Saturday, September 29, 2007

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Elle Girl

Elle will be turning two soon. It seems that someone has clued her in to the fact that she's supposed to start being terrible now. She really is trying her best. She'll throw herself down on the floor and shriek "Noooooooooo!" for no reason at all. Then she'll lay there very quietly and watch to see what my reaction will be. Poor thing, she doesn't know what she's up against.

She doesn't know that there is nothing she can throw at me that I haven't already seen 100 times over. She doesn't know that living with Joseph for the past 7 years has prepared me for tantrums, melt-downs, over-reactions and general moodiness of all kinds. I don't think she'll be able to phase me at all.

You see, Elle is my refresher child. When I've had a really rough day with Joseph and he's got me ready to tear my hair out and scream "I can't do this anymore!" I just have to spend a little time with Elle to remind myself that hey, I can do this and I'm really not half bad at this mothering thing. Elle recharges me.

Where Joseph is difficult, Elle is very, very easy. Unless we're having pizza, mealtime with Joseph is always an ordeal. He whines, he cries, he has to leave the table several times, he often only ends up eating two or three bites total. Elle is always eager to try whatever I put in front of her. Often she's right there next to me when I'm cooking, demanding a taste of whatever I'm working on. Whatever I serve he she tries and then says "Yummy!" and asks for me.

Joseph is very difficult to put to bed. Either Jesse or I has to stay with him until he falls asleep. Once he's asleep he doesn't stay asleep. He wakes up several times a night to come into our bed and when we put him back we have to stay with him until he falls back asleep. Again. Whe he wakes up in the mornign he is an absolute bear, almost impossible to deal with. Elle is happy to lay down in her crib after he bedtime stories. She snuggles in with her baby dolls and we don't hear another peep out of her for 12 hours. When she wakes up and I go in to get her she greets me with a big smile and sasy "Hi sweetie!"

Joseph doesn't like affection. He won't hug or kiss or snuggle on his own. He'll do it when we ask him to but spontaneous affection is almost unheard of with him. Joseph will never greet anyone with a hug or a kiss or even a "hello" unless you remind him to. (Although to be fair, he is very verbally affectionate. He tells us he loves us all the time. Just out of the blue he'll say things like "I like you. I'm glad you're my mom".) Elle loves to snuggle and kiss and hug. When you walk in the door she'll run to greet you and hug your legs as hard as she can.

It goes on and on and on. The cold hard fact is that Elle is a really, really, easy kid and Joseph is ..... well, not as easy. Oh, don't get me wrong. He's worth it, he's more than worth it. But he has taught me well. I no longer fear the terrible twos because I have lived the terrible sevens, and sixes, and fives and fours.

So Elle my girl, do your worst. You're little attempts to get a reaction out of me are as welcomed as a cool breeze on a warm summer day. I have lived through seven years of Hurricane Joseph and I have lived to tell the tales. "Noooooo!" doesn't scare me anymore.

(I hope this doesn't come off like I'm trashing Joseph. In truth there are a lot of times when parenting Joseph is hard and tiring and frustrating. But those moments are far out-weighed by the ones that are lovely and sweet and lout-out-loud funny and weak-in-the-knees wonderful.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I love you all too much

I was at a little get together last weekend and I was telling someone about something or other having to do with my blog. From across the room this woman I hardly even know yelled "You have a blog? You have way too much time on your hands!"

Um. Ok. Offhanded slam from a near stranger aside, is having a blog really an indication that someone has too much free time? When did that happen?

If you really want some evidence that I have too much time on my hands you ought to check out my reader. No, you shouldn't. I'm ashamed at how cluttered it is. It's way overfull and it's not even a very good indication of how many blogs I read. There's a good sized chunk that I read that I never got around to adding. There are several on there that I don't really like anymore that I never got around to deleting. The disarray in my reader mirrors the disarray in my life.

What's really sad is that my bloated reader keeps me away from the blogs I love the most. Most of the time I spend reading blogs is time that I should be doing something else. So I'll sit down for 5 minutes in between loads of laundry and skim through a few of my lesser favorites. My real favorites though, the ones I want to read and savor and think about and comment on, are the ones I find myself never getting to. As a result I sometimes end up a week or so behind on my favorite blogs and then by that time I feel stupid leaving a comment. Then I worry that everyone will think I don't like them anymore and that makes me sad because the truth is that if I don't read you very often it means I really like you a lot. (I know that all of blogland awaits my comments with bated breath.)

Sigh. Blogging isn't an indication that I have too much free time but it is an indication that I'm massively neurotic. Anyone else out there have a problem with a way bloated blogroll? And it's ok if you don't get to this until some time next week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What should I have said?

Last week Jesse and I wend out to dinner with a co-worker of Jesse's and his wife. Um, the co-workers wife, not Jesse's. Anyway. They were very nice and we had a really good time with them. It's so rare that I get to go out with other adults so it was very nice for me. Mostly. Except for one part.

At one point the topic of my surrogacy came up and they were curious about it, asking lots of questions. I'm pretty used to that and at this point I figure I've heard just about everything anyone is going to ask. I guess I haven't heard it all though because after I told them that I was carrying the baby for a gay couple they proceeded to ask me which one was the woman in the relationship.

I'm ashamed to admit that my answer was not as good as it could have been. I blame this on the fact that I was so taken aback by the question that a good 50% of my brain had to be devoted to keeping my mouth from blurting out "Holy crap! There are still people out there that think like that!?!" I think I kind of mumbled something about neither of them being the woman but it was a cop out answer and I could have done a lot better.

I think what made it hard was that they question wasn't asked in a mean way. I mean, these were nice people asking an amazingly stupid question. I know that they weren't trying to be hateful but they just really had no idea about how ignorant and offensive that question was. If they had been rude about it I could have been rude right back and that wouldn't have been a problem for me. The problem for me came because I didn't know how to respond to such cheerful cluelessness.

How do you tell two very nice people "Wow, that's the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. Have you been out of the house in like, the last 20 years or so?"

Friday, September 21, 2007


You know, I love Jesse. He's a great father a heck of a husband. Not many men would be as supportive as he's been when their wife is carrying another man's baby. But sometimes I just have to laugh at him. Take the following exchange:

Jesse: This has become a stickling point with us.
Me: (trying not so smile) Stickling?
Jesse: (frustrated) Ok, whatever. It's become a stickle point with us.

How can I not laugh when he does stuff like that?

The best baba

Yesterday the kids were just driving me nuts. It was one of those days where I wondered why I ever decided to have kids in the first place. They were both whiny and cranky and needy and by 4:00 I had had my fill. I set them about cleaning out Elle's toybox in the living room. I told them to take everything out and sort out thing that didn't belong there, things that needed new batteries and things that were broken and needed to be tossed. You can imagine my suprise when they actually listened and dug right in.

For a good 45 minutes they sat on the floor together and cleaned out that toybox. They found things that they had forgotten were in there and that seemed to keep them interested and involved in the task. I sat on the couch reading a book and marveling at my own genius.

When they got to the bottom of the toybox they were still going strong. Each time Joseph would pull something out of the toybox Elle would squeal with delight. That is, utill he pulled out the Shrek puppet. Joseph put the puppet on his hand and made it dance around for Elle. For some reason this really scared her. Her eyes got big and watery, her lower lip came out and her voice got all shakey as she said "No puppet, puppet all gone, all gone puppet!"

I started to tell Joseph that Elle was getting upset but before I could get two words out he looked at Elle and noticed all on his own that she was nearly crying. (You have to understand that this is huge for Joseph. He's not real quick at picking up on other people's emotions.) As quick as he could he tore the puppet off his hand and threw it under the couch. He yelled "You puppet! You stay away from my little sister!" Then he turned back to Elle and in as gentle a voice as you can imagine he said "It's ok Elle, it's all gone now. Baba made it go away. You don't have to be scared."

Elle looked at him with what I can only call pure love and adoration. "Ohhhhh" she whispered, her voice still quaking "Sank you Baba."

And then they hugged.

I kid you not. I was just bawling. That made my night right there. That made me remember why I had kids. I didn't even care that in the end I was the one who had to pick all the toys up off the floor or that the toybox somehow seems more full now than it did before the kids cleaned it out.

I'm not saying I have the best kids in the world (ok, maybe I am saying that just a little bit) but I am saying that I don't think you could find any two kids more suited to each other as brother and sister. It's so fun to watch them together.

Oh, and before I forget: "Finsens" are raisins. Elle will never learn to say it right though because now the whole family says "finsens". It's like how we all picked up on Joseph's way of saying "whatyousaid?" instead of "what did you say?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Other than pickles

Elle's new favorite snack is "finsens". I've got a shiny new quarter for anyone who can guess what that is.

Help me Dr Google!

I know that no one cares about this but me but apparently my blog is the number one place to go if you think your ultrasound might be wrong. In the last 24 hours I've had nearly 100 hits from google searches like this:
"if you see penis on baby sonogram could it be wrong" - If seeing a penis is wrong then I don't want to be right.

"told its a boy it turned out girl" - Maybe this isn't about an ultrasound. Maybe it was about a blind date gone terribly wrong.

"girl turned to boy ultrasound" - That sounds magical.

"baby boy or girl - how often are ultrasounds wrong?" - I don't think they're wrong very often but it seems like a lot of people out there are really wishing they would be.

And then I've got the usual assortment of freaks and weirdos:
"girl wear maxipad" - Fire bad. Maxipad good.

"video girl sitting cushion" - Hmmmm. Yes, I see.

"i feel like there is water stuck after using neti pot" - Welcome to my world.

"i'll take care of it myself joke" - This sounds like a fun person to be around. At least they want their passive aggressive guilt trips to be amusing to others.

"who can test dust for me and tell me if it was from 9/11" - What do you want to bet that this is someone who bought some 9/11 dust on ebay and wants to be sure it's authentic?

"why are you proud of your family when they are not proud of you" - Oh, wait. That one was mine.

"a place were there can take a baby out my stomach" - Eek. Get thee to a Planned Parenthood. Also, get thee back to school.

"how to stop crying about problems" - You think you've got it bad? Did you hear about the people who's doctor admitted he was attracted to their baby?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google is love

Like many of my fellow bloggers out there I get a lot of odd google hits. Here are some of my recent favorites.

"if someone eats something and it is not good what should the girl do in school?" - I admit that this one has me totally baffled. I cannot figure out what in thw world they could be asking about.

"can baby have adhd" - My three month old is distracted by shiny things. Should I medicate him? Searches like this scare me.

"how to deal with a girl that doesnt like you and how to make her like you" - Treat her bad and then don't call her for weeks at a time. That's what always seemed to get me to like a guy back in my younger days.

"if doctor said baby is good looking, he means boy or girl" - It clearly means your doctor is attracted to babies. And whatever you do, don't ask the doctor what he means. Turn to google for help analyzing his cryptic comment.

"boob glorious boobs" - I only find this interesting because I get so many of them. And they're almost always from somewhere in the middle east. I don't know what that means.

"how a girl feels when pregnant day 1" - Hung over. At least that's the way it worked for me.

"jenn slips" - Yes, sometimes I do. No one really knows through because whenever it happens I turn it into a funky little dance move so that everyone around me thinks I did it on purpose.

"we see a clear picture of penis on sonogram could it still be a girl" - Sure! Congratulations on your bundle of disapointment and resentment!

Monday, September 17, 2007

How I became one of THOSE women

Not long before Elle was born my brother mentioned that he and his then-fiance were wondering if I would be the type of woman to just nurse right out in the open. (Translation: His horrid wench of a fiance ran out of things to bitch about so she decided to try and bash me via speculation about how I would feed my future child. Sound like I'm reaching? I'm not. Trust me, you didn't know this chick.) For some reason the question really offended me. I mean, of course I wouldn't be one of THOSE women! I would nurse my baby but I would do it discreetly and out of everyone's sight. I would offend no one with the sight of my breasts.

For a while after Elle was born I really stuck to that. I didn't want to leave the house when I knew that she would have to nurse soon. And since she had to nurse every one or two hours I didn't leave the house much at all. When I did leave the house and had to nurse I would go to extreme lengths to nurse in private. I would find nursing rooms, changing rooms, darkened corners, whatever it took. (To this day I am so thankful that I never debased Elle and myself by nursing in a restroom. I think it's the most disgusting thing that you can ask a nursing mother to do. I can't stand to be in a public restroom for more than 30 seconds anyway but the thought of sitting in a crap smeared stall for 30 minutes while my baby had her lunch just makes me sick to my stomach.) If I couldn't find a way to be alone I would try to cover up. Elle hated that and even at a very early age she was able to grab the blanket and rip it off of herself.

Needless to say, nursing outside of my home was not a comfortable experience for either Elle or I. I would get tense and Elle would pick up on that and get fussy and angry. She already had a tough time nursing under the best circumstances and the poor little thing could hardly do it at all with me all stiff and hunched over her, afraid to expose even a sliver of bare flesh.

Then something happened. We went to Disney World. For the first day I went through the whole regular routine of trying to hide myself while nursing. I was pretty miserable and Elle was too. I didn't know how we were going to make it through the vacation and I very seriously considered breaking out the bottles and formula that I had packed "just in case".

Our second day of the trip was when the miracle happened. I went into the "baby care center" in the Magic Kingdom. In the nursing area I saw the most amazing sight. There were four women sitting in rocking chairs laughing and talking and nursing their babies. I figured they all must know each other because how else could they all be that comfortable just sitting there nursing in the open like that? I nervously sat down and got out a blanket to try to hide Elle under. The woman across from me laughed and said "Oh honey, you don't need to cover up, we've all seen it before!"

I felt silly but it was also somehow very freeing to hear that. I laughed too and put the blanket back away. And Elle and I, for the very first time ever, nursed in front of other people without feeling any tension or shame. I just sat there marveling at this seemingly simple event. I listened to the other women talk about what rides were the best to nurse on and it occured to me that none of them seemed at all uptight about the whole thing. I wondered if I would ever get to that point.

I did. Quickly. For the rest of the trip I nursed wherever and whenever Elle needed me to. I did it during shows, on rides, on benches crowded with other people, in restaurants, everywhere. I gave up battling Elle to keep the blanket over her while she ate. I stopped caring if someone would see a flash of a nipple when she would break off to give me one of her world famous "I love this boobie" grins.

So that was it. I was now one of THOSE women. I left it all behind in that baby care room in Disney World. The shame, the fear, the inability to just relax and enjoy the lovely bonding experience that I was sharing with Elle. I'm proud to say that I nursed Elle for nearly 15 months and never once after Disney World did I ever feel bad or ashamed about it.

When I hear people make comments about how women shouldn't nurse in public, or they should cover up I just have to laugh. I can't even get offended. I feel sorry for them because they don't understand how natural and beautiful nursing is. I feel sad that they can only see breasts as sexual objects and somehow see nursing as a sexual act. How very, very small their worlds must be that they can only see in one particular way. (Breasts are sexual and should therfor only been seen in the bedroom, strip club, HBO shows and car ads.) How sad that I used to let the fear of that kind of one-dimensional thinking mar my feelings on nursing my baby. And how very, very glad I am that four strangers taught me to rise above it.

To those women, whoever you are and wherever you are now: Thank you.

Edited to add: I just wanted to point out that while my early hang-ups about breastfeeding were all about my breasts, nursing never was. I nursed in public not because I wanted to flaunt my breasts, but because Elle was hungry and I felt she deserved the very best food that I could give her.

I feel so strongly about the benefits of breastmilk that I've already made the commitment to B and J that I will pump milk for their baby for two months. I've never had much luck with pumping so we'll have to see how it goes. If I'm successful I may go even longer so wish me luck!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Why I should not be allowed to shop when I'm pregnant

What I went to the store to buy:

What I ended up buying at the store:
Oreo Cakesters
cheddar cheese soup
broccoli cheese soup
vegetable beef soup
1 pound container of my favorite pasta salad from the deli
frozen beef ravioli
1 pound of boneless buffalo wings from the deli
chex mix (all chex!)
tortilla chips
frech onion dip
bacon dip
Shockers sour candy (in a sqeeze tube)

I think I need help.

Joke's on me

Well, ha ha. Don't I look the fool here? Turns out that the quad screen showed an elevated level of something-or-other-medical-sounding in my blood. The clinic called and said I needed to come in RIGHT NOW for a level II ultra-sound. Turns out the reason they were so urgent about it is because a high level of this particular whatever-it-is can indicate that the baby has died.

J managed to get to the clinic right before the ultrasound started and I have to say that all things considered he handled it all really, really well. As soon as the ultrasound wand was placed on my stomach we got to see the baby kicking wildly around. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw those kicks because they matched up with the little fluttering that I've been having in my tummy that I've been attributing to gas. The ultrasound tech said that the baby's placenta is all right up front so it's acting as kind of a cushion and that's why I might not be feeling the movement very strongly. Now that I know that it's movement though and not gas, I'm noticing that I feel it a lot more than I did before the ultrasound.

The ultrasound went very well. Everything looked just perfect. It's amazing how much detail can be made out. We could so clearly see every little bone it the baby's little hands. That was really neat. As far as the doctor could tell us this is just a case of "who knows why". Some people have elevated levels of something-or-other and no one really knows why. The plan now is to have me come back at 20 weeks for another blood test and level II ultrasound. If everything comes back normal then we'll just carry on as you would with any other pregnancy. If my levels are still elevated then they'll take the extra precaution of having me go to the hospital once a week (starting at 36 weeks) for labor monitoring just to make sure that the baby is not under any kind of stress.

The best part of the whole ultrasound was when I found out what B and J are having. I say I because J (in his typical ball of nerves fashion) got to nervous and didn't want to find out. Although how he couldn't tell after seeing the same thing I did on the screen I'll never know. It could not have been more clear and obvious that there was a tiny little penis right there in front of us on the screen. When the ultrasound tech leaned over and whispered "It's a boy." I just had to laugh. I'm 0 for 2 on guessing gender. I was certain that Elle was going to be a boy and I was pretty sure that this baby was a girl. One of these times I'll get it right.

After the ultrasound I had a little talk with J. I told him he needs to kind of cool it around me. I explained that when he's so stressed and nervous it makes me nervous. I also asked him to trust me to take care of myself and take care of the baby. He acknowledged that he's been a little over the top and that he probably needed to reel it in a bit. He told me what a great job he and B think I'm doing and that was really nice to hear.

I think the ultrasound ended up being a really good thing. It gave J and I a chance to talk about what's bugging me. It also gave him a chance to see that not every ache and pain and complaint involved with pregnancy is a sign of impending disaster. All around it was a good thing. Although I am a little embarrassed that I have to eat my words. I was so certain that the quad screen was going to come back totally normal.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It always gets me

I cry every time I watch this. Every single time. (You might need to be familiar with the show to enjoy this clip.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I can remember it like it was yesterday. That's saying something for me because I can't even remember yesterday like it was yesterday.

Joseph had woken up very early that morning wanting something to eat. I fed him and then put him back to bed so that he could get a little more sleep. I kissed Jesse goodbye as he headed out for his insane 2 hour commute, turned on the tv, took of my glasses and laid down on the couch to catch a few more moments of sleep.

I don't know how much later it was but I was woken up by the phone ringing. Still half asleep I stumbled over and answered the phone.


"Oh Jenny, are you watching tv? It's so terrible!"

It's my mom. Why is she crying like that? Did something happen to someone in my family? And are they talking about it on tv? Wait, what is that on the tv? Smokestacks? Is that some sort of factory? Why is there a factory on tv and why is my mom crying about it?

I go back over to the couch and put my glasses on. I still see smokestacks on the screen. That's what it has to be. Not just because I'm still only half awake but because that's what makes sense. That can't be two buildings on fire. And I cannot have just heard them say on tv that two planes were crashed into the World Trade Center. That doesn't make any sense at all.

My mom and I stay on the phone together. We don't talk but we watch the scenes play out in front of us, the same footage over and over and over. The more I watch it the less real it all seems.

At some point Joseph wakes up and I tend to him. Sort of. He ends up spending most of the day on the living room floor playing with toys as I watch the news.

On one hand the day is crystal clear. I remember so much about it. On the other hand there's not really that much to remember. I did what a lot of people did. I watched and I cried and then I watched some more.

On video that I saw on the news (and somehow, despite all the repetition of all the news I only saw this once) really stayed with me and put into focus what 9/11 meant to so many people. It was a video that someone had filmed from the 12th story of his apartment building. He was filming as the first tower fell and as the dust cloud moved closer he panned down to the street. There was a large crowd of people running as fast as they could away from the dust. The crowd rounded the corner of the block only to be met with the dust coming straight at them from that way too. It seemed like the whole crowd moved as one, throwing their hands up, turning around and looking lost. For me that image is 9/11. It said it all for me.

"What do we do now? Where can we be safe? How can we make this stop?"

I'm dying over here

J is killing me. Killing me I tell you.

He came with my to my 16 week checkup with my obgyn. I knew it was going to be interesting. What I did not know what that J was going to spend a good 40 minutes asking questions like "Jen mentioned she's been really tired. Could that mean she has gestational diabetes?" Yes, he really said that. Even the doctor was like "Wha? Um, no. She's tired because she's pregnant. That's pretty normal."

I also had to get blood drawn so that we could have a quad screen done. Ok, now that in itself might not sound like a big deal. However I think it's 100% unnecessary because we've already had a level II ultrasound done that pretty much ruled out any chance of the baby having Downs. The doctor agreed and said that the test was pretty redundant at this point since Downs had already been ruled out. J decided that it had not been ruled out enough! Yes, he wants a test that is less accurate to confirm what he has already been told by a more accurate test.

Then, J asked the doctor if he could schedule me for an amnio! For no reason! He wanted me to have a fricken amnio even though he has zero reason to think that there is anything at all wrong with this baby. Even though we have every indication that everything is normal and healthy and on track. At this point I put my foot down and said I was not comfortable having an amnio for no reason. That CVS test I had sucked rocks and I am not letting anyone stick another needle into my abdomen unless there is a damned good reason.

Thankfully the doctor agreed with me and pointed out to J that an amnio carries it's own risks and that he would only recommend one if other testing indicated there was a problem. I am so scared of the results of that quad screen. It's fairly common for those tests to give a false positive and I'm so worried that if we get one in this case that J will freak out. He can't handle a healthy pregnancy, I don't know what he would do if there was a possible problem.

The most uncomfortable moment of the appointment came when I was asking the doctor what I could do about the horrible constipation that I'm having. (Over share much Jenny?) As the doctor named some safe, over the counter things I could take to, move things along J got more and more tense. His eyes bugged out, his hands gripped the arms of the chair, his back stiffened. Finally, he burst out "Should she really be taking those things? Are they safe for the baby?!?"

Baby? What baby? Oh, you mean the baby that we have this whole appointment for in the first place? The baby that we've spent the last 40 minutes talking about? Do you not think that the doctor might have thought about the baby and it's safety before he mentioned any medications to me? And did you not notice that he said "These are things that are safe for you to take while you're pregnant"? Or were you too busy thinking about how certain you are that any medication I take while I'm pregnant will turn your child into a brain dead drug addict with 4 legs? Sorry J, you're a nice guy and I like you an awful lot but I'm not willing to spend the next 24 weeks without pooping because you can't stand the thought of me taking a stool softener.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The medication question

Joseph is on medication. That's not something I say very often because the fact is that I'm not totally comfortable with it. Back when I was young and had no kids (and therefor knew everything there was to know about parenting) I felt very strongly that kids in this country are way over-medicated. In fact, I still feel that way. I think that a lot of time people want to use a pill to solve behavior problems that could have been handled other ways. That's not to say that I don't think medication is a valid option, it's just that I think some parents are looking for a quick fix and some doctors are all too happy to oblige.

I try to tell myself that I am not one of those quick fix parents. I know that we have explored other options with Joseph and that none of them have worked. I know that I have put a ton of thought and research and questioning into deciding to medicate him. I still struggle all the time, asking myself if he's on the right medication, the right dosage, if he should even be on it at all.

Joseph is on two different ADHD medications. He doesn't have ADHD but for him Asperger's has manifested itself in some very ADHD-like behaviors. Without his medication he can't focus, he often doesn't seem to hear us when we talk to him, he has huge melt-downs over little issues, he uses gibberish talk, he engages in repetitive behavior and he just generally seems like he's not the same kid as he does when he's on medication.

Sometimes I ask myself if we medicate Joseph so that's easier for us to deal with. Well, yes. I suppose that's part of the reason. Every morning before Joseph's fast acting medication kicks in, Jesse and I have a horrid time dealing with him. The time between when he wakes up and when his medication kicks in are some of the hardest times we have with him. Just the simple tasks of getting him fed and dressed for school become complicated and difficult and draining. Some mornings (like today) I feel ready to cry by the time he leaves for school. He's that hard to deal with. I can't imagine sending him out into the world like that without some help.

And that's the big reason, the main reason we medicate Joseph. It's not so that the world has an easier time dealing with him, it's so that he has an easier time dealing with the world. Doesn't he deserve to be able to listen to and follow simple directions from his teacher? Doesn't he deserve to be able to have a give and take conversation with one of his classmates without dissolving into silly nonsense talk? Doesn't he deserve to be able to sit in the lunch room and see someone eating a food he really doesn't like and not have it send him into a giant melt-down? (And no, it's not all about school, those are just the examples that popped into my head.) Doesn't he deserve all those things that other kids get to enjoy? And if medication is the way to get him those things, is it really so bad?

So why is it that I can tell myself all these things and know all these things in my head but then still not feel them in my heart? Why do I question it so much? Why do I worry and wonder and struggle? Why can't I be ok with it?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The big winner!

I have choosen the winner of my M&M giveaway. I wish I had enough chocolate to give to everyone who entered because it warmed my shrivled little heart to see so many people talking about being proud of their loved ones. But I had to chose just one and this is how I did it:
1. Wrote down each persons name on the back of a mini post it note and folded the note up.
2. Put all the slips into a bowl.
3. Mixed up the slips.
4. Had Elle draw one out.
5. Opened the slip and found out who the winner was.
6. Realized that I had an entry stuck to my left boob.
7. Wondered if said entry got stuck there before or after the drawing.
8. Considered throwing entry in the bowl and starting over.
9. Realized that the entry stuck to my boob was AJ and that the honor of spending that long stuck to my rack should be enough of a reward for him. Also, he lives in Canada, even it he's not happy about it, what can he do? Throw whale blubber at me? (Canadians are Eskimos right?)

After all that, I am pleased to announce that the winner of my very first ever blog contest is ....insert drumroll here..... CamiKaos! She's proud of her husband and he sounds like a top notch guy who's really got his plumbing well in hand so she should be proud of him. Cami, if you email me your info I will get your chocolate out to you ASAP or as soon as I get around to it because I am lazy.

Thank to everyone who took the time to participate. It really means a lot more to me that you probably realize.

For the record

Is there anything as lame as leaving a rude comment on someone's blog? Yes! It's doing it while hiding behind the little "Anonymous" label. Yes,use that and you're not only an asshole, your a chicken shit asshole. Let's examine the little nugget that someone left in response to my "Shattered" post shall we?

"Behaving this way in front of a five year old? I hope you weren't as desperate as you portrayed. For the record, I've sent four children to kindergarten."

1. He's seven, not five.
2. He was going to 1st grade, not kindergarten.
3. This is a blog. I use it to express how I'm feeling. Sometimes that includes using creative license and writing about what I felt like doing instead of what I did.
4. Yes, I was feeling that desperate as I sent my autistic child off to school and writing about it was the way I chose to express it.
5. If you don't like the way I write my blog or parent my child you're certainly welcomed to not spend over an hour reading about my life. You're also welcomed to jump up my butt.
6. I don't care if you claim to have sent four children to kindergarten. Your life experience has no bearing on mine. Especially if it's made up.
7. I have Site Meter. You're not as "anonymous" as you think you are.
8. *deleted because I'm in a much better mood than I was when I first wrote this post*

Just for the record and all.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

All the better to stalk you with my dear

Do you Twitter? If you do, let me know so that I can add you to my list of those I'm following. You can also feel free to follow me so that I'll have more than three followers. And I'm pretty sure they're just pity followers since I started following them first and they probably just wanted to be kind. So look me up (problemgirl) and help me to help you stalk me more efficiently.

Follow starts to sound really weird if you say it too many times.


My heart is in 1 million pieces right now. I was clutching onto Joseph telling him that I didn't want him to leave this morning and was so grown up about it all. "Mommy" he said "It's ok! I'll be back this afternoon. You'll still get to see me later today! I'll come home and then we'll do something together*. Now I'm going to go and make some new friends! Mommy! Stop grabbing me and let me put my backpack on! Mommy!"

He was so calm and cool and I was a wreck. Elle and I stood on the porch waving as he and Jesse drove away. Joseph had a big smile on his face and I yelled every last minute instruction I could think of. "Be a good listener! Try at least one bite of everything on your tray at lunch time! Don't pick at your fingernails! Leave your bandaid on your owie! Remember to ask the teacher if you have to go potty! Remember to sign up for white milk for snack time! Unless you want chocolate!" On and on and on until the car was out of sight and I was just standing there yelling random things to the empty street.

Why is this so hard for me? The fact is that I know school is good for him. He really blossomed last year in kindergarten. His teacher this year comes personally picked out by his teacher from last year. When we met her (the new teacher) yesterday she seemed really nice and it seems like she'll be a good fit for Joseph. We also know his IEP case manager because she worked with him during summer school and she's really nice too. So I know he's in good hands and I know how much he loves the social aspect of being in school. So why is it so hard for me to send him to school? Ugh.

I'm going to draw my contest winner later this afternoon. Right now I'm going to play puzzles with Elle and try to figure out a way to keep her from growing up too.

*Despite all his time in speech therapy he still pronounces this as "tah-get-er". I don't care if he never learns to say it right, it's so cute. That, and when he says "hangaber" instead of "hambuger". I love it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

School days

Joseph has his first day of school tomorrow. Real school. Big boy school. First grade.

How is this even possible? I know it's cliche but it really seems like just yesterday that he was a baby. I can still so clearly picture the first time I met him. He was so fuzzy and funny looking. When we were left alone I stared at him and he stared at me with his serious brown eyes. He was so scrawny that I was almost afraid to pick him up. I looked at him and I promised myself that I would do my very, very best to take care of this tiny little baby. As soon as I worked up the nerve to pick him up.

And now? He's not a baby anymore.

I don't know why first grade feels so different for me than kindergarten did. It's the same building he was in last year. He'll eat in the same lunchroom, play on the same playground, check books out of the same library. But somehow, this all seems so real. Almost like last year he was just playing school but this year there's no more practice. Joseph is on his way now, he's growing up.

This year when I pick him up at the front door he won't want to hold my hand when we walk out to the parking lot. Well, actually he'll probably still want to hold my hand but now I'll have to wonder if I should let him. Should I point out to him that none of the other first graders want to hold their mom's hands? Or should I just hold his hand as long as he'll let me and not care if that makes the other kids label him as a baby?

Augh! This is too hard. How do I let him go and let him grow when my instinct is to grab him and hold him tight and not ever let him get any bigger?

Joseph is so excited for school to start tomorrow. Mommy? Mommy hates first grade.