Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sky is Falling

Variations of this same scenario have played out in my head a thousand times since Jim was hospitalized a few years back. We have heard whispers of lay-offs many times before, but not like this. Jim thinks it will be just before Christmas, maybe sooner.
Meanwhile, we have to get the closets, flooring and trim completed to bring closure and meaning to all of our hard work so far and for the “what ifs” around the corner. And somewhere in all of this chaos, we have to keep pushing around school, state, and managed care to keep our oldest on track – find some answers. We have to protect and maintain normalcy for all three of our children and keep up with the “routines.” The clouds above are letting loose and as I hold up my umbrella, I wonder how long it can stand up against this relentless downpour. Fearful of the unknown future, I comfort myself with this thought:
In every one of my scenarios and possible outcomes, I still have this family. That is a ground zero we can certainly build up from despite any devastating collapse. That is the only truly important “thing.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jeans & The “Bootay”

Yesterday I was catching up on my Oprah when I witnessed her revelation to the world, of “the best jean” by CJ. Okay, they might very well be “the best” and who am I to argue with Oprah…but for the price tag of one to two hundred dollars, they had better be so damn sexy that my husband takes one good look and is satisfied for the whole night! Later on that show, a “more affordable” jean was also announced. This one was a Lee brand sold at JC Penny stores for around $40. Here again I am thinking…I do not think I have ever paid over $20 for a pair of jeans…and that included tax! …What are those jeans going to do for me for that kind of money? I can tell you that no matter how great they are, my butt will still be right here taunting me in the mirror. To the ladies struggling to make ends meet and still searching for that perfect jean (at a price that you can actually afford), I have some suggestions of my own for the (as she put it) “bootay.”

There is a jean called “1.8” by YMI that is 82% cotton, 16% poly and 2% spandex, higher in the back, snuggles around base of hips in the front, and manages to hide everything you don’t want seen while making you look sexy and feel like you never took your pajamas off! This jean does not have any big fancy pockets or buttons but is streamlined and does not wrinkle! To shop at YMI Jeans Direct, visit their blog (yup they have their own), store locator & such, click on the link here I found my great deal on these jeans at Dots. Dots stores sell them anywhere from $12.99-18.99 and for that price - you can afford a top or accessories to go with! Find Dots store near you at
So good luck on your search for that perfect jean. I have found mine ...Now if I could only find the perfect work out routine!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Fague

Waking up this morning was like coming out of a fugue and realizing you had been unconscious during the event of something important, significant, body-altering. I was groggy and my body felt more tired than usual...just would not get up. Was I hit by a truck while sleeping in my bed? As I slowly proceeded to sit up, I experienced a deja vu of the night before, of being cozily tucked into the recesses of the couch while watching a recorded episode of the CBS program Crime Scene Investigation. Glancing downward, It was clear that I had missed something very important, something I always mark on the calendar to let me know how to “plan.” In the kitchen later, I was still rubbing my eyes as I searched all those crucial little squares that hold the details of our lives together. How could I have been so out of touch with myself this month? As a woman, some intuitions are so strong within us, I am irritated by my carelessness and the inconvenience. I am cramping and hunched over feeling like I should go back to bed. I pause for a moment and promise myself to take better care of me today. But first, I must cycle two loads of laundry, shower, dress, feed and clean up for three kids and get them onto a bus.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chauffeur a’ la’ Mom

Trying desperately to keep my eyes from squinting closed under the pressure of this two day migraine. The oldest has begun going off on another tangent about the finger stick he will be having at his annual physical (almost six months away still) and how and why they need this information from his blood and why can’t they just scrape open one of his existing scabs, etc, etc... This is of course, is an ongoing theme for him. Earlier, as we were leaving dance class, it was a forty-five minute discourse on the fact that his mouth stings “so bad” from having bitten his inner lip. He bites his tongue and inner lip at least several times a week and as a young child, used to do it a few times a day, so it is not surprising that he could generate such a grand discussion on the topic. Also given his lack of tolerance to pain and discomfort, and the length of time he takes to discuss most things he is interested in, this is just an average evening drive. I am the lucky chauffeur a’ la mom.

Sitting slumped over against my seatbelt, I grip the wheel tighter, trying to not swerve into the oncoming traffic as the sounds of Gabe’s loud shrieking for his sister to “stop it Warren” and Loren’s intentionally annoying humming increasingly rises to meet the volume of his voice. Meanwhile Nate continues to ramble on as he stares blankly into the darkness through the window in front of him, so engrossed in his own thoughts, he is blissfully unaware of all else. Maybe If It was possible to hear some of his lecture, I could actually join him in his private world...but not tonight. Tonight the mission is just to “get home.” ...After that?...Who knows...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drawing Blanks

After seeing another doctor with Nate this morning, I am more confused about our unique situation and how to explain it, but at least received confirmation that I am doing everything I can for now, and that there is no need to take things further than this (at this time) unless I’m willing to “experiment” with more meds, Nathan is no longer meeting academic standards, or there is a crisis.

Wish there was a way we could find the answers to our hearts questions without opening certain doorways and stepping on so many toes. All this psychological “muck” parents go through to help their children along in life, just cannot compare to what our souls instinctively tell us we have to do.

Nathan is beautiful and special. Nathan is well. Nathan just has more difficulty than most people getting on with a “normal” day. And that is okay. We are here to give him whatever advantages in life he needs and none of those he doesn’t. We may be drawing blanks when it comes to “concrete” information, but we have all the knowledge we need to be his parents.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lore of Yesteryear

There is a certain kind of wisdom and charm....a magnetism that our older generations carry with them in the later years of life. We are drawn to them hear their lore of yesteryear, the grand stories, the accounts of lessons learned, their advice on future endeavors...We should all feel blessed to share these precious moments with them and to take away those valuable trinkets of knowledge and beauty.

This past weekend, we enjoyed a surprise and rare visit from my grandfather who was generous with what little time he had to share on his short traverse to Massachusetts for a 60th High School Reunion. I admire his bravery and ‘spunk’ to arrive here alone and to join us on such adventures

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Answers

Today I spoke with Nate’s pediatrician about adjusting meds again. She agreed we should make another appointment to get things right, weigh him and update the “game plan.” In the meantime, she asked that I make an appointment to see the one doctor we have been avoiding (for an evaluation). That makes three professional suggestions now - “to rule things out” of course...

Later I called the Parent Advisory Council in our state about some of the things I cannot get anyone else to answer for us - the things I must know first. They are an amazing resource for anyone with a child that has special needs and were extremely helpful. I feel much more confident and ready to move forward now....One day at a time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So Many Questions

Nathan is still loosing weight and as soon as we have spoken to his therapist tonight, I will be calling his pediatrician about this current medication he is on. The past week or so, he has still not wanted to eat anything. Adding complication to the matter, these new pills do not seem to have any of their “intended” effects. Translation: Nate is struggling again and so are we.
For the longest time, all we could see were the attention issues he had and the resulting behaviors that can often be associated with ADD-type struggles. Until we met a point with the previous medication (and therapy) where some of those behaviors had been lessened or eliminated, the deeper layer of Nate’s complexities, were obscured from our primary view. So clearly now, I see it…There is something more.

Everyone has one of those family members that you love just the same but maybe just seems odd, awkward, eccentric, peculiar, different …For most people that meet him, Nathan would never appear to be anything but completely “normal.” Whatever we have done or continue to do – it has been tremendously successful. Nate is a beautiful, kind-hearted, loving boy who is self-confident, social and out-going. He participates in many after-school activities and has many long-term friendships. We know though, there is something else…the “stuff” we hide so well but that is getting increasingly difficult to mask.

We have another function ahead and I am so nervous. Beyond ADD, I have no answers to explain why we feel like we have to be with him at all time, why we do not trust his interactions and behaviors to be appropriate and why he could construe a simple social interaction to be scary, hurtful, threatening and possibly take physical action. We cannot explain why he is so unnerved by the tiniest things or why everything must take a 500 page essay to explain and pick apart. It is exhausting, but for whatever is our “normal” right now.

Meanwhile…let us not forget the other complicated little people sketching out their own little ideas and personalities on the same “pad” …I suppose that if life is art and art is expression, we are always in a state of expressing our colorful bond with one another in unique and different ways ...but always with love and respect.
There is definitely something more going on with Nathan, but we need more answers to some initial questions before we can ask certain ‘other questions.’

If there is “something more,” how does it (hypothetically) affect his daily life and is there anything we can do to alleviate the symptoms or eliminate the issue? What does a label do for him? How can a label hurt him? We continue our quest for answers in tonight’s session.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweeter Than Candy

Notorious for skipping school in my own time, I continue to make no reservation about pulling my own children out of school from time to time for a little “get-away,” “personal field trip,” and other such fun-seeking adventures. Sometimes that tiny little escape is sweeter than candy, keeps us from needing to take “actual sick days” and well worth the disruption of our over-scheduled lives. Today was the orchard and the baking of our first apple pie and crisp!...

Here Is What We Made:

The “YUMMIEST” Sugar Free Apple Pie
4 c Apple Slices (Peeled)
1 (small box) Sugar Free French Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 Tbsp Organic Smart Balance (Vegan Butter)
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Apple Pie Spice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp (pure) Lemon Juice
2 9” Round Pie Crusts (one for top and another for bottom)

Directions: Peel and Slice Apples, Set Aside. Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees and make your crusts; fold over and set aside. Then mix all other ingredients and apples until there is a sticky covering. Assemble your pies with bottom crust, apple filling and then top crust, making sure to pinch the sides closed and leave a few air pockets or slits in the very top. Bake at least 45 minutes/until golden brown.

The “SPECTACULAR” Sugar Free Apple Crisp
The Filling
½ c Splenda Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Unsweetened Minute Tapioca
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
4 c Apple Slices (Peeled)
The Topping
1 ¼ c Quick Oats Oatmeal/Approx 5 Packets of Plain Instant Oatmeal
½ c Organic Whole Wheat Flour
¼ c Splenda Brown Sugar
½ c Organic Smart Balance (Vegan Butter)

Directions: Peel and Slice Apples, Set Aside. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees. Spray 8 x 8” pan or similar bakeware with non-stick spray. Combine Filling Ingredients in One Bowl and Mix Topping Ingredients in Another. Once finished with both mixtures, pour the Filling into your pan first, followed by the Topping. Bake 45-50 Minutes until crumbled topping is brown and crispy.