Friday, May 30, 2008

Let me count the ways...

that I loathe prednisone.

Michael has to do a 5 day course of it because two days of ventolin did nothing for his unproductive cough. So I have to deal with the joy that is my already very active, very much four year-old amplified to eleven on this most evil drug.

I think some neat gin is in my future.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stop the presses

I have finished a sock!

Granted it's only one sock and I started it back in February, but 'tis done and the ends woven in. It's been a doozy of a day, so pictures haven't been taken yet and probably won't be up 'til the weekend at the earliest.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

At least something is happeneing

Just found an update - you can check it out here.

Portillo was reassigned out of the classroom at the district offices on Friday, as soon as Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon heard about the incident, Karst said. She said it could be up to two weeks before the district's investigation on the matter is concluded.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What kind of world will my son grow up in?

Especially one where this is allowed to happen. Here's just a little nugget -

Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son's kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the class voted him out of the class.




Michael already gets looks for some of his behaviors. I already deal with some of the aftermath of the likes of Jenny McCarthy and how when she found out her son had autism and wasn't the indigo child she thought all of his behaviors became reminders of how he was damaged. I have to deal with the "Oh, he doesn't look autistic..." like that isn't a fucking charged observation - why don't you come on out and tell me that I am wrong about him and tell me I'm the piss-poor parent you think I am? CHOP who keeps sending me letters asking me to participate in a research study, one that will only serve to figure out what I did wrong during my pregnancy and to do genetic work-ups on me and Michael that won't do one whit to provide support for families coping with this but will find some sort of prenatal test, 'cause eugenics is always the answer. All of those fucking organizations like Autism Speaks - which surprisingly has no adult autistics on their board - and paints autism to be a death sentence. That the only reason for not killing yourself and your autistic child is that you need to be there for your neurotypical child (this is actually in their video - and no that woman wasn't fucking brave for saying it).

I'm too fucking mad to even write coherently any more. My kid will grow up in a world that thinks his condition, the way his brain is wired, his very being is a disease, that he is frankly less than human because let's be realistic - when you see those images on Autism Every Day, that's what they want you to see. Every time you see a puzzle ribbon, you think of all those poor kids who have no inner life because of their autism. Was I jumping for joy when we got Michael's diagnosis - God no. It was hard to let go of my dream child and accept who he was - something many parents don't have to do until much later if ever at all. We worried about how well he would be able to function and about what we could do to help him be the person he wanted to be. A few months ago, I really started to worry about how accepting the world would be of him - almost every image you see of autism is a negative one and the fact that so much money is being poured into research - money that is not going to help the families who are living with it but in research to "prevent" it. If you think that isn't the case, then you are deluding yourself - genetic research isn't going to get a kid speech therapy or a family respite care. As if the media protrayal of autism isn't bad enough, now I have to be on the lookout for teacher's who want to vote my kid out of class because he's different - and the best part is that because this kid wasn't a different race or in a wheelchair there will be a lot of people who think that this is "OK". And you know what - IT FUCKING ISN'T!

I'm becoming more and more incoherent, so I'm just going to break it off here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This has been an interesting day. I got a detention from the powers that be for mouthing off and I have to say I'm pretty proud of it. We all had a family nap this morning and I think I'm finally figuring out one of the missing pieces of the puzzle with regards to Alex's napping - he needs to be bundled up. I put him in one of the fleece sleep sacks I have and tried to nurse him to sleep for a nap and of course he woke when I put him in the Amby bed (still getting the hang of transferring him). I decided to head upstairs and pop onto the computer so I had him sort of on my knee - his back to my chest and my arm across his chest under his arms. He actually fell asleep in that position for and slept for a good 30 minutes or so - I think the sleep sacks are going to be the way to go. I'll have to track down some cotton ones for next month when the weather starts getting warmer.

Last but not least - I got to go out for my knitting group tonight! I made the decision while I was nursing him to sleep at 6.30 and low and behold he stayed asleep! I've missed my group so much and getting to hang out with them without that little bit of guilt that is always involved when I leave John with both of them was great.

A crafts update is in the works, as are long overdue pics of the boys. Lots more to do tonight so TTFN!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just a couple of fun things...

Check out this retelling of Thomas the Tank Engine by way of the Bolshevik Revolution...
The Really Revolutionary Train

I wish I had a link for it, but someone on one of John's boards put forth the theory that Sir Topham Hat is in fact a necromancer who binds the souls of children into trains and other vehicles on Sodor. If you have ever had the misfortune to actually sit through an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, you will agree with me that this notion is not too far fetched.

And here's this lovely chestnut - Scamming the Scammer, The Tale of the P-P-P Powerbook. The fake powerbook he sent is truly a work of art.

As much as it sucks, and man does it ever, I am going to head to bed now at the same time as Michael because Mr. Man the Second was partying all night long last night and many allegories were made between my life as it is now and The Prisoner. I'm not feeling quite as bad today thanks to the boy's uncanny ability to stop just shy of pushing me over the edge (and I really mean just shy). John got a lead on an Amby Bed to see if we can help Alex sleep better and me regain some modicum of sanity.

All right - off to bed I go. 'night all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Only I

... could have this strange half-dream.

Last night John and I watched the beginning of one of the This American Life episodes on Showtime. We only lasted a few minutes before realizing that it was way too depressing for us to watch and decided that we really didn't like the format. It was the first time that either of us saw Ira Glass, the host, and we both agreed that he didn't quite fit our mental picture. We ended up watching John Waters instead.

Fast forward to waking up at 2am to nurse Alex. While I was nursing him and half dozing in the chair I had this half dream where my life that evening was an episode of This American Life on NPR and Ira Glass was narrating it - it was very realistic, I could hear the sympathy in his voice as he described how I had to wrench myself out of bed after only being asleep for two and a half hours, my yearning for three or more hours of contiguous sleep and knowing that my day would most likely be beginning at 5.30. All fit into the normal radio format for the program.

Very, very surreal.

Off to bed - 'night all.

How cool is this?

Over on Ravelry, the Koigu Baby Surprise Jacket I knit for Alex is the 7th most favorited one and is loved by 46 people! Seriously - how neat is that?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I really should be baking a cake...

or at least knitting, but instead I'm here posting.

Alex's Christening is tomorrow and I have to make marinated mushrooms (the Cooks' Illustrated recipe - it's to die for and not the slimy, salad dressing drenched ones you usually see) and a carrot cake (also Cooks' Illustrated - the whole thing gets done in the food processor). Maybe it's the whole second kid thing, maybe it's because my husband worked today and then went straight from work to go out for dinner and a movie with his friend not fully realizing that this is the day before a major event (in his defense he did ask me several times if it was all right, I just didn't feel like explaining to him why it might not be the best of ideas to do this on this specific day so I can't be too mad at him), or maybe it just that I am bone tired, on my own all day and the last thing I want to do is get dressed up to go to Jersey tomorrow and all the hullabaloo that that trip entails.

I've been feeling very slacker-ish recently - actually it would be more precise to say that I've been feeling a lot more introverted. Michael's class had a Mother's Day thing on Friday that I bailed on at the last minute. A few things in my defense - it was pouring rain, Alex was *very* spitty that day and not a little bit colicky, and it wasn't one of Michael's regular school days so I would be bringing both of them over (two buses or a bus and a 5 block walk). The last classroom party we went to back at Halloween put both Michael and me into sensory overload - I don't want to even imagine what it would do to Alex. The other thing that had me more than a bit gun shy was having to nurse Alex there (a very real possibility given his mood that day). I think I've been doing very well on the whole NIP front - I've been working very hard on just concentrating on the fact that I'm feeding my child and nothing more. This had been going well for me until I started to nurse Alex in a waiting room at CHOP and had a nurse run out to tell me that they had a room where I could nurse if I wanted. Firstly, it was phrased as a question - something to which I could have just smiled and said, "No thanks, we're fine here." We had just finished his GI appointment and he was cranky from the exam so we had to go through the whole suck-suck-suck, pop off and cry for a minute, suck-suck-suck thing which always puts me on edge. When this practically out of breath nurse spurted this not-really-a-question question to me all in one breath I was so taken aback that I just humbly unlatched Alex, gathered my stuff and followed her back to an empty exam room where I had to spend not a few minutes calming both me and Alex down so he could eat. Needless to say, my NIP confidence has been a bit shattered by this. Not, and I do repeat, not that this is a valid reason to ask anyone to not nurse - but it is downright impossible for me to be a discrete nurser. I will most likely never be one of those women that you walk up to and never realize that she is breastfeeding. I have huge breasts (even with Alex being three months old they are still bigger than his head), I can only comfortably nurse in the football hold, and I have a fussy eater so a few pop-offs and screams are pretty much guaranteed per feeding - oh and my areola are a good 3" in diameter, no way they aren't showing. I can't even imagine being able to nurse him in any other position unless he's the one actually holding my breasts in place since their shape and direction seem destined for football hold unless steel struts or a third arm are somehow involved in the process. We did go out two more times since then and I did nurse him at John's library which almost doesn't count as NIP since he's got my back there. I also nursed him at a playground - oh and a great big "Thank You" to the other moms/nannies who just watched Michael run out the gate while I was calling for him to stop while I was nursing his brother who was doing his best "scream at the breast because this should be as uncomfortable for mom as possible" performance, your apathy was great appreciated and if your intent was to discourage us from visiting that playground you can sleep secure in the knowledge that we most likely will not be returning. Yeah, not bitter about that in the least.

Ranting aside, it's going to take me a bit before I get my sea-legs back, so to speak. Before I would try to time outings around nursing simply for logistical purposes - Michael has poor impulse control and his auditory processing isn't the greatest so he does not respond well to verbal commands (even less so than a typical 3/4 year-old) so nursing has to take place in an area where he's fairly contained. Now I have to contend with the spectre of the not-really-a-question question - nursing somewhere I think is safe only to have the rug pulled out from under me. There is more to say on this subject but I'm starting to become incoherent and it's getting late so I'll end it abruptly here.

In other, nonparenting news I am two pattern repeats away from finishing the first of my toe-up monkey socks, the ones that I cast-on for just after Alex was born. I also have blown through all 16 volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist a most excellent manga and I just finished the first novel I've read in ages - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I bought myself a new summer wardrobe on Thursday - a size bigger than I want it to be, but now I have clothes that fit and look nice on me so I can hopefully start feeling betting in my skin. I also ordered a solarveil sling from Sleeping Baby Productions. After a lot of measuring, I figured out that my Zolowear really is a bit small for me so I'm hoping the extra length in my SBP sling will help me with learning how to nurse in it.

All right - it's 11pm, and I have a cake to make. 'night all.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Survival Mode

I really need to learn how to start cutting myself some slack. There is a big reason why I'm not comfortable in my skin right now and why I'm less than half the parent I know I can be - the parent I want to be is so far out of reach right now it may as well be in another dimension. I'll have those few blessed moments of all being right with the world and the second I actually think the thought, "Hey, I'm really getting this parenting two kids thing down," one of them will kindly remind me that I don't have anything under control. I suppose this is just going to be life for the next several months - needed alone time being kiboshed because the babe was up all night, Michael very calmly telling me that he can't hand me the receiving blanket next to his hand because he's playing, snapping at the husband because he wants to help but needs to be micro-managed, crystal-shattering wails and shrieks and let us not forget poop and spit-up.

There are also the giggles, milky smiles, Michael telling me "I like you, Mom!", the quiet in the house when everyone is asleep and it's not 2 in the morning, and successfully stepping back and asking the husband if we can start over. It's only been three months despite the fact that it feels much, *much* longer, and I still have a lot of learning to do. I'm going to knit for a bit, have a hard cider and then go to bed. Tomorrow will be what it will be, I just have to try my best and you know what, it will be good enough because despite what I might think, my best is pretty damn good.

'Night all!