Friday, October 27, 2006

This Looked Fun

This was really neat to look through and think about. Feel free to ask me about any of the ones I highlighted - I'm more than happy to elaborate.

Thanks, Nancy!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it

09. Hugged a tree-------for photo purposes only :o)
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair

146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Just read over my blog for the past few weeks and realized that I need to stop focusing on my stress. A lot of good is going on too. Like finding out the microwave has a child lock on it so kids can't make it turn on by themselves. Or figuring out how to use the new KidZone on the Tivo so A can't make anymore changes. Or restarting our "poker chips" for all four kids to reward positive behavior (each kid has two rules they have to try to do/not do - we check on it every thirty minutes and they earn a chip for each rule they did/didn't do) and having it work.

So I have not done my 30 days of peace consistently, but I'm going to try to end each day reflecting on something that made me happy that day.

And today was definitely the fact that I got so much paperwork done and redid my filing system. Much easier to find stuff, got rid of a lot of papers (have a huge pile ready for my shredder), it looks great! And what a sense of accomplishment!

I'm heading to bed now, hope to be asleep by 10. J's been getting up a lot at night. She's too young to be trying to stay dry at night! Wish I could convince her to just pee in her pull-up instead of waking us up 3-4 times so we can remind her that she can just pee in the potty, she doesn't need to tell us, and then to help her back in bed. I mean, I'm glad she's doing this and is so aware of it and all, but sheesh - I need my sleep!!!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things RACHELis Kind of Stessing About This Week

1. Look at my weight tracker. Just look at it! Did you notice it has not moved down but has actually moved UP two pounds? Yes, I had to change the starting weight! That's just ridiculous!!! Time for me to get serious about dieting. Crap.

2. A only qualifies for two half hour sessions of OT a MONTH.

3. Even his OT teacher, who we met with on Monday, thinks he needs way more than that.

4. Did you know that if you can read really well, much higher than your expected level, and you test really low for other fine motor/sensory issues, the scores are averaged together to make you average, therefore not eligible for much OT?

5. Just found out that one myself.

6. Any ideas how to get the IU to pay for more therapy when even the therapist is telling me that I should get private Sensory Integration Therapy for him at least once a week and the IU feels he only needs it once a month for half an hour?

7. Any idea how to allow A to let me do the various therapies the OT sent me home with (putting lotion on him, brushing him) when one of the therapies that she showed me (joint compression - which he calls "boom boom") apparently scared him so much he's terrified every time I touch him that I'm going to do that?

8. Any clue how I'm supposed to do all these therapies with him three to four times a day with all the other kids around?

9. One plan to get him to stop putting everything in his mouth constantly is to give him something chewy or crunchy to eat. She was really pushing for gum, but if I give him gum than I have to give it to everyone and I really don't think they're all ready for it!

10. The other suggestion was carrots, but if I give them that in the car (a prime oral time) they might choke while I'm driving.

11. The other idea was soft pretzels (chewy) but if I give them that when I pick them up from school A) they might give some to the baby who has severe food allergies and B) will they still be able to eat lunch when they get home?

12. A is really wound up when he walks in from school. He will usually sit and eat some of his lunch, but then he's up and moving and in his own world. It seems like he might benefit from some of the OT therapies at that time, but how can I do that when I'm trying to give everyone lunch?

13. AARGH!!

On the plus side, did you know that TiVo (A's newest obsession) has a password protected Kid Zone that won't allow him to do ANYTHING but watch the kid shows already recorded? That's right, he can no longer add more shows to be recorded (Why would he ask it to record the View?), delete shows from my To Do list, or add his name to the Wishlist in the hopes that there will be some show with his name in it, or add in his own password to block the rest of us out. We're safe, until he figures out what my password is.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Productive Weekend and Life Lessons Learned

I'm so glad my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad afternoon was able to provide amusement to so many of you. Glad you can all laugh at my misery.

For those of you that don't know me well and might read the above statement as a coming from a bitter, depressed woman, please know that while that might be true, I'm also more sarcastic than anything else.

Anyway. Yesterday, after teaching Religious School (Life Lesson: When making challahs with a kindergarten class of kids using refrigerator breadsticks, do NOT have them ROLL out the breadsticks to make them long and skinny. You get some very long, weird looking challahs that way. Instead, have them fold the bread sticks in half. They turn out much better. Live and learn.), DH stayed in charge of the kids while they played at his parents' house and then at the library so I could clean our bedroom. It SOOOOO needed it. I managed to get everything, every single thing, off the floor, and any other surface that should not have something on it. It looks wonderful and makes me feel so relaxed to be in it! Now to keep it that way.

Thursday (okay, it wasn't the weekend, but I didn't blog about this yet!) I packed up all of their toys from the playroom except for legos, cars, train tracks, one puzzle, and three baskets of books. Everything else went into two large Rubbermaid containers. Aaaahhh. I told them that if they managed to put these toys away for a few days in a row, they could pick another toy back out of the boxes. If not, whatever gets left out gets packed up. Yes, I'm in mean mommy mode and the playroom looks great!!! I don't care if they take it all out if they're playing with it, but it seems like they have no respect for what they have. They'll empty a basket of books on the ground (by dumping it out, not by reading it) and then just walk away! It has been driving me crazy. So we'll see how this works. I have no problem with them ending up with nothing on the shelves, if it will teach them to put away their toys when they're finished playing!

On Saturday (don't you just love the oh so chronological approach I am taking with this post) I took the kids to my friend's church's Harvest Fair, a FREE fair that they give for the community to enjoy.
Lessons learned:
1) When you have a son with Asperger's who craves routine and needs to know what to expect before we get somewhere, do NOT name the various activies that took place at said fair the year before unless you have verified that they will DEFINITELY be repeated this year. When you arrive and discover that the straw maze they had last year (that the kids did NOT even go in!) is not set up this year, said child will have a total melt-down in the parking lot.
2) When your two-year-old daughter begins acting tired around her normal naptime, do not tell yourself that if home she would probably skip it anyway, as she's been doing for the past week or so. Take all the kids home. If you don't she will end up falling asleep while sitting on the concrete, waiting for her brothers to come out of the moon bounce.
3) If you told the kids that after the Harvest Fair you will be going to the library, make sure you go to the library even if they have all fallen asleep in the car, and, once awake, you move them on to the couch to just relax for a little. If there is one thing they will want to do when they fully wake up is go to the libary, and they will all freak out like you've never heard if the library actually closes before they are all alert enough to get back in the car.

As for today, I will be taking A to OT today in an hour to find out what programs I can do with him at home. Can't wait for this (no sarcasm there at all - I'm really excited!) - I really have not found the time to sufficiently research this so I'm glad I will have a professional be able to tell me what to try.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

R and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Afternoon

Sorry, Alexandar, but I've been having one of those afternoons.

When I went upstairs for a moment while the kids were eating breakfast, A pulled a chair over and grabbed my supplies of poker chips (token economy for behavior modification) and spread them all over the floor.

Then after everyone ate and I tried to put them down for a nap, only J (DN) was content to stay in bed. Both J and A (DN) refused to take a nap, and they both REALLY need it.

This interrupted the conference call I had scheduled for naptime to discuss A's OT, which they now say while they agree he would benefit from Sensory Integration Therapy, it would need to be done on a private (read - we pay) basis since he did not qualify with the OT testing done over the summer. Well, he DOES qualify for SI, but since kids can no longer receive services simply for SI. He scored REALLY high on the visual/motor (?) part of the test, so high that even though he scored low on the sensory part, the scores balance out and show that he doesn't qualify for more than he has on his IEP (huh?!), however hopefully the OT can create some therapies/strategies that I and his special ed itinerant teacher can do with him on a regular basis and that will be enough. We will meet with her on Monday.

After my phone call, I went downstairs only to find that B is toasting something all on his own (Um, hello - you're FOUR! Stay away from the things that produce heat!), A is running the microwave (Read what I just wrote for your brother!), and J and A (DN) are eating all of my bread for sandwiches (yeah, the bread that is still FROZEN).

I then went to the TiVo to put on Bob the Builder at my nephew's request, only to discover that A has someone entered in a password (that he no longer remembers) and has set a Parental Lock on EVERY SHOW on tv and that has been recorded. It took me half an hour, but I finally broke the code (4444). I now have the Tivo remote hidden on top of the microwave - please remind me when I post again that I have now lost the remote.

And I just heard the telltale click of the toaster oven - better go see what surprises they are leaving for me now.

I just don't understand when I hear other SAHMs complain that they're bored - that's never a problem around here.

A Quick Update

Since Saturday:
- B swallowed a penny which we're still waiting to pass. Love is looking through your child's poop with two popsicle sticks while he is complaining that it smells too much for him to stay in the bathroom. Yeah, because that's my idea of a fun time. At least he did say after the first time I did this, "Thanks for looking in my poop, Mommy." Aawww, just kind of melts your heart.

- I was able to fill out the reams of paperwork for the developmental pediatrician before my hand dropped off from fatigue.

- A was able to be examined by the developmental pediatrician (appointment only took us 8 months to get, so I shouldn't complain) who completely confirmed the Asperger's diagnosis. She had some new ideas for us to try, one of them being a way to get him more aware of his bodily functions. So now he gets a poker chip in a jar every time he stays dry for a half hour chunk of time, five chips equaling computer time. I'm also getting him to sit on the potty a few times a day while he plays a hand-held electronic game, something he can only play while sitting on the potty.

- Of course, can't start a reward system for one without setting something up for the others, so now we have three other jars set up with each of them having a different reason that they can earn chips. Fun, fun, fun.

- Invited J's playgroup over yesterday. Couldn't get the kitchen cleaned in time, but was fine telling them to just ignore the mess. Didn't get all bent out of shape about it - big improvement for me.

- Dealt with the 911 call yesterday (okay, actually DH dealt with it while I was at school) - see yesterday's post.

- Waiting for this day to end so I can make sure DH is okay. Apparently there are big time rumors flying around his school that someone is coming in to shoot up the school today. Yeah. That's just peachy. Hopefully it's just rumors!

Alright, off to finish getting them ready for school and then off to meet Chaotic Mom for coffee.

Not even enough time to do an official Thursday Thirteen. Maybe next week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Guess what the kids learned at school today when the big fire truck came for Fire Prevention Week?

Guess who picked up the phone and tried it when Daddy attempted to take a quick shower while Mommy was at work?

Guess whose house was visited by THREE police cars to check out the 911 hang-up call they received?

Enough said.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Super Saturdays

You know, as much as I miss having Saturday mornings to myself, like I used to, but I'm actually enjoying these Saturdays that I have the kids. DH now works every Saturday, which is tough, but at least it's just my three, so it feels ALMOST easy. Today I took the kids to get their hair cut (surprisingly B has the hardest time with that, as long as I let A have a say in which order he gets his cut). Afterwards we went to a flea market, where I let them each spend $2 (they made out pretty well and I got a new purse for $2 and a Channukah present for my nephew), then to lunch at KFC/Taco Bell, and finally, to the library to pick out new books and videos and play a little with the the train table. It became clear that I had pushed my luck when it was time to leave and A could not stop touching things. This is what happens when he's tired. He has a really hard time listening and remembering the rules.

In any case, the kids are laying down having "quiet time" (though I hear that A has found the remote that I hid and is fast forwarding/rewinding the video) so after I take care of the video, I plan to sort and do a lot of laundry and clean up as much as I can. DH is going out to dinner with friends after rehearsal (it's only fair - I had a fabulous dinner out with the ladies from my street on Thursday) so I can do a simple dinenr for me and the kids and put them to bed earlier, especially since no one is even close to resting.

I'm off!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tragedy Averted

Our Tivo mystery was solved.

Yesterday it appeared as if our Tivo stopped working. I tried everything I could think, but the screen stayed black. I couldn't figure it out! Distracted the boys and got DH to come home and check it out. He worked on it for an hour, checking every connection and cord, but nothing made a difference. Finally, on a whim, DH checked the Menu button that controls the Picture.

Yes, you guessed it, A had changed the color on the tv so that everything was black.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Son's New Love

I love my TiVo.

I really can't say that enough. It's incredible.

But no matter how much I love it, my love just does not compare to A's. He tells strangers on the street about our TiVo. He reads the manual and definitely knows how to make it do more things than I do. He has even entered various words into the WishList for the TiVo to record various topics (he entered his own name and also entered Bob - for Bob the Builder).

In fact, ask him what he wants to be for Halloween, he'll proudly tell you that he's going as the TiVo guy. We've worked out that he will wear a box that we will paint black (anyone have a big box we can use?) and write TIVO in the appropriate letters across his chest and make antenni (sp?) to put on the top of his head (I talked him out of putting them in his ears as he initally wanted). He even has a Tivo dance!

While I'm trying not to let him, he will climb up on anything to steal the Tivo remote and call up various kid show episodes that we have recorded and read them all off to the kids in the room until everyone agrees on one show, then he selects it so they can all watch.

This afternoon, tragedy struck. When A climbed up to do something with the Tivo, somehow he touched the wrong thing. The Tivo is black on the tv screen. I can't even get live tv on. Luckily, I was able to distract both boys with extra computer time. J is sleeping on the couch and DN-A and DN-J are asleep upstairs. I'm counting the minutes until DH is home and can hopefully fix it. I can't go back to watching regular tv again. I just can't.

Bad Blogger

I know, I know, don't give me grief about it. I haven't updated in a while. I like to take time to reflect and write once a day, but that hasn't happened lately.

After listening to some of my very wise friends who left comments for me, I decided that now is not the best time to attempt life without my medicinal help, so I went back on the pills. The nauseua, vertigo, and general nasty feeling went away by the next day. What a relief! I had done some research on line and found that it takes about a month for the withdrawal symptoms to totally go away. I didn't think I could handle feeling like that for a month!

Last week I saw Barbra in concert. By the time it actually started I thought I might start hyperventilating with anticipation. When she actually appeared for the first time, rising from underneath the stage, I cried. I couldn't believe that I was actually seeing her live after having grown up with her incredible voice. I have always felt a connection to her. When I was younger and still dreaming of becoming a professional performer, I often compared myself to Barbra (I know, big ego back then!) thinking if she could do it being able to sing and act but NOT dance (it's hard doing a musical with little dancing ability!), then maybe so could I. And then I saw Yentl and could almost feel her love for Judaism, which made me feel even more connected. All in all, the concert was incredible, when she sang. She decided to do some political stuff, which was funny for alittle bit but than got a little much. She is touring with a group of incredible singers named Il Divo (I think - I'd never heard of them before). As good as they were, I was very disappointed when they took the stage alone and Barbra went off to rest. I paid all this money for Barbra, not them, even if they were great! Bottom line, I'm SO glad DH and I went - it was incredible!

One of the Hebrew School classes that I'm teaching this year is level "Hay", kids that will be having their Bar and Bat Mitzvah this year. There is no real curriculum, they don't even HAVE to be there as a requirement, so I have a lot of flexibility with what we do together, especially since these are obviously motivated kids. I decided to start each class with reading the current week's "parsha" or Torah portion (in English) and discussing it. Then we go into the Hebrew and read that, focusing on what words we can interpret. I've never read the Torah all the way through; I've only focused on "important" stories, so I'm really interested in doing this. I also bought myself a book called the Bedside Torah which has three different commentaries for each parsha. Traditionally you read the Torah three times a week, so there are three different "takes" on the portion to read, one for each time you read it. I just started that book last night, but since we're at the last reading of the Torah since Friday night ends Sukkot with Simchat Torah (when we finish reading the Torah and start all over again), there wasn't too much commentary. Can't wait to start at the beginning and work my way through! Now I just wish I could find a Jewish Torah study group I could join. Oh well, I recommitted to going to services on Friday nights after Shabbat dinner, that's a good first step.

And that's it for now. It's Thursday morning so four of the five are at preschool, so I was planning on getting a lot accomplished, but Baby J is not cooperating. She's been up from her nap since 10. I did have time to fold the laundry and balance the checkbook. Now I think I'll just leave the rest of the paperwork I was planning to do for later and focus on her.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


You'd think I'd have learned after going off Effexor cold turkey. You'd think I'd remember how nasty it was. You'd think I'd have picked a better time of the month to go off yet another anti-depressant cold turkey.

You'd be wrong.

For the record, while Celexa withdrawal is not as bad as Effexor, it's still not great. And I just looked it up on-line - it takes about 30 days to get out of your system. Great. 30 days feeling like this. I'm just thrilled.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quick update

Quick update:
Walk NOW was Saturday - a 5 K to raise money for Cure Autism Now. My family team raised about $1500. And a good time was had by all.

Sunday night to Monday night was Yom Kippor, the holiest day of the Jewish year. I was able to attend services both Sunday night and Monday morning, and then led the preschool service at 1, which was very well attended and appreciated by all. If nothing else, attending services this weekend confirmed for me that I want to attend actual grown-up services again. DH and I worked out a way for me to do that.

Today - feel like crap. Whether it's the fact that I took myself off my anti-depressants last week and may STILL be feeling the effects of that or I'm just fighting the cold all the kids have, feel blech.

Good news for tomorrow: I get to see the woman I have idolized for as long as I can remember, in concert, live, the woman who rarely gives live concerts and whom may never come to town again on tour - yes, I'm seeing Barbra. I'm so excited I cannot stand it. Obviously I will report on the concert later.