Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Very Important Scientific Experiment!

In lieu of Wordless Wednesday, I instead decided to provide you with the results of a most amazing scientific study. A science so important to women that little is ever written about it. And so, without further ado, I give you:


Yes, ladies, you read correctly. Even little ole blondish-reddish me has to remove unwanted hair. Even on my chin and neck, and other places that shall currently remain unidentified (ok, I'll tell you , since you are dying to know. My CHEST.). I decided to do this because the commercials on TV for women's hair removal are so blinkin' patronizing and sexist, and because the only other alternative is late-night infomercials. Since you won't read an article like this in a typical women's magazine, and because I have already done the personal research, I feel you deserve to hear it first hand!

  1. Salon Wax - Salon waxing is perhaps the most painful thing I have ever endured, next to childbirth. There is nothing more relaxing than being led into that little massage room with the neat bed and serene music, just about drifting off to sleep while the beautician ladles warm wax on your legs and then having SEVEN LAYERS OF SKIN ripped off in an instant by five-foot-tall Typhani with a PHI. Ouch. Pros: fast, hair stays off for weeks, really. And doesn't grow back in quite as thick. Cons: Pain. Oh, and the price. I paid (last summer) $35 for legs and $15 for bikini, the underarms cost $15 too. And that place was fairly reasonable. Your typical salon costs $75 and up on average.
  2. Home hair removal/waxing: Ok, this is something that should never be sold over the counter for many reasons, but I will give you two. Firstly, it is a gosh-awful mess. Even if you try to be neat and clean it ends up between cracks in the tile and all over the spigot. If it is the kind that you have to warm up and stir, it is even worse. Reason the second, if it is the kind that comes on neat little "cold wax" strips, it is really only good for your eyebrows! Forget the underarms, too hard to do and too painful. Pros: Price is good! Most people can afford $5 or so for a few weeks of not having to shave. It is does work very well and very quickly on the eyebrow area. Cons: Painful to remove. Unless you are a masochist and WANT to hurt yourself, or if you have a willing participant, which makes your significant other a sadist. Oh, and then there is that little thing about the mess...
  3. Aussie Nads Hair Removal System: Ok, I have seen the infomercials for years and had to try it myself. This stuff seemed too good to be true. I mean, how can it possibly work that well? So when I saw it on the shelf at Tarzhay, I had to give it a go. It is expensive (to me) at $16, for something that you have to do yourself. So, last week I had the required 3-5 mm of hairgrowth, and gave it a whirl. It says you have to follow the instructions to the LETTER, which I did. And it still didn't work. It is basically gooey, smelly, slimy wax. It is made with "natural products" so it is supposedly better for your skin (thank goodness for that!). But, it was incredibly messy and sticky. And ripping it off yourself ain't no fun. See the "Cons" in #2. Pros: It is made in Australia. And who doesn't love the Down Under? Cons: Works like hair wax. That is a con to me. I hate wax.
  4. Cream Bleach: My sister swears by it. But she is a red-head with snow-white skin, so she doesn't have a reason to shave, since she has no body hair anyway. But for the few little strays she gets, she uses this cream bleach stuff. It is inexpensive ($5 or less) but burns the skin if you leave it on too long, or at all, really. And, it doesn't remove the hair, just bleaches it. Pros: Quick and easy, good price. Cons: doesn't remove hair, so for the average person, this will not help the unwanted hair issue!
  5. Veet or Nair: I used this once in summer camp as a teen and it burned the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of my legs and bikini area. I forgot all about it until this week when I once again ventured into Tarzhay. I figured that for $4 it would be worth trying again. Besides, I am an adult now, I follow directions, right? In actuality, it worked fairly well. I started with the underarms first, then worked to the legs. The only drawback is that I no sooner started the legs and I had to remove the first bit already. And, it did miss a few very resistant hairs, so you either have to go back and touch up or get out the dreaded razor. Pros: Cheap, fast and easy. Doesn't smell that bad. Cons: tingles a bit and I had to sit on the toilet naked, feeling like and idiot, until it was time to scrape it off.
  6. Electric Razor: Last winter I bought myself a fairly expensive electric razor. Darling got a Braun-watchamacallit for Christmas and he LOVED it, so he let me try it and I was hooked. Problem is, I bought the ladies version and it was AWFUL. Talk about time consuming! It took more time than a traditional razor, I had to be doubly sure to go against hair growth. The knees were the worst part, nick city! And that is one of my main reasons for buying it! Pros: this particular model, the Rembrandt Ladies razor, had a hair catching system so it was little mess. It had its own little recharger, too. Cons: If you are going to go through the trouble of buying something that costs $50-$100 to shave your legs, get the male version. And don't be surprised if it totally craps out on you in 3 months, since you have 3X the square footage to shave compared to your mate. Or not, depending on how hairy he/she is.
  7. Manual razor: The old standby! This is what I have gone back to in between every other method. It is the cheapest and easiest, since I do it in the shower. Problem is, I only get to do it once a week, and that creeps Darling out. In the summer I am better at it, but that is when I usually resort to a more painful hair removal method. Costs anywhere from $2 up t0 $15, depending on the type of shave gel and razor you use. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT get disposable razors. And don't buy a lady razor, they are more expensive and don't remove the hair as easily. They are designed, "For more delicate skin" but we all know that women have MORE hair on their legs, and the majority of us have VERY THICK hair. Plus, the bikini and underarms. Need I say more? Pros: Easy and cheap. Can be done fairly quickly in the shower with little time. Cons: Nicks. They hurt, and bleed. And the worst ones are on the back of your knee. OUCH!
  8. Epilady: Yes! I did buy this and try it! And, it worked VERY well! But I have to tell you, it is NOT worth the pain involved. Epilady works like this: There are these little rotating coils that act like tens of pairs of tweezers simultaneously ripping/plucking the hair out. Once again, 3-5 mm hair growth is necessary. And it does grow back in much finer. Because you have killed the top few layers of skin and hair in the first place. It huuuurrtttsss. And my legs were left covered in teeny, painful, red bumps. Ouchy. Price was about $30 two years ago. They may have "improved" it with technology, but I do not recommend. Pros: Fast, minimal hair regrowth. Cons: Can't use on bikini (The pain!) or underarms (skin gets caught!).
  9. Laser and electrolysis: I have never undergone these methods, that is my disclaimer. But, I have read about them. From what my dermatologist says, after a few treatments you barely have ANY hair growing back. But it is really for problem areas, whole legs would be expensive and would require many trips to the esthetician. Can't do underarms, apparently it stops you ability to sweat under there. So, bikini is ok, maybe the funky hair you get on your cheek like Aunt Carol (am I the only one that gets these?). But not whole legs. Pros: Total hair removal, rarely grows back! More permanent solution. Cons: Very pricey. Can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars PER session, depending on who you see and what you have done.

I know there may be a few of you who have seen other methods and tried other things, please feel free to let me know, and I will add them in. Of course, there is one method that I didn't post that is teh most obvious: Don't shave. Depending on how picky your mate is (mine is tolerant for a few days, but I honestly wouldn't shave if it weren't for him) you can just call a moratorium on hair removal. That might be a good way to get your kitchen painted, for example. It is all about negotiations, I mean, compromise, right?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On the mend

I have a time constraint to feel better!

You see, Bugaboo started out in the wee hours of Saturday vomiting. He was lethargic, cranky and sick. Since he started the puking just as we were leaving to take Darling to the airport, I ended up having to call my Mother-in-law to come and take him. Which sucked, since I really wanted to see him off. It sounds childish, but I feel he is safer if I, the control freak, can see him off.

So, for the entire day Saturday Bugaboo vomited. He'd start to act better, run around, steal toothbrushes, download stuff on the computer. Then he'd climb up on my lap, put his head on my shoulder and upchuck all down my back and in my hair. For someone who HATES having their hair touched by anyone (hairdresser included) you can imagine this was difficult for me! ACK!

Luckily Bug Boy spent the night at my sister's. Sunday we were due to go to a BBQ at her house, and since Bugaboo wasn't vomiting anymore, we went. He pretty much kept to himself in her finished basement or watching her big-screen tv. He LOVES big tvs! So, we got ready to go after dinner, got on the highway near her house, made it off the entrance ramp, and he started vomiting. Projectile. Like, all over the car. And Bug Boy said, "You know mom? I really don't like that smell!" Uh, Me NEITHER!!!

So, got off at the next exit, one mile up, turned around and went back to my sisters. Dropped Bug Boy off again. Took Bugaboo straight to the children's hospital one mile from my sister's, where we spend the better part of each week seeing specialists for one or both of my boys. I took him straight to the ER, explained the situation, they took us back and ended up giving him an IV. Now, this is a child who does not like to be touch, even by his parents. So you can imagine the horror of the next few hours, between temp and vital checks and an IV insertion! He literally cried, no, SCREAMED for the next two hours, during which I had to restrain him to keep him from ripping the IV out. Even though they had him well wrapped. He started chewing off the bandages and "No-No" arm guard!

When he finally drifted off into an exhausted sleep, I sat there with a glazed over expression, cursing the day I told my Darling to go help his sister move back to the East Coast from Orange County California. My sisters and Mother-in-Law offered to help, but it just isn't the same. I wanted Darling there so I could cry and be worried. Now I had to put on a brave face and make all of these decisions myself!

We were released after several IV Boluses and a few hours. At that point I was beyond exhaustion. The next morning (Monday) I had stomach cramps upon awakening, but thought nothing of it. I thought the lightheaded feeling was due to the lack of sleep. Boy, was I ever WRONG! Within the hour I was rushing to the toilet every five minutes. Everything was going through me. And I still had a very sick Bugaboo!

When my sister brought Bug Boy back , she stayed until Mother-in-law could come. MIL stayed for seven hours. I am so worried she will get sick! But I needed the help, and she offered. I just know that when she gets it, she gets it BAD.

My biggest concern, besides Bugaboo restoring his fluid and food intake, is that my Sister-in-law, her two-year-old and my Darling will be back tomorrow. I don't want them walking into the house of lower-intestinal death. I am hoping to feel better ASAP so I can Lysol the whole house ! THIS REALLY SUCKS!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday's Feast 95

How old were you when you got your first credit card?
I was eighteen, got my first real job at Pier One Imports. The Manager of the store said he could get me a card, and my whopping limit was $200!
When was the last time you felt out of place?
I felt out of place in high school. That was probably the last time.
Did you have a curfew when you were a teenager?
If so, what time did you have to be home?
I had a curfew of 8 pm pm school nights, unless there was a school function. The curfew was 11pm on weekends. When I was 16 I had a curfew of 9 on school nights, 12 on weekends. If I was ONE MINUTE LATE I was grounded!
Main Course
Name a person from history with whom you feel you have something in common.
I have always identified with Zelda Fitzgerald, you know, the bi-polar wife of F. Scott? Don't ask me why. I share a birthday with Hilary Clinton.
When you read a newspaper, which section do you go for first?
I dont' read the paper. But when I used to buy a paper, the only reason I bought it was for the Crossword Puzzles. I am a crossword fanatic. LOVE to do crosswords.
In the past I used to read the obits first. Sometimes if I check the online local newspapers, I head there first. Kinda Morbid, eh?


Ok, don't mean to gross you out, but...

I could just scream. It is pretty clear that my dog has issues. She has gotten into the trash several times over the past few months to get at her favorite foods (watermelon and chicken) and in the process, usually finds a dirty diaper. A really, really, REALLY dirty diaper! Bugaboo has major stomach issues, so you know it isn't pretty. And it STINKS. Not just your usual poop stink, either. We are talking nasty stuff.

Sorry if it is TMI!

Anywho, this morning I was making progress getting the house in order. Darling's sister comes in five days to stay with us for two weeks while their stuff is being moved across country. Since there has been so much going on, I have fallen behind in house work. This morning I was doing a GREAT job catching up. I put the trash out, went upstairs to wake Bugaboo up (he cannot sleep past 8 or else!) and went back down to take the trash bag down to the garage. It was too late. In the two minutes it took me to get Bugaboo out of bed, Shadow has already ripped open the bag, dragged out TWO dirty diapers, and completely chewed them up.

If you have a weak stomach, I apologize.

I am so blinkin' angry right now. I should NOT have put that bag on the porch without taking it to the garage, but I didn't know she was outside. I should have just carried it to the trash cans. But NOOOOO, the neighbors might see me in my nightgown! Bugaboo cannot sleep until 8:01! I have to have one more sip of tea! Excuses, excuses. It is my own stupid fault.

So, I just finished scrubbing my deck with soap, boiling water and an old scrub brush kept specifically for a nasty job. That it was!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Thirteen Things I love about my Husband!

1. He is a planner.

2. He is very responsible with Money.

3. While he is VERY quiet (unlike me) he also is very introspective and a deep thinker (also unlike me).

4. He is very laid back, takes alot to get his ire going.

5. Is a wonderful, patient father to his two special-needs boys.

6. Treats me like an individual with a brain, not a woman who needs to be "taken care of."

7. Always knows what to do when I need it most without me having to say it!

8. Will come home and take over at the drop of a hat when I call him crying and overwhelmed.

9. Can "read my mind" when we are out driving around and comments, "No, we aren't going to go get milk shakes!"

10. Keeps my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds, most of the time.

11. Even though he doesn't understand music, he appreciates and tolerates the piano playing, singing, flute, sheet music piles, etc.

12. He works very hard so that I can stay home with the kids and take care of them! I love being a SAHM!

13. He loves me unconditionally for who I am, doesn't expect me to change, and puts up with all of my quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Sounds like a heck of a guy, huh? No, you can't have him.

Not yours!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ABCs of Marj

Saw this on Nancy's blog and decided that it was my kind of thing to do. I try not to do too many meme's, but you know, it IS fun! So, here goes. Everything you wanted to know about Marj by way of the Alphabet:

Accent: Philly girl who is desperately trying to sound less Philly, without being "Madonna" and faking a British accent.

Bible Book that I like: Song of Songs. Very poetic and inspiring.

Chore that I don't care for: Dishes. Can't stand it. Don't like touching old food. Love my new dishwasher!

Dog or Cat: Dog! Shad Roe the dog, to be exact.

Essential Electronics: Love my computer. I also love Bug Boy's Leapster, keeps him busy when I need it to.

Favorite Cologne: None. I don't wear it, and don't like to smell it. Allergies, ya know.

Gold or Silver: Silver

Handbag I Carry most often:Uh, diaper bag!

Insomnia: Never by choice! I love my sleep!

Job Title: Mommy, with a BS inspeciall Education.

Kids: Two boys, ages 5 and 3.

Living Arrangements: with Darling and my boys in a single 3BR 2.5 BA house.

Most Admirable Trait: In me? Eternal optimism. In others? Sense of humor.

Naughtiest childhood behavior: Stealing tic tacs from Pathmark when I was five. Dad saw them when I got home and drove me back to the store with my piggy bank (piggy squirrel bank) and made me pay for them out of my pennies.

Overnight hospital stay: Only two times - when Bug Boy was born I was there for 3 days, when Bugaboo was born I was there for a week.

Phobias: Small spaces, heights.

Quote: Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans - John Lennon.

Religion: Catholic. See letter "s"

Siblings: 3 brothers and 3 sisters. the three sisters all have kids (and boys with ASD!). Only one boy is married with no kids. 2 sisters in DE, one in VA (just moved from IA), one brother three blocks away and 2 moved back in with M&D when they were laid off from work, but one is itching to move out yesterday. He's 25 and knows EVERYTHING.

Time I wake up: You mean, for good? Well, I am up several times a night to put Bugaboo back to sleep or use the toilet (at least 3 times a night). But the alarm goes off about 6:15. Even on weekends I am up then, and feign sleep until the kids scream or Darling begs me to wake up.

Unusual Talent or skill: I can do "horse lips." Little kids love it. Ask me to do it next time you see me!

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Ohhh...tough one. I LOVE veggies! I am allergic to asparagus and shouldn't eat it, but I do once in a while. I even like brussel sprouts. Oh wait, I've got one! Raw onions! They have to be cooked!

Worst habit: Procrastination. I WROTE HAMLET! Just kidding. But I am pretty sure the character was based on me.

X-rays: mostly just teeth, but I had my shoulder done when I was 12 and dislocated it.

Yummy stuff I cook: POTATOES! Anyway you want 'em!

Zoo animal I like most: Elephants. They are the most beautiful, graceful, amazing creatures. And I don't think they belong in zoos, but as a friend told me today, I've CASHED IN my soapbox for today! The weird thing is, I never really had a thing for elephants until I had a dream when I was 15. From then on I had to collect them, and still do. And the freaky part is that my great grandmother (whom I have never met) collected them as a teen and young woman, and I didn't know it until AFTER Nana told me years later before she died!

Mood swing

My mood is generally a very happy one. I am cheerfully optimistic and a glass-is-half-full kinda person. I prefer to look at the brighter side of things and always look for a silver lining.

So what the heck happened yesterday????

All I can say is: Mood swings. I started out ok. Moved to hostility and anger. Came back to depressed. Then was enraged for a while. Then I felt like I was in a coma for most of the night. Didn't want to move, just crashed into bed with the clicker in my hand and flipped channels over and over for two hours.

I think perhaps it was my latest, "crash and burn" day. Every once in a while I get overwhelmed with what is going on in my life and I have a day like that. The exception to yesterday is that I was argumentative and stuck my two cents in EVERYWHERE it didn't belong. I am sure that anyone that was near me yesterday (or read my posts on Delco Fly) felt the heat, and I whole-heartedly apologize.

I never proclaimed to be a NICE person.

So today I am trying to get off on the right foot and STAY there. I am going to try not to make any phone calls, since I am still emotional about the Behavioral Health's denial of Bugaboo's claim. I will try not to post to the boards, because I am going to want to argue with everyone, and that is not fair. And, I am going to keep my kids busy so that I don't nitpick everything they do. Finally, I will do my best to smile and not complain the SECOND Darling walks through the door, he needs time to relax, too. And I never want him to regret coming home to his refuge from the world.

I can do this. I can keep my BIG MOUTH shut!

Monday, May 22, 2006

My love-hate relationship with food

I love food. I don't just eat it out of necessity, it is a hobby for me. I think about it all day, I want to eat all day. I don' t eat things just because I have to eat and get something in my body, I physically ENJOY putting certain foods in my mouth. It is almost like a drug for me. I know I am addicted.

You might think I am being crazy. I am 5'4" and 145 lbs. I am not overweight, I work out regularly. I take good care of my body. But I have to, to avoid my genes.

I come from a family of morbidly obese individuals. I grew up in a house where eating was the most important event of the day. We were all involved in sports, after school activities, dance, etc, but meals were the focus. And, to make it worse, my mom is Irish and Dad is German, so everything is made in one pot with bread and potatoes. My Dad's mother and sister (and now one brother) are/were in the morbidly obese category. My Dad is too, although he was twice the size at one point due to other health problems. I have a sister that is a few pounds shy of being morbidly obese and a brother who is well on his way. But the rest of us fight it tooth and nail, because we know what our siblings went through, being teased as children. You'd pay money to be a fly on the wall at our family reunion each summer, the eating is AMAZING and shocking. And, even though there are several hundred people at the state park that day, you'd be able to pick us out just from my prior description.

As a kid I ate enough for 3 people. Sometimes I still do. As a teen I would eat even more and then PURGE it as soon as possible, thanks to a high school friend's lesson in the downstairs bathroom between classes. I couldn't believe how great it felt to eat all of that YUMMY stuff and then not feel badly about it. But I always felt badly. I continued to do the purging well after high school, for a total of about six years. As a result, I ended up with scarring in my stomach, an ulcer and gall bladder disease. And I have myself to blame.

If I wasn't so obsessed with food I think I'd be much happier. I was skinny (very) for most of my life, and now I am an average size. Most people tell me they want to be my size. So why do I want to be the other size? Why do I look in my mirror like it is a fun-house mirror and see a potato, when I am a really small pear? Sure, age and gravity are taking their toll, but I know at least one of my sisters would love to be able to eat what I eat and get away with it.

While I don't count calories or fat or restrict what I eat, I only buy healthy selections. I don't buy junk food at all. I get a few healthy kids' snacks, and that is it. The kids have tons of fruits and veggies and lean proteins and yogurt to eat. I grew up in a house with sugared snacks, nasty junk food and KOOLAIDE to drink. Which is what my mother considered to be juice. Scary. But I am trying my best to help my kids avoid the obesity, without being obvious. I am careful never to use words like 'fat' and 'skinny' or put emphasis on size. I don't reward them with food. I make sure they have small, frequent meals that are healthy and well-balanced. I am teaching them how to eat, something I wish I learned as a kid.

So, in the meantime, I am trying my best to enjoy food. Every woman I know is constantly weighing herself, looking in the mirror, holding up the old photo of herself. She is unhappy, watching everything she eats, wishing she was thinner, younger, softer, less dimply. I am doing my best not to live that way. I CANNOT live that way. I want to enjoy my life, not be depressed about everything that goes in my mouth. Is that possible?

Ok, enough rambling...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Up, down and all around

The ironic part about this life (with Autism) is that for as many ups one experiences, there are just as many, if not more, downs. Does that make any sense? You know the old cliche, One step forward, two steps back. It is kinda like that. Except I prefer to think of it in a glass-is-half-full kinda way. Like, for every horrible, depressing, stressful occurrence, it only takes one minor event to wash the slate clean.

Take, for example, this week. It began at the feeding clinic. Not fun. It continued with multiple doctor appointments. It climaxed with Bugaboo getting sick and we had to postpone his GI procedure for the THIRD TIME, and we cannot enroll him in the day clinic for feeding therapy until he has the procedure! So he missed three days of school for NOTHING!!!! And I spent the rest of the week making phone calls. Oh, and then there was the denial from Behavioral Health for his TSS (Therapeutic Support Staff). We can't forget that, can we?

But, as stressed out, angry and depressed as all of those things made me, one teeny little ray of sunshine made me forget all of it for just a few minutes, and it was glorious!

We spent the better part of the day finishing the swing set (build and play in one day? NOT!). We were snapping at each other - Darling and I, that is - and Bug Boy was playing with the neighbor children. Bugaboo was walking in and out of the house, stealing things and trashing every room that wasn't locked. He'd come outside and drag me to get him something to eat, drink or do. He sat in the jeep and honked the horn to amuse himself or sat by the bubble machine and played. I felt kinda bad ignoring him but I know that if that swing set didn't get finished today my head would EXPLODE. He seemed happy regardless.

Anywho, long story short (too late!), I went in to check on him when he walked in the slider and didn't reappear for a few minutes. He was sitting on the floor with a large "Thomas" toy, rolling it back and forth. I seized the opportunity to get in some floortime with him. We took turns pushing it back and forth, and I would say, "Choo-choo! Choo-choo!" and smiled and laughed and tried to be animated to engage him. After a few tries Bugaboo was really into it. And then the ray of light! He started saying, "CHOO! CHOO CHOO!" And not only did he repeat, but he did it spontaneously the next time! It was grand! I had tears pouring down my face! I had to call my closest friend and my sister and tell them, I was that excited!

So you see, that tiny moment, all of five minutes with my son, made all of those negatives from the previous week turn into positives. It is all gone. My tank has been refilled. I can face it all again. I feel so empowered.

I don't know what it is about my kids. They only need to smile, hug me, laugh, and I am putty in their hands. I love them so deeply that I cannot express it in words. They are my heart and soul. I will go to the ends of the earth and back for them because like Darling says, If I don't do it, who will?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday's Feast (Friday? What happened to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?)

What is the last thing you had to have repaired?
My minivan tires. Two weeks in a row I had a flat! Different tires!
If someone gave you $2,000 with the stipulation that you had to spend half of it on yourself and give the rest to charity, where would you spend the $1,000 and which charity would receive your remaining $1,000?
The $1000 for me would go to therapy for my son. The other $1,000 would go to a pet rescue.
What is one of your favorite songs from the eighties?
Oh! Tough one! There are so many!
But I'd have to go with Duran Duran on this one. Pretty much any song they sang, I was a huge Duran fan in the eighties!
Main Course
You enter a pet store. Which section do you go to first?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how athletic are you?
I am quite active. I wouldn't call myself athletic, but I do work out regularly and never stop moving through the day. I'd give myself about 7.5 or eight.
Bon appetite!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Thirteen best things about spring!
  1. Waking up to the birds!
  2. Blue skies and sunlight
  3. Rain to help the flowers grow
  4. Smelling Spring flowers, especially lilac!
  5. Working in garden and getting my nails dirty
  6. Taking long walks outside and just watching
  7. Hearing kids playing outside
  8. Seeing my neighbors everyday
  9. The smell of a newly-mown lawn (but my allergies! ACK!)
  10. Yard Sales!
  11. Riding my bike around town with the kids in the trailer
  12. Doggie wants to go outside more!
  13. Trash pick-up is now two days a week!

There are so many more reasons to enjoy spring. The air just smells better, the flowers smell sweeter, it is close to summer. I feel so alive! But my favorite time of year is fall...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

I know it is wordless Wednesday, but I feel I should do a little explaining. This picture may actually belong with Tuesday Treasure, because this piano is something I cherish and I am honored to have.
This piano belonged to my mother before me. It was in my house growing up. It was the piano she grew up with and learned to play on. She is a concert pianist and toured as a child prodigy (and also played bass fiddle). It was originally intended for my eldest aunt, but mom would listen to her practicing in the next room and then sneak in and play it. Without music. Before it was in Grandmom's house, it belonged to Great Grandmom. So you can see why this is special to me. It has belonged to four generations. It is in great tune, but the wood is in HORRIBLE shape, thanks to my mom's eight siblings and my seven. And a 60s re-do with faux finishing...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My interview with James Lipton

I love the show, "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton. Will Ferrel on SNL used to do this amazingly funny rendition of it. Even funnier was the time that Will Ferrel made it onto the actual Show, and the two of them sat and interviewed each other.

So, later I saw this on a friend's blog, I HAD to do it for myself. Because I am a copycat and have no original ideas of my own? Maybe, but I also thought it would be fun. So, here goes:

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?
Child Abuse

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Creatively: Hearing music. Spiritually: Hearing a favorite hymn or song. Emotionally: Being with someone I really care about.

What turns you off?
Rudeness, folks that think they are superior because of their designer tags and fancy cars. In the end, we all end up the same. Dust in the wind, dude.

What is your favorite curse word?
Well, I hate to admit it, but I do curse. Alot. And I usually say, "Dammit!" And now, so does my son.

What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of my boys laughing.

What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of my children crying. I want to make it all better.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I love my own profession, motherhood. But, if you must make me choose, I'd love to be a sommelier.

What profession would you not like to do?
Doctor. I would never want to have to tell someone they or a loved one was going to die.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
This is a loaded question. Since heaven exists (not if) I'd like to hear God say that I was a good mom, I tried my best, and that God knew I'd do a great job with Bugaboo and Bug Boy!

Tea Time

My favorite way to start the day is with a nice, hot cup of breakfast tea. The dark British Kind with a good heaping teaspoon of Raw Sugar. Demerara, preferably. It is a good thing, too. I am kinda in spaz mode.

There is just so much on my plate, and I am beginning to wear thin. All of the stuff with the boys is making me crazy. I feel like I am fighting for services for them all of the time, and I shouldn't have to. I also feel like a personal secretary. All I do all day is make phone calls, go to appointments, fill out paperwork, stand in line, get prescriptions, therapy,read info on Autism, etc, etc. It leaves very little time for me time, cleaning my house and spending quality time with my family.

It is funny, but about once a month (guess which week) I get sunk. I feel like I cannot climb out of the despair, I hate my life and I want to break free from it. I want to change it and I want my kids to be different. For about three days. Then I am suddenly cured, I am ready to go back and fight the world for my boys. Darling says, "If I don't advocate for them, who will?" And he is right on the money. If not for me, then who would do this for them?

Just a few things I am thinking about this morning as I nuke my cup of tea for the third time and try to sip a little of it...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fun at the feeding clinic

Today is the big day! Bugaboo and I are headed to CHOP (Children's Hospital) to enter the feeding clinic. Bugaboo is a stocky lad, but lacks in nutrition. He has oral motor issues and madny sensory sensitivities, there are just certain food textures he won't or can't eat. Like anything healthy.
Bugaboo's diet was limited but at least he ate a well-rounded bit of food. He loved spaghetti with meat sauce, pizza, eggs, chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes, rice, waffles and grilled cheese. He also ate apples, melon, bananas, green beans, corn and veggie booty. That all changed when he had Pneumonia before Christmas, just before his birthday. He was on heavy meds and it took over a month for him to get better.
In that time he stopped eating. He went four days without food sometimes. Then there were days where he ate nothign but apples. Then he stopped eating apples. Out of desperation, I called the doc, the GI person, anyone would listen. They recommended the feeding clinic, but duPont is closed to new patients due to overload (my hospital of choice) so I have to venture into the city to CHOP, not my favorite place.
I have heard from many people that the feeding clinic isn't fun. They use an OT and SPT to help with the oral motor stuff and gag reflex. There is also a Psychologist on staff. It is supposed to be an EXCELLENT program, but I know there will be a point where we may have to force feed him.
The good news is that he is currently back to eating toast, apples and yogurt. But that is ALL he eats. I know it is only a matter of time before he grows tired of eating the same thing over and over...
Wish us luck!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Feast

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate. Plain ol' chocolate ice cream.
What are 3 things you would like to put in a time capsule?
A hand-held egg beater, a photograph and a good bottle of wine.
Name something you are 100% sure of.
I am 100% sure that I am loved for who I am and that I do not have to be anything for anyone except myself.
Main Course
What is something you do to calm yourself
when you're stressed or upset?
I eat. Salty, fattening, creamy comfort food. See my Thursday Thirteen list from this week if you need a hint.
If you could receive an invitation to any important event,
what would you like it to be?
This is a tough one. I am not into "important events", but I think it would be cool to witness the birth of a baby. I have never seen anyone born, except for my own kids. I have been there when someone passed away, and it was sad but amazing to be there to witness someone going to peace. I'd love to see a baby brought into the world, loved by its parents, and hear its first cry!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kids say the darndest things!

At dinner, our usual conversation:

"How was your day, dear?"
"Fine, the usual. It sucked. And yours?"
"Well, you know, Bugaboo climbed on ___ and got into ___. Bug Boy played with _____. I made appts for ___ docs today. Blah, Blah, Blah, yada, yada."

Bug Boy suddenly interjects, "Hey guys! I have a GREAT idea! Let's go get ice cream tonight. Did you know that Ice Cream has coliseum in it? Yup! Coliseum ! That is in milk. And Ice Cream is made of milk! And milk has coliseum ! So Ice Cream has coliseum ! It will make my arm all better, because coliseum makes your bones grow. Don't you think that is a GREAT idea?"

Needless to say, we were laughing so hard we were crying. Much needed after the stressful week we had. But it continued!

"DUDE!! You can't say fat! That is a baaad word! You need to apologize!"

A little comedy relief goes a long way.

Thursday Thirteen

Marj's favorite foods

  1. Potatoes. Any way you cook 'em. Gotta have potatoes! Mashed, especially. But baked, twice baked, french fried, home fried, hash browns, it doona matter.
  2. Cheese. Oh golly, do I love cheese (as you guessed from my list from last week)! I love a good sharp cheddar. I also love baked brie with grapes and strawberries to dip in. Yummy!
  3. Pizza. Plain or white. But I also like it with brocoli and tomatoes on white sauce. Little Anthony's makes white pizza the best, but I like Cocco's red sauce. Just not Sicilian.
  4. Bread. With dinner or without. Toasted or not. Great for dipping in sauce or gravy!
  5. SOS - Cream chipped beef on toast. I ALWAYS get it when we go out to breakfast (at least, around here!)
  6. Sausage Gravy biscuits. This needs no explaination.
  7. Pasta! Noodles! Spaghetti! Raviolis! YUMMMY!
  8. Fried Chicken, ESPECIALLY home made.
  9. Chicken Pot Pie. Crunchy crust and sauce, mmmmm... (Can you tell I like comfort food?)
  10. Macaroni and Cheese, but only homemade, and with 3 or 4 kinds of cheese in it. Then it has to be baked to the point where it is crunchy on top.
  11. A nice, green crunchy salad. Nothing like it!
  12. Turkey. Especially good when stuffed with mom's special stuffing.
  13. Chicken Fried Rice. Perfect on a day when I don't feel like cooking. As long as they don't put PEAS in it.

Ok, and since I told you which foods I love, you now get the list of 13 foods I can't stand to eat:

  1. Raw onions. I taste them for days!
  2. Mushrooms, fresh or cooked, I don't like them. But oddly, I like Cream of Mushroom Soup at the Dilworthtown Inn.
  3. Liver (but who really likes it?)
  4. Ham. Too salty.
  5. Really spicey/hot foods
  6. Sweets, cakes, etc.
  7. Oranges
  8. Seafood. I'm allergic to shellfish, so this isn't hard to avoid.
  9. Peanuts. See #8.
  10. Chick Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Chichis, whatever you call them. Texture.
  11. Pancakes. See #10.
  12. Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal. See #10 again.
  13. Ice Cream most of the time. But not at certain times of the month. Then Death By Chocolate Ice Cream is ok.

I hope I didn't make you too hungry reading this!!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I am...

I AM: The Meme. Saw this on another blog that I got to from another blog. I really like it, so I thought I would start my day off thinking about myself, instead of all of the things I need to do!

I AM: a mom, daughter, sister, friend, lover/wife, cook, housekeeper, DOMESTIC GODDESS
I WANT: to go back to college someday
I WISH: My son could talk
I HATE: Loud Noises and people touching my hair
I MISS: My Nana
I HEAR: little noises! No really! I hear ringing in my ears most of the time.
I WONDER: what it would be like to be someone else
I REGRET: not finishing my master's degree
I AM NOT: a girly-girl. I dress plainly, no makeup, no fancy hair, no jewelry. Just me.
I DANCE: really badly, even after years of dance lessons!
I SING: at church, and I love it.
I CRY: mostly at night, when the kids are in bed and I am worn out from my stressful life.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: organized, especially with time.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: dinner, I love to cook.
I WRITE: Not well! My writing is atrocious at best, and I am too lazy to type.
I CONFUSE: many things. I have tons of info jumbled up in that brain of mine.
I NEED: I have everything I really need. Love, support, kindness, a roof over my head, a family that loves me. I really can't ask for more.
I SHOULD: get showered and dressed before the kids wake up
I START: five projects at a time
I FINISH: reading books

Broken Bones

Well, it is official.
Bug Boy has a broken wrist, and we have x-rays and a 7 hour ER wait to prove it. Of course we had to pick the first day in two years that the ER was that busy. Every bed (all 24 of them) was full in the Children's hospital. ACK!
Bug Boy was amazing! He was so good and patient, even when they refused to let him eat, for fear that he would need surgery. But he has a buckle fracture, not the worst kind. Thank goodness.
That'll teach him to play with the automatic sliding door on the van! I should have kept my mouth shut, but I had to say, "If you don't stop playing with that..." I called the car manufacturer and lodged a complaint (well, I didn't complain, I merely let them know that the door did NOT stop moving and pop open like it is supposed to!). Poor Bug Boy also had a dislocated elbow, but that popped in ok and doesn't bother him now.
I don't think I need anything else on my plate right now. Between the kids and their therapies and doctors, and my current health issues, I have plenty to keep me busy.
Ok, time to start the day. Bugaboo is still in bed and needs to eat before getting ready for school. And it will take twice as long for Bug Boy, who insists on doing it himself, even with the wrapped-up arm!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Feast

Feast Ninety-Two
From which country(s) are some (or all) of your ancestors?
Ireland, Germany, Wales. Mom is mostly Irish. Dad has some PA Dutch.

How would you describe your sneeze?
Loud, obnoxious, messy. Your typical allergy sneeze. It is quite forceful. People who are near me when I sneeze always look afraid they are getting the bird flu, or something!

What is the last thing you cleaned?
My dishes, this morning (go me!)

Main Course
Who made the strongest first impression on you?
I would have to say my Darling. I know it sounds cliche, but he pointed my life in a whole different direction when we met. I was totally headed down the wrong path. For someone who had little or no parental guidance as a child, he made himself into a strong man, a wonderful father and a supportive husband. He had to figure out most of life's mysteries on his own. And he encouraged me to go back to college and do something for myself, not just because everyone else wanted me to do it. He may be quiet, stubborn and "on a mission" like a freight train most of the time, but I cannot imagine my life without him!

Name one thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime.
I want to go back to college and obtain a master's in something. I love school. I love taking classes. I love learning. So I want to go back and do it. If I could become a professional student, I would!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Thirteen Kinds of Cheese in my fridgeRight Now

1. Cheddar
2. Four Cheese Mexican
3. Parmesan (grated)
4. Locatelli Romano
5. Fresh mozzarella
6. Cream Cheese (is that a cheese?).
7. Brie
8. Feta
9. Cheese Whiz
10. Slender American slices
11. Provolone
12. Regular American
13. Cottage Cheese (NOT mine)

So, we like a little cheese, eh?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, IÂ’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What I feel like doing today

What I feel like doing and what I NEED to do are two completely different things.

I feel like keeping my kids home.
I feel like staying in my jammies all day (kids, too!).
I feel like taking the phone off of the hook.
I feel like taking lazy walks around town with the kids.
I feel like sprawling in the grass while the kids play outside.
I feel like snuggling and taking naps with them (yeah, right! Like they will nap!)
I feel like asking Darling to come home early to be lazy with us.
I feel like praying that God will cure my sons.
I feel like curing it myself.
I feel like digging in dirt, planning a garden and then DOING IT!
I feel like cutting down the bushes in front of the house that I loathe.
I feel like teaching my boys to climb trees. But we don't need more trips to the ER.
I feel like packing them in the car and driving to the beach.
I feel like running away from my life.
I feel like holding my boys close.
I feel like I need to eat potatoes. Yum!
I feel like playing the piano at 7 am.
I feel like I want to learn the guitar today.

Here is what I need to do:

Clean my house
Put away/ get rid of clothes that don't fit the boys
make 8 very important phone calls
brush the poor dog
brush the dog's teeth
work on language with Bugaboo
work on social skills with Bug Boy
finish the documentation for Ian's meeting
Send copies of their evaluations to appropriate people
Go to Tar-zhay and get diapers and new toothbrushes, since Bugaboo steals them all
Sort my music because Bugaboo gets into it
Get Bug Boy to straighten up his room
Balance the check Book (UGH!)

I am leaning towards the first list, and it isn't even 8 am! ACK! I need inspiration. Might be time to pull out the reinforcements. I think I have to get out my motivational CDs...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Typical Monday

I have a few minutes to collect myself before the onslaught of activity begins. Today is Monday, the day when all of the crazy stuff happens. I am trying to relax and sip my tea. Bug Boy is up and eating, I will get Bugaboo up in a little while after my shower.

I almost dread these days. I have a hard time falling asleep the night before. Last night I stayed up too late watching movies when I KNOW I should have gone to sleep. Especially since I had migraines all weekend. Every once in a while I'd glance at the clock and think, "Get yer butt up there!" But I just couldn't. I so rarely get to stare at the idiot box, ya know?

I just have to keep remembering to take deep breaths. I am going to start off at the Y this morning, after I drop Bug Boy at school, so that should help keep me sane. Then I plan on food shopping, getting Bug Boy from school, having lunch, getting Bugaboo off the bus, putting the kids in the car, taking Bug Boy to Havertown, taking Bugaboo to Elwyn, back to Havertown, back to Elwyn, TJ's on the way home for the rest of the groceries, and then home. Then tonight I may try to go to a Family support meeting. We shall see.

Here we go, in 3.....2.....1....