Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Book

I recently read What a President Should Know . . . but most learn too late by Lawrence B. Lindsey. It was interesting. I didn’t agree with all of his Republican ideas but there were definitely some good ideas in the book. I liked Lindsey's advice for the President to govern as if he wasn’t going to seek a second term.

Bottom Line: interesting, Republican viewpoint.

Friday, February 27, 2009

And then Marcy told me to get off the treadmill

Yesterday I met Marcy at the Y to work out. I managed to accidentally turn off the treadmill three times, then stepped off the moving belt and nearly fell off. At that point Marcy told me it was too dangerous for me to continue exercising.

Sweet, I got a pass from my trainer!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Hate Cooking Dinner!

Last week my husband asked me to come up with a schedule for weekly dinners. I said, “Great idea. I’ve been trying to do that for ten years and it really hasn’t worked for me.” Now let’s add the complexity of William’s gluten and casein free diet and his unique dietary preferences to the weekly menu idea. Alright, one dinner is refried beans in a bowl, another night a plate of French fries – ok, that leaves three more nights . . . any other suggestions? Then just for fun let’s stir in no condiments for Bri, no Thai food, no vegetables in her curry for Lizzy. Nothing remotely resembling a casserole for any of the children – unless it has hotdogs in it, Oh, wait that’s right, Lizzy hates hotdogs. Jacob and Lizzy started eating rice last year but they're not really keen on vegetables. Bri only likes mozzarella cheese. Everyone but Will likes split pea soup and chili, but of course, he refuses to eat soup period.

We decided on a Mexican night and a pasta night. Tonight was pasta night. I asked Jake to set the table and put things for salad on the table. I contaminated the spaghetti sauce with hamburger. While I was comforting Lizzy the spaghetti was slowly running out of water and let’s just say it did not turn out al dente. We sat down to a table missing glasses and Lizzy complaining about hamburger in her spaghetti. Bri said, “This is the best dinner.” Lizzy politely agreed as she kneeled on the ground, her head on the floor muttering about the ruination of her dinner. Jake decided his spaghetti was not saucy enough he opened a new jar and literally (not exaggerating at all!) poured 4/5th of the jar on his plate! Then I took Will in the bathroom to scrub down his orange face and belly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"All Done!"

When Will gets on his bus in the morning he usually starts saying Jordan’s name before we open the door. He says hi over and over again as they hold hands and look at each other.

When I got him off his bus on Tuesday I interrupted him while he was calling me Michelle to tell him the real Michelle was coming to our house and bringing his friend Jordon. Naturally, I thought he would be thrilled when I told him they were coming but he said, “All done!” Thinking that he must not have understood what I was saying again I told him they were coming over. “All done!” He said again.

Will needs some time after school to decompress. (He decompresses in part by calling me other people’s names over and over again.) But I realized that I could have told him an elephant was coming to give him a ride to a special place filled with trampolines, swings and all the gluten and casein he could cram down his throat while he blasted children’s songs on a CD player loudly enough to blow out his eardrums and had five copies of Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! to stim on and he still would have told me “all done!”

I stopped torturing/talking to him and concentrated on helping him put his stuff away and when I was just about ready to leave him alone to relax he told me, “I love you.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jake's New Word

Last Saturday, Jake and another boy were asked to sing in front of everyone at church. When I asked him he looked away from me and back to the computer screen clearly hoping that I would just disappear. I asked him again if he would be willing. He said yes, but that he would be nervous.

So, on Sunday when they announced his name he loudly said, “Oh, crap!” Before standing up and walking to the microphone. After he finished he returned to the pew, bent over so his face was touching his knees and muttered, “Oh, crap,” over and over again like a cadence.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This is so adorable I wish I was a Barbie!

When I was little I loved miniatures and dollhouses. I had a book How To Make Dollhouse Furniture and I tried. I saved little boxes, toothpaste lids and miscellaneous crap but nothing ever worked well enough to save.

I looked on Design Sponge the other day and saw the most adorable little thimble vases and I am officially in love! They would be perfect in my non-existent dollhouse!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And Some People Don’t Think Autism is Funny

One of my friends brought over her two boys to play. The older is autistic but incredibly, hilariously verbal. He proceeded to lecture us on parenting and the rights of children. He was concerned with the control parents exert over their children. For example, some parents have the actual nerve not to let their children swear. No, seriously this was an example of what he called Parent/Child Terrorism! Some parents take this further into a little something he likes to call Parent/Child Communism.

He then delved into the economic portion of his revolutionary treatise. He brought in the current economic crisis and how that related to allowance. And warned us that things must change! Or else there could be a “FULL SCALE CHILD INVASION!” And if we had any desire to advert the coming “Second Civil Rights War” the time to change was now! He started talking strategy but at that point I had lost it.

He had told the wrong parent. In our family, we had long ago entered into a system I like to call a Parent/Child Oligarchy and I will combine with other like minded totalitarian systems to crush the emerging rebellion of children.

Evil laugh!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Facebook Divorce

Back when I was new to Facebook I sent friend requests to people that had I understood the friend concept or had any idea that I would actually check out Facebook on a regular basis I wouldn’t have. I am really to self absorbed to care about whether some of my “friends” go to the movies or blah, blah, blah. And to be perfectly honest I don’t believe that they care what I’m doing either. I’ve discovered that I’m not the 200 or even 50 friend type. Yeah, it’s kind of cool to shout out to a high school friend. But then what? It’s often enough for me to email something and then, I’m done. But then you have the whole awkward meeting pause and someone mumbles, “You know we should get together sometime.” And the next thing you know you’re friends and never “speak” again.

I like hearing from people that I was actually friends with at some point but acquaintances; well, I don’t feel a need to build my numbers. I’m too nice to ignore someone’s friend request if I actually know them. I know, I know there is no way that they would be devastated if I ignored it but . . .

So, I’m going to defriend some people; (though not any of the really funny ones because I have some very amusing friends that I’d follow even if I didn’t know them; example, my ultra cool sis-in-law.) It’s nothing personal but if we don’t/didn’t talk in real life I really don't care if you're training puppies on Facebook?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I overheard the kids talking about what superpower they wished they had. Jake wants power over electricity. You know, that could be really useful if I ever wanted toast or when dogs pee on my grass.

Bri wants to be able to make wishes come true. Isn’t that adorable! She wants to be a Fairy Godmother. That could come in handy if I ever was a servant with a really, really mean step-mother who made me do lots of scrubbing or sift legumes out from ashes.

But Lizzy? She wanted the superpower to take other superheroes’ power. That child does not mess around! Does anyone else watch Heroes? I’m noticing disturbing parallels between her and Sylar. Hey, wait a minute . . . that could come in handy too. I’d have my own personally enforcer! I’d be unstoppable!

Sorry, -- got a little carried away with my imagined power.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Random Thoughts during Vacation Week

I have seven kids in my house. Would that be legal if I ran a daycare? Actually, I only have six because Will is outside. However, he is wearing boots and a coat so I’m pretty happy!

Is he wearing pants?
“Why yes, yes he is. It may have taken several months but now he usually wears pants when he goes outside to sit in the snow on the trampoline.

What’s he doing now?
Oh, I just found him sitting on the couch, eating a partially defrosted frozen waffle folded in half with peanut butter in the middle and quoting Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham; -- so, nothing really out of the ordinary.

I guess it just applies to the rest of us

Politicians just don't like to pay their taxes. Now Sarah Palin has to pay back taxes on the per diem she got for living in her own house. Now that's a sweet deal!

Monday, February 16, 2009

An ode to Pharmaceutical Companies and the estimated 270 people they kill per day!

I’m reading Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves Into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs and it is making me crazy! I can only read so much at a time then I have to put down the book and run over to the toilet to throw up!

Here’s a New York Times review.

Here’s information about the book.

Now go read it so you too can become best friend’s with your glossy, porcelain (non-peach) toilet!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Conclusion of a Conversation with my Twelve Year-Old

. . . “You’re a weirdo.”

“You’re baby weirdo!”

“That’s demented.”

“You’re baby demented!”

“I didn’t say you were demented. I said that what you said was demented.”

“Baby what you said!”

“What the heck.”

“You’re baby what the heck!”

“Uh, um, uh, wha. . .”

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eight is Enough

I am amazed at all the hatred directed towards Nadya Suleman. I guess because I missed the buildup. I read that someone had octuplets and I read a small blurb in the paper that the woman’s mother was upset. Then I went to New Hampshire to get my hair cut and the women in the shop were outraged at the situation.

Then I heard more. Radio hosts were threatening to boycott any company who helped her. People said that she should be sterilized. (Last time I checked this was still the United States of America not China!)

This situation occurred at an interesting time for me. Last week, I watched an episode of Law and Order in which a lawyer for the district attorney’s office tried to take away a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their child. Stuff is going on in New York.

I wouldn’t make the same decisions that Nadya Suleman made. I think she was less thoughtful than she should have been. However, I believe that her situation will punish her more than we as a society ever could. I believe that the hatred directed towards her comes down to one issue -- the number of children. Many people believe that one or at most two children are enough. And with that belief as your reality her decision is unfathomable.

I like large families. Both my husband and I came from large families. I consider four children a medium sized family. When I considered stopping at three children I honestly considered whether it would be fair to the kids to only have two siblings because I knew they would miss out on so much. I probably would have had more children if we weren’t dealing with autism. Like many other parents of children with autism, it made the choice to have more children much more difficult. I remember meeting a pregnant woman who had three sons with autism and blurting out my surprise that she would dare have another; only to realize that people had the reaction to me when I was pregnant with Lizzy.

I’ve never thought well of anyone who had more than triplets resulting from any kind of fertility treatment because of the health risks to the babies. In this I don’t think worse of Suleman than I do the McCaughey’s. Quite frankly I’m not impressed with either. Even if Suleman was married it is unlikely she could afford the hospital bills or other costs associated with these children. People make decisions all the time that costs society money example -- drunk drivers. Any premature baby costs a tremendous amount of money.

So, what’s so different about her decision?

What frightens me about the hoopla is that freedom is fragile. When society decides that they always know best someone loses. I had normal children who became autistic two weeks after routine vaccines. Because of that, I have changed my opinion as to what health care all my children may or may not receive. With William we have aggressively pursued bio-medical treatments for him. Traditional medicine failed him. We have tried things that traditional medicine consider reckless and foolish.

But Will can now talk and is mostly toilet trained.

At one of his appointments with his developmental pediatrician, I told her that a couple of years ago I didn’t think he would ever talk. She said that she didn’t think he would either. I said that he can talk because we chelated him. I could see her brain hurting her because she was thinking he wouldn't have but chelation can't possibly work. She spent ten years diagnosing autistic kids. She’s seen Will for years and she knew that he was one of the kids who probably would never speak but her training required that she be closed to any treatment that wasn’t traditional.

What is great about living in America is that I can make decisions for myself and my children. And that is worth defending.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Useless but Funny

My friend Marcy sent me the most hilarious definitions from the Washington Post's Mensa invitational. My favorites are as follows:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

4. Reintarnation (n.): Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

14. Dopeler effect (n.): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

And in regards to The Washington Post’s 2007 contest to supply alternate definitions for common words – I only have one thing to say. I am flabbergasted and must abdicate. But truly my favorite was #7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pump It Up

Lizzy went to a birthday party yesterday at Pump It Up in Shrewsbury. I decided to stay because it’s a twenty minute drive there. I realized that I didn’t know anyone in her class to carpool with so I decided to invest the time in meeting other women who can hopefully drive Lizzy places for me in the future!

So, of course, I first talked to the grandmother who was visiting from Buffalo. Then, inevitably, I somehow found the other mother who had kids with special needs. I don’t need a tattoo of a puzzle piece on my forehead because I assume I radiate it somehow.

She sought me out because the teacher recommended Lizzy as a playmate for her child. Actually it’s the second time a parent has told me that a teacher recommended Lizzy as a friend. It’s nice to know that Lizzy is kind. And as I told the mom – all sorts of behaviors seem normal to Lizzy such as wearing underwear backwards, jumping on a trampoline naked . . . Quite frankly, any of the odd behaviors their kids might do probably doesn't come close to that standard.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apathy or a Sincere Desire to Stay Out of It?

Yesterday morning as my husband and I were eating breakfast together, I looked around at the scraped walls and asked him, “Do you think I should paint the dining room blue?”

“That’s up to you and Marcy.” He said.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quality Time with Jake

Jake and I sat by each other snuggling up close together. I compared one of my hairs to his. My red hair is a lot brighter than his. He pulled one of his hairs out of his head to compare to mine. Then, his attention captured, he started fishing through my hair. He finally narrowed down his prey and yanked the offending hair out of my head. He thought it was pretty funny to find a white hair. Then, while I was still occupied with rubbing my throbbing head, he started going through my hair looking for the next victim. “Cut it out,” Brianne ordered! “If you pull out all of mom’s white hairs she’ll be bald!”

Darn straight!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

For Once I was Ahead of the Curve

Usually I read about cool things in the paper. But today, thanks to my ultra cool sis-in-law Jen, I was ahead of the curve. In the Globe there was an article about a “phenomenon” sweeping across Facebook – that of finding out more information than necessary about other people. I had already listed my 25 Random Things and watched other lists proliferate. I didn’t participate in any other lists because I was tired and busy finding secret notes from Will written on vegetables.

Then I got a Facebook friend request from my little sister’s best friend in elementary school. Small world! It’s weird to realize that people actually grow up. Because she is frozen at 4 in my mind, and regardless of how many times I see her I’m shocked every time!

(BTW, Bean she asked if you were signed up. Guess you have to now.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Three Hours in the Life of Will

This morning Will flung open the door to my bedroom and shouted, “Michelle!” I blearily replied something to the effect of go out and shut the door behind you.

Will was minding his own business listening to CDs when I rudely appropriated some library CDs away from him. He loudly registered (wailed) his displeasure in my actions for five minutes.

As I walked past the bathroom I heard running water – a lot of running water. Normally that could go either way. Today, however, I had taken down the shower curtain to clean it. And I found Will taking a shower sans shower curtain while listening to his iPod. There was more displeasure manifested when I confiscated his music.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Human Vs. Canine Communication

I went downstairs to Bri’s room to find Lizzy. And I did. She was tied to Bri’s doorknob. She was Bri’s puppy Wolfy. She had been a “bad puppy” and had jumped on Bri’s bed and thus apparently had to be tied to her door. I wanted to ask Wolfy to set the table but wasn’t sure whether I should bark or talk.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


A message to the other Democrats out there: PAY YOUR TAXES!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Little Information Junkie!

This morning Jake woke me up at 6:45 and said Bri missed her bus. I assumed it was because Will, having eaten a pretzel which is the equivalent of him taking illegal drugs, woke up at 3:30am and spent the next few hours running around the house yelling; and I, when I heard Bri up at 6:00am, asked her to turn on the TV for him. I assumed that she was caught up in whatever show he was watching and lost track of time. And I was about half right.

I asked her about it on the way to school. “Did you miss the bus because you were watching TV?” I asked her. I wasn’t even upset about her missing her bus because she gets herself up at 5:45am every morning, makes her own breakfast and lunch, and leaves for the bus every morning before I even get out of bed. And this is only the second time she’s missed the bus this school year!

“Yes,” she responded, “because I watched his TV show instead of mine.”

“What do you usually watch?”

“The ABC News,” she said.


“I like to know what the weather is like and where the accidents are and the ABC News has a clock on the screen so I know what time it is.” She explained. “Sometimes there are interesting stories. Did you know mom, that they’re debating requiring people to wear helmets while they sled because a lot of kids have gotten hurt.”

“Yeah, I read something about that.” But I didn’t know she knew! MY TWELVE YEAR OLD WATCHES THE MORNING NEWS! I had no idea. If I had watched TV in the morning at that age it would have been cartoons.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Husband knows How to Cheer Me Up

Anyone who likes Cheney should not click on this link. The rest of you can enjoy reading about Dick getting dunked!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Torture Through Other Means

Will likes to listen to the most horrendous version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on Nick Jr. over and over again while screaming along. If this keeps up much longer I will find a baseball bat and club myself into unconsciousness.

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