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Monday, December 28, 2009


The girls had a good Christmas, with only a few bumps. We went to my parent's house for Christmas Eve and I took the girls presents from me for them to open there as well. This was one of the very few days that I wasn't intensely miserable with neck and back pain, in addition to sinus infection problems.
Celest inherited my dad's need to have all the house lights out and then took it up a notch (her knob goes to eleven): she wants them out even if she needs them on to do something. This started a tag sort of game when my nephews came over and tried to turn the lights on. As soon as one turned on she would whine and run to turn it back off. Other than this she heard the word hospital and decided she needed to go. My sister-in-law must have been the only reasonable looking adult in the group, so Celest decided to pester her to take her to the hospital. When we finally headed home she continued to ask for the hospital and "next time" (which was the only way we could mollify her at all about her request for the hospital.
Once we got home Celest scared me half to death when I was in the bathroom by setting off the house alarm. She opened the sliding glass door to let the dogs in; only problem was that the dogs were with Mark in Michigan. I asked her what she wanted to open it for and she said, "Dogs in the grass." She seems to really have taken a liking to Brogan, the new dog. She also calls him "yellow dog".
Anyway, nothing to exciting to report.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random Bits

Celest joined Lotus as a crime-committing rabble rouser this year by pulling the fire alarm at school. No harm done, luckily, but a plan to prevent further such activities was put in place. She's very literal (she does have autism, after all); it said "pull" in big white letters, so she did...

Skipping anti-depressant meds is never a good idea. I don't do it intentionally, but I do have a habit of missing a day here and there. If I miss more than one day at a time I have a tendancy to become quite moody. I was working on a writing project the other night when I came across an article titled something like this, "Is bowel cancer fatal or can it be treated?" I burst into tears thinking about some poor person sitting in front of their computer searching for info on cancer. Had they just gotten a diagnosis of cancer? Had the doctor told them they had little to no chance of survival and they were doing their own research to see if it was true?
Then I got onto the very morbid train of thought that both my children and I will someday die. The thought of my children being hurt or dying makes me extremely depressed; it is inevitable that we'll all die someday, but thinking about it doesn't do any good. Still, it made me sob myself sick for about half an hour. I promptly went downstairs and took my Zoloft. Then I forced myself to write about something that wouldn't fill me with existential angst and morbid fear: weight loss...
Which brings me to my next random bit: I hate not being able to exercise. I haven't lifted weights in going on three weeks or more now. I'm really p*ssed about this, as I was hoping to gain muscle, not wither away the muscle I had. Also, I tend to be less depressed when I lift weights regularly. And winter makes me depressed, so I have the trifecta of depressants going for me: lack of exercise, irregular medication taking habits, and winter weather. Toss in an overall dissatisfaction with myself and my life, and you've got a recipe for deep unhappiness and self-destructive tendencies.
Having kids helps temper my emotional melodrama though; they don't leave me with the time or energy to wallow in self-pity for very long.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cover Girl, and other fun hobbies...

Celest has an obsession with makeup, particularly Cover Girl and Loreal (although honestly it doesn't really matter what brand it really is- it all falls under the category of "cover girl" or "loreal"). The best part about makeup, evidently, is trying to covertly eat it while applying it. Also, most everything goes on the lips. Doesn't matter if it's called eye shadow, applied to the lips it really adds depth and makes them "pop", if you know what I mean.
Lotus likes makeup a little, but no where nearly as much as her sister. She'll let me put on a little lipstick then she's good. Celest likes to have at least three coats of lipstick then top that off with some blush and eye shadow to the lip region. Very stylish. (anybody out there planning on getting her a Christmas gift- she can never have enough lipstick!)
My neck and shoulders are still killing me from my stupid car wreck, but at least the migraines are gone (hope I didn't jinx myself!). I'm mostly mad that I can't work out. My plan was to put on muscle from now until around late January/early February, then start dieting for a competition in March. I still might be able to do a competition in March, but I certainly won't have made the changes that I was hoping to. :( Grrr... Oh, and the chronic neck and shoulder pain isn't exactly my idea of fun.
I grew up in southern Ohio, where most people are poor and get-rich-quick-schemes are plentiful. I thought whiplash was mostly one of those schemes. I guess I'm being punished for my disbelief; I give up! Whiplash is real. And it hurts. And it sucks. Please, take it back now, I've learned my lesson! (sorry, that was mostly for the benefit of karma; just wanted everyone to know I've had my comeuppance and learned my lesson...)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Booty is Back!

I am going to share an observation I've had over the past couple of years, though I do so at the risk of sounding ignorant or racist. (remember, I did grow up in Appalachia country...)
I tend to gain wright in my hips, butt and thighs before anywhere else on my body, so proportionately they are bigger than my waist, bust, etc.
I've been doing lots of weight training and exercising the past couple of years, so I often wear form-fitting, sretchy exercise clothes (even when I'm not working out) And in this time, I've had multiple occasions when I am entering a store and I'll be passing someone who is existing the store. Usual stuff, yes. However if the person I am passing happens to be a black man, either alone or in the company of another black man, many times one of them will look at my butt and make a comment to me or about me (intending for me to hear it). Examples I've heard are: "That's nice" "Mmm hmmm" and "How are you doing?" ( the last one seems innocent enough, but the fact that it is addressed to my butt in a sultry tone changes things)
Anyway, on to the point of my story. While preparing for a figure competition, I lost 20 lbs. During the time that I was smaller (and had significantly less booty) I received no such comments (though I did notice more looks/stares from white guys). After my competition I put most of the pounds back on (though I don't take full credit for this; I have had migraines and awful neck/shoulder pain from a car accident and haven't been able to work out as much as I normally would have).
I was at Kroger yesterday, entering the building as two black men were exiting. One of them turned and watched me walk in the store. I just kept going, but I had to grab a basket for shopping. When I bent down to pick one up I saw the guy still watching me with a big smile on his face. I was embarrassed, so I just walked away quickly, laughing to myself.
Evidentally, the booty is back...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dang, it's been a while!

I've had a series of mini-complications, I'll call them, in the past couple of months. As a result, I haven't posted much. I hope to be back on a regular schedule now.
Lotus has been having a bit of a behavior/medical problem that involves lots of changes of clothes and dirty laundry. She seems to be getting better, but it isn't completely resolved yet.
Celest has a renewed obsession with makeup, in particular Cover Girl and Loreal. I have to closely supervise her though, as her favorite thing to do is eat the lipstick. Second to eating it, her next favorite thing to do is draw large, clownish expressions on her face.
I finally competed in a figure competition. I didn't place well, but I did meet my two goals: not to fall down and make a complete fool of myself and not to come in last place. Next year I hope to do better.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Things have been going okay at school so far, with just a few hitches. Lotus is still having occasional accidents, which stinks, but fortunately (for her school) she is saving the bad ones for her home time.
We've already had the flu (or a nasty cold with fever). I am still getting better and the girls still have an icky lingering cough though. Since I'm the old, feeble one I have to go to the doctor to make sure the congestion didn't turn into a sinus infection, which I have a sneaking suspicion that it has. :(

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The School Year Looms

I have to admit that I am guilty of getting excited when the school year starts. I can actually sort of keep the house clean with the girls gone for a few hours every day. This year I am more anxious than anything though.
I don't know who Lotus' teacher will be, but I did get a letter in the mail that I can sign up for tutoring under the No Child Left Behind Act, since the school she goes to this year meets the requirements for extra funding (i.e. they didn't get good enough standardized test scores). Since I've tutored for companies that get the majority of their clients through NCLB, I know that whatever poor tutor showed up at our house would be clueless as to what to do with her. I'm not mean enough to sign her up for that. It'd most likely be a stress and anxiety-inducing nightmare for both Lotus and the tutor.
Speaking of standardized tests, the alternative assessments given to kids with special needs are a joke. I'm sorry, but I find it a bit hard to believe that both of the girls test above average in math and reading when given a test that suits their abilities. I love my daughters and am proud of their hard work, but how can pretty much all special needs kids be doing as expected or better? I'll give you a hint: the tests they are given are based on things that they already good at. Math goal? Manipulate 3D geometric objects. Task that tested this? Sorting recyclables. Reading? Recognizing own name in print. These a re goals from a couple of years ago, but still they are setting the bar pretty low.
I don't blame the teachers or the schools for this silliness however. They are using a state-supplied system to test our kids. If regular ed teachers were allowed to pick the tests for typical classrooms and told that their performance would be based on how the kids did, I imagine that they would pick things that they knew the kids to be proficient in.
I think it would be best if the girls didn't have to do standardized testing at all, as this would free up about a week of wasted time when their teachers have to run around getting materials, pictures, video, etc. of the tasks that the kids do for the alternate assessment.
Anyway, that was a bit of a side rant.
I just wish I didn't have a feeling of dread hovering over me as the start of school approaches this time, which is only nine days away...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

School Year Anxiety

Usually I am happy to send my kids back to school at the end of summer break. Celest has actually been asking for the "yellow school bus please". Unfortunatley, this year I am not looking forward to it.
The program that the girls have been in since they were three years old, called STACK, is no longer being offered in our district. Instead the district has decided to do a copycat of the program. However, I don't think it's going to be a smooth transition. Especially since the classroom that Lotus went to last year wasn't able to "deal with that kind of behavior". This year, magically they are going to be able to. Of course, I'm not supposed to know that our district's special education supervisor made that comment. (The older I get, the more I hope the adage "you reap what you sow" is true!)
Anyway, I'm trying to get the girls into a private school, but it has a wait list. :(

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weezer and the primary colors

D'oh! I am editing this to add that I am, apparently wrong (sort of)!
Evidently, the primary subtractive colors are red, green, and blue. The additive primary colors are yellow, magenta, and cyan, which basically is yellow, red, and blue. So, technically, both Weezer and I are correct!

I read this article today: Weezer: in the ‘Red’ zone Metromix Phoenix:
I found the following part pretty funny. (bold added by me)
"You have the “Blue Album,” the “Green Album” and the “Red Album.” Do the colors signify anything?
That shade of blue was always my favorite color growing up; I painted my room that color when I was a kid. There was a Beach Boys cover that had that color in the background, and I thought it was so beautiful. On the “Green Album,” we printed out a bunch of different colors and put them in CD cases and brought them to the store and set them in the racks and then stood about ten or 15 paces away and just looked to see which color popped out the loudest—and it was green. For the “Red Album,” there was only one primary color left."

So the primary colors are blue, red, and green? I know I went to school in the Appalachia region, but we did have the primary and secondary colors right: blue, red, and yellow can be combined to make purple, orange, and green.

I still like Weezer, what with their looking like Buddy Holly and being bare-chested due to their sweaters getting unraveled and all. What's not to love?

Comedy and "retards"

For some reason comedians seem to find "retard" jokes almost as irristable as dropping the f-bomb. I like to think I'm a fairly open minded person, but I can't get my mind around why it is funny to make fun of people who have the IQ of a child for life. Through no fault of their own, people who are mentally retarded function on the level of a toddler up to the level of an elementary school student for life. Still, they learn skills and grow wiser with experience as they age, as do (most) adults.

I went to a comedy club last night, and while I put my tolerance level for offensiveness up a few notches, I still found myself getting pissed at some jokes. I believe I counted the word retard used incorrectly about five or six times. Just to make things more up to date, one comedian even threw in autistic. Then a dip-shit in the audience brought up "the short bus". This one really pisses me off. Obviously if you are making fun of people who ride "the short bus" you are making fun of school children with special needs. Oh, the hilarity! The *great part* was that most of the audience cracked up.

One comedian, the same one that said retard most of the times and said autistic, made a point of talking about how people use the word "gay" inappropriately. He made reference to someone saying that they had to work tomorrow, and that it "was so gay"; he responded with, "What, do you suck d**k for a living?" Way to stand up for gay rights! Now, on to making fun of people with mental retardation and autism! They can fend for themselves!

Grrr... Sorry for being a politically correct mom sometimes, but really, the jokes I heard at the expense of people who have autism or are mentally retarded just weren't funny to me. Maybe for the same reason that the comedian doesn't appreciate people saying things are gay... (which I don't either, by the way)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Real Age

I saw a link for the Real Age test, so I decided to take it. I'm 29.7 by calendar and 27.9 by Real Age's test. To lower my real age even more, it suggested that I stop worrying and get more support from friends and relatives.
If you know me at all, you know that worrying is an unconscious and innate hobby of mine. I think most parents, especially those of children with special needs, are probably worriers (so close to "warrior", yet so completely different!).
This made me think about new things that I've been worrying about lately:
  • Puberty- I found some armpit hairs on Lotus. Aaaahhh! Every new sign freaks me out because I am waiting for The Big One...
  • Money- Because I never seem to have enough of it to cover bills and groceries. It's generally spent before I get it.
  • Long-term plans- I think I've been practicing for my mid-life crisis since I was around 21 (when the girls were showing signs of autism and then finally diagnosed). I am getting old enough that I can have the real one pretty soon. Life expectancy for white women in the U.S. is 80.5 years. (By the way, evidently life is both racist and sexist: black women are averaging 76.1, but they still beat white men, who come in at 75.4. Black men get the short stick on this one, averaging only 69.2...)
  • Sense of failure- I just feel like I never do good enough, try hard enough, or just, well enough. Maybe that's tied into working up to the penultimate mid-life crisis. Look out for a tattoo of Hello Kitty wearing a puzzle-piece themed kimono right above my booty. That'll be the move that makes it official. Maybe I'll get all wild and get my ears pierced (a joke- I got my first piercing this year: my belly button. It'll round out my stripper look with that above the butt tatto0! Then I'll just throw on my 7" clear lucite heels with the embroidered cherries on them and I'll be ready to go. Now if I only knew how to dance...)
  • Worrying about worrying too much- Not a joke...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

OCD and Irony

I have had mild (moderate?) obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, since I was a child. Back then, I was just "weird" though. :) Most people have some OCD-like tendencies, so they can relate.

However, one of the many little OCD habits I had was to "seal" things, sort of like a spiritual or mental thing. An example is after I had my daughters, I'd never felt such a deep and intense love for anyone. It was different than that for other relatives and friends. I had horrible fears that something would happen to my girls, so I developed a habit whenever I would drive to college (which was about 100 miles from home). Every time I went past a new county sign, or rather before I passed it, I would think to myself, "Celest, Lotus, me, all of us together, forever." I like odd numbers, so I broke up my thought into five segments.

I've thought several times over the years that maybe it is some sick sense of irony that I will probably be with the girls forever: literally for the rest of my life at least. They will most likely never live independantly. For as long as I am able I will have them with me. I know that in the future it may become inevitable that I have them live at an assisted residence, but I hate the thought.

I'm agnostic, so the possibility that some ethereal being heard my thoughts and said, "Hmm, be careful what you wish for..." isn't totally out of the realm of possibility... Sort of like the monkey's paw wishes. I don't honestly think this is the truth, but it is one of the bizarre thoughts I've had over time as I try to make sense of life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Done dog

This is a picture Celest drew back around early April. One of our therapists had just left after being with us for over two years, and Celest was just starting to miss her. At first I wasn't sure what "done dog" meant, so I said it out loud and Celest was quick to correct me. "Dionne. Dog."

Dionne had brought a little shih-tzu to our house with her several times so Celest drew him with her.

It was so cute.

It was one of, if not the first time, that Celest had expressed missing someone in such a concrete way. She also cried and asked for Dionne several times in early to mid April. I'm not happy that she was sad, but I am happy that she was able to express complex emotions successfully.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

She's a little old for that...

Taking kids with autism into public places isn't exactly a fun or uplifting experience most of the time. People always seem to come through with stares, comments, or gestures that make me wish I could live in a secluded area and never venture out.

In general, I like people. I love talking to people, hearing different perspectives and experiences, and just interacting. However, I don't like being made a spectacle of or receiving self-righteous anecdotes about how "if that were my child...".

Sometimes I feel energetic, optimistic, and full of life. On these days I can let even kind of nasty comments roll off me. Other days, I feel like I'm on the edge, and all it will take to push me over is a mean look, a thoughtless comment, or a depressing thought. These are the days I generally don't take the girls anywhere, simply because I don't want to deal with the stress of a trip outside of the house.

Really, it is usually the small things that make my kids happy: car rides, snacks, water, TV, etc. Still, on some days it gets to be a bit much. A kind gesture or comment can help turn around a crappy day, while a crappy comment or gesture can ruin an otherwise good day.

I'm not going for sympathy; rather, I am sharing how by just being a little more open-minded or tolerant you can really impact another person's life for the better.

The other day I took Celest to run some errands with me after I picked her up from school. I figured since I just had her that it would be relatively easy to do this since she is more likely to walk in and out of buildings without lying down on the sidewalk.

Anyway, we went inside, returned some items, and then I went to check my account to make sure I didn't have any overdue items or fees. There is a copy machine next to the computer I went to use, and there was a lady making copies. Before I could stop her, Celest reached out and hit the big, green start button. I apologized and we sat down at the computer next to the copier. The lady continued to look at us, so I met and held her gaze. She kind of grumbled, "Isn't she a little old for that?" Automatically she implied that my child was a brat, I was an inadequate parent, and shouldn't I be ashamed of myself for allowing this to be?

I smiled at her, and said, "She has autism and is mentally retarded. Whenever she sees a button she wants to push it. I'm sorry."

Her expression softened, and she said, "That's okay. No harm done."

I'm glad that she was okay with things, even though I don't feel like I should have to explain myself. I'm really glad that I didn't start crying my eyes out at her comment, because I had been having sporadic crying fits for the preceding week. That would have been a bit awkward for both of us.

Anyway, I wish that people would just bite their tongues when it comes to parenting. Sure, you can bitch to your family or friends to vent about something that happened or someone's kids, but do you really need to criticize someone's child and parenting skills if no one is in danger?

I try not to let things like this get me down, but the stress of parenting children with special needs wears my patience and attitude thin sometimes. If you see a frazzled mom with a "bratty" kid, just don't say anything at all unless you are going to offer her help (if she appears to need it). You never know, it could be me, and you'll see me writing about it... ;) When in doubt, just be nice!

Friday, May 15, 2009

In the parking lot

I went to pick up the girls from school yesterday, as usual. When I got to Lotus' school, Celest told me she had to poop, and I told her to wait until we got home, which would only be about seven or eight minutes.

We got Lotus and were headed back to the car, when Lotus decided she was going to run away from me. She ran from the car, through a big puddle of water, and then laid down in the front lawn of the school. Celest was in the car waiting.

I struggled around with Lotus, tried enticing her with a piece of gum, and then resorted to trying to physically make her get up. She was able to roll around away from me though. I stood up, exasperated, and looked over toward the car to see what Celest was doing.

I got an eye full. There, out of the open back door of my car, was a pale bum sticking out. She had pulled down her pants, and I suppose, she was planning on taking a poop in the parking lot. I yelled at her to pull up her pants and come help me get Lotus to the car. She pulled up her pants and she got out of the car, but then she decided to pick dandelions and play instead of helping me.

Eventually she came and tried to help me get Lotus to the car, but to no avail. Finally Lotus' teacher and two aides came out of the school and saw us. They were able to get Lotus to the car so we could go home. At least they didn't see Celest with her naked butt hanging out of the car...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recooperating from Spring Break

Dang, the girls have been back in school for a week and two days, and I feel like we are all just getting back in the groove of things after spring break. Amazingly, we haven't overslept and missed the school bus. Usually after a break from school we miss the bus at least once the following week.

That, and I seem to have fallen back into the habit of playing Everquest II at night while waiting for the girls to fall asleep. I try to outlast them so I can take a bath without worrying about what they are up to or trying to keep them from climbing in the tub with me.

Celest is all for me playing Everquest; she calls it orange. She started calling it that about four years ago when I first began playing. I'm not sure what caused her to call it that, as there isn't anything overwhelmingly orange on the game or intro. Anyway, when we head to my bedroom she'll say, "Computer. Play orange please."

Then, once I'm fully imersed in my nerd persona (which is a necromancer, if you're interested), she'll sneak out of the room and get into things. It can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes before I realize that she's gone. Very sneaky girl. Lotus usually takes advantage of the situation and sneaks out of the room as well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Grab-and-Run Girl is Back

For a while when Celest was younger she went through the phase of grabbing something and running away like she was a fugitive on Cops. This is a little more "age appropriate" for a three-to four-year-old. Now that she's almost eleven it's a bit less forgiveable. And a lot more annoying. Mainly because now she is faster and stronger, so it's harder for me to get things away from her. Generally she wants to either draw all over something that she shouldn't or eat and drink things that aren't hers.

I'm rethinking her career options: before I was leaning towards artist because of her interests and her pretentiousness (just kidding!), but now I'm thinking maybe competitive eating. Sure, it's gross and maybe unhealthy, but it could just be a side income. Never hurts to have multiple streams of income!
Yes, that is my bedroom wall that she has confinscated as her personal canvas. At some point I gave up on scrubbing the images off and instead began tracing the good ones onto paper.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All better!

The girls and I are finally over the nasty flu and stomach virus that we had for the last three weeks or so. Yay! Hopefully we will stay well for quite some time.

Celest is still on a doodling rampage, drawing on any and every available surface. She even drew on the toilet paper holder. She enjoys drawing on paper towels too. The other morning I went to the kitchen and found a big smiley-faced guy on a piece of paper towel with the word "HAPPY" next to him. Maybe that was for my benefit, so I wouldn't ask her what the picture was. That ticks her off sometimes.

Lotus has been doing better with walking without slumping to the ground, which is great. She still does it a little though.

I've been able to take the girls grocery shopping with me the last two weeks which is also great. I was getting tired of not being able to take them to the store or anywhere else for that matter.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Since I've been gone...

I haven't posted in a while due to a slew of personal *junk* going on in my life. Here's a rundown of the fun I've been having:

* I stayed up until about 5 am working and going to the bathroom (which, with IBS, can be a time consuming thing) on a Wednesday morning. I had to get back up at 7 something to put Celest on the school bus, then put Lotus on her bus at 8:40-ish. After that I decided that I was going to take a nap before I had to leave for work in the afternoon (I had more work to do at home for the job and I had to both tutor and go to a Spinning class). Just as I was nodding off, maybe around 9:30 am, I heard someone beating on my front door. And I mean "beating", not knocking. I was really tired, so I thought hell I'm not answering it. The "knocking" stopped for about half a minute then started back up. I got a bit scared then, as I've never had anyone knock on my door like that.

I got out of bed and peeked out of my window. There wasn't a car parked in my driveway, nor was there one parked alongside the road or even directly across the road from my house. I went back to bed. Then the beating on the door started back up. It was on/off for 5-10 minutes. I didn't really have a good sensee of the time since I was sleepy, but it was definitely in the several minute range. My home phone and cell phone continued to ring like crazy as well. I didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer it. I figured if it was important they'd leave a message. Well, I finally fell asleep, and I didn't wake up until about 2 pm.

I saw that my mom had tried to call, so I called her back. She said that a man from the Attorney General's office had called my brother's house (the guy thought it was my dad he had called, since they have the same name). My brother isn't one to be pushed around, and I surmise that they didn't have a very cordial conversation. Anyway, without even knowing exactly who he was talking to, the guy said that he was a special investigator and that Laura was being investigated for Medicaid fraud.

My brother asked how he got his phone number, since it is listed in his wife's name. My brother specifically asked if he obtained the number from my phone records and the guy said that he did. I checked my voicemail messages after I got off of the phone with my mom; the guy had left 2 or 3 messages on my cell phone and 2 or 3 on my home phone. That, in addition to beating on my door (and I later discovered, thanks to the snow we had just gotten, that he walked around the side of my house to see if he could see me through my windows!).

When I called him he immediately asked if he could call me back in two minutes. He did, but my phone didn't pick up correctly for some reason, so I called him back. He then asked me to call him back on his office phone. He said that he needed to talk to me about the Medicaid services that my daughters receive. I asked if he needed to see me at my house or if I should come to his office; that's when he said that he had already been at my house but I "obviously" wasn't home.

I told him that I was home, but that I had worked all night so I was sleeping. I assume that this was so he could record our conversation. Still, all he said was that it was regarding the services my daughters receive. I can only assume that it's something bad, because I've never known a government agency to call me up just to see if I'm satisfied with how they are providing services.

The investigator also called my service coordinator through MRDD (who, by the way, called my therapists. He called my therapists and tried to get one of them to meet with him to talk (why he couldn't do this over the phone I don't know). He also threatened to subpoena one of them (this because she was at work and told him that she'd call him back later when she had the time to talk). He also told one of the therapists that it wasn't illegal for her to disclose that he had contacted her, but he'd really appreciate it if she didn't tell me that he had. So, evidentally, it is okay for everyone but me to know that I am under investigation.

Flash forward two months: the case is closed and I was found to have done nothing wrong. I had a face to face interview with the investigator the week after we had our phone call. I was told that I had a complaint filed against me by someone in January of last year. I have a couple ideas of who might have done it. If they would happen to read this I'd like them to remember one thing: karma can be a real b*tch. At least, I fervently hope so! I think that in the past ten years I've paid off anything bad that I've done. (maybe it's just my liberal sense of entitlement, but I really hope some good things start heading my way!)

I was also told that my house was under surveillance for the past year and that they'd be checking my provider time sheets to see if they matched up with the comings and goings of my daughters' therapists. I really think this was a scare tactic because I really don't think the government would invest that kind of time and money into a small case like mine.

Oh, and for the "funny" file: the Attorney General who was in office when my case supposedly began had very recently resigned over sexual harrassment and ethics charges, as well as several others in the top personnel of the office. The business card I was given didn't even have the new AG's info. on it because the changes had been so recent.

* I have been training for a figure competition, but due to training and dieting mishaps I've had to push that back. I was pretty bummed at first, but I'm continuing my training and diet now with a new goal date: May 30! The real kicker is that for the two weeks that I was unable to workout due to the flu I gained about five pounds. :( I can't see my six pack anymore (well, I can see the outer line, but not the inner divisions or the slight definition of my obliques that were beginning to peak through!). I'm not too thrilled about this, but what I am going to do? Other than start back up with training and strict dieting, which I have.

*I've been sick almost non-stop for the past two months. Stress has caused my IBS to be really bad. It's hard to get anything done when you spend a quarter of your day in the bathroom and another quarter lying around being miserable and unable to concentrate on anything other than your cramping stomach and moody pre-teen children (see puberty post!). Right as my stomach was starting to become more managable I got a nasty flu. First Lotus got sick with an earache and fever, then I started getting achy and congested, and finally Celest started feeling sick. We all ended up with a fever for at least four days. The girls both missed five days of school. I missed work for a week and ended up staying pretty sick for eleven days. :( I am still fighting off a sinus infection that resulted from the flu congestion. My left sinus is prone to getting infected, and I'm hoping that over the counter meds can keep the inflammation down so that it can clear up on its own. If not I'll have to take antibiotics, and that'll get my IBS all funked up again. Argh!

* Celest scratched her eye, I think with a pointer that is used for group reading (a plastic stick with a hand / pointy index finger on the end), on a Sunday evening. Her eye was a little red when I sent her to school on Monday. School starts around 9:00 in the morning, and at 9:06 I received a call from the school nurse. She told me that Celest was acting as if she was in great pain. Also she didn't think that Celest was going to be able to focus on her work. I talked her into waiting to see how Celest would do before I went to pick her up. She agreed after some silence. In an hour I received a call that I should pick her up as she was rubbing her eye continuously, seemed in pain, and wasn't able to concentrate on her work.

When I went to the classroom to pick her up, Celest was happily working with her teacher, not touching her eye. Her teacher said that she hadn't personally seen her touch or bother her eye at all. Hmm... Why wasn't I surprised?

The trip to the doctor was the usual frustrating experience. You'd think that a doctor we'd seen before at a practice where we've been seen for the past six years would remember that my daughter has autism. Well, you'd have thought wrong.

The doctor approached her with his light to look at her eye and talked to her as he would any child. My child responded in her typical fashion; she hid her eye and tried to get away from him. He turned to me and said, "She has a problem?" I was thinking, yeah, apparently you are her problem, but I said, "Yes, she has autism." His response was, "Well, you need to tell me these things." I played it off with a light comment, but I was thinking that the chart he had in his hands just a minute before could have apprised him of this fact if his memory didn't.

I held Celest's arms so that she couldn't swat away the light, but she decided to try to kick his seat, which had wheels, away. He went flying backwards and I thought she'd kicked him or the seat really hard. Turns out he was just trying to protect his man-bits in a theatrical move that belied his years.

He then told Celest that if she didn't let him look at her eye he would just send up to the opthamologist. Passing the buck or idly threatening? I don't know, but I was thinking that he maybe should've been worried about someone else harming his delicate spot because I was getting pretty tired of things.

I should probably mention at this point something that happened while we were waiting to be seen: Celest had an accident and soiled her panties (no, it wasn't pee) a little. I had to take her to the bathroom and clean her up. I didn't have spare undies so she had to go commando until we got home. She wasn't too happy about this, so by the time the doctor showed up she was already getting a "mood" worked up.

Anyway, we got a prescription for antibiotic drops and her eye cleared up within two days. Maybe it would've anyway, but who knows?

Anyway, that's the abbreviated version of the fun the girls and I have been up to. Yes, there's been plenty more that I don't feel like talking about. Grrr...

TV Monster

This picture is of a "tv monster". It is also a girl. In addition to the other symptoms of puberty I talked about earlier, Celest seems to have had a huge surge in creativity and her desire to express it. The past weekend she's been on an art binge: she's drawn literally hundreds of pictures. Mostly they are animals, monsters, light bulbs, food, cowboys, and pop (Pepsi and "red" pop). She sometimes labels her pictures, and I have to be delicate when I ask her what she's written if it isn't spelled right. She gets a bit offended when I ask her what something says (or what it is for that matter).

She spelled Pepsi something like this: peecisee. That's not exactly it, but I didn't keep that drawing so I can't check. I feel bad getting rid of her work, but I already have a box full of the girls' older art projects from school and home in addition to several folders and piles of newer works.

Lotus isn't much interested in drawing yet, but it is an emerging interest. She mainly likes to obliterate whatever is on a page by drawing thick lines over its entire surface. Sometimes she will draw little shapes though. She hates fine motor work, so she tires quickly of controlling the writing instrument in an intentional pattern (yes, she hates writing as well!).

Anyway, enjoy the TV Monster girl with her anarchy symbol for a nose!

The Three P's of Puberty: Pimples, Pubes, and PMS

I've been treated to some of the initial signs of puberty over the last few years, but they seem to be picking up in frequency and quantity lately. I can't say that I'm too excited about this. The girls are going to turn eleven this summer; I was desperately hoping that they'd be "late bloomers" and maybe not start these things until around sixteen or so. No such luck.

The first two P's are pretty self explanatory, but PMS is a little more complicated. I always thought of the more concrete symptoms, like cramping, bloating, extra pimples, and grouchiness. Watching one of my daughters, who seems to be having a harder time with things, I started remembering all of the other symptoms: crying for little or no reason, getting really ticked off for little or no reason, lying around not wanting to move or do anything, and craving salty snack foods.

Since I share lots of personal info about my daughters, I'll share some about me too (I'm not much for secrets- my memory isn't that good and I just don't see the point in keeping secrets about some things...). I have been on depo provera for about ten years now, and, as a side effect, I haven't had a period in about nine years. I only have PMS every three months when it is about time for me to get my next injection. Even then the symptoms are much milder than they were when I was having a regular cycle.

So, I'm relearning and remembering the less palatable symptoms as I watch my daughters struggle with them. It's hard enough to explain to a ten year old what is going on in her body and the changes she'll have to adapt to for the next forty-plus years; when those ten-year-olds have autism (one is non-verbal) and have difficulty with abstract concepts it is even more challenging.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

really isn't the best way,
is it? i don't know...

Aw, swollen ankles!
Achy lower back, come on
Stupid PMS!

Yes, you read correctly! The dreaded poetic blog post. Never thought I'd do it, but special circumstances require special measures. I know, I know, haiku! Of all formats, I think the only two worse choices I could have made to really solidify my amateur/hackneyed poet status would be a forced rhyme poem or a free verse poem (stream of consciousness style).

Anyway, my fantasies of this being a great year (not just any great year; I wanted this to be the super-dupe flumox deluxe-style great year!) have already been dashed. It was round about the seventh day that I found this out. Not to be all mysterious-like, but I don't really want to discuss it just yet.

So instead, I'll be thankful that last year is behind me. For instance, round-about this time last year I was fighting to save a six-plus year relationship. When that failed I had to deal with sleep deprivation due to the girls' near insomniac sleeping patterns. Oh yeah, and Celest had developed the maddening hobby of pooping on the carpet, then making sure it got smooshed into the fibers; that ensured that I'd have to break out the carpet shampooer so she'd have the time to concurrently create messes/havoc. Wee!

For now the girls are content merely having a couple of bad sleeping days a week, climbing on things, having random hysterical laughing/crying/angry fits, and being your "typical" 10 & 1/2 year-olds with autism (hmm, that may be an oxymoron...).