Friday, October 31, 2008

Soap box

Okay, it's not terribly often that I get on my "soap box," but today I'm going to. There are many, many topics from our candidates that are very important, but I want to tell you one more that most people probably don't think about. During a recent debate, McCain stated that he would further studies to find the cause of autism. Obama fired back that it would require money (of course.) I just wanted to express my concern for this and how important I believe this is.

As a former special education teacher, I can tell you that when I started my program in school, the rate of autism was somewhere around 1 in 3000 children (or so I was told.) A story in the NY Times says that in the 80's, the rate was somewhere between 4 and 5 out of every 10,000. Today, the current rate is 1 out of every 150 children. This rising rate is alarming and is why we are hearing so much more in the media today about autism.

My personal opinion is that it is vital, at this rising rate, for us to find the cause, so that we may prevent this. I have done ABA therapy in private homes with children with autism and I can't even tell you how difficult it is for families. As a mother of boys, it is even more alarming that the rate is 3 to 4 times more prevalant in boys than girls.

Just something else for you to think about.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road Trip

As our children are getting older, we are braving up to more and more trips. We decided (against R) to go to the beach this summer. It was great. The boys loved it.

Recently, some friends of ours invited us to go with their family to Branson for a few days. I was a little unsure of sharing a condo with another family and how the boys would behave with other children staying with us, but it worked out wonderfully! I almost think every trip from now on should be with other couples and their kids. We did things with the kids all day and then, after dinner each night, we'd settle all the kids in one room and put a movie on and stay up and play cards. It was nice to have adult time while the kids entertained each other.

Well, let me just tell you, in Branson, they do things a little bit differently. This picture is my baby with, yes, a WHOLE chicken on his plate. We went to the Dixie Stampede, which for those of you like me that have no idea what this is, it's a dinner show. We were on the front row of the South side (of course) and apparently the Civil War is fought over and over again here. The horses were so close to us that dirt was actually slung in my lap a couple of times. Now, I know what you're thinking, this doesn't sound like my "cup of tea." But, I will admit, I enjoyed it. As silly and over-the-top as it was, my kids were in awe. There was singing and dancing and they got to see all the animals (horses, ostriches, pigs, and cattle) up close. The food is a set meal. Everyone gets a bowl of soup (that I swear is gravy,) a whole chicken, a piece of pork tenderloin, a half of a potato, a piece of corn-on-the-cob, and an apple turnover. The drinks, oh yeah, in the mason jars and there is no silverware. You eat everything with your hands. Don't you know the kids were thinking this is how it should always be. It was just hilarious to see that big 'ol chicken in front of my little feller --- oops, I'm falling back into that Branson slang!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Birthday memories

I have told the story of the day E was born to many of my friends, family, E, and random aquaintances many times. It's one of the most traumatic, wonderful, scary, beautiful days of my life. I had more feelings wrapped up into one day than I knew what to do with. Anyway, I'm going to tell it one more time, just for nostalgia and to remember how drastically my life changed 3 years ago, this week.

I had a scheduled C-section (although I tried my best not to) because that big boy wasn't budging. Not the slightest bit of dialation, no dropping, nothing. He measured 8 1/2 lbs at 38 wks, according to my ultrasound, and so we conceded and booked it.

It was a Thursday morning, Oct 20th, and also my grandmother's birthday. Now, I did not want to have him on her birthday. I wanted him to have his own birthday. But, apparently, Virgie had more pull upstairs than I did. My doctor only delivered on Wednesdays, but the hospital was already booked up that day. He wouldn 't let me go past my due date b/c of his size, so they called me back with the Thursday date, and said Dr. Kennedy was going to come in on his day off. With that, I decided that it would be special for them to share the same birthdate and I figured I no longer had a choice.

I think I must have watched "Father of the Bride II" about a dozen times that summer. I pictured the exact same scenario for myself. My water would break in the middle of the night and I would wake R up. He would be running around just as panicky as Steve Martin did. We'd jump in the car and make a mad dash to Memphis. By the time we got to the hospital, my forehead would be glistening with sweat and I would be doing that breathing technique that I learned in my class. I would push just a few times and R would cut the cord. We'd all be one big happy family. Here's where the record scratch sound comes in!

Instead, I showed up starving and thirsty b/c I couldn't eat/drink anything after midnight and had to ride with R sipping his Starbucks all the way to this place where they were preparing to cut me open. I was taken to this little, scary room that looked like something out of a third world country (a little dramatic, I admit.) The wallpaper was peeling off and the floor was scuffed. It was about the size of my bathroom. I immediately began to cry when the nurse left. Upon her return, she assured me this was only a holding room where my iv would be started. Okay, I can do this, I thought. While starting my iv, R thought that I would somehow find humor in the situation if he commented on how the blood was squirting out everywhere. There was no blood, she did fine. I, however, felt completely sick. I wanted to throw him out, but I was too scared to ditch anyone.

I was rolled into a surgical room just like on Grey's. Here's the part I was really scared of. I thought that when it came time to have an epidural or spinal block, I would be in so much pain that I would want anything to relieve it. When you feel fine and just really want to come back and try another day, the last thing you want in your back is a 25 guage needle. Enough said. If I talk about it too much there may never be a 3rd child.

Surprisingly, the surgery wasn't so bad. It was over very quickly. It was the strangest thing to see this miniature person that really was living in my body for 9 full months. I was a little sad that I would no longer get to feel him kicking me or see his little bottom sticking out on one side of my stomach. All that was quickly replaced by this overwhelming feeling of awe at the miracle that life is. And, then followed by (I'll admit it) the fear of being responsible for another person 24 hours a day for the next 18 years!

I can't imagine my life without him now. I am amazed at the things he says and does and the thoughts he has. I am occasionally angry with him. I am often moved to tears by his kindness. And, like most mothers, find him to be the most brilliant and beautiful 3 year old in the world. I thank God for him and his little brother and thank my grandmother who got to share one birthday with E while she was still here with us. Happy Birthday, Grandma and happy birthday to my wonderful, big boy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Next Monet

My oldest definitely takes after his momma. He loves to draw, paint,, this isn't sounding quite as good now that I think about it. My little man decided that he would "decorate" his wall with a pen he found, then later, his closet door with a sharpie. The last straw was when he found my ONLY tube of waterproof mascara and "colored" his hardwood floors and himself with it. Well, after all my disciplining efforts that seemed to make no difference, I decided to follow the old saying "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." We painted pumpkins together to allow his creativity to be channeled into something that required less clean up and more aesthetic quality.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I've finally begun painting the playroom, after days of making paint color decisions, taking down the bedroom suit, and buying the things I needed. And, yes, there was a little procrastinating! While, I LOVE the idea of changing things and am usually excited to get started, I get bored about 3/4 of the way through and am ready to be done. So, today I got two walls done, only two more to go, plus painting a chalkboard, moving all our toys up, and decorating it. You know, I could really get a lot more done if I just didn't need to sleep at night. Anyway, I figured if I posted pics, it would drive me to finish it quicker. So, here's my first two walls!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This one's for Kate

I fully support your recent blog. Wear that blue proudly. Nothing says more about one's character than supporting your team no matter what the "weather" (fair-weather fans are a pet peeve of mine!) Here are my cookies that I decided definitely taste better in blue!