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Archive for October, 2008

You Are Not Defeated

I just read the most inspirational post from Lindy Lou at Healing Soul.  One of my favorite quotes follows:

“You know what is truly amazing – God never gives up! He never counts me out, drops me from the team. He never benches me to a life of idleness and defeat. He takes the raggedy, the broken, the torn, the wounded, the mangled and selects these souls to be His shining stars.”

If you are hurting, hopeless, sad, tired, dejected, worried, fearful or apathetic, consider popping on over to read this.  It will bless you!

Posted on 18 October '08 by , under Faith is the Evidence. 8 Comments.

More Wisdom from the ER…Trip IV

It’s become a tradition around here–get close to the weekend and have a trip to the ER.  It’s gotten so crazy that I frequently receive emails from some of you saying something to the effect of “Here’s a cool meme if you can break yourself away from the ER.”  Seriously.

Let me begin with asserting that I adore going to the grocery store alone.  Love it with a grand passion!  I relish plopping my purse in the conspicuously empty seat part of the cart, looking at all the others struggling with their three or four children, glancing knowingly to the tired, worn mother wrestling her brood, and then perusing my own grocery list…my mind clear and unfettered with questions about trichinosis and why we can’t buy foods with Blue Lake 3 and Red 40 food dyes.

I will be able to actually calculate which purchases are mathematically cromulent with a “buy-one-get-one-free” offer.  So after I had leisurely shopped (45 minutes), paid, allowed a sweet Publix friend to take my groceries to the van, turned up some Casting Crowns, cruised out of the parking lot feeling that all was right with the world, my cell phone rang.  Not unusual.

I scrambled around my purse, grasping for the phone but snagging a linty craisin and old buppie instead.  Immediately it rang again in succession.

I grabbed it, only to hear, “Come home right now, drop everything.  I’ve called an ambulance.”

CLICK.

It’s amazing how the mind races with the possibilities when receiving a phone call like that.  Fear runs through your veins like ice crystals.  A rush of prayer-pleas filled my brain for about 10 seconds.  Then I had to redial.

“Just tell me was it for Grandmama or one of the children?”  “Grandmama,” he replied.  And then I sighed slight relief, and partial guilt for that relief.

Most of you know that H’s 88-year-old grandmother has been staying with us for several weeks, and has been in and out of the ER during those weeks.

When I burst in the door, Grandmama was lying on the ground, pale, gray and clammy.  My children, thank goodness, had been shuttled outdoor with a neighbor and were joyfully busy covering themselves in fire pit soot.

As is the case with such traumas, time stood still as ambulance personnel stabilized her, asked us pertinent questions, and retrieved her medications.  My husband hopped in the ambulance and off they roared.

The house was eerily silent for a moment.  I stood still, watching dust motes rise and fall in the sunlight, and reflecting on what might have happened and what might happen in the future.  We don’t have any guarantees (other than that of our Salvation should we elect to receive it).  Not at three, not at 42 and not at 88.

And then I looked outside to see my three-year-old rubbing black soot on her legs and face.  This snapped me back into reality and gave me purpose!  I scrubbed her down haphazardly and shuttled all three children off to the Perfume Stalker’s.

(Again, a friend who will receive three soot-covered, shoeless, unfed children is a friend indeed.)

It turns out that Grandmama did not have a stroke as was suspected but only an electrolyte imbalance due, again, to blood pressure medicine.  She actually came back home that same night.  Yet the blessing in the whole affair centered around conversations that H was able to have with her during the ambulance ride and after as she rested in the hospital.

While he did not go into great detail, I believe he was able to tell her what a blessing she has been in his life; he grasped that coveted chance many of us miss or neglect–that often ignored opportunity to let important people in our lives know how much they mean to us…that chance to say goodbye in a certain sense and to make sure nothing remains unsaid.

I, too, seized (or more likely was pushed by God to seize) those opportunities with my own grandmothers before they passed, and it has given me such great comfort throughout the years.  I will post about that at a later date, but today I just felt led to pass this story along…for no particular purpose…just to pass it along.

Have a blessed day!

Posted on 16 October '08 by , under Faith is the Evidence. 26 Comments.

Cool Sensory Playroom

Sunday night I had so much fun visiting a small local school devoted to serving the educational needs of 18 children with autism, ages 3-16.  Our church’s “young” youth group, composed of children ages 7-11, hosted a party for the children at this school.  This was such a perfect way to introduce “neurotypical” children to new friends while also educating them about autism.

This school’s Sensory Room was fascinating–not because it was constructed out of the latest therapy items from expensive catalogs–but because the parents and teachers at this unique school had used so much creativity in creating a cozy, safe space that honestly could be replicated by parents of children with SPD in their own homes.

These giant bear pillows are a great place to crash…a safe creature to bash…and a snuggly spot to read or relax.

All along the walls were high shelves (made with regular closet shelving) with lava lamps and other moving, oily, bubbly lamps.  Very cool when the lights were off and high enough that (most) children could not reach them!

The ball pit was one of the coolest I’ve seen.  Built with 2 x 4s, drywall scraps and covered in carpet and fabric, the bottom had lights that reflected through clear balls.  This might be ambitious for your own home, but was a luminous effect!

Here it is without the lights (which would be much easier in a home setting).

This wasn’t a large room, either–probably the size of most small bedrooms.  I left with many ideas for my own fledgling sensory playroom which is only in the beginning stages.

For more details regarding setting up your own sensory room, please see this informative article!

Posted on 14 October '08 by , under Autism Spectrum/Sensory Processing. 9 Comments.

Wordless Wednesday: Make Way for Halloween

Posted on 14 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 20 Comments.

Why No German Aphid Toothbrush Timer?

My inlaws spent almost three weeks in Germany visiting relatives and having a generally grand time while we were here making a revolving door out of the ER.

(More stories to come, folks–we actually called an ambulance on Thursday.  Everyone is OK and once I process it all, I’ll finish the post.)

They brought these dear German toothbrush timers to my three children.  I looked at the offerings and cringed–my grave concern being which creature should be bestowed on which child without tantrums ensuing.

Of critical concern was the feline holder.  Joseph is allergic to cats, so I surmised he would never accept the cat.

Yet again, I was wrong.

“No–See, it’s a food chain!  I must be the cat!” Joseph cried.

Edward found this observation mesmerizing:  “The cycle of life…” his eyes glazing over as he pondered the wonder.

“I just want to be that cute ladybug!” Sue squealed.

Thank you for three-year-old sanity.

“Now what we really need is an aphid German toothbrush timer,” Joseph asserted.

Yes, that would make it!

Posted on 12 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 16 Comments.

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Month!

Patty at Pancakes Gone Awry reminded me that October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month!  She will be posting so much information on SPD as well as interviews, articles and countless information sources.

Kia at Good Enough Mama will also be posting on SPD this month.

Please check out these bloggers!

If you would like to post about SPD, please feel free to snag this button to increase awareness!  I’ll be blogging about SPD further, and will include photographs of our sensory swing, Interactive Metronome therapy and other ideas/thoughts!

(The button above is a photograph of my son, Edward, using his therapy putty and tiny farm animals to increase fine motor skills.)

Thanks for reading!

Posted on 8 October '08 by , under Autism Spectrum/Sensory Processing. 16 Comments.

Wordless Wednesay: ‘You’ve got a panty on your head!’

Albeit a fancy one…

Posted on 8 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 17 Comments.

Tiresome Tuesday: Kia, The Good Enough Mama, My Friend

Thank you Kia from Good Enough Mama for this idea!

Kia wrote a particularly vitriolic, authentic and fascinating post about the things she’s tired of!  I simply love reading her blog because she is so fascinatingly real.

I crave real these days.

Anyway, I read her post a few minutes ago and I decided that I feel so much the same way she feels these days.  So while I can’t hope to be as entertaining or neologistic as Kia, here’s a list of things I’m tired of of which I’m tired.

1.  Every day, without fail, my sweet three-year-old, whom I am trying to teach how to drink out of an “open big girl cup,” spills highly expensive organic ‘chochat’ almond milk all over my clean kitchen floor.  And it splashes up on the kitchen table, about 6 feet away on the tile, always hits school papers, and always mixes with cracker crumbs and craisins to make a glue-like, sticky ick mash that inevitably gets tracked by other children’s shoes throughout the home and all over the one light-colored area rug.

Every day, I get down on my hands and knees with a navy wash cloth (leftover from my trousseau when the ‘in’ colors were navy, hunter green and wine,) and clean, swab, scrub and rub this chocolately goo.  And every day I miss countless drops, which then become mixed with bagel crumbs, raisins, banana strings, carpet fuzz, grass and, despite my costly pest control service, ants.

I am tired of this.  It make me feel like a charwoman.  An incredibly over-educated charwoman.

2.  I am tired of my children picking their noses.  Every last one of them.

3.  I love my children’s creativity, but occasionally I grow a tad weary of the messes.  Yes, Edward has innovatively used a basket to become a life-like turtle.  Still yes, he dumped out 200 Hot Wheel cars in order to do so.

4. I am tired of that Jitterbug commercial about the cell phone service with over-sized buttons targeting an older population that is unable to add or retrieve phone numbers from their cell phone.  I am also tired of relatives who actually tape paper to their cell phones with the phone numbers of family members because they, too, are unable to use the phone to retrieve the numbers.  WHY CAN’T THEY JUST USE THIS JITTERBUG SERVICE?

5.  I am tired of trying to make meals for my family…lately my creativity has stopped at offerings like canned Mandarin oranges, plain noodles and re-heated chicken nuggets.

I am so weary.  This exercise, however, has made me feel better.  Thank you Kia!

Posted on 7 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 5 Comments.

Mouth of Babes Monday

Edward is scratching his head fitfully.  (Edward is the one on the left.)

“What’s going on, man?”  I ask, hoping that it’s not a seed tick.

“Well, I’m just scratching at my CRADLE CRAP!”

“Baby, it’s ‘cradle cap.'”

“Yep, that’s what I said, Mom, CRADLE CRAP!”

So much for auditory processing…

Maybe I should create some homeopathic scalp balm with that name…people would flock, don’t you think?

Check out Angela at Unexpected Art’s post!  She started this Monday tradition!

Posted on 6 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 6 Comments.

What does every 42-year-old man want for his birthday??

Mario Galaxy for the Wii, of course.  Paid partially for by his six and eight-year-old sons’ dog-sitting business!

Woo Hoo!  Happy Birthday!  We love you!!

Posted on 5 October '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 15 Comments.