Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update on Camp!

Yesterday, I had a fairly early meeting at work. Because my daughter's camp is in the opposite direction of where my work is (making the total commute of dropping my daughter at camp, then going into work close to a two-hour drive), I decided to do an early drop-off at camp.

When my daughter and I arrived, I was surprised to see that the counselor taking care of the early arrivals just so happened to be my daughter's new counselor! Considering the camp has something like 2,000 counselors (only a slight exaggeration), I thought this was extremely lucky.

I pulled the counselor aside to express the concerns I had on Monday. Namely that all the kids in the group seemed to know one or two other kids while my daughter didn't know anyone. The counselor stated that it was actually worse than that--all the girls are neighbors, and they all know each other. My daughter is the only kid in that group who nobody knows!

I explained that my daughter can be a bit awkward socially (we're not telling the camp about my daughter's autism), and that I was worried that she would get shut-out from the group socially. I asked her to help my daughter out to make sure she's included socially.

The counselor readily agreed. She suggested working on my daughter becoming friendly with one of the kids in the group, then the others would fall in line. I agreed and told her about one candidate--a girl my daughter mentioned liking.

When I picked my daughter up from camp today, she told me that she made friends with that one camper. She also commented on how nice the other girls in the group were.

I'm feeling better now!

Klutziness Kraziness!

It's that time of the week--time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. This week, we're on the letter K! It's so hard to believe that we're already almost halfway done with the alphabet! Where does the time go? This time around, K is for klutziness.

I've blogged about this before, but for some odd reason, kids on the spectrum happen to be a bit klutzy. They have a hard time with coordination and with knowing where their body parts are. In addition, my daughter has weak trunk muscles, so she's not athletic. In addition, both her father and I happen to be pretty klutzy as well. So, the deck is pretty stacked against her!

It's been a tough few weeks in our household. My daughter hurt her little pinkie toe in gymnastics a couple of weeks ago. I think she might have broken it. It's the same toe she probably broke back in the fall. In gymnastics also. During the past couple of weeks, she's re-injured that same toe 2 or 3 times.

The other night, my daughter was playing on her bed with my husband. At one point, she pushed her body back, not realizing that she was on the edge of her bed. She fell backwards off the bed doing a pretty cool back flip. It was one of the scariest moments of my life though. Thankfully, she wasn't injured.

I think I might have mentioned that we took the training wheels of my daughter's bike, and she did a pretty good job riding it. We took her to a deserted parking lot so she could ride her bike around. Somehow, she managed to ride her bike into my parked car--the only object in the whole parking lot! Luckily, she wasn't hurt in that incident! Unfortunately, I videotaped the incident from too far away, so we can't submit the footage to "America's Funniest Home Videos."

Now, where did I put the bubble-wrap?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Club Med without the Alcohol, Year 2

Last summer, my daughter went to the most amazing day camp! I described it as Club Med without the alcohol (see here to read the post). The place is amazing. The kids swim, horseback ride, go on zip-lines, go-carts, rock climb, fish, boat, among other activities. The counselors are great and work really hard to make sure the kids have a great time.

My daughter grew so much socially last summer. She made friends and relayed gossip about what counselors were dating! It was amazing! My daughter couldn't wait to go back. She looked forward to it all year.

Yesterday was her first day back! She had a good time, but it fell a little bit short of expectations. For me, that is. My daughter's counselor didn't seem as great as the counselor last year. Actually, all the counselors didn't seem as good to me. The kids in my daughter's group all seem to know each other already so my daughter didn't really click with anyone. Also, my poor daughter couldn't pass the swim test, so she has to swim in the shallow water while most of the other kids can hang out in the deep end. At least she can go on the water slide!

The thing is, my daughter had a blast today. I'm the one with the issues. I think things are just not as great the second time doing them. I have a tendency to build things up in my head so much that they're sure to fail to live up to expectations. I'm sure the counselors are all really great, I just need to get to know them better!

My daughter showed a great attitude and was flexible when things didn't go her way. She's determined to have a great time at camp. I know she will.

I have to follow her example!

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Just Mammals Being Mammals!

We had a fun weekend. My daughter finished her swim lessons on Friday. For those who read this post, these were the lessons with all the crazy rules. Well, it turned out her instructor was really great and did an amazing job teaching her! His supervisor felt her swim stroke is now good enough for a swim team! I don't know about that, but I have seen huge improvement over this past week of swim lessons.

So, I thought it would be great to go to the public pool over the weekend so her dad could see her great swimming! Our nearby public pool is not like a typical public pool. It's in the ritzy part of town in Calabasas. Calabasas has turned into quite the highbrow, rich community. It's also known as reality show central since a ton of reality shows take place there or nearby (Newlyweds, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Denise Richards It's Complicated). As you can tell by this list, this area has its share of celebrities--particularly in the music industry. Britney Spears, Ozzy Osbourne, and Leann Rimes also live there. Of course, none of them go to the public pool. However, the city can afford an amazing public pool. They bought out the country club and turned it into a public pool. For a nominal fee, you can have access to their gorgeous, olympic-size pool and use the locker rooms. These locker rooms are very pretty and even include amenities such as hair dryers. You gotta love Calabasas! It's a great town.

Anyway, my husband had fun swimming with our daughter. We even ran into a couple of friends of my daughter there! It was nice for her to see kids she knows since she's already missing her friends from school.

After swimming, we went into the locker room to shower and change. While there, my daughter started to stare at a woman breastfeeding her child. I quietly told her not to stare. After we left the locker room, I asked her if she has any questions about what she saw. She said, "I was confused at first, but then I realized it was just mammals being mammals!"

She cracks me up!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Asperger's and Obsessions

When my daughter was first diagnosed with Asperger's at 4.5 years of age, I read anything I could about the syndrome. One of the characteristics that is really apparent with Aspies is an obsessive interest in a particular area. The book or article would then detail the areas of interest. It would look something like this:

--French literature.

This list isn't based on anything I've looked at, it's just some commonly known areas. I'm sure there are other topics that I just haven't thought of yet. At the time, I remember laughing at the French literature topic. I couldn't imagine my 4 year old reading French literature. I ended up being right about that. Two weeks later, my daughter started reading a little bit of Spanish, trying to teach herself some words. Recently, she even tried to teach herself some Russian phrases. She hasn't shown much interest in French yet.

Other than that, my daughter had shown a strong interest in everything that has ever been listed. It's really weird how predictable the topics of interest will be for a child with Asperger's! The one thing she's avoided has been Pokemon.

Not anymore! My daughter is now obsessed with Pokemon. The boys in her class have been sharing their cards. It's been very big among the 7-year old crowd. I don't know where my daughter developed her interest in Pokemon, but I'm sure it came from school.

She made a giant Pikachu on poster board yesterday and has been taking Pik (as I like to call him--or is it a her?) with her around the house. She also really wanted Pokemon cards, so I treated her to a big set to celebrate the end of a successful first grade year. I don't think these cards are that popular with the girls at her school, but that's okay!

She's just working her way down the list of hobbies! I wonder what will be next!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The End of the School Year...Finally!

I get jealous when I'm on Twitter and reading about how wonderful everyone's summer vacation is. My daughter is still in school. Her last day is Friday the 24th. Not only that, but her teacher is still giving the first grade class homework to do every night. A. Lot. Of. Homework. There's been 6 or 7 worksheets a night to do. It's been crazy.

My daughter has been a good sport about doing them, but I haven't been as good a sport. I really thought they were getting the last week off from homework, so I wasn't mentally prepared for this! I don't think I'm the only one. I was talking to a mom of a classmate of my daughter. The mom had offered her daughter to do her homework one night this week. She said her daughter was horrified and declined the offer! She also "corrected" one of the pages of her daughter's homework by turning all the minus signs to plus signs because her daughter accidentally added everything instead of subtracted everything. She didn't want to make her daughter redo the homework, so presto--problem solved!

I like her methods. The teachers had to turn in the kids' grades last week, so they're not really being graded on their homework this week. I would never do that though. I don't have the guts. There should only be one more night of homework anyway! Whew!

I'm so ready for summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

J Is for Judgmental

It's time to link up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter we're writing to this week is the letter J. J is for judgmental.

As moms, we tend to be a bit judgmental of each other's parenting. I don't know why--we just are. I did a post recently on this topic (see here).

So why am I tackling this topic yet again? For the simple reason that I couldn't come up with any other J words, and I think I can squeeze out some other points about how people can be judgmental. In this case, I'm going to blog about people being judgmental on the internet.

I've been lucky. I've been blogging since February 2010 and have had only one outright negative comment on my blog. That's amazing! I do get the occasional person who doesn't agree with my viewpoints and will respectfully say so. That's fine! I never mind difference of opinion--as long as it's respectfully stated.

There have been a few times where people have commented about not liking the whole idea of labels. I've also seen complaints about this on autism community boards. These folks are against parents getting their child assessed and label with a diagnosis such as autism, Asperger's, ADHD, gifted, or any other label. I think they feel it's demeaning for the child to have a label--that it negates who they are as a person. I think some people also see the label as a means to put their child on medication--to take away their individuality. To essentially not appreciate who their child is.

When I started this blog, it was important for me to celebrate the uniqueness that my daughter brings to the world. I'm very proud of her and everything she's accomplished. I'm sure my regular readers know this about me and the blog.

I also want to stress that no parent wants to put a label on their kid--they really don't. They do it as a means to get services. Without the label, you can't get help. The therapies needed for autism are extremely expensive and would be prohibitive for all but the very wealthy.

Why do we feel the need to pursue these therapies? Why do we not just accept our children for who they are and deal with our own issues? The answer is extremely simple: we want our children to be happy and to have as many opportunities available to them as possible.

Before we sought out a diagnosis for our daughter, she had extremely limited social interactions. She looked like she wanted to join other kids and play, but had no clue how to go about it. My daughter had huge tantrums if any kid even approached her, because she was afraid they'd take a toy she was playing with. She'd also have huge tantrums if she had to end an activity she didn't want to end. She'd have huge tantrums over things that didn't go her way. She spent a good chunk of her day tantrumming and miserable.

Flash forward 3 years: we had our daughter assessed. They psychologist put the autism label on her, which opened up the door to getting a year of behavior therapy after school and a behavior aide in school. My daughter is mainstreamed 100 percent and is excelling academically. Here's the really cool part: my daughter is more socially engaged and has succeeded in making many friends. She's great at sharing and shows empathy to her family and friends. She's learning to manage her emotions when things don't go her way and while she can still be quick to cry, she recovers very quickly. Tantrums are now extremely rare. We actually noticed huge improvements within the first year of behavior therapy.

None of these improvements would have happened without the label. Should we have just left our daughter alone to find her own path? I don't think so. My daughter is SO much happier than before. She still marches to her own drummer and maintains her wonderful quirkiness. But I now feel like she'll be able to lead a somewhat normal life. I feel she'll go to college and graduate school. She'll have friends and someday marry and have her own kids. The improvement in our lives has been nothing short of amazing!

For me, this is a no-brainer. But when I see those judgmental comments, criticizing me for labeling my daughter, I'm just left confused. Sorry if the labels offend you, but they serve a very vital purpose.

Deal with it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Go the F@!K to Sleep

I'm sure everyone has heard about this book (and the Samuel L. Jackson reading of it). I could not stop laughing when I heard it. I don't know how many times I've uttered those words in my head (loudly, to myself).

Getting a child to sleep can be difficult for any parent, but when you have a child on the spectrum, it gets REALLY hard. For my daughter, it's difficult for her to turn her brain off. She can literally be awake all night long, happily playing with her imaginary friends. Oddly enough, she generally can function well the next day. It actually seems that she functions better when she's had less sleep.

While this may be the case, it still drives me up the wall that she doesn't sleep much. Most nights, we give her some melatonin before bedtime. This generally helps her fall asleep more easily, although if she wakes up later in the night, she still has a hard time falling back to sleep. Even with the melatonin, she's still probably up at least 2 nights a week.

I used to stay awake when she was awake. We had kept the baby monitor on, so I would know when she was sleeping or not. The problem was that on those nights that she didn't get much sleep, I didn't get much sleep. Now that she's older and knows she can come in to wake me when she needs help, we finally got rid of the baby monitor. I now sleep much better. If she can't get the bleep to sleep, at least I can!

Selfish? Not really. She does function well the next day. I don't. Plus, I'm the one operating a moving vehicle, so I really do need to get my sleep. I just can't worry about her sleep patterns anymore.

They are what they are.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Fish Is Beginning to Look Good Right Now!

Last week, I posted how my daughter wants to have a pet, but we're having a hard time figuring out what type since she and my husband are allergic to dogs and cats (see here).

We really do have to come up with a solution. Yesterday, a fly flew into the house. I was on my way out the door and didn't have a change to kill it before I left. Today, the fly was hanging out on a window in the dining room. My daughter named it Flutter. How could I possibly kill the darn thing after my daughter named it?

Later in the day, my daughter came up to me, pretty upset. "I think that Flutter is dead!" she said. "Why do you think that?" I asked. "Is Flutter missing from the dining room window?" "No, Flutter is laying on the window sill, not moving." I followed her into the dining room and saw Flutter lying on her back, feet splayed in the air.

"Yup, it doesn't look good for Flutter," I said. My daughter started crying. I comforted her, assuring her that flies live something like 3 days, and I'm sure Flutter died of old age. I got a paper towel and moved Flutter outside where she would enjoy being with nature (and hopefully a bird will come and dispose of her body).

That night, during prayers, my daughter prayed for Flutter. She said, "I know many people would consider Flutter to be a pest, but I think flies are kind of fun to hang out with!"

Maybe getting a fish isn't such a bad idea after all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Whatever You Do, Don't Fall in Love with a Product at Trader Joe's!

I love Trader Joe's! If you don't have one near where you live, you just have to move to where they are, even if it means moving to a different (more civilized) state. What's so great about Trader Joe's? They have great products at really reasonable prices. Their employees are the nicest you will ever find. They also sell wine for $2! It doesn't get better than this!

The drawback to Trader Joe's is that the stores are tiny, so they really limit what they put on their shelves. They are always bringing in new products, so that means that other products have to go away to make room for the new stuff. Sometimes the products that go away are pretty awesome. In fact, any time I fall in love with something there, it invariably gets discontinued.

Yesterday, I decided to roast a chicken. They had an awesome chicken roasting kit where they sold everything you need in a bag. It had fresh herbs, potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic in one handy-dandy, reasonably priced bag. The only other thing you needed to buy was the roasting chicken. Very Sandra-Lee! I know it's lazy of me, but quite frankly, the red potatoes that came in this kit were better than the potatoes I buy separately at either Trader Joe's or Whole Foods! I really wanted that kit!

But, of course, they didn't have it in stock. When I asked an employee when they were going to get it in, he looked at me confused and said it's a seasonal item that they only have in during the holiday period. Wow, I guess it's been a long time since I've roasted a chicken! I was flabbergasted by this! What's so holiday-ish about roasting a chicken? Isn't that a year-round thing? Also, how much more American can you get then to take lazy shortcuts?

Why does Trader Joe's do this to me? Why?

What products have they discontinued that you love?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Like Herding a Cat

Lately, I've been having a hard time getting my daughter to do things in a reasonable amount of time. And when I say do things, I mean do anything: get ready for school, go potty, do homework, brush teeth--ANYTHING!

I feel like a drill sergeant lately. "Get dressed quickly. We have to leave in 15 minutes!" "Don't just sit there, get dressed! We have to leave in 10 minutes!" "You haven't picked out an outfit yet? We have to leave in 5 minutes!" "AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!"

Each day, I spend an inordinate amount of time discussing why it's important to arrive on time to places. Or I explain that if you take 20 minutes going potty, it's going to cut down on the time that's allocated for the DSi afterward.

My daughter, who is extremely smart, still doesn't seem to appreciate that there's a limited amount of time, and you have to hustle to get everything done. If it were up to her, she would have all the time in the world to do what she wanted to do and still be able to show up in time for school or other commitments. She just doesn't get that it doesn't work that way.

Every day, I feel like I'm herding a cat. Except that I think I'd get more cooperation from the cat!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Itchiness Can Spell Trouble

This is a repost. I originally published this post on April 30, 2010. I'm linking this post to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. The letter of the week is the letter "I." I is for itchiness and Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP).

I came very close to losing my daughter when I was pregnant with her. During my pregnancy, I developed a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). Generally, the main symptom of ICP is itchiness--extreme itchiness. The effects of ICP can be devastating, however. ICP can cause premature delivery. Even scarier is that it can cause a baby to be stillborn. Doctors who know about it and who really appreciate the dangers of it, recommend delivering the baby at 36 weeks, because the risk of stillbirth increases dramatically after that.

In my case, I wasn't that itchy! I did develop nausea at around 28 weeks, which concerned my OB. I did have one itchy attack on my belly that lasted about 2 days. I almost forgot to even mention it to my OB because the itchy attack had already passed, but thankfully, I did remember to tell him. He immediately sent me off for a blood test to see if I had ICP. Unfortunately, I did, so I had to get monitored by both my OB and a high-risk doctor.

I reassured myself that I was fine because I wasn't that itchy! And I was thankful that I had amazing doctors who took this condition seriously. They put me on the recommended medication and scheduled an early delivery for me.

I was surprised when the high-risk doctor called me at home on a Saturday morning. He told me to pack my bags and get to the hospital ASAP! They were going to deliver my daughter that day. My girl wasn't scheduled to be delivered for another couple of days, so this surprised me. I asked him if everything was okay. He told me that he had another patient with ICP. She was at the hospital the previous night to get a steroid injection to help mature the baby's lungs. Afterward, they monitor the baby for 45 minutes before releasing the mom. I had already been in for my steroids shots, so I know how that goes! Anyway, while the baby was being monitored, the baby went from doing great to dying instantly. The high-risk doctor said it happened really fast, and they couldn't save the baby, even though they were at the hospital! The mom was also only 33 weeks along--not at the risky point yet. It freaked out the high-risk doctor, and he wanted to get my daughter out ASAP before the same thing happened to her.

At the time, I thought everything was fine with my baby, and he was just being neurotic! However, at the hospital, we found out that my amniotic fluids had gotten dangerously low and that my placenta was appearing to be prematurely aged. So, I had a c-section delivery. My OB said that things had really gotten bad in my uterus, and my daughter wouldn't have survived another two days in there. We couldn't believe how lucky we were. We felt that another baby had to die in order for our baby to live.

It's strange, but because of this, I always felt my daughter was destined for greatness--that there was a reason why the stars would align so perfectly for us! I'm not sure this is a rational thought, but it's one I still hold today, six (now seven) years later!

If you are pregnant and having severe itchiness, I highly recommend you see your doctor ASAP and have them run the blood test for ICP. For more information about ICP, please visit . This website is a fabulous resource and has very complete information about ICP.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Much Is that Doggie in the Window?

After school yesterday, my daughter was playing with a friend while her dad and I chatted. I noticed that the girls were having fun finding pill bugs. I remember my daughter used to collect a whole handful of them when she was in preschool. That used to make me really woozy to see. Thank goodness now she's content with just one!

When it was time to go home, my daughter tried to sneak into the car, hiding her hand. I asked her what she had in her hand (knowing full well what it was). She admitted that she was trying to take a pill bug home because she wanted a pet. I explained to her that we can't take care of a pill bug and it wasn't fair to take it away from its family and friends. She put the bug back, but she then started to cry because of her lack of pets (and siblings).

This breaks my heart! It would be nice to have a furry friend living with us. The only problem is that both my husband and daughter are allergic to dogs and cats. I explained this to my daughter, and she understood. She suggested that maybe we can get another kind of pet. I tried to change the topic at that point. The thought of having a pet snake or frog doesn't seem that appealing to me.

After we got home, and my daughter did some of her homework, she went to play on the computer. Or at least, I thought she was playing. It turns out that she was doing heavy-duty research on ferrets! She even made this chart to illustrate the good and bad points of owning a ferret.

In case you're having a hard time reading her chart, she lists that ferrets are indoor pets; they're prone to cancer; they need constant attention; and they're not for babies.

I pointed out that it is illegal to have ferrets as pets in California. She mentioned that she noticed that too! So, next she's going to research amphibians and/or reptiles to see if any of those will make a suitable pet.

It's heartbreaking when I know she wants a pet dog more than anything! For those of you with allergic family members, what type of pets do you have?

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

When I look at my daughter, I can't believe how big she's gotten. All signs of her babyhood have been gone for a long time. Now, I see the start of a big girl. She's growing by leaps and bounds and has the attitude of a teenager. Okay, I imagine the 'tude will be a lot worse when she actually is a teenager, but still!

I find myself getting nostalgic for the times when she was a baby. Mind you, I'm actually having a lot more fun with her now. But there were definitely some funny times when she was a baby.

I've blogged countless times about how my daughter loves to read and how she started reading at four. But she was interested in reading at an even younger age. When she was about 14 months old, she showed a huge interest in it. I made up cards that had words like "nose" "belly" "mommy" "daddy" and others written on it. I would show her these cards, and she would point to her nose or whatever the card said. She was actually pretty good at reading the cards and really loved doing them.

Ironically, I recently asked my daughter what her earliest memory is. She couldn't really say what the VERY first memory was, but she did remember doing the cards as a baby! I think it's hilarious that's the first thing she most likely remembers! I actually stopped doing the cards with her because I was afraid it would keep the creative side of her brain from developing. I thought it was pretty clear that she would be an early reader and didn't really need a huge push in that directions.

One memory that is in my head right now was when my daughter was about 19 months old or so. She was eating a turkey sandwich for lunch. She then took some of the turkey out of her sandwich and went to an ABC book she had. She turned to the "T" page which had a picture of a turkey. She took her turkey meat and pretended that it said "Momma" to the turkey in the book.

Ah, fun times!

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 Things I Love

A couple of days ago, I wrote about 10 Things I Hate. I think people enjoyed reading this for the most part. I did get some comments where people appeared to be concerned about my happiness. Don't worry--I'm doing fine! It was actually great fun to write about 10 things I hate. I recommend everyone do it!

However, to give equal attention to more positive feelings, I'm writing about 10 things I love today. Again, they're listed in no particular order.

1. I love the beautiful weather we've been having. I live in the hottest part of Los Angeles. Summers can be absolutely brutal here. For some weird reason, we've been having a relatively cool spring so far. It's been great!

2. I love that summer will be here soon. Hot weather aside, I love the carefree vibe of summer.

3. I love that the city of Culver City excused my parking ticket and agreed that I wasn't at fault. That was pretty damn awesome of them!

4. I love that my moving violation ticket that arrived in the mail yesterday wasn't the jury duty summons I initially thought it was! I feel like I escaped a bullet. I know, I still have a ticket to pay and traffic school to go to, but I knew i had that coming. At least I don't have to serve jury duty on top of that too!

5. I love that work gives me the flexibility to work and still be with my daughter when she's out of school. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.

6. I love that my husband, while he can nit-pick me to death, also supports me with all his heart. I know I'm not always that easy to live with either, so the support is appreciated!

7. I love that I'm going to BlogHer 11 in San Diego in August. It's going to be my first time away from my daughter. Considering that she's going to college in a few years, I say it's about time! Okay, she's only 7 and is many years away from college, but still! It's been 7.5 years, and I've never been away from her for a single night! Momma needs a vacation!

8. Looking forward to the vacation aside, I love that I'm enjoying the time with my daughter more than ever! She's come so far and is so much fun to hang with (most of the time). It's been a real joy parenting such an amazing girl!

9. I love that I can use my blog as therapy and share the good times and the less-than-good times! It's so much cheaper than seeing a therapist!

10. I love my life. Sure, I sometimes get bogged down by the small and petty things. But overall, I love this journey I'm on!

What things do you love about your life?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

10 Things I Hate

Hate is a strong word. It really isn't a word I should take so lightly as to write a list of things I can think of in 20 minutes' time. Nevertheless, it's Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny Matlock's and the letter of the week is H. For whatever reason, I cannot come up with any H words other than hate.

So, here are 10 things I hate, in no particular order except for when things pop into my head:

1. I hate when some Bozo crashes into my car in a parking lot and doesn't take responsibility for the damage. I really enjoyed seeing my badly scratched bumper after my daughter's social skills class! Just because my car is 14 years old and dirty doesn't mean you do not have to take responsibility for hitting it.

2. I hate when a politician I actually like does something skivvy. I adored John Edwards until he acted like a dick-wad to his terminally ill wife and their kids. Now there's Weinergate. Just because you're hung like a horse (wow, more great H words), doesn't give you the right to Twitter your pictures. Then lie about it. Can't politicians stop acting like 12 year olds? Never mind, silly question.

3. I hate that I don't have the same figure I had when I was 19. I miss the days of eating whatever I wanted and looking really thin!

4. I hate that my blog is only getting a fraction of the comments that it used to. Yes, I know working part-time has taken a toll on the quality of my writing. I also know it's taken a toll on the amount of time I have to visit and comment on other people's blogs. I don't care! I just want oodles of comments!

5. I hate that I now have to enter stupid captcha codes when posting links on Facebook. If I have to do it, why can't they at least make the damn codes legible? I hate having to try and enter it 7 times because I can never quite make out the letters and numbers.

6. I hate tantrums. It's bad enough that I have the occasional one, but the fact that my daughter still has them also just drives me nuts. When is she just going to grow up so that I can be the drama queen in the family?

7. I hate my husband nit-picking me, and the fact that he's right most (okay, all) of the time. It really pisses me off.

8. I hate that we have to fight for any type of service my daughter is legally entitled to get. We're pretty lucky, actually, because for the most part, others agree she needs the services. I know plenty of other people who haven't been as successful and that sucks.

9. I hate that ALL children have so little resources provided to them to give them a quality education in California. We're one of the richest states, with one of the highest state sales tax, and our schools are among the worst funded. It's insane.

10. I hate that it's the beginning of summer season, and I haven't gotten around to shopping for a new bathing suit, which I desperately need. I just can't do it. It's way too depressing.

What things do you hate?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

I know this is a little late for a weekend wrap-up, but I was busy hanging out at Mommy Pants yesterday!

First off, we had our daughter's IEP on Friday. I'm happy to report it went great! Our daughter got the support she needs for a successful year at school. Yay! After that, the teachers at the school hosted a wonderful volunteer luncheon for the parents that volunteer their time. Then, my daughter and I went to a swim party of a classmate of hers! It was a very fun, but exhausting day.

We didn't do much through the rest of the weekend, except for my daughter's soccer game. There weren't many kids that showed up on Sunday. Her team only had 3 kids. The kids that take the lead in playing offense and defense were not there! Nevertheless, the team was able to hold on to their perfect season and won their game. My daughter scored two goals during the game! Yay! They were playing against The Terminator's team, and the only reason why my daughter's team won was that The Terminator showed up really late--well after the game was already halfway done, and he really held back this time. I guess after he destroyed my daughter's team the last time (one kid quit our team after that game because of the ball The Terminator kicked in his face), the coaches must have talked to him about taking it easy on the little kids.

After the game, we went to a neighboring park so my daughter could play on the awesome playground equipment and ride her bike. We ran into The Terminator and his mom there. I chatted with the mom and found out that The Terminator has never played team soccer before and is totally self-taught. Holy-moly--that kid is talented! I thanked him for holding back on the full wrath of his ability. I will be shocked if he doesn't end up becoming a professional soccer player. That kid is amazing!

Monday at work they had a huge party to celebrate some exciting news. E-bay has bought them out! They had a DJ spinning some cool music and had gourmet food trucks that served sushi, Indian food, and BBQ chicken sandwiches. They also had a gourmet ice cream truck that served yummy dessert items.

Overall, it was a lovely weekend. I hope you had a good one too!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Check Me Out At Mommy Pants!

I'm really honored to be over at Mommy Pants, Cheryl Rosenberg's amazing blog. If you've never been to Mommy Pants, you really have to check it out. Cheryl is a wizard with words! She also heads up The Red Dress Club, which is a wonderful group that works on writing fiction.

I've been reading Cheryl's blog for about a year and have always been a huge fan. I finally got to meet Cheryl last month when she performed at a show called Listen to your Mother. The show had (mostly) mothers do readings about being a mother. Most of the women were bloggers like Cheryl, but others were comedians and/or actresses. It was a terrific show. The highlight was meeting Cheryl afterward. She was as nice, intelligent, and funny as she comes across in her blog.

If you're visiting me from Cheryl's blog, make yourself at home and feel free to sniff around a bit! Some of my favorite posts are listed on my sidebar. That's a great place to start off. I mostly write about the joys and challenges of raising a 7-year old girl who has Asperger's.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Been Pretty Quiet Around Here

Things have settled back down after last week's regression of a few days. It seems that once my daughter sorted out her feelings about changing schools and leaving friends, her behavior became much better! Yay!

She really loved going to the new school's open house. It was weird, because it almost felt like she was putting on a show for us. As we were approaching the new school, she said excitedly, "I can't wait to go to school here!" It almost seemed a little too enthusiastic. But after we had our talk with her regarding that it's okay to be excited and sad at the same time, she really legitimately seemed excited about going.

What was particularly strange at the open house was that my daughter seemed like one of the more outgoing kids there! I do think she'll adjust and do well there socially.

We're having our IEP today and hoping we'll get appropriate support to help her with the transition to a new school that has higher expectations.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who Knew?

If you read my post yesterday on parasites, you get the idea that kids with Asperger's can find some different type of stuff interesting! My daughter is certainly no exception to this. She finds countless things fascinating.

About a week ago, I was driving my car while she was in the back seat reading a book about Colonial times. Oftentimes, she loves to share what she reads with me, but I must admit, I sometimes glaze over. That didn't happen this time! I found what she was sharing with me to be really interesting. I learned some fascinating information about Colonial times.

For example, did you know that colonists could be sentenced to death for stealing a silver spoon? I don't know if this happened if they stole a tin spoon. But if the spoon was silver, they could die!

Also, kids worked on the family farms. School wasn't an option for many families. However, don't feel too sorry for the kids. According to my daughter, the two drinks everyone (including kids) consumed were beer and cider. I'm assuming the cider was the "hard" kind. My daughter said they even drank beer and cider at breakfast time. According to the book she was reading, the colonists considered water to be unhealthy to drink!

Sure, you risked death from committing little crimes and had to work really hard from a young age, but at least you were able to go through your day drunk, and it was socially acceptable!

Those were the days!

Who knew?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gross--But Really Funny!

It's that time of the week again! Time to link up to Alphabe-Thursday with Jenny Matlock. The letter this week is the letter G. G is for gross (but really funny!).

The other day, my daughter showed me the critters she made out of her legos. "Can you guess what they are?" she asked. I went through the usual list of guesses: animals, people, and bacteria (that one is a usual one for my daughter).

My daughter laughed, then told me that they were parasites! The big green one is a tapeworm. The one on wheels is a filarial worm. It's hitching a ride on a mosquito. Did you know that the filarial worms can cause elephantiasis? Me neither, but my 7-year old daughter did! I was too embarrassed to ask her what elephantiasis is.

According to my daughter, two of these parasites can be deadly! I don't remember which two, however. Even the tapeworm can ruin eyesight, according to my daughter.

Who knew?

So what kind of bizarre things do your kids make out of their legos? Can anyone beat parasites?

I didn't think so!

Here is a portrait I found of someone suffering with elephantiasis. Pretty gross, huh?