There's no place like

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Stormy weather interfered with my plans to take everyone to a park today. Maybe we can do something fun tonight. What we really need to do is buy groceries. School starts in less than two weeks. I'm looking forward to Sarah and Noah's new teachers and adventures but dreading Tommy's so much I feel physically sick. This is his first year of high school but instead of exciting and promising it is depressing and frightening. Tommy will spend all his time trapped in a class with the other students they don't know how to help. All of his classes will be on the computer. IF he shows the school he can sit for the hour and a half length of a class they MIGHT let him start attending a class or two. But that is unlikely since they already said that all the classes are now full and it doesn't matter anyway because an hour and a half is just too long for Tommy to sit quietly. I hate what they are doing to him. He'll never learn to get along unless he is around other children but they won't let him around other children until he knows how to get along with others so he is trapped in a place where he'll never get better. If we had money I would sue the school for this. If we had money I'd pay for a private school with 50 minute long classes. Instead we are stuck watching him run out of chances to be a successful part of society. It is all so unfair. Bratty, snotty children get a good education, parties and fun. Tommy tries his best and is a very sweet and loving boy most of the time and he gets no friends, no birthday parties, no education and no welcome in any extra activities or groups. The church even told him to leave. There is no justice or compassion left for anyone who is different.

Umm, I guess India has gotten past the stigma of condoms.

Friday, July 30, 2004

One happy camper is back home and that makes everyone at home happy campers. "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted." Garrison Keillor

I have made a note on September 19th in my overstuffed Franklin planner. If you mark it in your calendar you won't be confused when you read my blog entry that day.

Bathe, wash hair, get dressed, take dog to vet, bring dog home, get toddler down for nap, work on laundry, unload dishwasher, reload dishwasher, straighten upstairs, load up children, drop noah at grandmother's work, pick up sarah at camp, drive back home, more laundry and whatever else comes up during the day.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I am a human barometer. When the rain is near my head hurts. The slower the rain builds the worse my head gets. After the rain my head slowly gets better. We need a room in our house where we can control the air pressure and humidity.

Half-naked Thursday Posted by Hello

While lying on the couch wondering if my brain was about to leak out of my ears Noah quietly spoke to me. In a voice just above a whisper he said "Mom, from now on I'd like a babysitter whenever you have errands. Let's start today. I'm at babysitter dot com and it looks pretty good." In that moment I forgot my pain and probably forgot to breathe as I flew to the computer without my feet ever touching the ground. Luckily, the site appeared innocent and I used the momentum to talk myself into taking a bath.


Mir is making polygamy sound pretty good today.

   One more day until Sarah gets home from camp and we begin the inquisition.  If we don't ask, Sarah won't tell.  Tommy is still bossy and tense but seems to be better today than yesterday.  Tonight is his riding lesson/therapy so I'm hoping there won't be any head butting with him today.  Noah fell asleep in his clothes and woke up dry (gasp).  Amy is her jolly old self right now.  Did anyone listen to her tantrum yesterday?  I'm going to go start another load of laundry despite the fact that it messes with Doug's sensory needs.  He needs music and incense to program, not sploosh-splash-kathunk.  I am fighting back a migraine that I can feel coming.  I'm trying all my tricks, caffeine, salt, chocolate, quiet, etc.  Sleep would help but I can't do that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Neither the ENT nor the Pede understood Noah's bloodwork results.  "We don't know what that cofactor is."  My confidence in our medical providers is not very high right now.  I'm sure Noah is fine but I'd still like the results explained to me.  Anyone know of any hematologist bloggers out there?

Amy is now sound asleep.

Warning: 2-year-old tantrums are LOUD!

this is an audio post - click to play

I just made two dozen phone calls to other Girl Scout troop leaders in our service unit.  I don't consider myself very well organized or functioning to the best of my ability so use that as a reference point when I say "wow, some of these women are flakey."  "Will your troop have openings for new members this year?" "Umm, I dunno.  Maybe. I'd rather not.  I mean, well, we just haven't planned at all for this year yet." "Will you be attending the service unit luncheon in two weeks?" "Oh...when is that again? I dunno. Haven't planned that far ahead. Probably not." "Will you be mailing in your end of year paperwork (it was due the first week of June) from last year's troop?" "I don't think I have time to do that.  I'm not sure where it is.  I might do it."

   Doug has generously taken the two boys in for their routine check-ups.  I hope he'll get Noah's bloodwork explained.  Tommy was visibly scared and nervous but it came across looking like anger.  I'm afraid that I shouldn't have warned Tommy to expect the doctor to be unhappy with Tommy's weight gain.  Today is "boring household chores day" for me.  Dishwasher humming and now I'm going to move clothes from the washer to the dryer.  I'm very disappointed that I still haven't gotten Noah's headboard painted.  I had really wanted Sarah to come home to her new room.  Right now we're thinking about using a textured pastel-gray paint to Noah's bedroom walls so that it looks like stone walls.  We are considering actualy blocking it off like stone bricks but that is still being discussed.  I want to use a coordinating textured royal blue on the furniture but there has been concern expressed about the durability of such paint on areas that need frequent cleaning.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

We took Noah to the ENT to be told that he has broken blood vessels in his nostril (duh).  He has a prescription for Bactroban nasal ointment.  I also got a copy of his bloodwork, which means nothing to me.  I'll post the things which are "flagged" in case anyone can explain them to me. ristocetin cofa (37.3), %lymph (45.1) and %baso (1.2)

A big thank you to everyone who sponsored me for Project Blog: It's A Wilson Thing Welcome to the Real World Baby Girl Kristyk Justin Scott The CarMatts Big Russian Soul Violet JL Violet sent me a sweet note to let me know she sent her donation already.  She liked the hedgehog post.  I'm sure I learned more interesting things at the zoo but all that comes to mind right now is about why vultures only eat things that are already dead.  Anybody know without looking?

I'm heading out into the dark, dreary, wet weather to have someone look in Noah's nose.  I'd rather hide in bed today.  Tommy is surly and disagreeable.

   It rained all night and it is still coming down. I hope Sarah is okay at camp. Today is Tommy's last day of summer school and he is letting us know he is not happy about the change in his schedule (he's a grouch). I don't expect him to do anything but sleep the remainder of the week. Noah visits the ENT today. Amy is acting like a 2-year-old today and Molly doesn't like going potty in the rain. She prefers the nice, dry house. Amy just sat down in front of the tv to watch Dora and Molly flopped down beside her so that the two of them are cuddled against each other. Sweet. One millisecond later Molly has stolen Amy's "bop" (pacifier) and Amy is screaming. "No, Molly! No!" Tonight I'm going to delete some of the posts from Saturday night. Don't worry, I'll leave the fascinating underwear conversation up. I won't delete anything with comments.  I just don't think anyone reads this blog anymore.  Maybe I need an anonymous livejournal.  Last week I bought 10 cent spiral notebooks and this week I need to buy 19 cent notebook paper.

Today is my mother's 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Since I attended a school that didn't believe in prom I have never gotten dressed up and glittery. Doug and I wore shorts for our wedding so unless everyone can talk Doug into taking me to this prom, I'm outta luck. Heck, I'd settle for the weekend in a hotel. Genuine is going. Is anyone else?

Amy went with Doug and I to drop Sarah off at camp yesterday. Amy tried out all the cots in Sarah's tent and followed her sister everywhere. When it was time to leave Amy burst into tears and refuse to get in her car seat. "No! Help me! Help me! Help meeeee!" We wrestled her into the chair and she continued to sob. "No! Say-rah, Say-rah! Peez!" It's going to be a long week for Amy without her best friend.

Genuine I feel like a brainless zombie today, but it's time for the Monday Walkabout so here are a few pitiful blog suggestions: Aidan & Cole is my best suggestion. If you love baby pictures like I do, check out the cuties on this site. For a change of pace I visited, The Giant Fighting Robot Report which is a comic book/movie/political blog. My third new blog is, Zen of my Cat because I was in the mood for a good joke. My fourth addition is, Every Topic in the Universe which would be more interesting if she allowed comments because she has some good debate fodder on there. The last one today is People who deserve a beat down which is also lacking a comment feature and thus taking much of the fun out of this gripe and rant blog. I need a nap now.

"Mommy, how do blind people play video games?" "Ummm, I don't think they do." "Oh.  I'd be sad without video games."

   I slept for two hours Sunday morning and then got up, packed Sarah's stuff and headed out for a full day of stuff to do.  We came home and I collapsed in bed with a massive headache.  This morning I see the results of going to bed without doing my walkthrough of the upstairs that I like to do every night.  You know, start in one corner of the upstairs and get everything in that room put where it belongs.  Then, do the next room and so forth until everything upstirs is where it belongs.  Nothing is scrubbed but everything is put away.  The exceptions to the walkthrough rule are a humming dishwasher justifies leaving dirty dishes in the sink and clean laundry can sit in a pile on the couch or table and be ignored until morning.  Whenever Doug and I finally get the downstairs junk sorted better, I'll add that to my walkthrough.  It makes me a happier person to get up to slight disarray than to awake to pigsty.  Sorry, that's insulting to pigs and I think some pigs are cleaner than small children.     Doug is very focused on job hunting this week and is going to be angry about this, but I REALLY want to use this week and Sarah's absence as the opportunity to make the big bedroom switch over here.  Right now both of the girls are in the small pink room with the finished closet design and Noah is in the large master bedroom which has had no work done on it (not even paint).  To justify Noah's room decreasing in size by more than 60% we are painting old furniture to give him a "medieval" themed room.  If anyone has any good (inexpensive) ideas to help decorate his room like a castle, please let us know.    Did you know you can still click over to Project Blog and sponsor my efforts?  Did anyone other than Tim and Doug actually read all the drivel I typoed Saturday night?  I think I'll go back and delete a few of those entries.  I wanted to do more but I got so tired I couldn't even focus on the keys and those tiny little two sentence entries took almost my entire 30 minutes to write. 

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Nighty-nite.  Back up in just three hours to pack Sarah's bag for camp.

Starbucks  I need sleep, not caffeine.

I'm thinking of going downstairs and crying for Doug to help me out the last hour.  Would that be mean?  It is 7 in the morning here and on weekdays his alarm goes off at 4, 5 & 6 every day even though he gets up between 6 and 7.  That sounds really mean of me.  I bet I could fall asllep on my keyboard right now.  I have some really great educational links for nearly every educational subject area but I'm too tired to type them in now.  Sorry.  Tell me if you want spelling, reading or whatever links and I'll do it this evening after we get back from dropping Sarah off at Girl Scou camp.  Oops.  I still haven't packed for her.  Too tired.  Must nap first.

Is it only 6:30? Just three more posts sounds so easy, but it's really so hard. If you're reading this and you still haven't sponsored me for Project Blog, please hop over and sponsor me! There's nothing on tv but infomercials and bad movies. At 7 I could watch Animal House again but that's really more of a night-time movie. The sun is coming up. I wonder how bad the mosquitos are?

I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm tired.  Food has no appeal.  The stinky dog bed looks really comfortable right now though.  I've had the tv on tbs since Animal House and right now it's playing Smokey and the Bandit.  I have GOT to change the channel.  I need something to do for 30 minutes but I don't think Doug will be willing.

Calvin's wisdom Calvin the Sage If you can't read it I'll type in the text.  I think I shrunk it too much.

Five in the morning is the time for deep thought on things that matter. The toilet paper should drape OVER the roll and not behind the roll. So there.

Having trouble thinking (and typing) so I'm pimping my other blogs.  I added a few new things to my list of Things to Do Before I Die.  I don't have anything to add to my 100 Things About Me list tonight (or is it today or is it this morning?).  I also have a blog just for talking about TV shows and movies.    

Trouble making 4 a.m. statement. Yes, I really DO believe that prostitution and drugs should be legalized.

Noah & Hedgehog Noah was eager to share what he learned about hedgehogs at zoo camp. If a predator wants to eat the hedgehog, they pee on the poor little hedgehog, the hedgehog freaks and flips over and his tender underbelly is then unprotected. The girls responded to the story with lots of "ewwwwww".

Hammock Doug took this as we were leaving for the zoo. I want to lie down for just 30 minutes if I can set an alarm on my cell phone.

Robin Williams explains it all. "The problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time."

Things I’ve done while driving a car Eat and drink; Talk on the phone; Sort my CDs; Sing; Studied for a test; Picked stuff up from the floor and handed it to the backseat; Read a map, newspaper, mail and book; put on makeup (not just lipstick, the works); Straightened my hair; Picked my nose; Barfed; Changed a tampon (don’t ask); Pooted; Fallen asleep; Filed my fingernails; Painted my toenails; Had an orgasm (not explaining); Signed English with the songs on the radio; Practiced ASL with songs on radio (not the same as previous entry); Changed clothes (even pantyhose); Balanced my checkbook and Held a dog in my arms and on my shoulders. I know there are more but I think it’ll take you a while to get over the disgust and horror from this list.

Education break #3: What distinguishes Asperger's Disorder from Autism is the severity of the symptoms and the absence of language delays. Children with Asperger's Disorder may be only mildly affected and frequently have good language and cognitive skills. Speech may be formal and too loud or high pitched. Children with Asperger's Disorder may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor, or may not understand the give and take nature of a conversation. To the untrained observer, a child with Asperger's Disorder may just seem different. Children with Autism are frequently seen as aloof and uninterested in others. This is not the case with Asperger's Disorder. Individuals with Asperger's Disorder usually want to fit in and have interaction with others; they simply don't know how to do it. They may be socially awkward, not understanding conventional social rules, or may show a lack of empathy. They may have limited eye contact, seem to be unengaged in a conversation, and not understand the use of gestures. Interests in a particular subject may border on the obsessive. Another distinction between Asperger's Disorder and Autism concerns cognitive ability. While some individuals with Autism experience mental retardation, by definition a person with Asperger's Disorder cannot possess a "clinically significant" cognitive delay. This does not imply that all individuals with autism have mental retardation. Some do and some do not, but a person with Asperger's Disorder possesses average to above average intelligence.  While motor difficulties are not specific criteria for Asperger's, children with Asperger's Disorder frequently have motor skill delays and may appear clumsy or awkward.

I'm starting to notice a LOT of typos in my blog. I'm sorry but I'm not fixing them tonight. After I've had some sleep I'll fix my misspellings and reversed letters. My bad.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

One quick picture before I lose the camisole. Everyone in the house has gone to bed except me and there's nothing on tv. Time for a snack. Posted by Hello

It's midnight here and I still have (gasp) 8 hours to blog. In honor of the hour, a link to a very funny commercial that you won't want to open at work or in front of the little people. You have my permission to lie about being in the UK when you click the link.

I forgot to whine about the zoo smells. I'm not talking about the elephant poo. I'm talking about the musky big cat smells. I'm sure t's always there but the lack of noise and light distractions made me so keenly hyper-sensitive to smells that I was wishing for a shower when our night tour was over. You already know that I didn't get one until 2 pm this afternoon.

Now Tommy is watching some Batman cartoon movie. I'm going to kick him off in a second. I need something that doesn't drone me to sleep in the background. Already I'm trying to talk myself out of getting things done between posts. I should be folding clean laundry and getting Sarah packed since she leaves for camp tomorrow. Then I'm trying to talk myself out of a nap and begging Doug to take over for one hour. I would have turned into a big baby tonight eventually but last night's escapades have sped up my self-pity. At midnight we were still hiking around the zoo. One of the girls was so over-tired she cried for 45 minutes but her father wisely advised her to wait a bit longer before coming home and she made it through the night. From 12:30-1:30 I was holding Noah through a nosebleed and cleaning up the mess. They should have called in a HazMat crew. The girls goggled until 3 and at 4 I was considering calling Doug and crying about how tired I felt. At 5 I sat in my sleeping bag because it hurt my back too much to stay on the hard floor any longer. At 6 our zoo guides started waking the girls. The two twelve-year-olds got up blaming the zoo dust and grime as being responsible for their morning pimples. We packed up our stuff and started back out into the zoo to finish our tour. Then Noah started another nosebleed. He had completely saturated the handtowel I brought the night before so we worked our way through several packages of paper towels. My parents picked Noah up and took him to the ER because I couldn't leave all the girls. We finished the tour. Some of the parents picked their children up, one forgot and I took all the rest home. Soooo, I'm tired already! Sponsor my poor pitiful efforts at Project Blog. I'm going to try and get some laundry done. Th fridge is back against the wall and the icemaker now works. Too bad I don't like ice.

50 %

There's a 50 % chance that I'll survive the 'thon.
Will you survive the Blogathon?
I'll have to test again later.

The picture is dark, but Lucy is sleeping on the floor behind me and Molly fell asleep with her nose tucked in Lucy's tail end. Posted by Hello

Shoes went right away and I just got rid of the jeans. Before this is done I should be blogging au natural. Nobody is actually going to read all these posts are they?  I lost my background music because Tommy was watching a very funny episode of Fairly Oddparents. File this under TMI - cotton not nylon and bikini not thong. A triangle of fabric and a string are not underwear. My preference is Victoria’s Secret cotton bikini with a matching camisole or bra. I like Doug wearing boxers.

Snapshots the Cartoon – I posted this cartoon at 8 a.m. with the "Grandma-safe" version but this is the uncensored feed. Jason Love has a subscription service that allows people to have his cartoons on their web page (either the censored or uncensored version),but when I explained Project Blog he very kindly donated his cartoons for the duration of Project Blog and the 24 hours afterward for those of you with tons of blogs to read this weekend. Jason’s cartoons are frequently politically incorrect but that is one of the things I like about them. Visit the Snapshots website and use his search feature. You’ll find cartoons about almost anything. Be sure to sign the guest book and tell him thanks for supporting Project Blog.

     Tommy was my first child and I had nothing to compare the experience to until I had my second child.  Tommy almost never slept in utero.  He was so active that when I was pregnant with Sarah I was convinced there was something wrong with her because she didn't move constantly.  Move so hard that total strangers commented on my stomach's movements that they were able to see.  As an infant Tommy only slept in the battery swing or while I rocked him.  People told me he was just colicky.  Tommy was a human cyclone as a toddler.  Never still, never quiet, never satisfied.  He was 3 before he spoke at all.       By this point I was complaining to anyone who would listen that something was wrong with Tommy.  I was referred to multiple parenting classes.  Classes that told me to lock him in his room whenever he was upset and out of control.  Classes that told me to count to three and then give consequence.  Class after class saying that I wasn't parenting him correctly.  Family, friends and strangers all had advice but nobody wanted to do anything to help.  At four I enrolled him in a preschool desperately hoping for three hours twice a week of calm.  The third day I went to pick him up they said "Don't ever bring him back.  There's something wrong with him."  I had him evaluated by the local public school system.  They put him in their speech therapy program and told me to get an appointment with someone who would give him Ritalin.  I went to a psychiatrist who told me that Tommy was Autistic and would never read or function like other children.  He looked at my infant daughter and said "You may want to consider finding a group home that can help him."      I cried a million tears that night but I never went back to that doctor.  I could accept that my child was different but nobody would tell me what he couldn't do.  I found a new doctor and we started trying medications.  In Kindergarten he was put immediately in a "we dunno" class with the other children who didn't fit anywhere.  He never made it into a regular classroom until 7th grade.  In the meantime he went entire years without a single textbook or academic lesson.  When he did get lessons it was worksheets which he hates.  Tommy has been in and out of nearly every hospital in this state.  He's been diagnosed with Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, ADHD, Tourette's, OCD, ODD, Depression and finally Asperger's.  We have the right diagnosis and he has doctors who care.  It is frightening to think of someone so intelligent, loving and wonderful not being a participant in life.  Tommy deserves the best and nobody is sure how to help him find his way.  But we try.  We go through the seven stages over and over, but we try.

We're home and Tommy is screaming at us.  Doug is insisting that Tommy go get the tools he left outside.  Tommy doesn't want to go back outside.  "I am NOT going back outside today!  I can't stand the bugs and I am not going back out.  I'll do it tomorrow and that's it.  You don't love me.  It's my life and you shouldn't be allowed to tell people how to live their life.  Sigh.  I guess I'll have to be really fast when I go outside.  I'm sorry Mom.  I just didn't want to go out.  I shouldn't have said that stuff.  I'm gong to look for bug spray."  All this in one breath as he went from total rage to calm and content.  My life is a never-ending roller coaster.

Heading back home. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

Dropping sarah off at my parents and letting molly wrestle with my mom's dog. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

Nerdy things about me: I know the words to most of the Statler Brothers’ songs, I like old fashioned Hollywood musicals (Hello Dolly, Showboat, etc.), I have been to a science fiction convention (okay, three), I actually wore polyester bell bottoms, I remember life before MTV, I’ve had braces on my teeth AND back (think Joan Cusack in “16 candles”), and ummm, I'm sure there are more. What about you?   Leaving the house for a quick errand.  Back to cell phone blogging, which makes me nervous because I can't see that it actually posted.

Stubborn Amy Have you sponsored my mom for Project Blog yet? She's listening to George Harrison now.

I love perfume. I like different scents for different moods. I get lucky with Doug when I smell like Tim Robbins in “High Fidelity”. However, since everyone has become allergic to everything and people wearing perfume are treated as though they are chemical weapons, I mostly wear perfume around the house. No, I don’t make our home smell like Moulin Rouge. Doug’s incense that he burns like a sacrificial gift to the computer Gods pretty much dominates the smells in our house. I am grateful for it though. It helps reduce the diaper pail, litter box, dirty fish tank, feet, teenage boy, puppy accident smells that emanate from our house.

It's not too late to sponsor me in Project Blog! I'm blogging every 30 minutes today until tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and I want you to donate to my charity, The Autism Society. To donate: Go to Project Blog and register. It only takes about 3 minutes. Once you've logged in, click on the "Sponsor a Blogger" link, and select mine from the list. It'll be listed under my name or the title Domestic Psychology. I have $150.00 in sponsors but it would be great if that number grows. When it's all said and done, I'll send you a reminder about your pledge and you will send it directly to The Autism Society of America. It's easy and fun. In the tradition of old-fashioned television networks that remained family friendly until 8 p.m. I'll save any colorful posts for tonight.

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." Thomas Jefferson My background music is now The Best of Bond. Yes, the movies are sexist, dated and completely ridiculous, but I like them anyway. I even like them more than Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang.

Education break #2: Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 250 births (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003). This means that as many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism. The overall incidence of autism is consistent around the globe, but is four times more prevalent in boys than girls. Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, and family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism's occurrence. The Autism Society has a free online Autism course. The course covers the following areas: · Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder · Treatment Options · Treatment Assistance · Transition to Adulthood · More Information and Resources The online course takes about the amount of time between my posts today to complete. Try it and let me know how you did.

The living room DVD player is invigorating me with the Shrek 2 Soundtrack.  Sarah is making shrinky dinks and listening to Hillary Duff.  Doug is standing on my desk downstairs doing something to the water pipes while listening to Deodata. Tommy is napping but I'm about to wake him so he's not up all night. The little ones are at the grandparents' house.

I flopped on the couch for 45 minutes and enjoyed the air conditioning and quiet (except for Molly entertaining herself by throwing a hoof in the air and pouncing on it).  While I rested an evil mosquito sat on the bottom of my foot and had a feast.  Although I exacted justice on it, the bottom of my foot itches something awful now.  With Amy at my parents' the house is soooooo quiet.  Even Tommy is quiet today.  His new meds have made him seem happier, calmer and more in control.

Why has Doug dragged the fridge to the middle of the kitchen floor? Are we doing something different? When I was pregnant with Amy I sent a note out to family and friends about Doug's projects. It said:      Although bits of information about Doug's pregnancy have gotten out, I have failed to keep everyone updated on his progress. So, I will now try to give everyone a brief synopsis of his pregnancy so far.      Month 2 is spent tearing up the carpeting, carpet pad and long nail strips which hold the carpet down. Despite the slow process, there are only a half dozen or so nails that puncture family members' feet.      Month 3 starts off promising with the old cabinets and sink being removed from the basement room that we are making into our bedroom. The result is a monster pile of debris in the back yard. Sarah's room has been painted and eventually the outlet plates and vent covers will be put back up. Painting is also begun on the hallway and living room. The trim has swatches applied to look at different colors. I am hopeful that the trim will someday all be one color. For reasons still unclear to me, Doug decided to go ahead and start removing the drywall in Tommy's bedroom because he will someday be building a closet in that room.      Month 4 we are given a dishwasher to help keep up with the huge amount of dishes that our family uses daily. After flooding the kitchen twice, the dishwasher is installed and provides shiny, clean dishes several times a week. Someday the cabinet surrounding the dishwasher will be put back up. Swatches of greens have been applied to the kitchen walls now. The installation of a railing on the staircase has begun. Doug has also started putting functional doorknobs on all the upstairs doors.      Month 5 occurs prior to spring, but is marked by the basement flooding. In order to find the source, large pieces of wall board, insulation and trim are ripped out and thrown into the backyard pile. Since the flood, all of the bedroom furniture has been crammed into the middle of the room and covered with piles of clothing and shoes. However, a few pieces of the furniture in the bedroom have since been removed from their 2x4's and assorted blocks that elevated them during the flood. We did at least clean the mountains of cat litter that acted as dams to slow down the flow of water across the room. The initial flooding lasted for 3-4 days and was followed by a smaller flood a few weeks later. With the second flooding came a drip in the kitchen/dining area ceiling. A large blue tarp stapled to the roof stopped the ceiling drip. The flooding interrupted the massive demolition that was occurring in the upstairs bathroom. The cabinets were ripped out and thrown into our famous backyard pile. The wall between the sink and the toilet was removed and the toilet relocated to the living room. The entire floor foundation has started to be rebuilt. Apparently not challenged enough, Doug has started to strip and re-paint the staircase. This means that in order to go from the upstairs to the one functioning bathroom, the children have to walk around the exterior of the house. I am uncertain whether the neighbors are more entertained by the pajama marches around the house at night or the umbrella parades around the house during the rains.      Month 6 of Doug's pregnancy is spent working on the landscaping. This means cutting down a large tree which was "going to fall someday" that he will someday move out of the yard. It also meant spending a part of each day using gasoline to burn the front lawn. The smell is less than pleasant but Doug is unphased by everyone's concern that new grass might not like the toxicity of the dirt. Long trenches were added to the charred front lawn (and side and rear areas of the house as well) in an effort to create a drainage system that will prevent future flooding. The idea is that someday rocks and pipes will added to the trenches. Until then, the yard strongly resembles a war zone. Doug thoughtfully added some rotting landscaping timbers for people to walk on to get from the street to the front door. He also changed another of the upstairs doorknobs. Everyone was very appreciative when Doug re-installed the upstairs toilet. The new linoleum is down but not completely glued. There is no seal between the floor and the tub, so a small waterfall effect is created in the downstairs bath whenever the children get too rowdy in the bathtub.      Month 7 I got very excited because Doug started working on the walls in the bedroom. This consisted of removing all the remaining insulation and framework from our bedroom walls. The view of yellow cinder blocks and dangling outlets is somewhat disconcerting in the place where I had hoped to be putting a crib this month. It also involved putting holes in the wall between the bedroom and the garage so that small beams of light can shine across the bedroom at night. Doug did stay up all night for several nights installing shelves over the dryer and the spot where the washer will someday be.      Month 8 of Doug's pregnancy, he felt driven by the obviously brief amount of time left before the new arrival and moved into high gear. Of course, he might have been affected some by my hysteria over the condition of the house. However motivated, this month was marked by Doug completely removing the basement bedroom's door AND frame. They are now leaning on the hole where they once protected us from the elements of mother nature. I have been reassured me that if I need out of the room because of fire or some other crisis, I need only push hard and it will go tumbling down. This fails to give me comfort. Additionally, Doug now spends a little time each day with a sledge hammer in the downstairs bathroom. I am grateful that he hasn't yet removed the rocking toilet or the only functional bathroom sink from that bathroom, but my frequent visits to the bathroom in the night are marked by the pain of walking on broken tiles and large chunks of cement that were once a shower stall. He started painted a small shelving piece for me and it is now a mixture of unpainted wood, white primer and the green that it may eventually be. Doug did build Sarah's closet so that she could finally have a place to hang her clothes. It is a beautiful closet and he shows it to everyone as proof that he can actually complete a project.      Month 9 of Doug's pregnancy has him putting more holes in the basement office ceiling and walls in order to reroute water pipes. Additionally, he is cleaning out the garage and storage room (the large silver box that really belongs on the back of an 18-wheeler) in our front yard. This is done by bringing in dusty boxes filled with things that haven't been touched for two to ten years and leaving them all over the living room.  I may have forgotten some things, but this gives you a pretty good idea of how pregnancy affected Doug.

My beautiful wife is dreadfully tired so I am going to step in briefly as a guest blogger for her 2:30pm Project Blog post while she takes a quick nap. Cathy is a wonderfully caring person who puts herself ahead of all others needs. She is an incredible mother innately knowing the right things to do for our children. Her caring extends outside the family as she often uses her knowledge to subtly help others in need or bring about change without ever seeking acknowledgment or credit. She is well educated but not arrogant. She is beautiful but humble. She is creative and free spirited. Cathy is a model person and I am so lucky to have her for a wife! Please help her help The Autism Society with your sponsorships if you can. Thank you to those who already have. And to those of us unable to help, our comments and positive thinking will contribute to Cathy's success in Project Blog. Signed, Guest Blogger---Her Husband

this is an audio post - click to play

Feel like wasting time?

Education Break: Mental Health Disorders Are More Common in Young People than Many Realize. Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. Serious Emotional Disturbances for children and adolescents refers to disorders when they severely disrupt daily functioning in home, school, or community. Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time. Mental health issues can affect any age, gender, race or socio-economic level. Children’s Mental Health Resources - Facts for Families SAMHSA Mental Health Association National alliance for the Mentally Ill World Federation for Mental Health American Psychiatric Association National Institute of Mental Health Mental health questions anyone?

Buying milk. We drink 2 gallons a day. We eat about 24 eggs at one sitting. That's the same as one ostriche egg. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

In the car. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

Cool online shops Think Geek – for the techies Childswork/Childsplay - workbooks, games and posters Jessica Kingsley Publishing - books Elmer’s custom hearts - Neat gift idea The Nth Degree - smart, funny person with clever shirts and stickers

We walked the zoo until midnight last night and then Noah had his nosebleed. He soaked an entire handtowel but refused to leave. This morning his nose started up again and it was pretty bad. My parents picked him up and took him to the ER. The ER referred him to an ENT (duh) and we are waiting on bloodwork. I came straight home to get some blogging done. Doug is heading out to return girls to their homes. I'm going to take a bath.

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

The knoxville zoo does not get accurate news coverage by our local news media. No surprise there. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

Noah heading to childrens hospital. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”   Laura Ingalls Wilder       Simple pleasures for me: hot baths, music, clean bedsheets, sleeping to the sound of rain, watching the stars, fireflies, kisses, holding my husband’s hand, having a clean house, reading, good smells, holding a sleeping child, laughing, umm, help me out with this one everyone.

this is an audio post - click to play 0:09.6

Snapshots the Cartoon I have been a huge fan of Jason Love’s cartoons and writings for many years. He has a subscription service that allows people to have his cartoons on their web page but when I explained Project Blog he very kindly donated his cartoons for the duration of Project Blog and the 24 hours afterward for those of you with tons of blogs to read this weekend. Jason’s cartoons are frequently politically incorrect but that is one of the things I like about them. Cartoons have a unique ability to say a lot about things and they even make us laugh at ourselves. We all need to laugh and take things less seriously more often. Visit the Snapshots website and use his search feature. You’ll find cartoons about almost anything. Be sure to sign the guest book and tell him thanks for supporting Project Blog.

I am too old for this. -- Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer

Friday, July 23, 2004

No more time for blogging for a little while. Going to pack, straighten the house and head to the zoo. I'll blog later this evening and then starting at 8 in the morning, I'll be blogging every 30 minutes. Stay tuned!

I am soooo addicted. After Project Blog I'll taper down. Maybe.

75 %
My weblog owns 75 % of me. Does your weblog own you?

Two beloved pets passing on, chaos in our house, financial crisis, the newspaper refusing to cover Project Blog, I feel strung out today.  Time for a bath and mental re-focusing.

Doesn't sleeping in the zoo sound like fun? That's what Sarah, Noah, the Girl Scouts and I are doing tonight, rain or shine. I'd prefer a clear evening for stomping around the zoo but I guess it will smell less like elephants if it's raining. I will blog by phone tonight and tomorrow until I get back home (hopefully by 10:30). My Project Blog sponsorship total is $150 right now. It would be nice to make it up to $200 before the event ends Sunday morning and I collapse in bed.

You know already that I am a huge fan of cartoons. This cartoonist recently lost his best friend and inspiration for his strip. Very sad.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

     This morning I woke up when Doug's phone alarm went off at 4 a.m.  He went back to bed and I asked that he not do that ever again.  He is frustrated and upset that I'm hindering his efforts because if he sets the alarm often and early enough eventually he'll get up.  When he did get up he turned the light on full blast even though it has a dimmer switch.  Then he walked around talking loudly.  He did my morning chore and bathed the dogs for me.  Molly screamed so loudly I thought she was in terrible pain.  Doug left to do some networking and I talked Tommy through his morning routine.  A quick bath for me and then some laundry.  Don't leave yet, it gets better.      Doug came home as Sarah and I left to take Molly to Tommy's school.  We let Molly visit with Tommy's classmates.  Only one boy was at Tommy's level of functioning.  The others were much more dependent.  After an hour Tommy left with us and we made a quick stop at the pet store to pick something up that might cure Molly's coprophagia.  In the pet store a man identified Molly's breeder because "nobody else around here breeds huge solid black shepherds".       At home I took turns with the children using the computer and did some cleaning.  Noah had #1 nosebleed.  I have everything we need for the zoo sleepover. I ran to Target for weekend supplies.  I have Starbucks cold mochas, coke, red licorice, caramels and fudge pops to keep myself awake on Saturday night.  All Sarah needs for camp next week is some bug spray and postage stamps.      On the way to Tommy's horseback riding lesson, Noah got #2 nosebleed.  Afterward Doug took him to a playground and then to Dairy Queen.  When they got home Noah had nosebleed #3.  He is in the bath now.  I predict more nosebleeds in the night and a visit to the pediatrician tomorrow.  Amy is tired and cranky.  Dad is angry and annoyed.  Mom is tense and aggravated.  Tomorrow we spend the night inside the zoo. 

this is an audio post - click to play
I had to borrow Amy so that I could learn about audioblogging before Saturday.  She wandered away quickly.

"Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead "We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something." Sandra Day O'Connor Just one more day until Project Blog.

Molly sitting Her floppy ear is almost up now. She gets bigger every day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Amy's toes Does this count for "Half-naked Thursday"?

Being a parent takes all the fun out of this old song.

Tomorrow is "Half-naked Thursday" again. Hmmmm.

My political leanings are no secret but in the interest of fairness I direct you to this article.

From South Knox Bubba comes some glimpses of our distinguished president and his fine upstanding daughter.  I understand that public figures are real people and not emotionless androids (even if they act cold toward everyone but themselves) BUT if your income and image depend on public perception of you, USE SOME GOOD JUDGEMENT!  I still can't understand how the Secret Service and CIA can't arrange for presidential children to do their underage drinking someplace where there are no tabloid reporters.  I also don't believe any tabloid reporter couldn't be bought.  I have no sympathy for celebrities who are too stupid to wander the streets and neighbors' yards while carrying and/or using narcotics.  They can afford to buy a place to do whatever their money allows.  If they are too stupid to think for themselves (which they obviously are) they should pay their bodyguards and PR people to think for them.  Celebrities aside, presidents making obscene gestures and vice-presidents cursing in the Senate are just embarrasing and tacky, especially from the President who claims to be God's messenger.  Yuck.

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh Only three days left to sponsor my efforts at Project Blog for The Autism Society. Please help spread the word.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Amy Write your own caption in the comments. With only 4 days left until Project Blog, please help spread the word and encourage others to sponsor me. Proceeds benefit the Autism Society.

Thoughts for today. "In a time of universal deceit, TELLING THE TRUTH is a revolutionary act." --George Orwell "These are the times that try men's souls...Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."--Thomas Paine Now get out there and vote before the election is cancelled for their our safety.

Mandatory bragging: Amy - Can count to seven and identifies if something is a "number" or "letter". Strips naked every time she has an accident. Still LOVES her babies. Noah - Finished Harry Potter and Hank the Cowdog series, now reading the Redwall series. Paying attention better. Helpful with Mom's puzzles. Sarah - Very aware of appearance, does hair and outfit "accessories" every day. Very good Amy sitter. Excited about school starting. Tommy - Pleasant and almost helpful. Cooking skills look promising. Molly - Ummm, well, maybe she'll be housebroken someday.

Is everyone paying attention?

"Why are there so many mosquitos Mommy?" "So the birds and bats have something to eat." "Can't they eat the other bugs and mosquitos just GO AWAY?" "I'm sure they have some special purpose." Stupid, #@!* bloodsuckers.

42 Sponsor me!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Today I had to compete for computer time with all four children. Amy shoved books (Frank Asch is her current favorite) at me and said "Read Mama Read!" Noah played at and kept insisting that something had popped up on the screen saying he had won something if I would only let him click to enter. Sarah divided her time between Dollz Mania(hoochie mama colorforms) which I think is a pathetic site and even though she is only 11 and lied about her age to enter all the contests on the site(one of many reasons I don't trust her on the Internet). Tommy spends his time reading about D&D or laughing at Order of the Stick cartoons. Oh, how I wish I had a wireless laptop so I could work at doctor's offices, soccer games, school meetings, etc.

Big Brother is watching.

Take the What High SchoolStereotype Are You? quiz.   Thanks Genuine!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Genuine Instead of waiting until evening, I'm starting the day with a Monday Walkabout: the ELLA Echo is my first addition. She is a Project Blog participant who is also a fellow Tennessean. Then I added, no title yet who, like so many bloggers out there, has a new baby. I need to start finding more menopausal bloggers. Any recommendations? My third new blog is, Haiku of the Day to see if I could work myself up to joining the haiku madness in the blog world. My fourth addition is, Dave Berry's Blog which I post as an apology for putting Michael Moore's blog on one of my Monday Walkabouts. Someone please tell Mr.Moore that if you don't post at least once a week, it's a website and not a blog. I saved the best for last with Hulk's Diary, which is so funny I've had trouble waiting all week to add this one. Be sure to notice that this blog has been around since 2002. Funny stuff.

Calm, uneventful day over here. This week promises lots of activity and chaos. Monday the Asperger's Support Group meets and Tuesday Tommy has an appointment with his therapist. Wednesday I am taking Molly to visit Tommy's summer school class. Friday night I'll be spending the night at the zoo with the Girl Scout troop and if you've ever had a pre-teen girl slumber party, you know that there is no "slumber" involved. Wish us good weather. Saturday morning I begin Project Blog while I am still in the midst of chaos at the zoo. Hopefully I'll be home by noon on Saturday so that blogging will be sitting at my computer instead of trusting Audioblogger. I'll blog through the night Saturday (after staying up with the scouts Friday night) and should be a mess by the time we leave to drive Sarah back to Girl Scout camp on Sunday. Monday I plan to sleep the entire day. My Project Blog total remains steady at $140 but I wish it could make it to $200 by the time the event is finished. Please keep spreading the word about Project Blog to your fellow bloggers. You don't pay anything now. When the event is over I'll send you a reminder note and you can then pay directly to The Autism Society.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

We went to get just a few things from the grocery. Doug studied the contents of the meat counter and then in his "Gotta-make-small-talk-with-everybody" voice asked the butcher what "Steamed free shrimp" are? The butcher broke out in a good ole boy grin and instead of waiting to see how the man would answer that without insulting his hapless customer I blurted out "They steam your shrimp while you shop Doug."

My Project Blog sponsors are at $140.oo.  That works out to $2.91 for each of the 48 posts or $5.83 for each of the 24 hours.  I would really like to see that total go higher. Puh-leeze, if you've already sponsored, send Project Blog info to a friend and if you haven't sponsored yet, do it today! Just 6 days left to stock up on caffeine and gather my photos and cartoons because at this time next week I'll be blogging myself to carpal tunnel, backache and headache all to help The Autism Society.

Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in;  forget them as soon as you can.   Tomorrow is a new day;  you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit  to be encumbered with your old nonsense. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 16, 2004

Enough ranting about politics.  Today Amy twisted the dishwasher dial during a cycle and since I didn't know where I was in the cycle, I had to start the load over completely.  She also poured the dogs' food into the dog water.  Strike one.  Doug flipped out because Tommy ate a half a dozen eggs and even though I said nothing, he still got angry with me.  Strike two.  While at the Girl Scout store looking for the new S2B books, Amy made a present that made the entire store have a funky odor and everyone couldn't help but comment on that smell.  Then, I caught Molly umm, recycling her output.  Strike three.  I'm out.  I'm going to hide in bed and watch a movie.

Censoring words, playing word games and punishing anyone who doesn't agree with whatever the government says is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they talked about freedom of speech.

There is a pall over our country. In separate but related attempts to squelch dissent, the government has attacked the patriotism of its critics, police have barricaded and jailed protesters, and the New York Stock Exchange has revoked the press credentials of the most widely watched television network in the Arab world. A chilling message has gone out across America: Dissent if you must, but proceed at your own risk. Government-sanctioned intolerance has even trickled into our private lives. People brandishing anti-war signs or slogans have been turned away from commuter trains in Seattle and suburban shopping malls in upstate New York. Cafeterias are serving "freedom fries." Country music stations stopped playing Dixie Chicks songs, and the Baseball Hall of Fame cancelled an event featuring "Bull Durham" stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, after they spoke out against the war on Iraq. Compounding the offense is the silence from many lawmakers. There is palpable fear even in the halls of Congress of expressing an unpopular view. Why should this disturb us? Because democracy is not a quiet business. Its lifeblood is the free and vibrant exchange of ideas. As New York Times columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman has pointed out, the war on terror is also a war of ideas. How are we going to convince holdouts in other countries about the importance of free speech and civil liberties if we show so little faith in our own? With U.S. forces deployed overseas, and concerns about safety and freedom at home, we ought to be having as robust a debate as possible. Thank you ACLU!

No matter how much they spread out, Knoxville is still just a small town.  Beyond the University activities, there is very little to attract visitors.  Yes, we have some nice restaurants and interesting shops.  There's a zoo and the usual bowling alleys, skate rinks and movie theaters but there just isn't enough to warrant a vacation here.  Businesses crash and burn here quicker than I have ever seen.  Knoxville is surrounded by natural beauty and THAT is worth visiting.  Knoxville doesn't need a taxpayer funded hotel.  If someone wants to spend their own money investing in a hotel, then more power to them.  Don't ask the over-educated, under-employed Knoxvillians to pay for a hotel that is supposed to attract visitors.  Knoxvillians don't utilize the exisiting library system so they certainly don't need a large new library to ignore and avoid.  Stop thinking you are a big city Knoxville.  Accept that you are a small town.

Poor Martha.  Justice is being stupid.  She should get community service so that her skills can help others.  Jail should be only for people who are a danger to others.

tired, frustrated, tense, disappointed, restless, unmotivated, unworthy, unattractive, overscheduled, underfunded, useless, pointless, hopeless, gloomy, melancholy

Thursday, July 15, 2004

My pathetic attempt at half-naked Thursday. Posted by Hello

Too tired to blog.

Don't forget to sponsor me for Project Blog. There are only 8 days left and I am still at $140. Just a few dollars from each blogger who visits would make a huge difference.  Start sending me your questions and they will be answered during Project Blog next Saturday.   When did Blogger change again?  Now even the computer illiterate can have blogs. 

When the cat's away, the mice will play. This mouse accidently made her hair orange. At least orange is a popular color here in Knoxville. So popular that the unofficial dress code is for everyone in town to wear orange on Fridays. Visitors wearing the wrong colors on Fridays are subject to profiling. So popular that the state is spending big money to paint the bridges and overpasses orange (even though there is a hiring freeze on new teachers and experienced teachers and principals are being encouraged to retire early).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

From the bloggers who make us question the point of voting if you don't live in Ohio, there is also this bit of statistics. How can so many people scream so loudly that something is wrong and change still not happen?

One more day until the conclusion of Kingdom Hospital.

We finally finished the 1000 piece puzzle today. Now I have use of the kitchen table again, for a little while anyway. Anyone have a puzzle they'd like to swap? I'll mail it to anywhere in the states.

I took the girls in case Doug needed to run errands and we picked Noah up from zoo camp without getting lost(gasp!). From there we created chaos in the grocery store. Amy was way past naptime and refused to ride in the cart. Noah kept chasing her which would only incite her to run. When I did get her settled in underneath the cart(no lectures please). Noah found a large ball and proceeded to play basketball in the store aisles. Sarah pushed the cart and complained the entire entire time. "Why can't I have fill-in-the-blank?" At the checkout, the bagger dropped our 2 1/2 dozen eggs carton and we had to stand up front for 10 minutes while he found a new carton. Now Amy is in her crib and if she doesn't nap she'll be a bear and fall asleep at dinner(then get up later to play) and if she does she'll want to stay up past her bedtime. Doug is getting ready to drive 3+ hours each way to do what he says will be an hour's work. I don't expect him back until tomorrow. Morning school bus and carpool falls on me tomorrow. Tommy is talking a mile a minute. No breaths between words, just constant talking. "MomcanIhavesomestrawberrymilk?Andwhatsfordinner?Ineedanewpencilsharpener.OK?CanIuseyourcomputer?When?Whynotnow?" Argh! I need some quiet time alone with my husband and I need it soon.

If you're feeling serious today, count how many banned books you have read. If you're feeling silly today, save the tomatoes. Just be sure to pronounce it "toe-may-toes" and not "toe-mah-toe".

Doug has been "tweaking" my computer since last night, so I can't sit and do my blog thing yet today. A quick update - Big storms here last night blew the tent around and there are a lot of tree branches down but I can't go check for any real damage yet because it's thundering again and round two is about to begin. I know because all the animals are pacing nervously in the living room. I should have sent Tommy to school with his flashlight. Storms make him a bit paranoid about power failure and darkness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

This is another reminder that in just 10 days(eeek!) I'll be participating in Project Blog, a blogging-for-charity event. I'm going to blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight, and I want you to donate to my charity, The Autism Society. From July 24th, at 8:00am eastern time to July 25th, 8:00am eastern time, I'll be blogging for: The Autism Society of America and I'd like your support! To donate: Go to Project Blog and register. It only takes about 3 minutes. Once you've logged in, click on the "Sponsor a Blogger" link, and select mine from the list. It'll be listed under my name or the title Domestic Psychology. I have $140.00 in sponsors so far and I hope that number grows. When it's all said and done, I'll send you a reminder about your pledge and you will send it directly to The Autism Society of America. It's easy and fun and you'll be entertained by my blithering nonsense. Plus you get to hear my voice, ask me questions and make fun of my posts. Are you thinking of good questions?

Last week Amy destroyed Noah's battery-powered toothbrush by cleaning her toes with it (she did use toothpaste) and today she fed Noah's regular toothbrush to Molly, so Noah got a new toothbrush today. Molly has her days and night confused now. She naps most of the day and spends the night getting on and off our bed while playing with a tennis ball and a cornstarch bone. This wouldn't be such a big deal if she could figure out how to get on the bed without assistance. Right now she comes up and gnaws on my arm or slobbers in my face until I lift her onto the bed. She stays for less than 5 minutes and then we repeat the game, all night long. Tommy started his new anti-depressant today. I hate it when the doctors add meds without taking meds away. This "cocktail" method of treating Tommy just bothers me on way too many levels. I am still trying to let my hair dry naturally (aka curly and frizzy) but it still drives me crazy not to have each hair in its' place and it is still way too frizzy no matter what shampoo and conditioner I try. Doug's parents and his sister just returned from a week and a half in Ireland. So far we've heard that his sister wanted a sleeping pill on the plane and her shower was unpleasant. She also said "We went to see the Cliffs of Moher" but that was it. No details, no description of the sights and smells in all the new places she is experiencing for the first time. Hopefully she'll start giving more details because everyone knows I live vicariously through the adventures in everyone else's blogs. Not much excitement in toothbrush shopping and puppy poo.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Tissue Paper Kitty Make your own caption. Post in comments.

My Project Blog total is up to $140.00 now! Huge thank you's to everyone who has sponsored. Keep spreading the word and I'll keep stocking up on the caffeine and Moose Tracks. I gave Molly a bath tonight and I feel confident saying that she had very few baths before she joined our family. I'm thinking just the one she got the day we adopted her. Tommy is in bed trying not to sleep. Amy and Noah are nodding off and Sarah is trying to outlast Amy so she can get up and play on the computer. I'm going to take advantage of the calm and go lie in bed. Has anyone seen The Terminal? Doug and I really need an adult evening before we both go crazier than we already are. When Tommy is suggesting that we go away and rest for a weekend, it's obvious that we are too strung out.

cathy mccaughan Highway
Lake Love5
Fame City20
Study Hall41
Childbirth Hospital103
Contentment Meadows278
Please Drive Carefully
Where are you on the highway of life?

A little political thought. Why bother voting? Of course I will even though my state will disagree with me and my vote will further no efforts.

Twice today Amy has walked up to me with a dead b#g in her hand and offered it to me. Yuck! Give it to someone else please.

Genuine Time for a Monday Walkabout and then back to the laundry and dishes: Cricket's Corner is my first addition. She is a Project Blog participant who is listing all of the things she wants to do before she dies. Visit her list for inspiration to start your own. Then I added, Motherhood and all that because she is 40, pregnant, has a toddler and has a teen. Sounds like a sitcom to me. My third new blog is, The dullest blog in the world because the irony made me giggle out loud. At this point I got a little stuck because I kept popping in on bloggers who couldn't go a sentence without f*ck this or f*cking that and that just turns me off. I understand the power of words but let's use a little variety people. Anyway, my fourth addition is, What's UP down South who carefully describes her recent travels in Amsterdam, and finally Big Orange Michael, a Tennessean who watches too much tv and reads some of the same authors I read. This week turned out to be a much more exhausting Walkabout than last week's.

Note to self: Don't take Amy through the car wash again until she is older. The look of terror on her face was enough to make me cry along with her.

Less than two weeks before Project Blog and I'd really like to double my sponsors before then. Today is a typical Monday. I left the house with Tommy still asleep in his bed. Dropped Noah off at the zoo for day camp (which he has every day this week). His teacher is Bob Grimac again and I am thrilled. The whole drive there Noah practiced his fake burps and Amy imitated him. Less than charming. I picked up sarah from my parents' and Sarah and Amy practiced clapping along with the music on the radio. Very cute. Went to the bank and then to Home Depot to collect a pile of paint samples for Noah's room makeover. Came home to find Tommy watching Futurama DVDs in his jammies. Now I load everyone up and take Tommy to his psychiatrist. I am going to ask that we change his antidepressant. I am hoping that a change will get him interested in doing things again. After Tommy's appointment I go pick Noah up from the zoo and try to get some dishes and laundry done. Just the usual Monday.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Sleeping Molly We're going to need a bigger bed for this 10 week old.

I hate the weekends.

Making lists of things to do before you die is so popular now that MSN has even grabbed the topic. At least one Project Blogger is using it as a theme for her 24 hours of blogging. I can't make 24 hours worth of blog about it but I will work on my list during the event. Another topic will be "Things I've done while driving" which has some umm, disgusting and disappointing items on its' list. Send me topic suggestions and questions you want answered during Project Blog right after you sign up to sponsor me in my fundraising efforts for The Autism Society. We went to see Spiderman 2 last night. Very tight with humor, action and a teeny bit of philosophy. The dinner party was one of the movie highlights. I have one concern but I don't want to post a blatant spoiler so I'll just say that the third movie has the potential to be a giant flop because of the umm, wardrobe malfunctions in this movie. Ok, too obvious a clue but you still need to see it if you have ever been a comic book geek.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Black EyeAmy's Swim Amy's black eye the day after her fall and Amy swimming in the dog water.

The pilgrims' three day feast included venison, fruits and lobster. Yet, Americans choose to honor the day by eating turkey every year. Turkey takes forever to cook and even then it walks a fine line between too tough and dry as dust. Every fall the grocery stores give away free turkeys with purchases of a large enough quantity of other foods. That is why we had several turkeys in our freezer and why we are on the third day of turkey eating at our house. Why oh why didn't Americans decide to eat lobster every Thanksgiving.

The puppy, who we are tentatively calling Molly, had her check-up today. She only whimpered when her dignity was insulted and waited politely until the examination was finished before she made a giant puddle on the vet's floor. Except for her immature genitals and the vet casually saying "this is gonna be a biiiig dog" all is well with Molly.

A million years ago when I had just left my teen years behind (chronologically, not emotionally) I was driving I-don't-remember-where and saw an old friend walking by the road. His family lived down the road from mine and we were quite far from home. After the usual "It's great to see you" comments I offered him a ride and he seemed genuinely thankful. I asked where he needed to go and he thought for a minute before saying "home, I guess." We had a nice drive home chatting about people I lost contact with when my parents transferred me to a private school for high school. I dropped him off at his house and it seemed quite dark so he mumbled something about his parents' being away. I never saw him again. I never saw him again in person. Later that week his picture was on the cover of the newspaper as one of the 10 most wanted in Memphis. Apparently he had taken a little stroll away from the penal colony where he was serving time and I conveniently came along and helped him make his getaway. Oops.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I dropped Sarah off at the pool and since I have about 30 minutes before going back to pick her up, I'm wasting that time on the computer. Obviously my mind doesn't work correctly. Another example, this afternoon I was sulking on the couch (because my mail and website are down) when the radio played Melissa Manchester singing Midnight Blue and the line "wouldn't you give your hand to a friend" made me think of Rick Dees. Rick Dees was a DJ when I lived in Memphis and he would use pieces of popular songs to create funny little bits during his radio show. While the rest of my generation remembers him for "Disco Duck", I remember a song that was an "Interview with Jaws" because it had that line from Melissa's song. Thinking about that song reminded me of a high school classmate and friend who babysat for Rick Dees. This friend wanted a memento from Mr.Dees (he was a big celebrity in Memphis) but didn't have the courage to just ask for an autograph and was too good a Baptist to just take a pencil or something. She finally decided that she could take something from his trash IF it had no value and she didn't sell it so she took a gum wrapper from his trash can. And I got all of this because an old song came on the radio. No wonder I never get anything done.

I only have two weeks to get sponsors for Project Blog! Eeeek! I have $40 sponsored right now. I'm not very good at math, but that means I'll be developing some serious wrist, neck and backache for about 1.67 per hour. In today's puppy-toddler rivalry, the toddler exacted revenge for being dragged across the floor yesterday by dragging a sleeping puppy all the way back to the bedroom. Yesterday the puppy slept through a cat walking on her. Wouldn't it be great to sleep that deep? I wouldn't need Tylenol PM every night. Amy's black eye is nearly gone, so she has spent today running and crashing into walls. Not accidently, like a crash test dummy. I have no explanation. Last night Sarah had a friend sleep over and tonight she has a swim party. Poor thing just hasn't a thing to do. Doug and Tommy are moving my grandmother to yet another nursing home. Every time she complains, my mother moves her. My father has already tried talking me into moving her to an ice flow but I told him that I was saving that trip for when he left planet functional. I'm off to play "Mom Limo" and when I return my website and e-mail had better be working again. Grrrr.


In the house:

Me - the Mom
Doug - the Dad
Tommy - age 15
Sarah - age 12
Noah - age 9
Amy - age 3
Evan - 8 months old
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Mom's Stuff:

100 Things About Me
My Kids Are Pigs
My Husband's Crap
Pottery Barn Registry
Blogroll Me!

It runs in the Family:

Seldom & Never
Serendipitous Reflections
The Ramblings of CarMom
The Stomock's Retchings

Blogs I'm reading:


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02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
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03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006


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