which point he lost all screen time. Then it remained all of Tuesday at which point he lost everything. No screen time. No playing with his toys. No playing with his friends. He also had to respond to any request by me with a "Thanks Mom, I'd love to do 'x'. You're the best!" (hey - you gotta put humor in at desperate times!)

One would think this would be motivation to improve one's attitude. To get stuff back.

Nope. The attitude continues. The arguing continues. The stalling continues. We're not going to even talk about the battles to get homework done.

I think 5th grade is going to be a very long year. I'm really, really, really not looking forward to the teen years.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Going Away, or not, or maybe - Part 2

Oh, right. I left you with that cliffhanger last week.
We went. And it was Absolutely.Amazing!

Way, way back, like, as in last year, I wrote this post for The Parent Bloggers Network. And I won a purple package from Excitations!

Excitations is this really neat concept where you can buy experiences in different regions of the country. And all sorts of experiences too.

Because I'm really picky and also a big fan of wine (which wasn't in the purple package, but was in the green and orange package, and the green and orange package value equaled the purple package value) I asked the nice folks at Excitation if I could trade a purple for a green and orange. No problem!!

So we did. For our orange package we chose a picnic at the winery. And then I got brave. I decided this would be just hubby and I -a night away from Adam - for the first time. We'd get a hotel room. We'd relax. We'd talk about stuff like we used to without being interrupted by Adam. We'd have fun.

With a minor glitch, we were on our way last Saturday to Pearmund Cellars. Nestled away in (what I consider) country, but only 45 minutes outside Washington the drive was scenic, especially this time of year.

After tasting their classic wines, we got to pick a bottle to take with us on our picnic. We were given a choice of sitting out on the terrace, or finding a spot on the grounds. We choose the terrace. Overlooking the vineyards are small tables under a trellis. This weekend there was some guy with his guitar singing songs. Our table was elegantly set with tablecloths, flowers and settings. For our first course we were served cheese, fruit and sausage. The main course was turkey salad, croissants and macaroni salad. Dessert was a scrumptious cheesecake with cherries on top and an eclair. Midway through our meal Mr. Pearmund came by to chat.

So, for three hours we sat, ate and talked while enjoying the music and scenery on one of the most gorgeous days of the season. It was amazing.

Afterwards we drove out to Winchester for the night.

On the way home Sunday morning we were already making plans for our next adventure without Adam. I can't believe I waited so long to do this!

Huge thanks to Excitations and Pearmund Cellars for a very enjoyable weekend! We'll be spending the other half of our Exciations experience at Pearmund Cellars too!

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Going Away, or not, or maybe?

I've got another post up over at DC Metro Moms.

Update: my new niece is doing wonderful as is Mom, Dad and Big Sis. It's been a FUN but busy week helping to take care of the Big Sis and help out my sis too. Folks are coming down tomorrow, so Hubby and my weekend getaway is now a maybe. Since I had already cancelled our plans I have to see if I can reschedule them. And if so - we're OFF!!!!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Where I get to have my opinion on politics, because in this country I can Part V

Opinion time again!

McCain has suspended his campaigning so that he could head to DC to work on the economic crisis (although fundamentally our economy is strong he insists). Let's pretend to ignore the fact it took him quite a while to get there and his ads have not stopped running nor have his campaign offices closed. (I'm personally kinda interested in knowing what his definition of suspended is).

Some thoughts by late night shows on this:

As reported by Dave Letterman

As reported by Jon Stewart

As reported by Steve Colbert

Tonight is supposed to be the Presidential Debate. I consider the debate kinda like an interview. I don't get to ask the questions, but I do get to see how the candidates answer more on the spot (vs. reading tele-prompters) together. McCain isn't so sure he can attend tonight.

Would you hire someone who didn't show for an interview, because he was stopping his interview process because something came up on DC and he needs to race back, but yet, it takes him a day to get there?

Would you hire someone who rushes back to his office to work on economics, hence causing tons of money to be wasted on the interview you aren't going to show up for?

Would you hire someone who leaves you on the edge of your chair waiting to see if he is going to grace you with his presence for an interview?

And, because I wouldn't want to give all the attention on this post to McCain, here's some attention for Obama courtesy of Sarah Silverman and The Great Shlep.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #7

In this pencil sharpener one would find not pencil shavings, but eraser shavings. To add to the collection of other eraser stuff started earlier this month by Adam. This collection also proudly collected during school. Stay tuned to see in what other forms an eraser can be collected. Because I am definitely sensing a new line of collections here.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This past month I've been in a tunnel. It's been dark, as tunnel's tend to be. And there was a light at the end. But until now, I wasn't sure if it was a train or the sun. I think (keep fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that other superstitious stuff) it's safe to say it's the sun again.

School started for Adam. Which means transitions for Adam. Which means stress for Adam.

First week - typically known as the honeymoon period. He loved it. Came home happy. Likes his new teacher. Enjoyed the afternoons playing outside. Honeymoon period - I should have known better.

Second week - honeymoon period over. Completely. Stomach aches in the morning. Crying in the afternoons. Arguing to do homework. Complaining about the unfairness of playground rules. Tantrums for entirely too long. Upset with his friends when they came over to play because

Third week - same as second week only crying after school increased. On Wednesday he was adamant that he could not go to school due to a stomach ache. I told him to eat his breakfast anyway and he could go late (hoping food would help the nervous stomach I was assuming it was). No such luck. He was adamant he was sick. Told him there would be no screentime until 2:45 (time that school is over). He agreed with no arguing (maybe he really was sick?). We spent the day talking, reading and playing games. I emailed his teacher who gave a positive report that he appears happy, plays with other kids during recess and gets along just fine during group work. That night he was told he was going to school the next day. No crying that afternoon or the next. And no arguing to get homework done.

Fourth week - the sun comes out. No more stomach aches before school. No more crying after school.

I've got Adam back and we're out of the tunnel. Going back to school is never easy for kids. But it still breaks my heart watching how stressful the change in routine is for Adam. No, I can't protect him from everything. Nor do I want to. That wouldn't be teaching him what he needs to be successful as an adult. But it's still heartbreaking while we're in those tunnels.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Haiku Friday

Last night I slept all night long
Cycle is broken?
To play along, click here!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #6

New kind of TicTacs? Nope. This is what Adam had in his hand when I picked him up from school the other day. Those pink things in the TicTac container would be bits of an eraser he cut up during class. (Oh, and he was so very excited about this too)

In the past he has collected pencil tips in small containers. Looks like this year he will be expanding his collections to include the other end of pencils also.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where I get to have my opinion on politics, because in this country I can Part IV

Yea, I'm back with another opinion. Just can't help not commenting lately!

So, Larry King had a chat with Meghan McCain (John's daughter). Seems she wrote a book about her Daddy. And while interviewing her, Larry asked her what she likes about Sarah:

First of all, she's really chill. She's really nice, really friendly. She's really up on pop culture, which I always respect. She's very smart. She doesn't act entitled, which unfortunately sometimes you get with some politicians. She's just like your average girl, like just a mom. But she's very, very shrewd, very smart. I've heard her talking about issues.

Umm. Gosh. Where to even begin.

Let's start with 'she's really chill.... really friendly'. I don't want my VP to be really chill and friendly. I want them to be knowledgeable and show leadership.

'She's up on pop culture' - that's nice. I'd kinda hope so with 5 kids, but not necessarily a requirement for VP

'She's just like your average girl, like just a mom.'
SHE IS. SHE IS A MOM. I'd like to think you'd say the same about your Dad. That he's like a Dad. But we're not talking about their parenting here! We're talking about the future leaders of our country!

and the clincher: 'just like a mom. But she's .... very smart.'
Wow. Did.she.really.say.that? Like a Mom, but smart. If she were my daughter she would be SO grounded right now.

So, us Mom's aren't smart? We can't be both? Well, at least I guess it's OK for Mom's to be really chill then.

But seriously - I'll be posting some non-political stuff soon. Real soon. Really.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Haiku Friday

What is up with this?
Two Thursdays in a row now
Insomnia sucks

Not working today
Wanted to catch up on stuff
Insomnia sucks

Had some chores to do
Blogs to read and posts to write
Insomnia sucks

Don't know what I'll do
If this happens next week too
Insomnia sucks

But for now I'm off
to sleep, I can't stay awake
Insomnia sucks

I wonder who else is having sleeping problems this week?

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lists, lists and more lists

Yea, it's me again. I know, this might be a record - three posts in one day. But this one isn't political. It's about getting stuff done.

Come over here and see what I mean.

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Where I get to have my opinion on politics, because in this country I can Part III

OK. I'm on a roll this morning. Watch out, hear me roar!

After reading a CNN article I then hoped over to And saw THIS article.

Seems that McCain/Palin are having a rally right here in my hometown. Tomorrow. During the day. AT A HIGH SCHOOL. And yes, it's a school day.

Superintendent says he's making an exception because it would be a good learning experience. Sure. No argument there. But he also says that "We are not participating in a political rally. We are letting our kids have new educational opportunities."

However, further in the article Fairfax City Mayor (a Republican), who helped plan the event is quoted as saying, "it would be disappointing to me if this becomes a partisan, bickering affair where, if you are for one you are for the rally, and if you are for the other, you are against it."

Ummm...... I thought it wasn't a rally. I thought it was an educational opportunity, therefore, not in violation of how the community uses school buildings during school hours. So, is it a rally or not. Personally, I think that with 56 days left till election, anywhere McCain/Palin go to speak to a group of people would be a rally. I highly doubt they'll not be campaigning. Come to think of it, maybe they won't. Maybe they'll talk about how well abstinence works to a bunch of high schoolers.

But, back to the real topic. The Fairfax City mayor's argument is that Obama and his campaign stopped in Fairfax over the summer. At Robinson Secondary School. However, his event was held during the summer, at night time (I believe). Yes, there were students in the building having other activities held there. But those were activities they had signed up for. This was NOT during a school day.

I guess we all know who the Mayor of Fairfax City and the Superindent of Fairfax want elected.

UPDATE is reporting the place for the McCain/Palin rally has now been changed.

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Where I get to have my opinion on politics, because in this country I can Part II

There's this clip going around on YouTube (well, there's lots of clips, but now I'm getting sidetracked). So anyway, this clip inparticular is making its way around lots a few places now, including CNN.

And, (like the title of this post says), I've got an opinion on this one.

You see, originally I was thinking of writing a post about how she is now the "guardian of the nation's disabled children" . I'm also wondering is she will soon become the guardian of the nation's children born less than 9 months before their parents get married, if they do at all.

But then, last night I saw this video. And I just had to comment on it.

So, back to this video. (you'll have to excuse me, I'm not real organized this morning). In the video she is quoted as saying "Pray for our military men and women who are striving do to what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for -- that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan."

Let's think about this last part:
on a task that is from God.......that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan

Seems to me I've heard this line of thinking before. Let me think. Where was it..... OH YEA!! How could I not remember, especially with the anniversary of 9-11 approaching so fast.

A terrorist. Don't terrorist's think this way in their justification of their violent behavior?

And this is completely aside the fact you are NOT supposed to mix church and state. Of course, she is speaking at a church, but she is talking about state stuff. As evidenced by this quote:

Her campaign says she doesn't mix her faith with government business. But Palin did ask her audience to pray for a $30 billion natural gas pipeline she is on a mission to build in Alaska. In the video Palin says, "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas pipeline built. So pray for that ... I can do my job there in developing my natural resources. But all of that doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart is not good with God."

Let's see. If one prays hard enough, one can get stuff done through government. And, if something doesn't get passed, it just may be because the people's hearts aren't good with God?

And she might become the VP of our country? What horror movie have I become part of? I mean really! The folks of this country are seriously considering electing someone with this mindset?

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Now that the kids are in school

and you might have some more free time on your hands, here's 2 more books to add to your reading list:

Sweet Mandarin
Walking the Rainbow

Both memoirs, but 2 completely different stories with the common theme of strength and courage.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Haiku Friday

I am so tired
Was up until 3am
Insomnia sucks
To play along, go over here.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Where I get to have my opinion on politics, because in this country I can

I've never been one into politics. I mean, I vote and find out what the candidates platforms are, but I don't get into politics. But this year has been different. Thanks to my new blogging friends I've been addicted to it. I've watched the conventions. I've twittered about them with my tweeps. I've read lots of posts commenting on the issues. I've stayed up late to watch The Daily Show (because quite frankly, I think he's got the best news show around).

And this year, I'm going to comment, out loud, in public, about my opinions. Because I can. Because, like you, I'm just Plain Jane Mom, working, raising a family, and trying to get one step ahead. But my opinion counts. Especially when I vote on Election Day. No, I haven't studied politics. And I may not be correct on all the topics. But that's OK. I'm learning.

I also think this election is historic for some many reasons. To have 2 women, one on each side, be so prominent in this election. To have a minority be on the ticket. To have had one party in office dominating it for so long. To have a son in upper elementary school to talk about politics to.

And as much as I so admire a woman for being able to balance such a high-powered job and a family, and as much as the feminine in me would love to see a female in such a high-powered job. She just isn't the gal for me. (And truthfully, her being a Republican was actually enough for me). But because she is a woman, a Mom, I feel that maybe I should be able to relate to her better. We both work. We both have kids. In fact, we both have kids with special needs. But I just don't relate to her.

You see. We aren't supposed to judge her kids. Yet, she keeps throwing her special needs child and her son going to Iraq into her campaigning. Both are important issues in this campaign. The war in Iraq, terrorists and education. Yet are we supposed to ignore the fact that her daughter is pregnant? It's considered unfair to bring this up? I don't think so. She doesn't get to pick which of her kids she can promote for her causes. Her platform and religion promotes abstinence, including not teaching about birth control in the schools. Her platform supports a ban on ALL abortion. Just because abortion wasn't an option or choice in her family doesn't mean it should be in mine. I think Jon Stewart, in his interview with Newt Gingrich last night, summed it up for me:

"She would veto abortion for women even in the event of being raped.....Respect my families ability to make this decision, and elect me so I can keep your family from having the same opportunity"

And I don't like how now the Republicans are talking about needing change. That was the Democrats phrase. And change? They are Republicans, which has been in leadership for the past 8 years. If they change how things are run, are they going to become Democrats? Because by saying the gov needs change, when you are the party that has been in office for 8 years could be interpreted as your party didn't do a good job. Not sure why I'd want to vote for more.

I personally love the fact that we can all post our opinions and talk and debate politics. I'd personally like for those freedoms to continue. And not only the freedom to talk, but the freedom to have and make choices.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Crayola Product Review

My co-writer at the SVMom's Group asked if any of us wanted to try out some new Crayola products. Crayola? You're never to old for Crayola!! So I said yes.

We got to try the No Drip Paint Brush Pens and Pip-Squeaks Mix'ems Markers.

Adam, although nearly 10 and not too much of an art fan was immediately interested after seeing the big Crayola crayon box the items were shipped in.
After checking out the 2 new items he called his friend over from next door and headed outside to the porch with some paper. The kids had a blast!

They both liked the No Drip Paint Brush Pens, because they weren't messy and drippy, however, they had a tendency to treat it like a marker which you can't, you still have to use brush strokes.

The Pip-Squeak Mix 'Em Markers were by far the favorite of the 2. Each marker is actually 2. You snap them together, push the button on the end and the colors match. You can even see this happening in the clear window! Then color away. Depending on what angle you hold the marker depends on how much or little of both colors you get. And you can mix and match the color - since I'm not a math person I can't tell you how many combinations there are, but let's just say it's lots and lots!

Adam's response when asked if he liked them "Well, I still won't like doing school projects, but they'll look a lot cooler with these markers and paintbrushes to add in special effects."

Thanks to Crayola for allowing us to try these!!

Be sure to check out the other new items when you're shopping for back-to-school supplies!

Cross-posted at Yup - Another Review Blog.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is it in color?

This past weekend we joined the swarms of parents and kids to get school supplies at the local Target. We also ended up buying "Stand By Me". It was on the end of the checkout aisle. (You know, that last chance for the store to suck all of your money out of your account) And I figured I'd already spent a fortune in school supplies, new sneakers and the very new and cool Shawn White T-shirts, so what was another $7.50.

While reading the back description to Adam I also mentioned that the movie came out when I was in high school and how much I liked it. Adam asks "Is it in color then?" Just how old does he think his Mom is?!?

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

What To Wear, What To Wear....

Once upon a time there was a boy that had lots of sensory issues, didn't really care to socialize all that much and didn't like change. This carried over into what he wore. Sweats and t-shirts. Never shirts with collars or buttons. Very rarely jeans. Just sweatpants/shorts, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Anything else truly bothered him.

Something started happening 2ish years ago. He started to wear jeans. He started learning the names of a few kids in his class. He even tried wearing shirts with collars. And he found out that when he stepped out from his own world, the rest of the world could be fun on his terms. He started to notice that some things were just not cool to wear each day (like sweat pants). He started to learn that he could have fun interacting with his peers, especially if he learned their names.

Fast forward to yesterday. We went to Target to get school supplies. As we were walking by the boys clothing we saw a new line of clothing - Shawn White skateboarder. I've never heard of him. But boy has Adam. He NEEDED to have a tshirt by him. He WANTED to have a tshirt by him. All the cool kids would be, and so that included him. He didn't care that it had tags or anything else on it. What mattered was that others would be wearing them and hey - they are from a skateboarder!

I thought back to the screams and tantrums when clothes that looked and felt OK to me didn't touch him the right way. I never thought I'd be so happy that he was into fashion!

This post brought to you by The Parent Bloggers Network and Hanes.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

To Clean Or Not To Clean - That Is The Question

One reason why it's been easy to read around here is because all I have to do is plop myself down on the couch. It's a lot safer and less aggravating than this.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unwordless Wednesday

I have no picture for Wordless Wednesday. Because I'm in bed trying to sleep instead of wake up. Because for 2 nights now (and days) I've been having, umm, 'stomach issues related to a virus of some kind'. And while my stomach has calmed somewhat, I can not sleep because of a Certain Bird. This bird in fact. So, if you can all imagine this picture, but with blooming Crepe Myrtle flowers on the branches, but the SAME Certain Bird who is STILL with us, that would be my picture right now.

You'll have to excuse me for a while. I have to go set up some contraption of a shoelace to the blinds to the bed so I can flick the blinds without getting out of bed when Certain Bird keeps flying back. And hope the good germs (yes, there is a story behind this but that is for another day) Adam gave me kick in soon.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

And would you like some dairy with that?

That is the new question around here for Adam.

After just about 2 years of no gluten and casein (minus a cheat every 6 months) we are giving him casein. And so far, knock on wood, please.don', all is going OK.

In the past, when we've let Adam cheat to see how he reacts we've always given him gluten and casein. And there's been a reaction. So, we go back to none of either.

This past summer I decided to peel another layer of the onion and we went to a Pediatric Gastrenterologist. Who did a lot of blood work - as in FIVE viles (poor Adam, he was such a trooper). And everything came back just fine. Except the Celiac Genetic Marker Test. There are 2 genetic markers. You need one of them to get Celiacs. He's got 1 of the markers. But so does 3o% of the population. So. We got to thinking. With Adam's history of ear infections and an amazing amount of antibiotics (the first round causing C-diff at 6 months old) and with a marker for Celiacs maybe he does have either Celiac or a true intolerance to gluten. Actually. We know he has an intolerance. That was confirmed by the doctor. You can't make your body react the way his does - it's not just a behavioral reaction. But we aren't willing at this point to scope him. We know staying off gluten is a good thing for him still. With an intolerance there is still hope he'll be able to have it one day.

But casein. Well, the gluten and casein proteins react very similarly - especially when you are looking at it from a Leaky Gut Syndrome perspective. But what if all along it was just gluten?

Only one way to find out.
Here's a bowl of ice cream Adam.
Two days later - here's a taco with real sour cream (not tofu based).
Two days later - here's some carmel sauce for your apple slices.
And all has been fine.
And my Mom has been visiting us for 6 days.
And all has been fine.
No extra hyperness, persevering and rigidness.
No bumps or red ears.

We're still going to take it slowly. But wow. Being able to have dairy changes things SOOO much. Even if it's just here and there (like cheese slices, dairy toppings on stuff) a couple times a week.

We'll maybe try gluten next summer. Maybe it was just Leaky Gut and his stomach is healing. Maybe it's Celiacs. To do more testing for Celiac's there has to be gluten in his system. They look at IGA reaction and a biopsy. But right now it's great to know that all his systems are looking normal, if there ever was damage due to gluten it's gone, and (keep fingers crossed, knock on wood) he can tolerate casein.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Besides being over at MotherTalk talking about the Dangerous Days of Daniel X, I'm also over at DCMetroMoms venting about drivers who don't slow down.

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The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

MotherTalk has once again allowed me to review one of their promotions: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson.

I think most of us are familiar with books by Mr. Patterson for adults, but this one is also for kids. Specifically boys. Of which I have one. He and I will be reviewing this one together.

"I love that Daniel hunts aliens down. And I really really like the plot in the story that he wants to get revenge on an alien that killed his parents who were also alien hunters. I think Daniel's parents would be very proud of Daniel for continuing his battle.
I like Daniel and I think its really cool that he can recreate the energy in the universe and can make it into things. I wish I could do that. If I could met Daniel I'd ask him if I could help him on his next adventure.
I'm also actually glad my Mom reviewed this book with me because now I can go read some of his other books before school starts back up and I have homework to do again."

I can not say enough about this book. Any book that captures Adam's interest is a good book for me. There was a time when Adam would pour through books. We couldn't get enough for him. And in the past year he's slowed down in his reading. Not his love for reading, but the amount. Because he's finding it harder and harder to find fiction books that he enjoys. And after searching through the bookstores I can see why. Most young adult books do tend to be more marketed towards girls. Which is fine. But there just doesn't seem to be as much out there for boys Adam's age.

Adam was hooked by the end of the first page. Mr. Patterson does a great job of telling a mature story for older kids/young adults at an appropriate reading level. The structures is simple, yet descriptive. You can not help but root for Daniel in his quest to fight the aliens. Even if you're not a 10 year old boy!

I'm not generally a fan of this genre, but this book at me hooked too. I plan on reading some other books by Mr. Patterson now too. And, after seeing this book on our kitchen table, my two high school sitters have also started reading this book and are also enjoying it.

Head over to MotherTalk to see what other's are saying about The Dangerous Days of Daniel X.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Will We Ever Win?

Going out to dinner with Adam is always risky. He has lots of picky eater habits as part of his Asperger Syndrome. When he was a toddler we'd pack his food and go. We thought it would get easier as he got older and would start eating the kids menu.

Nope. As a preschooler he'd:
-eat pizza, but only from Papa Johns.
-eat chicken nuggets, but only from McDonald's.
And although Papa John and McDonald's do count as a night free of cooking, we yearned for being able to eat out at a sit down, take your order family restaurant.

We'd give them tries. On the few times we were able to get Adam to eat even just some of a kids meal at Olive Garden, Don Pablo's or TGIFridays we'd feel like we hit the lottery. But within a few visits Adam would declare that kids meal just wasn't any good anymore. And then we'd be paying for a meal he didn't eat, arguing with him to eat and it was simply not enjoyable even if I didn't have to cook it.

We started date nights at home. On Saturdays we'd feed him dinner and put him to bed. Then we'd order takeout and pop in a movie and open a bottle of wine. It was the closest we could get to a real night out of not cooking, but not having to be fast food. But we still missed actually being able to go out.

I can remember one weekend we headed into the city and packed a picnic lunch. But Adam wouldn't eat it because we were at a different place. Not his home or the school cafeteria that he was used to. Adam refused to eat his lunch that we had packed. He was getting ready to melt down mostly due to lack of food. We were sitting on a bench waiting for him to agree to eat when he jumps up, arms flapping and shouting, “Someone call the hospital! Someone call the hospital! Quick! I’m going to crash!” While attempting to calm him down, Husband and I notice people are looking at us, but from a distance as they walk around our bench to give us more room. We got him calmed down and then he started again with, “Call 911! Someone call 911!” After calming him down again he agreed to eat. By then it was too late. He lost everything he ate right there on the sidewalk he had himself so worked up.

I’m glad no one called 911. We’ve all witnessed children melting down in public. But it's especially not fun when it's your very own.

It really puts a damper on our plans to do outings as a family when he won't eat out or even food from home brought somewhere else.

Luckily all that has really been changing in the last year. We've started a new diet and he has gradually learned to try new foods and to his amazement likes them! Now we can enjoy eating out as a family - except for his food restrictions - no gluten and no casein - have turned eating out into a different challenge. Will we ever win!?!

Luckily for us Red Robin has a gluten/casein free kids meal with free refills. They have become one of our new favorite restaurants to go to. Burger King has also been a new favorite fast food for us - plain hamburger, take off the bun and either apple fries or real fries.

We've been waiting a long time, but we can finally go out to dinner with Adam, and enjoy it.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Private and Public Lives

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Edwards cheated on his wife now. I did stay up to watch his interview with Nightline Friday night. I think he had some good points to say. I liked how he didn't have Elizabeth there next to him because it was his issue, his fault. I like that he said he has nothing else to say on the matter. But I can't believe him like I used to.

Adam was watching it with me and we got to talking about it. Adam brought up some interesting points. If Edwards talked so positively about the importance of family values/morals, and he lied to us in letting us think his family was so strong, etc, then is he crying wolf right now? But what if his family really is strong other than the one mistake he made? But then again, does what matter in his private life have any effect on his ability to hold a political job? And maybe he really does belief in all that he said, he just couldn't (obviously) lead the life he so much preached about. We talked about the importance of being truthful to those you love and working through problems. We talked about how hard it must have been for Elizabeth and his children. We talked about how does a parent rebuild trust after making a mistake, and how does a family heal. And we talked a lot about how much the public should know about celebrities and public people private lives and what private activities effect your job.

Don't get me wrong. What he did was wrong. So incredibly wrong. But, just because he is a politician does not mean he is perfect. And as his wife said just because others have also made this mistake does not make it any easier for her. In a very weird, possibly wrong way I actually do admire John for trying to keep it a private issue out of respect for his wife.

If this issue occurred in my marriage what would I do - would I want to try to rebuild? Would I want a divorce? I don't know. It would depend on so much. Either way, how much would I tell people, whether friends or family? And what would I want my husband to go around telling people? I'd want him to keep it private.
The question that keeps coming back to me regarding this is exactly how much of one's private life should be public. And exactly how much of one's private life effects your job.

On a much different level, as a teacher I am supposed to be a role model for kids. What if I see a student in the grocery store and I have beer in my shopping cart? Or what if a student sees a teacher out at a park and that teacher is smoking, or with their children yelling or giving their child a tap on their hand for not listening? But in school teachers tell kids hitting, smoking and drinking are not good for your body. Or what if a teacher has a same-sex partner? Are they not supposed to go out in public in fear of a student seeing them holding hands?

Where does one cross the line between what the public should know about your private life? And to what extent should they know about your private activities?

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Friday, August 8, 2008

I just can't get myself to wake up today. The list of stuff that has to be done, should be done, and I'd like to be done is long. And I can't motivate myself to tackle it.

I'm also in a dry spell for writing. I've started a few posts, but they just don't go anywhere, and sit staring at me in the draft folder.

So, instead I'm going to lead you to some other places.

BabyBunching is a new site that a co-writer of DC Metro Mom's and her BF have just started. Although I only have one child, I was a nanny for 2 Orthodox Jewish families in college. These 2 families had BabyBunching mastered. BabyBunching is also written by Moms - so even if you only have 1 child, or more than 2 but not 'bunched' you'll be able to relate to a lot of the posts. It's a fun website - you should check it out.

And, if you not like me, and in fact have something on your mind today, head over to Bridges - it's True View Friday. This new website is brought to you by Stirrup Queen.

But please do keep checking in here. I'm sure I'll be over my blah writing spell sometime soon!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This would be an orange shoelace weaved through the stair rails.

Mom: Did you do this?

Adam: Yeah

Mom: Why - what's it for?

Adam: Plucking.

Mom: Plucking?

Adam: Yea, plucking. You never know when you might want to pluck. Now I'm prepared.

Mom: Do you think you might want to pluck?

Adam: No. But you never know. So, can we leave it there? Just in case?

Mom: Um. sure. I suppose so.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Look What's Here!

No. I don't mean here on my blog. I mean over here, here and here!

Bridges is a new concept from Stirrup Queen, connecting, educating and supporting us bloggers. I'm one of the co-editors of the Parenting Children with Special Needs (along with my fellow DC Metro Moms Toddler Planet who is over at the Cancer category).

Be sure to check out Alltop if you're looking for resources/blogs related to ADHD and Down Syndrome too!

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Adam is very much into Spy stuff - spy gear, spy mission, history of spies. He recently got the Spy Gear Ultimate Spy Watch. On the way home from the store he read me the description on the back of the package: "A spy watch for the 21st Century! Sate-of-the-art electronic gadgets, world time, even a motion alarm and a decoder screen, all protected by locking armor. Everything you need for any mission!"

"So, Adam, that means if you are wearing the watch and I tell you you're mission is to clean your room, you'll be able to do it now." I told him.

Adam thinks for a minute. "Yea! I think so." he answered.

This may be the best 5 bucks I've spent in a long time.
Except it only lasted 5 minutes.

His response to why - "mission aborted"

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My New Crush

I think I have a new crush.

My bank.

They charged us a monthly maintenance fee. That shouldn't have been charged.

I dreaded the phone call - being bounced back and forth from dept to dept, being told they were either not going to remove it or it taking 6-8 weeks to clear.

So imagine my surprise when the person said how can I help you, I replied I have a monthly maintenance fee that I think was a mistake and she answered with 'OK, let me take that off and then we'll look into why so it won't happen again.'

By the time I was done picking my jaw off the floor she had re-credited the account, found out why and fixed the mistake so it won't happen again.

It was that easy.

I think I have a new crush.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Childhood Milestone

Adam had his first sleep over this weekend. He's slept at friends houses a few times, but has never had a friend sleep over here. That would be inviting someone into his territory, his space, for an extended period of time. But last week he told me he wanted Sam to sleep over. He and Sam play almost every day. Sam lives behind us. Adam's listened to Sam and some of the other neighborhood kids talk about sleepovers for a year or two. This summer he decided he was ready. And Sam was more than willing.

So, after playing during the afternoon and taking a break for dinner Sam arrived. They played. And played. And giggled. And laughed. And then it was getting late. So, into the sleeping bags in front of the TV to wind down they went. Sam shortly fell asleep. And then Adam got upset. More like panic. He didn't think he could do it. Not the sleepover part, but the sleeping in the family room instead of his bed. Well, that was easy to fix. I carried Sam upstairs to Adam's room. And Adam went to sleep in his bed.

They woke up this morning quite happy and within 2 minutes of opening their eyes resumed playing.

Adam hasn't stopped smiling yet.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


If your washer breaks, is it OK to be happy that you don't have to do laundry?
Even though it means you'll be having to pay to get it fixed so that you can do laundry again?

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Haiku Friday

Skinners mands, tacts, echoics
and intraverbals

Oh and so much more
The class was incredible
Learned so much info

But now it's over
no more papers and quizzes
and chapters to read

2 classes finished
towards my BCBA
and 3 more to go.

Come see what others Haiku writers are writing!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #5

Saturday morning Adam was running around the house. A.Lot. And making random and loud noises. A.Lot.

Me: Adam, you better calm down right now. We are NOT having one of those days so get that through your head right now. Understand?

Adam: Yes Mom

5 minutes later. Behavior is continuing.

Mom: Adam, I thought I had made this clear?

Adam: Mom - technically you said get it through your head. So that means IT went THROUGH my head and didn't stay, so I must have forgotten.

Mom: Well, then, you'd better go find it since it went through your head and put it back in your head and make it stay there.

Adam runs around house 'looking' for the phrase that is floating somewhere in our house.

Adam: Can't seem to find it Mom.

I play along some more and put out my hand and tell him here it is.

Adam: Wow Mom, how'd you find that?

Mom: Must be magic. Now put it IN your head.

Adam takes the phrase from my hand, puts it up to one ear and smushes it in and puts his hands over both ears. Shakes his head around a bit. Puts hands down.

Adam: OK Mom. We're all systems go for a great day now.

And a great day was had.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Haiku Friday

McDonalds for lunch
DQ Blizzard for dinner
Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum

But in the morning
I'll be afraid to step on
the scale - so I won't!

Denial is great
But then there's reality
Time to eat better.

Head over here to see what other people are Haikuing about this week.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Why Won't He Fall Asleep?

Some of you will probably hate me for saying this, but Son slept through the night at 5 days old. And by slept through the night I mean he slept 7 hours straight, woke up, fed, slept another hour or so and was then up for the day. We.lucked.out. And we knew it.

On the other hand, he really didn't nap much. It didn't worry me too much. He wasn't a fussy baby. He fussed when he was hungry and that was really about it. And he was alert. So we played and had fun.

I realized that infants usually slept about 20 hours at that age, and ours only slept about 12-15, but hey, the Ped wasn't worried, Son was happy and growing, so I didn't worry.

As he grew up, getting him to sleep become increasingly difficult. And the duration of sleep stayed proportionately lower than the typical child. But different in a way that I didn't expect. I remember growing up getting out of bed, stalling, looking for attention. I remember waking up a lot in the middle of the night, getting reassurance from my Mom and falling back to sleep. Son didn't really do this. Sure, he'd stall and ask for a cup of water, or forget a favorite stuffed animal, but for the most part he really did stay in his bed or the doorway to his room (a favorite place to sleep, don't ask why). It's not like he got out of bed looking for mischief. Yet, he would take 3 hours to fall asleep. He'd stay in his bed, wide awake, talking away and banging his head against the mattress. To the point where this past year we finally started melatonin. Boy do I wish we started that a long time back. Now he falls asleep within 30 minutes.

Once he was (finally) asleep he always stayed asleep. We never really had to deal with the middle of the night wake ups. Although I do remember that when he did wake up, he usually stayed awake. If he woke up at 4 or 5am, he was up for the day.

My siblings kids and my friends kids never seemed to follow this pattern. They all slept and slept and slept at infants like infants should. And they, for the most part, fall asleep when put to bed. However, all my friends and siblings have complained that their kids don't sleep through the night and are constantly waking up, but going right back to sleep.

Hubby and I always wondered which was worse - taking forever to fall asleep - but then falling asleep for the night, or going to bed with minimal issues, but having frequent wake ups in the night.

Earlier this week Autism Vox wrote a post about this study from Translating Autism.

And it got me thinking back on Son's sleep history, and the sleep history of his cousins and our friends kids. I do think that if we all had participated in the study, our participation wouldn't have changed the studies results significantly. And, based on this information, our Son was showing signs of being on the spectrum right from the start. Which, with more and more research coming out, I can now look back and say Wow, that describes Son perfectly - if only we knew that was a red flag back then.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Twitter Dreaming

Friday I had the day off. I planned on studying, cleaning and getting bunches of stuff done so I could truly enjoy a 2 day weekend with none of the catch-up-stuff-cuz-I-was-too-busy-during --the-week-stuff. And instead I spent it surfing the net. And Twittering. By 5pm the cleaning was finally finished, but with LOTS of stalling at the laptop (and I wonder where my son gets his high level of distractibility from?).

Upon waking up Saturday I remembered a dream I had. In my dream, I kept stopping my dream to give Twitter updates of my dream. See how addicting this Twitter stuff can be? And did I learn my lesson? Nope. Took most the day to get errands done because once again they were interrupted by LOTS of stalling at the laptop with Twitter and MomsRoadTrip.

So, today I'm shutting down the computer and reading and reading and reading (like, 8 chapters in a Sandburg & Partington book, the entire ABLLS and VB MAPP) which is going to painful, but really, really, really needs to get done now. I am so behind in this class it's not even funny (and boy do I hope my prof hasn't found this blog now that I've alerted everyone how behind I am!). Don't worry Prof - it'll all be done by class this week!!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Road Trip!!!

Now that I've made my new announcement, and after you're done checking out some of the sites of Autism.Alltop, you NEED to click on that badge over to the right. The pink and brown one that says SVMomsGroup Summer Road Trip 08. You see, my friends are taking a road trip to Blogger. And blogging and videoing it as they get ready to go and start their adventures. What do you get when you combine 5 fantastic writers, some great sponsers, technology and a bogging conference desitination? Come find out for yourself!

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My friend recently wrote a post about the new site Alltop has - Autism.Alltop. Being the obsessed with autism person that I am I checked it out. Wow! What great sites! Some I was already familiar with, and bunches of new ones. Mommy bloggers blogging about day to day stuff and also news and research autism blogs.

So, let me think for a minute. I'm a parent of an Aspie, I'm an ABA therapist working on my BCBA, I'm a former Sped Teacher - this is my one stop for all autism related info, constantly getting updated for me!

And then it got better. They included ME!! Little ole me, who about a year ago had no idea what this mommy blogging thing was all about. Am I cool or what now?!

And I must say. The timing is perfect. I have finally joined the ranks of the highly technologically competent bloggers (well, at least highly technologically competent in my books as I still consider myself a newbie) and joined Twitter and Google Reader. Which, has definitely made catching up with friends and posts much more organized and faster. So, what to do with all my new free time? Clean. Um no. Study for my class. Should, but...... Oh, wait. I know. Head over to Autism.Alltop and find me some more blogs to read!!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Life Moments With A Child On The Spectrum #4

The past week my folks, brother and his son came into town to visit. And stayed at our house. And my sister, brother-in-law and her daughter spent a lot of time visiting too (they live locally). Of course I love my family, and they love us, and each visit is a time to treasure since we live hours apart.

But, it wrecks havoc on my Son. Which in turn wrecks havoc on hubby and myself because he is stressed out.

So, today I bring you:

Top 5 Signs That You've Had Family Spending The Past Week With You
(when you're on the spectrum)

5. Having to sleep in your parents bedroom, because if things are going to be different in your house at night time, then one must sleep in a different room also
4. Significantly reducing food intake (and losing 3 pounds in a week, which is 5% of total body weight)

3. Banging your head on your mattress to go to sleep at night (a behavior that was pretty much extinguished after 7 years trying to extinguish)

2. Sorting your Lego's by color and type and then rebuilding the same thing over and over and over again.

And the top sign that you've had family spending the past week with you (when you are on the spectrum):

1. Crying for a good 30 minutes because your Nana took you home from Target a different way than your Mom does (not a wrong way, mind you, just a different way)

And a sign of huge progress:
Within 2 days all weight has been regained, head banging is pretty much extinguished again, Lego's are being played with, not stemmed with, sleeping in own bed, and being just fine with however we drive anywhere.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Good Evening Mr. Deer

Pic of deer Son took on our evening walk through the neighborhood tonight. There is a family of 4 that I have seen 3 times in the past week. This time we had a camara with us.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

And justice for all

In kindergarten Son learned to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometime in that first month of school he came to me and asked me what 'one nation under God' meant. We talked about it. We don't believe in God. (Yea - we're atheists.) He asked what he was supposed to do - if he didn't believe in God, and it's a free country, why was this in the pledge and did he have to say it. After explaining to him that most people do he thought some more. He then asked if it was OK that he didn't say that line. It was never a problem. It took months before his teacher and some of other kids noticed enough to comment on it. And he was never told he had to say the entire pledge.

Then in 1st grade he came to me to talk about the Pledge again. Seemed he had another phrase to question - 'with liberty and justice for all'. He asked me why I feed some of his classmates cereal bars in the morning. Said it wasn't fair that for whatever reason their parents and the government couldn't provide a decent breakfast for them. Said it seemed like there were a lot of things that just didn't seem fair. And just. And he decided that until our country was truly a place of 'liberty and justice for all' he wasn't going to say that phrase either. And once again, his teacher and some classmates noticed there was another new phrase he stopped reciting. He explained his opinion on the matter. And he was never told he had to say that phrase also.

And he can do this, and continues to do this because, although our country is not perfect, it is the land of the free. And he has the freedom to say whatever parts of the Pledge he wants to.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

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Monday, June 30, 2008


OK. So, before I go into hiding, one more thing. I finally succumbed to Twitter. Got myself all set up with an account. Made a post or two on it. But I can't for the life of me figure out how to 'follow' others, or let people know that I have an account so they can follow me over there too. Because, you know you want to follow me there too, right?

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Going Into Hiding

I'm going into hiding this week. Family is coming to visit (yea!), but they don't know I have this. There are people in RL that know about this, but I'm not ready to come out to my folks yet.

And I think that will be a post for later date. Why do we blab and blag our thoughts to strangers, or people we know, or have met via blogging, but yet, there is also a definite line on who we do and don't tell that we blog (for some of us at least).

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Haiku Friday / Love You Forever

Summer time is here
Another school year is now gone
Son's a year older.

Come head over here
I've got a post about it
Hope you enjoy it!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update on Summer

Summer is no longer on hold. Summer is back in motion and all the fun and smiles that it entails.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

More Help

And since we're on the topic of finding lost things, can someone, PLEASE, help him find the box of tissues? WHAT do boys have against using tissues instead of just snorting it all back up where it came from?!?

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If anyone knows where my son put his glasses, could you please let me know?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Knock Knock?

Knock knock. Anyone home?

Yea, I'm here.

Oh really? Wouldn't know - you haven't been posting lately.

Sorry about that. Ya know how you have those weeks that are just busy?. And you're not even sure why it's been so busy? Nor can you recount what made it so busy. But it was just busy?


Well, that sums up last week.

So, does that mean you'll be back this week?

Sure do hope so! Check back soon and you'll see for yourself :)

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer Vacation Is Put On Hold....

Apparently it's not so cool to have summer vacation after all. This thought would be after observing Son throw himself on the floor, screaming and tantruming for 30 minutes on Saturday stating "I hate summer, I hate this place, I hate this world, I want to go to summer school, I need to be back in school" among some other statements.

The antecedent to this share of emotions? Me telling him "You have 10 minutes until it's time to get ready for TaeKwonDo." And he melted.

I've noticed an increase in rigidity, persevering and decrease in wanting to play with the neighborhood kids in the past 3ish weeks. Instead of making Star Wars ships with his Lego's he's been making patterns with the blocks - mosaics he calls them. All this was expected. Transitioning from school to summer is a huge transition. But he was also excited about summer this year. His increase in the ASD behaviors wasn't really severe compared to what I've seen before.

And then with the conversations we had on Friday afternoon, I thought all was going to be OK in the transition to summer.

And ya know what, I think it still will be. After making him go to class (and sticking with his original decision to go and get some structure back into his day) he was fine. And he has been fine all day today. Although not very proud of him while he was throwing himself on the ground repeatedly like a toddler on Saturday, he's pulled himself together and is moving on. Enjoying summer as he should. I'm sure we'll have some more bumps on the roads as he completely adjusts, but when thinking back to years past, wow he's come a long ways!.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Vacation Has Begun!

Today, after picking up Son from his last day of school we stopped at the local Pet Store to get some crickets for his Leopard Gecko. After getting home he rushed upstairs. I called him down to take care of the crickets.

"What is it Mom? I'm wasting precious time!" he said after coming into the kitchen.
"Precious time? Precious time doing what?" I asked.
"Precious time of my SUMMER VACATION!" he exclaimed.

After taking care of the crickets he announced that he was heading back up to his room to play with his Lego's and to please not disturb his summer vacation (Said nicely).

Summer Vacation has begun!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008


If you have a dream that you are exercising, does it count?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Special Kiss

Son and I have a bedtime ritual that involves 'special kisses'. Ever since he was an infant I have kissed him goodnight on the same spot on his cheek. I don't remember how this started, but we call it 'my special kiss'. Son returns the kiss to me too.

Last night when we were doing 'special kisses' he started kissing my cheek repeatedly. When he was finished he asked, "Did you recognize that pattern Mama?" I didn't. So he told me the pattern.

"It's I love you in Morse Code!" he told me.

Now, THAT is a special kiss.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This past Saturday I braved the heat with some of my fellow DCMetroMom friends for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. By brave the heat I mean there was a 100+heat index that day, and although the walk started at 8:15, the heat and humidity had long since set in over the city.

But ya know what? It's OK. So I sweated for a morning. That's nothing compared to what survivors and those honored and their families have gone through. It really hit me, walking that morning - seeing those with survivor shirts on. Seeing those carrying signs in memory of loved ones.

And, of course, it always help to walk with friends. Thanks to Andrea, Devra, Leticia, Stimey, Linda, MamaBird, Julie, Sandie, Jessica, Jodi, Nancy and Jess for the great conversation. And also thanks to Kristen for providing our own t-shirts - boy did they help in keeping track of us in the crowd! Thanks for Jess for coordinating us. And wow was eating at Hawk and Dove a great idea - thank to Jess, where we ran into Sarah who was walking with her family. We missed Susan, Suzie and Mary who did the sleepover though! I can't think of a better group of friends to do some good for women with :)

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm Over Here Today

Head over to DC Metro Moms where I'm posting about my surprise at what one can get out of watching cartoons!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Martial Arts Saturday

On Saturday, from 8am till 7pm it was all about martial arts.

My Son and Husband are black belts and on Saturday they competed (and hubby judged) at the

Super Challenge 2008 Tournament. Son picked up two more trophy's to add to his collection (1st in sparring, 2nd in musical forms), and Hubby also picked up 2 more trophy's to add to his collection.

About mid afternoon we left to continue our martial arts themed day.

After waiting entirely too long for a metro train, we finally made it downtown to the Kung Fu Panda event, sponsored by Kung Fu Panda and Hewlett-Packard at the Zola Restaurant/International Spy Museum.

Now, I've never been to an event promoting a movie, so I really had no expectations. So, it was probably easy to impress me, but, really, I think the folks coordinating all this did a great job. The first room we walked into had food. Different tables with different themes, pasta, meat carving, desserts. Then, after going up a couple of stairs you were in the activity area. Face/hand painting, play do, origami, dancing, arts and crafts, snacks, picture taking with the panda (with an extremely easy to use and cool picture printer), and my son's favorite - the video game. I really liked how there were activities for all kids ages. The set up made it easy to mingle and still keep an eye out on my son. (which, really, put him in front of a video game and chances are pretty nil that he's going to move away from it).

I had plenty of time to chat with my friends from DC Metro Moms, got to meet some new Moms, some husbands and kids. I think my hubby had a decent time too! I know my Son did.

At closing time, we left, headed home and crashed for the night.

PS - the video game in the gift bag has done wonders in the bribery department - thanks!
PSS - we can't wait to see the movie this weekend!

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