Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

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  • Saturday, January 31, 2009

    Back To Basics...

    As our nation's Big 3 auto manufacturers face bankruptcy, we will all be faced with returning to the old time basics. Americans will soon need to embrace the original SUV.

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Because She Loves Me & Knows Me So Well...

    My Sister made this beautiful cross-stitch and framed it for me for my birthday. It hangs proudly in my kitchen. I love it! It's
    (Did I ever mention what she gave me for Christmas? A framed cross-stitch that says, "Happy Fucking Holidays." I love her.)
    Thanks, Sue!

    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    11:16 A.M....

    Think of me at 11:16 A.M. I'll be turning 37 (or 30 for the 7th time).
    I used to be cool. Now, I'm just in my late thirties. Gah.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    The Jack & Livie Show...

    I stayed home from work yesterday, fully planning on finding comfort being with my kids, hoping to get through my "due date that wasn't." I wound up sick as a dog with a nasty cold, probably because my classroom didn't have heat for most of the day on Monday. I was chilled to the bone, to say the least, and woke up feeling boogery, phlegmy, and shitty (on top of my regular shitty feeling).

    The day wasn't a loss, though. It wasn't that bad. The kids helped me focus on what IS working and less on what ISN'T working. They brought me back from my heartache, in a way. They were kids. They did everything they always do, but most importantly, they made me feel and feel better. Does that make sense? On a day I thought would be pure hell, they turned it around and made it pure bliss for me.

    They helped me chop up veggies (in a chopper, not with knives) for our chicken lentil soup. They let me sleep until 8am, cleaned up their toys on their own, jumped on the furniture, wrestled with each other, and Jack finally ate something other than cookies and Goldfish crackers. Livie hugged me so much, I think I'm black and blue, and thanked me for staying home with them. I lost count of how many times both kids told me they love me.

    And here's what sealed the deal...Jack peed in the potty...AGAIN! I couldn't have been more happy. In fact, I'd contemplated taking today off, too, just because yesterday was sooooo good. A part of me feels guilty for having such a great day, especially on the "due date that wasn't." However, part of me knows that the show must go on, whether I like it or not, with or without heartache.

    I must say, the Jack and Livie Show is one of the best cures for what ails you. Just ask my heart.

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Three Strikes...

    1. Today is my due date. Unfortunately, all that changed this summer.

    2. I have my fucking period and it is making me sick with sadness.

    3. It looks like this week isn't going to be any better than last week was. Last Wednesday (the 21st) was the date I had chosen to have the baby, since it would've been another C-section. It hit me like a ton of bricks, much like today is.

    Three strikes and I'm out, people. I can pretty much forget about having a happy birthday on Thursday. Whatever.

    Happiness is all an illusion, much like God. I'm so over trying to chase happiness anymore. I'll settle for catching glimpses of it from now on through my children and will save myself from being disappointed by not expecting it or assuming it'll come.

    Perhaps I need to adjust my definition of happiness. It isn't what it used to be anymore. It's not all rainbows and unicorns.

    Today, I'm staying home with my kids. I've got my priorities straight. I have a bad cold and could use a break from running myself ragged lately. So, I'm going to have a jammie day with Jack and Liv, nurse my cold, and remember that I'm only human.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Learning From The Best...

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Livie said this to me. Heh.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    It's A Start...

    Last night, after the kids had their bath, I was slathering moisturizer on Jack's poor little dry body. Moments later, he started peeing all over the bathroom floor. Quickly, Hubby and I pointed him toward the toilet where he continued to pee.

    He stopped the flow...started again...stopped the flow...started again...and kept doing so until he just couldn't pee anymore, all the while facing the toilet.

    This is a HUGE deal here....a momentous occasion. You see, Jack didn't really have any idea that he could control his urine output. And he never really sensed when he had to go. Now, it seems as if a light bulb has clicked on and he's figuring it out, little by little. For a kid with sensory processing disorder, this is a remarkable achievement.

    He was so happy about it and so proud of himself, as were we. When I put him to bed, he asked me, "Mama, can I go pee pee on the potty again?"

    I responded, "Of course you can, Jack. You can do it for the rest of your life." He just smiled.

    Keep your fingers crossed that this is just the thing he needed to push him over that invisible sensory hump. What a joy for all of us!

    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Why Didn't Anyone Ever Tell Me About This?...

    Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, "Press here to lock end." Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

    I'm sharing this with my friends. I hope I'm not the only person that didn't know about this.

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    You Think You Know The Law...

    Law of Mechanical Repair -
    After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you'll have to pee.
    Law of Gravity -
    Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

    Law of Probability -
    The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

    Law of Random Numbers -
    If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

    Law of the Alibi -
    If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

    Variation Law -
    If you change lanes (applies to traffic lanes and store check out lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

    Law of the Bath -
    When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

    Law of Close Encounters -
    The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

    Law of the Result -
    When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

    Law of Biomechanics -
    The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

    Law of the Theater -
    At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

    The Starbucks Law -
    As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

    Murphy's Law of Lockers -
    If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

    Law of Physical Surfaces -
    The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

    Law of Logical Argument -
    Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

    Brown's Law of Physical Appearance -
    If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

    Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy -
    As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

    Doctors' Law -
    If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

    Law of search-
    If you lose an object don't bother to look for it, just go buy another and you are guaranteed to find it the next day.

    Do you agree? Which one is your favorite? My favorite law is the Law of the Alibi.

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    My Sentiments Exactly...

    This man, one of my favorite bloggers, echoes my sentiments exactly. Read the two letters he's composed. They are dead on. The second letter is my favorite. I think my sister would agree.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Few Words...

    Today's post is short.

    I would've had my baby today had I not miscarried this past summer. Even though the baby's due date was the 27th, I hand-picked today's date for my C-section because it was also my Gram's birthday.

    It's also my graduation ceremony for earning my Master's degree in Education. I'm not going to it. I don't want to celebrate today at all.

    It's not a good day. The air is heavy and thick with my grief; so thick I can't breathe.

    That is all.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    In With The New...

    There's a black man in the White House. He's our President. It's about time!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Flat Tire...

    Yesterday I had a flat tire on the interstate. So I eased my car over to the shoulder of the road, carefully got out of the car and opened the trunk.

    I took out 2 cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of my car facing oncoming traffic. They look so lifelike you wouldn't believe! They are in trench coats, exposing their nude bodies and private parts to the approaching drivers.

    I started to change my tire, and to my surprise, cars started slowing down looking at my lifelike men. And of course, traffic started backing up. Everybody was tooting their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before a state trooper pulled up behind me.

    He got out of his car and started walking towards me. I could tell he was not a happy camper!

    "What's going on here?"

    " My car has a flat tire," I said calmly.

    "Well, what are those obscene cardboard men doing here by the road?"

    I couldn't believe that he didn't know. So I told him, "Hello-o-o-o-o-o, those are my emergency flashers!"

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Spelling Counts...

    I would've loved to have been the teacher who got to read this firsthand. Heh.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    One Word...

    WaAngel passed this along to me and I thought it would be fun to post it here. So, here goes:
    Describe me using just one word. Leave it in the comments.
    So far, my friend Kelli described me as strong and my mother-in-law said I am loving. What word would you use? If you choose to do this on your own blog, too, please let me know so I can describe you.

    Friday, January 16, 2009


    How true, how true!

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    How To Lock Your Car Safely...

    This information is Snopes approved.

    There is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device. They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and have a few minutes to steal and run. The police have said to be sure to manually lock your car door by hitting the lock button inside the car. That way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for their next victim it will not be you.

    When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting, it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain, it sends the code through the airwaves where it can be stolen.

    Be aware of this and let your friends know. Look how many times we all lock our doors with our keys, just to be sure we remembered to lock them. Our code can be stolen right out of the airwaves and whatever was in the car can be gone.

    Keep safe everyone!

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Hot Dog!...

    If you don't know the history behind the importance of the hot dog in Chicago and why we eat it the particular way we do, you really must read this story by Kris Nesbitt. There's so much historical information behind it. It's something I assigned to my eighth-graders and they were thrilled to learn a little bit of history and a little bit of culture along with it.

    It's fascinating, really!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Your "Free" Gift...

    New "Spread the Wealth" pencil sharpener. Every US taxpayer will be mailed one of these with the new 2008 IRS tax forms.

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    My Potato Coat...

    It's going to get brutally cold here this week. By brutal, I mean a -2 degrees for a high on Wednesday or Thursday. And it's going to last a while.

    Yeah, I'm not going to be liking it that much. And I don't think my dog will, either. When her poop freezes the second it comes out...yeah, that's not good.

    Have you ever seen a sneeze fall to the ground and shatter? If not, then you don't live in Chicago. I'm just sayin'.

    I've got my "potato" coat, so I'll be fine. What the hell is a potato coat, you ask? It's a full-length down coat that is the color of a potato. It used to be my Mom's. She laughed her ass off when she saw it on me yesterday. She'd forgotten all about that coat. It's warm, but it's ugly. Too many people will freeze their asses off trying to look fashionable or "cool." Not me. I'm going to be wearing my ugly potato coat, but I'll be warm and that's all I care about.

    I hope wherever you are, you're warm, too. Winter can be such a bitch.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    So Much Snow Here...

    We easily got a foot of snow in the last 24-36 hours. Fun for the kids; work for the adults. I must say, though, I'd much rather deal with this than hurricanes or earthquakes.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Dear Similac...

    Dear Similac,

    Will you please, please, please stop sending me boxes of formula? I am no longer pregnant and have no use for them. Plus, I would've been breastfeeding anyway. I would've been giving birth in a couple weeks, but sadly that isn't the case anymore. I would appreciate if you would stop sending me boxes of formula, emails about my "impending" bundle of joy, and selling my name to every baby and Mama list out there.

    And while you're at it, could you please tell Huggies to stop sending me samples of newborn diapers? There will be no newborn in this house this month. And every time I see stuff like this in the mail, I cry.


    Friday, January 09, 2009

    Ten Things...

    I found this article by Lily Wolf that speaks to me in so many ways. I wanted to share it here with you. It's called "Ten Things SID/SPD Children Wish They Could Tell You." I found it here.

    In the two-and-a-half years since my daughter Jaimie's diagnosis with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID)-now universally called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)-I've learned so much.

    I've learned to pay closer attention to Jaimie's triggers, how to counteract them and guide her to more effective ways to work through anxiety she experiences on a daily basis as she combats the pain her environment inflicts upon her. More importantly, I've learned how to be a better Mama to Jaimie by understanding her better; advocating for her so other people will understand her better; and bringing awareness to SID/SPD. Because in the end, that's all these children really want: Understanding.

    Unfortunately, SID/SPD children can't always verbally express what's going on in their tiny bodies in order to help you understand them; they barely understand what's happening themselves. Through a lot of research, discussions with other SID/SPD parents and my own observations working with Jaimie,allow me to share with you ten things SID/SPD children would love you to know:

    1. I'm not a "bad kid." SID/SPD children melt down easily-especially in the Preschool years. This can lead to an observer thinking these children have behavioural difficulties that simply require extra discipline (this is what people tried to tell me about Jaimie before her diagnosis.) Nothing is further from the truth. SID/SPD children melt down because they become overwhelmed with sensory stimulation that isn't being processed. I explain it to people this way: Have you ever walked by a playground flooded with children? Now picture yourself standing in the middle of all of those excited, screaming kids: The screaming, the children running around, all the different voices, perhaps different smells... it's chaos! That's how Jaimie and other SID/SPD children feel every day about everything. Thinking of it in that perspective can make you understand, perhaps a little bit, the reason they melt down.

    2. I'm interested in people. A huge misconception about SID/SPD children is that they withdrawal socially because they don't like people. Not true. In fact, they'd give anything to be running around with all those children on the playground. But they're so terrified of being overstimulated they avoid social or new situations so they won't have to endure the pain.

    3. Please give me some extra time. SID/SPD children need a lot more time than other children to get used to new people and situations. It's not just because they have to get used to the person/situation itself, it's also because they need extra time to absorb the different smells, sights, sounds and other sensations before they feel comfortable. When meeting someone new, Jaimie can't even look at the person until she's listened to and gotten used to their voice and decided their smell is something she can stand to be around. Only then will she look up and communicate. Be patient and give them the time they need to absorb what's new. It makes a huge difference.

    4. I'm a smart kid. "Special needs" doesn't mean unintelligent. Nothing hurts Jaimie more (or makes me angrier) when people treat her as if she's dumb just because she has special needs. Once you get her talking, you find out how smart she really is. Please don't judge SID/SPD children based on their social issues or how they react to things. There's so much more beneath the surface.

    5. I'm not angry with you. This is something I constantly have to remind my younger daughter, Jordhan, of when Jaimie melts down. In that frame of mind, Jaimie she has a tendency to lash out at the closest person to her-usually me or Jordhan. This is because there's a build up of events Jaimie holds in until that one last sensory stimulus sets her over the top. It's important for other people to realize, especially other children whose little feelings shatter so easily, that SID/SPD children don't mean to be hurtful. They just aren't able to control what they're feeling and, because of their poor social skills, don't always know the "proper" way to express what's going on inside them. Don't worry, they're learning how to communicate with you better-just wait!

    6. Please respect my personal space. Because SID/SPD children are so much more sensitive than other children, it's important to remember that even our own personal scent-even if it's a good smell-can be enough to send an SID/SPD child into an inconsolable fit. Don't be afraid to approach them just do so while keeping in mind that it takes them a little bit longer to get used to your presence. Ask them if they'd mind you sitting with them; start with activities they're comfortable with; you can even ask them what they do or don't like about new people or things. In Jaimie's case, if people take it slowly with her, she eases quicker and responds so much more positively.

    7. I find it hard to focus on too many things at the same time. This is the core of an SID/SPD child's disorder. Because their brains can't tune things out, their attention is continually pulled in different directions. They need to learn how to focus on a specific task. We need to give them our patience as they attempt a task and to help them bring themselves back down when they get frustrated.

    8. I prefer what's familiar to me. When an SID/SPD child's symptoms are quite severe, they cling to what they know and can be rigid about routine. They also shy away from new people or situations. Now, we can't let our child stick only to what's new or they'll never be able to function in the world. But we can start with what they are familiar and comfortable with while working new things into their safe zone. It can be a longer process but that's how you can help to make an SID/SPD child feel safer when dealing with new things. Remember: SID/SPD children aren't trying to be difficult, they're simply trying to get along in a world that terrifies them. Easing new people or experiences into what they're already comfortable with is a great way to start then, eventually, they'll actually want to try something new.

    9. Please see the things I can do. Even I've been guilty of this. We can get so caught up in trying to help our SID/SPD child cope with their struggles we tend to forget what they do well. Every child can do something really well. Acknowledge their talents. Such things can be used in times of frustration when they struggle with things they find difficult. Think of how much it can mean to them just to hear you say, "Oh, John. Look at all of these beautiful drawings you did for me. Not only are they wonderful but you were able to concentrate to do them and you had fun doing it!"

    10. I love you, even if I'm not always able to show it. It can be so painful, especially as a Mom, not to be able to give or receive the usual signs of love and affection from our SID/SPD child. If their tactile sensitivity is high they can't handle even the gentlest of touches (As a matter of fact, Jaimie could only deal with deep pressure-light touch drove her mad. Especially when the wind blew on her skin.) This doesn't mean our SID/SPD children don't feel love, or even want to give it; they merely can't deal with the sense of touch. In Jaimie's five years, I can count on one hand how many times she's hugged me by putting her arms on me and not just sticking her head out at me and saying, "Hug." But I know that she loves me-I can see it in her deep blue eyes. And she knows I love her.

    It's my hope this helps to give you some insight into these often misunderstood children. Aside from all these points the most important thing an SID/SPD child would want you to know is that they are just like any other child...they just need to do things a bit differently.

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Relief Is On The Way...

    Only twelve more days left with this guy! I'm ecstatic!

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    It's All About Marketing...

    How's THAT for advertising? They can reach a whole new demographic with that one.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    Being Human...

    It doesn't matter if you like him or not. It doesn't matter if you like his wife or not. It doesn't matter if you approve of his religion or his line of work. What matters is that his teenage son is dead and he grieves just like the rest of us would if we were in his shoes.

    John Travolta is a prominent member in the Scientology "religion," which I think is just a cult for rich Hollywood celebrities. However, my heart goes out to him and his family because they have lost one of their own. Jett was only sixteen and some reports speculated many things ranging from his untreated seizures (due to religious reasons) being the reason for his death to his untreated autism (denied by Travolta; Scientology does not recognize autism as a medical condition) to higher up Scientologists "whacking" the boy because he wasn't perfect according to their standards. Whatever the speculations, they made me sick to my stomach.

    A man and woman have lost their son. A sister has lost her brother. Could the media just back off for a while? My goodness, the body isn't even cold yet and all the crap I've heard and read is just ridiculous.

    They're grieving like anyone else would in their situation. Grief is a very human experience and the Travoltas, despite their celebrity, are still human beings. As a parent, it's a very real fear that your child will precede you in death. No one wants that ever. My heart goes out to them, even if I think their religion is goofy. And it doesn't matter how much money they have. Nothing is going to bring back their son.

    Monday, January 05, 2009

    Gotta Love Her...

    My mother-in-law sent me an email yesterday with this information in it:

    "The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb."

    Ya gotta love her for that. And that, my friends, is what will get me through the today. You see, I have to go back to work after being off for two weeks and I need a little humor to get me through the workday. The kids and I had a wonderful time together while I was off and I'm sad to go back to work. We really, truly enjoyed each other's company and I got the chance to get them started on a potty routine. Last night, when I put Jack to bed, I reminded him that I had to go back to work in the morning. He replied, "We will miss you, Mama." It broke my heart.

    However, I know that I'll be coming home to warm smiles and lot of cuddles from Jack and Liv. And now, since Jack's relieved of his impacted bowel (with some help from us), he'll be much more relaxed and centered. It'll be so nice to see them when I get home today, but it won't be much fun leaving.

    Spring Break and summer can't come fast enough over here.

    Sunday, January 04, 2009

    Three Days & Counting...

    Poor Jack is constipated beyond belief. It seems as if shortly after we started our potty training routine, Jack has become all stopped up. He's eager to use the potty, but too freaked out to "let it go." He doesn't want to go in his diaper because he know's he's supposed to go on the potty. But he doesn't want to let it go because, "it's mine."

    Now, he's constipated...three days and counting. Today is Day Four.

    He gets a stool softener in his juice every day, as he has been getting for the last year+. Friday night, I gave him a suppository for children. It didn't work. He's a strong boy, in mind and body. We're not going to be able to make him do anything he doesn't want to do. We had to go to a birthday party yesterday evening, so I tried to give him another suppository before we left because he was so miserable. It didn't work, but he had a great time anyway. He was relaxed, happy, and he ate.

    We're still waiting for the Poop From Hell. Keep your fingers crossed that it comes without any intervention on our part. He doesn't want to eat things that will help move his bowels, so don't bother suggesting them. He won't fall for it. I'm just going to hope that gravity does its work so that I don't have to do it myself or, God forbid, have the doctor do it.

    He hasn't had this problem in a long time, but I threw a wrench in his lifestyle by potty training both kids. Now, he's rebelling by withholding his poop. Wonderful! There's a butt explosion with my name on it somewhere in the belly of my boy. This ought to be interesting. I promise I won't post any pictures of it. Heh.

    Saturday, January 03, 2009

    Potty Updates...

    Livie pooped and peed on the potty yesterday! We're so proud of her!

    Jack is coming along. He's conflicted about pooping on the potty. He has issues with "letting go" again. He wants so badly to go on the potty, but he doesn't want to let the poop go. You see, it's his. And he doesn't want to go in a diaper because he knows he's supposed to go in the potty. It's a double-edged sword for him. So, he's withholding and it's making him very, very crabby.

    I'm sure it'll click one day for him. Livie seems to get it already. She still has several accidents, but she understands why she has to make it to the potty on time. Apparently, she's taking the lead in this process. I'm hoping Jack follows her.

    We're getting there, slowly but surely. And I have confidence that both kids won't be attending their Senior Proms in diapers. Keep your fingers crossed!

    Friday, January 02, 2009

    Stage Presence...

    Livie got a microphone (with pedals that have sound effects) from My Sister for Christmas. Let's just say she's using it quite well. Turn up your speakers and see for yourself.


    This is my favorite clip with her "using her imagination."


    This is her Yo Gabba Gabba medley, complete with her Muno guitar. She's going to be a star, you know. She's quite the little entertainer.


    And this is a song called, "Run, Run, Run." The Muno guitar only plays a certain part of the song. Livie doesn't understand that it doesn't play the whole song, so she gets a little confused. She's so proud at the end. Thanks, Ciocia Sue! She loves it!

    Couldn't you just die watching these clips? Imagine living with her. Every single day with her brings me more joy.

    Thursday, January 01, 2009

    A Better Year Ahead, I Hope...

    I hope 2009 is better for all of us.
    Oh, yeah. And here's my Dead Pool List for 2009:
    1. Amy Winehouse
    2. Patrick Swayze
    3. Eddie Van Halen
    4. Michael Jackson
    5. Pete Doherty
    6. Courtney Love
    7. (I can't legally write this person's name here because it could be perceived as a federal offense; I don't want any trouble. And whatever you do, don't guess it in the comments. You know why. The only reason this person's name is on my list is because there are some sick people out there that want to see this person harmed. I am not one of them, but I understand the odds of it happening.)
    8. Boy George
    9. Roger Ebert
    10. Ted Kennedy
    Is anyone else playing? Remember, come up with a list of ten prominent people you think will die in 2009, either due to lifestyle or illness. When they die, you subtract their age from 100 and that's how many points they're worth. Send me your list and I'll keep the tallies all year. Morbid, I know, but so much fun!