7 Quick Takes: Jen’s To-Do List

7 Quick Takes

I need a Pensieve and I figure that blogging out my to-do list might help me sort stuff out.

— 1 —

Put a better blogroll together with sites that I actually *READ*. My blogroll is circa 2008-2009 and I really need to update it now that some people have stopped blogging (and taken up Facebook instead) while I’ve started reading other blogs.

— 2 —

Share this page of ways to help those in Aleppo. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen pictures of people dying in Aleppo and unless you have the heart of a Grinch, it has likely disturbed you. This is a link to some ways you can help those still in Aleppo. I know that my twin brother is donating to Doctor’s Without Borders on my behalf as a Christmas present because they’re working in the midst of this catastrophe.

— 3 —

Make a counseling appointment. I’m not going to lie — I’ve had a really hard time with this holiday season. I’ve already been grinchy for 10 years now but it’s getting worse with the impending finalization of my divorce. I’m going to dig out the list that my doctor gave me and see who can get me in the fastest.

— 4 —

Sort out the paper explosion that is my desk. Maybe I’ll be able to find my student ID card if I do this! I also have medical stuff and beaucoup receipts to file for tax purposes.

— 5 —

Make additional address labels for the additional cards that need to go out. I need to get my Avery skillz working tomorrow and make labels to go on the Christmas cards that still need to go out. Granted, I need to wait for them to arrive from Shutterfly but still…

— 6 —

Read through the “O” antiphons. This was the item that I drew today in my church’s Advent game. The timing was fabulous because one would traditionally start doing that in the next couple days!

— 7 —

Go to the post office for more stamps. Sending out more cards means that I need more stamps!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

7 Quick Takes

Everyone is talking about how thankful they are for food and family and stuff like that today. I’m thankful for all those things as well but I’m also thankful for some more… non-traditional things today. 😉

— 1 —

Priests who start impromptu Godspell singalongs after Thanksgiving Eve Eucharist. Worship was already done acapella (and done beautifully) because our organist had the night off and we were trying to find Thanksgiving hymns to sing. Someone suggested “Day By Day” out of the 1982 Hymnal and Rev. Helen said we should do it to the tune from Godspell. Okie dokie. Then we started singing parts of the finale and went on to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”. It was awesome.

— 2 —

Evil twin brothers who restrain small children so that their moms can clean the black Sharpie pen off of their faces, arms, hands, necks, feet, and toes. Let’s just say that Daniel went for the Maori tribal look and leave it at that. 🙂 Rubbing alcohol prep wipes are what gets it off well. I think we went through 40 of them? He was also chill with Sean (my evil twin) restraining him while I worked on him. I’m sure the purplish color from the ink/alcohol mixture will leave my nail beds eventually…

— 3 —

Coffeeshops that are open on Thanksgiving for emergency latté runs. I had a migraine this morning, OK?

— 4 —

Soft grey chest kittehs. This is especially true of ones who prevent their humans from doing anything other than watching the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory.

— 5 —

Those who create Biden memes. Y’all make America a greater place to live.

— 6 —

Mythbusters marathons. Because science.

— 7 —

Accounting problems that balance. My homework is refusing to balance right now so I’m thankful for times when things have worked correctly.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: More Asthma Exacerbation Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Sigh… Trick-or-treating on my cul-de-sac almost killed me because of asthma exacerbation (thank God Daniel only wanted to do five houses!) and I had to stay home from class on Tuesday to rest my lungs. I hate missing class but I also didn’t want to be puking from the asthma attack I would get from walking to the classroom from my car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a quiz day so I didn’t lose points for being absent.

— 2 —

World Series. My back-up boys have prevailed and Cleveland is back to stinking at sports! My only regret is that the Cubs didn’t sweep them; but at least they triumphed in Game 7 while playing *IN* Cleveland. (For those who are wondering, I hate all Cleveland sports teams and root against them at every turn. Thank various seminary classmates and obnoxious bloggers for this one.) Here’s hoping this is the beginning of some baseball dominance for the Cubs! They definitely deserve it. I’m so excited for my Illinois friends who are headed to a victory parade that has been a long time in coming. 🙂

And seriously, the rain delay was a joke. These men are being paid millions of dollars — if volunteer softball teams can play in the rain and football teams can play in -20F weather with blowing snow, baseball players can man up and play in the rain! I mean, are they going to melt?

— 3 —

The Write 31 Days challenge. I have prevailed over the Write 31 Days challenge! I need to do one more post aggregating all of the resources I linked but I’m glad I managed to write every day in October, even when I really didn’t want to write or when I was bogged down with homework.

— 4 —

Daniel and ENT fun. The munchkin had an early ENT appointment on Wednesday and was pretty good until we had to restrain him so that the doctor could examine his ears under the microscope. (To be fair, I’d hate to be restrained and have someone poking things into various orifices so I don’t really blame him.) He’s got serious ear wax preventing them from being able to do a decent exam and they couldn’t get it out so they’re going to have to sedate him to clean it out. This should be… interesting.

— 5 —

Election blah. I am so sick of the election that I’m pausing and then fast-forwarding through anything election-related on TV. I voted almost three weeks ago because everyone registered in Washington gets their ballot in the mail and they can choose to mail it back or drop it off in person. Seriously, there should be some chip in the ballot that automatically gets rid of political ads and all political content from TV once a person votes because this is too much.

— 6 —

Interesting… A small town in Macedonia has become a hub for pro-Trump websites. It’s a bit disturbing that Macedonian people are profiting off our electoral dysfunction.

— 7 —

*facepalm* I heard from one of my favorite $tarbux baristas that she had people whining about not having eggnog lattés on Halloween and that there’s some controversy about the green pre-holidays cup. Seriously?!?!?!?!? Eggnog lattés are foul-tasting and it’s not like it’s even Advent yet, let alone Christmas.

Some people seriously destroy my faith in humanity and I’m not even talking about Trump supporters with this one!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs: Vaccines and Autism

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs

I saved this particularly scary topic (at least for some people) for Halloween. For those with a delicate constitution who are going to be easily offended by me disagreeing with them, I recommend something more soothing to read… like maybe a science book! For everyone else, go look under the cut.

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31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs: Sleep Issues

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs

Parents with kids on the spectrum know how much “fun” it is to have to get those kiddos to bed at times and to keep them in bed when they are having sleep disturbances. Parents with kids who have ADHD deal with kids who have no off-switch regardless of how tired they are. Parents whose kids have both (like mine) are in a special kind of hell.

Here is what I’ve found that helps:

[+] Routines: It really does help to be able to direct your kiddo to the next thing on the list. Ours is pretty much the same as Daniel Tiger’s: bathtime, pj’s, snack, brush teeth, go to sleep. (We have this book as well.)

[+] A consistent schedule: This goes along with the routine. Everything happens at pretty much the same time every night, making it easy when I have choir practice or something in the evening and my parents are doing bedtime with Daniel.

[+] Melatonin: We give it to the kidlet along with his evening meds (Clonidine). It’s very easily found in the vitamin section of your local supermarket or drug store.

Daniel does still have nights where he’s wakeful but these three things tend to work pretty well for us.

7 Quick Takes: Five Day Weekend!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Halloween costumes. I couldn’t find kitty ears and a tail anywhere else so I finally broke down and went to a Spirit Halloween superstore. I was able to find a tail and ears without a problem as well as a black hooded cape for Daniel. I’m trying to figure out what he should be. Ideas?

— 2 —

Checking out the feline angle. I think this is further proof that cats exist in a liquid state.

What acute kitty!

— 3 —

Some Halloween grammar Nazi fun. I think this is a lovely illustration of a common grammar mistake.

Some good old-fashioned fun with grammar.

— 4 —

Almost done. I only have 5 posts left for the Write 31 Days challenge. I’m glad I was able to go all month this year (I had to bail after 17 days last year because of my unplanned move to northern California) though I’m also kind of glad that it’s ending because it’s been hard at times to find time to write on days when I have a fair amount of homework.

If you haven’t read any of the entries, go here.

— 5 —

Update on the mutant death virus. I’m definitely better than last week but all the crud in my chest has exacerbated my asthma enough that I went to see the doctor this morning to see if we could formulate a plan to keep me out of the ER. She took one listen to my lungs and announced that she would be putting me on a Z-pack and that I would need to be taking my inhaler every 4-6 hours for the next week. (Yay inhaler shakes!)

Prayers for healing of this mutant death virus would be appreciated. Please and thank you!

— 6 —

More adventures with my “pretty notebook”. Various people commented that I needed psychiatric help when they saw how detailed and colorful my Chapter 4 outline was for my Accounting class. Well… it paid off for me because I had to miss class last Thursday due to illness but had no problems doing the homework because I had drawn all of the necessary diagrams in my notebook. 😀 I also managed to put together an Excel worksheet for three of the problems with formulas that could be copied across multiple columns. #winning

— 7 —

Double rainbows. The storms we had on Tuesday and Wednesday brought some amazingly brilliant double rainbows. It’s been fabulous. 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs: Mental Health

31 Days of Parenting Kiddos with Special Needs

Yesterday, I spoke about the caretaker parent needing to have time scheduled in for recharging. In the past, I’ve been told that making such a request was unreasonable and as the mother, it’s my duty to stay home with my son.

Yeah… no.

My mom stayed home with us until we were 4 years old and then had to put us in preschool/daycare because she had to go back to work. (My dad was a mechanical engineer and Silicon Valley was having job issues at the time. It was not economically feasible for her to continue staying home with us, even though she wanted to.) As much as I hated being left at daycare every morning (and howled for months every time we were dropped off), I did have fun and was in daycare after school every day until my brother and I were old enough to stay home by ourselves. When I got pregnant with Daniel, I expected that he’d be in daycare and I’d be working. The bump in that road came when he was born so prematurely. Daycares *REALLY* don’t like preemies because they tend to have lingering problems and their immune systems are really fragile. While we were living in Montana, Jon and I managed to juggle our work schedules so one of us could be home with Daniel every day. I didn’t start being a housewife and stay-at-home mom until we moved to southern California.

So… having said that, having that time to recharge (and I’m talking about maybe an hour or two to myself at the end of the day) is essential to my well-being and it’s not an unreasonable request. After all…

You can't give what you don't have.

There is such a thing as caregiver fatigue and I’ve seen some pretty scary cases of it in my own family. The caregiver needs to have some break from what they’re doing — it is impossible to give that much without doing something to recharge your mental/emotional reserves.

Another aspect of mental health is your spiritual life. If you’re atheist, that might look like keeping your belief in good people. If you’re me, that means getting some time each day to pray and read Scripture. What that prayer time/quiet time/devotional time looks like is up to you but it is essential to find time for it.