Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Synthetic Butter Is The Devil...

    After the movie on Sunday, Liv became violently ill in the middle of the night. She threw up at least a half dozen times. We even ran out of sheets and jammies for her. Yes, that's how much she puked. Her vomit carried the eerie stench of movie theater butter. It was awful. Ugh.

    I believe it was the synthetic butter crap you get on your popcorn at the movies that got her so sick. No one uses real butter anymore, so it was the only choice. Yuck. I ate the stuff, but I didn't eat much of it. Liv devoured the popcorn and it was the death of her. She loves popcorn and eats it all the time, so I know it wasn't the popcorn that made her sick. The only thing different was the synthetic butter. The additives/preservatives in that liquid turned her poor little tummy inside out. Needless to say, she stayed home from school on Monday.

    The movie was awesome; the deluge of midnight vomiting was not. Never again will we ever get that fake butter on our popcorn at the movies. Never, ever, ever again. Synthetic butter is the Devil. I'm convinced.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Time Well-Spent...

    Liv during the previews

    Yesterday afternoon, I took Liv to see her very first movie in a theater at the ripe age of 4.5yo. We saw, "Tangled," the story of Rapunzel. She had a blast and so did I. It was a wonderful movie! It's been at least a decade since I saw a movie in a theater. I don't have the patience to sit still, so I don't go to movies. That's beside the point, though. I wanted to have a "date" with my little girl who seems to be growing up right before my eyes. She needed to know that all movies aren't just on DVD's; you can actually see one on a BIGGER screen than the TV.

    She was floored and excited and so into the whole experience. I am so glad I took her. We had some quality time together without having to worry about anyone other than each other. It was definitely time well-spent.

    There's only one thing I don't quite understand. Why on earth do they show previews for movies that are far too adult/scary/inappropriate for little kids to understand, especially prior to a movie that's targeted toward children? Doesn't anyone think to put on previews for kid movies before an actual kid movie? Yeesh.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    It's What We Do...

    I love my Sister. I love it when she comes in from Kansas because it's soooooo hard for me to go there with all four kids, or even go there alone. My young family will get older and we'll be able to make the trip, or at least I will, or some of us. Until then, I block out the sadness of not being with her, just to keep myself from folding. There are times when I really need to just be with her because there's something about her that makes me feel like I'm doing something right with my life. She gets me and she knows that what I do daily, as a mother, is not easy. When she's not here, I feel a vacancy. It sucks.

    Our visits are quick and our goodbyes are always painful. There are times when I really, really wish the distance wasn't there. It's not easy at all. I miss her. I cherish our visits because we're not getting any younger. When our parents aren't around anymore, my sister, my brother (who lives not too far from me), and I will have each other. I guess I've been thinking about that more as I get older. I love my brother and sister so much; I wish the three of us could be together more often. Siblings mean everything because they're the ones who've known you as long as your parents have, especially if they're older than you, like mine are. I love the visits, but I still hate the goodbyes. I always will.

    We survive, though. That's what we do. Sigh...

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    In My Spare Time...*cough*

    I'm reading four books at once right now. Of course, I'm fitting that much-needed reading time in between dirty diapers, autistic meltdowns, naptimes, sassing from a four-year-old, a barking dog, cleaning the house, cooking, baking, and blogging. Basically, whenever I can get a moment to myself, which isn't often, you can either find me online or reading in my living room.

    I read at night when everyone goes to bed. I should be going to sleep earlier than I do, but I find that I need the respite from the noise, the screen, and the responsibilities.

    These are good reads, so far...

    MIDWIVES by Chris Bohjalian (excellent story told in the point of view of the daughter of a midwife who's being charged with murder)
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (a young girl named Liesel steals books during WWII in Nazi Germany and learns how to read while her family hides a Jew in their basement)
    Anne Frank and me by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld (a young girl is deeply affected by a project done in her class and develops a connection to Anne Frank)
    the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon (see below)

    The last one is probably going to be a favorite of mine. The main character is an autistic teenager who relates well to animals (but doesn't understand human emotions), hates being touched, and detests the color yellow. He knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and knows every prime number up to 7,057. He's writing a mystery novel based on an incident that happens to him. It's a great book, so far. In fact, one of my students loaned the book to me because he knows I have a high-functioning autistic son. I guess I'm just trying to see things through one autistic person's eyes. I find that I'm learning a lot while reading this book.

    So, if you'll excuse me, I need to crack open a book.

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    My Favorite Recipe...

    This is my all-time favorite recipe in the world and I'm making it today for my whole family. Instead of using chicken thighs or drumsticks, I use chicken breasts and I eliminate the shrimp. I also opt out of the fish sauce, substituting with soy sauce. I also increase the amount of garlic used. I usually double the recipe because I could eat this for days. It keeps me in touch with my Filipino roots.


    Pancit Bihon

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients:
    8 ounces “Excellent” brand rice sticks
    2-3 pieces chicken thighs or drumsticks
    1 small green cabbage (shredded in 1/2 inch pieces)
    2-3 medium carrots (either shredded or chopped thinly crosswise)
    1 small onion (finely chopped)
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1/2 pound shrimp (shelled and deveined)
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
    1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce if not adding fish sauce)
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Optional Garnishes:
    Lemon wedge
    Chopped scallions
    Chili garlic oil

    Method:
    Boil chicken in 4 cups of water to make the stock. Once cooked, shred the chicken meat into thin strips. Discard the bones and set the stock aside.

    Heat a large wok to medium-high heat. Add canola oil. Stir fry the garlic and onions until the onions turn clear. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the shredded chicken pieces and shrimp (if using). Once the shrimp turns pink, add cabbage and carrots. Lightly stir fry 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a bowl and set aside.

    Pour the chicken stock into the heated wok. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium. Add rice sticks, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Boil for another 5 minutes or so until there is approximately 1/4 cup stock left. Add the meat mixture back into the wok. Lightly stir fry until all the liquid has evaporated. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

    Garnish with a lemon wedge, chopped scallions, and chili garlic oil.

    Cook’s Notes:
    1. For an authentic taste, I recommend using Filipino brands such as Excellent rice sticks (rice noodles with a little cornstarch mixed in) and Lauriat dark soy sauce. Both are available in most Asian grocery stores.

    2. I use a well-seasoned wok but most saute pans should work. Just be careful when the stock is drying up as the noodles would stick to the pan. Keep tossing the noodles to keep them from sticking. Although I have not tried it myself, a non-stick pan would probably work well since this recipe does not use a lot of oil.

    3. Even though most Asian recipes would tell you to soak the noodles in warm water, boiling the noodles in the stock infuses a more intense flavor and keeps the noodles moist.

    4. As with any recipe, adjust according to your taste. I like mine salty-sweet with a healthy portion of vegetables that have a slight crunch to them. For softer vegetables, cook a little bit longer once everything is mixed in the wok.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving Just Wouldn't Be The Same...

    ...if I didn't post a purely tasteless picture. Enjoy your feast with your loved ones and don't show this picture to your kids. Heh.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Magic In The Air...


    Yesterday morning, we woke up to find that Santa had left letters for Jack and Liv. They had their names on them, stamps on the envelopes, and everything! He sure seemed to know a lot about the kids. They were quite impressed.

    And now the magic of the season is alive in the House of Eatmisery!

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Patients Without Patience...

    I'm irritated. A month ago, we made an appointment for the babies to get the second of their two flu shots. They were supposed to go this morning. I bet you know where this post is going.

    Yep. The doctor's office called at 11am yesterday morning to cancel our appointment. Apparently, they have no flu shots left anymore. Isn't that nice of them to call us and cancel our appointment with LESS than 24 hours notice? If it were US calling them with less than a full day's notice, we'd be charged for it. Gah!

    So, now Liesl and Leia will not get their second flu shots unless they become available at the doctor's office again in the future. What are the odds they'll actually call us if they get more in? Yeah, high unlikely, I know.

    What's the point in telling your infant patients to come back for the second round of flu shots if there won't be anymore left when you come back?

    Even if the twins can't get the second shot, at least the rest of us have our flu shots already, so hopefully that (plus their first flu shot) helps shield the girls from getting the flu this season.

    I'm so aggravated! Arrgghh!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Thankful...

    ...for a three-day work week. My Sister is coming in from Kansas, so I'm super grateful to be able to spend some quality time with her and her family.

    Last week was soooooo...eventful. I'm looking forward to a drama-free week and lots of fun family time. It's going to be cold outside, so that can only mean lots of snuggling, freshly baked goodies, and love.

    Have a great week, folks!

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Meh...

    Not much to say today. Carry on as you were.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Checkmate...

    I carefully crafted an objective email about this incident with Jack's special education teacher the other day. It took me seven rewrites to perfect, since I had to avoid being emotional and angry. It was, by no means, easy. Even my Mother helped me. In the end, however, the first draft turned into something completely different by the time I hit "send."

    This is the letter that I emailed to the principal (Dr. X) at Jack's school, his case manager (Ms. Y), cc'ing it also to his speech therapist, his occupational therapist, his social worker, and his special education teacher (Ms. Z):

    Greetings, Dr. X and Ms. Y.

    My name is Eatmisery and I have a son, Jack, in Ms. Z's afternoon class. I also work for BlahBlahBlah, teaching BleeBleeBlee in a LaLaLa school. I have a concern that I'd like to discuss with you.

    At Report Card Day, I had a lovely meeting with Ms. Z. She and Ms. Q (the classroom aide) are working very hard with my son and I appreciate it. We communicate by email several times a week and Ms. Z updates me on his progress. We even talked about his disabilities at the Open House in September. On Wednesday, she brought to my attention that she sees "autistic traits" in him and I applaud her for noticing that. She mentioned wanting to have him evaluated by Autism. My concern is that his disability is already listed in his Individualized Education Program as Autism, in addition to Developmental Delay. I'm not quite sure how this was overlooked. When I'd mentioned to her that he'd already been evaluated last year by the autism department and was, in fact, classified as such, she told me that she'd have to check his IEP. I was glad I'd brought the IEP with me to show her.

    I'm not sure if the strategies and interventions in place would've been different had she known he was on the autism spectrum. Perhaps, it just slipped her mind because he's high-functioning. Nevertheless, I just want to make sure that he's not re-evaluated again for autism when it's clear on the IEP that that is exactly what his disability is, in addition to developmental delay.

    Could you please help me make sure that everyone who interacts with Jack knows what his disabilities are exactly and are following the accommodations and modifications listed in his IEP? I don't want there to be any miscommunication. It's very important to me that everyone is on the same page. I appreciate your time.

    Sincerely,
    Eatmisery


    While I wish this letter hadn't been dripping with kindness and had screamed, "I'm fucking pissed off" instead, it served its purpose well. Withing 35 minutes, I'd had a response from the principal, thanking me for sharing my concerns with all of them. She'd already met with Jack's teacher and the case manager and discussed my concerns with them. She'd assured me that Ms. Z would be contacting me to clarify things.

    Ten minutes after I got home from work, Ms. Z called the house. Although she didn't admit to not reading the IEP (because admitting that would get her in big trouble, even though we all know she didn't read it), she did let me know that the strategies she uses with him would be the same ones regardless of whether he was on the spectrum or not; I believe her. She's not a bad person, but I think she's a tired veteran teacher, embroiled in the politics of job cuts, day-to-day drama, and the uncertainty of the practices of the Board of Ed. I understand her dilemmas, but it's no excuse for not reading an IEP. I just couldn't let this one go because it's a big faux pas, as a special educator. Our conversation was pleasant and I "played the game." She tried to make it sound like she would have the psychologist come to her class to see if he would be able to offer other strategies upon observing Jack. This is not what she mentioned at all on report card day, but I let it go. The more people helping my kid, the better. I'm sure throwing the psychologist thing in there was her way of saving herself. I let her.

    The bottom line is she knows that I know what she did or did not do in this matter. And now everyone knows because I made some noise. That's a good thing because Jack can't do it for himself. My job is to make sure he gets every accommodation, every modification, and every intervention or strategy needed for him to be successful in the classroom. It's my job to be his personal pitbull and I don't take it lightly.

    People in the line of my fire can call me a bitch, but no one can ever say I don't care about or love my son. I am, after all, not just his Mom; I'm his biggest fan.

    Touche. Gaining leverage is never a bad thing.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Navigating A Shitstorm With The Captain...

    When I told Jack's special ed teacher from last year about his current teacher's "confusion" at report card day (see yesterday's post), she just put her head in her hands and couldn't believe it. And then she offered to come to his annual review in May with me, acting as his "aunt." Wow. Just wow. She genuinely wants to help me navigate through this shitstorm.

    And that's why we love her so much.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Epic Fail...

    Jack's report card was great. It's better than I expected it would be, which says a lot about me. Sigh. I usually hope for the best, but expect the worst just so I'm not disappointed. Sometimes you have to anticipate things that way, especially when you have a child on the autism spectrum. You never know what each day will bring.

    Which brings me to my WTF moment of the day...

    Jack's teacher suggested dropping the "developmentally delayed" label from him in May at his annual review. That label is usually given to children whose disability is not quite figured out yet and it's used up until the age of 5. At Jack's initial IEP evaluation last May, I specifically had "developmentally delayed" and "autism" documented as his disabilities just so all our bases were covered and he could get all the services he needs. Because he's a high-functioning autistic, there's no guarantee that he would get all the services he needs (OT, ST, SW) because his disability is not severe at all, so I made sure he would by giving him two labels. Cognitively, Jack is not delayed at all. We know this. Socially, he is still evolving. His sensory needs are great and he gets bored easily, too. Next year, the plan is that he'll be in regular classes for part of the day and self-contained for part of the day. I'm happy about that.

    Ironically, however, his teacher said she wanted him evaluated. When I asked if she suspected something, she said she definitely sees some autistic traits in him. I said, "Oh, really." (Are you fucking kidding me, lady? Gee, I didn't know that. Did you bother to read his IEP?) I told her that I was aware that my son is autistic and reminded her that THAT WAS WHY HE WAS IN HER CLASS. She said she'd have to check his IEP. At that point, I showed his veteran teacher a copy of his IEP that I had in my purse and pointed out the label, "AUTISM," on the front page where it says, "Disabilities." (Um, helllllloooooo?!) "Oh, wow. I didn't realize it was there," was her response. (You mean to tell me you've been "servicing" my kid for the last ten weeks, UNAWARE that he is autistic?") I could've died right then and there. I remember specifically talking to her about this at the open house in September. How could she have forgotten he's autistic? How could she have NOT looked at his IEP and planned his instruction and interventions accordingly? Plus, I email her several times a week for updates on his progress. How could this have been an oversight on her part? I'm appalled, considering I'm up her ass like a bike seat and moreso than any other parent she deals with.

    It was at that point that I couldn't wait for the school year to be over so I could get him back to his old school next fall, in a program where people care about the kids they serve and KNOW them like the backs of their hands. If his old school had the early childhood special ed program he needed, he never would've left it.

    Can you say, "Epic Fail" on her part? Jack got a great report card; his teacher...not so much.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Report Card Day...

    It's that time of year again. I'm hoping that Jack's report card accurately reflects his progress at school. Fingers crossed. The cartoon above made me smile because I can sooooooo relate to this as an English teacher AND as the parent of a child on the autism spectrum. Sigh.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Patience & Wisdom...

    Um, yeah. If I were that dog, I'd wait, too. Duh.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    5 Tips For Talking With Your Child’s Teacher...

    Since it's Report Card Week for many school districts, I've decided to post an article I found by Katy Farber that might help some parents out when speaking to their child's teacher. I hope it helps someone.

    Teachers know that parents are their child’s first and foremost teacher—and that is why teachers want to collaborate with moms and dads to create the best learning experience possible for children. But just like a parent’s job, a teacher’s work is never done…Every minute of everyday is utilized—teachers spend most of their days preparing to teach, then teaching and working with students, and in between they meet with colleagues, grade papers, plan instruction, and problem solve. So knowing your busy schedule and the teacher’s, how can parents best reach out to discuss their child’s education?

    Here are 5 tips for talking with your child’s teacher:

    •Email the teacher to ask how they would like to schedule a time to talk about your child. This way, they can suggest different times that fit in with your schedule, and also the teacher’s work and family responsibilities. Realize that since a teacher’s day is usually filled with teaching responsibilities, it might take a day or two for a response to an email or phone call.
    •After setting up a meeting at a time that works for everyone, email the teacher your questions and what topics you would like to discuss. That way, the teacher can bring any assessments, data, or other helpful resources to the meeting.
    •Communicate with the teacher first about any issues or concerns you have, not a school board member, or principal. The teachers are the people on the frontlines working directly with students, and they should be the first to try and problem solve, or provide information and guidance. In most cases, they know much more about what is happening at the classroom level than the administrators do.
    •Come with an open mind, and a team approach. Teachers and parents are on the same side, working to support the child. This relationship should be a collaborative team. Share what you know about your child, and ask what the teacher notices as well. Together, you can make a plan, or decide on the best course of action.
    •Be willing to discuss and provide support on the home front. Teachers can’t come home with your child to make sure they give you the newsletter, recent test, or the weekly homework assignments. Support your child and teacher by providing a quiet space for homework, an evening check in time, and a system for sharing important papers from school. The teacher should offer ways they can support your efforts at home as well.
    Parents and teachers working together to help children is a foundation of education, and it is the real, powerful work of education that happens every day. In small and large ways, communication from teachers to parents provides insight into their child’s education; and likewise, communication from parents to teachers gives a clear picture of the home environment and the wisdom of parents who know their child best. Together, teachers and parents should regularly meet to share a child’s progress, discuss a problem, make a plan, or change a course of action.

    When all parties are respectful, open to each other’s ideas, and empathetic, the parent-teacher team can unify to enrich, improve, and extend the education of the child.

    Source

    Katy Farber is the author of Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop The Exodus, a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Rumney Memorial School in Middlesex, Vermont, and author of the popular green parenting blog, "Non-Toxic Kids."

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Making Lists...

    I'm in the process of making the kids' Christmas lists. Livie pretty much has hers done, but she likes to keep adding to it, so I let her. I have some things in mind for Jack, one of which I've already received. The babies are easy; they LOVE diapers.

    And I also have to research MY gift and specifically figure out how many bells and whistles I want on it. Oh, yeah. This one's going to be a big one. I've survived the first year with TWINS, while raising one child on the autism spectrum and one quintessential middle child, so I deserve it. Heh.

    'Tis the season, people.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Just Like That...

    And just like that, Jack had a great day yesterday. After two very bad and stressful days with him, yesterday was a dream come true. Hubby and I have figured out that sometimes Livie is just too overstimulating for Jack, so we've separated them for the most part. She can be quite the catalyst at times. Basically, the three girls are not to mess with Jack when he's doing something he loves, like playing with his farm where he likes to be creative. Sometimes the noise in the house is too stimulating, as well, so we keep his music on for him, but fast forward through the songs that are too loud or stimulating. We also think his cramped classroom is taking its toll on him. They were supposed to move to a brand new building at the beginning of last month, but it's been postponed until sometime next month. Consequently, the cramped environment and floor-to-ceiling packed boxes that occupy two-thirds of the room are just plain wearing on him. And it doesn't help that two classes run by two different teachers share this same cramped space. It's a joke! We also believe that all the changes that took place at the beginning of this school year have finally caught up with him. His behavior lately is just a sign that he's processed all of this, finally. I feel bad for him.

    Of course, all of this does not, by any means, rule out the possibility of medication for him to control his impulsive behaviors and aggression. I'm going to be looking for a great child psychiatrist who can help us and I'm even going to interview them. I'm going to try to find one who accepts our insurance and THEN go to our pediatrician so I can get a referral for him/her, since we're HMO and referrals are required. Our pediatrician will be limited in what he can prescribe and I don't want to fuck around with someone whose specialty is not a child's head. And perhaps a medical diagnostic is in order, although our pediatrician didn't seem to think it was necessary. Jack had a medical diagnostic when he was three and they all said it wasn't autism, but anxiety and SPD, as did the numerous therapists he'd seen. As he grows, he changes, so the outcome of a medical diagnostic could be very different now. Even though his "educational determination" for autism was just for school purposes so he could get the special services he needs, it doesn't make sense to not get the medical diagnosis, so I'm going to push for that, too, even if our pediatrician doesn't think it's necessary. I think we're moving in the right direction. It'll be a lot of footwork on my part, but Jack is well worth it all.

    I'm back to wondering if it's really autism, or something else, or both...

    I simply don't think I have enough on my plate these days. ;)

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Lots Of Stones...

    I can't think of anything to post right now. I have so much on my mind lately. Some of it I share here; some of it I keep quiet from everyone. Right now, I foresee a lot of important decisions I need to make in the near future. It weighs heavily on my mind and my heart.

    Some days are diamonds; some days are stones. I've had a lot of stones lately and I'm not holding my breath for any diamond days. It is what it is, I guess.

    No one ever promised life would be easy. I just never imagined my life to be like this; sometimes I'm not even sure if I'm enjoying the journey. Chaotic is an understatement; that word doesn't even touch what's happening right now.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Broken...

    We are at our breaking point with Jack right now. Yesterday was one of the worst days he's ever had and it affected more than just him. While his morning at home was just fine, he went to school and the day just got worse as it progressed. He punched a kid, wouldn't stop singing in class, and the bus driver informed my husband that Jack had hit a teacher, although we were never notified of that by anyone yet. I sent his teacher an email to find out of the latter was true. From there, it just got worse, if you can imagine that.

    He bit Leia. Yes, BIT her. Badly. Had my husband not reacted so quickly to Leia's screams of terror, Jack could've bitten her entire finger off. For this, he got the belt for the very first time, although I never saw any mark from it; I don't think my husband whacked him as hard as he could've or wanted to, which is good enough. I think Jack got the message, but you never know. The remainder of the evening, Jack acted like nothing had ever happened, which disturbs me. While we do not like to discipline that way, what other choice did my husband have? Jack has become a danger to anyone around him. He can be sweet and loving and compassionate, but he can also make one fear for their life. To have him potentially hurt one of the babies is just unacceptable. To have to watch his every move, or put a baby gate up to keep the babies away from him, or to never allow his siblings anywhere near him is just not right, but it's happening now anyway. Livie takes a beating from him on a daily basis. She holds her own, but you can tell he's wearing her out. No one should have to live like that.

    Our only other choice is to take him to his pediatrician to have him put on medication to control his impulsive behavior. I have three other children, plus his classmates, to protect. And when I weigh the pros and cons about medicating him, I realize that I'd rather have a zombie who doesn't hurt others than have an elephant in the playroom that needs to be watched every second of the day because of his impulsive and destructive behavior. I don't want to put him on medication, but this isn't about me. This is about anyone who has contact with Jack and it's about what his best interests are. I think it would be far easier to deal with side effects and balancing the right mixture of drugs than to deal with babies who have broken bones or lacerations from his own doing. As a mother, I've got to protect all of my children...from themselves and from others. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, in this case.

    My heart is breaking for the boy I never had. Does that make sense? In a selfish way, it makes perfect sense to me. Autism sucks the fat one some days.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    No Time For Chit Chat...

    *The inside of my mouth looks like someone took a hacksaw to it. And it looks as painful as it feels. Believe it or not, it still throbs. I hate this. I absolutely hate this. It makes me never want to go to the dentist again. Seriously.

    *Liesl and Leia have their last perinatal clinic visit today. Since they were preemies, they've been monitored closely for their developmental milestones. My favorite nurses will see them today and she's going to love how chubby they are. I have to miss this visit because I'll be at work. Sigh.

    *Leia has been giving me the mean look when I reprimand her about throwing food. And let me tell you...she means it. I tried to tell her not to mess with me, that I'm the one who invented that look, but she's not having any of it. I get the Stink Eye from her quite often lately and those piercing blue eyes are sweetly venomous. If this is any indication of how she's going to be when she's 14, I'm in big trouble.

    *Liesl looks like she might walk independently before Leia. Leia likes to cruise all over the place, but has yet to gain the courage to move forth on her own without holding onto anything. Liesl, who has patiently watched her sister's exploits, is now pulling herself up on everything and has beautiful footing. She just might take those first independent steps sooner than her twin. If I know Liesl, she's looking at Leia and thinking, "Why are you wasting all that energy? Just watch from afar and learn and then make your move while they're not looking."

    *Liv has a playdate today with some of her friends from school. She's going to have a great time, as usual. My little girl loves having a life separate from the one she leads at home.

    *Jack is loving the homework thing. He does very well. He's still having issues during unstructured play time at school. This kid needs and craves structure at all times. The whole "do whatever you want" thing is his kryptonite.

    *I am off from work tomorrow, as are my kids. It's Veterans Day, so we're going to chill out at home, probably do some cleaning, and maybe bake. It's supposed to be beautiful out, too. Friday, I have meetings all day and no students and that means Jack and Liv are also home from school. What a long weekend it will be for them! I wish I had that, too. Sigh.

    *Report Card Day is next Wednesday. Legally, I get two hours to pick up Jack's report card because I work for the same school system he's in. I can either arrive late to work or leave early. I think I'm going to arrive late to avoid the parking hassles at his school in the evening.

    *And that is all from the home front. Anything more would just be fluff. Heh.

    Tuesday, November 09, 2010

    Mathematical Logic...

    Here is a little something someone sent me that is indisputable mathematical logic. It also made me laugh out loud. This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint..it goes like this:

    What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

    Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

    If:
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Is represented as:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

    Then:
    H-A -R -D-W-O -R -K
    8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

    And

    K -N -O -W-L -E-D-G-E
    11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5
    = 96%

    But ,

    A-T -T -I -T -U -D-E
    1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

    And,

    B -U -L -L -S -H-I -T
    2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

    AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

    A-S -S -K -I -S-S -I -N-G
    1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7
    = 118%

    So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it’s the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.

    Agree or disagree? Discuss.

    Monday, November 08, 2010

    Please Don't Make Me Talk...

    I'm so exhausted. My mouth hurts and I'm not sleeping well. Oral surgery sucks. While I'm glad the teeth that were giving me pain before are gone, I am acutely aware that the pain doesn't just go away because the teeth are gone. I have the aftermath of the extractions to deal with now. I'm still very swollen and just not feeling very well. Sore is an understatement. I wish I didn't have to talk or eat. Both activities hurt so much. Vicodin and ibuprofen don't take the edge off at all.

    Being on a liquid diet for the last three weeks has done one good thing for me, though. I've dropped ten pounds. I expect another three weeks of this liquid business before I can eat normally again (hopefully). I have such a craving for anything crunchy, but I can't eat it. Bleh.

    Well, I need to get ready for work. It's going to be a very interesting day, especially since the mere act of talking exhausts me because it's so painful. That's not a good thing when you teach for a living.

    Sunday, November 07, 2010

    Ledasha...

    A joke from my mother-in-law to you:

    You see the name of a little girl spelled, "Le-a."
    How would you pronounce this child 's name?

    Leah?? NO
    Lee - A?? NOPE
    Lay - a?? NO
    Lei?? Guess Again.

    This child attends a school in Kansas City, Mo. Her mother is irate because everyone is getting her name wrong.

    It 's pronounced "Ledasha." When the Mother was asked about the pronunciation of the name, she said, "The dash don't be silent."

    So, if you see something come across your desk like this please remember to pronounce the dash.

    If dey axe you why, tell dem de dash don't be silent.

    STAY ALERT!
    Idiots walk among us .... and they VOTE and REPRODUCE.

    Saturday, November 06, 2010

    Wrong Aisle...

    Ummm, I think this guy might need something more than the pine tree air freshener. It's a start, not where I would have started, but it's a start.

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Last Time...

    Today is the day for my last extraction. I'm going to be sedated, so I won't remember a thing. That's the way to go.

    This is going to suck. My extraction from last Monday still bothers me. I hope it's not a problem. All I know is that my mouth is going to be all shades of fucked up tomorrow. The only bright side is that it doesn't have to be done again in the near future.

    I just want to get this over with. I'm so tired from being in pain and not being able to eat normally. Perhaps I will be able to someday soon. You have no idea how much I want to eat Doritos. Yeesh.

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    A Small Price To Pay...

    Tomorrow morning, I'll go in for another round of oral surgery. I hate extractions, but I'm getting sedated this time, so there will be less to hate. As long as I'm out like a light, I'll be fine. Just wake me up once it's over. The puking afterward is a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to consciously endure the extraction process.

    Today, I must prepare my classroom for my substitute. I doubt what I have planned will get covered. I won't hold my breath.

    Saturday will be a bitch, but at least it will all be over with and I won't have to worry about this tooth anymore. Hell, the rest of my teeth are fine! I'm just going to have to figure out how to eat again, since chewing is out of the question for a while.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    A Bee, A Pumpkin, Tinkerbell, & Darth Vader...

    Leia...The Bee


    Liesl...The Pumpkin

    Liv...my Tinkerbell

    Jack...our very own Darth Vader

    We had a fun time trick-or-treating. It was way too cold for Liesl and Leia, though; they only lasted up and down the block before they had to go back inside the house. We got more trick-or-treaters this year than we've ever had before. Many kids came from other neighborhoods; I did not recognize them at all. It's nice to know that I live in an area where kids feel comfortable. That says a lot about where we live.
    There is one problem right now, though. We have way too much candy and I can't even chew any of it yet. Gah!
    Okay...maybe ONE Milky Way...and I promise I won't chew it. I'll just inhale it, as usual.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    I'll Never Get Tired Of Watching This...

    Have you seen this yet? It's been around a while, but if you haven't seen it yet, you are going to laugh your ass off. The guy is just being himself, but it is quite comical. The second link, however, should be Grammy-worthy, or at least MTV-worthy.

    This is the actual news coverage of the incident. This is the brilliant music video based on it.

    It never gets old to me. Ya gotta love Antoine! Heh.

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Bleh...

    I have to call my oral surgeon and make the appointment for the second extraction. I need it to be next Saturday so that I don't have to take any time off from work. It's going to suck, but it's got to be done.

    Sedation is the way to go this time. I can't do just novocaine for an extraction ever again. Waaaaaaayyyyyy too traumatizing. Seriously. I know the sedation will make me puke, but it's better than hearing all the noises associated with an extraction and being able to remember all of it. Oh. My. God.

    I hope they have an opening Saturday morning. I need this tooth out ASAP. My mouth is all shades of fucked up. Gah!