On my To Be Reviewed Stack!

On My To Be Reviewed Pile!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When did I grow up?

From the time you're a child, you're told wait til you grow up.

When you're a child, you count down days til your birthday.  You're not merely 6, you're 6 and 3/4. We had a tradition.  Mom and Dad would take me out to dinner in Frederick, we'd go to the mall, and I'd get my picture with Santa.

Then at some point, we grow up.

I was reminded of this 2 years ago on my birthday.  I worked all day, went to the grocery store to pick up the cake I had to order for myself, went to the pizza place to pick up pizza, and then came home.  I was immediately greeted by an excited 4 year old, who came running to me and yelling Happy Birthday Mommy....and threw up on me.

That was when I knew I was grown up. 

This year, tomorrow I'll be 37.  I'm sick, hubby is sick, I'm in pain with an eye problem that's going to get worse as I age, and my birthday will be spent at a Xmas party for boy scouts, and awaiting snow.  No dinner out with mommy and daddy, no Santa.

I love my family.  But for some reason this year, I miss when I was a kid.  I miss the excitement.  Having people REMEMBER it's my birthday, sing happy birthday to me, go out to my favorite restaurant with mommy and daddy, Santa.

When did I grow up?  Can I go back to being a kid?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Map-Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy

I went to the doctor. It's nice I finally have a word for what's wrong with me, but aggravating because there is no cure, and this is going to get worse.

I have severe dry-eye coupled with something called Map-Dot-Fingerprint Dystrophy. Basically my eyes aren't flat, they are rough with all these valleys. So tears and drops tend to fill in the valleys, but don't really get to the whole of my eye.

"Complications of Map-dot-fingerprint Dystrophy?
In some cases, epithelial erosion may occur. Epithelial erosion can expose the nerves lining the cornea, causing severe pain. The cornea's normal curvature may be altered causing astigmatism and nearsightedness

As the cornea is altered, vision may be blurry and accompanied by:
Moderate to severe pain. The pain will be worse on awakening in the morning.
Increase sensitivity to light
Excessive tearing
A feeling that something is in your eye."

She said the tear in my cornea wasn't an injury, it is the erosion of the cornea in that area. And the biggest problem I have is every night when I sleep, it sort of forms a "scab," which I rip off the moment I open my eyes. Which just sets the tone for the rest of the day.

She doesn't think I should move to the more advanced treatments of implantations in my eyes or restasis because they're more for tear production (which it doesn't seem I'm having too much of a problem with), and because I'm probably going to have to resort to that a few years down the line, so she doesn't want to start off with that therapy.

oh joy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What is sexy?

This is the carry over from a discussion that we are currently having on Google+.  What makes a person sexy?

The first thing you must determine is whether you're talking to a man or a woman.  Men invariably get hot and sexy intermingled.  They look at a hot chick and go she's Hot.  Or they look at a hot girl and say oh, she's sexy.

Women.... it's much more complicated.

For women, a man doesn't have to be HOT to be sexy.  And just because someone's HOT doesn't mean he's necessarily sexy.

Hugh Jackman.  I think this man is one of the hottest men on the planet.  The muscles.... yum.  The face... swoon.  But all of that wouldn't make him sexy.  What DOES make him sexy?  I love his grace when he sings and dances, I love his easy laugh, I love that smile, and I love that he's a devoted father.  There is nothing sexier than a man who adores his children.

Men I find sexy and yummy aren't the classic studs.  My examples...

Colin Firth.  Oh that guy is just yummy on a stick.  But not many people would look at him and say he's hot.  He's intelligent, he's cute, a funny personality... THAT's sexy.
Hugh Laurie
Oh...I love him.  He's cute, has a TERRIFIC sense of humor.  Is self-depricating... I just adore Hugh Laurie.
Ryan Reynolds.
Be still my thumping heart.  He's cute.  Not gorgeous, but cute as in boy next door.  he's got a killer body (see below), but his characters have heart.  There's a soul.  He's sexy.

If you ask men who is sexy, you can put a random woman's naked body up on the screen with no head...and he'll say that THAT is sexy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New job woes

When you start a new job, you want to make a good impression. You want to show them they didn't make a mistake in hiring you. That you're as good as you said you were.

You have all these ideas, things you think will be great, plans to standardize things, etc.

Then someone rams your face in the wall.  " Can you show her how you do this because it's nicer."  It's not really, but it's familiar so it's nicer for them.

So once again I'm having a crises of confidence. Will they fire me like they did the last EA? Do I suck?

* bangs head against desk *

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Clueless husbands...

If your normally chatty wife hasn't said more than ten words to you tonight.  She's pissed.  If you ask what's going wrong and she says nothing, it's not.

Sometimes we're pissed and we don't want to give you an easy way out.  We want you to think about possibly why we're pissed.  Put some thought into it.

Why am I mad?

I come home last night after working a 12 hour day, you didn't take the garbage out, which means it'll pile up til next week.  Tonight I get home 45 minutes late because I had to stop at CVS to pick up medication for our child.  I get home, check to see if boys did homework, cook dinner, make copies of 3 years worth of tax returns for YOUR meeting this week, finish making dinner, WHILE putting away all the dishes in the dishwasher, while you sit on your ass and chat with your buddies on Google +.

How about you get off your ass and do something around here?  Maybe that's why I'm pissed.  And really, if you tore yourself away from Google for 5 minutes and replayed the last two days, you'd figure it out.  Why should I make it easier on you to do the right thing?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get out the big girl panties....

I've been accused ALOT of not having sympathy for other people. 

Someone's sick, I feel bad for them, but depending on the nature of the sickness, at some point, quit complaining, get back to living.  Someone's tired, so what I'm tired too.  Someone hates their job, I hate mine too.

I guess part of it is my upbringing.  My father was famous for the phrase "Grab it and Growl."  The summation is I know you're not happy about doing it, but it needs done anyway, just get it done already.

I guess my brain has taken this reasoning too far.

The joys of social media.  My husband and I are both on Google +.  He uses it alot, me not so much.  But alot of his friends follow me.

Tonight I learn from Google that he's reading a book on improving his marriage and that one of his fears is telling me something and I'll pull away from him.

Gee thanks honey.

I don't like what it says about me.  But on the other hand, after mulling it around in my head for the last hour or so I've come to some responses.  None of these I could ever say to him, for then being labeled precisely the un-caring she-bitch I'm called.
  1. You're not happy in the marriage?  Welcome new member to the group!  I haven't been for awhile, but I've been busy raising children, working long hours at a job that I hated and hated me back to make money to help support our family, I have a son with Aspergers who demands more energy than anyone could believe, and I've lost one of my best friends in my life.  I don't have time to obsess and dwell and think about how much our marriage sucks.  We're not at each other's throats, we get along pretty well, just keep going.
  2. I haven't made the marriage what it's become on my own.  You're not exactly a joy to live with.  
  3. And mainly.... I'm exhausted.  Physically and mentally.  I don't have time to worry about feelings. I don't have time to worry about what I don't have.  My life will never be perfect.  All I want is for it not to be miserable.  I have too many demands on my time and energy to worry about feelings.  If you have that time, fine, do it, but leave me alone.  
 Get out the big girl panties and put them on, don't slow me down, keep up, eyes on the ball.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Aspergers Label

I was happy when we had a diagnosis, and I could research, learn ways to help Jamie, etc. 

But I don't want everyone to see him through the Label. 

It's a bit of a double-edged sword, because sometimes the label is helpful.  When I need something for him and can't get it easily another way. 

Potential Dangers with an Aspergers Label

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stress on familes with autism

Very interesting article linked below.

Ever wonder about a day in the life of a parent of a child with autism?  The sibling?

I feel these.  Jamie takes his aggression out on Iain.  Iain's felt the pull of being "kicked out" of daycare because Jamie has been.  He tries so hard to make Jamie happy, he knows Jamie isn't happy.  Sometimes I feel he's trying so hard....and a 6 year old baby shouldn't have to.


Friday, July 22, 2011

They said what??!! – The mommy-cising of Jenn

I always thought I was “with it.”  The fact I just said “with it,” shows how NOT “with it” I am, but I digress.  I have always liked the popular music.  I remember dancing to “The Thong Song” when we were at Ocean City on our honeymoon.  I love Ke$ha and Lady Gaga.

Today while listening to AOL’s Party Hits station, I realized I’ve become mommy-cised. 

Pitbull’s “Motel” came on.  I love the chorus “Hotel…Motel…Holiday Inn…”  But as I’m listening to the lyrics, my thoughts were “hey, wait a minute, this is a bit too graphic.”  The lyrics disturbed me so much that I had to skip the song.  When this song came out, I played it all the time (when the boys weren’t in the car).

Listening to today’s pop music on the radio, I find myself doing this a lot lately.  It used to be that I didn’t play the music when the boys were in the car, but when they weren’t, I’d blast up the volume and sing along.

Has anyone else been mommy-cised when it comes to music?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One day... I'll find my barbecue prince

In my quest to try to get serious about blogging during my jobless time, I'm going to start a series... the best barbecue sauce.

I love BBQ sauce...I swear, if you cut me, I'll bleed BBQ sauce.  Everyone seems to have their own favorite.
I start back to the early days of Kraft BBQ. That was good stuff.... then the selection came.

I moved onto KC Masterpiece, honey mustard. That is basically Kraft's 2.0 version.  That was far better... it was thick where Kraft was watery. Yum.

My mom introduced me to Bullseye, coincidentally also a Kraft Brand.  Not only was it thick, but it was tangy too.  I was a Bullseye fan for a long time.

The new fad among friends and family is Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce. It's okay... much better than the Kraft varieties, but not all that and a bag of chips.

My current favorite, though, is Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce. It has a tang to it, yummy.  It's my go to sauce right now.

But, I have two more BBQ sauces in my hopper.  Dave's BBQ and Budweiser.

As I finally get to try them, I'll post on those results.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ever feel like you're stuck in neutral?

For two months now I have been struggling with problems at work and trying to live my life and raise my boys.

Now I'm waiting for a lawyer to call my company so that we can make plans on my departure and it's taking forever and I'm stuck in neutral.

I can't do anything until there's a decision made and no decision is being made and driving me nuts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We went to see a different doctor today to talk about Jamie. There's no doubt in her mind that Jamie has Aspergers.

She says there's thinking in the world of psychology that says a kid can't be autistic AND ADHD, but it's phooey, and she believes he has the hyperactivity/ADHD as well. She thinks we should keep going with his patch, since it is clinically known to help kids like Jamie, and since the Autism teacher has noticed some changes in Jamie since he started with the patch.

She agrees with his current doctor about his diagnosis and how he's been treating Jamie, and says we should keep going with him. She has offered to be our advocate with the school system if we need her. She thinks it would be good if we find a Behavioral Psychologist closer to here, because we may have battles with the school and will need help advocating for him.

She doesn't think doing a full battery of tests right now would be a good idea, because he doesn't have the attention span, and we'd spend alot of money for tests that are "their best guess." She thinks in a year or two, we need to do it, to get the IQ testing and learn the full cognitive delays he may have.

She thinks that

1. He needs to see a professional pediatric occupational therapist for an assessment and for Sensory Integration. The only thing the school is judging him on is if he can hold a pencil, and there are so many more facets to it than that. She thinks if we take him for Sensory Integration 1 on 1 work, it could help with his extreme sensitivities to sound, touch, etc, and make his life easier.

2. She also thinks he needs a professional pediatric speech assessment. That once again, the school is just skimming the surface. Yes, he understands the ins and outs of conversation, but he doesn't understand the subleties, the deeper meanings in conversations.

The aggression isn't aggression in general. It's aggression based on a perceived wrong. Someone isn't following the rules (the school rules or his own self-thought rules), someone slighted him (his own feeling or reality), and this is his way of acting out. If he can get away, he can, but if he can't or it overwhelms him too quickly, the fight or flight kicks in and he fights. As he gets older, this will calm down some, but again she thinks having an aide to be there to quickly try to redirect him would help.

The big problem we're dealing with with the school is that if he had a diagnosis of Autism, an IQ of 70 and was barely communicative, they'd treat him differently. Because he is so darn smart and talkative, and carries on adult conversations, they forget about the Autism part, they expect more out of him than they would other Autistic children.

She thinks he is an amazingly smart child and probably does have a high IQ, but right now she wouldn't be able to test it. She did say if they did the testing, he'd rank very low in cognitive skills.

I think the day went well. She validated his current doctor's diagnosis, and gave us more complete info, some things she thinks we should try to make Jamie's life easier, and some things we need to get in his IEP. And if we need her, she will come help us fight the school for an individual aide for him. She's also going to try to ask around to see if she can find a Sensory Integration specialist around a closer area that we could try for him, as she thinks that's the biggest thing he needs help with .

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Being a mother is the hardest job in the world

People always say this.

Before I had the boys, I thought it was a load of bullshit.

But it's true. Being a mother means that you hold a life in your hands.

For 9 months, you cradle that life inside you. You eat properly, take care of yourself like you've never bothered to take care of yourself before, because you know you're carrying a little life inside you.

When your child is born, you spend hours staring at their face, making sure they're breathing, making sure they eat, that they're growing, they're hitting their milestones, that they're happy.

You spend your time imaging what life lies ahead for them. How they'll be when they learn to walk, what their first words will be, their first day of kindergarten, graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, having their own child...

But through all that, you take care of them. They fall down and scrape their knee, you want to take the pain away while you hold a crying child in your arms. They have problems making friends, your heart breaks, wishing you could make it better for them.

Now add to that a child with autism. A child who doesn't say he loves you. Who doesn't want you to "kiss his skin" at night. A child who struggles to get through the day. A child who wants to make friends and can't understand why other kids don't want to play with him. A child who is anxious, who is overwhelmed by lights and sounds, emotions, who teeters on the edge of control.

Is your life difficult yet?

Add to that the fact you have to work.

Dreading every time your cell phone rings that he's "gone off" and is in trouble. That he's about to be kicked out of preschool, out of daycare, suspended from school. That he's only six.

Now add on top of that that the place you work knows your son is autistic. The sole purpose of the organization is to work with adults with special needs (including autism), who knows the behavioral challenges, who strive to make the people they serve live as normal a life as possible. And they can't understand that you need to take off for doctor appts for your son. That he's on medications no child should be on, and has to be monitored, that he may go off, and I may need to rush home to take care of him. Who has now told me that I need to decide between my autistic child, and my job. That if I take off any more time (of which I still have alot), I will be told I have 90 days to find a new job. Oh, and you know that family vacation you've had planned since January, that we approved yoru time off for....you might want to rethink doing that. Who cares nothing of the hours of overtime I put in for Board Meetings, it's just expected of me. But begrudges me a few hours a couple times a month to care for my son. Who now wants me to put off getting a severely infected tooth fixed for god knows how long because don't all dentists stay open 24 hours to accommodate jerkish bosses?

I get my work done, I don't have piles of work left sitting around that I don't do. I bust my ass to get it all done. To take care of my job, my responsibilities, AND MY SON!

How can you tell a mother, any mother, and especially a mother of an autistic child that their child doesn't matter. That they can't use time they have accrued, time given by the company to the employee, to attend medical appointments, to attend IEP meetings at the school, to take care of him.

I am trying my best. I am working myself into a mental and physical deficit trying to keep up with everything, make everyone happy.

I can't take it anymore. My child is more important than your job. I'm about to the point of filing for bankruptcy so I can work part-time and care for my son. Through all the shit work is putting me through right now.... I'm still sitting here worrying about my son and how his day will go tomorrow. If he'll have problems, and how THAT's more important than my job.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Facing my fears

Ever since we got Jamie's diagnosis, I've done everything I could to make his life normal. Maybe normal isn't the word. We've learned what works and doesn't work with him. We know his trigger points, we try to make his life easier.

School is so hard for him. School really brought out the Aspergers. We try to give him a soft place to fall when he comes home.

We had an IEP meeting at the school yesterday. I was concerned with what would happen with Jamie next year. I wanted them to identify a teacher for him now, one who could handle Jamie, let them see Jamie in the classroom setting...see what works and doesn't.

What I got... was what I never wanted to hear. He's not ready for first grade. He isn't emotionally able to handle kindergarten. He doesn't have the social skills or the ability to function in a much more rigid setting like first grade. They want him to spend a majority of his time in the special ed class, and go to first grade for certain areas, like special classes and math.

They tried to say that it would be easier for Jamie, he'd have more one to one interaction (because there are only 6 kids in the class), they could teach him to his level in reading, keep him calm, let him go to some classes with the other kids his age, but limit the stressors of being there all day.

While this sounds like the best thing for Jamie. I'm devastated. I didn't want Jamie in the "special" class. He's so smart, I don't want him to flounder. And I know that part of it is what they did to "special" kids when I was growing up.... they stuck them in a room, taught to the lowest level, let them flounder, they were ostracized by the "normal" kids. Hell, last year in pre-K, when they put Iain in with the special kids because he needed OT and speech therapy, he was in there with kids who ate like dogs and wore diapers. He floundered...he didn't do anything... I don't want that to happen with Jamie. He's too smart.

I'm sure I offended the teachers with my questions. But I don't care. I DO want what's best for him. And I guess right now it's my fear of the perception, fear of the unknown, fear of how he will be educated... I'm scared for him.

And I guess it's also that I can't lie to myself anymore. I can't think our lives are going to be normal with just small deviations. That there really is problems with Jamie. problems I can't fix. Problems that will only continue. That he'll never be "normal."

I don't want this!! I want Jamie to be "normal." I don't want him to have to go through life being different. I don't want him to have Aspergers. I'm not strong enough for this.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Remington Wet to Straight

A few years ago, I changed my hairstyle from curly/frizzy/long to shorter and straight. I have naturally wavy, fine hair. It has been a pain in the neck, quite frankly.

I'm a busy mom. I get up, have to get ready, teeth brushed, get the boys' lunches packed, snacks packed, medicine administered, glasses on faces, shoes on, jackets on, boys out the door. Things like makeup and time to style my hair have disappeared.

For the last two years, I've hated to wash my hair in the mornings. I don't have time to blow-dry it out, much less time to straighten it. I usually wash it, let it air dry, then try to fix the mess the next morning with the straightener.

When I saw Remington's new Wet To Straight, I was immediately interested. After entering a contest and not winning, I decided to take the plunge and purchase it.

I was a bit leery. Because I have fine hair that is permanently damaged, and isn't this just like frying my hair more?

I tried it out this morning. The results:

It definitely did what it said! The old straighteners would make your hair hot, but not dry. This left my hair DRY! I can't see any damage done to my hair.

But, you can definitely tell my hair was not blown out, then straightened. It's a bit like straw.

I'm not completely convinced, I'm going to play around with different pre-conditioner mists to see if I can keep it from being heat damaged....but I do love that I was able to leave the house with dry hair and it only took me about 10 minutes to do it!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Life is full of regrets. There's always something you wish you'd have done differently.

Some people say it's the whole "the dance" theory... might have missed the pain, but would have missed the dance. Some say our past makes us what we are today.

Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I hadn't broken my leg. If I hadn't met my husband, if my life had kept going the way it had been. I think maybe mom would still be alive. But maybe she'd have been miserable, and I wouldn't have been able to help her the small amount I did. Wouldn't have been able to take care of her at the end when it mattered most.

Would I have wanted things to turn out differently? No.

My boys are my life. I can't imagine what my life would be like without them. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't have had them, if I were to lose them.

But there are things I regret. Stupid decisions I made as a teenager, stupid things I said or did. Friendships it affected. Friendships that really meant alot to me.

I saw an old friend today. I did something stupid when I was 15, I lost my best friend. Seeing her today just reminded me of how much I've missed my friend.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday my babies

Tomorrow my babies turn six.

Six years ago tonight, I was laying in bed, freaking out. Thinking I wasn't ready to be a mommy. How the heck was I going to take care of one baby, much less two. Am I going to suck as a mommy.

Six years later, Jamie's lost two teeth, they're in kindergarten, both incredibly smart, incredibly cute, incredibly mine.

It hasn't been easy. In fact, this year has been a rough year in parenting...finding out about Jamie having Aspergers, trying to get things settled at school for him, trying to keep up with the moving target. Trying to get Iain to stop day dreaming and do his work, seeing just how stubborn that blonde boy can be.

When I'm having a bad day, worrying about the boys, brooding about not feeling good, brooding about my mom, there's always the thought of ways my life could have been different.

But one thing that never changes... my babies. I couldn't imagine one day without them in my life. When they overwhelm me, they surprise me.

Last night I was in pain because of my root canal, and Jamie came over twice to rub my arm and say "Don't worry mommy, we'll get your mouth to stop hurting." Today Iain told me "I love you mommy."

I never knew the love that could exist between a parent and a child. These boys are my life. I'd die for them. I want to do everything I can to help them succeed, to know that they're loved and supported.

Happy Birthday my babies. Mommy loves you.