Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow Clothes

Any ideas where I can beg, borrow, steal or purchase used second hand snow clothes for TWO four-and-a-half feet tall, 70 pound active boys? Looks like we are heading towards the snow on Monday!

mind power

Grateful for love and friendships and that all of our basic needs are met. Our new hot water heater is installed, gas and water are turned back on, boys are happily bathing, T is grilling shrimp, chicken and beef for our xmas feast (salvadoran style - celebrating on the 24th).

Amazed, truly amazed, at the power of my own mind in determining my happiness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day Two

Much better today. I was able to start off my morning with some meditation/reflection, and had a much more positive outlook today than yesterday. Plus B had a 9am tutor session and we put get dressed on his list of things to do with HER. And I have my "patience" rock next to my bed to keep me on track.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day One

Day 1: By 9:30am I totally lost it. Didn't have the patience to wait out getting dressed. Looks like we're in for a rough "vacation."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wishing you peace and light
And the knowledge that tomorrow the darkness will be shorter
and the hope that the brightness will enluminate you

Thursday, December 11, 2008

feeling sad and frustrated and short-tempered

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Santa,

Now that I live with christians and get to celebrate christmas every year, I've decided to write you my first letter. You won't be passing over my house, since we don't have either a mazzuzzuh or lamb's blood smeared by the door. So what I'd really like for christmas this year is patience. I need a lot of it, and mine always slips away just when I need it most. So please slide a large dose of patience down my chimney. Oh right, we don't have a chimney, so just leave it under the tree. By the way, our christmas tree is outside, next to the driveway, planted in our yard several januarys ago, since we don't see any sense killing an evergreen tree every year.

Thanks, Santa. You're the greatest!

Monday, December 08, 2008

plow pose

Wednesday is yoga day for PE at B's school. Apparently he is absorbing these lessons. He practices at home, particularly the halasana, or plow pose. Quick research shows this releases tension in the back and shoulders, and may help the practitioner get to sleep.

Just one more reason why I love B's new school.

Just yesterday it dawned on me that soon I need to start worrying about middle school. I really have no idea what the district or county offer in terms of middle school placements for my kids. I'm much more worried about A's placement, since B is set where he is till he turns 22, and possibly beyond since there is an adult day program there, too, unless there are significant changes.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Listening to acoustic sunset on Sunday evening radio, making gfcf ginger snaps with my kids, feeling almost "normal".

B and A both did a great job following simple one-step directions: bring me an egg, get a fork, mix it.

There is so much about this time of year that frustrates and disappoints me, with all the excess, consumerism, waste. And the "holidaze" just seem to emphasize the divide between the haves (money, family, majority traditions) and have nots. I try to select the pieces that resonate, celebrating peace, light, goodwill; and let go of the rest without appearing to be scrooge.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Good Night

It is 9:18pm and I haven't heard a peep from either kid since putting them to bed about 45 minutes ago. So, you see, miracles do happen.

Monday, December 01, 2008


When does more information = harder decisions? Trying to figure out best health care options for the boys, and getting nowhere fast. Hard to do objective cost/benefit analysis when it comes to my kids' health.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

for the many blessings in my life
family and friends
my home, good food, all the creature comforts we need
all the essentials, really
and enough challenges to appreciate our blessings more

Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting a head start on New Years Resolutions

* Simplify my life.
* Stop judging people. Accept people for who they are. Choose wisely who I spend time with, but without any malice or prejudgement.
*Learn to let things go.
* Make time to meditate.
* Work on my project.
* Don't yell at my children. Ever. For any reason except imminent danger.
* Be mindful.
* Be grateful.

Update: I'm not doing so great with the "don't yell at the kids" part. Well, I guess it depends on how imminent danger is defined. And the beauty of it is, these behaviors are all self-reinforcing. And the contrary holds true, too, that not doing these things is aversive, as they cause remorse and all sorts of bad feelings. The key, I believe, is in the last resolution.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I want to simplify my life. Eliminate all that is superfluous. Pare down to focus on what really matters. Connect more to nature. Not have so many things to worry about. Free myself of financial worries. More mental and physical energy, fewer stressors, more peace.


I bought two pounds of raw unsalted nuts at the big box store because..... because they were there. A. just popped one in his mouth. Totally worth the purchase price, even if the other 17,000 nuts go to waste.

when advanced planning backfires

So I thought I was way ahead of the game, buying some holiday presents well in advance, as I found small treasures that would be appreciated by loved ones. Alas, B's scissor skills are more advanced than my planning, as he neatly cuts apart each package to liberate all round items and roll them across the floor.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


80 degree beach weather in november, good friends, champagne, cheese and chocolate, amazing views, interesting conversation, and oh did i mention, NO CHILDREN.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pressure is on

By sneakily linking to my not-updated-since-July blog in her oh-so-popular-and-highly-read blog, my dear friend Squid ( and one day I will learn to make real links in my blog) has provided me with just the "motivation" (read: embarrassment) to actually write something. Plus this way I can procrastinate from proofreading, which I'm really not that good at. I found that learning a second language did serious damage to my first language abilities, or at least that is my excuse.

But I've been thinking all day about blogging, mostly because I want to tell you all about this great Farm/Park in SJ that we found today. B went several weeks ago with his class, and his teacher said he had a great time, so today we all went to Emma Prusch Farm Park where we got to see chickens (running around the parking lot), pigs, sheep, goats and rare international fruit trees. Plus a nice play structure, in a mostly enclosed area with a few hidden (yet open) gates -- bolters beware! Picnic tables, bbq pits, huge grassy area, and best of all, FREE.

But now I must run and see exactly what B is doing with the hundred small squishy plastic balls that he has liberated from the large party-favor ball with his safety scissors.

It's nice to be back...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Activate Support Network!

Hey Hot Mamas -- Our preggie friend (the one expecting twin girls) may be expecting them sooner than she expected. So her doc put her on complete hospitalized bedrest. Being the supermama that she is, she claims she doesn't really need any help with her two "active" children right now, but I doubt that is true.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Swim Lessons Update

I should clarify that these are private 1:1 swim lessons, which are really what my kids need. I've been thinking about trying to enroll at least A in the local park and rec swim lessons, and now realize that would have probably been a mistake. Both A and B are really 1:1 learners, and that is the environment that they most thrive in. A is doing fabulous, really has learned a lot in a short period of time. He is close to being water safe. B is still very fearful, but was willing to practice kicks and scoops with the instructor from the safety of the not-hot tub.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Swim Lessons

A had his first swim lesson today. He did great. The instructor was VERY good, patient, modeled everything, used direct short phrases, gave pretty good verbal reinforcement. Short lessons on kicking, "scoops" (arms), blowing bubbles under water, working on putting face in water ("get your eyes wet"), got him to float on his back (with support). A is very interested, did a good job listening to everything she said, tried to do it. He continued to practice after she left. Very nice.

Maybe tomorrow we can get B interested.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

"Your son is so calm and well behaved" Yup, that's what a fellow passenger said to me yesterday, on the airplane, when I was with B. Thanks for sending all your positive vibes our way - it definately worked. Both boys were great on the entire trip, from the moment we picked them up at school at 11am, until we pulled into my parents garage at 1:45am. In other words, a VERY long trip!!! But I really couldn't have asked for better behavior.

Today, we spent the day at my folks' screened in pool. My mom lined up swimming lessons, starting tomorrow. A is definately ready - he is trying by himself, and not afraid of going under. B prefers the coziness of the hot tub, where he is choosing to spend most of his time. Me, I'm in the shading sipping cosmos....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summer Reading

I need a good book to read. Something I can use to escape, take a vacation from life for a stolen hour. Nothing disturbing, nothing scary. Fantasy = good. What do you suggest?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


IEP tomorrow for A. Major stress. So much pressure to get my kid the services he needs in order to learn. And it is all in my hands, it all depends on me and my ability to negotiate.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I got a massage today. It was a gift from Squid. For no other earthly reason than that she is an extraordinarily generous woman. For months now, I've been savoring the knowledge that any time I want I could go get a massage. I decided it was the perfect way to kick off Mothers Day Weekend (which usually is a bittersweet more-sad-than-happy occassion for me). And now I am incredibly relaxed. The massage therapist loosened all the knots in my back and feet ("wow, you sure carry a lot of tension here" she exclaimed at one point). Used lavender oil and some therapeutic ointment that warmed up my back. Aahhhhh.....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


While finishing up a lovely lunch date with one of my favorite people in the world, we coincidently run into first one, and then immediately another, of my favorite people. As an added bonus, this final friend had in her minivan the shortest-cutest-roundestcheeked person who ever spoke in complete sentences. So then of course we had to all go get coffee and what the shortest-cutest-roundestcheeked person refers to as macaroons, but as far as I can tell are cookies. Mmmmm.

What a blessing to have such great friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here's what I've learned this past month:
* bones break
* I'm not good at planning events
* I get stressed out when I have too much going on
* Sometimes, usually, talking about stuff doesn't make me feel better.
* I have really amazing friends
* I need to organize my time, things, energy, activities, etc. better
* My memory sucks

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Our mission on this earth is to find bliss, or grace as my friend jennyalice says, by loving and accepting ourselves and each other in our imperfectness.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

crossing midline

Today I saw A cross his legs to put on his socks. That's the first time I've noticed him doing it that way.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Full Time?

I really don't know how the full time moms out there do it. I've just put in 8 hours solo with my two, and I'm ready to go bonkers. I even had adult company for part of it!

Give me a call if you want to slip away and go to the movies or something this evening. I believe I've earned some down time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lunch Date

The school where T works is about 6 blocks away from where I work. Even so, we don't usually see each other during the work day, due to busy schedules and lots of work. Today I called him at noon and invited him to lunch. Can we go at 1:30? he asked. I can't get away until then." "That's fine." I said. Then I heard some hesitation in his voice, and asked what was up. "Well, if I go out to lunch with you, I won't be able to go home on my lunchbreak like I usually do, to straighten up the house, vacuum, and start on today's laundry." I couldn't help but smile. "That's ok, honey, I'll take care of it. Let's have lunch together. Pick me up at 1:30pm."

btw, we went to a relatively new middle eastern place on b'way right by the train track crossing -- allyoucaneat lunch buffet was lovely. We thought we might even be able to take the kids there during spring break, since they'd be so highly entertained by all the trains right outside the windows.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random thoughts that are floating around in my head:

* Family. How I define it. What it feels like to me. Where I got these funky notions from. What I want my family to feel like. How I define family. (Context: Mom met stepson. Good visit. Raised a lot of internal thoughts for me).

* Being 17. In general, I think that was a great year. But when I try to remember specifics, they are all sticky, bittersweet, hard.

* Friendship. Am I so paranoid that my pre-diagnosis friends will ditch me now that I don't put enough effort into maintaining those relationships? (context: really nice visit from a long-ago friend and her kids who were super sweet).

* Gratitude. Trying to focus on it.

* Meditation. How to prioritize my practice. Make it happen.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Some days, everything seems overwhelming. Today is one of those days.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

today's scare

B escaped today. The padlock on our front door wasn't fully secured, so while I was in the bathroom this morning he managed to take it off, and run down to the major street that is 5 houses away. I walk out of the bathroom and see A standing by the open front door laughing. That's the giveaway. I look outside, no B in sight. Walk out to the driveway, there he is heading towards traffic filled street, full speed ahead. I run after him, shouting for him to stop. I kick off my slippers, which are slowing me down. I still can't catch up to him, he's getting further away. Turned the corner. Still on the sidewalk, heading for the intersection with the traffic light. Suddenly, he stops in front of the apartment complex on the corner, and heaves the padlock over the fence, towards the swimming pool. I'm close now, and he stays still. Lets me grab him. Knows he pushed the envelop a bit too far. We walk back to the house, iron grip the whole way. Sit down on the couch for an 8 minute time out. I tell him it's not ok to leave the house without mami; he has to stop when I say stop. Say "I'm sorry Mami" ... "Um muma mumi" "B, you need to be a good boy" "Guh buh".

I need to figure out how to get protective care services for that kid, before tragedy strikes for real.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hair Pulling

I've been thinking alot about the expression "pulling my hair out". It's the kind of thing one would say when frustrated, when one can't quite get it right even though one is trying hard. I wonder if that is what A is feeling, since he's now pulled out a 2 inch x 1 inch triangular segment of his hair, on his left side (he is a lefty). Although honestly at this point I see him do it as a stim, unconsciously, not at moments of peak frustration (and relatively speaking, he tends to be less frustrated than his close relatives). Having him wear gloves helps. Except at meal time, when that gets messy. Although I had him wear a rubber glove at dinner last night, when he started pulling out his hair. Such a sweet kid, he always asks permission before taking the glove off. So today, T took A (and G) for haircuts. We are hoping that the less hair he has, the less he'll pull at it. We'll see. I thought that the bald patch would be less noticeable with really short hair, but I was wrong. G looks really cute with his haircut, but he doesn't like it, he thinks it's too short.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Peas Update

Another first for B: this morning, he was eating his crunchy peas from a little plastic bag (the plastic box they came in has long since moved on). After he was all ready for the schoolbus to arrive, he picked up his snack bag, and put it in his backpack himself! He has never taken this kind of initiative, to pack a treat for himself to have for later.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

whirled peas

Last night, B ate a "vegetable" voluntarily for the first time ever. I have to put the word in quotation marks because they are those dried, salted peas that come in a plastic box and probably have no nutritional value whatsoever. Nonetheless, I felt it deserved documentation. BTW, he likes the plastic box MORE than the peas themselves, but he still does pop the peas in his mouth. Salty and crunchy, and slightly resembling the texture of sand pebbles dissolving in the mouth (which he adores!).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I'm a little worried about A. He is really slow and spacey and stimmy. And stressed out. And we are stressing him out more when we try to get him to hurry up. It's getting harder now that school has started up again, and he can no longer spend 2 hours eating breakfast. I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

High School

We've almost completed the high school registration process for G, and he should be starting classes on Monday. Our biggest obstacle is proving that he has already had chicken pox so he doesn't have to get an unnecessary vaccine. G is nervous, but like the guidance counseler says, every day will be better than the first day.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Loving Kindness

I almost forgot to document my one and only New Years Resolution for 2008. Practice loving kindness. All the time. Towards all.

Happy New Year!

We've been having a great stay-at-home vacation this year. Stay-at-home in the sense that we didn't go out of town. We've been going places every day, today A, G and I went to J-town for lunch with A and B's godmother. A loved the fountains with multiple sources of water flowing over different sized rocks. G loved the Japanese videos and mangas. I loved seeing my comadre and feeling like a family. I'm not quite sure why having G with us makes us feel more like a family. Well, (I guess this is exactly the kind of reflection that blogging is destined to inspire) I suppose it makes a huge difference to have an offspring who is not moderately to severely affected by autism. Someone to show things to, share things with, hang out with, interact with. Usually when I am out with my boys I am holding a one-ended conversation, a running commentary of what we are doing and seeing, and what will come next. It's nice, for a change, to have someone comment back, ask a question, offer a suggestion. And I love the way G interacts with A and B. He is loving and accepting, nonjudgmental. (Or at least smart enough to keep any negative comments a long way from my ears. But I really think I'm right about the nonjudgmental part.) And it is really nice to have an extra person in the house - I find that I check myself more frequently and don't yell as much at the boys, and for that I am grateful. And very happy. Yeah, I am very happy. I hope you are too. Happy New Year.