Oh good. A new doctor.

I've avoided saying much because it is likely to be nothing. But just in case it is something, we could use your thoughts and prayers. Dixie has been on ADHD medicine for the last year and the medicine she is one is a stimulant. Because her birth mother had a congenital heart defect, the psychiatrist we've recently started working with wanted to do an EKG just to double check that all was well before continuing on meds that can be hard on the heart. We got the results jack about a month ago. We are either dealing with a defective test or a defective heart. Tomorrow we go see the pediatric cardiologist at 10 a.m, heavily hoping it is the first option.



At christmastime, my mother, aunts and I had all commented about how incredibly well my children got along compared to other sibling groups. How they would get frustrated at times, but really didn't fight, yell, hit or scream.

It was nice while it lasted.

While I still think I have quite good kids, some doozies have broken out lately. The most impressive of which was a week or so ago when I was fertilizing the front yard and had to run to the backyard and break up the screaming match on the trampoline.

I'd you ever needed proof that my family was strange, here it is.

Charlie was mad because the girls had uses this springy fabric tube that the kids can crawl through to build a portal to another dimension and it didn't work. If those ridiculous girls had placed it in a slightly different spot on the trampoline, the spot where he wanted it, he wouldn't even be there to phase to put up with their incompetency or have to 'use his imagination' as they so ridiculously keep suggesting.


Book Review: Lost and Found

In the five years I've been writing this blog, I have talked a lot about my favorite things: Dixie, Charlie and Melody. I've also talked a lot about my least favorite things: unemployment, autism and exhaustion. Today we're branching out in a new direction: books. Specifically, book reviews that are through the book club section of the network my blog ads come from, blogher.com.

So, yes, I'm getting paid a bit. And, yes, this is still my honest opinion.

While books are one of my favorite things to talk about, this book is about most people's least favorite things to talk about: money and food. Specifically, losing both.

Oh, fun.

In Geneen Roth's book Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life, an author and speaker who usually delves into the world of compulsive eating and spirituality takes on a new direction. She tells the story of the day her friend called to tell her the shocking and life-altering news: that Bernie Madoff had made off with 30 years' worth of savings, earnings and retirement.

Her description of that dizzying afternoon reminded me of the day my world changed. The day I laid on the bedspread, propped on my elbows, staring at the phone. I could not believe my husband, the supporter of all five of us, was out of a job soon.

There were times where I had trouble relating to a married woman with no kids struggling with money despite two incomes when we had three kids and no income. Somehow, still, our experiences were so much the same.

Roth describes the suffocating feeling of standing in a high-end clothing store with a friend who was excited about all the beautiful things around her while she was panicking at the thought of each and every price tag. I cannot tell you how many times I did this in Target or at the grocery store.

Different scale, same anxiety. Same need to re-center and find a new normal, which both of us eventually did. Her interpretations of spiritual life are far different than mine, yet we both needed to reexamine what we really needed in life and what our decisions about money say about ourselves.

Because so much of her adult life has been spent working through her own food issues and then helping others do the same, many of her reflections and thoughts tied in money, food and self. Roth states, "I saw there wasn't a huge difference between problems with money and problems with food: Most of the world doesn't have enough of either, but those of us who do seem to always want more and, for the most part, refuse to believe that the problems we are experiencing 'out there' originate--and need to be solved--'in here.' "

If money and food are internal struggles for you, she has provided an excellent framework for self-examination as she processes through her own struggle.

More discussion can be found here: http://www.blogher.com/bookclub/now-reading-lost-and-found


Life in the Car Pickup Line

Two days of the week, I get Charlie off the bus and immediately head over to the girls' school to pick them up from their afterschool enrichment program. Because his bus arrival at my campus can arrive anywhere within a twenty minute window, there are days where we make it by the skin of our teeth and there are days where we arrive with quite a bit of time to spare.

I've tried a few things on those early days. It's never quite enough time to run an errand or make a stop anywhere, but too long to just sit there. One day with twenty minutes to spare I tried letting him play on the playground at their school, but it ended disastrously. First, we'd gotten halfway back to the car before realizing that he'd left his socks under the slide. We went back for his socks and I told him to take off his shoes and put them back on. He did it with a little more flare than I'd intended, chucking his shoes over the fence. After retrieving his shoes, he refused to walk and crawled like a cat through the weeds. When I tried to pick him up to carry him, he shrieked like a child being kidnapped.

Needless to say we were late to pick up the girls that day. You might also, rightly, assume that this option was never given again.

Today Melody stayed home sick, so I had two bored children in the back of my hot PennyVann as we awaited the emergence of the Dixie from the school. The entire drive, wait and drive home were spent in deep analytical discussion of a subject dear to Charlie's heart: PopTarts.

We discussed every size, flavor and temperature preference. We discussed favorite locations and days for PopTart consumption. Eating techniques were dissected--do you crumble around the edges first, start in a corner or just chomp into the end? Is it better to eat it frosting side up? Included in this analysis was a detailed explanation of Evan's PopTart preferences. (Evan is Charlie's school friend.)

It was excruciating.

By the end of it, I learned that Tuesday and Wednesday are my PopTart days, but only if there are blueberry or cherry available for me to eat cold in the mornings in the PennyVann on the way to school. Any other PopTart eating variance is unacceptable. The girls had slightly more permissible options and Charlie's PopTart consumption was given complete free range.

I thought you might like to know.