Thursday, January 31, 2008

Britney Spears and Politics

I know. I know. Everyone is getting tired of hearing about Britney Spear's issues.

So, I'm not actually going to talk about HER issues.

I am going to talk about the issue itself. I think it's safe to assume that she is experiencing some kind of mental illness or mental issue that appears to be preventing her from leading a typically normal life as a person and mother, family member and friend.

In a way I am glad the media is covering the issue. But they aren't covering it the way I'd actually like to see.

I'd like to see the media talk about mental illnesses themselves. I'd like to see the media bring attention to how hard it is to treat mental illness. And it's hard on for so many different reasons.

Access/wait lists for doctors are too long.

State budges aren't enough to assist in treatment options.

Not everyone has health insurance to cover the cost of medication and therapy.

If you are an adult, it becomes really hard to force you to seek treatment.

Not to compare Brittany to what happened at VA Tech last spring, but the truth is, if you are over 18, it becomes a lot harder to force treatment on you. There are confidentiality rules that prevent family members, friends, companies and schools from knowing you may even need the help.

Brittany appears to have the money to seek treatment and help, but it appears she won't, or is at least showing resistance to it. She also appears to have loving parents that want to support her, despite the frustration they must be experiencing, and the sadness of watching their child struggle privately and publicly.

But, like many with a mental illness, it's not her that is showing resistance.

It's the mental illness itself. And, in this country, mental illness too often wins and slowly engulfs it's victim. There are many victims: the person himself, his family and his friends. Mental illness effects many people in many different ways.

And like her, there are soooo many more out there suffering.

I'd like to know what all of the presidential candidates REALLY feel should be done with the mental illness system we have in America.

**please note, I am not diagnosing Britney Spears as having a mental illness, all statements regarding her are my interpretation of media reports.

Cross posted over at DCMetroMoms where I am a contributing writer.

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Book Review

I've got a new book review up over at Yup - Another Review Blog.Go check it out - especially if you are a teacher or have an interest in education.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

No words for today's announcement on John withdrawing from his campaing to be president.
No words because now, instead of talking, I need to go find another candidate I like.

To see other Wordless Wednesday's, click here.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Autism Awareness

As you know, my son is on the Autism Spectrum and I also work with children on the spectrum doing in-home behavioral support. So, I have a soft spot for Autism Awareness like things. Over the weekend a friend sent me a link to "What Kind Of World Do You"

Five for Fighting (a rock band) is donating money to various charities for video's watched on their website.

You should go check it out.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Next President

Over at DC Metro Moms and the sister sites an invitation has been given to the candidates. (again) It's inviting them to come talk to us. The Moms. Elizabeth Edwards has already chatted with us twice in fact. But we've heard nothing from the other candidates.

I'm pretty sure I know who I am voting for. But to be honest, I'm not sure where all the people stand. It's hard to find out. They all make promises, and the media can definitely be biased in their reporting, not to mention reporting on the bickering as well. How do we know the truth?

How do we really know how they will act in the position of President and/or Vice President? How do we know they will continue the agenda's they have made important in their campaigns?

So much of this election on the Democrat side has turned into an African American vs female issue. And I'll be blunt here, as great as it would be to finally elect someone of a minority status to be President, there has to be more than that for me to push the button for that person to be elected. I'll make that decision based on who I believe will best represent my feelings and how the country should be run at home and as a contributing member to the world.

What a better way to help spread their campaign message than by talking to Mom's?!? Let us help spread the word when out at the parks, picking up kids at school and sports, and blogging?

So, Hillary, Barack, John, John, Rudy, Mike, and Mitt: anyone game?!?

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I'm Waking Up

Something you don't know about me is that I have Epstein Barr Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It means I get chronically sleepy. And I don't mean tired from all that involves living. I mean I need to sleep right now and for many hours and days.

Back in college I came down with Mono. One of the worst the college clinic had ever seen. It put me in the hospital for a week and I developed ITP. They froze my blood to use in studies.

After lots of medications and followups I was declared healthy again after a year.

However, in the past 15 years or so I go through periods where I sleep a tremendous amount. A couple of years I finally got diagnosed with Epstein Barr/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Not that there is a cure or anything. But at least I know I sleep a lot for a reason, not entirely due to laziness.

I've been sleepy and dragging for about a week now as well as running a low grade fever on and off. Then Friday it hit big time. I took a 5 hour nap in the afternoon after sleeping in till 10am. Got about 9 hours of sleep that night. Took a brief nap in the afternoon. Got 9ish hours of sleep Saturday night. Took a 5 hour nap in the afternoon Sunday and got about 10 hours of sleep Sunday night.

But finally, I feel like myself again. I have energy. I feel awake.

And although it's nice to be able to take naps, sometimes I really hate having to take them so much.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Haiku Friday

Exercised this week
Each and every day in fact
At least an hour.

This morning I step
On the scale to see rewards
And instead I've gained.

Head over here to see what's happening with other's this week!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rules For Moms

This was sent to me from someone I've met online in the book blogging world. She kindly sent me a book that I'm almost done with and ready to review. Recently she sent me this essay.

This essay is written by Amanda Eyre Ward, who recently wrote Forgive Me, which I hope to be reviewing in the very near future.

There is something I truly enjoy about reading books that have strong mother characters. They give me hope and inspiration to always be looking for ways I can improve myself as a mother. As a boss once told me, you'll never get ALL exceeds (highest rating) because everyone always has something to improve on. And he didn't say that to be mean and he didn't say it meanly. He's right. We can always improve on something.

Right now Rule Number Three really rings true with me. I have always believed in my child. And I want him to believe in himself too. One way we are instilling this value is to always try your best - your true best. And if you've done your true best, then you can be confident in yourself and also proud. And there is no better feeling than this for a child to have. But it's true of us Mom's too. Always do your best. Sometimes your best involves Rules 1,2 and 4 because accomplishing those rules allows us to believe in ourselves, and in our children.

Here is her essay (posted with permission):

Lessons from Mom
By Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Forgive Me

No matter what I write about, my novels always seem to have a strong mother character. Inevitably, this character is inspired by my own astonishing mother, Mary-Anne Westley. From a dorm pay phone, a hostel in Nairobi, a restaurant in Athens, or the bench at my neighborhood playground, I’ve talked with her every day of my life.

Once a writer and model for Vogue and Mademoiselle, my mother settled happily into the role of full-time mom for sixteen years. When she left my abusive father, she worked for the phone company and then a chemical gas company, trying to make vibrant copy out of dull facts and figures. She put me and my two sisters through college, commuting over an hour to work until her retirement last year. Money was tight, but Mom never faltered, always inspiring us with her graceful acceptance of the way things had turned out. Now that I am a mother myself, I’ve been able to put some of her rules into practice.

Rule Number One: When in doubt, throw a party.
When my mother left my father, she left behind a giant house and many fair-weather friends as well. In our new, smaller house (next door to Mom’s former golf caddy), we all felt a little lost. When Christmas rolled around, Mom refused to get gloomy. She planned her annual Christmas party, inviting not only the country-club set, but our new neighbors as well: Lou, who had a few cars on his front lawn; Jim, who we suspected was a drug dealer. The same bartender drove across town to our new address, and Mom placed the Harrington’s ham, meatballs, and cheese ball on the dining room table in the middle of our crummy new house. When we dimmed the lights and lit candles, it felt like home.

Rule Number Two: When times get tough, the tough go shopping.
My mother is always beautifully dressed; my sisters and I regularly steal her clothes. When she had to work on telephone lines due to a strike at her company, she came home with a DKNY denim pantsuit, which she paired with pearls each morning.
At one point, while I was in college, my mother lost her job. I knew she was nervous about paying the mortgage, so when she left a message saying she had fantastic news, I called back immediately.
“You got a job?” I asked.
“Oh, no,” she said cheerily, “but Manda, that sweater you loved went on sale at Bloomingdale’s! I bought it!”

Rule Number Three: Believe—and believe in—your children.
I didn’t always tell the truth to my mother. I lied about boyfriends, I lied about beer, and once I lied about cashing in my meal plan in college and spending the money on a trip to Florida. But my mother always believed me. I think now that the guilt I felt when I lied was worse than any punishment could have been. My mother always expected the best from me, and in the end, I never lied about anything that mattered. I hope I will remember that overlooking a dumb decision (I had to eat Ramen for the rest of the semester, and learned my lesson in spades) might be better than policing my child. My mother’s faith in me, and her absolute belief that I would become an honest person, has been the guiding force in my life.

Last but not least: Mothers deserve to be happy, too.
My mother did give up a great deal to raise me and my sisters. But she never stopped wanting happiness for herself. If she came to visit us at college, she wanted to go out dancing, too. When visiting me in graduate school in Montana, she wanted to go river-rafting and skinny dip in the hot springs. If I ask her to stay in the car with my sleeping baby while I run into Target, she says, “Absolutely! If you go buy me the New York Times to read while I’m stuck here.”
Most importantly, Mom wanted to fall in love, and the best part of the story is that she did. On my mother’s wedding day, she was just as difficult as any bride, complaining about the humidity and the hairdo, and just as radiant. She danced, threw her bouquet, and boarded a friend’s boat with her new husband. And then she sailed off into Long Island Sound, leaving her three daughters to watch her go.

Amanda Eyre Ward is the award-winning author of How to Be Lost and Sleep Toward Heaven. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.

For more information, please visit

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Wordless Wednesday

These are total yumminess!

Check out other Wordless Wednesdays.

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Monday, January 21, 2008


Tomorrow will be a typical day for me. Sort of.

Tomorrow I will have something else on my mind. Someone I'm thinking of. Someone I know from DC Metro Moms and although we have never personally talked, we know bunches about each other because of the blogging world.

Because of the blogging world, you to can read her story. Her honesty. Her fears. Her dreams. Her reality. Her life with IBC.

Tomorrow will be a typical day for me. But not for WhyMommy. And because of her bravery she will have lots of tomorrows.

To do what we all want. To see our kids grow. To fall in love over and over again with our spouse. To live.

Join with me in sending her some thoughts won't you?

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What Happened To Mommy/Son Days

There was a time that when there was a day off of work/school my son and I would call them Mommy/Son days. We'd look forward to it all week. Because we got to spend the entire day together. Doing something fun. Something that we didn't have time for between working and school.

As he began to grow up he continued to love these days. Everyone needs special 1:1 time. Chill time. Quality time.

Today Son has no school. But he's not having the Mommy/Son day I was planning. Instead he has been playing with a friend from the neighborhood for about 5 hours now.

As much as I love seeing him form friendships and grow, I miss those days when I was enough.
On the other hand, I've gotten lots of little stuff done around the house too.

Growing up is so very bittersweet.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

May I See Your ID Please?

This is what our waiter asked my husband last night when he ordered a beer.
Ummmm. My husband is 37.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Book Review

Head over to Yup - Another Review Blog for another book review!

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Friday Haiku

Snow falling gently
twist, turn landing randomly
blanketing the ground.

Peaceful views to watch
while walking in quiet woods
in my neighborhood.

Two cold, lonely geese
swimming through the icy pond
looking for shelter.

One joyous child
has several snowballs ready
to throw at his friends.

To read other Haiku's, head over to A Mommy Story!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reading Books

Do you ever read a book, and get so into it that it effects your daily life? Like, you get really attached to a character and when the character is going thru rough times you feel like it's you going thru rough times? And you got so lost in the story that it just simply brings you down, and you know it's fiction so why is it bothering you so much and why can't you separate the fiction from your real life?

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Did you know that toothpaste has an expiration date? I did not. We ran out of toothpaste. I found a tube in the linen closet to hold us over till I got to Coscto. But, it expired 2 years ago. When did toothpaste start expiring?

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Wha'ts For Dinner Tonight

Garlic bread with herbs, smoked Gouda cheese and wine. Let's see:

Garlic bread w/herbs = grain and vegetables
cheese = dairy
wine = fruit

Yup - another wonderfully delicious and nutritious dinner, right?
Once again all food groups were participating

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Friday, January 11, 2008

DeLurkers Wanted

What's Delurker's Day? Who are Delurkers? Why - you of course. I have no idea who really reads this blog from time to time unless you leave a comment. So, today's you're lucky day! Go ahead, don't be shy - leave a comment :)

Brought to you by Chris at Rude Cactus and Aimee of Greeblemonkey (who made the icon) and the other blogs that I've been lurking on today who are posting this.

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Haiku Friday

While working today
A great topic came to me.
I'll wait till I'm home.

Now I'm back at home.
And now I can't remember
The topic to write.

So, instead you get
This little haiku about
My forgetful mind.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's For Dinner?

Tortilla chips with Mexican cheese melted on top, sour cream and salsa.
Woo Woo drink to wash it down.

Chips = corn = vegetable
Cheese = dairy
Sour Cream = dairy
Salsa = tomatoes and peppers and onions = vegetables
Woo Woo drink = cranberry juice = fruit
Woo Woo drink = vodka = grain

Therefore, last nights dinner counted as a nutritious dinner, right?
All the food groups were participating......

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas Trees

Last week I posted about how cold it was here. Really cold. As in below freezing. And windy too. Which, well, it's winter. It's supposed to be. And our Christmas Tree looked right sitting in the family room with the winds howling outside.

Today? It's currently 70 degrees. And somehow that tree just doesn't look like it belongs as much. That, and it's January 7th.

I think it just may be time for me to stop procrastinating and take down the tree.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Eating With The Child On The Spectrum/Sensory Issues

Ever since starting the GFCF diet over a year ago Son has been more receptive to trying new foods and finding out that he actually likes them. We love that his list foods that he'll eat is growing. We can add 2 more foods to the list - sausage (for breakfast) and potato chips.
Yup - Son refused to eat potato chips.

And another milestone - he ate scrambled eggs on his sausage today. There was a time that he would completely freak if food touched other food on his plate. Once that happened his meal was over.

These may seem like minor issues to most parents. But for parents kids on the spectrum, or even just sensory issues, these steps are huge in making meal time enjoyable for the whole family as well as providing better overall nutrition for the child.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Things My Son Has Said This Evening

1. I have the beginnings of a cold. Runny nose and itchy eyes yesterday, head pounding developing over the course of today. Son said, "I have just the thing to make you feel better Mommy. I'll give you kisses all over your head and share my good germs with you so they can help fight your bad germs." Awwwww

2. And before watching Zoe 101 this evening he asked if the actors were real. Husband and I weren't exactly sure what he was asking. We had been talking about the JamieLynn pregnancy and how in real life she is pregnant (which of course stemmed the conversation we were having from todays headlines). We told him that Zoe is a character played by JamieLynn, Zoe isn't real, but JamieLynn is. He asked if it was just her voice. We said yes, her voice is real and she is a real person in life. We were all getting confused. Then he asked what he was really wanting to know. Was the show using real people as actors or computer animation that was super good with real people doing voices (like in a cartoon). We said n0 - they are real people. It's not a cartoon. We of course were confused why he couldn't tell that they were real people (I was thinking he was having an Aspergers social moment to a degree he has never had before). Turns out he was just confused because if JamieLynn is pregnant in real life shouldn't her stomach be fatter in the show. He now knows shows are filmed in advanced.
Good question though - if she is supposed to be pregnant and doesn't look it, maybe the people on the show are all computer graphic done real well. That would be a geek thinking.

I'm off to get some good germs now.

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The Week's Summary

Because I know you are really curious as to what I've been up to other than taking pictures of ice cubes (and by the way it's still freezing. Yea, I know, it's winter time - get over it).

School started back up. Son is completely back in routine and has mellowed out completely. No more extra excess sensory issues and energy and verbal stimming. He likes school. He likes his teacher and the kids in his classroom. He likes the topics they are learning. And he loves the routine. Monday - Friday, school, homework, play and/or TKD and Sat/Sun vegging out. He is a creature of routine and he has his routine back. So he's happy, and I'm happy (although I do miss him during the days. Even with all the extra energy I love having bonus days to spend with him).

And, that is the state of things this week. Noneventful, which, is very OK after the holiday excitement.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Why a picture of ice cubes? Because it is FREEZING today.

Head over to Wordless Wednesday to join in the fun.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Blog Exchange - January 2008

Here's my post for the January 2008 Blog Exchange. At some point later today it may be moved over to my host's blog, so be sure to check back later, because her's will be here instead.

The Blog Exhange - January 1, 2008

This months topic is the Best of 2007 Awards.

I've been pondering this for a week now on and off. Should I do blogs, events, places to go, favorite books, movies and tv shows? But nothing I've come up with has been a 'yeah! Blog about that!'.

So, here I am on New Years Eve. I'm not out drinking. I'm not out with friends. Well, ok, hubby and I do have a glass of wine. But I'm at home. With my husband and son. Husband is on his laptop next to me doing what ever it is when he surfs the net. I'm catching up on some blogs after being out of town for a few days. Son is watching Drake and Josh on Nick - his latest favorite show.

And you know what - I'm having a great New Year's Eve. It's quiet. It's relaxing. It's with my 2 favorite people in the whole world.

Back in my younger days I never would have thought this would be the best way to spend New Years Eve. I was so clueless back then. I wouldn't give this up for the world.

Hope you all had the Best New Years Eve Ever too!

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