Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Link Love

I guess I would wonder what help this father was offered for his nine children after his wife died, but before he legally abandoned them at a Nebraska hospital.
Seems that a 'Safe Haven' (otherwise known as: leave your unwanted baby safely in a hospital) Nebraska legislation has had some unexpected results.
I am guessing there are some strong opinions about this?

Does anybody else remember Space Food Sticks (energy bars before we knew what those were)?
Did you know they are back?

I am sorry I missed this one earlier. I, personally, am afraid of clowns and would prefer not to dress like one or hang out with one, drunk or not, but I know plenty of people who might have been great at this gig.

Am I the last mama to hear about Pocoyo? Oh, the cuteness! We don't have Teh Cable here at Chateau Gwendo, and I stumbled upon it today via youtube.
My advice to you? Obtener un poco pocoyo ahora. Prontamente.

Having a very hard time not saying her damn name, but since SaraB has only given me one little burst of light last week (albeit, a damn funny one), thank goodness for Tina Fey stepping up to the plate to do her job.
The truth? The truth is was that it was the easiest writers' mockdown in the history of ever. All they had to do was use a portion of the actual transcript.

OH YES....and speaking of Sarahs....have you seen The Great Schlep?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Outreach Smackdown

I am outraged.



And no, this is not even about Voldemort's dumber-than-a-post veep choice.

I had a long conversation yesterday with a good friend who lives in a shoe - she has so many children, I hardly ever see her.
Okay, I may have made up the part about living in a shoe.

Her daughter is two and 1/2 years old, was a 33 week preemie, but born 'acting more like a thirty week old', which essentially means that she was born with a delay. Other than a (common-in-preemies) minor heart defect, her delays were not of concern or anything apparently severe. She has been monitored by the university infant development program, and has met most of her milestones, but has always had a bit of delay in most of her development. But now that she is over two, those delays show up with more distinction.
We talked for a while about her latest triptych to the doctor circuit; her pediatrician recommended an eye doctor, who examined the tot and found that, other than the obvious strabismus, her eyesight was rather perfect, but he suspected a neurological disorder and referred her to a neurologist, and the neurologist confirmed a suspected processing disorder and also suggested that she may possibly have...cerebral palsy.
Oh, wow. Just casually tossed that one into my friend's unsuspecting lap.
So naturally, my next question was, "So, how many hours of early intervention are you getting?"
"Oh...well...we go to the infant development clinic."
"No, not that. The early intervention people. Who send therapists to your house."
"Oh no. We don't have that."
"Isn't your doctor the chief ped at that practice (which also happens to be the practice that treats my daughter)?"
"But he never mentioned early intervention to you? In the entire time you have been bringing your preemie child to him?"
" I think that the infant development people may have mentioned it once...but I confess...I thought 'ohgod, not another appointment I have to fit in!' and probably 'forgot' about it."
"Yeah, with your five kids, I am sure that was a deliberate oversight", I joked.
"But really. Your pediatrician? Never even mentioned? Early? Intervention? Seriously?"
"No, never."
I said I would need to call her back.

Then I walked up the road and threw myself into traffic. But I live in the mountains, and I was lying there for about twenty minutes when it occurred to me that not one car had passed. I got bored and returned to my house to call my friend back.

"Okay, let me explain to you what early intervention is like and why you want it. You are romping through a beautiful meadow, filled with wildflowers, someone is holding your hands at either side. That is the early intervention part.
You come running up to a cliff, whereupon the hand-holders abruptly stop and you jump off alone, landing at the hands (or feet) of the school district. That is when your child turns three. Yes, three."

"Oh. Whoa. As in, in six months."

"Yes. As in 'six months'."

"Do you have their number?" She wisely asked, and we wasted no more time chatting so that she could call the regional center post-haste.

One of the things our early intervention provider has been doing locally is outreach with pediatricians, after noting that many of the families receiving their services reported that their pediatrician suggested that they 'wait and see' when they shared developmental concerns about their young children. This is such a standard response; even I got it when I asked about Bubbles' speech at 20 months! The early part of early intervention is apparently lost in translation, and our doctors, those professionals who care for our children when they are sick, are seemingly unable to suggest intervention. Not only not suggest it, but also dismiss parental concerns, thereby often missing the window in which the most intensive assistance can be offered to a child.

Seems that someone needs an outreach smackdown, right quick.
Think that anyone would hire me if I branded myself as an 'Outreach Smackdown Specialist'?

While I am at it, another friend in a neighboring county was recently visiting and I asked her what kind of services she was receiving from her regional center for her autistic son. They moved from Texas less than a year ago, and her son, at the age of five, finally received an Autism diagnosis. I say finally, because she said she suspected from 18 months old that he was autistic. She said she was not getting any services from her regional center. I asked her why, and she said that he was over three, and therefore not eligible for early intervention services.
"But that doesn't matter!" I sputtered, "He has autism! He is eligible for help from them! Respite care, therapy!"
She had no idea either.
Both of the families to whom I refer are educated, well-informed parents. We all happen to be English-speaking. Can you imagine trying to wade through all of this information if you did not speak much English or were not privileged enough to have had an education?

So, for all the informed, misinformed, underinformed and slipping-through-the-cracks families out there, please read on to the five qualifiers that enable an individual to receive regional center services for the rest of their life. (This data is for California - I will start doing my research on other states, but if you know more about services in your own state, please let me know!):
  1. Autism
  2. Cerebral palsy
  3. Debilitating seizure disorder
  4. Mental retardation
  5. A syndrome which must be treated with mental retardation as a component.

Everybody should know these facts; these rights to those we love and those in need.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh Yes I Did Say That

Don't do that (hang over the railing of the stairs with your big old head pivoting you closer to a tiled floor demise) or you will break your head!

I mean it!

You will break your head all breaky and broken.


I am pretty sure he understands.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Haunting Fire Photos

After the fire on our mountain, my friend Nicole took her children and some neighbors to the burned site near my house.

She took these hauntingly beautiful pictures.

Nicole is a great photographer with a wicked hilarious sense of humor.
After the birth of one of her (preemie) children, she sent out thank you notes to those of us who had brought her a post-partum meal. The card was a picture of her baby in that curled up with butt in the air position the way newborn babies do. Her baby was curled up on a platter surrounded with fruit and featured on a beautifully set table, and the caption underneath read:
"Good enough to eat!"

Upon opening the card, it read,
"Thank goodness we didn't have to! Thanks for the delicious meal."

Which cracked me right up. Dh, on the other hand, couldn't stomach the picture and thought it was horrible. Which cracked me up even more. Upon checking with a few friends, the women all thought it hilarious, and the men all found it horrifying.
Now that I have shared that story, I will have to ask her for a copy of that picture if I can't find mine.

If you need a photographer, she's a winner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I was in serious danger

At the birthday party of mamas only, there was much hinting of freezing bras. Either the sangria or the hot tub replaced that plan with actual sleep, but the end result was - sleep.
I was the last one to go to bed, and headed outside in the yard to clean up a bit and turn off the carnival lights. I tripped over something right away, which turned out to be a bra on the ground. A very large bra, dropped from someone's armload as they twinkle-toed back from the hot tub.
Very large.
So large, that when I saw it, my breasts uttered little protests of inadequacy.

I didn't freeze the bra, but I did decide to hang it up in the doorway, mistletoe style. As I hung up the gargantuan soft cups, I giggled to myself at the thought of the first hapless person to walk into its clutches.
I went out in the yard and collected bottles for recycling, emptied plates that may have lured raccoons, and eventually turned off the lights, leaving me alone with the rising moon.

I stood watching it for a few minutes, basking in the quiet chilly night, feeling slightly older, and I noticed the temperature rise ever so slightly with the moon rise.

I smiled at the thought of all my mama friends who were already sound asleep, dreamily basking in the reality of being able to sleep in.

I walked back across the yard through the darkness, carefully feeling my way up the steps to the house.
Suddenly, I felt something grab me around the neck and I screamed and twisted away, thus further enabling the attacker to wrap me in it's...................tentacles?................................
....................................................rope of death?..........................................???????????
..............................softly padded elastic straps?????????????


Attack of the double D cups.

I almost died.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Want to feel better for just FIVE DOLLARS?

I have been more quiet than usual; I think I was also affected by a case of Palinitis, and I am hoping it is not chronic.

This little light of mine, Sara Benincasa, has kept me from drowning myself in our overflowing septic tank and calling it a day.

Many people are discovering the joy that is a seven minute dose of Sara B via the Sarah Palin Vlog, and Cindy is no exception.

But because she did not have a birthday which forced her to drink sangria all weekend is quick to act and even faster to think, jumped on the "How DO we combat Palinitis?" bandwagon and suggests a clever and diabolical plan:

Donate money to Planned Parenthood ($5 minimum) in Sarah Palin's name.
She will get a card for every donation made in her name.

You will need to provide a mailing address so they can send her a thank you card:
Cindy suggests using the 'McCain campaign headquarters' (you know, when I typed that phrase just now, Voldemort just reached out of his slime and smacked me with mucous) which is:

McCain for President
Attn: Sarah Palin
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202

You can also find the addresses for governor of Alaska here.

SaraB thinks it's a great idea too!

So does HuffPo!

You in?

Come on...isn't it worth FIVE DOLLARS to feel smug?

UPDATE: 9/23- I just spoke with Beth at Planned Parenthood Development office, and she said that for any amount $5 or over which is placed 'in honor of', the 'honoree' will receive a card.
Go on and 'honor' her.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

ABC-Awesome Birthday Convergence

Let it be known, that at my birthday party, the one where only the mamas were invited; the kids and husbands kicked out of the picture for a change....
...The one at which approximately seven women tasted diablo sangria and martharitas, among other lovely libations....(and food! I promise there was copious and fabulous food!)
....The one at which, every single mama tucked in to their slumber part of the party...

...well, I alone was left standing to watch the half moon rise at 1:15 am...

And it was...astounding.

Which also makes it no longer my birthday, but Jen's.
She's asleep right now. But go over there and (quietly) wish her a happy birthday.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Hey LOOK, CINDY! I got ALL the mini-cones they had at the store!

And they were on sale!

I have some saved for you, promise!

Bubbles had a blast with my concept art:

He had his own concept, of course:

Creamy Creaminess

When I was in the early stages of my first pregnancy, the smell of milk made me sick. Really. My brother even claimed that 'milk had no smell' as he made his son some evening ovaltine.
I retched back from the bathroom, "LIAR!"

I was never a big milk drinker, but I could not even say the word 'creamy' without making myself sick.
My brother thought this was hilarious and said things like, "Creamy creamy creaminess mmmm...." all the time that Christmas, proving yet again, which one of us would never actually mature.

Well, I am not pregnant.

So go read all about Horizon's Creamy Creaminess over here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Saw Jesus Baba-Ji and He's Headed for Half Moon Bay


Or actually, son of god.

Today, I saw Jesus. I am pretty sure it was Jesus, and watch out, Deb, because he's headed back your way.

Seriously. I was headed to town for an afternoon meeting, and I saw Jesus and his disciple walking north on Highway One. I couldn't whip my camera out fast enough without causing a traffic accident, so I actually turned around to get a picture. I knew that this might cost me the difference between being prompt or being a teensy bit late for my meeting, but when I thought for a moment about who the victim would be if I was later, and would he consider it worthy, I knew that he would. So I turned around and backtracked almost two miles to get some good shots. Debbie, you are welcome!

I turned around for you and got this shot.

What do you think?
OR....Baba Ji?

Monday, September 15, 2008

And, we find out the meaning of 'hubris'

Sarah: I have a special needs child. And I cut funding so he will not be able to go to school!

Dina: You're so against the special interests, that you're not gonna support special education.

has me laughing so effing hard today.

If you haven't heard, I am lobbying Sarah Benincasa to be my new best friend. Sorry, BOS.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Link Love

One of Ms. Palin's aides got up in someone's grill about know...discussing her....
“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”

It's important to remember, however, that Alaska is a state with a small population. (~650,000)
So let's not blow this 'welcome back parade' for Sarah out of proportion, shall we?

I found this thing attached to my ear today. Yes, I am freaking out, thank you for asking.

Everything else around here is hard to describe.
I either feel like this....or like this.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Assessment (#1)

When I was told that I would have to drive nearly an hour south of my house to have Bubbles' speech assessment (for Apraxia testing) done, my response was that it was just fine; I didn't mind driving to San Francisco (1.5 hours north), as long as the person was qualified.
Our regional center (which is a fabulous superlative among other regional centers) (in other words, I implicitly trust them) assured me that they had contracted with a speech pathologist who had over 25 years of experience. No worries, right?
I was a little surprised, after I wound myself up a redwood lined road, to be introduced (by speech pathologist A, the person with whom the appointment was made) to another woman with a small bag of toys and a large stack of paper, and we were led down a short trail to a yurt complex. This is where the assessment was to be conducted.
Okay, I guess this is totally fine - I don't need conventional! I just need someone experienced! Plus, I am all about the mountain life, so I just decided that we were lucky to have testing done in such a beautiful setting.
Then, speech pathologist A told speech pathologist B (woman with bag) that she would leave us to do her thing.
Her 'thing' turned out to be 'The Assessment'.
Well, I didn't expect this but then again, perhaps it would be all just fine. And she seemed very nice, anyway, so what was I worried about? Just chill out and stop talking fast, I told myself as I tried to give her the quick rundown on Bubbles' particular articulation deficits.
She put her toys on the floor, giving him immediate access to what I thought were to be used as tools in the testing. I had a brief 'what is she thinking?' moment, but took a deep breath and smiled. We would be fine. Bubbles quickly examined the meager assortment of toys and then started to put them back in her bag. He was done.
"Nnn wan paeee!" (don't want to play) He exclaimed, shaking his head vigorously and pulling me towards the door. "Wan go go now!" (these toys are stupid and I am leaving)
"HAHAHA!" I shouted, way too cheerfully, "WE ARE GOING TO PLAY!! PLAY AND HAVE FUN!! FUN FUN!!"
He looked at me dubiously (I swear he did) and said, "I. WAN. GO."
She said, "Hey Bubs! We're gonna have FUN! Come over here and play with me!"
He wasn't convinced but he gamely sat down, patting the floor next to him for me to join him, which I did.
She hauled out a very thick packet of paper which turned out to be The Test.
She said, "Okay, Bubbles! I am going to say a word and then I want you to repeat it after me.

(if you needed some explanation? Extremely and unnecessarily long instruction for a two year old being assessed for language deficits.)

I said, "I'm not sure he will be able to understand your instructions."
She said, "Bubbles, I will say a word and then you say it after me."


Bubbles began to put her toys back in the bag again, as a not-so-subtle message to her that she could leave. Right away, please.

She vascilated between practiced happy tolerance and visible frustration as she continued to present a word to my son and ask him to 'repeat it after she said it'.
Bubbles attempted a few models and then again went for the door.
"I go go go."

"I think you need to simplify the instruction. Can you say the word and then tell him,'Your turn'?"
She tried saying the instruction this way and he started to comply without too much thought given to protest. Because he has been coached for months through ABA to respond to simple instructions.
After a few more repetitions, he again went to the door.
"I wan go go!"
She said, "We may not be able to get through this today if he can't follow instructions."
I looked at the giant packet in front of her - the packet we were expected to complete with her - and said, "He's used to ABA -based speech therapy. He works well for motivators."
She replied, "Oh, I didn't bring anything with me."
I looked at the small pile of discarded toys in front of her.
"Let me run up to my car and see if I can find something to use - I have milk and that will help!"
I told Bubbles I would be right back, and he understandably began to protest being left there.
"Bubbles. I will go to the car and get milk. And a lollipop. Then I will come right back here and play with you."
He sat back down on the floor with this stranger and was compliant.
I wandered up to the car and spotted speech therapist A (the one with whom the appointment had been made) chatting on her deck with someone. I was still mighty confused about the whole scenario, and retrieved the milk and lollipop and a fruit leather from the car.
When I walked back down to the yurt, Bubbles was working well with speech therapist B so I hovered outside the screened door and waited for him to have another attention break.
He continued to comply with the testing and the wordy instructions; I was so proud of him as I watched. He is two! He was being so good for this person he didn't know, just for the sake of being good!
Eventually though, even his good nature wore thin and there was still a giant stack of papers to get through.
When I came back in, she said, "Well he definitely qualifies!"
I asked, "For Apraxia?" (really? this quickly into the test? wow!)
She raised her eyebrows, "I don't know that yet. He qualifies for services, though - he definitely has a delay."

::blink blink::

"Well we know that! He has been getting ABA-based speech therapy for nine months!"
At this point I realized she knew nothing about him. She hardly knew why she was there testing him; she thought it was to see if he qualified for any speech therapy at all, and was unsure why she was asked to perform the test for Apraxia on him.
She did, however, hear the 'ABA-based therapy', and after that I could tell she spent the next ten minutes trying to assess whether or not she thought he was on the spectrum.
Suddenly, the questions shifted.
"Is his eye contact usually better than this?"
"Why is he getting ABA instead of traditional methods?"

Once she was satisfied with my traditional 'yes he has already been assessed and yes we are pretty damn sure he is not autistic, and by the way, ABA doesn't always suggest autism' explanation, the testing resumed.

I broke out the milk, and would offer him one sip of milk for each word he would say, which was...painstaking. He isn't used to having me as his ECI/speech therapist/ABA instructor; and, while I practice regular ABA with him throughout the day, he could see this was a set-up. Speech therapist B (STB)would get visibly frustrated each time he (loudly) protested, but I held true to the principle and made him follow through to receive his motivator. The motivators were at first, the milk and lollipop (one lick at a time, though when he got sick of me taking it away from him and took a big chomp out of it, he was sternly chastised by STB because now that he had something in his mouth, she couldn't ask him to repeat a word. I confess, I suppressed a giggle.), but he soon tired of those, so we moved on to whatever else caught his interest in the room yurt.
The fan? Okay, after you have a turn (say two words) you can press the button on the fan.
The pillows? Okay, after you have a turn (say two more words), you may jump on the pillows.
The pile of yoga mats? Okay, after you have a turn (say two more words again!), you may knock over the pile of mats.

This went on and on - the pages kept turning, the questions kept coming, and my son continued to be allowed to bounce his way around the yurt in carefully measured doses and try to escape endure it.
In between his bursts around the room, STB asked me questions about his history and language development.
One of the questions went something like this, "Does Bubbles understand a two-part instruction?"
And I thought, 'Observation skills, much? OMG were you in the room with me for the past two hours when I was telling him that he would have to do A to get B?'
I did not say that out loud.
Another question asked if Bubbles could understand concepts and reasoning - I pointed out that he had stopped crying about me leaving him in the yurt (with a stranger) earlier when I told him I was going to the car and would be back with treats.

When I asked her a few questions, they went like this:
Q: "So, do you work with children much?"
A: "I work in a nursing home. I work with stroke-onset Apraxia victims."
Q: "Have you done many of these tests with the outcome of Apraxia?"
A: "I've never done this test on a child before!"

When I came out of my shock-induced coma, I thanked her for her (two hours! of) time and gathered up Bubbles, who by this time had charmed STB by showing her around the garden he had just discovered. He hugged her goodbye and said, "Enk-thu (thank-you)."
And we wound back down their mountain to recover from the ordeal and drive back up our mountain.

And because Squid is always good at making my brains think, I asked myself this at the end of the day:
Was it a bad experience because we were expecting someone more qualified and the assessment may have to be re-done and it was a rather painful two hours the first time around?
Was it a good experience because the ABA skills which I have been working so hard to learn and incorporate for Bubbles' ultimate progress proved to be resourceful and successful in getting Bubbles through a test which was not performed in a developmentally appropriate manner?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Correct Answer: Because I am Lucky

Little Boy at Preschool: Why are you here?

Me: To pick up Bubbles from preschool.

Little Boy at Preschool: But why? Why are you here right now?

Me: To pick up Bubbles from preschool right now.

Little Boy at Preschool (increasingly agitated): But why is she here? Why is the music teacher here, Teacher Julie? (Everyone knows that teachers are only supposed to be present where and when appropriate in the child's mind)

Teacher Julie: Because she is your music teacher, but she is also Bubbles' mommy.

Little Boy at Preschool (completely losing his shit): NO!! NO!! WHY? Why is she Bubbles' mommy?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'll take that with a side of puppy fries...

I was looking up a recipe for 'dumplings' on, and this is what I found (note the slightly disturbing recipe name sixth down on the list):

Now, I have no idea what 'kiffle' is, and I am pretty sure that stri-fry is Sri Lankan saute dish, but Man Stuffed?

Whoa. Is that legal?
Cause if it is...I have a man....Just sayin....

Quiet in Angstland

My own current state of political angst is best described as crushing anxiety and futile futility.

Yes, I am that bunched up about it.

I fear we live in our little bubble here; a lalalalovely leftist likable bubble.

Which, last time made me feel like an ass.

This time I want to feel triumphant.

Same bubble, new faces, new ticket, new goals, new fears.

Do you appreciate your rights as a woman as you know them now?

I urge you to look more deeply into this situation and validate your fears.

Then, use your voice, your blog, your influence, your common peaceful motivations to help us create not just change, but to maintain your freedom as you know it.

And get a paper bag and BREATHE into it.
In, out: In, out: repeat.
You can do this.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Link Love (oldies but goodies)

I'm sure you've seen this by now, but it still makes me laugh. Heartily.
Sarah Palin's Vlog.

One might feel a bit of sympathy while watching this video, if one can try to imagine the pain and deprivation of the asses he missed looking at for over 5 years
However, the uncomfortable vein bulging swallowing makes me very... uncomfortable.

And just because this isnt' all about politics today....This one never fails to crack me up. But then again, cracking me up is as easy as thinking up flame-throwers for Jenny, The Bloggess. Plus, she hardly gets any traffic, so you should go visit her and tell her I sent you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Very Unexpected Gift

Today, as if the universe sensed I needed something, I received a gift.
I received an email from a woman named Kara. She said that she had been lurking for a while, and that her son was born still, one year ago next Monday. I wanted to reach through the words for a person and hug her when I read that. I wanted to find a way to find her and give her something, not sure what, to help her get through next week.
But she went on to tell me that she had had a dream she needed to share with me.
A dream about Elijah.
People often voice their concerns over the potentially negative effects of posting pictures of our children on our websites. Today I can share with you a beautiful and unforeseen result of having posted the pictures of Elijah: He was recognized in another person's dream as being Elijah. And while she had only pictures of a small baby in her mind, she dreamed about my son, who was recognizable to her as a radiant, laughing toddler.
Some believe that all dreams are prepared for us by our own subconsciousness. I am not one of them.

Kara prefaced her email with a kind disclaimer: she had not gotten too far into my archives and was not aware of my beliefs or background. I found this to be respectful, but in the end, irrelevant. My beliefs are not relevant to her dream; I have no reason to believe anything other than the dream, and thank her for sharing it with me.

"I just recently found your blog, probably a couple of months ago, and I have only been able to go back and read so much of it in my spare time, so I am not 100% versed in your beliefs, background, etc. But I felt the need to reach out to you because I had a dream about your Elijah. I don't know what it meant, and I don't know why because I hadn't checked your blog for a few days, and what I had most recently been reading about were your other children, and not specifically about Elijah. But, I wanted to share with you so you know that he is in many people's lives and touching people's hearts all over, even though his time with you was too short.

I can't remember how the dream started, but all of the sudden, Elijah was there, in front of me. He didn't look too small for his age, he didn't look like he had any trouble growing or thriving, and he was very healthy, and he had been running around playing. He looked about 2-3 years old: chubby, rosy cheeks, big beautiful curls in his hair, his eyes sparkling with joy and laughter. He looked so happy and amused and just wonderful; almost like he was about to start laughing hysterically. He was wearing khaki corduroy overalls, and a blue and green long-sleeved shirt...not sure why I recall that detail...

I don't know if he came to me so that I could tell you about how he is. Or, I often wonder if he came to me to show me that where he is now there is nothing but healthy, happy children. Because my son was so sick prior to his birth, I wonder how he is now, and maybe Elijah was trying to assuage my fears. I can't be sure. But whatever the reason, I want you to know that I saw him, and he was just beautiful and healthy. And whatever the message, I am grateful he stopped by because he made me smile and he gave me hope."

I have read this very slowly, three times.
I continue to read it slowly.
I asked her if his shirt was striped. It was. So I knew it was Elijah.

Each time I read it, I experience something I never could have without this gift: The vision of Elijah as a healthy, robust, active, growing, and alive child.
The gift of knowing that his life continues to touch others is immeasurable.

Thank you, Kara.

The Cute Food Distraction Therapy Technique

When life comes at you like an angry, drunk weasel, what do you do?
Okay, maybe it isn't angry or drunk or even a weasel, but maybe it's more like your life is just rolling around in front of you, tripping you and generally being a big bother who won't cooperate, what do you do?
Do you also distract yourself by making cute lunchbox food that your children also won't eat? Because, while Supergirl has gotten much better in the feeding department (ie: she eats now), her brother still prefers food in liquid form - any kind of boob milk seems to be fine with him: mama, cow, goat, etc.
I tried today though, I really did. It was Bubbles' second day of preschool and I thought maybe I could trick him into eating food by making it look enticing and fun (like his sister was tricked).
I even used one of my new friend (oh yes she is! At Blogher she stole my lighter!) Biggie's yummy looking recipes for using leftover rice: Yaki Onigiri, or grilled rice balls.
I thought maybe he would try something formerly rejected (rice) if it was covered in salty goodness and crisped up a bit.
I thought wrong. I did, however, hear from the preschool director that she was impressed and showed the rest of the teachers and children the lunch (that he did not eat). Hopefully they won't be peering into his lunchbox expecting the ironically happy results of the manifestation of my own distraction every single day.

Top layer: fruit leather strips, pretzel thins, and bacon.
Bottom layer: Yaki Onigiri, PB moon sandwich with cheese stars.
(excuse the low light...I did this at midnight)

Supergirl's lunch: Snappea crisps, pistachios, cheese stars, PB&J butterfly sandwich, white nectarine, pomegranate seeds, yaki onigiri and little tiny pig sauce bottle of tamari sauce. Oh-and Brazilian Pudding flavored Pocky in the fork container!

(Note the multi-culti puddle into which I have stepped by using both Japanese and Guatemalan accessories)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Everybody Jump on the Bento Bandwagon

Ummm...okay I guess I'm know....staying busy.....

Most of you want to know where to buy the cute little Bento supplies. A year ago, you were screwed unless you lived in the Bay Area, Seattle, or Japan. But now, thanks to my favorite store's new online shop, you too can order egg molds, pig shaped sauce cups, and quippy little lunch boxes. Try Ichiban Kan. You will not regret it. Suzy in San Mateo should probably kick down some Pocky to me for that plug, but know that I share this information with you from the goodness of my heart, not out of blogging for Pocky.
The goodness of my heart, and the greenness of my heart as well. Bento eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags, etc. That alone is enough reason to go with Bento lunches.

As Geener pointed out in the comments section, no wonder Supergirl rejects the red lunches. We do, after all, live in a Blue State. But there are not enough naturally occurring blue foods, so work with me here.

Seaweed rice cake, 1/2 sour pickle, granola bar, pocky, baby star noodle snack, dried snappeas, cottage cheese, salami and crackers.

TJ's cheesey puffs, caramel cookie, pear, PB&J, Judy's breadstick and brie cheese rounds, raspberries.

Shown with Supergirl's awesome new lunch basket from here. You know you want one....for $16? such a deal!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Sound of A Pause

When things get quiet over at Gwendomama's shack, it can only mean one of very few things:
  1. My fingers were all broken or otherwise rendered unable to type.
  2. One or more of my children has had a concussion or worse and I am unable to type (because they are plastered on top of me like jellyfish whenever any little thing goes wrong).
  3. I am in Hawaii and too blissed out to tell you all about my trip. (Have you been to Hawaii? It can happen.)
  4. Some things are too sad, too precarious, or too damn sensitive to write about here.
  5. And that really pisses me off.

Fact: Only two of the above five statements are currently true.