Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

Well, I was kinda planning on working today. But I have a hard time justifying it. And it is always easier to work when the kids are back in school.

I love school. When it started this September, I was all thrilled, and offered to pay more tax levies to meet the schools needs. I love our small school, that has all sorts of programs to help challenged learners and many teachers who are passionate about their work and their students. It is a tool I use not just to help my kids but for my sanity.

Don't get me wrong. I love my kids, I love to do things with them. But with all the other demands on me (mostly business, small children, pregnancy...) I just don't have the ability to keep them busy and engaged enough around home to keep them out of troubles.

Hmmm, Now I am so off track, I don't even remember what I was going to blog about.

Well, Have a happy new years.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Guerrilla Learning

How to give your Kids a real education with or without school. By Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver

A new book I am reading and would like to share:

"when you get down to it, unschooling is really just a fancy term for "life" or "growing up uninstitutionalized"

most of the homeschoolers- the kids in freeer, "unschooling" homes as well as those doing more traditional "School at home"- were engaged in ambitious, serious projects of one kind or another
...... in addition to their academic progress, they were learning the critical skills needed to devise a project, commit to a goal, and, at the risk of real failure, make something happen in the world."

Real learning requires meaning.
In schools it is a little too guided, too disconnected, too removed from the world.
People can be asked to absorb a certain amount of meaningless data in good faith, the promise that it will eventually be related to a larger world and transformed into information. But most people can't absorb 12 years of it.

Classrooms make poor worlds.
Children work on always putting things into their "world view", to make sense of the world around them and their questions are the most critical clue to what information is currently required by their emerging internal maps of the world.

That is why allowing kids to follow their interests can make learning so powerful.
They are searching for the missing info in their mind models.

Then it talks about the industrialized model of schools, turning out citizens to fit into cogs. That is one of the two main functions. The other is to babysit, so parents can be cogs.

Then it hits the apex of the first chapter: that it is our- the parents- ultimate responsibility to educate (or allow learning) for our kids.

I like that it also trys to help you work with in the system for some of it.

"you can view school as a deadly serious, meaningful test of what your family and children really are and the only significant source of your children's learning. Or you can choose to look with certain rules, certain penalties for losing and rewards for winning, and certain costs of playing. It doesn't have to define who your child or your family are, it doesn't have to be the only or the main source of your child's education. It probably won't much help your children find and develop their strengths, grow as a whole, healthy and spiritually connected, intellectually vital people, or find their calling in life. But neither does it have to crush their spirits"

First exercise given in the book:
List everything about which you know enough about on to contribute significantly to a conversation or to write a pithy booklet called "The beginner's guide to _____"
Write down everything you are good at- your skills, anything from webpages building to changing diaper....
Next put an a star by each of the items that you learned mainly in school or college.

I did a quick mental list, and about 99% was not learned in school.
Everything I do daily was not taught in school. I learned through doing, kind of trial by fire...
cooking, cleaning, financing, web stuff, people relationships, marketing, house repair, clothing...

Like many things in life school can be a poor master, but a good servant.
If you recognize it for what is it, and be aware of it's dangers, then you can use it as a tool
Like a skill saw.

And that concludes chapter one- hand around and I may share the best parts of other chapters.

Monday, December 17, 2007

digging out

In case you are not in the know, my household is slowly working on digging itself out from under the flu bug.

Yup Wednesday night. Clay woke up with it. He barfed all over his bed, several towels and Daddy several times.

On Friday I kept Galen and Ewan home, after Galen complained of a tunny ache and Ewan was so disorientated that he couldn't get himself dressed in 30 minutes. By noon they were up and running around, And I had thought that my diagnosis was off. But by 8pm, Ian started in with the barfing and Ewan quickly joined him. Then at 4 am Galen did too.

So by Saturday morning- when most of the barfing had stopped, I wanted to sleep, but all the kids were cuddling in my bed. And because of their illness we had to cancel our date- yup the date we had to put off before due to me being sick in November. It is not like you can blame anybody for not wanting to watch sick kids, or not wanting to catch anything themselves.

And then Saturday night, that blasted flu bug bit me. And I must say. It was quite exquisite pain. Never before had I remembered the feelings of havening nails pounded into my stomach and then being wrench around and twisted. And when it decided you were going to expel, did it pull all your muscles- on your whole body upwards and a tights and un-ended grasp- to a point where you couldn't even breathe. So between those muscle contortions I sat their panting, trying to catch my breath.

Sunday, I was immobile, while the kids were quite mobile. But I still didn't manage to sleep much, as every 2 minutes someone would crawl over me or ask me a questions that I didn't know or care about the answer to. So today- I am trying to catch up on sleep. And feel better and clean up some and all sorts of fun stuff that has to done, but hasn't gotten done in way to long.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One More Time

yup, one more time, we had a date scheduled and sitters lined up, and we have to postpone it.

Wednesday night Clay woke up barfing- Thursday neither one of us felt very well. And by Friday I kept both of my school children home. When Ewan is so disorientated he can't get dressed in 1/2 hour- I knew they probably caught it too.

So by Friday noon, they were running like well, well, like a gaggle of boys through our house, and I had begun to wish I wasn't so quick to judge them that morning. But at about 8pm the puking fest began. First it was Ian, followed closely by Ewan. And then last night at 4 am Galen joined the fun. And Clay wasn't sleeping well either.

So I am feeling ornery and tired and wanting a nap. Galen and Ewan are lying in my bed. Clay is waiting on his blanket to be washed. And Ian doesn't want to use the potty in order to be cleaned and cathed.

Of course a good dose of stomach flu usually comes with the cancellation of all plans for the family. Yup- one more canceled date night. And I also called and told them that I probably wouldn't make it to church tomorrow and that they would be wise to find another teacher.

This whole month has been that challenging. Mostly small things, that gang up on you. But the water heater was a big thing. Sometimes I have been wondering if the universe doesn't want my customers to get their orders before Christmas. So far I have refused to give up trying. But in December, nothing is fast enough for the people who left the the shopping till the last minute.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

True Story

Ian's Dr Visits went well. At the last visit with the GI doc. It was almost hit or miss weather he'd be put in the hospital again, but we were all relieved when she just prescribed another med regime. (to clear the small, but definite blockage he has now. This blockage is about the size of a baseball, but compared to earlier with Ian, it is definitely smaller.) This regime is to give him 2 ducolaxes daily and 3 servings of the stool softener plus adding a bowel regulator. For 3-5 days, then we go back to the normal plus the regulator.

The urologist sounded pretty happy- we are cathing him regularly. His kidneys look great. Tests went well. Our first appointment was at 7pm our last one got done about 4:30ish. We were very thrilled to be going home.

Anyways so today is Ian's birthday, and I made a cake for him and made some frosting. I know it works really well to hide his meds in juice or something for Ian. And I decided to hide his 2 ducolaxes (crushed) in a few spoonfuls of frosting and then I could put the frosting on what ever piece of cake he chose and nobody but Daddy and I would be the wiser. I thought about putting on a corner piece of cake, but then thought about how easily that could back fire- And I didn't want to be up all night with the runs (or have those type of Diapers with Clay baby). (and kids always eat their frosting). As we sang Happy Birthday to Ian , Galen saw the little bowl with frosting and devoured it all.

When Mike and I found out, that Galen ate the "Extra" frosting. We laughed so hard we had tears streaming down our faces and it took us an additional 5 minutes before we could manage to cut the cake.

Friday, December 07, 2007

When Two year olds show thier colors

He is so sweet, but today, I am ready to sell him to any bidder.

He wanted to have some fun ( I guess, what else would go through his head? as we are zooming down the road at 55 mph?) And he crawled out of his car seat and over to the other side of the car where he opened the door.

When I noticed that the door light came on I thought "um, I guess I didn't close it tight enough." But I thought maybe I should reach back and check and low and behold, Clay caught my arm. That freaked me out enough that it sent my car across the road in a nice wide swerve. I caught control of the car and pulled it back into our lane and then quickly onto the shoulder. Where I got out, took Clay out of the car and childed him while walking him over to the other side of the car and buckling him back in again. I explained as calmly as I could that it was "dangerous" and a no no.
I must have been firmer with this babe (who is usually the apple of my eye), then he has ever seen. He didn't move a muscle the rest of the way home.

And just as I was about to forgive him..... he took a package a ramen and rammed it into my piano. Managed to get some stuck between just about every key.....

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why am I up hours past my bedtime?

Because the kids stole my mint gum (anti nausea med) from my purse, and so I had to make tea to fight it off tonight.

Because there was a silly Holiday Concert at the Elementary school and my Ewan sang in 2 of the songs in the whole 70 minute program ,but we are required to stay the whole program and them make purchases at the book fair later. If the teachers sent any homework home with the kids tonight- it will not be done.

There were 2 little highlights in the program. The first was the blond 2 year old in front of me. She often covered her ears. The second was the single best performer in the whole program. He is in 4th grade, and obviously a special ed student. His whole class wore black, he had on a bright red turtle neck. All the girls were dancing to the number the 4th grade did, and he stood on the risers and sang, and wiggled and danced with abandon. He was the most enjoyable to watch. And as a mother of a special ed student (mine is aware enough of himself, not to even want to perform) I hope his parents were so proud of him, instead of embarrassed (as I am sure any old enough siblings of his were).

THE TOOTH FAIRY"S HELPER
And my poor Ewan. He knows his tired, ornery, pregnant mother too well. He lost a tooth this week. His second. And he knew there was no way pregnant mother was going to remember to play tooth fairy with out his help. So last night he handed me an envelope with quarters in it (that is how the tooth fairy does it here. She has you put your tooth in an envelope under your pillow, and then during the night she exchanges it for an identical envelope with money in it). And told me that this was all ready to play tooth fairy and that his tooth would be under his pillow ready for me tonight. Well it worked, how could any mother say no to that?

Man I love this blog

Here is a quote from her questions and answer session:

Okay, Dawn, I am gasping. 1000 square feet? Are you sure? I thought I was the queen of making everything fit, but you put me to shame. What do you do - triple bunks in the bedrooms?

Eh, we just make half the kids sleep outside. Which half depends on how they're behaving that day.

I thought I was the only one who threatened that based on children's behaviors. We also threaten it at dinner time. "If you behave like that at the table, you are going to eat outside with the dog."

but in reality we pull it off -with only 4 kids (until June). And our master bedroom has the 2 year old- who still falls asleep, happily and quietly the second you put him in the crib. And usually another kid is asleep on the couch in the Living Room- they all have beds, but often seem to prefer not to use them. And then 2 actually share a room- with bunk beds.
Which leads to my next question: Do we have to feed them every day??
Yes, but popcorn, cereal, cookies, cheese sticks, and fries all count as meals.

Another reason I love my two year old. He is happy eating anything that I am willing to put into my mouth.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Complaints...

I would like to lodge a complaint with the department to keep us Americans spoiled and complacent in the early 21st century.

I would like to complain about the lack of wisdom in plumbers, their high hourly charges, and the lack of the right part I need anywhere local.

I would also like to complain about the idiots who designed the water heater, making it impossible to reach the part you are supposed to work on, the idiot who put the water heater in a very tight spot making it hard to reach, or work on and every other idiot (as long as I am at it), and of course the idiot who didn't sell this brand of water heater locally. Or the idiot who didn't buy a locally served water heater.

And I would like to complain about being tired, and ornery, which a house full of junk mail- that I am trying to recycle- but in reality just manages to clog up space in my office and then spread, over and over again all over my floor.

I would like to complain about the idiot (genius really) who first discovered bulk mail advertising and the idiots who consistently choose to cut down living trees to make paper that will become junk mail for me to sort through, try to recycle and then pile up on my floor.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It could be worse....

Well, A wild ride is what I got for this week.

Tuesday was by far the worst day of the whole pregnancy. I was so sick I just lied in bed (as much as a mother with 2 toddlers can) and cried.

And my poor husband. Tuesday was his birthday. We had a baby sitter lined up and were planning to go out. But I couldn't even respond to him when he came in.

And our water heater went out too- but I really didn't miss it on Tuesday, but by Wednesday I did. And after a quick on the scene investigation, I called for some professional help. But they were booked through Friday- 2 placed booked through Friday! So I agreed to pay the overtime rate and got someone out about about 6pm. Our water heater has a broken igniter. And the plumber company's suppliers do not carry that brand......
So a quick web search produced desired results with overnight shipping coming to more then the part. It should be here tomorrow.

And today, I was at least moving. I had to conquer that pile of sky high dishes and dirty kitchen, even with no running hot water. How did the do it 100 years ago? Duh! they kept water in big pots on the stove at most times and often near the fire. So 6 pots of hot water later and I had a clean kitchen (mopped floor and all). And while we ate dinner I boiled another pot for those dishes (and also used it to bath my Ian).

Then this afternoon I went to my mother's house for a bath. Pregnant women have amazing abilities to smell, and man, did I smell! Then I actually had a nap, made a birthday cake and my man's favorite dinner, sang happy birthday and put my kids to bed. All before nausea kicked in too strongly.

Mike is less ornery, now that someone acknowledges that he had a birthday. Boys can be so sensitive sometimes. And I got him a great card. The cover shows a woman at the sink washing dishes she is saying "The garbage needs to go out and the kids tracked mud through the living room today." Her husband is at the table and he says "Talk dirty to me, baby".

Then in the inside it says" we'll find some way to keep the romance alive, happy birthday"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I felt almost human today

for 3.5 minutes. But the feeling quickly left, although I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11 weeks and counting

I don't think I have days anymore. I am beginning to think that days have me.

Most days begin in a crazy rush to get something into my tummy before I become to nauseous to help the kids get ready for school. Usually, if I eat something, I can handle the rigorous work out Galen and Ian present in the morning- and of course the obligatory lost sock, shoe, and forgotten back packs.

Then I usually go back to bed with Clay. Yup, he got up in the morning commotion and is too tired to face the day. So after an hour or so of a kid sleeping next to me, I wake up to a kid crawling on top of me. Then I eat again and try to accomplish whatever business stuff my customers have begged me to ship to them.

Then time speeds up and it feels like a mad dash to get out the door to school to pick up Ian, do a few chores in town and come home utterly exhausted, tired and nauseous- ready for a nap. I have found that if I keep a few good snacks in the car, them I can handle the errands with out wishing to disapperate into painless oblivion. Don't tell me kids I have snacks in the car now- or they will disapear faster then I ever could.

And then I eat and nap while Clay and Ian get into something and make a big mess of it. If I am lucky then I am able to get Clay to nap again- that helps avoid the worst messes.

The other boys come home and all hell is loosed- there is noise and screams and bouncing balls and crashing pictures and all sorts of unauthorized snacks being eaten- while I do my best to ignore it.

When I can no longer ignore it, because me bladder makes me get up, then I emerge. "Here comes Mommy, out of her cave, better stop and hide what ever it is we were doing." That includes throwing clean towels over spilled gallons of poorly made hot cocoa.

And the kids run up to me with all sorts of school papers and things they want out of catalogs. I nod and try to quietly explain that I will look at it later- like at a time when the house is quiet enough for me to think. Of course, they don't hear me, but they do stop shoveling papers in my face when I start to growl.

And I drag myself into the kitchen and stare aimlessly at the hideous mess that covers every surface- and I just cleaned it yesterday. But at least this time Clay baby walked away smelling good- like hot cocoa and not like Italian season- too heavy on the garlic.

I clean up enough space to cook in- but am still sticking to the floor with every step. And slowly commence the process of making what, was not eaten as an unauthorized snack, left for dinner. I make it simple. I make it bland. If I cannot stomach it then it will do no one around here good. Besides, they can always add salsa (if the do it in the other room from me).

I curl up to the table by the time dinner is ready- and hope I can eat enough to get some energy back for the required after dinner chores.

Yup, we get to entice, beg, threaten and in all ways cohearse, our children to do their 1 little chore to help the kitchen get clean. Somehow, we still manage to do most of it ourselves. Out of the 5 chores we have the task divided into, Daddy and I usually pull of about 4 of them. And then I sit down on the floor to attempt- yet one more night- to get all the sticky and slippery stuff off of it- at least so I can walk with out falling or becoming stuck.

Then it is time to let them run wild for a few minutes while I sit down, before yelling at them to get the PJs on and starting the daunting prospect of homework. I have basically reached a point that if the kids do not want to do it- it is not my grades they are hurting. But I do have to make the time and Mommy energy available for it. And that I do, every school night. When their homework, pens and Mommy are all at the table- and they refuse to come- no matter how often I call- at least I did my part.

Sometime after we have given up (or on rare occasions, completed) homework then we have family prayer, and either a DVD show or stories. I am more likely to read stories, Daddy likes to have them watch something and then it is bed time. Which just mostly seems to mean that the kids get sent upstairs to play.

Galen and Ian have a real hard time calming down enough to sleep- They do a lot better when I read to them- But they can be upstairs for hours before they finally zonk. And of course, as soon as the kids are down- Daddy wants my attention. It is often Daddy's attention that steals story time from the kids. Sometimes, when I am lucky- I can get him to read to them. Then everybody wins. As soon as I am able, I usually crawl back into my cave and forget the rest of the world exists- at least until my bladder reminds me.

I usually have enough energy to head the worst of the disasters off and prepare things in advance and all that kind of good stuff- but hey = that is what little parasites- I a mean babies do to you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas Wish list

For those who wish to have a guide.

Galen: Care Bears- glow in the dark "Share Bear". Star Wars Lego N-1 Naboo star fighter with vulture droid
Ian: Marble race way, Thomas and friends stuff, glow in the dark care bear
Ewan: Darth Vader Stuff, rabbit, glow in dark dinosaur, street sweeper lego, something to camouflages, parashoots
Clay: Ride on or pull behind toy, he loves to color, play with the kitty and have books read to him.

General idea: art supplies (no paint please), books, activity kits

Mom: a quiet afternoon, solar heated house, larger water heater, a few more bedrooms, a clean house, (ok, so now I am dreaming), good bike, fresh organic tomatoes,

Dad: I'll have to ask him- more later

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's all your fault!

You know who you are, don't deny it.

You ruined my dinner plan (twice) tonight.

Yup. The package from your freezer (which you gave to me when you were cleaning it out) said "Turkey Breast" I envisioned a boneless, skinless turkey breasts- the package wasn't big enough for a bone in turkey breast. So I had planned on cooking a (or several) hunk(s) of meat - herb seasoned- to serve with the Dijon roasted potatoes.

But NO! when I opened the defrosted package- it was thinly sliced. Lunch meat style turkey breast.

Ok- time for a new recipe plan- turkey and cranberry sandwiches. But as each of my children, inevitably tasted the turkey breast- they all left after only 1 bite. It was highly salty for their organic turkey taste buds. (talk about spoiled kids). And it didn't taste that great with the cranberry sauce.

Time for a third try. Then I took a piece, rinsed it (to reduce the salt) and rubbed some of the left over Dijon sauce on my turkey- that wasn't too bad. So I decided to rinse all the turkey- rubbed in Dijon sauce and rolled around carrots- these are now roasting next to the potatoes.

And if it doesn't work- you will hear about it- TRUST ME!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Song List for the pregnant Woman

ALL TO Tunes of our favorite 80's songs:

GOING TO THE POTTY AGAIN (Comma Camelion)
Going, going, going, going, going to the bathroom again. Going potty again. Going potty agaaaaaain.

JUST ANOTHER NAUSEOUS MORNING (Just another Madic Monday)
It's just another nausous morning, oh oh...

HEART BURN (Eternal Flame)
Close your eyes, pass me tums, darling, I can feel my heart burning. Do you understand?

WADDLE LIKE A PREGNANT WOMAN(walk like and Egyptian)

Friday, November 09, 2007

How am I?

Thoroughly, completely, utterally, ridiculously, undeniably and hopelessly nauseous.

It comes and goes. Today it is here. Yesterday I felt well enough to clean my kitchen. Today I literally spent a vast majority of it in bed or in the bathroom.

And it is not just sock to my stomach, it is a lot more like a flu that your body refuses to light a fever to burn it away.

Monday, November 05, 2007

rambles of the day

Days with no School have a tendency to sneak up on a mother. Today was one of them.

It didn't really hit consciousness until sometime yesterday- so I decided it would be better to reschedule my ob appointment- that I made in Crosby until later. But it took me over an hour on the phone to get to a point where I could even leave a message about not being able to make it. That kind of phone time is bit going to work for me. I can schedule at the Mayo easier.

So I am just going to hold my horse and hope that our closest midwife's school dean will allow her to work with me. Technically she is not supposed to do any midwifery while in school- but I have a few unique circumstances that is worth consideration for her school dean to let her anyways.- Mostly the lack of other midwives in the area and the short time it took Clay to emerge into the world. She is about 1 hour from my house, but she is closer then the other midwives- whom are 1.5-3 hours away. As you can imagine, we are definitively going learn about what to do if the baby get here before the midwife.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

one of those sick pregnant days

Conversations when I am sick and pregnant tend to go something like this:

Friendly person: So I heard some news. Are you?......
Me: Yes, sigh, again
Friendly person: So how are you feeling?
Me: I am sick and ornery and I will bite the head off of anybody who looks at me cross eyed.
Friendly person: So how far along are you?
Me: 8 weeks (meanwhile I am thinking: I just said I am sicks and tired, doesn't that mean early pregnancy to you?)
Friendly person keeps yacking something and I just start to think about how nice they would look next to mashed potatoes with gravy on top. Didn't I just say that I was likely to bite your head off?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Getting In Tune

I got my piano tuned this week. It's mellow, rich tones echoing through our house. Of course the challenge with getting the piano tuned is now I know that when I a chord I am playing sounds sour, it is me, and not my piano. Removes my excuses for letting a few wrong notes through.

Otherwise it is Friday. I felt pretty good most of the day. Then 7pm hit. I have been kinda tired and nauseous since 7. Before 7 I felt like I was antsie and kind of wanted to go so things. So, I took the kids to grandma's to borrow some movies and then to the grocery store for a chocolate ice cream run. And besides ice cream we also come home with ravioli. Yummy.

We have been having dinner lately about 5pm. That is when I demand to eat. Tonight we had french toast at 5. And then at 7 we had ice cream and at 8:30 I had ravioli. Clay baby ate 3 helpings of ravioli. The other kids haven't seen it yet. I also absolutely have to eat as soon as I get up (usually about 6:45) and then by 11, eat lunch at 12, and by 4,7,9 ish.

My kids are watching their kid movie right now. Mike and I have one to watch after we put the kids down- If I last that long. Ian is already asleep, it looks like Ewan will go out soon. Ian fell asleep just before dinner yesterday- right across the dining room chairs as I was setting the table. He slept all night and woke up happy at 7 this morning. Somehow, I just can't seem to build a desire to wake a sleeping kid for a cathing.

I stopped by my mom's today. She is now wearing my size clothing (yup, she kind of looked nice in those 18 talls). And I asked her if she will be smaller then me in a few months. At first she said no, but then I reminded her that I plan on my waist growing a bit before then.

That is one thing nice about pregnancy- no more hoping or hiding your belly curves away- it is a time to enjoy putting the nice round thing forward. Anybody who said curved weren't beautiful, obviously wasn't looking at a real woman.

Tonight mom went out again- to yet another fancy fund raiser dinner. I smiled when I told her that I was going home to a nice simple dinner and a quite evening (as quiet as it can be with 4 boys). She told me that I wasn't allowed to say that to Dad.

Poor Dad, he would have been content with a tuna fish sandwich and a good tv show (or internet search, or book or....) Luckily I was very able to turn down invitations for this holiday season. And it is a very good thing I did. Fund raiser dinners are bad enough to wait 1.5 hours for dinner (that is when the silent auctions are) when you are not pregnant- but to do that with how my morning sickness has been this time- I would have eating anybody who looked at me crosswise for an appetizer.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday

IF there was ever a day to lay low it is usually a Sunday. As much as I wanted to get up and moving my brain and body were not cooperating with me today. Mom called at 9:30, we were all still in bed. And it took me until 1pm to even start the roast for dinner.

Isn't it interesting that the slower you move the faster your kids move? Like when you are carrying that turtle shell you babes are running at 100 mph. Right now I am trying to gauge how fast my children are moving, but my brain's built in high speed camera is not catching them. It sounds like some of them might have just crashed into each other. If I were to wish for anything right now it would be sunny skies. Then they could race around out side. Hasn't a month of rain been enough?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

pregnancy

Pregnancy does weird thing to your mind. It does weird things to your personal and professional interactions. It does weird (but glorious) things to your sex life.

First of all pregnancy plays with blood sugar. I used to be fine going from meal to meal with out an issue, now I act like my mother if I don't eat every hour.

Secondly, it makes you want to push any and almost everything that wants your time as far away as possible. It works in a circular effect. Those things closest to you (ie, your toddler, spouse) can still get time and cuddly and you are ok with it. The second circle- your immediate family you start physical distancing them "Off my lap." "Don't hang on me." ect. The oldest kids have seen a lot of times and they aren't bothered by it. Some of them even enjoy this some as it matches their desire for less parental control. There are always less apron strings on kids that have lots of younger siblings.

The third circle is you immediate social network. Parents, brothers, ect. They are people you still love, but you no longer feel it is imperative to keep track of them or hang with them. This also includes close business friends or customers. Their requests for your time have to wait until you can deal with it.

The fourth circle is the rest of the world, and most of them might as well not exist. Every invitation (that is not from the first 3 groups) is turned down. And most other activities or interactions with them become on a necessity basis only.

I believe most of these changes are the hormones preparing you self for the new baby days. When for about 6-12 m you will have to attend to the new little being for 18 hours per day.

Basically one is too exhausted to do all that is necessary the first several months, then in the last several months one is too big. And please do not ask the same question more then twice or make me tell you something more then twice. By the third time, my voice is almost always raised. And if you are requesting my time or input you better realize that I am taking time away from a nap for it and listen closely so it can go quickly. My mind may be telling me your involvement in my life is useful or valuable, but my body is tell me nothing is more valuable then food or a nap right now- and yes that does include baby Clay.

Monday, October 15, 2007

notes

We are running 3 hour behind today in cathing Ian. We were supposed to do it around noon, but decided to put it off until we got home at 3. So then we did a 7 and now it is a 12. But I am waiting for him to get out of the tub, because his stool softener worked in a big way tonight.

The other boys fell asleep quickly tonight, and we have seemed to have done a good job misplacing Galen's homework and folders today.- Actually I am assuming it was misplaced Saturday Morning when they packed their bags for Duluth, but it is tonight that we cannot find it.

What else can I ramble on about? Let's see Clay has started singing songs with simple lyrics- like "Sha na na na, sha na na na, hey, hey ,hey bye, bye."

Well, Ian is out of the bath, and all his bedtime prep stuff is done- I even cathed him 1 person- mike was already snoring, but Ian has been very relaxed with it these last few times. Now er will have to get him to handle it himself- some day.

Tomorrow brings a trip to Brainerd, an x-ray and a school board meeting.

Gotta love busy fall schedules.

Friday, October 12, 2007

In case you haven't heard

I now have another life with in.

It better be a girl. Due date June 16. Please whatever you do- do not expect a lot out of me for Christmas. Between it being the busiest season ever for RB and having to go back to the Mayo in Dec (and the impending nausea)- I refuse to promise much

Monday, October 08, 2007

Just for fun

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Does the center of our solar system count?

2. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Nope, but I do think some goats would be handy to control the length of the lawn.

3. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
It depends what kind of other person I was.

4. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Never

5. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS
Yes

6. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Only if all the slots for alligator wrestling were filled.

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Whole Wheat- that is the cereal I use in most things I cook.

8. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
It depends how much my feet have swollen since I put them on.

9. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Strong in what? Odor? Probably- should shower in the morning
Strong in personality? maybe
Strong in body? it was built to withstand.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
All natural anything

11. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
their clothes and their outfit

12. RED OR PINK?
The red ones are fully ripe, the pink ones need another week on the bush.

13. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Mike, he always ducks when I start throwing things.

14. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
If they are up to late to know when to go to bed, I wouldn't mind reading their answers on the 5 minutes I have off each day.

15. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I wear the skirt in the family.

16. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE ?
midnight snack- ants on a log with extra rasions

17. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
mike falling to sleep, my computer humming

18. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
I don't think I would be aware enough about my existence to care.

19. FAVORITE SMELLS?
New baby smell
Pumpkin pie
Mint
Lavender

20. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
I don't know, I answer the phone way to many times in one day.

21. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
it depends on if she is reading this or not.

22. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
DOes watching your husband wrestle your autistic child into his clothes count?

23. HAIR COLOR?
Looking more like my mother every day...with slightly lighter and redder highlights- in the right sun

24. EYE COLOR?
Blue

25. FAVORITE FOOD?
fresh organic.....(anything)

26. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
I like scary movies that have a happy ending, like the stuff M Night Shalamon does.

27. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
OR half movie I half watched? Cast Away- I watched half of it last night- kinda

28. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
pink is a safe bet- but when I look down, it is a plaid that contains, green, orange, tan purple and pink

29. SUMMER OR WINTER?
I'm sorry, that has to be stated in a form of a question.

30. HUGS OR KISSES?
it depends who is giving. nothing is sweeter nor sloppier then baby kisses

31. FAVORITE DESSERT?
1/2 bar of dark chocolate

32. WHAT BOOK( s) ARE YOU READING NOW?
I just read the Magic School Bus inside a Hurricane,Investigating Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Anne Gedde's The 12 Days of Christmas and Thomas the Tank Engine learns to be nice.- Can you guess which kid chose which book?

33. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
I am lucky if I can keep a mouse pad.

34. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
1/2 of Cast Away

35. FAVORITE SOUND?
kids snoring.

36. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Both are really bad when they go through your washing machine- but way worse in the dryer. That reminds me, I think one or the other got into my dryer today between loads, I am going to have to call a repair man.

37. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Emotionally or Physically?

38. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Well, I am getting pretty talented at catheterizing. (although it took my 5 tries to spell it).

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ian's new scheduel

I am beginning to believe urologists are dense and GI doctors are optimistic.

Ian's urologists insist that we cath him 4 times per day- because they insist he doesn't have any bladder control. But Ian has been completely emptying his bladder into the toilet for 5 days now. I have only noted him wetting his pull up once. And then we have been keeping a chart for all the things we "must" do for Ian and the chart has 4 spaces for cathing . But every time we cath, we draw just a few drops. It does indeed seem that he has been peeing very well. I have charted how much we draw and plan to present this to our nurses and doctors in a petition for a bladder scanner prescription. Which the urologists can not see the usefulness in it, because they believe he has no control at all in his bladder " the tests show...". How I long to explain to them how wrong the tests are. But I will have to show them instead.

Meanwhile the GIs believe that all they have to do is clear his bowels and they will start acting normally. This is our second time around this one. I refused to leave until they gave us a routine that should help keep his bowels clear. So his stool softener is doubled, and he sits on the toilets, but his bowels seem in no desire to kick into gear. And it is much harder to tract when and how much he is pooping and how much he should poop. And one GI intern even went so far as to suggesting that we need to feed him more high fiber foods. (every one is allowed to giggle now). Of course he never asked what our normal diet is. Ian lives off of fresh organic produce, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains. A few years ago I was tracking what I was eating with my personal trainer and I averaged over 100 grams of Dietary fiber per day. (USDA recommended is about 35 grams).

So anyways, we have carefully selected a few cathings to skip (I record this on the chart too) and then see if it makes any difference in the cath next time (which so far it doesn't). And we keep assuring Ian that as long as his bladder stays empty the more we can hopefully stop cathing him in the future.

Friday, October 05, 2007

heading home

Last night we were finally released at 5:30, but neither Mike or I felt we could safely drive. So we stayed in our nice hotel room, and slept with out 1 nurse or doctor interrupting us. Right now this computer is one of my last things to pack up and then we will go down for the free breakfast and break free of Rochester (for a few months).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

can we go home yet?

The urologist- Dr Husman came in to visit with us at 6:45 this morning. Mike was on overnight with Ian, and I got to sleep in a hotel with Clay, as long as I did the laundry. So now both our babies have clean blankies again.

Anyways, he said there was a little bit of kidney damage that showed up on the MRI. And reiterated the need to cath him 4 times per day. So last night Ian actually had his first cathing in the hospital. It took 5 of us to do it. (yep 3 days after checking in, they finally realized that they should be cathing him. That has happened to us before).

We will be back to the Mayo in 2-3 months and will see most of the Drs we saw on this trip. Dr. Nash (spinal bifida), Dr Freese (GI) Dr Husman and who knows how many more. I don't think we will be seeing Dr Raffle again. His work is done.

We were told we could go home when he runs clear, but his progress to that state is not quick, but it is mostly steady. But now we are also waiting on the urine analysis.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

wedensday evening

Ian is sitting on the potty. If he poops in the potty 10 times while he is here, he will earn a toy. He already has 4 of the times down.

I found another hotel for tonight. The bill is 4 times higher, but it is much more comfortable, and tonight that sounds good.

The urologists were not thrilled with the MRI of his (ok, I can spell the technical name of it today) anyways, the tubes from his kidney to his bladder, the looked a little stretched- although they can not be sure as the MRI was done with full bowels.

And I finally figured out that nurses are there to do the things Mommies and Daddies are too tired to deal with after 3 days in the hospital.

Wensday's update

well, it says a lot that a little bedroom with a leak in the ceiling is a lot better night's sleep then the parent's couch in the hospital room. there is hope that we will be out of here today, one of the interns said it might happen. Ian is now making nice large messes.- and he wanted his care bear.

The poor pumpkin was almost comatose yesterday. He didn't want to respond to people, and mostly slept all day- so when we went "downtown" he rode in a wheel chair, and was throwing up every several minutes. He actually started looking interested in life in the physical therapist's room. Then he actually got out of the wheel chair and started climbing around. This aliveness continued when we came back to the hospital and he was allowed 20 minutes in the play room before being hooked up again.

This morning he is enjoying some cheesy kid shows on TV. - Maybe I will go do some research on bedbegs.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

producing

Ian is producing messes, so far no major leaks on floors or chairs or things. The nurses have in the bathtub, and Clay is having a fit because he can't take a bath with his brother. I am about ready to go to my small little hotel, only $30/night with a shared bathroom- but at least it should have a bed, and that is what I really care about.

We got a pass to go to our appoints "down town" today. Dr Raffle showed us his old and new MRI and pointed out that the fluid sack is all but completely disappeared. So that feels successful. Then we went to physical therapy for Spinal Bifida, and I have several stretches to do for his lower extremities each day. Adding that to the cathing, enema giving and Galen, and I might just stay busy.

Empathy for Aunt Katy

Although Ian has fallen asleep very quickly on his hospital bed, I truly can feel for Aunt Katy. This parent's couch is about as soft as a a jaded pile of bricks. Every twist and turn last night made me think "now there is another chiropractic adjustment I will need to have."

The doctors we met with yesterday explained that most kids with spinal biffida have been catheter ed and bowel cleansed from birth, the children do not know any different. Ian, however, had 4 years where his went undiagnosed (because it was low and internal). So now we not only have the job of teaching him (and us) how to take care of his potty needs, but also have to undo the enlargements of the colon and bladder that has occurred during this time.

Because they wanted the MRI today, they stopped the go lightly at 3:30 this morning- however they were kind of hoping his bowels would be clear before the MRI so the MRI would provide a better picture of what was happening. For some reason, nobody thought to look at the history of his previous bowel cleansing and say "hey, it took us 3 days to get his bowels cleared last time, why do we think they will move easily for us now?"

Monday, October 01, 2007

Back to St. Mary's

well if there ever was a place to call home around here, st mary's seem like it is it.

Ian's bowels are obstructed again, and has to be cleaned out before we can start him on a continuous maintenance program. Why they didnt start one after his visit in march- I am not sure. But they are going to stop the stuff in time for him to get the MRI done tomorrow, and then they will continue cleaning him out. And they are still hoping to get him to his appointments tomorrow.

In case you are wondering we are in room 3-148. phone #507-287-4641

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

rainbow


A rainbow so awe-inspiring that we just had to take a picture- and the kids each drew a picture :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

He's cute

(pic is that of clay (not)posing for a photo shoot)
and some days that is the only things that saves a two year old from his mother.

Clay has had quite a day today. We made caramel apples last night and Clay has been munching on them off an on all day. Everything he touched turned into fly paper. The door knob, the walls, my pants. I would be walking around doing things like scrubbing bathrooms, and all of a sudden my hands would be stuck fast to my pants. It happened several times before I located the cause.

He was in the laundry room, he opened my brand new container of laundry soap and it was all over the floor. Now my high efficiency machine is going to have to handle 1/2 tub of laundry detergent soaked up by dirty towels and clothes.

Of course, when I had to go packing Clay was doing his best down there too. He managed to pull of box of inventory on top of himself, then opened my "Samples" box and proceeded to dress himself in samples 3 sizes too small.

He ran around naked, 5 minutes after I dressed him. He used his hands to feed himself yogurt, all over the office room floor.

He tried to wipe himself during a diaper change- with his hands. He ate Ewan's crayons, tried to eat a grapefuit whole (on top of a pile of newly folded clean laundry). And of course manages to giggle loudly when he tries to pull up your shirt while you are on the phone.

So you see, if I wasn't so attached to him (visualize caramel hands stuck permanently inside Mommy' shirt) I might be willing to give him up to the next person who dares call those little imitations of adult kind cute. The next one is probably me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tough Work

It's hard work being an example. This morning Mike was complaining about a headache and generally allergy issues. He was planning on staying home. But my boys, have learned they are boys and will someday turn into men, like their father. They wanted to stay home too. Galen said he had a headache. Ewan complained about a tummy ache.

I told them they have to tell Dad to stay home. And before I knew it he was up and showering. He realized that they boys were following his example. This delay made us late to church, but we all made it.

Having 4 little mimics might be the best character development for him. I wonder what will happen when I have some little female mimics?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am there fore may I be

It is very strange to have mornings where I am the only thing moving in the house. The others are all out already, and then I have an hour or so before Clay baby awakes.

It feels kind of weird to not have anything that needs my attention right now. It is not that I do not have enough to do- it is just that none of those things are demanding my now.

I think having a little bit of quiet time helps to establish the fact that there is something underneath all the layers of persona we put on. Underneath the business person there is a mom. That underneath being the mom, I am a woman, underneath the woman there is a me- a unique person with interests of her own. Interests, that have been tucked away so long, that I almost forgot there was a me, almost forgot there was a center bearing up all these roles.

And you know what? This me likes music, and nature, and dancing. This me likes witting and poetry and prose and art.

When one strips away all the "have to"s and "supposed to"s and "needs to be" one finds that there is something worth doing all the "have to"s and supped to"s and "needs to be"s for.

Kind of just helps to add perspective to daily life.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

women time

When I asked for a little bit for feminine energy around here, my cat started mewing at me. "Feminine, not feline." I told him.

So being Saturday, after a very busy week of cleaning, homework, laundry. cooking, gardening and shipping, I thought it might be time to reach out to some women kin. I only managed to reach one of them. But she took me to an arts and crafts fair- where I actually found a few things I liked, and added a few touches of (dare I say "pretty") to this house. Let's just say, we have lived here for over a year and I think this is the first thing that was bought to do any form of indoor decorating here. (if you don't count that paint for the kid's room).

And then we visited a quilt show. And quilts embody many of women's amazing charateristics- they are so full of feminine energy. I love how women work as groups on quilts, I love the hours of intricate work, the careful sewing together of so many scrap piece to create something so warm and beautiful- and that they have to see the whole picture of what they are doing, when all the men see are piles of old clothes. Quilts also represent many hours of unselfish service, so humbly done.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who needs TV?
Children are so funny. I find myself laughing 100 times per day at them. I just turned up the heat- it got a little chilly last night and Clay started dancing on the heater vent.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

frost!

Man- that was a thick frost. Cold too. I always thought we had way too many blankets floating around my house- but when I had to tuck my garden in last night, I used most of them.

It still looks like I may have lost anything that touched the tops of the blankets, but I won't know for sure until it warms up a little more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

not too bad


well, this morning I set about upon cleaning my children's rooms. Their rooms are on the weekly rotation of chores, but somehow almost always get missed, or maybe it is that they just never looked like I cleaned them.

Last night I realized it was time to get this done, as my 4 year old old hasn't wanted to sleep in his room for a while. So I started by putting his mattress back on his bed, spraying it down with thieves and then proceeding to add the requisite layers of mattress pads, waterproof pads, sheets and blankets. (and in search of sheets, I realized once again that we are decidedly low on children's sheets. That is because one of our little creative, and resourceful geniuses has been known to taking scissors to the sheets that are so nicely put on bed and making everything from spider webs to superman capes from them. ) I also swept out his room. (Ha, one room mostly done last night!)

So this morning I took a garbage bag upstairs and emptied the other's room, made their's. That is, after I found their sheets stuffed inside some Halloween costumes. (see pic). Of course they have very few toys left heading into the holiday season. Ian has been hard at work with a screw driver dismantling every toy with screws- at least he has left the majority of the door knobs alone this time. And their shelves are now filled with stuffed animals- and a box of legos.The bed are made and the extra blankets are folded. The rooms are swept- the only left to do up there is scrub the bathroom- which incidentally is my normal Monday chore.

regarding the pic- these are the "clones" they made of themselves.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A ramble of thoughts

A truely Hysterical Story on ebay
I liked it so much that I marked her blog.

I felt a little better after reading that, when syrup covered babies eating dog food is normal- I feel I am doing just fine. Luckily, nothing quite like that happening here- thank goodness. Mine is more an orange covered baby- eating one bite out of every fruit on the fridge.

So now you are probably wondering: how did getting the boys off for their first day of school go?
It went real easy
The boys were excited. So exited that they also had a very hard time sleeping last night, and Ewan did wake up at 4, and was told it was too early before he crawled in with us.

Maybe I just need a double King bed... and forget separate bed rooms, but then mike and I would need to find a nice wide couch for his office.....
Very much like like talking to each other on the phone because we can't even hear ourselves over the noise when we are in person.

I did do a good job with breakfast though, had pancakes ready by 7am.
Everyone is healthier if we actually feed them real food. I am trying to do that every morning, but I know my waking up is hard to do- so I do have a box of chocolate grahams waiting for that last minute breakfast, on the way to catch the bus.

And of course, I am sending lunch with Galen- but Ewan prefers school lunches. Ewan never liked what I packed anyways. He prefers a little more typical kid stuff probably, Like the zipper pants thing. Because his brother is so abnormal and life around here is not quite typical,he has a need to be normal.

Galen doesn't even know what normal is, and that's ok. I find Galen a little easier sometimes
Almost feel like it is a guilty pleasure to enjoy the fact that he is perfectly happy with the more available, healthier un-normal things in life.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hormonally Speaking

Over to the right, on my sidebar, it says : I like chocolate, hot sex (with my precious hubby) sorry everyone else! and love babies.

That is true, but now I am going to tell you why I like them.

I like chocolate because it is full of hormones of the Phenylethylamine family. These include stimulants, antidepressants, and many other pharmacological usages, I also like chocolate because it is high in iron. There are some brands of dark organic chocolate that are so high in iron that all I would have to do to reach my USDA daily allowance is to eat 3 bars. - Now that is what I call a supplement!

I like hot sex, because it too is full of hormones. These hormones include: Oxytocin (hormone of love, bonding and the like. Also a pain killer), Dopamine (similar to heroin), Phenylethylamine, pheromones (the smells of connection and dirty socks), and seratonin (a mood lifter and calmer, similar to prozac). These hormones come wizzing out into your brain (and body) at an amazing speed of 250 miles per hour when you orgasm.

And why do I like babies? well, babies, when done right can give you shots of many of these hormones each time they feed. And when they get older, a cuddle will bring those hormonal memories back. In fact, in my not-so-humble opinion, if everyone breastfed their babies stressed out house wives would be much harder to find.

I find it absolutely amazing how well hormones work in our life if we let them do their jobs. This of course is assuming that we set up our lives so the hormones will help us and not hinder us.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fall Cleaning

With the cooler temps and the need for organized school clothes.. I have been cleaning this week.

I started yesterday with cleaning the boy's closets and organizing all clothes between the sizes of 3 and 16. Then today I did Clay's and baby clothes sizes nb-3T. Then instead of stopping, I cleaned out my closet. Went on to the hallway closet and now I am working on all the misc places where shoes and coats are stored. And at dinner time I throughly cleaned the fridge.

I am usually not big into seasonal cleaning, But right it is the deep cleaning, the closet and secret place cleaning. Cobwebs and disorganization leaves these places unused and all the goodness in them wasted- so it is time to clean, to make room and to utilize.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Autism Intelligence

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/78795.php

Monday, July 30, 2007

what connections do you draw between these 2 articles?

Rent A pet-

Subcontracting Parenting-

Now, do you think America could be heading for a time share Child(ren)'s business?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stories

I always love the Movie "Big Fish". I really seem to enjoy things when there is just a little bit of fantasy thrown in to reality.
Big Fish is done in a subtle, but beautiful way. If you haven't seen it, I recommend watching it.

Good stores always make me want to write. I want to weave magical elements into our daily lives and create a story that is utterly human, but somehow holds to it's own little world.

Maybe a story about raspberries that appear as you pick them, you pick one and three more pop up just behind it, until they have drawn you so far back into the forest that you are no longer sure of where you are. But instead of fear, you choose trust. You know that the forest has drawn you back there for a reason. You have always respected the forest and so it has taught you and now you are ready for the next lesson.

The lessons of the forest would then be interwoven with the struggles you are going through in the outside world. The struggles with how your work has turned into committee meetings and your creative joy has been swallowed up by frustration of the inertia of your growing company.

Not only will you seek solace in the forest. But you will find answers there. You will become part if it's magic, and will bring some of that magic out into the artificially constructed human world as well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Welcome to my garden

6 rows of 2 feet high, 16 feet long raised beds. In the first row we have raspberries. In the second are blueberries and herbs. In the third is strawberries, watermelon and pumpkin (buried in berries, what a jam jamboree) . Then we have a whole row of tomatoes and leeks, cabbages, broccoli and cucumbers. In all, it feels rather impressive. And it makes a very nice use for the rock bed.

Ewan the Gardener





As you can see by the pic of my Ewan that he is a very good gardener. He worked very hard yesterday planting and preparing beds and watering.

We now have a mini orchard. 8 fruit trees encircle our play system. Not only will we have apples, plums, apricots and cherries, we will have some shade and wind block for the splay area.

This next pic is just some of the wild flowers that like to adorn my yard. I like wild flowers. They usually have a pleasant smell, are abundant and easy to take care.

Speaking of abundant, the raspberries are in full bloom and everyday we go pic more to eat. Today they ended up in a fruit salad. The Earth has enough and to spare if we now how to love her.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Missed one


Opps, missed a picture of Ian getting plastered in Water Wars.

4th of July



Ewan got to spend last night with Auntie Amy and then work his little cute tail off waving in her float this morning at the Pequot Parade. The rest of our family watched him.

After lunch we then partcipated in Water Wars. I don't have as many good pictures as I would like from that due to the extremes in lighting. I hvae many of the Galen, Ewan, Uncle Kevin team, but no real good ones of the Ryan, Ethan, Avery and Ian team.

After that we were more then happy to go home for naps and I talked my kids into doing s'mores, ice cream floats (in OJ) and fireworks at home tonight rather then go to Brainerd. We enjoyed our evening at home, the fireworks were a blast ($19.99 worth) and we invited Ryan, Ethan and Avery to join us. We had to take a car seat out of the car to stop Clay from walking up to the burning fireworks and trying to eat them. He enjoyed the show while being strapped in to his seat.

And the best thing of all about staying home? We got the first baby to bed before the Brainerd fireworks would have even finished.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

not much

You know you have too much time on your hands when somebody asks you "So, what is new in your life?" and you reply

"Not much, today I had 2 loads of darks, a load of pinks and 1 white in laundry."

I can't ever think I will get to that point, I am much too obsessive about my floors.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Clay's Daddy


Of course, Clay's Daddy looks happy. He had strawberry steak salad for dinner (100 mile meal!) and then had banana chocolate cake with ice cream afterwards!

Clay's B-day (cont)






As you can see clay looks a little puzzled about what to do with his next gift. Galen, and Ewan (the birthday experts around here) were more then happy to show him what to do.

Clay's Birthday






Today is Clay's 2nd birthday. It is hard to believe my baby is 2. Anyways, after dinner and clean up I sent the boys outside to do sparklers and snaps, while I frosted the cake. Then Galen had to be the first to pass his present to Clay. See- what a sweet little deer Galen is.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

art work

I am on the verge of creating a new art work. I am going to need several yards of brown, blue, green and yellow fabric.

I started Dandelion Wine tonight by Ray Bradburry. It is full of beautiful pose and childhood memories brought to life as only a true writer can do.

Good authors always make me want to write, good painters always make me want to paint. and yet in the business I chose to pursue it was the lack of good that pressed me forward. And yet, even in my own company it is something I am still fighting against. The lack of good. The marginal is not acceptable. The unlearning is not acceptable. Nothing should be prepared for sale unless it is beautiful, useful, and nearly exceptional.

What is it that drives us to do better? Is it merely to one up someone? I don't think so. I believe it is our destiny, to become perfect. To strive towards perfect. To create something to honor the perfectness in the world around as- nature is perfect. Can we honor her in mere capitalism? No, we must honor her with art, with love, with mimicking her perfect systems and learning how to become one with them.

And yet one must wonder when we look at the wal marts of the world, if they understood the purpose of business.

The real purpose of business is not to create a profit. It is to create a prophet- to do something so well that people can't help but want to (and do) throw money your dirrection.

Consumerism has yet to understand this. It is the theory of buying 1 good one, and skipping the 99. Of filling our lives with things that will work well- for many years and not bothering with the rest. Again, it is to honor what nature gives us and not to take unnecessarily.

It is also the theroy of doing for ourselves, instead of hiring (or paying) others to do for us. For when we do not kneed our own bread we loose something. When we do not raise our own children, we lose a lot. When we let money stop us from doing the daily life affirming rituals that have long bound us to the earth, we have lost our understanding, our connection with the life giver.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

Some days it seems the only predictable thing about it is the unpredictability.The only consistent attribute, the inconsistency. There is little argument on any level but that autism is baffling, even to those who spend their lives around it.

The child who lives with autism may look "normal," but his or her behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult. Today, the citadel of autism, once thought an "incurable" disorder, is cracking around the foundation. Every day, individuals with autism show us they can overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition's most challenging aspects. Equipping those around our children with a simple understanding of autism's most basic
elements has a tremendous effect on the children's journey towards productive, independent
adulthood. Autism is an extremely complex disorder, but we can distill it to three critical components: sensory processing difficulties, speech/language delays and impairments, and whole child/social interaction issues.

Here are 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.

1. I am a child with autism. I am not "autistic." My autism is one aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you a person with thoughts, feelings and many talents, or are you just fat (overweight) , myopic (wear glasses) or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)?

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. This means the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday life that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you, but I am really just trying to defend myself. A "simple" trip to the grocery
store may be hell for me.

My hearing may be hyperacute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today's special. Muzak whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough. A coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can't filter all the input, and I'm in overload!

My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn't quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn't showered today (our worse yet is wearing cologne), the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they're mopping up pickles
on Aisle 3 with ammonia. ... I can't sort it all out, I'm too nauseous.

Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense to become overstimulated. The fluorescent light is too bright. It makes the room pulsate and hurts my eyes. Sometimes the pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing. The space seems to be constantly changing. There's glare from windows, moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion, too many items for me to be able to focus - and I may compensate with tunnel
vision. All this affects my vestibular sense, and now I can't even tell where my body is in space. I may stumble, bump into things, or simply lay down to try and regroup.

3. Please remember to distinguish between won't (I choose not to) and can't (I'm not able to). Receptive and expressive language are both difficult for me. It isn't that I don't listen to instructions. It's that I can't understand you.

When you call to me from across the room, this is what I hear: "*&^%$#@, Billy. #$%^*&^%$&*" Instead, come speak directly to me in plain words: "Please put your
book in your desk, Billy. It's time to go to lunch." This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen next. Now it's much easier for me to comply.

4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally. It's very confusing for me when you say, "Hold your horses, cowboy!" when what you really mean is "Please stop running." Don't tell me something is a "piece of cake" when there is no dessert in sight and what you really mean is, "This will be easy for you to do." When you say, "It's pouring cats and dogs," I see pets
coming out of a pitcher. Please just tell me, "It's raining very hard." Idioms, puns, nuances,
double entendres and sarcasm are lost on me.

5. Be patient with my limited vocabulary. It's hard for me to tell you what I need when I don't know the words to describe my feelings. I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened or confused, but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation, or other signs that something is wrong. There's a flip side to this: I may
sound like a little professor or a movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. These are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits, because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to. They may come from books, television or the speech of other people. It's called echolalia. I don't necessarily understand the context or the terminology I'm using, I just know it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.

6. Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented. Show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of patient repetition helps me learn. A visual schedule is extremely helpful as I move through my day. Like your day planner, it relieves me of the stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for smooth transitions between activities, and helps me manage my time and meet your expectations. Here's a great web site for learning more about visual schedules
http://www.cesa7. k12.wi.us/ newweb/content/ rsn/autism. asp

7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do. Like any other human, I can't learn in an environment where I'm constantly made to feel that I'm not good enough or that I need fixing. Trying anything new when I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however constructive, becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and you'll find them. There's more than one right way to do most things.

8. Help me with social interactions. It may look like I don't want to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes it's just that I simply don't know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them at kickball or shooting baskets, I may be delighted to be included.

9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. This is termed "the antecedent." Meltdowns, blowups, tantrums or whatever you want to call them are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can figure out why my meltdowns occur, they can be prevented.

10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. Banish thoughts such as, "If he would just ..." and "Why can't she ... ?" You didn't fulfill every last expectation your parents had for you, and you wouldn't like being constantly reminded of it. I didn't choose to have autism. Remember that it's happening to me, not you. Without your support, my chances of successful,
self-reliant adulthood are slim. With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think. I promise you I'm worth it.

It all comes down to three words: Patience. Patience. Patience.

Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed I don't lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates, or pass judgment on other people?

You are my foundation. Think through some of those societal rules, and if they don't make sense for me, let them go. Be my advocate, be my friend, and we'll see just how far I can go.

I probably won't be the next Michael Jordan, but with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh. They had autism too.

Freelance writer and consultant Ellen Notbohm is a columnist for Autism/Asperger' s Digest and co-author of 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (Future Horizons).

She favors "common sense" approaches to raising her sons with autism and AD/HD. She lives in Oregon.
By Ellen Notbohm
South Florida Parenting

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

more pics from another demention






Ian climbing, his rendition of the mayo clinic, cheesy smile, favorite mode of transportation ( he rode in this before he walked)

Pics from the Hospital Universe





Mommy- doing what
mommies do in hospitals- reading...

Ian in the wheelchair the first day he was allowed to move.

Ian playing with the trains, in the toddler play room, and his cute little smile.

Pee happy!

We are happy. Every time we went to cath Ian today, his diaper was nice and wet. And when I did the computations, he is peeing as much at home as they got out of the caths.

Our sandbox is in and thursday we get our Rainbow. The kids are very excited. Tonight in the beautiful evening weather I took down the jungle in our back yard and ran the lawn mower out of gas. Luckily Mike knew that there was another tank.

Monday, June 11, 2007

10:55pm

We are home, and on everything else I claim complete apathy.

and we are out of here

as soon as the nurse brings that paper to sign. Dr. Husman, didn't say anything he hadn't said last time we talked with him. OF course we waited 2 hours for 1 minute with the doc.

11:29am

Sorry about the late post this morning. Ian has been moving so fast I haven't had time to deal with it.

Dr Raffle has approved our departure, on conditions that Dr Husman (urology) agrees. We are feeling mostly impatient, (or is that inpatient?) for getting out of here. Dr Husman is in surgery and will come by afterwards to see Ian.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to real food- Maybe I will sneak back to the hotel for lunch and eat the rest of the salad, pack up our bags....

So that is what I know.

Day 6, 12:30am

YEAH!!!!
Ian peed in his diaper and didn't need to be cathed tonight. Does anybody know what that nice little ultrasound the urology techs use to tell how much urine is in his bladder is called, let me know. I may just have to get me one of those. They are really handy on knowing if you need to cath or not.

Ian is now blowing bubbles in the grape juice and We just finished watching "Stranger then Fiction" I think I might have to recommend that one.

Ian is being cute again. His blue eyes shining out with his mischievous, yet shy smile.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

6:30pm

Ian just fell asleep under the strangest of circumstances. First of all he played hard all afternoon, forgoing his nap. Then we went out to eat at the cafeteria and walked in the courtyard, and made it back in time for the urology tech to do his thing.

Of course that is when we discovered he had a slightly poopie diaper, and the poop got up into the dressing on his incision. So we had to call in the nurse to change the dressing. She asked if he could lay back up to better clean it. So we put Ian, back side up on the bed. Ian didnt want to lay on his belly, so his but was up and his head was at the strange angle, meeting the sat up bed.

And while he was being cleaned and redressed he fell asleep. Kinda funny- but we took pitty on him and lowered the angle of the bed. He is still asleep. Must have played hard.

1:25pm

Hi y'all,

I am feeling kinda bored today. I finished my book yesterday. Ian is doing fine. We are just finishing up lunch and are trying to talk Ian into going for a walk outside with us.

Believe it or not, that is about all I know right now. Maybe it's nap time.

Sunday, Day 5

9:45 am

Well we are not going home today. Ian is getting his dressing off, and more used to being catheterized. I can tell I have written that word too often, I spelled it right the first try.

My personal theory is that they are waiting on his actual doctor to release him (and not just some intern or resident that has to work all weekend).

Ian is playing spoiled prince this morning. He doesn't want to eat the ham in his omelet. But I think overall he is happy to eat and he does look forward to going back to the play room.

I slept like several rocks last night. Not waking up until Mike called and asked if I wanted breakfast at 9am. Mom is taking Ewan and Clay to church. She let sleeping Galen lie. Half of me wonders if Galen will be awake before she gets back. After staying a night at Chester's he might just sleep most of the day.

We had a sweetheart of a nurse last night. A 300 pound younger man. He reminded me of a guy a dated in college. Now days though, I would be less likely to let the weight stop me dead in my tracks. Anyways, it is always nice to come across somebody so sweet, gentle and kind.

Well, That is about all I know this morning.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

11:35pm

He napped, he was cathereterized, he played, he ate, he played, he played, he played, he played and is eating again.

I can go back to the hotel as soon as they cath him again. It is my night to sleep!

And Ian is wide awake again. He attention span this evening was about 2 minutes. He really was making up for lost time in the play room. I hope tomorrow he can start making up for lost time at home :)

4pm

Wish I could upload the pics from here to show you what Ian has down these last 4 hours. He played in the toy room, he used a little car and walked down the hallway and back, he crawled all over the boat in the toddler play room.

At first when he started walking he was very unsteady, I though for sure he was going to fall over. Now there is nothing he can't do (as far as locomotion). After such a busy afternoon- he just crawled back in bed and fell asleep. Nap time!

11:41am

Ian is up, out of bed and enjoyed playing in the play room. He is in the wheel chair, and has now had enough of playing and wants to go back to bed.

I just walked him back with Daddy. It was tough on him. But so was sitting up several hours ago. He is on no drugs right now. But tylonal is available should he want it- which it sounds like he might. Meanwhile he is watching Thomas the Train. Mike and I both volunteered to go fix lunch when that came on.

Ian built a big building with some interlocking plastic toys. He told everyone it was the Mayo Clinic. Don't worry, I got pics.

day 5, 9:29am

Ian is a thirsty boy. He has just downed 12oz of juice and asked for more. He is sitting up -leaning on the upright bed. His bladder has been emptying itself all night with the 30 degree incline. We are hoping for more self emptying today that he will be up and walking.- yup that is the goal today to get him up and walking.

Friday, June 08, 2007

11:42 pm

Ian has been awake and talkative again. He just downed 10 oz of juice and had his sheets and clothing changed.

My other boys are all tucked for the night. Galen is with Chester and Clay and Ewan are at Grandma's. Galen dropped Chester's baby bunny tonight and nearly gave Amy a heart attack. The bunny was knocked out for several minutes. I am pretty sure it bothered Galen more then he let on, but he can has a hard time showing or expressing feelings.

Ian looks like he might be falling back asleep. When it was time for the tylonal, he wasn't in pain, so he didn't get it. It is available when and if he needs it.

7:19pm

Sorry I missed the just before everyone leaves work update. I was napping. Yup, I get to take the night shift here tonight. I also did laundry and made dinner. But now I am back and ready to yap at you about all that went on when I was gone.

Ian has been very awake today and asking all sorts of questions of everyone that would come in. He asked them all about when they are going home, and how they are going home. He quizzed Raffel's nurse on it for 3 minutes. And he has stated that he wants to go home. Meanwhile he is making us giggle with his cute literalisms and turns of phrase.

Ian actually napped while I was out. But he is just waking up now. The weekend doc came in and said he was allowed to sit up to 30 degrees tonight. Tomorrow he can sit up all the way, and maybe get out of bed tomorrow. Then it looks like another day beyond that to stabilize his bladder issues.

Ian wants pizza with chocolate pudding on it. But he is having pizza now and the chocolate pudding is being served separately.

12:02 pm

Ian has enjoyed a good breakfast and has now ordered pancakes for lunch. They are hoping to get him up this afternoon, after the doctor comes by. Then he can move some and maybe even go down to the playroom. They are going to remove his catheter and then try to cath him 4 times per day as we are suppose to do at home. We will see how this works out.

Mike is taking his nap back at our room, and I am enjoying my book. Meanwhile Ian remains mostly content on his back watching his drug of choice, Animanics flavor.

He is generally feeling better, less fussing, whining and painful periods. We will let you know what the doc says when we finally see him sometime today.