Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We did this as a test, to see if it made a difference in his tics and his general mood. The answer seems to be yes - his tics have been far milder, and he seems calmer in general. But I had said early on we would pick a week to "test" it - a week in which we ate foods with all that stuff in it to see how we felt. This is the week. I actually fell off the wagon last week (and face down into the chocolate), and have felt cruddy since then (except when I'm high on the chocolate - then life feels GREAT). Jefferson has now had 4 days of eating iffy foods - a Peep, fast food, donuts, chocolates, etc.
Has it made a difference? I think so. The only reason I'm not 100% sure is the complicating factor of pink eye - Jeff came down with pink eye on Saturday, and I know from previous experience that illness can sometimes cause a spike in tics. But even Jeff says he thinks he's noticed a difference. He seems more agitated, his tics are more noticeable. Mom is more grouchy.
So we're going to finish the week out (I'm not cutting us off before Easter baskets), and next week we're going back to our clean eating plan. That will be the true test - will the ickies, the tics, the irritability taper off again? I'm betting yes. And I'm actually looking forward to getting off the junk again. But in the meantime, those M&M's are calling my name...
Saturday, March 27, 2010
It was a humbling experience. Three people who have autistic children spoke before the race, telling stories of their home lives, their experiences in finding the Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership, and what it meant to them to see us all there. All three cried as they spoke. As I listened, I surveyed the crowd, wondering how many people there actually knew people with autism, and how many were just there for the race - thinking how lucky they were if in the latter group. And then I realized how lucky I am. Ellie shows no signs of being anywhere on the spectrum. Yes, Jefferson has technically been diagnosed with Asperger's, but if that's accurate, he's very high functioning. Nothing like some of the kids I saw and heard about. And even though of course I wish he were what they call "neurotypical" and didn't have to struggle with AS or TS, he's alive. He's healthy. He doesn't have a terminal illness, he's not physically handicapped, his prognosis seems great. Yes, we're still looking for ways to help him - yes, I'm still experimenting with diet and trying extra hard to work with him on social interactions, but you know what? He's a great kid. He's smart and funny and a whiz at computer games. He's my son.
Thank you to everyone who was there, for whatever reasons brought you. We need everyone to help in this fight - and really, in any fight on behalf of people who are struggling with disabilities. As a mom, I have now met many other moms whose kids are battling a variety of diseases or disabilities I never even thought about when I was younger - autism and Asperger's, cerebral palsy, heart defects, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Tourette's. The labels break your heart. The differences break your heart. But the children heal it. Because we're all in this together, and even if we're in different cars, we're all on the same train.
Friday, March 26, 2010
If I've actually figured this out, I may have unleashed a monster. Because you know I'm going to want to do an Elvis-themed one, or a Twilight-themed one, etc., etc. Wish I were smart enough to figure out how to make the template stay fixed on the screen and have the words just move up and down (how's that for a technical explanation), but for now, at least I know how to do my own pictures.
And for those of you wondering at the pictures I chose? Well, in my previous life I was a doctoral student in medieval history, and I still love medieval illuminations. I also love books. So you've got a woman reading, books, a woman writing, and more books. That's how I like to think of my life!
Oops. I think both women are writing. No problem! The more scribbling, the merrier!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
However, at our New Moon party last week, as we were chatting about Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James with disbelief and disgust, one of the women at the party said she'd read that 70% of married men cheat. SEVENTY PERCENT?!? Given that we had about 10 women there, all married - well, we were all doing the math. But is it true? I myself have read astonishingly high numbers about what percentage of spouses cheat on each other - I don't remember if the male number was in the 70% range, but I do know the female range was around 50%, and even that shocked me.
See, I can't even fathom it. To me, infidelity seems like the worst kind of betrayal. At least it's the one of which I'm most afraid - *not* because I think I have anything to fear on that account from my own husband. I don't know why it resonates so powerfully and emotionally with me - I certainly have occasional mild fears I'll be replaced with a younger, thinner model, but I don't think they are realistic concerns. I just can't imagine being with someone else when you're married. Such an absolute betrayal of the soul. And to be unfaithful and then not reveal it, to live a perpetual lie and a double (or triple or quadruple) life - how do they even do it? How can they live with themselves?
Oh Lord, this probably sounds very holier-than-thou. Let me just say that in college I was involved briefly with a man who was dating someone else, and I was also cheated on in a different, also brief, relationship. The pain of both experiences was intense, as were the feelings of shame. So, although none of the people were married, I have kind of been there (and never want to be again!). I know I am blessed with a good marriage and a husband whom I still really like, as well as love. Perhaps if I were in a miserable relationship I might understand it more - but perhaps not. Maybe I'm just a prude. But I'm O.K. with that.
I'm not even sure how to conclude this little tirade. I'm just so saddened for all of the broken marriages, broken relationships, and broken trust that affairs bring about. And really disgusted by the Tigers and Jesses of the world - those we know about, and those we never will.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It was, therefore, especially amusing to me last night when Ellie got out of her bath and proceeded to run up and down the hallway naked (again, a quite common event). Suddenly she stopped, grabbed her private parts in a rather Michael Jackson fashion and said, quite excitedly, "Mom, Jon can pee pee standing up!" And she proceeded to point her girly parts out, still holding on for dear life, mind you, and made lots of urinating noises while pretending to pee. I suppose I should be grateful she didn't *actually* pee, but I was too busy chuckling while explaining to her that, yes, Jon could pee standing up because he was a BOY - and boys have penises. But Ellie is a GIRL, and girls sit down to go potty. "I don' haff to sit down, mama, I a big girwl!" Ellie insisted. I emphasized several more times that girls sit on the potty every time.
But I'm just waiting for the inevitable. You see, when *I* was little, my mom caught me peeing into the bathroom trash can. Apparently I wanted to be "just like Daddy," and the toilet had just been too high. Like mother, like daughter? I'm counting on it. And gathering up the cleaning supplies.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Our New Moon party was a blast. Yes, it was. We had about 8 people there, nearly all of whom I believe were over 35. And we feasted on such delicacies as Emily's Muffins, Werewolf Kibble, Vegetarian Vampire Pizza, Rising Moon Beer, and various other red drinks and items that matched the mood. We hung posters and displayed the books. And everyone got their picture taken with Edward.
Plus, it was just darn fun to have an all-women get together. It really was.
Plus, it was just darn fun to have an all-women get together. It really was.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Me: "Hiya! Do you have any dog bone shaped cookie cutters?"
Cute Young (Female) Clerk: "Why, yes, I happen to know that we do!"
Me, after selecting the cutter: "Oh, I'm so excited to find this. We're having a New Moon party tomorrow night, and I'm making Werewolve Bones."
Cute Young Clerk: "Really? Do you have a teenage daughter?"
Me, with a smirk: "Nope... I'm one of those, you know, Twi-Moms."
Cute Young Clerk, laughing: "Well, that's cool. So if you're making bones you must be on the side of the..."
Me, cutting her off: "Oh no. I'm for the vampire all the way. This is just equal representation."
Bwah ha ha! Yes, I am 38. And yes, I love the Twilight series and all that it entails. And NO, I do NOT have a teenage daughter (although I guess I'm old enough to, so I shouldn't take offense). But boy will Brett get a kick out of hearing he's not the only one who thinks it's only for teenage girls.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Oh, my poor girl. She is so much like me, in temperament and, well, body size. She has a hearty appetite, just like me. And she is no delicate flower. While I try hard not to obsess about her size and pass on some of the body issues I learned, it's true she is chunky. I know it. She actually eats fairly well, just probably bigger portions than a preschooler needs. And, as her preschool teacher put it, "She's not prone to movement."
So apparently she wanted to ride in the kiddie swings at the park, which she's always loved. Brett got her in, but couldn't get her out. As she was swinging, her legs apparently moved farther down through the seat, and didn't want to come back up. Brett also thinks he probably put her in "backward," through the smaller holes of the seat. Still, he said he tried for 20 minutes to get her out. Other parents at the park tried to help. He finally got a groundskeeper to help haul over a picnic table on which Ellie could stand so that at least gravity wouldn't be such a problem. And a few minutes after that, the firefighters came, whom Brett had called. They worked with her and rescued her, and were very kind.
Ellie was obviously very excited about all of this, as it's the first thing she told me. Brett said he was just glad she wasn't old enough to be embarrassed. So am I. I hope she's never embarrassed, no matter what size she turns out to be. I hope no one ever makes fun of her, I hope she never feels too ashamed to try a chair, for fear it will break, never wonders if she's too big for the porch swing or the trampoline or the roller coaster ride or what have you. Never assumes people won't like her (or love her) because she's bigger than they are. I hope we continue to feed her healthy food and encourage her to be active and that she slims down. But even if she doesn't, I hope she's spared all the painful feelings I had growing up, and knows she's loved no matter what. But what hurts right now is realizing that probably won't happen. And I can't keep it from happening, although I would give anything to be able to do so. My darling girl.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I so wish I didn't have these food issues, this sugar and chocolate addiction, this inability to control my eating of certain things. But I do. Perhaps a small sign that I'm growing up a little bit is my willingness to admit it, AND to abstain from those things. So I've gotta give up the M&M's. At least until Easter.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Recently I told my mom she should make a fan page for her business on Facebook; I'd been trying to get her on FB for a while, but she has had no interest. But for the business, she was willing to give it a go, and I found out to make a business page, one must link it to a personal page, so voila, I got to create one for her. This evening I actually chatted with her through FB chat, AND watched her friend a zillion people, become a fan of numerous pages, and generally act silly. I don't know why this pleased me so much, but it did.
Would my life be better without Facebook? Possibly. I would almost certainly get more done around my home. I might even concede I'd probably pay more attention to my kids and husband. Maybe I'd get outside more. On the other hand, how fun it is to be able to take five or ten minutes here and there to check in with people all across the country - people I knew as a kid, or in college, or know now. I certainly know more about more people in my life than I *ever* would have pre-FB. For an at-home mom, FB affords a cheap escape from the day-to-day drudgery of laundry, dishes, playing Uno, dealing with sibling squabbles, negotiating chores and homework, driving the Taxi Van, and all those other mundane things that fill up my day.
So thank you, Facebook, for letting me connect to so many people. And for letting me chat with my mommy. That was a hoot.
Monday, March 1, 2010
So I determined that today I will be in a fantastic mood and celebrate being 37. I always thought something amazing would happen this year. I mean, when I was 17 (my second favorite number), I graduated from high school and then spent four months living in Germany, only to return home because my mom was getting remarried. All big deals. When I was 27, I got married. Huge deal. So of course I assumed when I was 37, something earth-shattering and life-changing (in a good way) would occur.
It hasn't. It's been a pretty normal year - some ups, some downs. But nothing I can point at and say, "Yes! That is the fantastic event that marked my being 37!" I did get to travel to Iowa for my best college friend Jen's 40th birthday. That was awesome. I have dropped 20 pounds this year. That is awesome. I've been on a quest to read 100 books in 2010 and have already whizzed through about 30. That's pretty cool. But not legendary.
Maybe that's O.K. Maybe the wonder, the thrill, the point of being 37 is celebrating all that I have right now, not just events that happened this year. I have a wonderful husband who makes me feel safe and secure, is my best friend, is a fantastic dad, who I think is pretty foxy, and whom I love with all my heart. I have two children who, admittedly, often drive me crazy, but whom I also love fiercely and who surprise me every day. I have two loving cats, a nice house, cars that work, books a plenty to read, the time and freedom to read them and play on the internet and do fun things along side every day chores and obligations. I've got friends I enjoy being around, and who I think enjoy me. I'm in pretty good health, all things considered.
Yes, being 37 has been marvelous. But it's the little things that have made it great. And it's gratitude I feel today, for being able to see that those little things are actually Big Things, and for being happy and thankful for them.