"Don't Forget..." to sing IN TUNE!

Thursday television drives me crazy. It use to be one of the best nights but since the writer's strike there is absolutely nothing on (except Lost which I REFUSE to watch). The past two weeks I have been watching Don't Forget the Lyrics.

I am not a huge fan of Wayne Brady, he annoys me. This show can be fun, however. The woman last week was nutty and had a great time.

Tonight I have re-discovered the reason I can't watch game shows where people sing (and, yes, this includes American Idol). I do realize that this show is not so much about singing and more about knowing the lyrics but you would think that a professional singer would do a decent job. Wrong! I understand that people (especially professional singers) have their own variations of songs but when you don't even recognize the song because of those "variations", well, that is no longer a variation in my opinion.

Tonight's episode features REO Speedwagon singer Kevin Cronin. Now, I don't consider REO Speedwagon to be the most amazing band ever, but I do expect them to be able to keep a tune. Wrong again. He stinks. He has murdered EVERY song he has sung (aside from the theme to Ghostbusters). I am so annoyed. I cringe at every note.

Now, I do not claim to be the best singer - not even close. But I do know what sounds right and what is absolutely wrong. I am a mix between Simon and Paula - I now how much they stink (like Simon) but don't have the heart to tell them (like Paula). And when I hear a note that isn't right - every part of my body rejects it. I can't listen anymore. I want to block my ears and run!

So this is how I feel about tonight's episode of Don't Forget the Lyrics. Kevin forgot the tune, the note, the beat and everything in between AND he is playing for charity but it has only been mentioned once in the last 45 minutes! Yes, it is a rather worthless post, but I am trying to catch up...

Andrew is still sick. It's odd. He acts like nothing is wrong (drives me crazy, runs the house) and then his fever spikes. I really thought he was over it and then his fever spiked again tonight before bed. I think that we might make an appointment with the doctor tomorrow (even though his doctor does not work Fridays) .

Of course, all this depends on the weather and if I can actually get out tomorrow! 4-8?! Holy cannoli! I thought we were through - guess I was wrong. We had our first baseball practice indoors tonight! I'm done with winter. Although I am not sure it will ever end...


To Amity

One of the blogs I visit pretty regularly has posted a challenge to her readers:

"I don't know anyone else that reads this blog that hasn't already been tagged. So, instead of tagging someone, I am challenging everyone to a race to see who can start another game of tag first with a new survey that must be at least 20 questions in length."

I am always up for a challenge. So, here goes nothing:

1) If you were stuck in the Big Brother House which 10 people would make your stay most eventful?

Most eventful usually means most drama. So I have to go with my sister Dana, Mom's husband Bob, my siblings Alex, Loren, Monica, Kirby, Sue, Dad, Mom, and Kirby's mother.

I need to just say that we all love each other (well, Kirby's mom is questionable) but there is no way in hell we could all live together again...

2) If you never had to worry about money again what one cause would you donate the most time and money to?

Autism Awareness. Please note that I said AWARENESS. I don't want a cure - at least not for my little man. He is perfect just the way he is :)

3) Cash, check or charge?

Debit card - does that count as charge? I have a checking account but never order checks, I very rarely ever have cash on me.

4) How many times have you moved in your life?

13...not 13 different homes, just 13 different times between a few homes. Such is life in a divorced family.

5) Where did you meet your significant other?

He was the bouncer at the night club that my girlfriend and I hung out at.

6) What is your most expensive habit?

Iced coffee - up to three times a day...very expensive when I don't make it myself!

7) Do you hit the snooze button or get up as soon as the alarm goes off?

Snooze. I know it is horrible and I set myself up every morning, but I just can't seem to get up...

8) Who was your favorite teacher/professor/instructor?

Angela. She and I are still friends. She was an amazing instructor in massage school. I would not have learned what I did without her.

9) What did you have for dinner?

Turkey, stuffing casserole.

10) What is something you love to do but feel like you never have enough time to do it?

Draw. It isn't that I don't have enough time, I don't make enough time and I don't feel inspired enough.

11) What brand of shampoo do you use?

Whatever my hairdresser buys me...seriously, she buys it, I pay her back and then I use it. I think it might be Matrix but I'm really not sure.

12) Who was your first grade teacher?

Mrs. Ward. I am sure she was a nice woman but she scared the crap out of me.

13) What is your favorite candy?

I don't discriminate between candy. I like pretty much anything that has chocolate, peanut butter or if it is the only thing in the kitchen cabinet :)

14) Who was your first boy/girl friend?

I can't remember his name. Jeff, maybe? I was in 3rd grade, he was in 4th. He gave me a necklace with an "E" on it one day on the playground. Just walked up to me, handed it to me then ran away. Then he "cheated" on me with my best friend. Yeah, it still hurts...

15) How much time do you spend on the phone on a daily basis?

Hours. There is no way to count how much time. Too much.

16) Do you crack your knuckles?

Most all of them - toes and fingers.

17) What was the last book you read?

The last book I finished was In Her Shoes. I am working on Mosquito Coast.

18) Do you turn off the water when you brush your teeth?


19) Do you believe in Global Warming?

I do. Even after this winter, I believe that there are major problems with our environment.

20) Do you vote in every election (local and national)?

I try. I can't remember the last one I missed, it was a local election. Years ago. I do my very best to be an informed voter in EVERY election.

So, TAG Amity, you are it!

What a week!

So much to say, so little time before the chillens start climbing me, asking what's for dinner...

As I mentioned, Saturday was Andrew's 6th birthday! We had great plans with my father for the day. Since it was the day before Easter we decided to have an Easter dinner with Dad and the family, do an Easter Egg Hunt and celebrate some birthdays (Monica's is today).

Earlier in the day Alex and Andrea had called to wish Andrew a happy birthday. His response was "what did you get me". Alex told him that he would have to wait till we got to Grampie's to find out...I reminded Alex that he was giving Andrew his gift the next day at Mom's. Rather than make the little prince wait for his gift, they ran out and got him another one (a Lego set of Gordon from Thomas the Tank Engine). It was, of course, his very favorite gift.

Monica got him a couple of pairs of Thomas PJs that we were actually able to get him to sleep in Saturday night! Clothes at night usually "bug" him and they end up getting taken off before he falls asleep.

He also got his very first Webkinz from Mom and Dad. "Elly" the Elephant is a VERY big hit! HE (yes, Elly is a boy) has slept with Andrew nearly every night since.


Andrew is also in LOVE with Herbie, The Love Bug so Grampie and Nana Sue decided to set up the big screen and show a Herbie movie too. At the end of the evening we watched Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. It wasn't as big of a hit as we were hoping.

Of course, I forgot my camera at home. Thankfully, Andrea took some GREAT pictures of her cake!



The cake tasted as good as it looks! She did such a great job and Andrew's eyes about popped out of his head when he saw it! The cutest thing though was when I went to cut and serve it. Every time the knife got close to Herbie Andrew cried, "NO! You will hurt him!". I couldn't bear to make him cry, so Alex did instead.

It ended up being a rather late night at Dad's because the Easter Bunny decided to ship some of the presents to our house from Amazon and they didn't come in time. So, Dad had to make a run to WalMart to replace some of the goodies for the "baskets".

Andrew had a meltdown (or two, or three) towards the end of the night at Dad's and by the time Kirby showed up, I was MORE then ready to go!!

Thanny (my youngest nephew who has started to learn how to assert himself) thought it would be a great opportunity to begin his Ultimate Fighting career and Andrew was his first opponent...one egg and a little blood later they were separated for the night. I would have expected Andrew to stick up for himself but, honestly, I am glad he didn't. Poor Than would have been beaten down!

I'm hoping to get some more pictures from the day and I will add them in at a later date.

Sunday, of course, was Easter! Even though the Easter Bunny poorly planned shipping, the baskets were full to the brim!

Tom's "Basket"

Zach's "Basket"

Andrew's "Basket"

Kirby went WAY overboard replacing the Easter Bunny's gifts!


Tell me this isn't the darned cutest picture - you can't and you know it!


And, of course, there was another Easter Egg Hunt.



Soon after we went to my mother's for the day. We had lunch, ANOTHER Easter Egg Hunt, MORE baskets and MORE presents for Andrew. Again, I forgot my camera...sonuvabiscut!

My friend Josiah came to visit with me while the boys played poker. I haven't seen Josiah since Thanksgiving so that was really nice. Another long day, but the kids had a great time. I, on the other hand, was ABSOLUTELY exhausted!

Andrew's big present was a Smart Cycle.

I am not big on "some assembly required" and usually leave that up to Kirby. However, I attempted this one on my own. Couldn't find a screwdriver...and once I got everything together (minus the screws) I realized that it needs 4 D batteries! Oh, I cursed, cursed to high heaven. Thankfully Andrew was so awful about going to bed that night he wasn't allowed to ride it the next morning.

He loves it! I am so excited to have a way for him to get some energy out during these cold days (though, of course, it has started warming up just this week) without making too much noise in the house.



Zachary got a Mega Blox Spider Man figure in his basket. Again, I am not big on assembly items and Mega Blox are not as good (instruction wise) as Legos...many people had attempted to help him at Grum's house to no avail. So, I was stuck helping him put it together. It took us quite a while but, finally, the finished product:



Monday we took Zach's new kite for a test drive. Not much luck but we did get some exercise!



Yesterday I got a phone call from the school nurse. This is how Andrew has spent the last two days:



He's had a high fever, a cough and some puking. Poor little man.

I am SO ready for spring. The past two days have been beautiful and I am keeping the windows open as long as we can stand it.

I haven't taken up serious drinking yet, but if we get sick another time this season I am really going to consider it :)


Take Your Family Out to Dinner!!

Take your family out to dinner and support a great cause while you are doing it!

As many of you know, I have recently helped co-found a new non-profit organization called Embracing Autism. Our goal is to raise autism awareness and gain acceptance for families affected with autism.

This summer (date to be determined - late August) we will be hosting an autism awareness day in the Dover area. All proceeds from that day will go to The Birchtree Center (a school specifically for autistic children www.birchtreecenter.org) and Easter Seals in Dover NH (www.nh.easterseals.com). Please watch for more information concerning this day as I will be sending it out shortly.

Over the next month you will have the opportunity to help our cause by simply taking your family out to dinner.

April 3rd at Pizza Hut in Rochester: grab a ticket from Tracy (who will be standing outside the doors) and Pizza Hut will donate a portion of the proceeds directly to Embracing Autism

April 17th at Friendly's in Rochester: from 5-8pm a portion of all proceeds will be donated to Embracing Autism

April 24th at Dover Friendly's: from 5-8pm a portion of all proceeds will be donated to Embracing Autism

Each Friendly's location will have a raffle and at every location there will be a volunteer from Embracing Autism to answer any questions you may have.

Lastly, as a new organization, we need a logo! Embracing Autism is hosting a Logo Contest for all non-professional artists. There is a $5 registration fee and a $50 prize for the first place winner as well as recognition for the first year of use. If you know anyone that is interested in participating, please have them email Erica at EricaBickfordLMT dot com FMI.


Calling all local artists!!

Do you have what it takes to create a logo for a worthy cause?

Embracing Autism, a new non-Profit Organization, is looking for a logo.

Enter your submission for a chance to win a $50 prize and recognition for your work!

Contest is open to all non-professional artists. Any medium of work that can easily be transferred to paper, t-shirts, etc. will be accepted.

Contact me for rules and regulations as well as an entry form - leave a comment with your email address or email me at erica at ericabickfordlmt dot com.

All entries must be received by April 30, 2008. Winner will be notified by May 15th, 2008.


Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Hard to imagine, but my littlest man turns 6 today.

We have great plans tonight at Grampie's house. An Easter Egg Hunt, dinner, a Herbie Movie on the big screen, and a great cake...can't post any pictures of that yet, it's a surprise!

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend - we will be busy, busy, busy! I will update when I have a moment!

Happy Birthday, Andrew and Happy Easter, all!


Stop! Grand Central Time!

I got the laugh of the day from this! I've been frantically searching for something hysterical all day to get me out of this funk. Between Jessi and this video...I think I am almost there!

I don't think I have figured out how to post video...Help? Or maybe I did...

In the meantime check this link for the video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo


Break out!

I'm stressing. My face knows it and, in turn, the world knows it (or they think that I am a woman with major hormonal issues...which may be true as well).

I was told this week that the other LMT that I rent space with will not be resigning our lease. The lease needs to be resigned by May 1st and this puts me in a little bit of a scary position...

Here in Wolfeboro, finding prime real estate at a reasonable rate is VERY lucky and I have found it with this place. We are right on the water, ample parking, ground floor entrance, quiet (mostly) and INEXPENSIVE! I pay less than $300 a month (for my half) with everything included. You can't find that in town at that price!

Between now and the end of April I need to find someone that fits my personality and the extra space. I know who I want, just not sure they want what I want right now (does that make sense). I know someone who would work, just not sure I want them. Argh!

I am ready to separate myself from the people I have been working with, so this is not all bad. I have worked with/under them since I first got out of school. While, mostly, it was incredibly helpful to my career, there are things that I am ready to be rid of.

I know that I can make it on my own without having to use someone else's name to get it. My clients love and respect me and my work. I am confident in my ability to make this happen.

I am trying really hard to have faith...it is really hard to feel so not in control! And like I have mentioned in previous posts, I want what I want when I want it - and now!

Big changes coming my way and I am ready for it - I think :)


Buddy Bear is no longer

But Embracing Autism is off and running! After receiving word that Buddy Bear's "mum" did not want her bear used for financial gains we were given a little extra push to get things moving...on our own.

So, Embracing Autism has been created. We are an official non-profit organization in the State of NH!

There is lots in the works. I can't even begin to explain how quickly this is all taking shape and how big it has already become.

Our first goal is an autism awareness/family fun day in August. We are also creating a webpage, holding a contest with local artists to create our logo and holding fundraising nights across the state throughout April.

I don't even have words to express how excited I am! I received a sketch of our ideas from the webdesigner today and he is on EXACTLY the same page as we are. It is so good to know that we are working with someone as passionate about his work as we are.

We started discussing long term goals at our last meeting. None of us want this to end. Once our awareness day is over we want to keep going. We are thinking about ensuring that elementary schools have an autism program. Or at least ensuring that each city/town has an autism program in one of their elementary schools. Maybe helping schools get their teachers trained in social skills, ABA, etc. I don't know. There are so many options!

Soon enough I will be posting about our Autism Awareness Day and I would love for each and every one of you to make it!


Sue update part deux

I realized that I never finished my Sue update and we have some VERY exciting news!

As you know, Sue had a single mastectomy in January and had a half dozen or so lymph nodes removed a week later. She was scheduled to start chemotherapy this week and instead has started back at work!

A few weeks back she visited with a geneticist who informed her that, after some testing, she is very unlikely to have a recurrence and that chemotherapy did not seem necessary! So, instead of spending another 12 weeks (or so) receiving chemo treatments and watching her hair fall out she is back at work and doing fantastic!

This is such exciting news for all of us!

Sue is taking Andrew to see The Wizard of Oz this weekend at the high school and I hope to get some pictures and show them sometime next week.

Thank you all for your thoughts and kind words and prayers!


Gimme, gimme, gimme!

Today was the dreaded Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting for Andrew. I hate these meetings. I have to say that the team that I deal with is wonderful. We really have a group of people that truly care about Andrew and want what is best for him. However, it is tough to sit in a room with a group of people (no matter how much they love your child) and talk about his weaknesses for any amount of time.

We were able to agree on his IEP for the remainder of the school year but a couple of things went unfinished: Extended School Year (ESY) and placement for next year.

The team was ready for him to move on to first grade and Kirby and I have decided that we would like to keep him in kindergarten for another year. Needless to say, my suggestion was a surprise to most of the team members - they hadn't even considered keeping him back. They recently did lots of testing and Andrew's "ability" level ranged from 3 1/2 years to a little over 4 years. While he may not advance a full year by next year, I think we owe it to him to try. Sending him on to first grade where so much more will be expected from him and where he is already behind those kids...I just don't think it is the right idea. Keeping him with kids that are more at his age level and giving him another year to "catch up" could make such a difference. On top of all that, I would prefer to keep him back now than have to do it in 4 years.

And, unfortunately, they don't have a summer program in place for kids who need anything other than typical academic help. Which means they have to create an entire program for Andrew this summer. While Andrew can certainly use all the help he can get academically, he is on target with the rest of his class (or age group). What he really needs is social interaction and Occupational Therapy (OT). The social piece is not something they have offered in the past, it wasn't needed. With autism rates on the rise they are going to need to create something quick. While there may not be an overwhelming need for it now, there will be in the very near future...

I have never had any problems with Andrew's team - well, not THIS team. And, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I am having problems now. I was just frustrated to not all be on the same page (as it often seems we are) and not to have the answers right now. I am a right now kind of girl...all or nothing...instant gratification...gimme, gimme, gimme - that's me.


Getting lost...

What a weekend. I am done with the weather and ready for something a bit warmer (and drier) so we can actually get these kids outside! I worked for a few hours Saturday morning and came home to kids bouncing off the walls. We decided to go for a ride and "get lost".

Of course, having an autistic child and a child that feels the need to know everything, that wasn't such a great plan. I tried to help them through their anxiety by telling them we would go to Barnes and Noble, eventually, and not to worry. No, we would not get lost "forever", we would come home at night. It didn't really work...

We headed down 28 then 11 and through Rochester and down 125 into Plaistow and Haverhill, MA. Before we had even hit Alton, however, Andrew was crying and asking when we were going to get to "the bookstore". "Later", I told him, "don't worry". But he did.

By 4:30 Zachary was already complaining about how "hhhuuuunnnnnggggrrryyyy" he was (thankfully Andrew was asleep by this point or he would have started in as well). I told him we would stop for food soon enough. Of course, he felt the need to point out EVERY convenience store we passed 'cause we "could get food there".

We stopped at Building #19 in Haverhill. I guess this is the ultimate discount store. I wasn't impressed...Kirby's family had been regulars at Building #19 all the while he was growing up, so he was psyched. I saw lots of dust, mismatched shoes and over priced furniture. Don't get me wrong, I love discount shopping, but I have to be in the right mood for it. Having been in the car for 2 hours, stopping at every car dealership (Kirby wants a new truck) and listening to whining kids...I wasn't in the mood.

Dinner. We decided to hit The Fox Run Mall's food court. Everybody wanted something different, so this was our compromise. The kids chose McDonald's (they already had the toys and were none too happy when I refused to ask for new ones), Kirby chose China Chopsticks (or something like that) and I chose Taco Bell (all the while watching, watching them make my food, really wishing I had gone for Subway).

After eating we wandered the mall a bit (man, it isn't what it use to be), the boys played in the "playground", rode a few rides (I sneaked into Limited Too and got Andrew a couple Webkinz for his birthday), got a couple cookies ($3!!!), waved at the Easter Bunny (who was drinking an iced coffee) and made a trek over to Barnes and Noble.

I told them each they had $10 they could spend on BOOKS (I have to make that clear or we walk out with a stuffed animal). I then had to make clear that it had to be books you can read on your own ("no, you may not have the Pirates of the Caribbean book that is for ages 13"). Zachy got two Magic Treehouse books but still had $1 left...and wasn't leaving till he found a book for $1 (I finally put my foot down). Andrew wasn't happy with anything and finally ended up with a Curious George book and The Little Engine that Could. I picked out 4 books (Icy Sparks, Sellevision, The Other Boleyn Girl and Daniel Isn't Talking). $80, two ungrateful children and a pissy husband - I was ready to go!

An hour long drive (thankfully Zachary fell asleep but Andrew sang the whole time), home around 9:30pm...$35 in gasoline...$80 in books...$50+ in food....$17 on birthday presents...bedtime as soon as we walk in the door...priceless!

I'm ready, spring can come anytime! We need days at the park, bike rides and Pooh Sticks, walking to Dunkin Donuts. I am done with winter and ice and snow!

Of course the entire weekend was frigid so I did enjoy Sellevision (Nicki, I think you would too) it was a quick read with a soap opera plot, plenty of humor and a few shocking details. Now I am reading Icy Sparks which was a book from Oprah's Book Club.

I have the day off from work and I am going to do nothing but lay around, read and nap! I am looking forward to it!


Jessi Tagged Me

Jessi started this game of Blog Tag. If I tag you, you have to answer these questions and tag another reader. If I don't tag you, and you don't want to wait to be tagged, begin your own game. Here are some bazaar wacky questions. I'm not holding back so expect brutal honesty.

1. Do you like blue cheese?
I HATE blue cheese (why would I CHOOSE to eat mold) and once returned a salad that had "mold" in it only to find out later that it was a Cobb Salad, aka salad with blue cheese.

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
No, I prefer to shoot it :) Just kidding!

3. Do you own a gun?
Nope, no guns in my home.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
We don't have a Sonic in the boondocks.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
I don't typically get nervous, but I don't enjoy them either.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
I love 'em!

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
I guess it would have to be How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I hate most Christmas movies.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Iced coffee or milk.

9. Can you do push ups?
I can! We had a push up contest the other day and I found that I could do, at least, one!

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
I don't wear any jewelry. My favorite piece is a cross necklace of my grandmother's that we trade at the Yankee Swap. Sue has it this year.

11. Favorite hobby?
Reading, blogging, internet scrabble...

12. Do you have A.D.D.?
I was diagnosed junior year of high school.

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself?
My food habits. I am a compulsive overeater.

14. Middle name?
Sharon, after my uncle's wife who was killed in a car crash before I was born.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
I really need to see the chiropractor. I wonder if Andrew is well enough to go to school. He has to go to school. I have clients.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
Iced coffee...I paid my rent for work - does that count? That's it, that's all.

17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Iced coffee, water, milk.

18. Current worry?
That Andrew will never be potty trained.
That I will forget to get Andrew's prescriptions (once again).
That the storm tomorrow will cause me to cancel my clients OR if I don't cancel that I will get stuck in the driveway at work (again).

19. Current hate right now?
This stinking cold that we can't seem to get over.

20. Favorite place to be?
Dad's house, Fort Foster in Kittery, Mt. Willard.

21. How did you bring in the New Year?
Playing UNO with Zachary and watching the fireworks from the bedroom.

22. Where would you like to go?
A million places! Africa, Alaska, Australia and Alabama (just kidding on Alabama, but the A's seemed to be kind of cool).

23. Name three people who will complete this:
Nicki, Wally and Amity (I have to assume that is the order it will go).

24. Do you own slippers?

25. What shirt are you wearing?
"People with Autism Think in Pictures. Imagine That." - my red t-shirt

26. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I have no idea. I spend my money on less extravagant bed sheets.

27. Can you whistle?
I can and so can Andrew!

28. Favorite color?
Green. I love it!

29. Would you be a pirate?
Is it an accepted profession? I think I would like to try being a pirate for a while.

30. What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don't sing anymore. If I had a radio I might sing with it.

31. Favorite girl's name?

32. Favorite boy's name?
Zachary and Andrew have tied.

33. What's in your pocket right now?

34. What's something that made you laugh today?
Andrew making funny noises on the potty.

35. Best bed sheets as a child?
Strawberry Shortcake or Sesame Street or 101 Dalmatians.

36. Worst injury you've ever had?
Hmmm....my appendectomy or my first c-section or when I broke my ribs in a car accident - they were all pretty awful!

37. Do you love where you live?
I do. I love Wolfeboro, I love NH and I love our apartment. I hate our neighbors and that we don't own our apartment.

38. How many TVs do you have in your house?
4 but only 3 work.

39. Who is your loudest friend?
I guess that would have to be a tie between Jeff and Kitty and only when they have had a few. Jeff tends to scream "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" and then we all get going!

40. How many dogs do you have?
None, Nicki has my dog :(

41. Does someone have a crush on you?
I would hope so.

42. What is your favorite book?
I'm thinking The Kite Runner but there are just too many to choose from!

43. What is your favorite candy bar?

44. Favorite Sports Team?
I tell the kids it is the Red Sox but I truly don't care one way or the other.

45. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
I think I was sleeping at 12am this morning.

46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
Gotta get Zachary up.

Nicki, tag, you are it!


School on Saturday?

Man, oh man, Zachary was in rare form tonight. While walking home from school he informed me that he was very angry. A letter had just come home about 2 Saturdays that the kids are going to have to go to school to make up snow days.

I have to tell you, as a parent I much prefer this to the alternative: extending the school day. My kids are exhausted after school every day. There is no way we would survive an extension in the school day!

So, two Saturdays, they will be in school until June 24th and they are making two scheduled "late starts" a full day. If all goes well we won't need to add anymore days.

After school and homework Zachary was allowed to play on the computer. He played on his Webkinz site (if you don't know what Webkinz are, you are missing out - they are "all the rage") and then went to worldmathsday.com. His teacher introduced them to it. Essentially, it is a math competition with kids across the world. Zachary has 60 seconds to answer as many math questions as he can and try to beat his opponent.

Math is Zach's favorite subject (I know, who does this kid belong to??) but he got SO anxiety ridden over this! He started screaming at me, "MOMMY, HELP ME" because he couldn't think of the answers fast enough. This, of course, just made me giggle (which didn't help matters, by the way). He lost over and over and over again and got more and more and more upset which, in turn, only encouraged him to try over and over and over again. Eventually, he won one game and that was all he needed to keep trying. Eventually, I got so irritated with being yelled at for not helping him ("it's all your fault I lost") that he had to get off. Too funny.

While I was fighting off attacks from my math wiz I was able to finish up The Poisonwood Bible. Man, I just love that book. I read it many years ago when Oprah first announced it as part of her book club. Reading it with more mature eyes, I appreciated it even more.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I compels me to learn more about Africa and the Congo and its people. I want to understand where they live and where they come from.

Of course, the book disturbs me. To know that we ("civilized" nations) did this - we changed Africa because we wanted so much for them to be like us. We couldn't understand how they could be happy living in the jungle, without a supermarket within walking distance, without electricity and indoor plumbing. We did understand their ideas of religion (or lack there of in our eyes). So we tried to change them.

So, I will read more and do my best to learn about Africa then and now. What was it like before the wars and the fighting and before the "civilized" nations tried to change them and take their diamonds and oil? Africa is (could have been) a rich nation, but they were stolen from. What would have happened had we not found it? I wonder....


ANOTHER snow day?

Well, not really snow, but ice and lots of it. I think that the kids are going to be going to school on a Saturday...

So we have slept in and have watched lots of TV. I have to tell you, these snow days lost their appeal about two months ago. My kids haven't have a full week of school since October (I think, don't quote me though).

My van is covered with a thick sheet of ice. The snow I can handle - this ice I can't stand. The roads are very slippery which means I don't have any clients today...

I think I give up. I'm done with winter. I have tried to be positive and I have tried to enjoy it...I am so over it!


A doctor's appointment and a book

We have made it through an afternoon at the doctor's office. No shots (only because I promised him) and not too much of an aggravation.

We love Andrew's pediatrician. He is truly wonderful and Andrew wouldn't be where he is today without him. Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be), he is wonderful with all his patients...that means we usually wait for a very long time. This time we waited for over an hour to be seen.

He checked Andrew over and thinks he is doing well. He would like him to be seen by a neurologist in Manchester (part of Dartmouth Hitchcock). I understand it and will certainly bring him over but those of you that have known Andrew his life, you know, I am tired of driving him halfway across the world just to get no more answers than we had to start with. I am tired of getting my hopes up (again) that someone will give us a good answer. But what else can I do? It is my job to protect him as best I can and that means going to see ANOTHER doctor...I will update when we see them (I am sure that will be at least a couple months).

During the wait I was lucky enough to be able to read a bit in my latest book: The Poisonwood Bible. I have read this book before but it was forever ago. Recently a fellow blogger and I were discussing it and I decided that I should read it again - there was so much I had forgotten. I truly do love this book. It inspires me to learn more about Africa, the Congo and its people.

As I mentioned previously, I finished The Time Traveler's Wife during our illness.

What can I say about this book? Well, for starters, it was LONG, over 500 pages. Long usually isn't a big deal for me but the beginning was confusing and I couldn't see how the story was going to work so I got frustrated. (I'm kind of a instant gratification girl...) However, I ran out of books from the library and decided I would give it another shot. I am glad I did.

The back of the book reads: "To those that say there are no new love stories, I heartily recommend The Time Traveler's Wife..." Most of you know that I am not big on love stories, but I was desperate for a book.

I think I have realized that the reason I dislike so many love stories is because they are all so similar. In the beginning you can often guess how it is going to end. They are also overly sappy. This book is none of those things.

It is about, exactly as the name suggests, a time traveler's wife. This is not science fiction and seems entirely reasonable while you read it. It is inventive, original, powerful and, yes, romantic (but not that sappy, make you want to puke, romantic). I am glad that I hung in there and read it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in an imaginative read.

Two blogs in one day...I'm catching up, I guess :)

In the words of Sir Elton John...

...the bitch is back!

Now I would never call any of my children that word - let's just make that clear right from the get go. But this morning, that song was playing LOUD and CLEAR in my head when Andrew got out of bed.

As you know, Andrew has not been feeling well. When I picked him up from school yesterday his aide mentioned that he was not himself at all. He was hiding behind her leg from teachers he would usually hug, he would be raging with anger one moment and happy as a clam the next and he seemed rather spacey all day. Of course, I attributed it to being out of school for a week (and of his routine) and coming out of this body draining sickness (even I felt spacey all day).

This morning the monster came out to play.

I got up and helped Zachary get ready for school. Andrew was sleeping soundly in my bed (on Daddy's side) so I left him there. There is no need for him to get up that early and I know he needs his sleep. I got Zachy breakfast and off to school and Andrew was still sleeping...

Come 9:30 I hear crying coming from the bedroom. I hollered up to him "I'm right here, baby". "YOU LEFT ME"...oh boy..."WHERE IS ZACHARY? HE LEFT ME TOO!". I explained that he was still sleeping when Zachary had to go to school. "HE DIDN'T SAY GOODBYE! WHERE'S DADDY? HE DIDN'T SAY GOODBYE EITHER" - everything was a pissed off scream...ugh.

From that moment forward, my sweet innocent child was exactly who Elton John refers to in that song..."The Bitch is Back". A line from the song: "I was justified when I was five, Raising cane, I spit in your eye" - yup that was him.

I got screamed at because I hadn't made him breakfast (in fact, I had made him breakfast just hadn't put it on the table yet). He yelled at me because he was cold (he refuses to sleep in anything but a diaper) so I got him dressed. Then he yelled at me because I wouldn't let him eat at the table (dressed) with a blanket covering him. And when I told him he was going to school - FORGET IT!

I finally got him calm enough to watch TV (quietly) and I jumped in the shower. Well, I don't know what happened while I was in the shower but soon he was in the bathroom screaming at me that there was something wrong with the TV and to "turn it off". I told him to turn the TV off himself, "I DID!! YOU TURN THE SHOWER OFF NOW!!". And then he told me he had cracked an egg on the floor. Oh man!

I jumped out of the shower, cleaned up the egg, saw that the TV was indeed working, got dressed and put him on the bus. No ifs, ands, or buts about it - he was going to school! Of course, I have to pick him up in about 15 minutes to bring him to a doctor's appointment (which he also managed to scream at me about this morning)...no amount of scrubbing my pedicurist did today soothed me enough to be prepared for him tonight...deep breaths...


Fun Filled February Vacation?

I think not. Try "Flu" Filled instead. I put quotes around "flu" because it was not actually influenza (I know, I had Andrew tested)...but it sure had all the symptoms: feverish, vomiting, runny nose, coughing, headache, achy, etc. It was the week from hell.

As I mentioned, I was able to get the camera to work, so I thought I would post a picture of the puzzle Zach and I put together Sunday night (excuse the half eaten scrambled eggs...it was the only picture I got before Andrew got to the puzzle).


Thankfully, we were all able to make it bowling on Monday. Zachary was feeling up to it and I assumed he was better. We had a great time with my sister and her boys and Sue (Dad's wife).



Zachary beat us all! He was so proud!

Unfortunately, he really wasn't better and by Monday night he was passed out on the couch again.

Tuesday I was sick as a dog. I couldn't even get out of bed. Every part of my body hurt, I had a headache...I could go on but I think you get the point. Thankfully Tom was still well and he was able to keep an eye on the boys (or Andrew because Zachy spent the day on the couch again).

Wednesday Zachy was better but Tom had come down with it. I was still not feeling great but I had to get back to the regularly scheduled programming. Andrew felt fine which meant chasing him around all day. Since Zach was better I dropped him at my Mom's for a "double sleepover". He spent Wednesday and Thursday night with her and went to Check E. Cheese with her on Friday.

On the way home from dropping Zach with Mom, Andrew and I stopped to meet Kirby who was just leaving work in Rochester. Andrew really wanted to see Daddy's new job, so Kirby brought him in (I refused, I hadn't been out of my pajamas all day and hadn't showered). Kirby decided that Andrew could ride home with him. Thank God he did (well, thank God for me). Andrew decided that 5 minutes from home was the perfect time to lose his lunch...all over Kirby's car. And that was the start for Andrew...

Thursday on the couch...all day...he is so cute, he wanted to be sociable but could barely lift his head off the pillow:


He seemed to start feeling better Thursday night but was still pretty junky. Early night with Advil before bed. I still felt like hell (and I am incredibly grateful that nobody took a picture of me while I was sick).

At 4:45am Friday morning Andrew came over to the bed. I thought he needed water but he started making the strangest sound. Kirby hollered for me to turn on the light and we saw that Andrew was having a seizure, has stopped breathing and was gurgling. I ran for the phone, called 911 and was on the phone with the operator and he was still seizing. It lasted about 60 seconds (not long in seizure terms but FOREVER in Mommy terms).

This was not Andrew's first seizure. He has had 4 total in his life (that I am aware of) and they, typically, come about when he has gotten hurt (bumping his head or hip or something). His previous ones have been very quick and he never appeared to stop breathing. I have never even had the opportunity to call 911 before - they were that quick. This one was completely different.

When he finally came out of it he was drained (completely contracting your entire body for a minute can be exhausting). The EMTs, police and fire rescue arrived (to my disaster of a home) and we went off to the hospital (Andrew was very excited to take a ride in the ambulance). The doctor took some blood to see if it was caused by something metabolic (it wasn't) and sent us home.

We spent Friday on the couch again...

Zach came home Friday night but we spent the rest of the weekend recovering from our sickness. Honestly, none of us are fully recovered but we needed to get out of the house today (or Mom was going to start hanging them by their toes and whipping them with wet noodles).

Andrew is going to check in with the doctor tomorrow (although I don't expect anything, they have never had any answers before).

Hopefully we can have a Fun Filled April Vacation...and hopefully we got sick enough this time to last us a little while.

I did have the opportunity to finish The Time Traveler's Wife (once the words stopped swimming on the page - about day 4). I will blog about that later...