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.

7 Quick Takes: Can’t Put My Finger On It

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been staring at this window for two days and trying to figure out why I can’t come up with Quick Takes. In the course of my Internet ablutions today, some things have become apparent.

— 1 —

I’m depressed. Anyone who knows me isn’t going to be shocked by this. It’s a battle I’ve been fighting for almost 20 years, 13 of them with the help of medication. I’m not exactly quiet about it but I also don’t wear it on my sleeve. Probably the biggest sign of it is that I retreat more deeply inward than I already happen to be. I don’t eat, I sleep all the time… The last time this happened was two years ago when we moved to California. I lived with Daniel at my in-laws’ house for a month when we first got there and my mother-in-law slowly got me back up to being functional. Still, I’m taking my meds, I’m *trying* to eat, and I’m letting my body rest so hopefully this is temporary and I’ll rebound soon.

— 2 —

I’m jealous. Don’t get me wrong, I love Daniel more than anything in this world (he’s right below Jesus) but it’s hard to be the mom of an autistic kid when your friends post videos of the cute things their kids do. It’s almost enough to make me want to give up Facebook… except that some of them do it on their blogs. I think the thing that’s the hardest for me is that Daniel is so delayed in his speech that it’s hard to know what he wants at times. I know that he will eventually talk — it’s just going to take some time. MORE time.

— 3 —

I’m lonely. I finished Style, Sex, and Substance this weekend and I’ve been feeling bummed because I don’t have people like that who are my age around here. As much as I’m an introvert, I wish I had people with whom I can hang out who are my age. Perhaps, I should try to get to know some of the parents of the kids in Daniel’s class better.

— 4 —

I’m PMS’ing. My period is being weird which is probably contributing to the general feeling of malaise. Unfortunately, my comfort food is Coke and I tend to crave meat in the form of burgers so I can’t say that my diet is really helping either. *sigh* Must learn to like spinach more during this time…

— 5 —

I hate heat. It’s supposed to be near 100F in the next few days. Yeah… no desire whatsoever to be outside unless it’s a dire necessity. This does not bode well for exercise as my exercise of choice is walking. What? Go for a walk in the early morning? But that’s when I sleep! OK… must fix this.

— 6 —

I’m also humbled. I was hurt by something that happened two months ago and finally God smacked me with a 2×4 and said “be that person” which led me to talk to those who hurt me. We’re talking it out and I’m wishing that I’d said something sooner.

— 7 —

Brett’s Blogathon is helping to get me out of my funk. I’m totally excited about it in a way that I haven’t been excited about something in a long time. Come check it out at Blogging for Brett!

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

7 Quick Takes: Grumping Drivers, Silly Boys, and Cute Preemies

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel had his 3 year old Well Child appointment on Wednesday. He’s looking good, has a healthy BMI, has a healthy curve on his growth chart, and was his normally chill self which was a rare sight for his doctor, especially during naptime. I’m bummed because she’s done with her residency in June. I’m happy for her to move on to bigger and better things (including her wedding in November — she had a lovely engagement ring that looked like it was a sapphire ringed with diamonds) but I’m sad to lose her. I first met her during our epic hospital stay last March when she was doing her PICU rotation and we ended up getting her as our pediatric resident. She’ll kick butt on her boards in October and I know she’ll be an awesome pediatrician when she goes into practice. Meanwhile… hey Katie, could you please come do a peds residency at UCD Medical Center?

— 2 —

To the white Ford F150:
It might be slightly safer if you waited until I was OUT of the lane before you try passing me IN it. You almost sideswiped my rear driver’s side and I would have taken the law into my own hands if you had hit me and something had happened to the cute three year old riding with me. You really don’t want to get between me and my cub.
Snuggles,
The white car with the Promise Walk ribbon

— 3 —

The lesson: never mess with University of Virginia grads. Apparently, public education actually works in states other than California. 🙂 And before I get a huge number of flaming comments, I’m the product of California public schools and Daniel is in an ABA class at a California state preschool.

And no, this video is not intended to be a political statement — I just enjoy her retort to the Speaker’s comment about “not speaking in little enough words for [her] to understand.” I admit to feeling like I need to use that phrase frequently (that is, speaking in small enough words) in comboxes and it’s awesome to see a rational and well-reasoned retort.

— 4 —

My parents are headed up on Saturday to deliver a frame for a raised bed for our garden. I know my mom is bringing up some tomatoes and I’ll pick up some basil plants from Trader Joe’s. I also need to start some pumpkins and perhaps a few other things. Our treasurer came over and rototilled it on Tuesday. We’ve had some rain so I’m kind of also hoping for no weeds.

— 5 —

I continue to be blown away by the awesomeness of Daniel’s preschool class. Not only does he have a teacher who LOVES her job (and it totally shows) as well as aides who love Daniel, I also have fellow parents in the class who are cool. One of the little girls in Daniel’s class came up and hugged him when he came to class on Monday and I met her mom on Wednesday. I was walking him to class when she walked by and greeted Daniel warmly. She then looked up and explained that she was this little girl’s mom. It was great to meet her and I’ve also talked with a few other parents while trying to teach our kids some basic social skills like waving good-bye and acknowledging someone talking to them. I didn’t realize how cool it was until today that I’ve got 10 other sets of parents who are dealing with the same stuff I am.

— 6 —

Brett’s adoption fund has moved up two orders of magnitude. We went from 1/25000 to 1/250 this week. Amazing what $100 will do, huh? Now for that other $24900… I’ve got some fundraising ideas but I also need to find him a mommy and a daddy. You can read about all of this at his adoption blog. I’ve also got a blogathon tentatively scheduled for July 27th and I’m trying to come up with ways to publicize it.

— 7 —

Need a reason to sponsor me in the Promise Walk? Is this one good enough?

Baptizing Daniel at 4 days old.

This would be Daniel at his baptism in the NICU at 4 days old. From left to right: my nasty-looking hand (dry skin cracking), Daniel, Jon’s hand.

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

7 Quick Takes: Cute Little Boys, Fundraising Pleas, and Human Rights Petitions

7 Quick Takes

Spring has come to Sacramento which means the air conditioner is turned on again. Whee!

— 1 —

Is there anything better than eating Cheerios and watching Winnie the Pooh with a cute little boy on your lap? I think not!

Just hanging out.

(The little boy fell asleep shortly after this picture was taken. He loves to nap on someone’s lap.)

— 2 —

Daniel is fully adjusted to preschool. We had an hour of tears on Monday, maybe a minute of them on Tuesday, and smooth-sailing the last two days. He likes his teacher and aides and they are positively smitten with him. I’m so thankful that the local public school campus where they house the state preschool classes is only a block away and that the teacher for the autism class does it because she loves the kids. Next Friday, he gets to go to the local zoo with his class and I’m excited for him to experience his first field trip.

— 3 —

There are no words to adequately express my horror and disgust at this. In a nutshell, the dictator of Uzbekistan has ordered the forced hysterectomy of women without their knowledge or consent. Please join with me in signing the petition to Secretary of State Clinton to cut off U.S. funding from this monster.

— 4 —

My mom sent me an interesting article about an autism study conducted by the University of Washington. Apparently, there are differences in white brain matter present in kids with autism. This actually isn’t a surprise because we know that Daniel’s MRI last year showed some white matter abnormalities. I’m not taking this as a “surefire” sign that predicted Daniel’s autism but it is an interesting idea.

— 5 —

Anyone else excited for the crossover between Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: Los Angeles? I’d prefer one with just the NCIS shows but I’ll take this one. I’m probably not going to be able to watch Hawaii Five-0 on Monday night as it conflicts with Hart of Dixie so I’ll just catch it online while Daniel is at preschool that Tuesday.

— 6 —

I have a blog set up for Brett. I would blog for him here but I have to use my last name to do that and I keep that off this site because it’s incredibly searchable. I also wanted a site where I could add his adoptive parents as bloggers if they so chose. Peacefulwaters.Org is the domain I use for various projects so it fit that I move a blog over there. I’m having a really bad time with the WordPress on it and I think I’ve re-installed it three or four times. Argh.

— 7 —

I have two weeks until the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.

Support me in the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

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

7 Quick Takes — Starting Preschool, Rescue Panthers, and Preeclampsia Studies

7 Quick Takes

I missed having Quick Takes last week. I didn’t necessarily need more writing to do (still continued my Lenten discipline) but I missed the community and being able to empty my brain this way.

— 1 —

Daniel started preschool on Wednesday. The preschools in our elementary school district are housed at the school a block away from the parsonage and they have an ABA class which is where Daniel was put. (The IEP was 2 1/2 weeks ago.) Putting it mildly, Daniel did not approve and spent most of the day crying. It wasn’t a crying jag about being separated from Jon and I — it was all about people not letting him do what he wanted to do. My words to his teacher: he can like it or lump it. She laughed and her aides laughed when she told them my response. Here’s hoping that next week goes better.

— 2 —

Things not to say to me: “What are you going to do with yourself now that Daniel is in preschool? Seriously, I now have 4 1/2 hours free in my day. I have decluttering projects up the freaking wazoo on my plate as well as some posts I promised for people. Yeah… I think I have things to do. I will admit that Wednesday morning, I just sat in my recliner with my laptop and enjoyed the quiet. Today, I collapsed in the recliner and took a nap until UPS and the home health care people pounded on the door to wake me up.

— 3 —

Daniel seems to have no ill effects from his seizure on Friday. This confirms the ER doctors and residents’ suspicions that it was a simple febrile seizure. I also learned that he flips out less on the gurney in the ER bay if I lie down with him and hold him. He slept in my lap there for most of Friday evening after we got to the ER and I got some reading done during that time. Thank God (and the family friend who bought it for me) for Popadija (my NOOK)!

— 4 —

Yes, I do name my electronic items. My current laptop is “Presbytera”, my former laptops were “Khouria” and “Pristina” (a spelling error for “Prifteresha” so I might use that name again), my NOOK is “Popadija”, and my iPod is “Panimatushka”. What are these names, you ask? They are Orthodox Christian titles for the priest’s wife. While I’m not Orthodox, I am a pastor’s wife and I decided that I needed a title which is why “khouria” figures into my Twitter ID because people usually have no idea how to refer to me. (My pat answer: “I go by Jen.”)

— 5 —

I finished my latest murder mystery (Burried in Buttercream by G.A. McKevett — go read it) and am now reading Sex, Style, and Substance. I got through the introduction and am about to read Jennifer Fulwiler’s chapter. Even having read as little of the book as I have, I can honestly say that it is seriously made of win. I might be reading it on Friday morning while Daniel is in preschool. (I’d read it sooner but I have some writing projects to plan out if not finish.)

— 6 —

My “rescue panther” would like me to post this video. She has vowed to sit on my lap and block my access to the keyboard of my laptop unless I post the Geico video involving the couple who adopted a “rescue panther” to take care of their home security needs.

— 7 —

There is a study out on the effects of preeclampsia on the brain. Wow… so I’m not just at a loss for words because I’m so sleep-deprived? Huh. In all seriousness, it’s something that frustrates me because I write so much and it’s maddening to have a word or idea in my brain but not to be able to express it. Let’s fund some more studies on preeclampsia and its long term effects. Sponsor me in the Promise Walk to help fund studies like this.

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