May 31, 2011

Show Down With The Queen

No...not this one-->                                 

This one...I think....

This post is making me itchy already. I don't like bugs. Killer instinct and all. But I soon think my blog shall be renamed, "Bugs on my Shoe". My weekly postings will consist of frivolous ramblings, Autism, and my latest bug encounter of the week and how said bug found its demise. {In case you missed the last riveting spider story, here} That's me Jacques Cousteau of the bug world; here to entertain and inform. Here are the facts...

I glance down at my sparkly new flip flop {which broke this the gas station...causing me to step in gas station mystery puddle...not happy about that...degreasing and foot}. Anyway glancing, and thought I saw something move or dart, could've darted. I hate when I see things out of the corner of my eye like that. So I think oh, what is that? Probably just remains of GFCF chocolate muffin {which are quite tasty} not an improbable assumption. I reach for the paper towel to swipe up the mess, and the crumb moved. Upon further inspection, it was no crumb, but an ant; bigger than your typical little sidewalk ant hill type ant. This was a smart ant. He didn't scurry willy nilly, he froze in the looming shadow of death. Humm, smart little guy, and I go in for the smush. Holy moly, this dude was fast. I have never seen a faster ant! What the heck kind of ant is this? I for one don't like it. Upon further inspection after I killed it, I thought, whoa, maybe it's the Queen ant? I'd never really seen an ant that big indoors. But the Queen wouldn't risk death for a GFCF chocolate muffin; I mean I said they are good, but not that good. Besides the Queen has all those slaves workers to fetch food for her. She just stays in the nest or hill or whatever and has sex all day. I'm just assuming here. Tough life the queen has.

But, no, it was not the Queen. Because I spotted four more of those suckers, frozen in terror, or blending in or acting smarter than me, whatever; they're dead. Of course, I naturally referred to my friend Google to tell me what kind of ant this was. I mean the whole poisonous killer spider in the banana bunch story just came out, who knows if this thing snuck in my grocery sack full of nutritious food, or Twinkie box, whatever. Now friends, as per the norm, I'm freaking out just a tad. There are many a type of ant this could be; and it doesn't look good. The only thing that possibly looks okay here is the fact that it was high noon when I killed them and I haven't found anymore. Further, I do not have time to take Google's suggestion to devise some sort of staking out quest to find the nest in my wall, or cellar, or wooded lot. Nor do I want to mix up some potion of half honey half blabbety, blah, blah mixture to snuff them out. I was worried when I read these words, "these ants prefer meat". What? Hold the phone, or in my case pick it up and call the Exterminator. I'm on it.

And as much as I adore and appreciate your comments, don't tell me what species this could be, because no, I did not get a good look at the thorax or notice any yellowish hairs on the abdomen or whatever. I am aware; I possibly may be living in a pile of saw dust by evening. Okay. Thanks for reading. Just can't wait until the Mosquitoes hatch, boohoo!

Pretty sure I'm going to have to wean myself off the Googling. 

{And saying, "whatever"}

May 27, 2011

I'm in Transition

Might look a little bit different around here. The ol' blog is in transition. I got a wild hare/hair {?}, could be either I suppose; I'm going to have to Google it. Quick story first...I was trying to figure out how to upload some video from my phone to the computer and searching on in the "please help me, I'm an idiot" section and I read this post from 2009...

"{Question yada, yada}......someone please help me, I would appreciate it if you could explain it in English and not in computer nerd speak."

I just had to laugh at that. I feel ya brother! I'm probably not as much of an idiot as I let on when it comes to the computer; I just don't like it when it acts smarter than me.

So, I gave up on the video. Too many steps for not worth the effort. Follow me? No? Moving along. I then decided to remove that hot pink "vote for me" madness top 25 badge, when I started shuffling around some things on the blog here. I realized my blog is neither cute or user friendly. I really don't have the time to strike out on my own and fight with blogger a couple hours with this, but here I sit. Blogger 376, me...160 {as in posts}.  In the midst of my delete, delete, delete, I noticed that it's my blogaversary. A whole two years. Yes, sad, but true.  The blogosphere just can't get rid of me.

Two years ago, shortly after my son was diagnosed with Autism, I started blogging as a means to document his progress and keep family and friends in the loop. Two months after that, my life went straight to heck, and the big D soon followed. So I had a nice cute family name/URL and well, I liked blogging about everything but Autism, most often times, so here I am. I'm proud to announce I am the new owner of my own domain, So I'm in transition. Blogger promises everyone will be redirected, but you and I both know...hey Blogger...we're onto you and your "maintenance".

So seeing as I can barely keep my eyes open, and will probably look like death warmed over tomorrow, I should go to bed. Bear with me; it's a work in progress. It took me half an hour to get a shade of pink that I'm semi-okay with. You really just can't have a blog with the name Bubble Gum in it, and not have some pink. {Plus, I love pink, and green apparently, lots of green going on here.}

And it would be grand if just a few of you fantastic people would leave me a comment to let me know if you were redirected, in google reader or bookmarks, or if there might be some problem.  I would appreciate it.  Even if just 3 of the 12 of you that read this respond, I think that will give me some adequate data to go on.

Oh, Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone, be safe!


May 26, 2011


This is what I brought for lunch
This is what I ate instead



{Sometimes you just want to fit in with all your co-workers and not be the dork who brings her lunch everyday.}  Good Intentions right?

Scene: Mother (might be me), daughter and son walking into un-named mega store.

Daughter: "Mom..."

Me: "Yes daughter?"

Daughter: "It's not right."

Me: "What's not right?"

Daughter: "To lie."

Me:"You are right, lying is not acceptable. Who lied?"

Daughter: "You."

Me: "About what?"

Daughter: "You always say we need to run to the store and get two things so it won't take long, but we always get a lot more than two things, and it always takes a loooooong time."

Me: {Pause, thinking} "Yes...I guess I did sort of is always more, sorry...I'll make it quick." {I even lie to myself obviously}

She's onto me. Friends I wish it were only two things, that is always my intention, until I pass the peanut butter aisle and remember it's getting low and then have to go back to said aisle from freezer aisle because I forgot jelly too, until I see grapes on sale {God Bless a grape sale}, until I remember we need toothpaste and toilet paper, and snacks for school, and another birthday party this weekend, and I just glanced at the clearance rack to stock up for next season's sizes, and I have a coupon for that thing that's on sale {score}, and decided to forgo 'chicken' again for dinner because something else looked more appetizing. My intention is always two things, but I can never quite manage it, even with a list. Do I seem distraught?  Okay, I'll try harder next time.

P.S. I'll be going back to the store tomorrow because I  forgot to get what I initially went for in the first place.  Oh right, like you've never done that!

May 24, 2011

Bless Your Heart

I love that sweet southern saying, "bless your heart".  I should use it more often.  Wow!  My groupies rallied and came out in droves to vote for my blog in the "Top 25 Single parent blogs, blah-blah-blah".  Thanks friends, bless your heart(s)!  I think the editors over at Circle Of Moms must have been drinking, desperate, or drawing blogs out of a hat to put me in the Top 25 Single Parent blogger list.  I am very surprised and humbled that I got as many votes as I did, roughly number 15/25.  There were so many good blogs on that list; it was awesome just to read and connect with other single parents.  Now I have a whole slew of new blogs I've added to my reading list. {I seriously haven't watched Television in 2 weeks; they are that good, single parents are a riot, sleep deprivation perhaps or the booze} I'm glad that contest is over, it was sort of nerve racking.  I never would've put my own name on the list, but felt compelled to pimp out harass kindly ask for votes so I wouldn't feel like, well a loser.  So thanks for the self-esteem boost, maybe I can wean myself off the meds soon.   Please don't expect a thank you note though.  As dutiful as I used to be at such, you'll have to settle for a cyber one and a quick name drop.  Here it is, your 5 minutes {could be good or bad, depending on how you view my blog}...

(Note:  Possible fictitious circumstances may be described below; any real sounding names are probably real because they made it public to me, their bad)

Thanks to....

Bev, Anna, Staci, Bara, Bev, Nicole, Sasha, Nancy, Bev, Shawn, Julie, Nancy & Bev, Shelly P., Shelley L. and/or Shzelly, Kayla, Jen, Kaelene, Gina, Bev,  Mela, Brenda, Kaelene, Pam, Pamela, Alison, Erin, Christie, Sara, Suzi, Bev, Barb, Gretchen, Morgan, Amy, Bev, Kimberly, Amanda, Betsy {you better have, or else}, Nessa at Moments and Impressions {great pics, sweetest little girl}, Lynn at Autism Army Mom {pee your pants funny stuff} and Solitary Mama {check out her hilarious blog, you won't regret it, she was on the list too} any family members that will own up to the fact we are blood, the guy behind me in the grocery store on his I-Phone, thanks to my State Representatives and Senators for the payback, the 14 year old I gave five bucks to, everyone who logged on from viewing the "Vote For Me" poster stuck to the back of my car, convicts #349 through #412 at the state pen, the teller at branch 340, Elvis, and my faithful stalker from Tel Aviv.

If I forgot you or you would like me to remove your name, let me know and I will think about updating this! 

Thanks everyone!

May 23, 2011

Memory Monday: Think I Ruined It

I was supposed to do this last week, sorry Kelsi. This is a new link up by Kelsi at Modern Mom, Redefined. You post a favorite picture with the memory and link up, easy as that. Go ahead, do it. Being the blog loving people person that I am...I am just finally getting around to it. And yes, I am that person that lets you in front of me in rush hour traffic; I'm nice like that, its how I roll.  Plus, I really like Kelsi, she's a good Mommy.

Now I am a blogger who schedules out my posts, unless inspiration should hit, so here I am at the last hour scouring my back logs of photos. Procrastinate you say? Yes, don't mind if I do. I thought this was going to be an easy peasy post, I'd find something cute like a chubby cheek picture, or "whoa look at that mess", or rainbows and glitter...but not so much. Warning: Sap factor increasing, cynical sarcasm fading fast.

I had been in La La land, reminiscing for about an hour, when I just felt, well...sad. In midst of my walk down memory lane, it occurred to me that I will have been "officially" divorced one year this week. {Told you, grab your Kleenex} I should clarify; the divorce is a good thing, well as good as divorce goes I suppose. So again, as I was looking back for the perfect "Memory", I realized so many of those memories were as a family of four. I'm not going to lie {it's not in my nature} it was just downright depressing. Fabulous memories, but so bittersweet. Life is not always "picture perfect", nor does it turn out the way we dreamed it would be. And Lord knows it can come crashing down on you and even drown you if you let it. My little boo-hoo fest was not because I was missing what once was, or him {just to make clear, because I know you're reading Mr. X., so don't get any ideas}. There is something magical about a photo that can take you back to that very moment. All the emotion, hopes and dreams you held in the deepest part of your heart come flooding back as if the camera just clicked. It's so funny how a single photo can stir things in the depths of your soul like that. I think how things are so very different now, very different from how I pictured them just 2 years ago.

Our journey as a now family of three has been an arduous two year rollercoaster ride. And we're doing great. And, I'm at peace; well unless I'm ranting about someone or something. Maybe peace at 70/30? My little family of three is blessed beyond measure.

So, I never really chose a "memory" or photo, so this one will do. My greatest joy...our biggest adventure has only just begun.

May 20, 2011

Don't Let Your Kids Play on Train Tracks

Would you seriously have clicked on this post if you knew it was about Flat Stanley?  {I wouldn't, zzzz}  If you don't know who Flat Stanley is, click here, {it's very educational}because this post is going to be outrageously long and hopefully include photos, if blogger allows, so I don't feel like explaining it all.  So there.  It had stopped raining for about two minutes around these parts, and the kids and I scurried outside to get some much needed solar Vitamin D, and well, they were driving me crazy.  I am nothing if not brutally honest friends.  So Flat Stanley came to us here in the big city from our Kindergarten age cousin in Wisconsin.  I decided the best and most efficient use of our time would be to jump on the train and snap photos along the way.  {Not an easy task wrangling these two by train tracks and trying to take pictures, they're we're lucky to be alive, that's all I'm saying.}

So, we very well couldn't have sent Stanley home without hitting up the Mall of America, shudder.  Well actually I very well could have.  We spent 27.4 minutes {who's counting} at the MOA.  It was our first stop because well I'm not an idiot; the kids had just eaten, and were full of energy.  I don't do whiny, sluggish kids at a Mega mall, not a good combination.

I let my Kindergartner take the lead, because let's face it, what I consider cool, and she considers cool are two totally different things.  Naturally we landed at American Girl, and Stanley posed for photo op with Girl, Julie {Stanley was aghast at the outrageous prices}.  I'm not going to post that one, because for all I know it is illegal, copyrighted, blah, blah, blah, and I will then be facing some enormous lawsuit from the Multi-Million dollar monster that is American Girl.  {It felt very wrong to be snapping pictures in that store, I was waiting to be jumped by armed guards and taken in for questioning.  Therefore, going with the gut, no posty the pic.}  Oh and I deny everything.

Lo and behold, we landed at Nickelodeon Universe.   I told the kids they could take Stanley on one ride.  I was pushing for the carousel, but was out voted and outnumbered.  They opted for the Swiper Sweeper.  Looks innocent and fun, until it whips you around the corner {this is the fun part} The Swiper Sweeper is a $3 ride that will cost you $300 dollars in chiropractic fees from whiplash.  It is brutal, no lie; I'd rather get my upper lip threaded!  Did I mention am the dutiful chaperone to my under 42 inch-er boy as well?  No?  Well yes, lucky me.  But God was shining down on me that day, because the sweet, sweet ride operator, Violet, let the 6 year old chaperone, and saved me 300 dollars.  I may have slid her a 10 spot, guess you'll never know, but I heart her nonetheless; sweet, kind, 10 dollars richer Violet.

After whiplash, we were off, a quick stop by the indoor shark tank, and back to the train.  Stanley begged for Cinnabon, Build-A-Bear and Margaritas, but I did not give in.

Our next stop was the Falls, a nice little piece of heaven right outside the city.  Of course the highlight of our hike was the waterfall, but you'd never know according to Drama Queen's account of the adventures of the day.  The most important facts being that we met 5 Chihuahuas, 1 poodle, 1 "nice" pit bull, and a cute scraggly mutt dog.  My daughter had to speak to each dog and owner to record exact pedigree, name, date of birth and blood type.  You would've thought she was judging for the Westminster dog show.  Meanwhile, the boy could be found climbing up my leg {terrified of dogs} or playing with a stick in the mud. We collectively decided as a family that if we ever get a cat, which we won't, we will name him Senor Peebles for a boy or Princess Torrin for a girl.  But, we will never get a cat, I'm not into crushing hopes and dreams, so for now I'm going with it.  But yeah, no cat.  Ever.  I might take it into consideration should we be over run with rodents of some sort, but the plague would probably get to me first anyhow.

We washed off the mud, only to then get muddier, heard musicians, saw a wedding, and headed back to the train.  I had planned to make a few more stops in the city...until....we stepped back onto a full capacity train, baseball game crowd.  Mama did not do her homework.  Okay kids, time for ice cream!  Luckily drunk, disgruntled baseball fans are enamored with bubbly Kindergartners.
After our ice cream, we walked to Drama Queen's school to snap a pic of Stanley in the Kindergartner's tulip bed. {The pic will not load, crabby factor climbing} I'd like to say we played at the park until dusk, but no, per the norm, only until of the two had to go to the bathroom.  That's about 2 swings, 4 slides, and a rock wall climb. 

So now we send Stanley back to the Dairy Land, where he can eat cheese curds and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon to his heart's content.  P. S. I offer my apologies for Stanley's ripped off right arm, the crunchiness from the water spill, and the food splatter of some kind.  All said and done, it was a fantastic day, and the kid's went to bed early, and that just the icing.

I am also now I'm swearing off blogging with photos, because it takes to long...and let's face it, my posts take 15 minutes tops {I know, totally obvious} and this has eaten a good hour out of my day, and I'm crabby about that {I could've been Tweeting or sleeping}.  Just thought you'd like to know.  I'm also turning off the auto-correct.

May 18, 2011


This post may be referred to as a "rant". Had a few of late. Trust me, it's warranted.  I had another unfortunate run-in with no other than Mr. Inappropriate. No, not the same Mr. I. that made me want to move to Tibet, because I may have dove into the nearest intersection, but obviously a blood relative. At my place of business no less! If I weren't the employee of the month, I swear. When approached by Mr. Inappropriate at place of business I advise using the "robotic defense mechanism". Meaning, shutting down all facial expressions and communication, except for "yes or no", and strategically moving away, far, far away. Don't engage in combative commentary, this only feeds Mr. I. and makes him more powerful and inappropriate. I have a "death glare", but I think it backfires and Mr. Inappropriate finds it irresistible. {What can I tell you, I am what I am, obviously not humble} Oh yes, and turn on your "help me" eyes to co-workers. This is a case for being nice to your co-workers, they could help you, or, turn and laugh. Your choice, so be nice.

So in the manual of men, yeah I know there is no manual. Wait…is there a manual? Perhaps it’s some kind of fraternity swearing in or prank, maybe I’m just being punked. I don’t know, but with comments and emails validating that Mr. Inappropriate and his cult of followers are stalking in exceeding numbers, what gives? I know there are other breeds out there, like my friend Adventures of a Non-Bloggers, narcissistic sociopath, luckily he and I have not met.

I need some answers, I have a son, and I’ll be darned if he is going to act like that. So, maybe it was the way Mr. I and his cronies were raised, you know in a barn, or maybe he was/wasn’t breastfed as a baby. Why do guys like Mr. I.  think its okay to act like that? “That” meaning that women are desperate for them, and it doesn’t matter how much crassness or disrespect they dish out, she wants him. A little bit of me thinks it's because some other girl/or mother has allowed the behavior and condoned it. Thinking this, I then uttered the familiar, "I swear if my son acts like that, so help me.... {trailing off muttering threats and physical violence}". I have every intention of raising a gentleman. But this could go one of three ways, because we know what happens with intentions, and overbearing parents.

1. He’s perfect {apple and tree and such}. Chivalry is not dead and he always uses his manners, has loads of commonsense, is also very sensitive, but not wimpy, for lack of a better word. {I kind of dig a manly man, I think most girls do, but there can be a grayish area between manly and burly Neanderthal, not to be confused please}.

2. Something goes awry and I raise the 40 year old virgin who lives in my basement. {playing video games}

3. He thinks he hung the moon, and IS Mr. Inappropriate. Kill me now.

I have no idea how to parent a boy. Scratch that. I know how to parent, but maybe not to raise one. I was raised with all sisters; my Dad traveled every week, no boy cousins around, so I have no foundation. The estrogen at the family reunion is unbelievable I assure you. I’m going to have to punt, or buy a book or something.

Maybe society is to blame for the usual suspect factor? You can always blame society. I hate when I hear, “oh it’s a boy thing”. Pet Peeve! Do boys and girls have different preferences? Yes. However, it does not excuse bad behavior!

Maybe it’s just the male ego? Mr. I. has one too many scoops of this. Maybe boys are shaken not stirred? But please don't shake your baby that could have serious repercussions. {This is a PSA brought to you by Bubble Gum on My Shoe, cuz, well I care, and I don't like baby shaking.}

How about Hormones? Perhaps it has something to do with the Testosterone level? As a woman who has given birth to two children, I have NEVER been on such a roller coaster ride as coming down from the leveling out of hormone birth aftermath. That couple of weeks is scary! {Maybe I’m still reeling?} So I get it, hormone surges, teenage hormones, PMS, got it, it can make you do things you might not normally do. But we're talking a permanent condition with Mr. I. here.  Maybe some kind of glandular dysfunction?  Someone look into that okay.

This drives me crazy, am I a Mr. Inappropriate magnet, or are they increasing in numbers exponentially?  For the record, I don't care for either.  Could science figure this one out please, because I could use some answers. And some sort of repellent or deflector shield.

If science and all else fails me, I'll be blogging from Tibet.

I'll start small

May 17, 2011

Untypically Typical

Per my normal statewide school/work/daycare car workout I pick up the boy and we head through rush hour to Drama Queen's "accredited daycare" {I use this term in the loosest  possible sense} complete with "lesson plans" and a "kindness project". I would just be happy to see some "supervision" or "reading" going on there. Trust me I interviewed everyone in the tri-state area including Mother Hubbard and here gaggle of kids in the shoe, this is as good and affordable as it gets. Let it be known that I am that Mom, you know, the one who doesn't look the other way and is a huge pain in their ass, and calls them on little things, like oh say, doing their job. I don't care if you get paid $6.25 an hour, I feel for you, that totally sucks, now play with my kid.  {Teachers and child care givers, really I am so sorry, you totally deserve more than what you are paid, boo.}

In the Autism world, these are two words you will hear for the rest of your ever lovin' life, typical and non-typical. Seriously, who makes these rules? So here's the rest of my story...

So boy and I pull up and enter "school age room", where chaos is mounting and something hit me in the back of my head. Whatever, as long as it's not bodily fluid, I'll live. Per the norm, I scan the room for my cutie and spot her on the computer; at least it's not the Wii-that's right, a Wii at daycare, please. I am still holding out on purchase of any gaming console for reasons: A) click on the garbage disposal and throw down some twenties, it will be obsolete in like 20 minutes and a newer better one will be out B) the games are crazy expensive, well for like 30 minutes, but when the new one comes out, the prices fall a bit C) I like things like imagination, coloring books and television D) I don't think my son even has the fine motor skills to master this yet. Yes, I know by depriving them of the video games I'm probably setting them on the path to be "gamers". When they are older, you'll find them hanging out in the arcade {or Chuck E Cheese, because where are there even arcades anymore}, loitering at Best Buy playing games for hours, and spending all their hard earned dough bidding on an Atari on E-Bay all because I didn't have an X-Box or whatever. Oh well, as you can see, I'm torn up about this.

So my two offspring embrace, so cute, I am for once not embellishing, this really happens...daily occurrence. Of course two minutes later, it goes down in flames; but A for effort kids! I figure the boy will take his usual route straight to the old school metal handled pencil sharpener as I load up the Queen. Yes, I let my 4 year old son play with a pencil sharpener-he doesn't ever stick his finger in, just turns the crank for a good 5 minutes. I'm sure the day will come when he'll stick his finger in {bet he'll never do that again} but I don't say things like, "don't put your finger in there", because, well, that's just offering suggestions. You see kids don't hear things like "NO" or "Don't" or "Stop" at the beginning of a sentence. At least my variety of kid doesn't.

The boy surprised me and deviated from his normal route, instead making his way towards the Wii. To watch I'm sure. But no! What? The boy walked right up to another boy {we'll call him 'Preston'}, and said, "Hi my name Gabe {we'll call my son 'Gabe', I'll be 'Cari'}, what your name?" Gabe was invading Preston's space a smidgen, but not up in his face, it was all very appropriate. {cartwheels} I just stood back watching, crossing my fingers that Preston would engage and answer Gabe's question. I waited...the boy waited. The boy repeated his question, "hi my name Gabe, what your name?” Nothing. Preston was too mesmerized by Superhero Massacre II Kill Die Guns game, and didn't even make eye contact or acknowledge Gabe. My heart sank; I would've loved to see what would've happened without someone facilitating the interaction. I was admittedly a little disappointed in Preston, but I can't be mad. There have probably been close to 1000 instances where roles were reversed.

This is not Preston or my kid, I copied this off the internet
click here to read the connected article about how the Wii
doesn't provide adequate exercise...ya think?
At any rate, I was over-joyed! No prompting for the interaction, not in his normal school setting, and we had just had a really rough two weeks, a little nod from the big guy upstairs telling me to keep the faith. I perhaps may have been jumping for joy, literally. The "school age teacher" didn't bother to pause or even take a breath from her gossip session with another Mom to even ask about my visible J.O.Y. She just shot me the "you're crazy lady" look, which I'd gladly take over the "dirty" variety any day.

It was an untypically typical good day.

May 16, 2011

Tweet, tweet....

Oh Twitter, why do you haunt me so?  I might have teensy addiction to social media.  Well, I'm pretty much over facebook, I only check it like a 100 times a day now {go ahead like my Bubble Gum facebook page that luckily updates itself}.  Seriously, if it weren't for those email notifications saying "Hey Cari-check your facebook", I'd be one of the pictureless masses with a status update from summer '09.  But THANK YOU for all the advice and comments on my personal Facebook page regarding my near breakdown, about my last rant post, it made me feel so much better.  Nothing makes you feel as loved as Facebook comments {and birthday wishes rock on facebook too}.  And if I didn't have a phone smarter than myself, who knows if I'd check my email ever, besides the 20 times a day I do.  But the world's all a-twitter, twitterpated and such {this has been going on for a while I'm told}.  Should I?  No, I have NO TIME FOR THIS!  What can I cut back on to tweet?  Something will have to give.  Blog?  Uh, no, you'd like that wouldn't you? Laundry?  Been done.  Sleep?  Doesn't make for a good Mommy.  Once I start, will I be able to stop?  Will I be up at all hours on the crackberry?

I started thinking about this because of two posts by JoAnn at Laundry Hurts My Feelings, she writes a blog so funny it'll make you pee your pants, warning do not read this at work if you work in a no laughter aloud environment.  Her first post, Addicted To Twitter, almost made me register and tweet away for the fun of it; her second post, Stranger Danger, completely rationalized tweeting from a protective parent standpoint, I adore rationalization.  Made me think I could change the world one tweet at a time.  She's on a book writing hiatus, but I highly recommend her reads.

Then I got into a Tweet debate with some fellow bloggers and apparently everyone was invited to the party but ME!  Okay...I just didn't show up.  Now I have to minimize all of my useless crap into 140 characters? This does not look good for me friends, for you yes, me no.

Do you tweet?  Are you stuck in the vicious social media cycle {Tweeting, Status Updates, Blogging, Checking Emails}?  Love it or hate it?  Yeah, yeah, you already told me you love it.

If you tweet, leave your info in the comment section so I can follow you, or other readers can, OR, just click here to follow me, it's just inevitable really, you know you want to.  I'm such a pusher lately, follow me, vote for me, blah, blah, I annoy even myself; I apologize.

May 13, 2011

A Spoon Full of Gluten

{This post was drafted in a five minute time period in a fit of desperation, a quick spell check, but no editing; I just had to get this off my chest and I feel much better now.  Plus there is always the chance Blogger will just delete it all, so I don't care.} 

I'm going to be really blunt here...the last week or two, Autism has kicked my butt.  Yes, I went back and edited that, it was originally not so nice.  I'm going to whine for a minute or two, because it's my blog and I can.  I don't know what in the H.E. double hockey sticks is going on with my son, but it is nothing short of the sweet kid I knew being abducted by a new reality series called, "Autism Gone Wild", and yes his Autism is showing.  I'm pretty patient, except when I'm not,  and I'm going bonkers.

So here are the out of the ordinary symptoms:  cannot regulate, and when I say cannot, HE CAN'T.  Three notes from the teachers/therapists saying, "wish there was something I could do for him, "poor guy".  What the?  I've tried all the usual tricks, schedules, pictures, you name it, nothings working.  My every attempt is met with aggression.  This is not my kid.  And he's not, nor has he ever been physically aggressive, now he's throwing a thing or two, for example,  a cup of applesauce {I do not take kindly to applesauce throwing}.  Second, refusal to eat anything but junk food.  Basically, he's starving.  This kid will usually eat just about anything I throw at him, I mean he eats GFCFSF cardboard and "cheese" which we call "pizza" without any problem, what gives all of a sudden?  He has always eaten all his fruits and veggies, made healthy choices where the snacks are concerned and now he just wants demands jelly beans and cookies. 

GFCF candy list
Not happening.  Autism or no, that is one place I rarely give in.  He has also decided he hates all of the foods I sneak supplements into.  Great, now he has to go and develop a mature palette.  Speaking of supplements, problem number three.  The kid has a list of vitamins he takes daily that could compete with a geriatric patient.  I have been finding his chewable enzymes spit out around the house.  {This might be part of the problem.}  So now I have to be the vitamin Nazi and sit with him for 15 minutes until he gives up and chews the darn thing {before every meal}.  I don't have an extra 45 minutes to spare people, nor do I like this kind of battle, although I know it's for the best!  Now we have the change of season.  Groan.  I already knew this was coming.  Every time the season changes so do the clothes, he still wants to wear a hat and boots and winter coat, and up until a week ago, we were!  But now we will deal with the switch over to short sleeves and sandals and all the sensory goodness that comes along for the ride there.

We were a well oiled machine.  What happened?  Can I blame it on global warming?  No?  Alright then.  Here's the final clincher.  He has a new stim.  It's a throaty, coughish, clearing of the throat thing that I can only describe as annoying the crap out of me.  What gives?  I'm checking our food, nothing new.  Who gave him a spoonful of gluten?  Come forward and I'll spare your life. Somethings amiss and I have to figure it out.  My best guess at this point is a GFCF withdrawal, then add in the food pickiness and it's all a domino effect from there; or someone is feeding him soy intravenously.

I would appreciate feedback from any of you parents with kiddos on the Spectrum, especially where the stimming is concerned.  Did your kids pick up new ones as they aged?  More?  Less?  We were down to one, now he's adding....I don't like it one bit.  Oh, and I don't like it.  Did I mention not a happy or him.


{Well, I'm going to re-publish this post since Blogger took a nose dive and erased it along with the comments, I think I responded to all of you before the crash.  Luckily this was saved as a draft, good thing, or not.}

That title there, Click. Sputter. Blah, that would be my brain I'm referring to. It is not firing properly {hasn't for some time}. I think they {not sure who they are, I hope they're nice}should do a scientific study on my brain to find out why in the world I can retain the most useless information known to man, but cannot remember important things. I'm doubtful any scientists read this blog, so I'm counting on you to get the word out, thanks. No offense to anyone, you are all brilliant, no seriously brilliant, I've seen your work. I'll site a few examples for you....

Why can I remember your nieces' best friend's 1st grade report card stats from 1987, but not that it is walk home from school day the 3rd Friday of every month just as it has been all.year.long.?

Why can I remember the Emperor Penguin can be up to 48 inches tall, live to be 50 years old and stay under water for 18 minutes without taking a breath; but not that I have to leave 10 minutes earlier to get gas before my morning commute? {And I forgot to return the DVDs again}

Why can I remember how many ounces of glue, inches of wire, square feet of paper and approximate metric weight of beads I need to purchase for my next Mom's craft night, but have to read the box of Mac N Cheese every time I make it to remember the required measurement of butter needed?

How can I hook up a computer, assemble a double stroller instruction-less {was not sad to see that beast go}, but cannot for the life of me remember the right way to assemble the darn hot wheels track properly {I hate those things-same goes for train tracks}.

I can also convert yards, inches and meters quick as a whip, but have little to no aptitude for math. I can't explain how that works, the inner workings of my brain are complex. After my kids learn how to count by 10s, I am sure I will no longer be able to help with homework. I still do long division...{who am I kidding, I use a calculator}apparently they do not teach long division in school anymore. This does not bode well for my kids, and my Autistic son shows no savant brilliance in the math department, nor can he tell you how many toothpicks dropped on the floor by sight. The boy calls his index finger his "number one", as in "Mommy, I hurt my number one", sorry kid. Perhaps I should be going to the PTA meetings to get to the bottom of all this, but I have successfully avoided them all year long, and don't plan to make my presence known anytime soon because they will descend on me like vultures and I can't say no {they can smell it, the inability to say no, not me, however that might be smart tactical defense.}. Plus I forgot the meeting was tonight, again. I am already the sole "room-parent", isn't this enough? Those kids are darn lucky Drama Queen reminds me of said party with a daily countdown every 10-15 minutes of my life. {Okay that's a mild exaggeration, every half hour} But God bless those PTA volunteers, it's a lot of work.

Why can I remember the cookie recipe perfectly from 4 different packages of chocolate chips and the varying degrees of ingredients, but again forget to send lunch money with my daughter only then to receive the lunch lady version of a collection bill and a big red stamp on her hand in semi-permanent ink that won't rub off for 3-5 days. She frightens me, the lunch lady, maybe I'll send cookies.

Perhaps I never fully recovered from "pregnancy brain"? Is it still in shock? Overloaded? Full? {I'm laughing at that one too}

Luckily I have a planner, which I record all important appointments and would be quite handy if I ever remembered to check it. And what a saving grace the calendar on my Crackberry is, if I could ever find it too because it has run away with my car keys to the infamous "black hole".

Some days I feel like I need Alzheimer’s early intervention, or at least some medication right? Good thing I read and exercise to keep my mind sharp! Then I'd never forget the garbage comes on Wednesday, or that it actually is Wednesday and not Tuesday like it thought it was until 1pm today. This concludes my post. Send help. {And a tutor}

May 10, 2011

Wax No More

I'll skip the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks here. As you are all well aware, there is almost nothing off limits in this so-called blog {and I apparently have no shame}. As most of you women folk know, and maybe some men {no judging here, manscape on} hair removal is painful, necessary and painful. And not to mention painful. My sister and I come from the same gene pool {as far as we know, she is not adopted, we still hold out for hope} yet our abundance or lack thereof in the eye brow department could not be more different. Left to our own devices, we would resemble Bert and Ernie, except we cannot sing as well, are more fashionable and seem to own a hairbrush, unlike those two.

Note: Ernie has no eyebrows. This is my sister. Poor kid.

Mine {brows} on the other hand if left unmanaged would quickly resemble the universally well-known "uni-brow" of Bert. Action is required.

So I usually go into the spa for the routine wax, which I schedule at a time without my children {laughable} and at a time that I will not be going to work or participating in some high security press conference or walking the cat walk or something because of my visibly throbbing red forehead from the hairs being strategically ripped from my face with hot wax. Why even do it you say? This is why I posted the picture of Bert. Nobody takes a uni-brow seriously.

So I may have mentioned in my Bull and the Backlash:I post that I knew the 3 month mark was coming up where I could no longer keep the uni-brow at bay with my little ol' tweezers and dim bathroom lighting. I am not one of those girls {like my sister} who plucks then the brow never returns no sir, brows {and gray hairs} seem to multiply upon plucking. Curse them.

Looking at my schedule, it seemed as though the uni-brow would defeat me this month, I simply had no time. I've seen the threading stores popping up in the malls everywhere, and must admit I was intrigued. They don't paint a blissful illusion though; a High-Def video monitor is playing the whole gruesome procedure out in detail, you know what you're getting into. I was walking past, stopped and decided what the hay {I'm desperate brave like that}. The lady at the desk asked what "removal" I wanted and then said, "Go.Sit" waving her hand at the waiting area. Well okay. A 14 year old girl was sitting there too, and I asked her if she had this done before. She assured me it was as painful as waxing, and I should not worry.

Fourteen year old survived, I heard no screams, and I was next. Fourteen year old gave me the thumbs up and a be brave type smile.  I can only explain threading as the technician using a floss-like piece of string twisting and manipulating it to yank the hair out. Google if you will, not going to post a video, I need some time to forget. So I take my seat. And she goes to work, yikes, ouch, but yes, feels like waxing. But, the good news is, she was done in 2 minutes! What? How can this be?  I thought for sure I'd be there a good 15 minutes. And they looked good too, and no redness, at all, ever. Fantastic, I'm sold. Then this....

"Lay back, I do upper lip." Say what? I've never had my upper lip waxed.

"Do I need that?" I asked.

"Yes, lay back." she said as she pushed me down.

{In this portion of the blog there should be a sexy picture of Tom Selleck and his walrus mustache, but alas, pictures of Tom Selleck don't come cheap, and I don't steal, so you'll have to close your eyes and imagine on this one.  I'm low budget people.}

I was in a whirlwind, what should I do, this was all happening so fast. I think I aged 5 years in the chair. I quickly thought, obviously she wants another 6 dollars from me, and I'll have to return for the same brow/lip protocol based upon my hair multiplicity theory. She's a crafty one. But then I thought what if I really do need this? Have I been walking around looking like Tom Selleck and no one bothered to tell me? My friends laughing at my stache behind my back? How could they do this to me? Then I thought how would I tell them if they were sporting a Tom stache? How does one tell someone that without the inevitable "defriend" on Facebook? Hmm, just as well to let that go I suppose. 

So I made it through the brows like a champ. The lip is a whole other geographical region to contend with. I didn't scream, but may have clenched the chair in shock! Sweet Jesus my burning flesh. No warning, no antiseptic, no drugs, no Novocaine, no time for a short prayer, no warning to brace myself,  nothing. It was over relatively quickly, she handed me a tissue for my watering eyes {they were watering, I was not crying}. I'll have you know I have a very high threshold for pain. {Hah} I sat up and looked at her wondering if she was going to remove my beard or overgrown back hair I couldn't see, but no, whew. I'll be back again, when my uni-brow returns and my mustache comes in 5 shades darker.

Moral of this short story made painfully long, try new things, they might not be so bad, and you might learn something about yourself. {Like you have a mustache, never said they'd be good}  God bless the kindness/greediness of strangers, it's still debatable as far as I'm concerned.

May 09, 2011

Refund Please

Dear overpriced bath cleanser mega-fleecing store & company,

I am returning the unused portions of this soap and would like a full refund please. It says here on the bottle, "the sweet scent of coconut mingles with refreshing lime to help relieve stress and tension-like a tropical island getaway."

Not my photo, click here if you're curious

Two words. False & Advertising. I am still tense and nothing about my 4 minute shower screams "tropical island" or "getaway". And it’s making me hungry.

What? No refund? Advertising so I will buy your product? Seduced by fantastical verbiage you say? I'll have you know I will not be partaking in your buy 9 get one free "bargain" sales anymore. And should I read the line, "time to pamper yourself" one more time, I will come unglued.

Thank you.

P.S. I wouldn't mind being compensated in the form of a job with health care benefits. I would be willing to sacrifice my own integrity for you by spinning your web of lies writing descriptive sentences on the back of your soap and lotion bottles. I am good at creative writing, check my blog out. Upon employment I will retract above posting. If you know anyone at Sherwin Williams, I might also be willing to name paint colors.

Call me.

May 05, 2011

Lessons From the Couch: Part II

I talked about the benefits of my therapy in Part I, all those amazing lessons I learned and how it made me shiny happy people again. But of course it wasn't all roses- there were some hard truths to be realized and there is one that resonates most of all, buckle up.

Revelation goes a little something like this:

Me: Okay, so I've got the kids in therapy, I'm doing A, B, & C, minding my P's and Q's with my E. X. and keeping the adult conversations on the D. L. {Alphabetically preferably to maintain OCD} The kids seem great, they are adjusting just fine, no problems, no lashing out, no hitting or burning of anything, I think they are going to come out of this virtually unscathed. {At this point I may have been doing some celebratory-like dance, possibly the running man.}

Therapist: No...They won't.

Me: OH SNAP! No you didn't! {Lots of rapid eye blinking and stammering}

TH: You have damaged your kids, inadvertently yes, but damaged nonetheless. This divorce has damaged them. There is nothing you can do to change that or erase that; now you help them through it.

Me: {Not sure what portions of this next part I actually may have said or what I was thinking in my head, whirl wind and such.}Thanks for making me feel like a complete LOSER lady. I'm obviously the worst Mom in the world, {go ahead, jot that down in your notebook} because I care so much its killing me. And I've apparently failed the parenting through divorce portion of my life. Had I known this was going to happen I could've started the damage during pregnancy and drank liters of caffeine, thrown cases of Twinkies down my throat {okay maybe did that}, ate seafood by the pound and actually taken some cold medicine for the cold I had instead of white knuckling it by thinking I would harm my precious little babe in any way! You may as well give custody to the hillbillies up yonder so they can work the still, or the junkies in the Meth house downtown or to Martha Stewart for crying out loud {cause you KNOW her kid has got to have issues, wire hangers anyone?}.

After breathing in and out of a paper bag for 10 minutes and begging for some Advil to OD on, I calmed down and she explained. Regardless of our attempt at being a perfect parent {or being an irresponsible"____" go ahead fill in your own word here, what's that? more blanks?}, both parents damage their kids in some way. Sperm donors, baby Daddies, part-time, full-time, hands on, Ward and June Cleaver types, the entire lot of us.  We can't perfectly parent, because we aren't perfect. And here's the kicker, and so true, you don't even have to be present in your child's life to screw it up, you don't actually have to do anything. You can equally damage them by being absent or unavailable. Therefore either way, anyway, lose, lose. Decisions we make as adults will affect our children and the shape their values, insecurities, relationships, and parenting skills for the rest of their lives. So no pressure. Might I also add we do way more positive than negative here.  {Fingers crossed and prayers said?} There is no parenting handbook. Lord knows if there was I'd be first in line for an autographed copy. Maybe I'll write one {pull it together and stop laughing, myself included}. I used to be a perfect parent before I had kids.  Let's just face it, most of us parents {except the really good ones} are just hanging in there, we're flying by the seat of our pants, taking our experiences and lessons and tweaking them, growing right along with our kids.

So then, there was this.....this is a genuine artifact. She journals, I blog.

Translation:  Dear Mom
You are the baddest Mom ever.
Yes, I saved it, mocks me, but makes me laugh.
This does not help. I promptly brought this to Therapist to have her explain the charges that had been laid against me {in writing no less}. I might have been crying waving the paper wildly in the air and mumbling something about how I messed up my daughter and I be picking her up at Juvy, she'd be BFFs with Lindsey Lohan and dating Charlie Sheen in no time.

TH: Cari, how old is she?

Me: Five.

TH: Calm down, she's five.

ME: {Apparently I've been known to overreact-huh? Moi? } This is maternal love lady, this 5 hours of pushing while changing a tire up hill in the snow....both ways, kind of love.

So now here I sat in office, on couch, written in crayon, I have a "child of divorce" from a "broken home". I hate that term "broken home", let's just stop shall we. Broken marriage perhaps, marriage beyond repair and better off for the children certainly. But what is broken in our home? My kids now live in a nurturing, functional,  loving home, yes without a Daddy quite often, but it is not in any way broken. As far as I see it, two parents can be living in an 'unbroken home' {?} and it be wholly unhealthy and damaging. Parents that stay together for the sake of the children are probably doing more damage than the parents moving forward. You have a happy parent, you have a happy child. {And their lives will still get screwed up.}  Reassuring.  How's this going for all you kid-less folk out there?  Massive guilt and unimaginable joy, the perks of parenthood.

Me: {So I approach the Drama Queen, I don't call her that for nothing; these banners were taped up on every door in the house.  I must have kicked her off the computer, I have a strict 6 hour computer/TV time limit per day} Drama Queen, let's put these papers away, because I'm not the baddest Mommy ever.  I love you.  Do you want to play Candyland?

Drama Queen: Can I be red?

Me: Yes.

Drama Queen: you {scampers off}.


May 03, 2011

Lessons From the Couch: Part I


Don't let the title fool you, no frisky business here, get it out of your system. My little blurb in my post Hippy Blogger seems to have stirred some commentary in regards to my mental health
Who journals?
Therapist's view on blogging. Being that "blogging isn't journaling", says she. Well, I'm printing out all those comments and taking them in to say, "HA", thanks fellow bloggers for having my back. Fact of the matter is I do not go to therapy anymore on a regular basis, I graduated. I am not ashamed of the fact that I went to therapy for a solid year after my separation and inevitable divorce. Add in the monthly chats with my pastor and all of my blogging, and I was on the fast track to healing baby! So on that note, I've decided to pass on a little nibble or two that cost me thousands of dollars, so I can justify it all. Part one will discuss the benefits from therapy, and part two the damages.

Being left to my own devices to internalize my marital breakdown {cuckoo}, I sprang to action, flipped open the yellow pages to procure the services of a very patient, very like minded therapist. I needed someone who would tell me everything was going to be okay, and tell me to do X, Y, and Z to fix my life right up. Picked wrong. Therapist's favorite line was, "if you want me to tell you what to do, I'm not". What good are you then? I was thinking I made a tragic mistake here. I'm fairly certain her glasses are those X-ray vision kind that see directly into your soul {it burns} so you can't hide anything. Despite my best efforts she'd go all Barbara Walters on me and I'd become a blathering idiot in about 5 minutes flat. Never stood a chance. She also must have also had a supersonic hearing device that translates blathering. She was good. {Sigh}

This is how a basic session would go: I'd say okay...I've been thinking {she raises eyebrow} and praying {nods head approvingly} and here's what I'm going to do {followed by a series of umhums and uhuh, and how it made me feel} then me grimacing and feeling squirmy-like. Basically I thought I had it all figured out, would breakdown, breakthrough, and come out 10xs stronger. I have to admit I yearned for her unbiased opinion. All I could hear from all sides was anger and rage against my ex and what I should do to get even move on. Getting even is not my style {but don't cross me, I can be very dangerous and I'm scary strong, like WWE style strong, just sayin', for the record}.

So a few nuggets, here you go {can't tell you how though, you'll have to pull out your own wallet for that}.....

*I learned how to quiet myself and not react.

*I learned God will lead me if I let him.

*I learned I write to heal-even those I use humor as a "coping mechanism" and write about crap. {Apparently it doesn't count as "journaling" unless you talk about feelings and stuff, I am rolling my eyes, you?}

*I learned that I do not have OCD, ADD or PMDD, although I am was convinced of such.

*I learned there will never be a sufficient answer to my question, "why?" no matter what answer is given.

*I learned Therapist keeps chocolate in her desk drawer.

*I learned I can eat chocolate and sob simultaneously, i.e. sobbing: tears mixing with dripping nose while doing that hyperventilating thing.

*I learned I'm pretty normal {humph, who da' thunk, milestone session}

*I learned to trust again, because if I don't something extraordinary will pass me by, and who am I to turn my back when God is handing out extraordinarys?  Not me!

*I learned my life isn't over. The door to my old life is closed {I like to refer to said door as the cellar door, where I left my ex, allegedly} and a new door to a new beginning is opening {walk-in closet, eeeee!}

*I learned that even though I said, "I know it's not my fault", I didn't believe it, but now I do.

*I learned to take credit for being a good Mom. Hear that America? A licensed professional said it; I should've gotten it in writing before I was escorted out.

Finally after all my lessons were on the books {cha-ching}, the worst thing I could come up to talk about in my session was how someone stole my parking spot at Wal-mart and how bitter I was about it. "What do you think this means?" I would say. And she'd call security {again} and tell me to let go of her leg.

Part II includes a shocking reveal that resonates in almost every decision I make as far as my kids are concerned. So next...the damages.

So before this bad boy hits its scheduled time on the internet, I had to come in to take care of a little business.  Seems as though I've been thrown into the popularity contest pool of Single Parent Bloggers at Circle of Moms Top 25 Single Parent Blogs.  I do not know how my blog even got posted here, so in the spirit of blog love, again, I will play along.  You can vote once a day for me or any other worthy single parent's blog until mid May-ish something-th.  I will post the little pink button on my blog too incase you have nothing better to do than vote for me once a day.   I am not one to beg, or grovel, or plead, and I only pay out cash for compliments {and I'm saving my money for when my metabolism completely dies, so don't even try}.  That being said, whatever my placement is on the list over there, my crappy content will remain the same...crappy.  Okay, resume whatever it was you were doing, or read some more; thanks for reading or voting {cyber hug}.

May 02, 2011

Count Your Blessings

Precious...only 2 days in and she's trying
to snuff him out,sign of things to come?
 Ask not what Mother's Day can do for me, but what I can do for Mothers.  I interrupt my regularly scheduled posts {whew, lucky you} to wield the power of the blogging masses. 

My Aussie blogging friend, Adriel, at The Mommy Memos is not only a brilliant blogger; she is a loving Momma and volunteer for YWAM Medical Ships.  She has started the Bloggers for Birth Kits initiative.  Her post made my heart swell and eyes tear.  I am so blessed to live in a country where I have choices where childbirth is concerned.  We have a choice how our child will come into this world and {most often} it is a safe sterile environment.  It is hard to imagine we still live in a world where 1 out of 7 newborn babies will not feel their Mother's touch due to childbirth complications and sterility issues.  As a self-proclaimed germ-a-phobic type gal,  I cannot fathom this and the sheer thought makes me want to reach for the hand sanitizer and get involved!

Sweet baby girl, pre Drama Queen status.

I gave birth to my 2 beauties in a hospital, by choice.  I had complete confidence in that no matter what happened, no matter what problems arose, everything would be okay.  I had every kind of medicine, specialist, equipment, air lifting medivac chopper, and EPIDURAL {sweet, sweet Epidural} at my fingertips.  I could do an entire post on my love for the Epidural, but that is for another time.

Touch nicely, don't poke his eye!
Without further adieu, I am going to re-post Adriel's, Bloggers for birth kits.  My copy and paste just won't do it justice, so I encourage you to click on the link above.  I ask that you read with an open heart and mind and count your blessings.

{Excerpt from The Mommyhood Memos, Adriel Booker}

Bloggers for Birth Kits:  Help reduce maternal mortality this mothers day

Every minute a women dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing nations. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, which are often preventable. (Source: World Health Organization.)

Chances are if you’re a mother reading this blog, you are not one of them. Most likely you delivered your baby safely and hygienically in a hospital, birth center, or possibly even at home under the expertise of an experienced midwife. (Unless you are Amy who delivered hers on the side of the road!)

No doubt you had access to doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical professionals throughout your pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care, as well as access to drugs and medication and surgical procedures when necessary.

But hundreds of thousands of mothers around the world aren’t as lucky as you.

The organization that my husband and I volunteer for (YWAM Medical Ships) regularly sends teams of volunteer doctors, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses, midwives, educators, and other volunteers to address the needs of the poor in Papua New Guinea. (This is where Ryan is now.) We provide dental services, eyeglasses, cataract surgeries, vaccines, primary health care, education, and other crucial services to those who most need it.

We have campaigns going all over the world to gather toothbrushes, toothpaste, eyeglasses, and other medical supplies… but we are running desperately low on birthing kits.

This is where you come in.

Bloggers for Birth Kits is a simple initiative from the Mommyhood Memos to rally bloggers to reach out and help other moms in Papua New Guinea. These moms may live in a different nation to you, speak another language, look a little different, or have a very different lifestyle… but they are mothers with the same heart. Mothers who desire to deliver healthy, happy babies just as we do. (The idea was born out of this post: Four Healthy Mamas, Four Healthy Babies as well as the positive feedback I got from other bloggers in the comments, emails, and tweets that ensued.)

Because in rural Papua New Guinea... 1 in 7 women die in childbirth and that rate is simply unacceptable.

There are plenty of resources in the world to help these mothers and babies... they just need to be collected and redistributed.

So this Mothers Day, why not consider giving back from what you’ve received in order to help another mom deliver her own baby safely?

It’s so easy to make a difference. Here’s a few ways that you can get involved:

1. Make a birth kit of your own and send it to us. We will distribute it within the poorest regions of Papua New Guinea through the YWAM Medical Ship. (Instructions on assembly below.) Mail your kit to:

Bloggers for Birth Kits c/o Adriel Booker

YWAM Ships
PO Box 6221
Townsville, QLD 4810

2. Make a donation to YWAM Medical Ships designating Bloggers for Birth Kits in the comments section and we will purchase the supplies and assemble a kit on your behalf. $10 can provide five mums and babies with kits. All funds go directly toward supplies and distribution.

3. Blog about this initiative and rally others to join in the cause.

4. Display the Bloggers for Birth Kits badge on your blog.

5. Share this post with others. Tweet this post using the hashtag #B4BirthKits, link to this post on your facebook, or email this post to friends and family, church and social groups that you think might be interested in getting involved.

6. Consider doing any of the above on behalf of your own mom. What mom wouldn’t like a Mothers Day card saying that a birth kit (or several) were donated on her behalf and she is literally helping to save the lives of mothers and babies in developing nations? If you do make a donation on your mother's behalf, please tell us so in the comments section of the on-line donation form. Write "Bloggers for Birth Kits" and include her name (and specify that she is the mom!), your name, the amount donated, and your email address. I will then email you a personalized printable graphic explaining your gift that can be slipped into her card. To have an insert done by Mothers Day, your donation must be received by Thursday May 5th. A card insert for donations made after that can still be done, but please note that it will be late.

Card insert that will be sent to you via email:

(Where there are blanks, the insert will be personalized with the info you provide.)How to make a birth kit.

According to the Birthing Kit Foundation birth kits are very simple, containing six basic items:

1 plastic sheet (approximately 1m x 1m or 1 yard x 1 yard) – for a clean birthing surface; to prevent mother and child from coming into contact with the floor or ground

1 bar of soap – for clean hands; to prevent the birth attendant from transmitting germs to mother and baby; for cleaning the stump to prevent infection

1 pair of plastic gloves – for clean hands; to prevent the birth attendant from transmitting germs to mother and baby

1 sterile scalpel blade – for a clean cut of the umbilical cord

3 cords/pieces of strong string (24cm or 10 inches long) – for clean ties for the umbilical cord (with an extra string included just-in-case); to prevent bleeding from the umbilical cord from mother and baby

5 gauze squares – to wipe secretions from the baby’s eyes and mothers perineum
If you’d like to assemble one yourself, it’s simple. Just gather the above items, prepare a clean surface, wash your hands thoroughly, and assemble the items into a normal sized ziplock bag. The idea is that the kits are small enough to pack in large quantities (space is incredibly limited on our ship) and simple enough to not deter women who are accustomed to very little medical services and who often are illiterate.

Since I am not purchasing supplies in bulk, my kit cost me a total of $3.10 to make at home – still a very minimal price for the chance at life! (Tomorrow I will post a more detailed post about how to prepare a birth kit yourself, with step-by-step instructions and photos.)

The Mommyhood Memos currently has approximately 900 followers and RSS and email subscribers. My goal is to gather 300 birth kits by the end of this year, which we can easily meet if only 1 in 3 of you respond! I feel like this number is totally reasonable… with the help of this fabulous community.

Note: All photos courtesy of YWAM Medical Ship's I Want to Live campaign in Papua New Guinea.

adriel booker
the mommyhood memos

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Update May 6, 2011: In three days we've had 210 kits donated/sponsored, 33 blog posts, 192 links on facebook, and tons of tweets. Well done ladies (and gentlemen)! You ARE making a difference by giving and by spreading the word.