Sunday, July 29, 2007

Movie recommendations

One movie I recommend that you not bother seeing is "Premontition." It was completely unsatisfactory and a big letdown. After all the suspense and questions, it ended with me thinking, "What a waste!" and I only spent a dollar renting it.

The movie I wholeheartedly recommend is "The Painted Veil." This is a move that I have thought about many, many times after seeing it. It was hard to get out of my mind. Totally enthralling. The scenery (mostly set in China) was breathtaking, but the best part of the film is the relationship between the main characters, a husband and wife. I don't want to give anything away, but if you are looking for a movie that portrays realistic, dynaimc characters you should really rent this one. The characters change so much and you can really relate to their humanness (is that a word?) Plus, the tension between the 2 is palpable. I was on tenterhooks waiting to see how their relationship would turn. the day after I saw it, I actually watched whole chunks of the movie again. The acting is great too and it doesn't hurt that you get a little peek at Ed Norton's bare booty.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chemo is over!!!

Just a quick update on my mom. For those of you I haven't talked to in a while, yesterday was her last chemo treatment. We are all so relieved. So far everything looks good. They will be checking her a lot in the next few years to make sure she remains cancer-free, which of course is what we are all praying for.

Friday, July 20, 2007

No Seep!

I know this is completely cliche, but (aren't most cliches true? ) why is it that kids have all this energy and adults don't? I would love to have a bit of my kids' energy sometime. The other night, Char was screaming at the top of her lungs when I put her down for the night. I knew she was very tired, but instead of giving in to the sleep, she just screamed lustily. I went in to rock her and hopefully help her calm down so she could finally sleep. As she snuggled with me , I started drifting off. I woke up with a start and noticed her staring up at me with her big brown eyes. I said, "Charlotte, you have to go to sleep."

She responded with, "No seep, no seep, no seep." Then she got down from my lap, picked up her stuffed caterpillar off the floor, hugged it and started to toddle out of the room in search of her brother, who I might add was already tucked into bed and snoring. She kept saying, "Danny! Danny! I want Danny!" I finally got up the energy to chase after her and put her back in bed, where she proceded to scream.

Everytime I hear her say, "No seep" it makes me laugh and feel a bit wistful at the same time. When did I change from a little kid who was so determined not to miss out on an opportunity to play and explore into an adult who just wants to lie down and be lazy? I want to be more excited about life like little kids are. The other night both of my kids were transfixed by a bunny rabbit in our front yard. They were completely delighted. I guess that is their gift to me: a reminder that life is fun and exciting and sometimes almost as good as sleep.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

No More Criticism, Please!!!!

After this blog, I promise not to be negative for a while. I have just had one too many negative experiences with people who either criticize me or give me really rude parenting advice. Some of this comes from strangers, other from friends (actually just one friend in particular, which I guess goes to show she isn't much of a friend). You may be thinking, "Well, maybe you NEED this advice if so many people out there see fit to offer it." I am not saying I couldn't benefit from some decent advice, but the snarky comments I can do without.

The thing is, these people don't know that I have a very special little boy, who happens to suffer from Sensory Integration Disorder, which means that he has trouble processing sensory stimuli. All the stimuli we take for granted (the humming of the computer, the breeze on your face, even the lighting) can affect these kids in unusual and unpleasant ways. And because these kids look "normal" other people judge their behavior and often assume it has something to do with the parents.

I am so utterly sick of people just assuming I am a crappy parent because my son has difficulty hearing organ music at church. Or because he can't handle having other kids touching him all the time. Or because occasionally he throws these incredible tantrums in public because he isn't handling transitions well. I see the dirty looks and hear the critical comments want to scream or cry or curse them out depending on my mood that day. Because despite what they may think, this is not an issue of poor discipline.

They truly have no idea what a day in my life is like. I have a kid who I can never take to Krogers because it totally throws him off--we think it may be the lighting. I have to plan in ways that other parents don't. If we are planning to leave somewhere fun, I need to start warning him about an hour in advance. Did I mention he does not do transitions well? I need to bring his blue blanket to chew on in stressful situations. (Yes, he chews on it. The pressure to his jaws actually calms him immeasurably.) I have to monitor him closely around big groups of children because when he gets excited, he sometimes crashes into them in an effort to satisfy his craving for deep pressure. You can't imagine the things I have to do to help him behave in Primary. It is actually pretty exhausting sometimes. Activities that are normal for many preschoolers (going to the zoo, a restaurant, a birthday party) are often fraught with potential sensory landmines. My husband and I plan carefully so we can help him make it through these activities. And then there are so many others that we simply do not attend because it would be too much for Danny--and us.

For people who take the time to get to know Danny, they will see that he is the most exuberant child around. His smile literally lights up his face. Danny is so full of energy that his nickname is "Danimal." He loves making people laugh and he adores playing with other kids. He loves life and is basically like every other kids. The only difference is that some things come a lot harder for him, and the last thing he needs is people's judgements!

Friday, July 13, 2007


I am bored. And a bit lonely, too. Bil's car is in the shop to get new brakes, so I am home alone with the kids with no car. And have I mentioned that I am bored? We have kept relatively busy this week. We went to the Nature Center here in town on Tues. and had speech therapy three times throughout the week (danny, not me, although there are days I could probably use it myself). Yesterday we went to the park, but still I am stir-crazy. Maybe it is because I have not had an extended face-to-face conversation with an adult since about Tuesday. Yes, I have talked to my husband since then, but not much. He has been gone for Church stuff and when he does get home, he usually has work to do. Plus, I'm sorry but the conversations that go, "Can you give the kids a bath while I clean the kitchen?" don't really count as in-depth, intellectually stimulating conversation, per se.

I know there are bigger problems out there, but right now this loneliness is almost oppressive. I so wish I had someone I felt totally comfortable with here who I could call and demand some company. Alas, most of my friends here are pretty busy and I still have yet to find a realy soul mate. (I know that sounds so Anne of Green Gables, but really who doesn't want a friend they can tell everything to?) Why do all my favorite, closest friends live so far away?

Sometimes I worry there is something wrong with me (ok, let's be honest here, I worry about that pretty regularly). It seems so much harder to make friends once you are out of college and no longer single. Is there an end in sight? Or is the best conversation I am destined to have going to be about Blue's Clues?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Want a Timeout!

Have you ever had one o fthose days with your kids where they do something totally unexpected and slightly embarrassing? Well, I have had several. Let me preface this story with some information for those of you who don't know my four-year-old son very well. Danny has delayed speech and has been receiving Speech Therapy for 2 years or so now. He is coming along really well, as you will be able to see from this story.

Last week we went to my moms playgroup and Danny was loving playing at the park. At one point, though, he was on a platform on the jungle gym and a boy on the platform below him, started pulling Danny's leg. I don't know if he was trying to get Danny's attention or what. Well, Danny kicked out and landed a hard kick to this kid's face--he even left a red welt on the poor kid's face. I was mortified. Of course, I gave Danny a timeout (I wasn't sure if he kicked the kid on purpose or was just trying to get him to quit pulling his leg, but I figured I should be safe. And we are trying so hard to teach him that there are alternatives to pushing, etc.)

So, after the timeout, I said, "OK, now you have to say you're sorry to Max." We got to the kid and his mother (a woman who I would really like to be friends with, by the way) and I told Danny that if he didn't apologize to the kid, he would have another timeout. Danny said, loudly and clearly, "I want a timeout."

Embarrassing as it is, I was actually quite impressed with his speech. Normally when he is upset, he is less than articulate, but in this case he told me exactly what he wanted. I was a bit embarrassed, but I am so glad he is finally learning to use language to express his needs!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Church functions can be hazardous to your diet

I just returned from a baptism for a girl in my branch. Afterwards there were of course refreshments. There are ALWAYS refreshments at church functions, at least at Mormon functions. You should have seen this spread: 3 different trifles, plates of cookies, cupcakes and bars, mini-cheesecakes, a large platter of fruit, the list goes on. It was soooo tempting and it finally made me realize the real reason I have been faltering on my diet lately. Church!!! Every Enrichment meeting, baptism, and branch party has food and loads of it. And this food is calorie and fat-laden and is absolutely delicious. No wonder I can't lose weight. I can blame the LDS church for all my diet woes, at least for the years since I joined the church. You would think a church that teaches moderation would be more mindful of preparing healthful refreshments.

It gives you something to think about. But right now, I have to go make some food for this week's church book club. I am going to make my hotfudge cheesecake. Because really, who would eat the food if I brought carrot sticks?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

There are roaches in my son's bed

The roaches, luckily, are plastic, but despite that, they always shock me a bit when I see them. I bought a big bag of plastic bugs around Halloween for a party game and they have been entertaining my son ever since. It is amazing to me how the simplest of things can keep kids entertained. Thank goodness that is true, since I am not one of those moms who is good at coming up with cool crafts for the kids to do on a rainy day. Instead, we build forts out of the couch cushions or jump on the bed. Or notably, get into a butter fight with the kids. Long story, but let me ask you, what would YOU do if your almost-four year old came up and placed in your hand a huge glob of softened butter? Suffice it to say that Danny and my bedsheets both smelled like butter until bath and laundry were completed.