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Monday, October 31, 2005

Eeeek! Posted by Picasa

Happy Halloween! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Beware of spiders! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Someone tore into the bag of halloween candy and ate some yesterday. It might have been me. :) Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

It's just a jump to the left And then a step to the right With your hands on your hips You bring your knees in tight But it's the pelvic thrust That really drives you insane Let's do the time-warp again

Join us for: Trunk or Treat West Park Baptist on Middlebrook Monday, October 31st
6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.
all treats, no tricks

TennCare is now targeting children with mental health problems, hoping to cover less of their medical bills. TennCare thinks bad parents and bad doctors are costing the state too much money. I can't tell anyone else's story but I can tell mine. 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 by the pediatrician. 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 expensive class saying that I wasn't parenting him correctly. Family, friends and strangers all had advice but nobody wanted to do anything but criticize. 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 after several weeks of extensive, time consuming and expensive appointments 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. The teacher's aide told me that "We just babysit the children who can't be taught." I volunteered for the PTA until I just couldn't stand listening to another parent complain about the money wasted on "those kids". Tommy 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. We have daily interactions with teachers and bus drivers. Tommy is driven to weekly psychologist and therapy appointments and monthly psychiatrist appointments. It is time-consuming and expensive but we would do anything to help Tommy. TennCare wants to make this process more difficult.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another idea - If restaurants truly want to be family friendly, they should offer swings instead of just high chairs. How about a few port-a-cribs setup for active babies? Instead of a smoking section there could be a quiet area for families with infants or surly teens. "Would you like a table with a playpen?"

Idea - You know those "How is my driving" bumper stickers you see on big rigs? What if someone marketed them to parents of new drivers? People could phone or e-mail comments about what they see young drivers doing on the road. It could be used for senior relatives too. "Sorry Grandaddy, but you've had too many reports this month. Hand over the license."

Instead of just getting notes and phone calls from teachers that are usually complaints, parents should be allowed to view video tapes of school activity to get a better idea of what their child's school day is really like.

While everyone else is working on their Christmas shopping I'm still getting ready for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

When people say "we" they really mean you.

LOST is a repeat tonight so, I guess we'll have to watch Firefly.

I can still snack while holding a sick baby. Posted by Picasa

I read a lot of blogs with SharpReader. Unlike all the parent blogs and Autism blogs I love, two blogs I read are popular bloggers with whom I have almost nothing in common. One is a blog celebrity law professor and the other is a cat and baseball loving technical guru. One is a blogging filter who posts links to good blog and media reads daily with occasional nods to his wife and Amazon partners links to support his blogging. He is mega-popular but keenly careful and usually politically correct when offering a personal opinion. The other is a darkly sarcastic, quick-witted Texan who is very clear about his personal and political take on things. His cat-blogging and news photos are Comedy Central-worthy political satire. It used to bother me that one ignores the other (presumably because of his blunt, in-your-face style) while the other thinks that blog celebs live in Ivory towers (he obviously hasn't seen the UTK campus or read the budget allocating all money to sports) but not any more. If you can't sit down together and enjoy good bbq there just isn't any common ground for peace.

Monday - Noah stayed home with a high fever and yucky tummy. Tuesday - Sarah stayed home after a yucky tummy episode in the aisles at AC Moore. Wednesday - Evan running a high fever and obviously uncomfortable. What fun will tomorrow bring? Think we'll all be well on Halloween?

What is creepier - Scientology or Kabbalah? I'm thinking both.

Pull out glass for juice and put on counter. See empty dog bowl and fill bowl. See glass on counter. Put glass in dishwasher and start dishwasher. Sit down at computer and look around for glass of juice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

So . . . if I homeschooled my children I wouldn't get notes from teachers, have parent-teacher conferences, my child who is a tactile learner wouldn't have piles of worksheets and school could be flexible, child-centered and learning oriented instead of grade and test score focused? Hmmmm. I wish I had the courage because right now I feel like I am losing my mind.

Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins? David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar? Roger Waters or David Gilmour?

Monday, October 24, 2005

"Umm, Cathy? Did you know you wore your underwear inside out all day?" "Well I guess I'll just turn them right and wear them again tomorrow."

"Well I'll never be a stranger and I'll never be alone wherever we're together that's my home. Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike Indiana's early morning dew high up in the hills of California home is just another word for you." Happy Birthday Doug! I love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Dear Doug, I'm tired of doing Sarah's homework for her helping Sarah with her homework. If you get tired of doing the paperwork for Boy Scout popcorn sales, come to bed and you can have your birthday present a little early. Love, Cathy

We have a very nice older couple in our cove who get out very little but watch the cove activity from their screen porch. Yesterday they got in their car and drove over to our house because they were so curious about why we are spray painting boxes. Mrs. J - "What are you doing Sarah?" Sarah - "Painting boxes." awkward silence Mrs. J leaves with no more information than she had before her visit. Notice the bandana over Sarah's nose? Sarah was totally unconcerned about the paint fumes but put the bandana on after Lucy (the dog) went outside to do what dogs do outside. Paint fumes, fine - dog poo, not so fine.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far. Shine on you crazy diamond. Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there. Shine on you crazy diamond. And we'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph, and sail on the steel breeze. Come on you boy child, you winner and loser, come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!

Friday, October 21, 2005

We're going to the circus this weekend. I have Halloween stuff to prepare (paint) and Doug always has computer stuff to do. What are you doing? Oh, somebody has a birthday on Monday and needs a bottle of Evan Williams to celebrate (or feel sorry for himself).

We need some music. What's a good song for Friday afternoon?

The downside of breastfeeding. I admit I allow myself a sweet tea or coffee treat once a week but it is nothing compared to the caffeine addiction that started in high school with coke for breakfast. Posted by Picasa

So somewhere along the line I stopped favoring gun control legislation. I know it has something to do with the Patriot Act and legislation that crosses the line into personal choice and freedom. I suspect it has something to do with immaturity as paternal defiance. Before you get too excited, I also believe that prostitution and marijuana should be legalized. I still have a problem with those giant crosses by the roadside simply because I am not willing to look at giant swastikas along the beautiful Tennessee highways. I know that is closed minded but, well, tough.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Get your foot out of your brother's mouth. He can only chew on his own toes."

Miffy was looking for "the others" this morning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Help me, I'm floundering. I don't want a gun in my house but I'm not so certain how I feel about other people owning them any more. I don't believe it is my father's strong republican beliefs coming out as I get older. I once felt strongly opposed to guns because their only purpose is to kill. I've been along on enough hunting trips to see the damage that guns do but my peace-loving self has been overtaken by my maternal instincts. Yet, I suspect it is fear that makes me not quite mind if the world knows that most Americans are armed. I don't like this maybe feeling. Am I for or against private gun ownership? How do I decide? What questions must I ask myself?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I need a do-over today. Posted by Picasa

Parenting terror alert level - red Sarah is failing math and social studies because she hasn't been turning in her assignments. Tommy is tormenting his biology teacher and bus driver daily (m-team tomorrow). Amy is so jealous of the attention Evan gets that she has become a screaming terror. Evan quit sleeping through the night and now wants to play from about 3 until 5 a.m. He will sleep only at the breast, day or night. Noah is still away at camp and I can't check on him, argh! Oh - my parents have been taken over by pod people and think I'm being too hard on Sarah for grounding her because she is failing (because she's too lazy to do her school work).

Evan celebrated an early Christmas yesterday thanks to his Aunt Jeni and Uncle Dean. Amy was the designated unwrapper. I got excited about the soft baby sleepers (cute little footies) and immediately dressed him in one for the evening. Baaaaad Mommy. I spent the morning picking fuzz out of his ticklish toes (giggles) and dozen neck rolls (growls). I'm washing everything now so he can wear another one tonight. Thanks Aunt Jeni and Uncle Dean!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dear Burger King customer, I wish I could tell your son that he will NOT be "burning in hell for disobeying his parents". I feel very confident that anything that tiny 5-year-old has done will be forgiven. Cathy

The mornings are getting pretty cool now so, it's time to pull out the warm and toasty. . . . . socks. What? You thought I was going to say boots? This is the south. We are surrounded by mountains that shelter us from most bad weather. I can count on one hand the number of times the weather was too nasty for Birks. Knoxville has four distinct seasons and neither summer nor winter are unbearable when compared to other places in the states. That said, this wooly was in our front yard a few weeks ago. What kind of winter do you think we'll be having?  Posted by Picasa

I think I need to remove the capture all from my e-mail setup. The spam that looks like bounced mail is completely out of control.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

This morning Doug hugged me and gently kissed my neck. "I love you. I love everything about you. I love the pillowcase wrinkles on your cheek. I love the way your hair is matted down here and sticking up there. I love the dried drool marks on your chin. I love the mascara smears under your eyes. I - HEY, where are you going? What's wrong? Come back! I thought we could go back to bed when Evan takes his morning nap."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Our Girl Scout troop is up to 13 members now. There are two troops with girls from Sarah's school. The other troop has 5 members and is not taking any new girls because "the girls are all friends who have been together for several years". I told the other troop's leader that we have a homeless girl in our troop now because I wanted to discuss the logistics of helping discreetly. I didn't get any advice. Instead I got a stunned "Homeless?!? At OUR school? How can that happen?" I'm guessing the other leader has never noticed the government housing that is practically across the street from Bearden Middle School.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The new, larger edition of TV Guide came today (free subscription - thanks to slickdeals) and I read the article about LOST. I made a seriously stupid assumption about the show that the article pointed out and now I have to watch the entire series again to look for evidence.

Dear Sarah, We are very generous to allow you on group dates with a chaperone. Asking for more is pushing your luck. I believe you that he is wonderful, but you are both just starting your ride on the hormone roller coaster so we are not ready to allow you to be in a situation that would allow trouble. I am your mother, not your friend and I don't have to be fair. Yes, you can put color in your hair. I know you are trying to figure out who you are and it must be hard to feel like an individual when you have four brothers and sisters. I hope that someday you will see yourself the way I see you - smart, beautiful, funny, caring and absolutely wonderful! I love you. Mom

"Too many mountains And not enough stairs to climb"

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Because I'm a bad mom, I have started letting Sarah stay up and watch LOST with Doug and I on Wednesdays. At least I'm not Hurley's mom. "It's Jesus on the phone." We knew after last week's episode that there are other research facilities (there are at least 3 on this island) but now we know that one of them is abandoned. The other group of survivors have turned feral. Are they sick or being preyed upon by the pirates? Does anyone else think Charlie is smarmier while Sawyer is more human this season? I am still mulling over the scientists' main goals - meteorology, psychology, para-psychology, zoology, electromagnetism (has to be station 3) and a Utopian society.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Amy is learning new things in preschool. "You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit."

"Baby, baby, please let me hold him I wanna make him stay up all night Sister, sister, he's just a plaything We wanna make him stay up all night Yeah we do"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Girl Scouts builds - Courage by exploring new adventures; Confidence by discovering unique abilities; Character by shaping values; Connections through friendships with other girls; and The ambition to return these gifts by making the world a better place.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Today I drove past two older-model cars broken down on the road. One man pushed his car toward his destination while the other worked under the hood to try and resurrect the dead vehicle. Yesterday I watched as both of the customers in front of me carefully purchased their groceries with food stamps. Each item in their carts was a very basic food staple. Saturday a girl asked if she could be a part of our Girl Scout troop even though her entire family is living in a Motel, the last stop before homelessness. There is no greed or sloth, only desperation and futility. Every time I open my eyes, I see people who are struggling to have food and shelter. The more I see, the more I wonder if the working poor are invisible to the wealthy out of denial or ignorance.

Doug quote of the weekend - "Amy! Stop eating cookies with your toes!"

A - If your feet, legs or fanny go numb. Q - How do you know if you have been on the computer too long? Just get up and walk away Cathy.

Dear Carter's, Your "Just One Year" line of clothing is everything that parents want for their new children. Adorably cute designs made of soft, comfortable fabrics in baby friendly fashions with snaps at the crotch and onesie styles. My baby is just four months old and he has almost outgrown this line already. He is wearing 9-month sized clothing now and will need 12-month sized clothing for winter. You can't imagine my disappointment to see the 12-month style clothing for boys is almost entirely pants and shirt as separates instead of onesies. I am going to have to squeeze an elastic waistband around my infant's soft round tummy to keep him clothed this winter. Changing a diaper will involve physically removing his pants instead of just undoing a few snaps. I want the 8 more months of baby-friendly clothing that I was promised with your "Just One Year" line. My child is not abnormally large. He is still in the normal range on the growth charts. Please add an extra size to the "Just One Year" line of clothing so that infants can wear that style of clothing longer. Thank you, Cathy

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Could someone please explain why this picture is getting viewed so much at Flickr? I understand people searching the breastfeeding shots but a bunch of wires? Has Bender been visiting my Flickr pictures? Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Just call Doug, Pavlov. In the 80s, Martin, TN had exactly ONE bar and they didn't card students. Anyone who was in that grimy, dirty saloon for more than ten minutes heard David Alan Coe's "You never even called me by my name" played on the jukebox. More than the jukebox, you heard everyone in the bar singing along with it. I'm not a beer drinker but, Martin is a pretty small town so I spent enough time in that bar to learn all the words. I don't deny that on the rare occasion that I heard the song on the radio I did some time travel down memory lane. Well, I used to anyway. Around this time last year I found myself spending far too much time umm, kneeling in front of the throne. One day I was so ill that I was actually dozing off on the closed lid because every time I tried walking back to bed I ended up racing back to the facility. As I kneeled in the dingy rubble of our downstairs bathroom (everyone who has seen it knows that description is overly generous), wishing I could just die, I was being serenaded by Doug's stereo. Yes, Doug sat at his computer playing David Alan Coe's "You never even called me by my name" at a volume to more than drown out my moans of pain, over and over again. By the third play of the song I was mentally wishing terrible acts of revenge on Doug. I eventually made it out of the bathroom and slept many hours, haunted by the song that wouldn't stop. Since then, I've told Doug how he tortured me with his music, oblivious to my suffering. He thinks it was very humorous. I think he sadistically wants me to feel waves of nausea every time he plays that song. He's been playing it this afternoon and I've been thinking some very bad thoughts about that CD. It may have to have a little accident soon.

Two places I like to play: 43 Things and Flickr I still spend a lot of time here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

For Doug Posted by Picasa

jkfdkjrlkb,mndaiu Posted by Picasa

I don't think I'm going to get to bathe today.

For the past twenty years I said I liked it. For the past 15 years I said I wanted it. In the past 5 years I have been told and shown that I don't deserve it.

Thursday Morning - It is drizzling and hazy outside. If the weather forecast is accurate, this evening the windows to the house will all be opened and the air turned off for a few days of fresh air instead of the artificial, recirculated stuff that has been electrically cooled all summer. A naked Amy is dancing to The Doodlebops and giggling loudly. Evan is standing in the exersaucer staring at Molly. He is going through the 5 minutes phase where he can only spend 5 minutes on a single activity or in a specific location. Molly is stretched out on the couch so that there is no space for anyone else. Doug is doing something in his basement office as evidenced by the frequent grumblings and occasional curse words that drift up the staircase. Mom is tapping on her computer, unable to bathe until Evan settles in for his morning nap. His nap will be less than 30 minutes since Amy is home. Amy has stopped giggling and is no longer in sight which means that destruction is occuring somewhere so, no more computer play for Mom.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

:) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

How many days before Doug tears up the porch to remove and bury the dead squirrel which the cat dragged under there yesterday? Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

Overheard while Noah was playing with his toy soldiers yesterday. "My soldiers are all looting."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Raise your hand if you ever owned an 8-track player.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching." -Roy L. Smith  Posted by Picasa


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
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cathymccaughan. Make your own badge here.

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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