Dec 30, 2008
Dec 23, 2008
Dec 13, 2008
Since everyone I know is struggling with maintaining some sort of economic cash flow, I thought I'd do my part and throw this idea out there for those that are looking for an easy, frugal gift for the person that has everything.
Dec 7, 2008
Nov 30, 2008
Nov 20, 2008
Essential fatty acids
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
Speech and Language Therapy
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid or folate)
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
vitamin B 12 injections
Nov 15, 2008
The kids keep passing a virus around. Mason missed three days of school last week, and now Hunter and Ryder have it. They have fevers, red bumps on the very back of their tongue, a sore throat and headache. Sometimes I will "run energy" on the kids when they are sick.
Last Spring I took a class on Energy Healing Therapy. It is really interesting--how every living thing has energy and how we can focus that energy and turn it into a healing experience. Here is a little bit about it taken from www.quantumtouch.com.
Everything vibrates. When two things vibrate at different frequencies, there is a tendency for the vibrations to come together. Most often, the slower vibration will rise to match the faster frequency. There are many kinds of examples of entrainment: over time, similarly tuned electric oscillators will match frequencies; disembodied animal hearts when placed near each other and kept alive in a lab will all beat in unison; and when women share a dormitory, over months they will often start menstruating at the same time.
Healing is a fascinating process which is generally very poorly understood. While many people think they can heal other people, it is of utmost importance to realize that all healing is self-healing. Ultimately, cells heal themselves. Cells desire to be well, and given the right energetic, emotional and nutritional environments, they will do just that. The body has an extraordinary intelligence and ability to heal itself. My favorite definition of a healer is someone who was sick and got well; a great healer is someone who was very sick and got well quickly.--Richard Gordon
I've been trying to practice and study it and get my 60 credit hours in so I can become a practictioner. It is so calming and relaxing and I can certainly benefit from this bonus, too!
Nov 11, 2008
Here is an example of what Hunter is working on in speech therapy using idioms. See if you can pick the correct answer!
1. Whenever people argue, Joe puts his head in the sand.
a. Joe thinks arguments are as much fun as a sandbox.
b. Every time people argue, Joe pretends he is invisible.
c. Joe tries to ignore people when they argue.
2. Every time I turn around, Martha has a new cat.
a. Martha has one cat after another.
b. Whenever I twirl, Martha gets a new cat.
c. I can't believe how quickly Martha gets a new cat.
3. Let's mend our fences before school gets out for the summer.
a. Before it's summer, let's make sure all our fences are fixed.
b. Let's make up before summer starts.
c. We should settle our differences before the summer starts.
4. An apology was on the tip of Katie's tongue.
a. Katie was almost ready to say she was sorry.
b. Katie had a sore tongue.
c. Katie was just about to apologize.
5. When Dad asks Jim to do something, it goes in one ear and out the other.
a. Jim doesn't listen when his dad wants him to do something.
b. Jim quickly forgets what his dad asks him to do.
c. Jim's dad can send messages right through Jim's head.
Actually, I don't have the answers, but I think "C" is a good one for all of them except #5. That would be "b."
Nov 7, 2008
Will I miss Bill's 11 pens in his right pants pocket?
Will I miss his giant pickle jar filled with quarters devoted to the USA Today's weekly edition of basketball stats?
Will I miss his endless aches and pains?
Will I miss the methodical way that he eats fried chicken-crunching and nibling ever so slightly on the tiniest of bones?
Will I miss his growing collection of crossword puzzles with each page finished in pencil and the time it took to finish it highlighted at the top?
Will I miss his quest for descriptive details?
Will I miss the way he can't hear his alarm go off?
Will I miss his hourly (it seems) bathroom episodes?
Will I miss the quirky way he ties his shoes and matches his clothes like Cousin Eddy?
In the present, I would miss his help in changing Ryder's diapers.
I would miss his taking the garbage out.
I would miss his help with bathing the kids.
I would miss his staying up late "just in case one of the kids wakes up".
I would miss his cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night after Hunter or Ryder has a seizure. I would miss the candy bar he buys me every time he fills his car up with gas.
I would miss how he holds the door open for me even when it really isn't logical.
I would miss having a walking dictionary.
Nov 3, 2008
The doctor decided to go ahead and hook him up to the EEG and do it anyway, even if he was awake. Well, guess what...he fell asleep. (Is that all we needed to do?!)
Last I heard, Ryder no longer held the record. A two year old had passed him up.
Oct 30, 2008
I could be waiting at a corner bus stop somewhere. I could be driving a Carol Brady station wagon. I could be back in high school. I could be pregnant (been there, done that). I could be giving a talk in church (*struck by lightning*). I could be a scientist working with lab rats (*shiver*). I could be camping (don't mind nature, it's just so much work with a family and a child that eats dirt). I could be swimming (well, drowning is more like it). I could be homeless without purse or script. I could be dressed up as an animal mascot outside a fast food chain. I could be in prison with......(I'll leave it at that). I could be blind. I could have cancer. I could be living in Antarctica. I could be in an asylum for the mentally ill. I could be at an "all you can eat buffet" with my father-in-law.
I feel better now. Life is not so bad.
Oct 19, 2008
Oct 14, 2008
Lori was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens . "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn't end there. Lori's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You." I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Oct 11, 2008
Last night, working on a prompting, I took Ryder into the doctor just to have his ears checked. Sure enough, both ears were infected. His tubes fell out about 2 months ago, and I was hoping that he had outgrown this problem. Guess not.
On the way home, my right ear started hurting. I thought it was just sympathy pains for Ryder. As each hour passed, the pain became worse. After taking some Tylenol, then 2 hours later Ibuprofen; I was able to sleep. I slept for 30 minutes when I woke up with excruciating pain radiating down my jaw and to the nerves of my teeth. I prayed, boy--did I pray hard, and then I asked Bill to give me a blessing. As he was about to administer to me, my ear popped and gurgled and sounded like a witch's cauldron. The pain subsided. I prayed again.
I am grateful that Heavenly Father answers our prayers in desperate times. I am glad he is mindful of me. Another tender mercy in my life.
(Oh, BTW, the popping was my ear drum breaking. OUCH!)
Oct 5, 2008
I have been waiting for Ryder's birthday for a long time. When we found out he had autism, I told myself to give it until his 5th birthday--to push really hard with therapies and dr appointments, etc. I feel like I have done everything within my power to help him. Now it is time to "Let go, and let God".
Ryder doesn't show much emotion, but he did show a side to him on his birthday that I have never seen before. It was a wonderful birthday present to me on his special day.
We decided to take the kids to a park that we had never been to before. When we arrived, the kids exploded out of the van and ran to the swings. I hoisted Ryder up into the toddler swing and started pushing him. I must have pushed him too high, because he actually spoke. He wasn't too happy, but he said, "Mama--Noooo Noooo--Mama!" I was stunned. I quickly stopped pushing him and got him out of the swing. (I had to squelch the desire to push him even higher just to hear him speak again!) I took him over to a blanket that we had spread out on the ground. I had my camera and started taking some pictures. He was so attentive and alert, it was wonderful to see this side of him. I said, "Smile for the camera!" and he kept giving these cheesy smiles. Everytime we would put the camera in front of his face, he would smile.
He was happy on this day. And so were we.
These are moments that are so cherished and so rare.
Sep 22, 2008
Well, I did have a good time. That is something. It was fun to hold a newborn babe with thick black hair and a bow on top. (Madalyn Mae, cute as can be) I was able to spend the night in a hotel with my sis and we had a good night's rest. That is something. We ate out, that is something. And we traveled home.
On the way, I decided to phone Bill and see how everything was going. He had gotten everything ready for school the night before, like picking out their uniforms and making sack lunches. Ok, I thought, that was something. Now, for the frustrating part: He didn't wake up until 8am, decided that it was too late to take the kids to school, so they should just stay home. According to Mercedes he slept until 11am, then ate breakfast, took a dump for 1 hour, then got on the computer! What?! So, by the time I got home, two kids were still in their pajamas (it was 3pm) and they were all playing video games. When they saw me they were all hungry, and hadn't eaten lunch yet. I'm not trying to get my husband in trouble here, and yes, he did hear from me, boy, howdy...but what I'm trying to get across is that the Asperger mind is very different...He didn't even THINK about calling the school or me, or take the kids to school a little late, even...he figured that they would have to miss the whole day of school since they were late. (???) I shudder to think what this teaches the kids. No wonder breaks are few and far between.
He's seen the error of his ways, I must admit. Now he is doing "double time" and cleaning, bathing the kids, etc. Well, that is something.
What annoys me to no end is when people think he is "normal" or "neurotypical", and expect alot out of him, like a regular guy, but then he doesn't live up to their expectations and he is then viewed as "lazy", "irresponsible", or just plain "doesn't care". Story of his life. And here I am doing the same thing. I need to remember that.
Sep 14, 2008
This recipe is very yummy. I must have had a craving for cinnamon and ginger--autumn spices--because these hit the spot!
GFCF Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (You can't tell it's GFCF!)
¼ cup gfcf shortening
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg yolks
1 ¼ cups cornstarch
¾ cup potato starch
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup oil
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350*. In large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar and molasses. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well to remove all lumps.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle well with sugar. Bake 8-9 minutes. Dough will be just set, with no wet spot in the middle. Do not overbake.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Sep 9, 2008
Sep 8, 2008
The older kids are in school now and I breathe a sigh of relief. Today, it's just me and Ryder at home and four wild tabby cats that we caught in the garage. I called animal control and they came over with a trap. Last summer we were infested with mice, now this summer it is cats. Something doesn't seem right here. Story of my life. :D
Tomorrow Ryder starts school. And once again I send my baby off into this crazed world we live in. The first day of school is always bittersweet when they are little.
Mason was baptized and confirmed last Saturday. Or should I say "bath-tized" as he calls it. It was really nice to have family and friends there. Afterwards we had a potluck picnic at the park.
Aug 29, 2008
Ryder pooped out a penny the other day. He still has three cents left in him. I guess if we shook him real hard, they may come out. :D
School has begun finally. The kids were all keyed up and wired the day before. We rearranged bedrooms; put Mercedes downstairs and brought the boys up. It was a long day. It's been funny to watch Ryder lately. He keeps going into the bedrooms and looking around...trying to figure things out.
We had a FHE lesson on baptism for Mason (he'll be baptized on Sept. 6th) and we had these cards that spelled out the word B.A.P.T.I.S.M. We got to the 'M' and the kids were supposed to come up with the answer--a word that starts with the letter 'm' that has to do with baptism. The answer was "member". Hunter was raising his hand excitedly with the answer. We called on him and he said triumphantly, "the Moronic priesthood!" We all laughed so hard. Hunter thought we were laughing at him, and stormed off. We re-grouped, and explained why we were laughing. Then he understood. Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny.
Aug 20, 2008
As we were driving back from therapy today, Hunter saw a horse in a field and asked, "Why do horses swat flies away with their tails?" Then he added, "Why does a fly want to go in a horse's bum anyway? If they like poop so much why can't they just wait until the horse 'goes' on the ground?"
Hunter is a talker. His mind goes a hundred miles an hour--sometimes so fast his mouth can't keep up and he stammers alot.
I tune him out a lot, and well, maybe I shouldn't. He's just so dang exhausting when he gets going. I don't have a lot of answers to the questions he asks. I need to teach him how to use Google.
I'm a little worried about him this Fall with going back to school. There aren't supposed to be a lot of changes to his class (there are eleven 3rd graders and eleven 4th graders) --except the teacher's daughter was just diagnosed with cancer so she won't be teaching this semester. I haven't told Hunter that he has a substitute yet. His hair has just grown back in, and I'm afraid he'll start up with the trichotillomania again because of the stress of starting school.
Have you ever known someone that seems to have bad luck all of the time? They are always in the wrong place at the wrong time...
What is the opposite of the Midas Touch? Hunter has it. So does his dad. Life is never boring around them.
I remember one time when Bill and I were first dating, his car broke down, it began to thunderstorm, a cop pulled over to help, gave Bill a ticket for having an expired license plate, and Bill got his trenchcoat stuck in the hood of the car all in less than 10 minutes.
A sign of things to come??
Aug 7, 2008
We've begun *officially* the gfcf diet. Mercedes is taking it the hardest. Every ten minutes she asks, "Why do we have to do this again? Can we have chocolate? Can we have pasta? No cheese?!"
She's been driving me nuts.
It's not too bad, yet. The boys had a hard time with the concept of wrapping a turkey burger with a lettuce leaf, but they'll live.
We have a huge chart with all of the prescribed meds and supplements from the DAN! doctor (& the shrink) attached to the fridge. We check mark each one as we give them. We are trying to clean the boys' tummies out before school. Their xrays showed that they were plum full of poop.
Here is a list of the current Rx's/biomedical interventions for the kids: (I could be forgetting some)
A Bunch of Minerals
Not to mention Bill's meds: Lexapro & Wellbutrin
Mine: Zoloft & Synthroid, B vitamins
We do pharmacies proud.
Jul 23, 2008
Jul 17, 2008
Jul 11, 2008
Jul 4, 2008
Jun 24, 2008
To interject: Today was the day that Bill was going to go in and talk to his instructors about his missing class all of last week (back injury again) and not being able to catch up on assignments (learning disorder and Asperger's Syndrome). Bill was sure the instructors would counsel him to drop out because this is a very complicated and fast paced computer programming course.
Both of us had a hard time sleeping last night. I've seen this before. This is Bill's cycle.
Thankfully, his Dad came right over (he lives a mile away) with my Mother-in-law and they brought over breakfast and encouragement. My Mom-in-law brought flowers and went right to work planting them in the flower beds. I think it is her way of showing her love and support. It's hard to know what to do and how to help.
It was time to go. Bill asked me to come along. We went together to the college, once again. One entrance was blocked due to construction. We took an alternate route.
Thankfully, the professors were very understanding and willing to provide accomodations. After some discussion, we collectively decided that Bill should only take half the classes offered each semester, even though it will take him twice as long to finish.
With some relief, Bill went to withdraw from one of the classes even though the time had officially expired. They tried anyway-- and it went through! This may seem like a coincidence, but I know it is one of the Lord's tender mercies we get from time to time.
Turns out alternate routes are ok.
Jun 21, 2008
Mercedes was able to go up in an airplane for free--something I did not know about. The program is called Young Eagles, endorsed by Harrison Ford, who is a member. So check it out! The program introduces your child to flying and afterwards they get a nice certificate... Anyway, here is the address: http://www.youngeagles.org/ It makes a fun birthday present and cheap, too!
Jun 13, 2008
I never really had any huge plans when it came to having a family, except for the part where I wanted ten kids. So, when my fiancé and I discussed having children, he explained how he had always wanted to have ten children and lucky me--I found my male doppelganger.
Having grown up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), we believe that families can be together forever. After we were married, we didn’t waste any time and 11 months later a baby girl was born. We didn’t know it, but later Mercedes would become the older sister of three autistic brothers.
Now here it is almost 14 years later and we are in the midst of this autism whirlwind. My fairy tale dreams have included four children, plus a “big child husband” (diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 35). I am tired. My house is a mess. My world is isolating and confining. I live each day hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute. I cannot think about the future, for that will undo me. We only have four children, but it sure feels like ten on some days.
I ask myself a lot of questions but I don’t have the answers. No one around me has any answers. So, I turn to prayer as a comfort, a guide. In the meantime, I force myself to do the day to day tedious and unrelenting tasks hoping that I’m getting somewhere and that there is a point to all of this.
Some days are just like that.
The other day Ryder had his first-ever regular poo. I took a picture, (don’t worry, I won’t post it) and did a dance of joy.
Dealing with autism sure makes you get excited about the little things that most people take for granted. Who cares about a trip to Disneyland when your four year old had his first-ever well formed, non-smelly poo in his diaper? See? This is what I’m dealing with on a day to day basis. This makes for a very difficult time to relate to others. It’s lonely down here on the bottom. Literally.
Jun 10, 2008
Jun 7, 2008
Jun 5, 2008
May 29, 2008
May 23, 2008
Recently we had him tested for Auditory Processing problems. He did well except he bombed on the part where you hear different pitches and tones. I wonder if he is tone deaf. He also couldn't finish a part of the test where there is extranious noise with two sentences spoken at the same time. He couldn't even complete the test and just shut down.
He's a funny kid, though. I see how he uses humor to cover up his mistakes. He loves watching old movies like Abbot and Costello, Martin and Lewis, and the Three Stooges. He copies their humor. He particularly likes what he calls "husky" guys. Which reminds me, his pants are husky pants (*say with emphasis*) and he thinks that's cool. It's the only way I can tell Hunter and Mason's pants apart. That's why I think they're cool.
Free from disease, disorder, or malformation; specif., average in intelligence or development
May 19, 2008
A change in the schedule is fast approaching. School is out on May 30th for the older three, and Ryder's last day is May 22nd. This is such a busy time trying to wrap things up with school programs, activities, etc. Every May I want to enjoy the Spring weather before the heat sets in but we are always so busy. I have yet to make it to the park to walk along the track. I was about to today, but Hunter woke up with a sore throat, headache, and chills so he's home with me.
Bill started his Summer semester today. He's not quite finished with a couple of assignments from Spring semester because he requires so much extra help from the tutor, other students, or his instructor. There's nothing worse than having that constant anxiety looming over you--'Is he going to make it this time?' His instructors know of his Asperger's and other struggles, and so far they are being really patient. Bill is always hopeful and optimistic, I have to give him credit there. In all honesty, I don't see him finding a job as a computer programmer. He would need too much supervision. I do hope I am proven wrong.
It seems as if the only thing I am hanging on to is hope. I remember when our pediatrician told me when Ryder was just 18 months old, (and after repeated attempts to get him to diagnose Ryder with autism) "Don't expect Ryder to be as bright as your other kids." Where did that come from? I was so infuriated. How dare he take away my hope like that. I lost some respect for him that day. We can always hang on to hope. The definition of hope according to Wikipedia is:
I think hope is a good thing.