7 Quick Takes: Allergies, Cooking, and Camp Patton

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

I blogged on what you don’t see when you look at me for Invisible Illness Week. I try not to complain about my fibromyalgia too much because there are so many people in my life with worse ailments or who are waiting for organ transplants. Still, this week is a reminder that there are many illnesses that are just as debilitating as those that land people in wheelchairs.

— 2 —

Want to help victims of sex trafficking become whole again? I’m participating in the Run for Courage on September 29th to help raise money to do just that. I invite you to sponsor me at http://engage.runforcourage.org/goto/khouriajen.

— 3 —

Am I being clear enough?

Go away!

Just checking.

— 4 —

Daniel said “bye” to his teacher for the first time ever last Friday. This earned him thunderous applause from Daddy, a hug from his teacher, and thunderous applause/hugs and kisses from me. On Monday, he didn’t say “bye” but he waved for the first time ever.

— 5 —

I just realized I have cooking to do tonight. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy — boil water, cook orzo, toss with some defrosted pesto/feta cheese/sundried tomatoes. I usually put kalamata olives in as well but I’m trying to make it Daniel-friendly as I’m taking it to his school picnic tomorrow. (Just finished. It’s pretty quick if you can get the pesto defrosting while the orzo is cooking.) I also had laundry to cycle through.

— 6 —

Do you see that incredibly cute little boy on my sidebar? His name is Brett and he needs a mama. Could that mama be you??? Hop on over to his profile and get to know him. While you’re there, would you mind adding a little bit to his adoption grant so his forever family can take him home? Please and thank you!

— 7 —

Did I mention how much I love Camp Patton? I had read Grace’s blog on a few occasions but about a month ago, I read a good chunk of her archives while fighting some insomnia. She is incredibly funny and snarky — a double threat. Her husband Simon is an ob/gyn resident and says some *interesting* things. She’s also apparently hosting Quick Takes this week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Grace at Camp Patton.

7 Quick Takes: Haircuts and the Run for Courage

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

I’m taking part in the Run for Courage on September 29th. I had been hearing about it from Daniel’s former physical therapist and I decided to do the 5K and walk it. I’ve been a supporter of International Justice Mission for years and this deals with restoring and healing girls who have been trafficked for sex, including in the USA. My donation URL is: http://engage.runforcourage.org/goto/khouriajen. My fundraising goal is $200 and I’ve raised $90 thus far. Please share my fundraising URL and let people know about this.

— 2 —

To those who don’t like my Obama button: suck it up! I’m not commenting on your site and telling you what I think about your decision to back Romney — I might disagree with you but you have a right to vote for the candidate of your choosing and to post whatever political buttons you want on your blog. Kindly show me the same respect. Also, your comment isn’t going to show if I haven’t approved a comment of yours before so please stop leaving me variations on the same comment until I approve your comment. If 24 hours have gone by and I haven’t approved your comment, assume that I might not have seen it yet. (I do have a three year old and a life.) If 48-72 hours go by and it isn’t up, you can safely assume that I think you are a raving lunatic and you have no snowball’s chance of having your comment(s) approved. If your comment is a diatribe longer than the actual post on which you are commenting, your comment will be deleted.

— 3 —

Daniel is back in his class from last year and all is well. His old teacher and aides are happy to have him back and he knew *EXACTLY* where he was on Wednesday when he came back to school after his 4-day weekend. He belly-laughed for his teacher for the first time today and it was so awesome for her to hear. I’m glad the temper tantrum I threw fuss I raised last week was worth it. They’re going to start him working with a PECS board and train us on it next week.

— 4 —

The TV sitch was better during the DNC this week. Instead of not showing things on the schedule, CBS just moved them by an hour (i.e. NCIS was on at 8 instead of 7). Well played, CBS. Thankfully, I got the syndicated episodes of The Big Bang Theory at 7 p.m. so I had something to watch instead of just Judge Judy. Boo yah!

— 5 —

I’m pleased with how my hair turned out. It ended up chin-length instead of just at my shoulders but it still looks good.

Me asleep with Edda

— 6 —

Still editing devotions. I’m effectively done with Luke for the moment. I have what is looking like 4-5 to write on my own for Luke (replacing someone who couldn’t finish theirs) and whatever Jon can’t finish of his list. I’ll start formatting Acts once I get my passel of devotions done.

— 7 —

You see that cute little boy over on my sidebar? He needs a mama. Mind praying that we can find one, donating toward his grant, or even considering adopting him? He’s cute and I’m not just saying that because I’m his Guardian Angel. 🙂

— Bonus —

Kara posted a picture of Wren on her Quick Takes. Ten year olds should not look like that — she’s being abused and needs out of wherever she is NOW. There’s no donate link on her page but could y’all pray that we can get her out of that situation or even consider adopting her?

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: September 3, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY September 3, 2012

Outside my window… sunny. Not too bad in terms of temperature — DEFINITELY better than triple digits!

I am thinking… about the devotions I’m editing and prettying up for a devotional book being put together by a friend of the family.

I am thankful… for Jon home today to watch Daniel while I ran errands.

In the kitchen… orzo with pesto, feta, and kalamata olives. (Going to go put the water on. Be back in a minute.)

I am wearing… Old Navy flag shirt and my Left Behind shorts.

I am creating… food and devotions.

I am going… to possibly take Daniel to the Sacramento Zoo tomorrow morning.

I am wondering… when our next rainstorm will be. (I love rain even if my body doesn’t.)

I am reading… Bossypants by Tina Fey.

I am hoping… tomorrow goes well and Daniel’s regressive behaviors cease.

I am looking forward to… Morning Prayer on Wednesday.

I am learning not to try and edit stuff once I’m exhausted.

Around the house… *puts fingers in ears* Lalalalalalalala… I can’t hear you!

A favorite quote for today… “My own experience is that when I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought that I could do it on my own, by retiring to my rooms and reading theology, and I wouldn’t go to the churches and Gospel Halls; and then later I found that it was the only way of flying your flag; and, of course, I found that this meant being a target. It is extraordinary how inconvenient to your family it becomes for you to get up early to go to Church. It doesn’t matter so much if you get up early for anything else, but if you get up early to go to Church it’s very selfish of you and you upset the house. If there is anything in the teaching of the New Testament which is in the nature of a command, it is that you are obliged to take the Sacrament, and you can’t do it without going to Church. I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the great merit of it. I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off. I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit.” — C.S. Lewis on hymns. (I had a portion of it on my mind earlier today.)

One of my favorite things… decent and authentic Greek food. Jon and I took Daniel to the Sacramento Greek Festival yesterday and it was awesome. Jon had some tiropita and I had an amazing gyro along with buying a dozen pieces of baklava which were the biggest I’ve ever seen. Daniel enjoyed parts of both the tiropita and gyro. He is developing good taste in cuisine even if he wasn’t impressed by the baklava. (Who doesn’t like baklava?!?!?!?!? Seriously!)

A few plans for the rest of the week: doing whatever tomorrow with Daniel, Morning Prayer on Wednesday and Thursday, breakfast date with Jon on Friday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

7 Quick Takes: School Situations and Weekend Plans

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel’s school situation is messed up. I’d prefer not to go into it in detail here because this is a public blog so if you want details, just email me. Please pray that we can get it fixed expediently. It got fixed today without me having to fire a shot (figuratively). Apparently, I used the right three words yesterday while screaming at speaking with the school district (again, email me if you want details) so he’ll be back with his old (and VASTLY superior) teacher starting Wednesday when they come back from a 4-day weekend. I’m glad this is fixed because it was making me physically ill.

— 2 —

I’m currently editing a book of devotions for a friend of Jon’s family. I’m grateful that my mother-in-law went through and standardized everything so all I have to do is type, cut n’ paste, and format. It’s not professional by any stretch of the imagination but it’s fulfilling a dream of theirs so I’m happy to help.

— 3 —

I’m breaking my stance on keeping my mouth shut on politics for this take only. You know a candidate is deserving of the “liar liar pants on fire” label when almost every Republican on your Twitter (and I have many) as well as FOX News comments on how completely blatant the lies in Paul Ryan’s speech were.

— 4 —

“The Big Bang Theory” was pre-empted for Mitt Romney’s speech. RNC, you suck!!! And yes, I’d totally be saying this if President Obama was pre-empting it. Nobody messes with my shows, darn it!!!! I will be so happy when the stupid election is over so I can watch actual TV instead of Netflix and endless loops of “Winnie the Pooh”. There is one small benefit to being a very blue part of a blue state: I’ve seen only a handful of political ads outside of the primary season and the ones during the Olympics. Unfortunately, that’s probably going to change in a few days.

— 5 —

I’m planning to cut my hair tomorrow. Why is this newsworthy? It’s been 5 months (not purposely) and I’d like to get back to chin-length hair instead of looking like I’m 12 with my shoulder-length hair now. Well… either looking like I’m 12 or giving off the hippie vibe. Not that the last one is a problem. Nooooooo…

— 6 —

Daniel has Tuesday off next week in addition to Monday (Labor Day). Apparently, it’s an in-service day for teachers. As Jon’s craziest day as a pastor is Tuesday (go figure!), Daniel and I might head to the zoo as he’s not going to stay quiet if I go to Morning Prayer.

— 7 —

My little cousin Sarah is now at the OTHER school in Washington so there has started to be some major trash-talking over Facebook on game days. So far, the discussion has included comments on purple and gold being better colors than the OTHER school’s colors and how we can’t wait for the Apple Cup this year. (I’m seriously expecting Jessica to comment on this one. :p)

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

7 Quick Takes: Things Not to Say To Me If You Want To Live

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

“Don’t you know that vaccines cause autism?” Actually, they don’t. The British doctor who spread that fallacy admitted to falsifying the data and his name was stricken from the British Medical Register. (Translation: he lost his license to practice medicine.) Unfortunately, airhead celebrities like Jenny McCarthy are still spreading that lie. Daniel is completely caught up on vaccines and if I had any say in the matter, all kids would be required to be vaccinated. There’s no excuse for kids in the USA dying from diseases like whooping cough if the access to vaccines exists.

— 2 —

“Have you heard of the GAPS diet? It cures autism.” Yes, I’ve heard of it — I don’t think any parent of an autistic kid hasn’t because we do a huge amount of research in the hopes of finding something to help our kids. It also doesn’t cure autism because there is no cure. It sometimes *helps* some kids who have gluten intolerances and whose behavior is affected by them but it isn’t a cure-all thing. Besides, I have a kid with enough food issues that I’d rather not do anything to limit his diet any more than it already is.

— 3 —

“I can’t believe you didn’t breastfeed Daniel. Don’t you know that ‘breast is best’???” The fun part is that it’s people who know about my pregnancy from hell and the emergency c-section from the HELLP Syndrome who ask me this. Anyway, I have no regrets about not breastfeeding with Daniel. I actually did try pumping but I was so incredibly sick that I needed the sleep too much to have to wake up every few hours to pump. My doctor and I made the decision to suppress my milk supply (it had already started coming in because of the pumping) and it was probably what got me out of the hospital sooner rather than later.

— 4 —

“I can’t believe you want to vote for Obama!!!” I’d love to respond by saying that I can’t believe they would vote for Romney, but that would be wrong to do. 🙂 In all seriousness, I vote my conscience and I can’t, in good conscience, support Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan. Our third party system is crappy at best so my other option is Obama. I stay out of discussions of this on Facebook and elsewhere because I believe one of the blessings of being American is being allowed to vote one’s conscience. If your conscience says “Romney”, more power to you. Mine says “oh Hades no!” to the though of voting for Mitt Romney so “Obama” it is.

— 5 —

“What do you mean your son has never had McDonald’s?!?!?!? Are you some kind of hippie granola freak?” Strangely, I’ve gotten this from people who are astonished that Daniel wasn’t breastfed. No, he has never had McDonald’s. He had a lot of texture issues when he finally started eating solid foods and I just never took him through the drive-thru because I didn’t think he’d eat it. When we were at his preschool picnic in May, peoples’ jaws dropped when they saw me bring the exact same lunch item for Daniel as I had brought for myself instead of going the Happy Meal route. I did get him a cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr a few days later and he was chill with that; but I’ve never gotten him anything from McDonald’s and probably won’t in the foreseeable future.

— 6 —

“Why aren’t you homeschooling Daniel because he’s autistic?” The thought of homeschooling Daniel has never occurred to me and when Jon brought it up, I shot it down immediately… and that was before he was diagnosed with autism. I am not a patient person by nature and homeschooling was never in the plans, especially once he was diagnosed with autism. While I’ve had ABA training, I would rather have people who are far better trained than I am working with him. His preschool class provides him with music, art, behavioral therapy, speech therapy, and teachers/aides who adore the kids. I couldn’t ask for a better situation, especially in a public preschool. Not to mention, he gets mainstreamed with the other state preschool classes in increasing amounts which is educational for them as well as for him.

— 7 —

“Can’t you just take some Tylenol for your fibromyalgia?” If that was a possibility, don’t you think I’d be doing that instead of spending $50+ a month on gabapentin and massage therapy? If you want your death to be slow and painful, just tell me that you don’t think fibromyalgia exists. I dare you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

Struggling Here

Four months ago, I blogged about a Montana couple who had filed a lawsuit because their daughter was born with cystic fibrosis. They contend that the doctor, hospital, and childrens’ hospitals should have tested them so they could have aborted her and saved themselves emotional and financial stress. A judge ruled a week or two ago no the case (no link to the article because the Great Falls Tribune now requires a paid subscription) and said that the lawsuit could go forward.

W.T.F.??????????

Do they hate their child that much?!?!?!?!?!? I mean, it sucks to be them or the parent of any child with special needs but guess what… YOU DON’T GET TO PICK YOUR F-ING DESIGNER BABIES!!!!!!!!! Yes, their life sucks and yes, it is stressful to have a kid that sick; but their daughter will eventually grow up and learn to read and she’s going to discover that her parents would have aborted her if they’d had the chance. How exactly are they going to explain THAT?

As the mom of a son with autism and developmental delays, I can tell you that it is a really hard life and there are a lot of days when it is an absolute struggle to drag myself out of bed because I feel overwhelmed. It’s why I’ve built up a support system around me where I can call someone and say, “I really need prayer today” or “I really need to vent about how frustrated I am.” I’m far from perfect, I throw the best pity parties around, but I can’t imagine my life without Daniel. Almost losing him last March almost killed me and I still tear up and cry a year later at the memory of that night. My life is so much immeasurably better with him in it and his laugh makes up for all the stress of the emergency c-section, my pregnancy from hell, the NICU stay, the PICU stays last year, and the struggles to get him where he is now. IT. IS. ALL. WORTH. IT.

I just want to ask people to pray for this couple that they get out of their selfish mindset. Right now, it’s a struggle for me not to curse about them any more than I have.

7 Quick Takes: British Choral Competitions, Autistic Gripings, and Honest Toddlers

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Holy British choral music, Batman! A YouTube video off of Unapologetically Episcopalian fed into the UK School Choir of the Year competition videos.

This is from Ysgol Y Strade and the way they performed made me weep from the sheer beauty and the harmonies. The solo is in English but they do the rest in Welsh and perform it more beautifully than I’ve ever heard it sung in English.

Their inspirational song was “Clap Yo Hands” by Gershwin which they also did in Welsh. Gershwin is difficult in English so I have a huge appreciation for them translating it. I also love that a staid school choir instantaneously morphed into an African-American church choir.

The other two schools that made it to the finals are also breathtaking but Ysgol Y Strade just captivated me to the point of tears. Here are the others for comparison:

Their inspriational piece didn’t go over well so I’m not embedding it.

This is the choir that won:

This is the song that clinched it.

— 2 —

My monsters have vet appointments this week. I took Cullen/Edda (who is trying to sleep on my hands as I type this) on Wednesday and Finian/Freya will go tomorrow. Both Cullen and Edda got relatively clean bills of health though Cullen needs a teeth cleaning. We’re hoping he can wait until August/September when they have a special where they’ll do it for 10% off. (Cullen’s name, BTW, has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight. I had him long before I had ever heard of the Stephenie Meyer books.)

— 3 —

Just a tip: if a parent has an autistic kid, they’ve probably read all the studies and know that a gluten-free diet sometimes works. Seriously, it’s getting hard not to slap people who ask me if I’ve heard about a gluten-free diet when I tell them that Daniel is autistic. I was talking to a parishioner last night who has an autistic grandson and she expressed the same frustration. Autism is one of those disorders which affects everyone differently. For some people, the GAPS diet is a miracle. For others, it does nothing. I’m also about to mangle the next person who (not knowing Daniel is autistic) tells me that they’re not vaccinating because they don’t want their kid to develop autism. The 1998 study positing that was disproven and the doctor was stricken from the British Medical Register (a.k.a. lost his license to practice medicine).

— 4 —

Daniel loves being “watered”. Jon was watering today while Daniel was playing in his wading pool (which has a sprinkler function attached) and he accidentally splashed Daniel with the water from the watering head on the sprinkler only to have Daniel squeal and giggle. He had to go grab some stuff at the church and asked if I could “water the bear” while he was gone. Too funny! We knew he was aquatic but maybe this will help him grow?

— 5 —

The Proposition 29 vote is still too close to definitively call right now. About 55,000 votes separate “yes” and “no” with all the absentee ballots from people like me left to count. They shared a statistic on the news last that about 50% of Sacramento County voters requested absentee ballots and about 18,000 people in San Joaquin County requested them. If this is the trend across the state, it will be July before we actually know anything. California residents, you can go to the Secretary of State website if you want to see how a candidate or ballot measure did.

— 6 —

I’m still plugging along on planning Brett’s Blogathon. Head over to his site to see my progress and donate a few bucks to his adoption fund while you’re at it.

— 7 —

I have found a website that describes my life. Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife introduced me to Honest Toddler on Twitter and I found their blog. One entry describes the mom “drinking room temperature white wine out of a ceramic mug” and while I’m not that bad (mostly because I can’t drink), this is how I look after a day like the one described in by that entry:

Me in the morning... or maybe at 6 pm.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.