Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Update

Well, I now have a crock pot full of stuffing casserole, so I can sit down and blog! (an exclamation point? What do you think blogging is? Is it a highlight of your day or something?, Nope, just I like to pursue whatever I do with a little bit of passion. It makes life more interesting. Like I need more of that).

I've been feeling more like cleaning lately and also somewhat creative.(- if you need confirmation of this you are welcome to ask my pattern maker.) I wake up from my naps, with want I want clearly envisioned in my mind. Sometimes it is new clothes or baby dresses, other times like Friday, I knew what I wanted for dinner. I wanted a juicy hamburger and strawberry shortcake. And I am not just talking any hamburger and shortcake, I am talking real, nutrient dense hamburger and shortcake. So, I had to go grocery shopping. (and then mopped the floor)

When I was at the store, not only did I find fresh strawberries, but fresh blueberries as well. YUM, YUM, pancake time!!!! So Saturday morning I called my parents and invited them to blueberry pancakes. They decided it sounded like a good idea.

So an hour later, they showed up and enjoyed the best pancakes in the universe. Nobody believed me that it was breakfast time though, because, for once, I didn't make the smoke detector go off.

At the tail end of breakfast, my parents noticed a strange smell in the house, so we stepped outside to the vents, and the smell was a lot stronger. It smelled like a lot of 1/2 burnt furnace gas. Dad said it smelled like the kind of furnace problems that kills people. So we decided to call the repair man. And while waiting for him, Mom and I cleaned.

I love cleaning with people. Especially with people who know how to clean, She got corners, we got piles of things sitting in corners and we accomplished 3 rooms while the boys were outside to play.

The furnace repair man came, and after some work he said our heat exchanger was cracked and needed to be replaced, and also that the carbon monoxide was off the scale on the furnace vent and that the furnace will have to be turned off until they can repair it. Repairing it, of course requires waiting until the part store is open on Monday, ordering the part in and then doing the actual repair work.

Meanwhile, they would have to unplug one of our major appliances to plug in a temporary space heater. Usually they unplug the dryer, but upon quick assessment, we decided the stove would be a better choice for us. Now, we have a stove pushed out from the wall, but still enough room for a pregnant body to maneuver in the kitchen (at least well enough to chop enough stuff to fill a crock pot). And we also decided that to take our laundry off line for 1/2 week, not to mention the work of getting to the laundry plug behind the stacked set and the small size of that room.... would have a much quicker and dyer consequences.

So now, I have full use of my crock pots and toaster oven, just my stove and main oven will be offline until it gets warm enough to unplug that little space heater.

Meanwhile, Mike and I are very thankful that :
A. We still have hot water (although the carbon monoxide is higher on it then it should be too, and that repair is scheduled to take place this week).
B. That it is the end of March and not the end of January (or any other time when the mean temp is -20).
C. That we are alive as one happy family. (Although if one has to go Carbon Monoxide poisoning doesn't sound like the worse way to go. I mean, you all go to bed and just never wake up. And at least you are together as a family. Of course, then you would miss out on the more interesting parts of your life. *)

* the unknown is always the most interesting. At least is should be worth paying attention to. And besides, it would be sad to miss out on the newest member of my family. I think she's worth sticking around for.

There is a great saying- ok several actually- in the book I am reading. It is actually used as a curse to the people of the counter continent. And it is this "May you live in interesting times."

But, for me, I will consider it a blessing. A blessing on all those who have faith and hope in a beautiful future of change and opportunity. Even the most challenging circumstances is nothing more then a blessing in disguise.

May you live in interesting times.

Friday, March 28, 2008

the roots of autism

There are 2 main hopes I have for autism research.

1. That they find something that makes it medically diagnosable (allergy, chemical reaction issues...., something so that we understand what it is we are dealing with inside the child's body. It also should be medically testable.... and treatable). Now in all reality. There will probably be splinter groups of no more then 15% of autistic labeled individuals at any one time who actually fit the medical diagnosis, but then they would be removed from the "autistic" group and given the label of what ever the problem really is. But if you take that 15% several times, you would significantly make a dent in the autism population.

2. the find the cause(s), and hence a way to stem the tide of new autistic children.

Now don't get me wrong, I love autistic children, they are special. They work on a different plane of reality, that seems to be a beautiful place. But Sometimes they feel trapped in an ugly place, and other times, you can't interact with them on anywhere near a normal way.

overall, my Galen actually dose well with changes. He enjoyed changing his room, and actually feel asleep by 11 pm last night. He expressed to me yesterday (while in his happy place) that he didn't want to go on the field trip today. I told him that he didn't have to. However, this morning, he fought with us every step of the way for getting him dressed and on the school bus because he has some fear of this field trip... so of course, I assured him that we would call the school and he wouldn't have to go. But that didn't improve his behavior this morning.

oftentimes, the change of setting really helps. When he gets on the bus and on his way to school he usually realizes that he lost the battle to stay home, so might as well not fight it any longer.

I remember growing up, that it was always hard to want to go to school. It was hard to walk out of your security zone and into a building with 500 other children and adults who get paid to tell you what to do, and what to think. But I was a good kid. I did it day after day, because I was told that was were I was supposed to be. Now, as an adult, it is even harder, because I know schools are much more big babysitting operations then places where you really learn anything.

In many ways schools really screw up that natural learning mechanics, curiosity, and desire to explore that we are all born with. The problem is that we have spent the last 100 years thinking that school is important, when it is the learning that is important. Schools teach you how to work with in a system, and this is fine, if you plan to spend the rest of your life in somebody else's system.

overall, I hate systems, corporate entities, things that have exisisted so long that there has to be rules, and then more rules on how to deal with the rules, and so forth, until the entire reason for the thing was forgotten under a pile of paperwork and corporate "Culture". And then they try to make it all better by hanging a few motivational posters. It is definitely the way to lose touch with the earth, and the real laws that govern our planet.

When you strip away all the garbage that piled up... and get back to the real problem, you realize that a few bugs are much less of a problem then the chemicals designed to get rid of them, and then the chemicals you use to overcome the chemicals you used (ect). And then if use look at it close enough, and did in enough dirt, you realize that the bugs might actually be useful, if balanced right. And then all of a sudden, the system nature put forth millions of years ago is dramatic and complex and functions really well. And all you have to do is tap into it, and then the garbage is gone, and there are nutrients, and you are happier, you feel full of light and your garden grows while you dance in the sun, and splash in the puddles.

Maybe that is what autism is.

We have finally succeeded in separating ourselves so far from the earth, that the autistic generation has no roots at all.

Maybe we need to plant them, water them, nourish them with sunshine and good dirt, and teach them to join the earth. Maybe then, if we are joined to the earth too, we will be able to communicate with them and see the amazing simplicity, clarity and wonder as their minds and bodies operate.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


one thing I find that is particularly poignant is the strange way my time is distributed among my children.

on the basis of sheer mathematics one would assume that the time would be equally divided among the number of children present at any time or in general. If that were true then each child would get 1/4 of the time that I put directly towards the children.

However, that is not true, as every child needs different things, different amounts of attention at different times.

Most children under 2 are designed to absorb as much attention as possible, those between 2 and 5 generally prefer a fair amount of independence with lots of praise and cuddling. It is between 5 and 8 that the different needs of the children clearly begin to show, and it is also this age when many children are able to use other internal and external resources to get their needs met. They start to have friends, teachers and other people to look to for approval and attention.

And then there is Galen.
His list of external sources for approval and attention would overwhelm almost any other child. He has a large variety of patient and special teachers and paras, but somehow..... when his autism is rearing it's full head, none of that makes any difference.

The challenge comes that he often rejects attention when he needs it most (or that is, when we spend the most time with him getting him to do things we think he should be doing at this time).

And the biggest thing that pisses me off, is that nobody, not even mommy, knows what to do to help him find balance and happiness again. And of course, when the autism is fully rearing it's ugly head, you can't get him to talk about it. You can't easily find out if there were some social or emotional issues playing into the current situation, or even if it is a reaction to how his body is feeling. All we have to go on is his behavior (and any other clues we can paste together).

If autism is a puzzle, we don't even know what the final picture is suppose to look like- half the pieces are missing, another quarter of those pieces have been chewed on, and another few pieces have been hidden in the vegetables that he was supposed to eat.

And us mothers (parents, teachers, ect) are holding on to dear life for those few pieces of the puzzle that we have, hoping that we can hold the child, (and the world) together long enough to manage to put the puzzle together.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beached Whale

When we were at Sea World,
That big happy looking whale that we got a lot of pictures of, decided he didn't want to cooperate for the fancy show. So they canceled the show, and explained that they use only "positive discipline" on the whales. Which means if they whales are good, they get lots of lovely attention, and when they are not, they are ignored. And considering the whale was just over 2 tons, they had very little choice in the matter.

Some days it feels like Galen is a beached whale. The 100 pounds of him refuses to move, and there is little alternative, but to wait until he is ready.

His autism has really been showing from about Thursday last week on. I guess there was a full moon Friday, and full moons seem to keep him awake all night, which makes it hard for him to get up and cooperate, throw in a holiday schedule, a new bunny for a brother, and some colored candy....sounds like a perfect set up for a very beached whale situation.

I was really hoping they would go back to school today and I could clean this house. But the one who could talk this morning complained of "feeling like he wants to throw up." (and he was the one who didn't even eat all his chocolate bunny).

Well, if anybody so much as peeks their head out of their bedrooms - they will be going to school.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cute things

We got a rabbit today, actually just a little bunny. It is a baby lop, golden in color. Galen said it "Was as cute as a button nose on a teddy bear."

Last night as Ian was praying....

Mom: You know how to start the prayer.
Ian: Dear Heavenly Father,
Mom: We thank thee for this day.
Ian: We thank you for this day.
Mom: We thank thee that we are all home safely together.
Ian: We thank you that we are all home safely together.
Mom: Please bless us to prepare for what is coming tomorrow.
Ian: Please bless us to repair what we do tomorrow.

Mike and I both cracked...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What does it mean when you Google " super easy supper" and you read 20 pages of recipes and A- either you don't have the ingredients or B- you already made something like that this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sea World

In San Antonio, we enjoyed the river walk, but the whales at sea world, took the cake. (and the cheesecake and the brownies)

I see Turtles

We visited the turtle recovery institute and got to feed the turtles. Then the next day we had to leave. Even though it took the bus 4 hours to come.

More Beach Days

I love the beach. So did Clay, Galen loved the water, and all liked the sand.

Beach Days

Days at the Beach in South Padre Texas.

Monday, March 03, 2008

And now for your laughing pleasure

... I will express how well I did with this list today. It is color coded. RED= red alert, failure, denial or some other such thing. Orange = did but I have caution about the results. Green= go ahead and cheer.

1. Shipping and packing for Biz- I did it, I thought I did well, but printed out several wrong packing slips and completely missing one of the sales. Poor lady, I hope she doesn't need it before next week.
2. Mail- yup, not too hard, when it is all ready and in front of you.
3. go to the store, buy the following: Granola bars, juices, bananas (for a breakfast in the car). And then of course pullups and wipes, just to have enough for the trip and a few extra at home.- Yup, done too. I am fairly proficient at grocery shopping. I do seem to have to accomplish every week or so.
4. Ironing. (this only makes my list when I am desperate to wear something that needs it)- I ignored this one. Just decided that the hotel should have an iron. Or if worse comes to worse, I could always hang it when we shower.
5. Pack my luggage- done,
6. Help all the kids pack their carry ons.- Helping kids be independent is always a lot harder then just doing for them. We shall see at security check tomorrow how well we did :)
7. Pack the car.- will do in the morning. No way did this manage to squeeze into tonight.
8. Bring Sam to Lorna, who is dog sitting.- Done, with even remembering things like leashes and dog food. Sam didn't car for the car ride. But he seems to like Lorna's.
9. Recycling- it is already in my car, so I will do at the same time as the dog, post office, and grocery store run.- Accomplished :)
10. water plants- Had Ewan do. I hope he gave them enough.
11. all dishes done.- Had the kids and Mike do. They did better then they normally do. Howbe it the kitchen still looks a mess.
12. All laundry done? At least the wet and stinky stuff.- LOL yup, the is the laughable item on my list today. Didn't even come close.
13. Have a cup of tea. (or 2 even) I managed one, fairly early today too.
14. compost out- again, assigned to a child. I am not sure how I should color code this one. Does it count if they emptied it unto the back steps?
15. charge my cell phone- he he!!! another easy one!
16. Email working business files to myself- yup, when I finally gave up on answering email- at about 9:30 pm
17. eat lunch- I did sit down and eat something at about lunch time.
18 make dinner (it always helps to have things on your list that you have to do anyways).- YUp when I was too tired to continue packing- about about 6:30, I remembered this little item on my list. I used up most of the left overs too.
19. Call the Mayo Clinic, check on current scheduling for Ian.- Again, another accomplishment (boy am I getting good as I go down this list.)
20. Take care of Ian,- Well, I remembered 1 of his 3 meds and did managed to get him to sit on the potty and cath him, all without too many threats of leaving him in Texas.
21. Lay out all clothes we will wear tomorrow.- About 50% accomplished. Those whom I dress are laid out.

I also added 2 more items to my to do list today:
22. Feed Cat- Assigned to the kids. They said they did it. I think it may have to be done again in the morning.
23. Transfer all call to my cell phone- otherwise known as call forwarding. ACCOMPLISHED!! now I can go Coo- Coo answering my phone 100 times during my vacation.

My to do list today

1. Shipping and packing for Biz
2. Mail
3. go to the store, buy the following: Granola bars, juices, bananas (for a breakfast in the car). And then of course pullups and wipes, just to have enough for the trip and a few extra at home.
4. Ironing. (this only makes my list when I am desperate to wear something that needs it)
5. Pack my luggage
6. Help all the kids pack their carry ons.
7. Pack the car.
8. Bring Sam to Lorna, who is dog sitting.
9. Recycling- it is already in my car, so I will do at the same time as the dog, post office, and grocery store run.
10. water plants
11. all dishes done.
12. All laundry done? At least the wet and stinky stuff.
13. Have a cup of tea. (or 2 even)
14. compost out
15. charge my cell phone
16. Email working business files to myself
17. eat lunch
18 make dinner (it always helps to have things on your list that you have to do anyways).
19. Call the Mayo Clinic, check on current scheduling for Ian.
20. Take care of Ian,
21. Lay out all clothes we will wear tomorrow.