Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How Much Mercury Is The FDA's RDA?

Here's some FOOD for thought.
  1. How much mercury would you feed your child before you decided it was enough?
  2. How much mercury is safe for your child to consume?

The answers are,
  1. Zero.
  2. Zero.

Archer Daniels Midland, poisoners of your kitchen and body, have decided to challenge scientific facts and feed mercury to the general public, via High Fructose Corn Syrup.
And you thought it just created Diabetes!!

No, now you can poison the entire family with a lunchbox full of 'juice' and 'fruit' gummies. Toss in a little Jello and you've got a delicious buffet of brain cell and pancreas killers!

Why isn't anyone talking about this? Only Huffpo? Why isn't this being picked up by any other news sources? And why is Huffpo pretending that they don't know who makes the HFCS?

ADM makes it, that's who.

And the FDA - do not for a minute think that they are protecting you.
They know all about it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday Monday Link Love

I love to laugh, and these have kept me laughing for days:

Joe Cocker's lyrics demystified!!

Why I will never ever try a self-waxing kit.

And if you haven't seen this already, make sure you hang in there til about the 4 minute mark:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kindergarten Lessons

My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Masters. She was about 106 years old and she was...rather burned out I think. I had been warned by my three older siblings, that this was not a woman who I would want to cross. If you made her mad, then you would surely be sent to the principal's office, where, it was rumored a well known fact that a paddle with nails would be waiting for your bottom. I was only four, but I was nobody's fool.
I made it through the first few months unnoticed, which was the best possible situation for a student in her class. The two-story indoor wooden climbing structure kept me busy, and I cannot to this day forget the feel and texture of my silky quilted aqua-colored napping blankie. The toys with which we provided were ample and aesthetically sound, and the clever children kept themselves occupied for the majority of the three hour school day.
I learned how to stand in line and raise my hand, sing when I was asked, trace and cut with scissors, and how to find the bathroom on my own.
I didn't put enough glitter on my Halloween pumpkin to be showcased or featured - as evidenced by Heather Holt's own dazzling masterpiece, but by Thanksgiving, the art project was all mine:

My traced-hand rainbow-feathered turkey ruled the center spot on the show-off board; I was cruising.
Then came the Santa project.
You know the one.

I aced the cottonballs on the hat and on the beard. And then came the eyes. I had a strip of black paper, out of which I was supposed to cut Santa's two eyes.
I cut out one; it was perfect, so I set it aside.
I cut another; it was also perfect, so I set it next to my first perfect one.

Oh no.
They did not match up.
They were not the same size.
I had two nearly perfect eyes; each one small and black and nearly circular. But they were not the same size.

My parents happened to have a prominently-placed Modigliani print in the house which severely disturbed me because of her uneven eyes. I mean, come on, look:

Slightly disconcerting to see at breakfast every day from the age of three, perhaps?

(Yes, it really was in the breakfast room.)

So it was, for some reason, important to me that my two little black construction paper Santa eyes, did, in fact - match.

I tried again. One eye, cut carefully with blunt-end scissors and most likely a protruding and thoughtful -or desperate- tongue...and then another eye, which was also perfect and lovely in its own right...but not matching even one of the others.
This continued until I had at least 7 un-matching little black eyes.

I was tired, my chubby fists had just turned five years old, and my guard was down from Mrs. M. I had, in a small phrase, 'had it'.
In an unprecedented fit of frustrated aggravation, I threw my scissors down on the table. Hard. Threw them down.

And oh.
I was in trouble.

Mrs. Masters saw it. She heard it. She came for me.
I was doomed to leave the group of the good children.
She came for me and I knew what was coming: I had seen it many times before.

She came at me from behind; I looked over my right shoulder just in time to notice her grabbing for my right ear. Which I instantly felt.
"WHAT IS THIS?" She shrieked, pointing accusingly at the thrown scissors.
"I-I-I---can't do it." I cried, snotty-faced and pointing at my discarded mismatched black eyes.
"They don't match!"
"WE! DO! NOT! THROW! SCISSORS!" She bellowed at me, as she waved the blunt-end scissors in my face.
"The eyes!" I pleaded, "I wanted to make them the same, but, but...buh..."
I sputtered...I was afraid that I would pee my pants if I went on...
"We DO NOT THROW SCISSORS!!!!!" She repeated, as I shivered.
She had never let go of my ear, but now she lifted, she yanked. I was standing, and she was dragging, dragging me by my ear towards the door. I was shamed. I was a Bad Kid.
Out to the hallway I was led by my right ear and an irate and decrepit teacher, and there I was left. At the mercy of the nail-filled, paddle-wielding principal. Which everyone knew to be true. Especially those of us with older siblings. Because, why would they lie to us about something that serious, right?

I was momentarily grateful when she released my ear (and with it, the rest of my body) with a flourish into the hallway and slammed the door between us.
I was alone in the hallway.
I was at one end of the hall. At the other end, was the ominous and fabled principal's office.
I had been in school for three months. I had just turned five.
And I was in trouble. Big Trouble.
I thought about the scissors. And the eyes. And I was truly sorry. But I didn't know how to get back into the room. I waited.
I waited some more.
I waited.

Then I heard footsteps. They sounded Big, and they were coming from the opposite end of the building. You know - the office end.
On my left was a drinking fountain, protruding from the wall. One at which I had obediently lined up approximately 134 times. Under it was a hollow ceramic sink and some pipes. And I? I was a shrimp.
I scanned the interior of the ceramic drinking fountain, surveyed the heavy steps coming towards me and then I made a leap.
Up. Into the underside of the fountain. And I fit.
I pushed my feet against the pipe and wedged myself into the cold and bumpy ceramic innards. I could see nothing but the tan and grey tiles below. I tried to pull my feet up higher as I heard the footsteps coming unmistakably toward me....and then they slowed....oh-yes-they-did....they slowed down until I finally un-scrunched my eyes and looked down to see the two black loafers which belonged to the principal. They stopped in front of the drinking fountain. I was trying to pull my dangling tights-clad legs up into the piping, but it was too late. I had been noticed.
Tap tap tap....he knocked on the top of the ceramic.
I hiccuped
Tap tap tap..."Who goes there?" He demanded.
He leaned over to see who was under there, and I felt it coming - I couldn't stop it - it rose up, made its way out of my mouth, and I vomited. Straight down onto the shoes.

He carefully pulled me out of the pipes, avoiding the puddle beneath me, and walked me by the hand, across the hall to the nurse's office. She gave him some towels to clean his shoes and told me to lie down on the green leatherette chaise. I curled up, scrunched my eyes shut again and waited.

My mother came to collect me and my stomach flu vanished as quickly as it had arrived.

One year later, I had the good fortune of having the nicest first grade teacher in the world. When Mrs. Trowbridge showed us all how to fold the paper over before cutting if we wanted two matching anythings, I was amazed at what I could create.
And I was pissed at Mrs. Masters.
I mean, how hard would it have been?

Friday, January 23, 2009

What's Not Fair Today?

When, almost every time I try and cook anything with a certain audience witness spy companion(or have already cooked something) (or even if the something that I cooked has already been eaten), the use of dishes and tools which I find necessary to use while attempting said cooking (aka: Feeding The Family), is referred to by this certain audience witness spy companion as 'in there making another mess'.

That is not fair.

Today or ever.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Did She MEAN to Say?

Michelle and Barack Obama do WHAT together?

(thanks, Van)

(still laughing)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inappropriate Parenting

Today's photo upload editing is brought to you by speech therapy cafe:

Is it wrong, that yesterday, after my Ebay score had arrived and been opened, that I only want to encourage a repeat reaction from my son?

My son, who wrapped the doll's legs around his neck, settling him on his shoulders, and romped around the house yelling, "I HAZ A WOODY! I HAS A WOODY! DADDY COME SEE MY WOODY!!"

I swear to you, picture to come if it's the only thing I do today.....



See? I got a WOODY!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Speech Therapy is GREAT!

Let me share with you why speech therapy is not just great for Bubbles, but also for Mama:

This is the cafe two blocks away. They have free wi-fi and the owner feels so bad that I have to spend so much on gas to get there is so nice, that he gives me 1/2 price coffee!

Don't hate me. Even Mama deserves a few breaks.

My Mail is Better Than Choklyt Milk

I received the following letter from some second graders today:

Dear Miss Gwendolyn;

We are sorry for the way we behaved in music class today and we will try not to do it again ever.

Love, Kaden and Bart

PS - We like choklyt milk.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bubbles' Apraxia & Speech Update: Now with Video!

Bubbles is making crazy progress with his speech lately; there is no denying that this child has a sense of humor. Even his speech therapist (the Guru) feels the need to take notes as he continually amazes her in sessions.
On Monday, she was sound-pairing and building syllables with him. Each word or sound is enunciated with sing-song-y tones, and she makes it very rhythmic, often tapping out each word on the table. He repeats everything she says without hesitation.

Big ant: Big ant.
Big black ant: Big black ant.
Big black ant goes: Big black ant goes.
Big black ant goes up: Big black ant goes up!

So, this went on once or twice, until she was satisfied with his progress. He waited politely until after she had stopped with the 'big ant' and put the picture down, and then he said,
"It's a spider."

I know, he slays me too.

His most amazing accomplishment is dazzling, however. A few weeks ago, he found the video case for The Letter Factory, and asked to watch it. I put it on for him, and after happily watching it, he went back to asking for Thomas videos.

The other day, I noticed him with a book - a remnant from his sister's long-ignored Leappad (the extra large blue one) which may or may not have accidentally made it into a donation box and out of our garage (am afraid to look).

He showed me the pages with the pictures of slightly anthropomorphic letters.
Pointing to the 'Z', he then sang, "Zuh-zuh-zuh....zuh-zuh-zuh..." to the tune of Brahm's lullaby (just like on the Letter Factory). Next, to the 'W', insisting, "Whah! Wuh-wuh-wuh-whah!"
I pointed to: J, N, M, V, T...he knew the correct sounds for each of them! He didn't label the letter, but made the sounds for these consonants and then I realized that he also knew 'O' and 'A'.

The boy is a bright little bulb.

One more version posted here.

Next year, please come back to Blogher, Leapfrog! I really appreciated the useful shiny aluminum water bottles last year, but next time I just may bust out the cash for the Tag system!

I'm Going To Eat You Up!

Why are my kids' faces on these M&M's?

Go find out!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jupiter is Pissed

I am certainly not the only one going through rough times - in fact, sometimes other people's rough times puts your own rough times in perspective....again.

Please send your good thoughts - your prayers - your non-praying-to-deities prayers - your candle lighting - your peace to dear RoseRedHoofbeats and her stepson.

While you're at it, throw in a few good words for my dear friend Will, who had 2 heart attacks and survived dying. Just the other day.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Guilt the Good and Guilt the Bad

The grounding has done the girl wonders. After she got over the 'this is so unfair' misguided attempts at disputing her punishments, she got it. Kindness returned, remorse appeared, and Lo! Her brother learned his most powerful technique to date: Guilt.
Whenever he remembers his owie or accidentally leans back on his wound, he feels it with his hand and says, "No dockor! No like it! Abeah (his name for Supergirl), why you hurt me? Why you push me?"
Is it wrong that I feel smug and satisfied to see that this is what really gets to her? I hope not.
Best consequence ever.
She has been wonderful.

Bubbles is healing nicely, and was back to his usually entertaining state right away.
The other day, I was procrastinating getting myself out of bed, and he leaned over and planted a huge kiss on my lips. Sat back proudly, and said, "Mama! I kiss you!"
I said, "You did! You gave me a big kiss!"
He then grinned and said, "I kiss you! You get me milk?"
This child is clever. He knows what to do so I can not refuse him.

His language is improving, but his intelligibility is not keeping up with his vocabulary, so there are many comical moments involving language. His oral motor exercises are also really helping - in one day he ate yogurt (spoon) and applesauce (tube) - and he has not eaten yogurt for a year, and has NEVER eaten applesauce - he just didn't have to coordination to properly swallow it before. He couldn't remember what yogurt was called, and he pointed to what Supergirl was eating, "I wan DAT!"
"You want yogurt?" I asked.
"YES! I want mee-gurt!"
He has been working hard at pronouns lately.

Bubbles has created some elaborate adventure games (something his preschool teacher mentioned before the break), and he has been asking me to come along.
He boldly puts himself between me and the laptop screen.
"Mama! Wan go walk me?"
"Sure! Where are we going?"
He takes my hand and we have to stomp or sneak (his direction changes) up the stairs. The next part of the adventure usually involves going into their little bedroom or hiding under the covers of my big bed. At this point in the game, you have to yell, "OHNO! Skeery Dinosaurs! OHNO! They're coming!!" and you hide, hold your breath, gasp and giggle until the danger has passed and you can once again, return to the world outside the blanket.

At least five times each day, I find myself saying, "Three is so wonderful. I love three. Three is so lovely and fun and entertaining and oh wow - I just love three." I love that little guy so much. It's as if I had never had a three year old before.

And then I thought about that one for a while.

It's as if I had never had a three year old before.

And I feel so very sad for my little girl.
Because I do remember when she was three.
I remember it in snippets and snatches, but not enough of them.
I remember her swimming with a sea turtle in Maui on her third birthday.
We were in Maui because I could not be at home and still breathe.
I remember her asking me when I was going to get out of three pm.
I remember her telling people that she used to have a baby brother, but he died.
I remember making her a cake. But I don't remember what was on it.
I remember that she went to preschool, but I don't remember anything about it.
I took few pictures that year. I wanted no record then.
I remember yelling at her. A lot.
Too much.
I remember feeling that I had lost the magic.
Wanting it back; too tired or too sad to look for it.
I was barely there, barely cutting it as a mama.

Will she remember the yelling? The mama who wasn't there? Will she remember the glazed over eyes, the despair, the effort it took for her mama to get up every day?

Will she remember the years of trying so hard to make up for it all?

I love three.

Three is so bittersweet - I am trying to just enjoy it.

But oh how my heart feels so much guilt for my daughter.

Supergirl; doing the Hula on her 3rd birthday.