March 31, 2010

Imagination, I've missed you

The walk down the toy aisle seems to be an 80’s flashback these days, retro Barbie, Carebears, Smurfs, and Strawberry Shortcake. What’s next the Snorks? It brings back great memories of marathon Saturday morning cartoons until noon, when Saved by the Bell came on. Today we were in Target and right there on the shelf by the Rainbow Brite, was a Monchichhi! Really? Immediately, I started singing the Monchichhi commercial and it’s been stuck in my brain ever since. I didn’t even need a You Tube refresher. Then Audrey asked what it was and what did it do?

“Well, hum, uhhh, monkey, I think, and it doesn’t do anything.”

I just stood there having my moment and Audrey was already bored of it and asked to go to the Barbie aisle. I guess everything has a gimmick these days, and most things talk, walk, laugh, dance or do something. Toys are still based on the TV shows just like the 80’s, however, back in the eighties, toys didn’t do anything. I just thought it was cool that my Strawberry Shortcake smelled like berries! You just used your imagination and played with it; you recreated the stories and wrote new ones. Now day’s imagination is not required. Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan of blocks. But even now, blocks have a purpose; they are textile and covered on every space with letters and numbers and shapes and animals, stacking and nesting. And I will admit, I was a sucker and bought all the Baby Einstein DVDs, and sign language books, etc, etc. cha-ching. But in hindsight, was it really worth it? Of course not. My kids are genius, no doubt; I’d question any parent who didn’t think their child was, but maybe instead of pushing so much learning, I should have encouraged more play. And we play, and played, but we could have lived without Baby Mozart. Now studies are showing it doesn’t matter what kind of music babies or children listen to, as long as they are exposed. So here’s a shout out to the parents who don’t have stashes of batteries, or hit “continual play” on the DVD, but tie on the superhero cape, and the dress-up jewels, find great hiding spots or a cozy nook and read a book. Here’s to imagination, I've missed you, here’s to your revival.

March 30, 2010

I'm Not Giving Up

I'm gearing up for April, Autism Awareness Month, and nobody in my opinion says it better than Jenny! Even if you don't agree, watch and listen, the doctors and pediatricians only regurgitate what they've learned in medical school; and this new biomedical technology is so compelling we just can't ignore it. I am on the road to recovering Gabe from Autism. A fellow blogger posted this today, and it was just what I needed because Gabe had a particularly bad day. Really tough transitions, not alot of language, bigger than normal tantrums and stimming and a couple hours of screaming at therapy. It's just a great reminder that it's all worth it, the daily battles for normalcy and engagement, the constant battle with the insurance company who won't pay for bio-med (or even some developmental delays for that matter) and the tugs at the heartstrings wondering if you are making the right choices. The Ped and I just had it out about vaccines a few weeks ago because for now, I flat out refused Audrey's kindergarten boosters, I really have to decide what path to take there. Not sure if I will get anymore for her, Gabe most certainly will not be getting one more shot as long as he is in my care. We survived the flu season, no flu, and barely sick for that matter. Green the vaccines CDC and I'm one board, but I won't poison my kids! So there are two parts of Jenny's interview, and it is almost 2 years old now, but still relevant none the less. I applaud her pioneering efforts, go Warrior Momma!

Part 1

Part 2

Thanks 123AutismFree for the inspiration!

March 23, 2010

Running Shoes

As anyone knows who reads this blog, I have some well worn tread on my running shoes, and friends, it's unfortunately not from jogging. I'm always running after my precious little guy, Autism or not, age three just plain stinks. Why must you test the boundaries every five minutes young one? Alas, a mother shall never know. Anyway, I feel compelled to share the subtle theme interwoven throughout my day. Living your passion and getting what you want. First, waiting for Gabe at therapy and  reading Audrey the book, Incredible Me, by Wayne Dyer, if you haven't read it, FABULOUS children's book! It was just so cool, like every life lesson I want to teach my kids all in one little book, and it rhymes:) So anyway, a recurrent theme in the book was finding something you love to do, seeing yourself doing it and putting it into action. Next example, I went to Como Zoo today with the kids. And before I go any further, might I just state for the record that it disturbs me greatly that there is a crack in the plexi-flexi-obviously-not-gorilla-proof-glass window between me and my precious ones (and 50 other's precious ones) and the gorilla family of 5! Yikes! I guess that's what you get at a free zoo. Note to self, increase donation upon next visit. But I love seeing all the seniors who volunteer their time at the zoo. I love how they interact with the children, and just exude joy. They always have a friendly smile and a tender word. Then I thought, is this their passion? Is it their love for animals, or maintaining such a beautiful (albeit slightly cracked) facility, the love of children, or seeing the wonder in Audrey's eyes at seeing the "13 inch giraffe" (it was 13 feet), or perhaps the gracious donation of their time to care for a community treasure. Are they living their passion? Have they lived their passion? Finally, I'm reading Tommy Newberry's, The 4:8 Principle, and in the summary of Part One, he posed this question, "In what ways have you been waiting for joy, instead of seeking it?" Now I'll go full circle people. I know I need to find my passion, I have alot of passions, and I would love to do so many things. Seriously, I just can't even decide; I know, tough problem to have right?  I don't even let a case of the hows get in the way, I know if it is meant to be, it will be. God will create a path for my purpose. But, am I sitting by and waiting for that just to come to me when instead I should be lacing up those sneakers and going after it? So I am running. Always running after Gabe, after my to do list, after the laundry. But not running after my passion. I suppose I allow myself and my "gotta dos" and "should be doings" and "more importants" talk me out of it, but I've got one shoe on, lacing up the second and I'm going to get myself set on the starting line.  Join me won't you?

March 08, 2010

The Japanese Garden

Be the still pool.
Let your face reflect the glory,
the wonder.

Be the dragonfly,
silent but joyful.

Be the bud.
Prepare to blossom.

Be the tree.
Grant shelter.

Be the butterfly.
Accept the riches of the moment.

Be the moth.
Seek the light.
Be the latern.
Guide the lost.

Be the path.
Open the way for another.

Be the wind chime.
Let the breeze blow through you.
Turn the storms into songs.

Be the rain.
Wash away, cleanse, forgive.

Be the grass.
Grow back when you are tred upon.

Be the moss.
Temper your strength with softeness,
with mercy.

Be the soil.
Bear fruit.

Be the gardener.
Create order.

Be the temple.
Let the spirit dwell in you.

Be the seasons.
Welcome change.

Be the moon.
Shine through the darkness.

Be the pebble.
Let time shape and smooth you.

Be the leaf.
Fall gracefully when your time comes
to let go.

Trust in the circle.
To end is to begin.

I received this book (In A Japanese Garden, Charmaine Aserappa) from a friend 8 months ago when my life shattered into a million  pieces.  I try to read it everyday. I love the brilliant simplicity of it.  This wisdom gives me power in my life.  I was just going to post one or two phrases, but they are all so relevant in some way in daily life, I couldn't just choose one. I hope the poetry touches you in some way as well. Right now, I feel like the bud, ready to blossom. There are so many exciting (and scary) possibilities laid before my doorstep. I have just to choose the path. How lucky am I to have choices? How lucky am I to start all over again? How lucky am I to be surrounded by people that truly love and care for me? How truly, truly blessed I am. To end is to begin. 

March 01, 2010

Gotta Go, Gotta Go....

It is just a morning like any other. I laugh when people say I need to take time for myself, I got to thinking this morning, I don't even have time to pee; and let's not even broach the subject of showering.

6:30 A.M. Alarm goes off.

6:35 A.M. Disgruntled I get out of bed and throw in the Pilates DVD.

7:00 A.M. Kids wake-up, hugs and kisses

(I've gotta pee, but I need to change Gabe's diaper Pronto!)

7:05 A.M. Change stinky diaper and promptly take it outside to the trash can, this does involve winter coats, boots and gloves.  Briefly contemplate a move to warmer climate.

7:15 A.M. Make scrambled eggs, strawberries and toast for the kids complete with Gabe's supplement regimen and eat breakfast myself without actually ever sitting down (does this sound familiar, I need a drink, a fork, a napkin, etc.)

(I've gotta pee, but I need get these kids dressed)

7:45 A.M. Dishes

7:55 A.M. Pack snacks and drinks for the day

(I've gotta pee, oh my gosh its past 8, how did it get so late?)

8:10 A.M. Get the kids dressed

8:20 A.M. Child maintenance, brushing hair, teeth and washing faces

(I've gotta pee, BAD)

8:30 A.M. Spot my car keys, decide I better pack the diaper bag and find the cell phone before I forget and have to look for them in half an hour.

8:35 A.M. Random spillage to clean up

8:45 A.M. Break up a fight

(Geez, can't these kids just stop for one minute, I've got to pee!)

8:55 A.M. After putting in a video and separating the kids, I contemplate if I should shower, or could it wait
one more day.  This does involve stading for 30 seconds in front of the shower and staring at it longingly.

9:00 A.M. It cannot wait, hop in the shower.

9:01 A.M. In the shower, shampoo in hair, forgot to pee, expletives follow.

9:02 A.M. Think about how long I've actually said I have to pee in my head, and decide to randomly blog about it tonight.

9:15 A.M. Relief.

All in a day. I can't believe I'm posting about peeing! The job of a Mommy is never easy, on the bladder that is.