1.31.2004

Need Geek Help!

Iz wants to know if Shelob is the same kind of spider as the ones from The Hobbit. None of us self-professed geeks knew--so while we're shimmying into our hair shirts and self-flagellating, will someone else please toss out the answer? Thanks.

On the Subject of Homework



Iz's teacher sent homework home with her last week. Apparently our girl prefers writing her sentences in creative, maze-like fashion, rather than in the standard order that a non-Iz person can read. Her teacher says our girl needs to practice writing one sentence a day in the regular style. I think that homework in preschool is abhorrent, and intend to tell her so, but in the mean time we're doing as asked (e.g., above). Iz has decided to futz with punctuation instead of position.

1.30.2004

What I Want to Write About:

Dr. P's Response to the fax of some days ago.

Whether Iz should go into Kindergarten or First Grade.

How Leelo's Occupational Therapist is moving to Sacramento in one week, but only gave me notice today.

What actually happened during my Costanoa retreat.

How much I love Banyuls wine.

Why I am pissed at Iz's teacher for giving her homework.

The amazing amount of driving and coordinating and general whiplash-inducing running about that happened today.

How flabbergasted I am that Seymour's dad called me tonight for the sole purpose of encouraging me to pursue writing and illustrating.

How much I want to kick myself in the teeth repeatedly for telling a lawyer mom that "Well, heh heh, I don't work full time."

What I Am Going to Do Instead:

Read that trashy Nevada Barr book and go to sleep.

Speaking of Humming

The next time my sister-in-law asks me why I give her shit every time she starts talking about getting a Hummer, I'll send her this image. (Thanks Minnie for the link.)

1.29.2004

Mercury Madness!

As some of you have read already, Seymour's Dad had this to say about the DAN Consensus paper on Mercury Detoxification.* He is very worried about his only grandson.

Thankfully my partner and then a friend did all the thinking for me in response. mb said
this, and seymour said this.

Where do we go from here? I don't know, so I'll just hum along for now.

*The original paper is available on the Autism Research Institute's rather ill-formatted site. Here's how to get there:

Go To:
http://www.autism.com/ari/

Click on the:
Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!)
Link on the sidebar

Scroll down to:
Mercury and Autism

Click on:
* Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!): Mercury Detoxification Consensus Group Position Paper

1.28.2004

Fuck Yeah! And I Answered Totally Honestly, For Once!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


Everyone upstairs is probably wondering what all the mad hooting and cackling is about.

Confirmation of Your Worst Fears

Everything you ever suspected about the Bushes is true! And a former hardcore Republican who finally cracked when Bush2 stole the presidency wants to tell you all about it!

If you don't have the bandwidth to read all of Kevin Phillips' American Dynasty, at least read the Salon Review.

1.27.2004

Geeking on India Week

It's India and Sri Lanka Week at Iz's school (the director is Sinhalese). Our girl's been sporting the rad kurtas, bangles, bindis, and salwar-kameezes, and tonight we spent an hour doing mendhi on her hands. Not sure how it's going to turn out, as mendhi requires stock-stillness on the part of the decoratee, and Iz is a wiggly worm.

We were out of those cool little pre-mixed henna paste tubes, so I had to make an emergency run to the local Indian grocery to stock up. As we were about to run out the door, I realized that my kids, Bollywood Iz and Leelo the Amazing Guatemalan Jacket Boy, appeared to have just ransacked Pier One Kids. Gaaah, DORK-MOM ALERT! But it was damn cold and Leelo's only other warm jacket is foul with the apparently permanent stench of cod liver oil. So I carried on. And of course the Indian family in line behind us was completely Banana Republic- and Baby Gap'd out. I couldn't bear to make eye contact, and skulked out quickly.

Iz is doing her own geeking today, grooving on Mars images with her dad. With her own twist--she thinks that the best thing about Mars is the sky: "It's PINK! My favorite color!" Lord.

Changeling

We appear to have our boy back. Mostly, anyhow. The forceful eye contact, sociability, demands, language, and emotional outbursts have steadily ramped back up, with today being the best day yet. This despite his having snagged a cookie during yesterday's playgroup (he is like lightning when it comes to forbidden goods). Makes me again question the GFCF diet and whether it's going to be a long-term approach for Leelo.

I really have to wonder if it was the glutathione and Ascorbic Acid that sent him into the stratosphere. This had been the second time we'd introduced both, and the second time he'd freaked out. Then again, there's always the chance that it was the high-sugar juice cocktails. (In addition to removing the two supplements, we've reduced his juice intake, cutting down from three to two cocktails a day).

Then again, I also forgot to give him his B12 shot on Sunday (he gets them twice weekly). Hmmm. He got one tonight, so if there's spazzing in the air tomorrow we may have yet another possible cause.

But whatever the hell, we had a great day. His therapists confirmed this--many spontaneous Yes and No statements for them, too, plus his NLP responses (prompted and spontaneous free-form language), which had been scanty and only two words long, were voluminous today, and often four words long.

Only negative: I may have to cut my hair off as he keeps grabbing it to pull me in for kisses (inner cynic: he is just seeking deep pressure on his face).

Oh, and Seymour's dad, a man whose powers of research I quaver before, has this to say about the DAN Mercury Detoxification Consensus Paper.

Zombified

Note to all:

Leelo was up for most of the night (okay, maybe only 4 to 6:30 but it felt like eternity) and as a result I am a grouchy fuckface today. Stay out of my way. Seymour was not there to help because he and Iz had built a fort upstairs, and decided to camp out in it (although he reported later that the boy was so loud he kept him up, too. Iz, on the other hand, could sleep through the Apocalypse).

This on-call wakefulness shit is so much easier to deal with when it's daily. I remember the first night in the hospital after Iz was born--the nurse brought her to me for a 2:30 A.M. feeding and I just basically told her to fuck off and give the baby whatever they had available, because I was sleeping, goddammit! Perhaps this is why Iz had trouble latching on, initially.

Anyhow. You've been warned.

1.25.2004

Random Random Random, Go Go Go! The Story of My Happy Yesterday.

  • New hair color (shade: "I am too friggin' lazy to deal with root growth"). Got to hang out and chat with KV my bud and AB the world's most talented stylist/doula while Seymour and PV took the four kids to the park for 90 minutes.
  • Absolutely gorgeous Sunday lent itself nicely to:
  • Outdoor family photo session with talented and patient local lens-wielder, and
  • Hike through park accessible and visible from back yard where the poison oak is all dormant and a million different mushroom types are busting out and the kids trotted happily the whole way like good little mountain goats. Please, someone, come kick my lazy butt out the back door and onto those trails!
  • Slate of five Tasmanian cheeses gifted to us by KV and PV via her dad. Did our damndest, but much cheese was left for the playgroupgoers.
  • Excellent laughs from Iz, who let it slip that I got the Kefir recommended by Chasmyn to see if it would help our girl and her dad with their "tooting." Busted again!
  • Good language from Leelo, including more spontaneous yes and no statements. Is it the lowered sugar intake and vigorous exercise? Who knows. We are happy.

Then I spent a blissfully spaced out hour or so webcrawling. Here's what I found:

Thank you Banubula!
http://www.gsi.go.jp/ENGLISH/MAPS/VARIETIES/IMAGINARY/animap-e.html
http://www.californiacoastline.org/

Thank you Minnie!
http://bushgreenwatch.org/

Thank you Iris!

You are

Tara



"Tell me if I said something wrong. Otherwise I know I'll say it again -- probably often and in public."

What "Buffy" Character Are You?


So, yeah, my brain is lacking what one might term good cohesion. But it was a good day. Hope that is visible through all the shards above.

Audio Irritation

(Lowering rose-tinted glasses, and warning you that I am one of those snarly hoardy ferret types when it comes to things I perceive as mine mine mine.)

I really miss the rich schizoid variety of early-80's New Wave radio. My two older brothers imprinted on the very firstest Elvis Costello, Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, (English) Beat, Brian Eno, etc., and filled our house with these tunes all day long. I was thereby preemptively rescued from the feathered-hair mindlessness of Rush, Journey, or Van Halen.

I spent seventh grade (81/82) loping around in my knock-off designer jeans and sparkly-rainbow decal shirts, sporting my Devo or Oingo Boingo buttons (which I still have!), and generally being considered an extraordinary dork. My status never changed, but by the following year everyone who'd spent the summer crooning "Don't Stop Believing" had somehow been converted to the New Wave I'd been weaned on, and now I was just one of the crowd. It pissed me off. That shit was mine! Ever since, I can't deal with what I perceive as popular music. Won't have it in my house.

Anyhow, back to radio. Even though I no longer trusted them once they began playing Talk Talk, I sort of miss the lamer alternative stations that were broadcasting between 1985 and 1996. They still played enough decent singles that I didn't have to buy the albums, and could use my paper route or dog grooming or teaching assistant or producer wages to slog through the used music bins instead.

Then, in 1996, commercial alternative radio really tanked. "Alternative" radio is no longer a place to find anything new--rather, it's where you go if derive daily comfort from License to Ill, Nirvana, Everclear, Siamese Dream, and howlingly bad payola props like Marooon 5.

Still, I do listen to the two or three local crappy stations from time to time, mostly because I am negligent about rotating my car's CD selection, NPR is often inappropriate for the kids, and there's only so much big band, jazz, or classical I can tolerate. (Plus even I can't resist Coldplay's Clocks--it lodged in my brain during a particularly dark time, and now it has the power to snap me out of that funk, if only for ~3 minutes.)

So imagine my revulsion and disgust in hearing three songs that are particularly dear to me on not one but several of these stations this week. The first is Gary Jules' version of Mad World. A song released on the Donnie Darko soundtrack almost two years ago, you slow-witted fuckers! Why weren't you listening to it then? This is the real heart-ripper, as this song has, for me, the same medicinal properties as Clocks. The second is Protection by Massive Attack. Also a tonic. An almost ten-year-old tonic. Gaah! The third is one of the songs from The Postal Service. Goddammit. I love this album. Mine mine mine! Not yours! Piss off!

>click< (Sound of commercial alternative radio being turned off, permanently.)

1.24.2004

Pause

We are pausing to consider whether or not we want to proceed with Leelo's mercury chelation challenge. Seymour's dad and my mom, both of whom are medical professionals, have been showering us with articles and studies that question (or, okay, in some cases ridicule) chelation as a treatment for autistic children.

Their main concern, beyond health effects, are that "the only proponents are the people who are selling it." Now, I do think that's a little harsh. But I understand their worry. DMSA is a strong drug, and our guy is little.

I guess this is all just part and parcel of being on the DAN bandwagon. Any complementary or alternative health path with captive, frantic patients willing to shell out money for promising treatments is of course going to attract the money-grubbing quacks.

The worst part is that we already on information overload. Keeping up with DAN and ABA techniques at the most basic level is like reading for law school. Circuits start to blow out, especially since much of the information overlaps or contradicts. Chelation is only a small part of the program. I thought we'd done enough research and talked to enough people to commit to it, but now we're again unsure.

Chelation is good. Chelation is Bad. Bad! Fuck. I guess this is one of those cases in which joining a support group would have been helpful.

1.23.2004

Why? Because You Can

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that people in general, and Bu.sh specifically, get on with the morally questionable or outright criminal deeds for two reasons:

1) They can. Because:
2) No one with sufficient authority is telling them they can't.

Why does our fair leader continue with his campaign of environmental raping and pillaging (rejecting the Kyoto accord, pushing through the southern Alaska logging program, etc.)? Why, more than two years later, is the blatantly illegal Guantanamo Bay situation allowed to continue? Why does our president lie, lie, lie, and lie again? See above.

Why did a driver who cut cyclist me off in a parking lot, causing me to skitter across her hood and onto the ground and tweak my bike, try to sue me for the resulting damage to her car? She had access to her law firm's stationery. See above.

Why do older siblings pin younger ones and drop loogies into their mouths? Yup.

Why do I tell my daughter that I will summon trolls to take her away if she continues to misbehave? Yeah.

Why why why...

Power is heady stuff. And it is dangerous indeed in the hands of the weak.

Mother of the Year

Well now, since everyone but Melanie ignored my request for C1inton/Bu.sh press polarity examples, I will resume the usual writing about parenting brain farts and my own boundless neuroses.

You all know that Leelo takes five million supplements, creams, injections, and suspended medications per day. You probably also know that Miss Iz had a blow-out of a birthday party on Saturday, after which I ran away and hid for two days. You may remember that our girl had a metal splinter taken out of her eye two months ago, and that ever since she's had special eye drops.

Well, folks, I just can't keep all this shit straight, and Iz didn't get those steroid/antibiotic eye drops for a full five days. Which means that her body was free to muster all its resources to attack the remaining rust particles in her eye in its own way, and she now has a gnarly red bump at the original splinter site. Seymour noticed this last night as we were putting her to bed.

Our original experience with the splinter (which happened in the late evening as well) educated us to the fact that there is no point in trying to get urgent eye care during non-office hours. So I had a horrible night filled with dreams of Iz's eye exploding with pus and subsequent eye-patch wearing. All because of my inability to manage daily routines! I was particularly freaked because--and I am not just being biased here--our girl has really beautiful eyes. Huge, blue, black-lash fringed. Definitely not due to my genetic contributions.

Anyhow, the ophthalmologist says that she should be fine if we resume the drops, and no, there is no sign of damage or inflammation anywhere else other than the immediate surface and site of the injury. So, I did not permanently damage my daughter's looks or vision. I'm sure I'll have lots of opportunities in the future, though.

1.22.2004

I Hiked This Weekend

roiling sea, pounding surf, and all that crap


Unfortunately my camera ran out of juice before I got all the way out to Frank1in Point. Sigh. When you reach your destination (after a 45 minute hike through bog and sand that would, on second thought, not make Badger happy at all) you get a panoramic view from Ano Nuevo Island (visible in the back of this shot) to Pigeon Poinnt Lighthouse. Dreamy. Only met three other people during this two hour hike.

It's Never Boring At Casa Rosenberg

Today's fun news: Our wonderful, gentle, Australian Therapist F is being deported due to visa issues! Hopefully she'll be back in a few months. And thankfully our deligthful energetic Therapist L is happy to take on some of her hours. But regardless we have to try to find another ABA therapist. God fucking damn it!

1.21.2004

Pissing Time For This Novice

If, my American friends, you are for some reason not pissed off at our leadership right now, the ever-helpful Josh Norton has supplied a list of reasons why you damn well should be.

I don't have that many American relatives--most of my people are Canadian--but the Yanks I do share ties with are all Republicans. Used to be this was a mere matter of amiable banter and gentle elbows-to-the-ribs, but nowadays I spend a lot of time tiptoeing behind them to scan for tell-tale lesions at the base of the skull. What the fuck is wrong with these people? How can they, in good conscience, support this incompetently veiled presidential cabal? More to the point, how can they put their faith in a man who would gladly bend them over the moment his puppeteers gave the word?

I am sending copies of Molly Ivins' Bushwhacked to those family members who, like my two younger brothers, are allied with the Dark Side more through inertia and indifference than cold, rational thought. I've got less than a year to help them understand that their support is misplaced; that many, many of the faithful have had their lives exploded by their leader's offhanded madness.

I'd really like to get my oldest brother's take. He works at a certain five-sided building, has a strong, keen mind, and a very thick skull. He'll have an semi-insider perspective even though he generally considers himself above party or military affiliations. I am certain that, since our commander-in-chief reneged on the reservists (the first time) and sent my brother to a year in Afghani.stan right after he'd come back from his "final" nine months of active duty in Sara.jevo, he'll have a truckload of something to say.

Final thoughts on the matter: I am so fucking sick of the way the mainstream press has been bought and paid for. The way they mock, ridicule, and try to intimidate Liberals and Democrats by peppering us with marketing-style mini-features all day long ("Hey, random people on the New York City Streets! Can you name all seven Democratic candidates? You can't? Ah hahahaha, the Democrats are such a bunch of disorganized pansies!"). They keep chewing away at the foundation of our confidence, hoping that we'll eventually just buckle--DON'T LET THEM GET TO YOU.

And yes, I'm fucking naive, but even I can tell that the press corps that sniffed out every last piece of semen-tainted lint during the Clin.ton administration has been reined in and fitted with electric zapping collars. Mildest example: Good little girl Chelsea got bashed weekly because of her, erm, gangliness, but the antics of those wacky Shrub twins are just too kooky to bother with? I am so close to puking...feel free to add your favorite examples of Clin.ton/Shrub press polarity. Please. Please!

Just The Fax (Snarf Snarf)

Hello Dr. P,

We’ve really been seeing some distressing behavior in Leelo lately (self-stimulatory vocalizations, distractibility, hyperactivity etc.). Since Dec. 23, 2003 he has refused to take his supplements in anything but straight pear juice, plus he was off all antifungals Dec. 31-Jan 4 (my fault, didn’t realize he was out of Nystatin until everyone was on holiday). He hasn’t been the same since, although his hyperactivity has decreased since we removed glutathione last week.

We think his sugar intake is affecting his yeast overgrowth, and thus his behavior. We are wondering if we should switch to Kirkkman’s SuperNuTher@ liquid without Vitamin A & D (since he takes cod liver oil). Even if Leelo still needs to take some additional supplements, we’re hoping that this might eliminate one or two doses of juice per day.

Also, we were hoping to start Leelo’s chelation challenge soon. Due to various sensitivities and behavioral issues, he is not yet taking Glutathione, Ascorbic Acid, or DMG. He is taking the supplements below with regularity. Can we start the challenge without the three supplements above?

Lactobaccillus
DGST-P powder
K-Mag Aspartate
Magnesium Glycinate
Vitamin B6
B12 shots
Folic Acid
Calcium
Zinc
Selenium
Cod Liver Oil
Nystatin

Finally, we would like Leelo to have a neurology exam to see if there’s anything of that nature underlying his autistic symptoms (he has sporadic episodes of “blanking out,” where he stops what he’s doing and stares into space, and it takes up to sixty seconds to elict any response from him).

We’d like to take him to the Harmman Pediatric Neurology Clinic at Stanfford, but they require a referral from a physician. We would be grateful if you could fax the referral request to (650) 724-5344. Of course, if you have additional questions feel free to call us first.

Thank you,

Squid & Seymour Rosenberg
Home 650-3663
Fax 650-2493

1.17.2004

Birthday Heroine



This is Super Jill. Yay for her and her nutso yet quite fun party. I am wonked. To bed, to bed. Tomorrow: to the coast, to the coast.

1.16.2004

By The Way

Happy 5th Birthday Miss Isobel Rosenberg!



How it is possible that this baby got to be five, I'll never know.

The Clouds Part, The Angels Sing...

Oh. My. Goddess.

Leelo said Yes! Spontaneously! Appropriately! In context!

Sad Leelo: Waaaaaaah!
Mommy: Do you want water? Do you want juice? Do you want chips?
Sad Leelo: Yes. Chips.

Mommy, Therapist L: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!! HE SAID YES!!!

My fingers may be on the keyboard, but the rest of my body is doing the dance of glee.

No, I Am Fucking Insane

Just took a tally of confirmed partygoers for tomorrow's hootenanny. That'd be 80. Eighty. Holy shit on a shingle. Well, we've got a big yard. It'd better not rain, is all I've got to say about that.

Plus, we'll need more beer.

1.15.2004

Are You Fucking Insane?

A friend just called to let us know she's pregnant with her third child. Intentionally. I was openly aghast.

Sorry, it's just that this whole thing with Leelo has made me leery of anyone's reproduction efforts. Don't you people know what could happen? And you're doing this on purpose?

I made some halting jokes about having to avoid wine and sushi and some of her other favorite foodstuffs, and she laughed, saying that Hey, it's her third pregnancy, and she's going to have all the raw milk cheese and caffeine she wants! Gaaaaaaah!

But jeez, wouldn't it be nice to be in her place? And have that cavalier attitude of "hey, why not, babies are cute and snuggly, I'll have another one! They're so fun! Sure, maybe they keep us up at night a bit, ha ha ha..."

This took a long time to type. I kept stopping and pressing my cold fingertips to my hot, closed eyes. I didn't want another baby before Leelo's problems became apparent, and I sure as hell don't want another now, but I am seething with jealousy over her happy headspace, where people can just say "oh, why not" and pop out those squallers on a lark.

Glutathione Woop-dee-doo

Talked to Dr. P (DAN doctor) yesterday, who said that if Leelo is freaking out, it's probably the glutathione and that we should take him off it until we can get him tested for it via BioSet (~accupressure variant). Interesting. This is not the reaction he gave to a friend under similar circumstances (marked hyperactivity after adding glutathione cream to a DAN regimen). He had her reduce dosages and add a mineral supplement whose name I am blanking on to their schedule. Hmmm. Seymour is showing increasing skepticism, remarking that Dr. P tends to shoot back the same information we just gave him.

So, Leelo had no glutathione cream last night or this morning. His therapists said that his sessions today were much mellower than the balls-out-Robin-Williams-on-speed affairs they'd been for the preceding week. Hmmm, again. We've kept Ascorbic Acid (added Sunday) on the schedule for now, if they boy's hyperactivity does not decrease in the next five days we'll try taking that out as well.

This DAN shit is crazy-making. If you read up on the subject, it seems like parents decide to try the protocol, and wham-bang! Within three weeks their kids are taking all 20 supplements with no adverse reactions. We've been trying to get Leelo on the full schedule since August, and still have at least four supplements we've not added due to bad or questionable reactions that kept us paddling in holding tanks for weeks.

And of course I'm oversimplifying. I'm really fucking frustrated. Leelo's behavior is totally different than even two weeks ago. He's still doing the chattering monkey thing where he looks you straight in the eye but won't stop jabbering and certainly won't acknowledge you in any other way. His spontaneous greetings have completely regressed, and his speech is almost completely echolalic (he just repeats what you say, or the last few words). His other spontaneous language is limited to requests, much like it was months ago. What the fuck is going on? Aiiiigh! I am not in a party mood.

Also, he appears to have a rotten case of the squirts. Excellent.

However my mom just told me that he is responding perfectly to all her requests (e.g., "Put all those cushions back on the couch! Push them in! That's right").

My dad just brought Iz home. She is wearing the fanciest green party dress ever (hand-me-down from Supervisor M's daughter Olmec) to celebrate "her very last day of being four."

That is all.

Blank

Nothing much to write about. My folks arrived yesterday, six hours early, ripping to bits my carefully arranged pre-party schedule of tasks and other compulsive items. But, as they are being helpful, I cannot really complain. Too much. Until they leave.

Please think good thoughts for Badger as she is totally, totally ill.

1.14.2004

Your Daily Dose

My thanks to Barak for today's entry, which capsulizes the current waves of political fucked-upedness 'round here. He is succinct and erudite, and saves you from reams of my soggy wailing. Go. Now.

1.13.2004

Listingly

Full force hurricane going on in my head. However, unlike my more articulate friends, I do not have control of the spillgate that separates brain from fingertips and lets it wash all over the screen in passionate, electrifying, heady prose. It's all stuck in my noggin. So, list-like mundanity for you instead:

Leelo ate an avocado yesterday! All sorts of good trace minerals and fattiness! The likes of which he hasn't touched for two months! Woo-hoo!

The boy also had an eye appointment today, his first. It sucked, but at least they were able to determine that he doesn't have his sister's lazy eye, and so won't need to wear glasses like she does. If I was to have Leelo wear glasses I might as well put them on the cats--the challenges and success rates would be identical.

My parents arrive tomorrow. Heroes! They will help Seymour watch the kids while I run away!

Um, other things that I wrote down somewhere but which have since disappeared into the paper landfill that is my car. Where I just found a plastic grocery bag full of critical correspondence that'd been wedged under the seat for who knows how long. Go, me!

I think I need more sleep. Nighty-night.

1.12.2004

Really Cool Squid News

Thanks Seymour for the link.

Hard to Port!

Enough about the kids. Re-reading those last entries makes me feel as I did at my cousin's New Year's Eve get-together, where all the kids were glued to the tube in another room while we six adults sat there surrounded by excellent wine and cheese, yet the other parents continued to dwell on the less interesting aspects of their little beasts. I wanted to stand up and howl "This is New Year's Eve! We are supposed to get drunk and then I will tease out your deepest and choicest secrets!" Instead I turned the subject to mountain biking. Slightly more tolerable, though it left me open to ribbing about the bike gathering spiderwebs in my garage.

This afternoon I will see if I can get the playgroup parents drunk. You think you can resist? Ha! I have vintage port, real Stilton, and chocolate truffles. Resistance is, well, futile.

1.11.2004

Crushed

My offline journal has not been updated once since I started this blog. Anything I want to record gets recorded here. So, that means that all six of you will have to put up with the occasional even-more-indulgent-than-usual entry about the kiddlings. Here goes.

I'd always anticipated the nearly-five age with glee. This was going to be the time when I read my daughter so many of my favorite books--she'd be old enough to mostly get them, and we could giggle, gasp, and cry together. I've not been as good about this as I planned to be, as we've been reading A Litttle Princess for almost two months now owing to slackardliness on my part, but it's still lots of fun.

We're almost at the end, just at the part where The Magic happens. Delight! She's loving the story, and I'm really enjoying this time together. I thought she was, too. But then, in the middle of a sentence, she starts reading aloud with me. At the same pace. She stops, and says "Mommy, can I read this part now?" Uh, sure. Why not. She resumes reading, and while she stumbles over words like obeisance, she otherwise rips through a page without blinking. Then she turns to me, and says, "Mommy, can I finish the book by myself?" Goddammit.

Also frustrating (and really, really indulgent on my part, you can stop reading now): she is working on a Birthday Poster All About Me for her school. They have the students do them every year. She started by drawing a picture of her family--all four of us as stick figures. I asked her why she drew us that way--this is a girl who has drawn people with pupils, eyelashes, nostrils, and all five fingers since she was 2 1/2--and she replied that that's the way all the other children in her school draw. Aiiigh!

Week's End Brain Dump

Lots of spew, just for you:

Can't get enough of The Posta1 Service. Why? You ask. Why don't I get myself a Prettty In Pink soundtrack, if that's the vibe I'm after? Dunno. Not good at the whole music explication thang. Probably has something to do with its synthesis of the 80's bop that anchored my teenage self, the orchestral textures that have always suckered me in, and the D&B beats from the first phase of my adulthood. Dee, in particular, needs a copy. Say the word.

Leelo has been insano-crazy boy since Friday afternoon. Of course this had to happen while Seymour's home for the weekend to get depressed about the whole thing. I'm hoping it's the typical initial negative reaction of an anti-yeast regimen (the toxins from all the dying yeasties make a person feel worse than ever, at first) and that he'll be a new boy by day's end. We also resumed Ascorbic Acid Fri. night, but the nuttiness emerged before that. If we see no improvement by Tues. or so, we'll have to look into reducing his glutathione dosages (again, thanks for the warning mb).

He's had a few inexplicable behavioral turnabouts this week. He spent all of last week going to bed as soon as his head hit the pillow, with no fuss (unprecedented). However his daytime separation anxiety had been severe (we hadn't been able to leave him in the church nursery for weeks, as previously mentioned). Now, all of the sudden, he's been fussing over going to bed again--yet he didn't give us a second look when we dropped him off in the nursery this morning. Also, he's finally figured out that if he wants to come sleep in our bed, he doesn't need to cry until we come get him--he can pull a stealth maneuver and do it himself. I woke up this morning with the boy in bed next to me, and have no recollection of him arriving. Sneaky.

I am prone to snideness when tired, as I'm guessing many parents are. Yesterday, when I went to pick up Iz from Tea's place, my daughter exploded from the house, brandishing a horrible little figurine whose only purpose is to encourage pre-pubescent sexuality and a "shopping is a great hobby" mentality. Iz crowed "Look what Tea let me borrow!" I responded, "Wow, Izzy, that's great." Iz yelled back, "Mommy, are you being sarcastic?" Oop, busted.

I told her that I thought the doll's big black boots were cool, which is true, and also mentioned that the doll looked like a teenager to me. Iz was not convinced, she thinks it's a little girl. I think the doll is going to disappear, much like the rotting gingerbread house she made before Xmas ("Look, Mommy, the ants ate the whole house!"). Heh heh heh. Lying to your kids is fun!

Finally, I am still a mental wreck. Seymour is aware and is giving me much slack. We had an amusing moment Friday night when my mom called to say how she and my dad wanted to watch the kids this weekend so Seymour and I could go away for a bit. I laughed and told her that I'd be going away by myself, thanks very much. She got indignant and implied that I was being a bad wife, at which point Seymour grabbed the phone and told her quite clearly that I really did need time to myself and that he thought it would be good for both of us if I went away. She still sputtered a bit, so then Ep's Clyde, who had come over with some other members of the gang for cheese and pie, took up the conversation for a stretch, and used his considerable charm to distract her before handing the phone back to us. What a champ.

Seymour says that my mom can't understand my need to be away, as she's been allotted more alone time in her marriage than a gregarious soul like herself would ever want. Poor dear. I hope Seymour sticks around a bit to keep her company.

1.09.2004

Jitterbug

If you know me, then you know I like confrontation about as much as I like leprosy. The mildest incident bring on adrenalin-fueled shakes and jitters, the tears well up immediately. Truly. Confront me some time and see what happens.

This being the case, I must have been possessed by some sort of Backbone Demon yesterday. That's the only possible explanation for my hounding of the Esperanza school principal I'm so desperately trying to ingratiate myself with, despite her initial brushoff of me and my concerns about Iz. She eventually listened to me as an individual rather than yet another parent making wild claims about a child's abilities, and seemed very interested indeed when I showed her some examples of what Iz is capable of (Seymour thinks that this is probably due to a hunger for Good Test Scores; I think a large part of her job is making parents feel that what they're saying is Very Important). She made copies of Iz's stuff and said she'd discuss it with the teachers. That probably means I'll need to follow up. Shite.

The incident got my adrenaline revving so high that I could barely sit down or hold a cup of water without spilling for four hours afterwards.

1.08.2004

An Ode to My Husband, the Finest Man I Know...

...and who has just started reading my blog. Dammit, or, uh--what a great opportunity for sharing!
AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

The Yeastie Boy

Seymour is desperately trying to figure out why our boy is so fucking spazzy. My partner keeps flitting around, trying to blame it on one thing or another: supplements, foods, exercise or lack thereof, etc. He'll come bounding up to me and exclaim "When did Leelo start so-and-so? Because I think that was it! We need to take him off of it!" and I just have to stand firm and remind him that the boy has been spazzy for months and months and months. It's not going to do Leelo or us any good to interrupt a treatment sequence without straight, hard evidence for doing so.

Personally, I think the hyperactivity is a result of a serious problem with candida and sugar intolerance. Serious. Leelo was subjected to round after round of increasingly powerful antibiotics from ages 8 to 28 months, and it scraped all the beneficial biota right out of his GI tract. His little gut was left without defense against a Candida (yeast) infestation, so the yeast swept in and took over.

As described in the pamphlet put out by the Autism Research Institute (I found no online version other than the link above; you have to order a hard copy), Candida infestations can produce symptoms similar to inebriation or being "high." That's a pretty good description of our boy much of the time. Candida feeds on sugar, and the reaction to too high a dose of sugar is a quick descent into loopiness. The best treatment is powerful anti-fungals (Diflucan, Nystatin, etc.) combined with a strict low-sugar diet.

Leelo didn't used to fit the Candida overgrowth profile, because he was always sick with a cold or ear infection. Feeling like crap toned down his hyperactivity. But as soon as he got ear tubes put in (April 2003) and became a mostly healthy boy, the spazzing took over. The period of lovely calmness that Seymour is mooning over descended in August because Leelo started his biomedical/DAN regimen then. We began by putting the boy on a strict low sugar diet backed up with Nystatin and Diflucan (the latter for 14 days only). He wasn't taking all his sugary juicy supplement cocktails yet, because we introduced those gradually, starting a few weeks later.

We were okay about minimizing his juice and sugar during Fall 2003, because he wasn't taking all that many supplements. Plus, for a while, he was accepting rice milk instead of juice (half the sugar).

But right around Christmas he started rejecting rice milk, and the number of supplements increased, so the amount of juice he needs to take to "mask" them has increased markedly, as has his wackiness (singing constantly, looking you in the eye but otherwise refusing to acknowledge your presence). Combine this with a dingbat mom whose lack of communication skills with the local pharmacist resulted in no anti-fungal meds at all for the four-day New Year weekend, and we have a completely goofy little boy with such a bad yeast infection that his diapers smell like a bakery, even though we've resumed the Nystatin (apologies to any new readers, the rest of you know how much poop-description goes on here).

So, take him off the juice and supplements! is what I've been told. Well, we can't, because we're awaiting a chelation challenge. This means three days on the chelation drug DMSA and, at the end of the cycle, sending off a poo sample to see if the DMSA extracted excessive heavy metals from his body. If the results are positive, then we'll need to keep chelating until the amount of excreted metals reaches acceptable levels. The problem for us is that DMSA doesn't just strip away unwanted metals--it also leaches critical minerals (Magnesium, Selenium, etc.). We have to bolster his body's supply of minerals for at least two weeks beforehand, and he won't take those minerals without at least 6 oz of straight juice. Aiiggh!

Short version: I can't choose between chelation and anti-Candida measures. We need to do both.

I've spoken to Dr. P., his ever-patient DAN doctor. We're going to put Leelo on another round of Diflucan, and at the same time experiment with how many supplements we can put into a low-sugar smoothie made of just apples and pears. I really hope we can reach some sort of balance.

1.07.2004

Goofin' At The Table

Witness the ultimate everyone-wins evening for introvert me and my extrovert partner: I tagged along for dinner with Seymour and our friend Big Leelo (which is what we have to call him so our Leelo doesn't get totally confused). Afterwards, we went to a pub for beers. I whipped out a project and worked on it while they played speed chess next to me. I joined in the conversation if and when I felt like it, but was otherwise completely peripheral. Yet I still get to check it off on the chart as time spent together! We should do this more often.

I have no motivations or aspirations that don't involve my children, at least tangentially, and these projects are no different. They are the invites for Iz's birthday party next week, but are CD covers rather than the standard cards. DJ Iz selected all the tunes for the invite CD, and I think she picked some great self-sorters--those who don't approve of her (implicitly our) taste in music will decline to attend. Not a bad thing since, with all the kids from her school, the child-alone invite count is ~40. And do you really want to go to a party with someone who finds E1mer Fudd singing "Ki11 the Wabbit" offensive? Neither do I.

¡Ella conquistará el mundo!

Woooo! Just found out that Iz can go right into first grade at the the bilingual/dual immersion Spanish/English K-8 school I'd been dreaming about sending her to ever since she was born! Starting the program in kindergarten is not mandatory, as I'd believed! I have an appointment with the principal tomorrow morning at 8:30! And this school is free! Yeah!

For those who haven't heard, or turned their ears off re: this subject long ago, my dreams of a nice, painless, easy transition to public school kindergarten got blown sideways during the parent/teacher conference at Iz's school last month. I was musing aloud about kindergarten choices, when Iz's teacher looked at me with no little amusement and said "Your daughter is already in kindergarten. Putting her in kindergarten next year would be a complete waste of everyone's time." (Iz's school is mixed preschool/kindergarten, and the kids are encouraged to work at whatever their individual level is, regardless of age.) My reaction: Oh. Shit. Fret fret fret.

The fretting came from anticipating lots and lots of additional work to ensure proper placement for the girl. From what I've heard, teachers and principals can get sick of parents wanting special attention and advancement for their "special fabulous extra-gifted child" and don't really want to help. The process can get combative, so I'd just as soon side-step the whole thing. I am hoping that tomorrow's talk with the principal will reveal methods for reverting back to the path of least resistance (my favorite route).

Will report back. (Noise of happy toe-tapping below desk.)

Who's Got The Limes?

Brain not work. Do quiz. Sleep.

You like it fast and strong and you drink for one reason: to get piss-ass drunk!
Congratulations!! You're a shot of some good old
hard liquor!


What Drink Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks Jett for the link.

1.06.2004

Why I Try Not To Let My Kids Watch Commercials

Iz spent the entirety of our trip to the store badgering me to buy Luvs rather than Huggies diapers for her brother, because "Luvs has the best leak protection. It's true!" Sigh.

My friend-with-connections and I are going to have a conversation later this week about getting me "published and famous" (her words). Ha ha ha ha. Right. She also wants me to go to a kids' writing/illustrating conference in El Lay later this year. Right once more--sorry, but I just don't do the group thing. Any group thing. Not since college, anyhow.

I am sure Jo is smirking like hell, wondering just how quickly the balloon of my naivete and elation will get punctured by the nasty, nasty agents and publishers, and the jealous, backstabbing writers I've heard attend such events. If I ever even encounter them--remember, I am LAZY.

However I did make more hard copies of the current version of the story if anyone wants an extra one.

1.05.2004

More Happy

A Milestone day! I had my first-ever conversation with Leelo!

He had some pretend toast/jelly in his hand, so I asked "Leelo, do you have toast?"
"NO!" he said.
"Oh," I said, taken aback, "Well, what do you have?"
"I have JELLY!" said our boy.

Happy, happy day.

Numfar! Do the Dance of Joy!

(If you get that, you are exactly my kind of geek)

These past few days I have been sunk in the kind of funk I've not seen for years, not since early 1998 when the following three things happened simultaneously:

1) They took away my dream job producing geography/atlas software and instead handed me pre-teen girls software (Babysittter's C1ub--BARF).
2) Seymour and I had been trying for 8 months to get pregnant, and my doctor hinted that since I'd already had one ectopic pregnancy, both my fallopian tubes might be fucked up and I might never conceive.
3) The pro-open-adoption mother of the baby I gave up 8 years earlier got cancer and died within three weeks, leaving the kid in the sole custody of his pro-closed-adoption father. I'd given them a full shoebox of carefully constructed journals, photos, etc. to give the kid if the question of me ever came up, and can only guess how quickly it got tossed in the trash.

That was a bad time. I used to bail on work a lot, spending hours meandering around Woodside and RWC on my bike.

Not sure what's going on now, except that I probably need a day or two by myself. Didn't get one in 2003, and that's not good. Not at all. I require hermit time to rejuvenate, and the cycles I'm currently getting are too short for true rest. If I wasn't so disorganized I probably could have made it happen.

The result: I have been feeling evil, spiteful, and low. I even hit poor Seymour with a howling torrent of vitriol on Saturday (first time ever, I think). To his credit, he did not counter-attack, but rather cut me loose to sulk and grumble in what passes as the far corners of the house all weekend.

But tonight, a friend who is as deeply and professionally immersed in children's literature as anyone I know (she produces children's television shows, many based on books) told me that my Iz story was "so awesome," and that I should get it published (!?). She said that she was howling with laughter and that her son (Iz's betrothed) was riveted. Wow. Unexpected. What to do? I have no idea, except that I've asked the eminently capable Ep to do a technical edit. Hmmm. Xlibris?

Click, Review, Forward. Thanks.

Bush in 30 Seconds.

(And yes, Barak, I do note that Michael Moore is on the judging panel.)

1.03.2004

Verified By At Least Three Sources

Iz is currently very much into A11an Sherman and Looney Tune§/Chuck Jone§. If I can just get her started on Aster*x comic books, she'll have all the historical reference material she'll ever need!

1.02.2004

Do You Really Want a Scatterbrained Depressive Feeding Your Cats?

Probably not. Apologies to Ep for losing her housekey. Thankfully she is crafty and thinks ahead, so all was not lost and the cats did not starve. Let this be a warning to you all--no matter how much cat feeding you do for me, there is no guarantee of quality reciprocity. I am just too fucking stupid these days.

Though, if we take a briefly, cockeyededly optimistic stance on the issue, this means I am a perfect companion for my kids! Operating at their level and all that. We had a groovy day at Where The Wi1d Things Are, delightful for sure. Leelo and Iz were actually playing together, running through the trees, operating all the various interactive switches, taking turns peeking out through the little spyholes, and laughing together. Leelo performed an admirable feat of navigation and recall in galloping at top speed and through the entire, convoluted, and considerable length of the play area to reach his favorite tunnel. He spent the rest of our time trying to return: "I like tunnel. I love tunnel."

Seymour is downstairs, trying to compose a talk for Sunday's sermon, wherein a person from every decade of life will give a two-minute talk on how they want to live their "One Wi1d and Precious Liƒe." This is always my favorite sermon of the year; I hope that Leelo will cooperate with the child care so I can cheer on my partner.

Sadly, I suspect that introspection is affecting the mood of our hero, especially after having spent so much more time than usual with his boy these past two weeks. (I hear lots of clicking and sighing from the pits below.) But I do think that kneading out his thoughts will jumpstart a critical, dormant part of his being. I fell in love with him as a poet and writer--he is damn good at both, had a great column in our college newspaper--and am waiting excitedly to see what he comes up with. It's never predictable, always makes me want to stand up and shout "That's MY man. Yeah, you heard me--back the fuck away!"

Maybe not in the middle of service, though.

I Am No Man!



I don't understand how I could be Eowyn if I'm in love with Legolas. Besides, as I've mentioned before, Viggo/Aragorn is destined to fall for me whether I'm interested or not, but there you go. No quiz is infallible.

Thanks Badger for the link.

1.01.2004

Happy New Year!

Check it out! Someone grouchy and liberal with the expletives, just like me! And with the same personal schedule!

Poor Seymour. He spent much of yesterday hiding from the snarls or silence that greeted any question.

Leelo has been off therapy for the past two weeks (his therapists go by the local public school schedule, although Therapist L came in for two sessions earlier this week), and is quite boppy and spazzy. He really does need to be in therapy as much as possible--it grounds him and keeps him calm.

Other changes to his routine: we reintroduced cod liver oil last week (this time without the lemon/lime oil that was scouring the flesh off his poor little bottom), and it's going well. He's even been taking it willingly, without our having to hold him down. Then we can hand him his nastier tasting rice milk or juice concoctions (with selenium, zinc, etc.) and he'll slurp them down--I guess anything tastes better than that fishy goop.

I'm not sure if the cod liver oil is affecting his behavior, but it certainly has made a change in his skin. After four months of a totally vegan diet, our boy's skin was getting dry and rough. Now his luscious snuggly kissable baby skin has returned. Poor bit, this means more pinning by mommy for unwanted kisses (I ALL DONE! BYE BYE MOMMY!).

We've also resumed glutathione cream (rubbed on his little legs 2x/day--smelly fricking stuff!). I know my friend mb (as opposed to MB from Wampum) noticed hyperactivity after she added this to their routine, but I think he's just as spazzy as he was before. Supervisor M and the therapists have been keeping benchmark observations with respect to additions to his diet/supplements, and it turns out that the only thing that definitely affects his response to therapy is being sick.

Iz drifted home from her friend Tea's house yesterday in a fluffy pink and purple cloud, clutching a borrowed DVD of B@rbie Sw@n Lake to her chest. Gack. Splutter. The B@rbie adaptations are far more warped and sugar coated than the horrors perpetrated by D*sney--and the animation is cheap, cheap, cheap-looking. My enraptured daughter does not care one iota. Another item to disappear as quickly as possible.

It is still raining, although the torrents are gentler than yesterday's, which dumped so much water that it started spurting out from between the rocks of the retaining wall behind our house. So, we are leaving. Off to The City where we will dance with monsters and possibly buy funky footwear.

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