Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Counting The Days...

    Tomorrow starts the month of June. It'll be hectic at work, as if it isn't already. School is almost over...three weeks left. Yes, three. Jack graduates from Kindergarten on the 14th. End of the year stuff, school activities, packing up my classroom, etc. June will just about kill me.

    I'm so glad June is here because once the school year is over, I can exhale and be Mama 24/7. My Teacher Hat can stay in the closet until September. I am sooooooo ready.

    Monday, May 30, 2011


    OMG. It wasn't even MY wedding and I'm glad it's over. I'm exhausted. All that dancing and fun has got my old-lady-ass ready for the coffin. Just kidding. We had a blast!

    Fun times with my Sister and all of our whole just can't beat that! I love weddings!

    Thank goodness tomorrow is Memorial Day and we've all got the day off. I don't think my feet would be able to take me to work; they're sooooo sore!

    That's how I know I had a great feet are in ankle braces today!

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    The Big Day...

    My niece, Stefanie (a.k.a. Blondie, who used to live with us for a couple of years), and her fiance Kevin are getting married today. I'm a bridesmaid and Livie is their flower girl. I can't believe the day is finally here already! It feels like only yesterday when she was just a tiny little thing falling asleep in my arms. Now, she's a grown woman beginning a new life with a wonderful man. I think I'm going to cry just writing this post. And I'll probably be a blubbering mess at the ceremony, too.

    I am so happy she found such a wonderful guy, much like I did almost two decades ago. I see a lot of the good characteristics my Hubby has in him. A good man seems to step into your life at just the right time and there's no turning back. Your heart just knows.

    I wish them all the best life has to offer. While a marriage that works is like another full-time job, it is so very worth it. These two will have a beautiful life together, full of its ups and downs, but one thing will always remain...that bond that brought them together in the first place. You aren't born knowing who you'll love forever, but when you see it you know it's forever.

    Congratulations, Stefi and Kevin! You are embarking on the greatest journey of your lives. It is bound to be a fruitful one. You must always remember what brought you to this point and keep that feeling in a special place in your hearts. What was once your sole journey through life is now a journey with a partner who will love you all the way to the moon and back. Life is full of smooth plains and rough valleys; and now you never have to be in it alone. Always keep that spark alive; it's there for a were meant to be loved by the other. My Gram always had the best advice..."Never go to bed angry because you never know when the other will die in their sleep and you don't want to live with that guilt." She was a smart cookie. We wish she could be there, too. Somehow, though, I think she's been with them all along.

    Pictures will follow later.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    A Much-Needed Break...

    On Thursday evening, my niece (the bride-to-be tomorrow), Liv (her flower girl), and I (her bridesmaid) all went to get manicures and pedicures together. It was the BEST time ever! Liv has the pink flip flops on with the pink toes and the flower on her big toe. My niece has the blue flip flops and the red toes. I have the pink and brown flip flops on with the French pedicure. My fingernails match my toes. Eeeeeee!!! Believe it or not, it is the first pedicure I've ever had.

    I think this is something I could TOTALLY get used to doing. Heh.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    What Allergies Look Like In A Dog...

    I once had a wonderful dog who was plagued by severe allergies. You may remember her. Her name was Buddha and she spent all of her life on prednisolone and anti-inflammatories. She passed away less than a week before her seventh birthday (not long after Jack was born) from kidney failure and we were devastated. I wanted to post this picture of what allergies look like in a dog so that others may be aware of their symptoms. Perhaps if I'd had Buddha on a more effective medicine that treated her actual allergies (and not just her skin infections because of them), maybe her kidneys wouldn't have been compromised so much by the steroids.

    I hope this picture helps someone somewhere. I wish I'd seen this years ago.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Go the Fuck to Sleep...

    THIS is, by far, the funniest children's book I have ever read! A friend of mine sent a pdf copy to me in my email yesterday and I nearly peed in my pants while I read it because I can SOOOOOOOOO relate to it, especially having four young children.

    While I probably won't read it to them before they go to sleep, it sure would be entertaining and would make delightful conversations in their classrooms. Of course, I'd probably get a call from their teachers about it.

    If you ever get the chance to read it, it's a great laugh and would make quite the topic at the water cooler. Email me if you want to read it and I'll send it to you. Too funny!

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Can I Go Play?...

    It breaks my heart often.

    There are days when autism can suck the life right out of my heart and make me sadder than I've ever been. While Jack has many wonderful gifts, the one gift he wants the most is one he just is not good at: socializing with other kids. He desperately wants to have fun and play with other kids his age, but he has such a difficult time controlling his impulses and gets overstimulated, which leads to a full-on meltdown, totally out of his control. Other kids just don't want to play with him sometimes. It's very hard for him and for us to watch him go through rejection. At times, he doesn't even know he's being rejected. I believe, though, that he has finally figured out that he's different and it hurts him.

    I wish I could put a band-aid on that and make it better...fix it...make the hurt go away. I just can't. He has not come to grips with social rules and thinks nothing of pushing another kid down because that's what he thinks he's supposed to do. Jack has a heart of gold and is so very intelligent, but he doesn't get the whole social thing. He doesn't know how, which comes with the autism territory. What makes it worse is that he's dying to play with other kids, but he tends to be too rough, unbeknownst to him. He talks about his own interests, jumps around, and clings to Liv to be his security blanket. If she's not there, he's a mess.

    While we cannot deny Liv any opportunities for playdates with other kids, we cannot always shield Jack from his own feelings about his sister being "out with friends." Jack desperately wants to do the same. Liv needs a life outside of the one she has with her brother, which is not an easy one for her. And we have to keep reinforcing social skills at every waking moment, but how much of that can you do without kids his own age around him? If this is where the problem lies, how can we possibly do this without playdates for him? It's a vicious circle.

    I don't want him to become the Boo Radley of the block. However, I can't have him chasing kids away with his erratic behavior. I feel the need to protect everyone. So, playdates with Jack are short ones, if anyone wants to play with him. This saddens me to an unbelievable degree. I can only imagine how he must feel.

    Hopefully, summer camp (9a-3p, M-F) will keep him busy with kids and he'll have a one-on-one aide to keep him in line. Otherwise, we just might die of heartbreak.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Three Words...

    Yesterday morning, Leia said her first three-word sentence out of the blue. Nothing preceded that statement or facilitated her saying it. She just looked me square in the eye and said it. It's those three words that every Mother longs to hear...

    "Don't hit Mama."

    I had to ask her to repeat what she said because I didn't think I heard her correctly. So, she said it again and smiled the biggest smile ever. She also kissed me, which made me feel better about that phrase. Yeah...that's just great. If she says that in public, people are going to think I get beat up on a regular basis and need to be protected.

    "Don't hit Mama." I think that's going to be my next tattoo.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Crunch Time...

    This is pretty much the last week of grading anything, even though school doesn't end for a few weeks. Since the grade level I teach is graduating, our grades are due sooner. So, this is the last of it for me.

    The last few weeks of the school year are always hell. There are so many things to do and organize. Once my summer vacation starts, it's going to take me at least a week to just decompress from all the stress of the last few weeks.

    I'm really looking forward to the end of the school year. I've got so much to do at home. Out of the pan and into the fire...

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Can You Please Speak Up?...

    Liesl and Leia may have shared a womb together, but they're as different as night and day, right down to their blood types!

    Leia is so fiery and dominant. She takes risks, is tenacious, and she talks all the time. Liesl is quite the opposite. She is the quieter of the two and much more laid-back than her twin sister. She only takes risks once she's sure that she'll succeed. She hates to fail (e.g. climbing onto the couch or the bed, etc.). She has excellent receptive language and knows exactly what you're saying, but doesn't speak as much as Leia because Leia's always doing all the talking. If you ask Liesl to say a word, she'll whisper it. If Leia is within earshot of you, she'll shout the word before her sister can say it first. Last week, Hubby asked Liesl to put her juice cup on the table. She walked over, picked it up off the floor, showed it to Hubby and said, "juice cup," as clear as a bell. The minute she did it, however, Leia wouldn't stop saying it. So, Liesl is very quiet about her words. Leia is just too competitive for her.

    I used to worry about autism coming into our home again. I keep it in the back of my mind, just in case. If I don't do that, I'll be preoccupied with searching for signs of autism in the twins and every little nuance will have me running for the textbooks. So, I don't "look" for autism anymore, but I compare a lot. I think of Jack at their age and remember what he was and was not doing then. In the latter, I see that Liesl and Leia have none of that. That doesn't mean I'm completely closing the door on any autism possibilities. Having one autistic child already, I can never close that door.

    Do I worry that Liesl doesn't have enough words? Sure. At her age, Jack had lost all of his words already, right after his MMR nightmare. However, she shared a womb with her sister, was born prematurely, and most of their milestones have been slightly later than a singleton's would be (e.g. walking independently at 17mos instead of 12mos, etc.). I'm not too worried about it right now. As far as being social and engaging, they both sure are. Does Leia like to put on a show? Absolutely. Does Liesl do the same? In her own way, she quietly lets you know she's there with her mesmerizing eyes and her impish grin. At her age, Jack wouldn't look anyone in the eye. Liesl will physically turn your chin to face her if you're not looking at her. She does it to me all the time. She demands that I look her in the eye. At her age, I couldn't get Jack to look me in the eye at all and I cried about it all the time. You don't get that with autism. Both girls are excellent at pretend play, which Jack never did until much, much later and that had to be taught to him. They also don't have any restricted or repetitive movements, like Jack did at that age. He used to run around the dining room table hundreds of times before bed, just to calm down enough to go to sleep. Neither of the twins does anything even remotely like that.

    Leia and Liesl are so different from each other. And Liesl sometimes looks so much behind Leia simply because Leia is so out there, putting on a big show, and being so much more dominant in everything, in general. Liesl is the quiet one and there HAS to be one of those in this house, since everyone is always making so much noise! Gah!

    Liesl does, however, get very upset with me when I demand she use her words. She doesn't want to, like Jack did at two years old. The thing with Jack was that he had words, got the MMR, and then lost them all. The girls still do not have their MMR vaccine yet because I've delayed it for that very reason. I wanted to make sure that they have certain milestones met and significant language use before I give them the MMR. You can't blame me for being cautious.

    So, we're going to be extra vigilant in making Liesl use her words when she wants something. She needs to use them all regularly and not just when she feels like it, regardless of Leia being the one who won't let her get a word in edgewise. They're 20 months old now and I want to put the autism thoughts to rest for good. My gut tells me there's no autism there at all. My heart and my head tell me to keep being vigilant, but don't get sick over it.

    I am a Mother and part of the job is to never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old they are. I will still worry about them all when I'm in my 70's. That's not a switch you can just shut off. Sigh.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Fix You...

    Jack heard me sing this song once and now requests it every night before he goes to bed as I tuch him in. He's mastered the melody and the harmony. Now he's learning all the words. What a kid! It's a great song. I wonder why he loves it so much...

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    I Have Two Nieces Getting Married Within The Next Few Weeks...

    I'm just kidding...sort of. Heh.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    He's In!...

    This is the post that Blogger ate last week:

    At last week's annual review for Jack's IEP, it was recommended that he enter an Autism Program. Unfortunately, our home school and the school he currently attends don't have that program. So, I researched schools one night and found one not too far from our home. I wrote a lot of letters and made a lot of phone calls (including the principal of the school I want him at) to hopefully get the Placement Office to place him at the school of my choice. I was hoping they'd extend some professional courtesy to me, since we all work for the same school system.

    Slap me and call me Susan because they placed Jack exactly where I want him to go. It just happens to be one of the top schools in the system. It's a scholastic academy (a magnet school) that is very difficult to get into. Academically, he's great. Socially, he is not; that's where his autism manifests. He's high-functioning, very verbal, and he's teaching himself how to play classical music on the piano. This particular school does quite a bit for the autism community and has a music program, as well.

    I think this school will open up many doors for Jack. We are so lucky that Jack and Liv go to two of the best schools in our school system. I am not in any way upset that Jack needs to go into an Autism program. If anything, I'm grateful. The last thing I want is for Jack to stand out because he's the elephant in the playroom. I want him among a small group of kids whose behaviors are not out of the norm in their classroom and they are equipped with a teacher who also knows that. I think this opportunity is the best thing for him!

    And I'm so excited about what this all means for him...and for us! Yay!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    The Green Thing...

    This is for those of us that remember those days and for those that only heard about those days.

    In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the 'green thing' back in my day."

    The clerk responded,"That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

    He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

    Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

    But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

    In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

    But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

    Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

    But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

    Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded-
    up old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

    Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

    But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

    They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

    But they didn't have the green thing back then.

    Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

    But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Allergic Shiners...

    Jack's allergies are sooooo bad lately. It IS the worst allergy season in decades, so I'm not surprised he's a mess. Hubby and I both have allergies and I get the eczema; poor Jack has inherited both.

    Yesterday after work, I stopped at the store and got him some Children's Allegra Allergy medicine. I figure we'll try that and see how well it works. If it doesn't help, I'm going to bring him to the doctor for a referral for allergy testing. It could be airborne allergies, food allergies/sensitivities, or both. I'm going to keep my eye on him. There's a "trinity" thing where allergies, eczema, and asthma are related. Jack has the first two, and while asthma runs in the family (my Mother and my husband), I do not want Jack to develop that if we can help it.

    There's a huge connection between autism and allergies. I have read that kids on the autism spectrum can also have allergies/sensitivities to milk, especially. It doesn't surprise me one bit that Jack has avoided milk since he was two years old. He rarely ever eats ice cream or pudding or any milk. I used to think it was a texture thing, but I always keep in the idea in the back of my mind that kids, ultimately, know what their bodies need. I think Jack's aversion to milk products speaks loudly to me that he just can't have them.

    We may very well wind up going through the allergy testing, just to be on the safe side. I'd like to see how well the OTC med works, though. If he can get just a little break from all this sneezing and itching until the end of the school year, then maybe he'll feel better. I'll try anything at this point. My poor little guy! The allergic shiners are killing me.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Pandora's Box...

    Perhaps I'm just a little behind the times, but I have recently discovered Pandora internet radio and I'm hooked. I had it on my Nook, but never tried it until a couple of weeks ago. Now, I can't live without it! I know it's been around forever and everyone seemed to know about it but me. Sigh.

    Now, when I'm checking my emails or writing my blog posts (such as right now), I find myself listening to my favorite music artists at the same time. It passes the time and tends to make me feel pretty old, considering some of the music I'm playing is "ancient" by today's standards.

    Whatever. I'm embracing Pandora like a fifth child. I must be nuts.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011



    I think it's safe to say that Leia really, really likes cake.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Research Is NOT Boring...

    I'm a sucker for research. I've been reading a lot of articles that many people would probably find boring, but I find it all fascinating. Since Jack will be going into an autism program at school, I've been doing my homework. While some mothers read Cosmo or a trashy novel when their kids go to sleep, I'm up reading research about autism and classrooms because I'm such a nerd. Here's a list of some of the stuff I've been digesting:

    -"Adherence to Behavioral and Medical Treatment Recommendations by Parents of Children with AutismSpectrum Disorders" by Timothy R. Moore & Frank J. Symons

    -"Evaluation of Comprehensive Treatment Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders" by Samuel L. Odom, et. al.

    -"Inclusive education and best practice for children with autism
    spectrum disorder: an integrated approach" by Shane L. Lynch & Angela N. Irvine

    -"Interventions Targeting Attention in Young Children With Autism" by Elena Patten
    & Linda R. Watson

    -"Research-Based Educational Practices for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders" by Joseph B. Ryan, et. al.

    -"Social Skills Interventions for Individuals with Autism: Evaluation for Evidence-Based Practices within a Best Evidence Synthesis Framework" by Brian Reichow & Fred R. Volkmar

    -"Social Stories to Increase Verbal Initiation in Children With Autism and Asperger’s Disorder" by Kathleen Hanley-Hochdorfer, et. al.

    And my #1 absolute favorite article is something I've always known and been adamant about, but uninformed people tend to think that anyone who believes this is nuts. I'd be more than happy to email the article below to anyone who wants to read it. None of this could possibly just be coincidental. There really IS a tight connection between the rise in autism, heavy metal toxins, and mercury in vaccines. There are people, however, who are high up that don't want us to know what they're hiding. Conspiracy theorists unite!

    -"New Information That People in High Places Do Not Want Us to Know About Autism" by
    Burton Norman Seitler, PhD

    If you want to read the article above, let me know in the comments and I'll send it your way. It's a great article that makes so much sense when you do the math involved. If only everyone believed it...

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Fuck You, Blogger...

    Blogger ate two days' worth of my posts. I wrote all about the results of Jack's IEP review and I'm angry that post is gone. WTF?!

    I was able to get him into one of the best schools in the system and I put my heart and soul into that post, only for Blogger to swallow it.

    I'm so pissed right now.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Full Speed Ahead...

    Oh, it's going to be a horrible allergy season over here. The rain and the heat are making us all miserable with our allergies. Does anyone have any access to a Benadryl drip that I can just walk around with? Ugh.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Read Your Labels...

    As I was conditioning my hair in the shower this morning, I took time to read my shampoo bottle. I am in shock! The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my entire body says "for extra volume and body!" Seriously, why have I not noticed this before? Now I understand why I feel so "full-figured!"

    Tomorrow I am going to start using "Dawn" dish soap. It says right on the label "dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove."

    It pays to read the warning labels, my friends!

    Hustle And Bustle...

    I will be so glad when the school year is over. I'm so tired. The hustle and bustle is killing me. And I know my husband will be glad, too, because then there will be two of us here to deal with our little army.

    I need the summer to come quickly! And I need that pool, too! The weather around here lately is hot, hot, hot! I just want to spend all summer in a bathing suit, like I did last summer. If I'm lucky, it'll happen again.

    Oh, this has got to be the longest school year ever. Sigh.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Tips For Handling Telemarketers...

    There are three little words that work..."Hold on, please."

    Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.

    Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

    These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

    Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end, too?

    This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.

    What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call, and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Pick The Best One...

    Picture A

    Picture B

    Picture C

    Pick the photo you think is the best and put it in the comments, please. There's something great about each photo, but only one can be the best. What's your pick?

    Sunday, May 08, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day!...


    She loves me!

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    Eighteen Health Tricks To Teach Your Body...

    Eating 10 hot dogs in 6 minutes and belching the national anthem may impress your friends, but neither of those feats will do much for your body—at least not much good.

    Instead, why not train yourself to do something that may actually pay off?

    We're not talking bench presses and interval training (though those do help). You can teach your body to cure itself from everyday health ailments—side stitches, first-date jitters, even hands that have fallen asleep.

    Just study this list, and the next time your friends challenge you to an ice cream eating contest, chow down: You know how to thaw a brain freeze—and 17 other tricks that'll make everyone think you're the next David Blaine. But without all that "hold your breath for 17 minutes" mess.

    Do Them Right

    To mazimize your workout, good form is a must. Men's Health Personal Trainer features videos demos that you can download and take with you to the gym. Find out more.

    Cure a Tickling Throat
    When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, especially if it serves as a health remedy. Take that tickle in your throat: It's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: Scratch your ear. "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

    Experience Supersonic Hearing
    If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.
    Overcome Your Most Primal UrgeNeed to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" video.

    Feel No Pain
    German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

    Clear Your Stuffed Nose
    Forget Sudafed. Here's an easier, quicker, and cheaper remedy to relieve sinus pressure: Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.

    Fight Fire Without Water
    Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? Try this preventive remedy: "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity's in your favor.

    Cure Your Toothache
    Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

    Make Burns Disappear
    When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natual method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

    Stop the World from Spinning
    One too many drinks left you dizzy? Ah, luckily there's a remedy. Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

    Unstitch Your Side
    If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

    Stanch Blood with One Finger
    Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed—if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums—just behind that small dent below your nose—and press against it, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

    Make Your Heart Stand Still
    Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

    Thaw Your Brain
    Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. "Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too," says Abo. "In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache." The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

    Prevent Near-Sightedness
    Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. "It's usually caused by near-point stress." In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles—like the eyes—into relaxing as well.

    Wake the Dead
    If your hand falls asleep while you're driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It'll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don't let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

    Impress Your Friends
    Next time you're at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He'll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that's a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will cave like the French. By misaligning his hips, you've offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body's ability to resist.

    Breathe Underwater
    If you're dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first—essentially, hyperventilate. When you're underwater, it's not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it's the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin' ain't right. "When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity," says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. "This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen." It'll buy you up to 10 seconds.

    Read Minds
    Your own! "If you're giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep," says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.


    Friday, May 06, 2011

    Common Health Remedies You May Or May Not Already Know...

    The below are commonly found in the average home and can help in many ways.

    1. Water : Because dehydration can cause a range of symptoms from fatigue to headache, a simple glass of water can sometimes work wonders. Other problems that can arise from lack of water include increased heart rate, dark urine, muscle cramps, and nausea. To avoid these, make sure you get your eight to ten glasses a day.

    2. Club Soda : Not only useful for getting out stains, it can also help with an upset stomach or dehydration. Because it is free of the sugar and additives of regular sodas, you can get the benefits without the negatives.

    3. Chocolate Milk : Often thought of as more of an indulgence than healthy remedy, there are actually benefits to your childhood favorite. When drank after a rough workout, chocolate milk can actually be very useful as a recovery drink.

    4. Honey : From healing wounds to fighting infections, honey is said to be one of the most ancient and turned to remedies across the world. It is even used to combat diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.

    5. Apple Cider Vinegar : From Hippocrates to modern day doctors, apple cider vinegar has been used to treat many ailments. They include aches, pains, lack of energy, warts, and are even used on animals.

    6. Lemon Water : That yellow wedge on the end of your glass can be so much more than a garnish. Combining lemon with water helps alkalize both your blood and body, keeping it from becoming too acidic.

    7. Cinnamon : Studies have shown that a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol. Cinnamon can also help with diabetes, arthritis, and even leukemia.

    8. Ginger : Used as a healthy remedy for centuries, the ginger in your home can actually help with many modern ailments. They include ovarian cancer, motion sickness, heartburn, and more.

    9. Garlic : This clove has been used on everything from preventing the flu to the Bubonic plague. Raw garlic has also been used on a range of ailments including both acne treatment and managing cholesterol.

    10. Hydrogen Peroxide : The subject of much controversy, this substance can help with everything from allergies to gingivitis.

    There's even more! Read on...

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    How To Know Whether Or Not You Are Ready To Have A Baby...

    Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in
    the wet flower bed and rub on the walls.

    Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

    Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may
    substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them
    all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or
    kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

    Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with
    you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and
    pay for anything they eat or damage.

    Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag
    making sure that all arms stay inside.

    Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from
    the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert
    spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the
    mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the
    contents of the jug on the floor.

    Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds
    of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM begin to waltz and
    hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm
    for 10:00 PM.Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have
    ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00
    AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up
    for 5 years. Look cheerful.

    Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your
    clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.

    Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

    Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they
    can improve their child's discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
    training, and table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve.
    Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run

    Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the


    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    A Day In The Life...

    Today is Jack's IEP review at 1:30pm. I've taken the day off from work, since the meeting occurs in the middle of the day. It does me no good to go to work before or after the meeting. So, I'll try and get things done at home, too. I'm a little anxious about the meeting; I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. This is where we decide what to add and/or subtract from his IEP. Yikes!

    Tomorrow is Livie's Art Gallery Show at school. It's from 5-7pm. I just found out about it on Monday. I was planning on going to a memorial service that evening for a friend of mine who passed away, though. I can't, however, seem to get the logistics right. I work until 4:15pm; the memorial is at 5pm; Liv's show is from 5-7pm. Something's got to give. So, I can't really make it to the memorial service, but I will be there in spirit. I need to be with my daughter; that's where my priorities lie.

    Why does it always seem like everything happens all at once sometimes? I know there's a lot going on, but sometimes I wish things were spaced apart evenly. If that were the case, there'd be no such thing as "frazzled." Heh.

    I can't really say I'd have it any other way. Busy is good, even if it is hectic.

    Tuesday, May 03, 2011

    Good To Know...

    With so many people having allergies or sensitivities to various foods and things, we must also be aware of cross-contaminants. For example, if you are latex-sensitive or allergic to latex completely, you could also be sensitive to kiwi, bananas, and avocado. I like this chart because it helps me see the relationships between various foods and airborne substances. This is good to know.

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Getting Air & Other Stuff...

    We had so much fresh air this weekend. The kids were asleep by 7pm last night. We had the windows open all day yesterday and it was quite a calm day, even though the wind was a little chilly. It was nice to air out the house, too.

    Jack's annual IEP review is this coming Wednesday; fingers crossed that all goes smoothly. It's going to be a busy week. His Kindergarten graduation ceremony is on June 14th. I can't believe he'll be in first grade in the fall. Liv's getting mentally prepared for Kindergarten. She knows who in her current class will be with her in her new classroom in the fall. She's excited about eating lunch at school. Go figure. She's always thinking about food. Heh. Leia and Liesl will begin potty training this summer. This should be interesting. I've done two at the same time before, so this is nothing new for me. I've got to get the kitchen timers out again and train them like Pavlov's dogs. It worked for the older two, so maybe it'll work for the twins, too. They seem to be ready sooner than the older two were.

    I'm hopeful that the next six weeks go by quickly. I want to be home for the summer already! I need the break.

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    My Life In Pictures...

    Leia, piercing you with her steely gaze...

    Liesl, plotting world domination...

    Liv and Jack, partners in crime...

    Liv, Queen of the Swings...

    Jack, taking a break from running around...

    Leia, enjoying the ride...

    Liesl, telling fortunes using a magical pink ball...

    Liv, in her element...

    Jack, on the move...

    Leia, Queen of Bedhead...

    Liesl, my little gaufrette...

    And THAT is my beautiful life in pictures!