Sunday, December 14, 2008

Show and Tell - of the Christmas card variety and a question

Figured I'd show you the final version of our Christmas card for this weeks Show and Tell. As you can see I did finally get one good, usable picture for it. Yeah!

I finally printed off my address list tonight so I can start getting them ready to mail. But, I have a dilemma. I write a personal note in all of the cards I send out, close to 100 usually. Most years I do a little newsletter too, mostly funny stories of the past year with the kids and some pictures. (This year I didn't get to the newsletter, but considering I didn't send out cards at all last year I'm not going to stress about it.) But for the last several years the majority of the cards that I get don't include anything but a signature, and even that is becoming rare as people use more custom cards with their names printed on them already.
So, the dilemma. Does this mean I can stop writing the personal notes? Instead of taking several evenings to write my cards I can do it in about an hour. It would save me so much time, something I'm seriously lacking right now.

It feels so impersonal though. What do you guys think? Do you care if there is more than a signature? Does it make it extra special at all? Is it worth the extra work?


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


So we finally have an official diagnoses. Pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified.

Am I surprised? - no

Am I relieved? - a little

Am I sad? - you betcha

He is on the spectrum but based on the outcome of the ADOS and clinical observation. He didn't test clearly in one area though, thus the PDD-NOS diagnoses. The women who performed the test and our doctor who reviewed the session all said he was atypical in his scores. There was a lot to take in during our appointment today so it will be good to get the written report and read it over with no distractions.

The developmental pediatrician kept talking about how we need to focus on his behavior as the result of a deficit in his knowledge/understanding and not because he is choosing to be "bad." She gave us recommendations on some books and websites to look at to get more information on helping him with his social skills.

I think I've known intellectually that his behavior is the result of a "deficit" for a while, but remembering it in the moment is much harder.

I'm not sure yet if this is going to change anything that we are already doing, at least as far as the services he is getting. He's doing very well in his emotional support class so clearly what the teacher is doing with him is working.

At home Rich and I are going to have to keep remembering that much of his behavior isn't purposeful and that he has to be taught the correct way to read a situation/person and how to respond appropriately. It definitely means I need to keep working on ways to improve my patience and parenting skills.

I definitely have some mixed feelings right now...
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Show and tell - of the Christmas card variety

For Show and Tell this week I thought I'd share some of the joy I experienced this weekend.

Spent a couple hours this weekend attempting to take pictures for our Christmas card. I'm surprised I have any hair left after the experience. Here are a few of the gems I captured.

While looking at this one I realized Noah had colored himself with a yellow Sharpie. Not a good look on him.

I was going to use this picture, but, well, I think you can see why I changed my mind. I don't really think the jaundiced look is in this year.

You can see how much Noah is enjoying this little exercise.

Then of course we see how much fun Kiel thinks this is.

Here Kiel is wondering, as we often do, "you got a brain in there Noah."

Noah's not so sure about that himself.

See why I need therapy?

edited to add:

I thought I'd try Sasha's idea of changing the one pic to a black and white. In fact as soon as I read her idea I was like "duh, why didn't I think of that." So here it is in black and white.

Now he looks like he has a gangrenous hand and some funky hitleresque facial hair. Worth a try though. hehe


Saturday, November 29, 2008

One more day!

Sneaking this one in under the wire. I actually had to get out of bed to write it.

I survived day eight of Noah's Thanksgiving vacation. Noah, Kiel and I had a pretty decent day. Lunch at Chik-Fil-A and then some time at the playground.

The playground is pretty cool. It's an "everybody's" playground, that is wheel chair/handicap accesable. Great for little ones who are still a bit wobbly on their feet. I tried to put up some pictures but I crashed twice in the process, so maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

When Rich got home a little before 4pm we went and got the Christmas tree. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get stuff ready for it so we can put it up when Rich gets home from work.

I wasn't excited about Christmas last year, with the PPD and still being in pain from Kiel's birth. This year I have the spirit again! Yeah!

Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something better for the last day of NaBloPoMo so I can go out with a bang.


Friday, November 28, 2008


I have to admit NaBloPoMo was harder and easier than I had expected. Actually remembering and writing something every day was pretty easy. Feeling like I was writing something of substance though was hard.

I definitely don't have it in me to write something witty or insightful every day. And I don't like writing just to have something here. For me to write something I feel is good I need to have the time and energy to compose it. Both time and energy are seriously lacking in my life right now.

I'd rather write only once a week and have it be something I think is worth reading, or at least helped me feel better by writing it, than this daily writing of nothingness.

Interestingly, my stats have dropped consistently over the month. I had assumed, incorrectly, that they would increase a bit since I was posting something every day.

The other problem with NaBloPoMo is that I didn't have as much time to read other peoples blogs, so I am seriously behind. I thank I have close to 800 in my reader, and that doesn't include the shopping feeds that I get.

I'm off right now to try and catch up with some of them. If you haven't heard from me in a while, please know it isn't personal!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

So here we sit waiting for dinner to finish cooking. I got a bit of a late start because my mother called. I know, shocking! We had a nice chat though, I think we may be on the way to mending some fences. It helped that she called earlier and spoke with Rich and he had a chance to set some things straight with her. She adores him so takes things much better for him.

Found out from her that my sister in laws father died November 1st. I'm a bit PO'd that my mother didn't tell me. But that's the way my family rolls. My mom didn't think it was that important.

Kiel is cranky because he wouldn't nap. He only wanted me and I was busy cooking. By the time I laid down with him to nurse he was beyond napping I think.

The crazy MIL is over and she and Rich had a fight over crackers or something stupid which evolved into the MIL saying Rich never does anything for her, which is absolute crap. Boy, first my family now his. Good thing is that give her ten minutes and she usually forgets what was said.

So dinner is like an hour later than we had planned. Oy...

Speaking of Oy, when you say "oy" to Kiel he puts his hands up to his forehead. Just too cute.

So, anyway....Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My birthday letter of love to my sweet baby Kiel.

My darling Kiel,

It is unbelievable to me that you are a year old. How has time passed so quickly? In some ways it feels like just last month that I was pregnant with you. Oh how I loved being pregnant with you. Feeling you move inside me thrilled me. For too many years I thought you were a miracle that would never happen to me. You can't imagine the joy I felt when that pregnancy test was finally positive! It still brings me to tears of joy when I think about it.

When you were inside me I felt a connection with you that amazed me. It was a selfish pleasure, because I knew no one else could experience with you what I was experiencing. I still look at your belly button and marvel how it connected you to me for 41 weeks.

And then one day you decided it was time to join us on the outside. And you made that desire very forcefully known to me! Let me tell you little boy of mine, birthing you was not easy! But it was oh so worth it!

Your Daddy and your big brother were awfully excited to have you join us too.

It thrilled me that I was able to breastfeed you. Something that I was always sad I couldn't do for your big brother. It created a bond between us. I was there for you in a way no one else could be. Again, I was amazed how my body could sustain you. I'm so happy you still want to share this with me.

I think you are the most beautiful, most clever little boy in the whole world. You charm me with your big smile and your gorgeous blue eyes.

And your laugh, it is infectious!

And you have such a joy of life!

And I still think those two little curls on the back of your head, what we call your infinity sign, are a sign of something incredibly special.

My sweet little boy, I can't imagine a life without you. You have changed me, made me whole. You make me want to be a better mother. You make me try harder, for you and your brother.

I love you beyond words. Part of me wishes you would stay this baby forever, and part of me is excited to see you grow. You change a little every day. You learn something new every day. Every day is a miracle to me with you in it.

I wish you a life of happiness and fulfillment. Grow strong, grow smart, grow happy!

Never give up that sense of wonder. Or that sparkle in your eye.

Always know you are my little prince.

You and your big brother are the frosting on my cake!

Never, ever, forget how much you are loved!



Many years ago I saw a movie that was about witchcraft, or maybe voodoo (or are they the same thing?). I don't remember the story line at all, but I do remember one scene.

The main character had a blemish (ha, I sound like I'm 80 years old saying that?) on her cheek. She was at a party and in the powder room (again, with the 80 years old) she powdered (like, duh, what else do you do in a powder room) her cheek to try and cover it up. Throughout the evening the blemish got bigger and bigger. When she went home it was HUGE. I don't even think you could call it a blemish anymore, it was a full blown zit, like on steroids. Huge!

And then it POPPED! And all these tiny spiders came out of it!

I know! How disgusting! Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.


Guess what. I have this blemish on my cheek...

Why do I always think of that movie when I get a zit on my cheek?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wonderful day!

Had a wonderful "mommy - Noah" day today! Noah was an absolute joy to be with!

The only problems we had today were when we were at CHOP for his ADOS. His anxiety definitely hit a high and he resisted cooperating for quite a while. Eventually he participated and I was able to leave the room. He said and did some stuff that was disturbing to me, but it was obvious that he was playing up to the examiners and being very oppositional. It will be very interesting to get the results in two weeks.

Other than that though he was great to be with today!

How nice to finally really enjoy a day with my own son!

Tomorrow he and Rich are either going to go to the zoo or to the Franklin Institute. I'm almost jealous I can't go with them!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I love my therapist

She said my mother is psycho,

and called my dad a doofus.

She said some other great stuff tonight too, but those two things made me smile.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another rant on the 'rents

My mother wrote me a long email last week. It was full of statements like "We have known for a long time that you don't like us." (huh?) and "We hardly heard from you from the time of our visit in February to your visit in August. I used to joke about the T.V. commercial about the mother passing out when her son or daughter called on Mother's Day, saying that I would probably do the same." (OMG, is she Jewish?) and "I sent you emails every week trying to be upbeat but never got responses"(do I need to send them copies of all the emails I sent them) and "We have missed seeing the boys grow but it seemed like the best choice" (best choice???) and "You seem to think that we ignored Noah. It probably seemed that way, but whenever we talk to him you take offence with what we say." (huh?)

And then there was some stuff about me being jealous of my brother and how I need to get over it. And then this bit,

"We happen to be your parents. None of us get to hand select who will be our parents. If we did such a lousy job, move on with your life and make it what you want of it. The past does NOT have to influence your future. Your future is what YOU make of it!!!"

I don't even know what to say to that! It didn't even fit in with the rest of the letter!

It's pretty clear they have had issues with me for quite a while, years even. How sad that it has come to this. I really don't understand why if they have been feeling this way for so long they would wait this long to let it out.

So I replied, very respectfully I might add, to their email with an almost point per point response. I let it sit for a few days, had Rich read it with me, read it probably twenty times myself, and finally tonight I sent it. I have no real idea of what to expect.

I'm not going to sit back and let them shit all over me, but I'm also not trying to bring up any new issues. So much of what she wrote just seemed over the top. Like she's spent way to much time stewing and letting things get bigger and bigger inside her head.

Interesting is that a couple years ago, around the time it seems, according to her email, that the issues started, she stopped taking her antidepressant medication. Coincidence?? Hmmm..

Kind of funny though, is that in this email and one she sent two weeks ago to Rich, she talks about us being their for Christmas. I'm not even sure how to answer that one nicely, so I didn't.

Someone please keep reminding me that I'm 40 and not 14, OK??


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Edward and Jacob and Alice, oh my!

So I succumbed to the mommy pressure of the Twilight series and I bought the first two books.

And like everyone else I've been sucked in. Oh Edward. *sigh*

Actually, I may have a tiny little crush on Alice too.

I ordered the last two books and they should come on Monday. Sucks that I finished the second book yesterday and have to wait all weekend to start number three!

So, do I go see the movie? Who has seen it and what did you think? I've talked with two people that saw it and the reviews were polar opposites. I know Rich won't want to see it so I'll probably have to go by myself. Not sure when I can work that out since Noah is home all this week. Too bad vampires would scare the absolute shit out of him.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nine days

Noah doesn't have school next week. All week! WTF?

Tomorrow starts nine days home with him. Monday we have a babysitter, Tuesday I'll be home with him, Wednesday Rich will be home with him, Thursday we will all be home, Friday I'll be home with him and then Saturday and Sunday Rich has to work so I'll be home with both boys.

I'm dreading it a little, but not as much as I would have a year ago. I just need to accept I won't really get anything done those days. I think one day we'll go to the movies. As long as I keep us busy and make sure he gets outside for an hour we should be fine.

Hopefully I'll be feeling better by then. All I've done is sleep the last two days. Fortunately everyone was gone during the day so I was able to just stay in bed. I think I slept more the last two days then I usually do in a week.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NaBloPoMo is kicking my ass!

I've officially run out of interesting things to say. So sorry everyone.

All I've got is my itty bitty baby is ONE YEAR OLD today!

Seriously, how did this happen?

A year ago right this very minute I was yelling something like "get the damn thing out of me!"

Actually, no, not really. I was pretty quiet during the whole thing. It hurt like a mother f'er though.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It is completely impossible that my baby is ONE YEAR OLD!

How did this happen?!? A year ago tonight I was preparing to go in the next evening to be induced. My parents arrived and saw me for the first time big and pregnant. Ok, not for the first time big, but definitely for the first time pregnant.

And I had mixed feelings on whether or not I was ready to let him out. I loved being pregnant and knew I was going to miss having a baby inside me. I still miss having an excuse to rub my belly and be proud of its size.

I'm working on a birthday letter for Kiel, but it may be a few more days until I finish it.

Until then I'm going to continue to ponder his belly button and the amazement it still gives me that for 41 weeks it connected him to me and gave him life.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Still tired

Am still tired. Very, very tired.
And just got an email from my mother. She's unbelievable. Parts of it are so ridiculous that I can't even respond. Am coming to realize that all this shit started around the time she stopped taking her antidepressant medication a couple years ago. Oh the joy of having a crazy family.
So in lieu of a real post, here are some more pictures.

Now I'm going to go crawl in bed with the second Twilight book and pretend none of this is happening.

Don't forget to check out 5 Minutes for Mom's Christmas giveaways this year!

Entries for all giveaways will be closed Friday, November 28th at 12pm EST.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kiel's slideshow

Am too tired to write a real post. So I leave you this to enjoy if you have a few minutes. I'm off to eat some more birthday cake.

And a big thanks to Margo for the music suggestion!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthday party success

Birthday party was a success! Everyone enjoyed seeing each other and ate well. Cake was enjoyed by all. I'll post pictures of Kiel and his smash cake tomorrow when I have more energy.

I didn't get a chance to nurse or pump all day so I'm taking a little break to pump while Rich takes the boys with him to take his mom home. When ever I go so long between nursing I end up screwing myself up and having less.

Noah did really well today. His social anxieties didn't seem to bother him too much, I think because he was on his home turf. He interacted well with everyone and even held some decent conversations. Rich's family all know about his "issues" and are very understanding. Several of them commented at different times during the party that they see improvement in him. That was really nice to hear.

They both looked adorable in matching shirts. Kiel charmed everyone. He's just so freaking cute! And I am just so biased! hehe

Boy am I tired...


Friday, November 14, 2008

Getting ready for The Party!

In my typical fashion I'm getting a little crazed as I get ready for Kiel's birthday party.

I spent most of today making his birthday cake. It's probably three times the size it really needs to be. But, I don't know how to do things small. I probably have three times the food needed for the party too.

I actually bought a lot of ready made food (which is unusual for me, but I'm trying not to go crazy - hah), and we're getting a sandwich tray from Ben and Irv's (a Jewish deli). My original plan was to just have snacks and cake since the party is at 2pm, but Rich felt it was important to have sandwiches. There will also be a variety of cheeses, a vegi tray, fruit salad, a variety of chips and dips, and some hot appetizers. Normally I'd have a couple bottles of wine and beer as well, but Rich's family really doesn't drink. That's not going to stop me from making a pitcher of beer margaritas for myself though! If everyone comes there should be about 20 people; all from Rich's family. You know, since my parents aren't coming to their youngest grandchild's first birthday party. But I'm not bitter...

Here's a sneak peek of the cake.

I tried a new fondant recipe. Usually I make marshmallow fondant, but this one supposedly tastes more like a butter cream. It does taste good but wasn't as easy to work with as MMF. We'll see how it holds up and what everyone thinks of the taste.

I made a smash cake for Kiel too, but I forgot to take pictures of it.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad men

Noah's been asking about bad men a lot lately. I don't know how to answer him. He wants to know if there are bad men in the world. Then he wants to know why.

I really don't know what to say to him other than "mommy and daddy will always keep you safe."

What do you guys think? What do you tell your kids?

And is this obsession with "bad men" normal for a 5 year old?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Last minute Wednesday update.

Well I'm pretty much pissing away my vacation doing a lot of nothing. Which I suppose isn't that much of a surprise.

I did have grand plants to clean and organize. Too bad I keep going back to bed after I get Noah on the bus. And then there is my serious lack of motivation. And my slight addiction to Super Collapse 3. It's a bad combination.

Tomorrow I see my therapist. Thank god! I'm counting the hours. A whole hour to bitch about my parents! Life is good!

Kiel's birthday party is Saturday. I really need to get my ass in gear and get the house cleaned. Friday I'm getting the carpets cleaned, which means I need to get the clutter picked up tomorrow.

And I really need to get the cake started. Double crap. Am I going to do fondant or butter cream??

And I want to do a slide how of his first year. I need music to put to it. Any suggestions? Besides this one from my dear friend Oz? (warnng..nsfw)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on the 'rents...and they can STILL #suckit

So, I finally received an email from my parents.

They will not be coming to Kiel's birthday party. They say they are not punishing the boys, but they do not feel I treat them with respect and will not put themselves in that situation anymore.

I am officially twelve years old again.

Why do I even care?


So well said!

Thanks to Redneck Mommy's tweet about this video!

After watching this how can anyone justify banning anyone from marriage now?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Look what's missing!

It's gone! It's gone! Whoo hoo! It's gone!
Updated to add:
So this evening, 167 days and 22 hours after it landed on the family room floor the TV was removed from the MNT household!!
The group that is doing family therapy with us is also working with a single other with four kids that has very little. We were able to donate it to her and they took it with them tonight.
No sexual favors were exchanged to make this happen.


Update on the 'rents - they can #suckit

So I think I may have been disowned but no one told me.

I still haven't heard from my parents.

Several weeks ago I sent them the link to the pictures we had taken at JC Penney's. I never heard from them.

I sent them each an e-vite to Kiel's birthday party, and I know they opened it because it tells me it was viewed. Neither of them responded.

Last week I priority mailed them pictures of the boys and a CD with pictures and video. In it I included a note and specifically asked if they were coming for Kiel's birthday. The USPS tracking said it was delivered on Saturday. Still not a word from them.

I don't want to be, but I'm really upset. I can't believe they don't have the decency to respond. Not to mention it's their grandchildren they are ignoring.

Clearly they think I've done something awful. Calling them on their lack of attention to my children, and disagreeing with them on how to raise Noah, not to mention expressing my pain at never feeling like I was good enough for my dad, must be some pretty bad shit.

So I'm at a loss. Rich says I should just call them, and I suppose I should, but I'm being stubborn. I've made the first step, and the second, and the third.

The longer this goes on the harder it is going to be to get over it.

They suck...