What else can you say after you are hostess with the mostest during the Holidays? I must admit I had a wonderful time!! My family all got in on the 22nd. My brother and his fiancee got in a little earlier than anticipated. They were at a party until 2:00 am and decided why bother going home to bed, so they left their house at 3:00 am and got to our house around 4:30 in the afternoon!!! Good thing they called to let us know... I would've still been in my jammies and my funky ass ponytail washing bathrooms!!!
The girls were very happy to see the relatives. Karis got to bunk with the twins in their bedroom - which was interesting. Jenna kept crying because Karis wouldn't shut up for her to fall asleep. At one point I went up there and Karis was standing beside Jenna's pillow yelling her name in her face. The threat of no Christmas presents gets kids to go to bed pretty well though.
Christmas Eve we had our family's traditional fondue night!! We tucked the kids in bed, and then gorged ourselves. We did the meat fondue (chicken, steak, pork and shrimp) and then we did a chocolate fondue for dessert! YUMMMY!!!!!!!! Christmas morning, we spent the first part watching the girls go totally berserk opening their gifts. My kids are in one word... spoiled!!!!! They got so much stuff, it's obscene. However, Kierra did get her beloved pink laptop computer from Santa. She was so happy, she just sat there all day playing ABC games. Everyone was excited to get their gifts! Then the adults go to open theirs. We all know that I knew what I was getting (the diamonds) so I tried to feign surprise but of course it wasn't exactly believable. LOL. Hey - a girl has gotta try. Instead I listened to my SIL complain to my brother that SHE wanted what I got. Sheesh!! I got a lot of nice things though.
Christmas dinner consisted of my husband trying to smoke a turkey in his stainless steel,kick-ass smoker from hell. Me.... I just baked a spiral ham and did everything else including getting hassled from my SIL about my cranberries. I make my own (non of that gelatinous goop from a can). I wouldn't give up my recipe because I do a few things to it no one else does. Everything turned out good though. We then had a discussion about the origins of my maiden name. My brother insisted it was French, and we all said no, it's Scottish. It became quite the debate I must say. Then we had a friendly game of family poker. LOL my mom was drinking punch and Grey Goose vodka, my bro and SIL drinking some white chocolate liqueur from Godiva.... so it was interesting. At one point I got out the video camera to videotape my mom (who barely ever drinks) because she was doing the Ghost of Christmas Past voice to my husband... who apparently is evil for taking all her poker chips! CLASSIC CHRISTMAS I TELL YA!!!!!!
They all left yesterday, to which I'm sad. I hate it when everyone leaves at once. The house feels so lonely and empty. Plus both Jarrett and Karis got bronchial infections (joy). Between listening to my beloved complain profusely about his sore chest (not too sore he didn't abandon me to go play in a poker tournament with his buds and then go to Ruth Chris's for steak), and my 3 year old hacking up a lung like a coal miner - it's been good. My hubby has up to January 7th off - so this will be a nice time for family bonding. Hopefully we'll hit the resort and go sledding or something.
Anyways, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!! The best to you all!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I am back, I am well... after almost two weeks of being miserably sick. My husband tells me I'm one of the poorest excuses for an immune system. Perhaps he is right. Or perhaps it's impossible to get better when you are running around, barely resting... and having a man nagging you constantly about seeing a doctor. BUT I can finally breathe easy... literally.
Which leads me to my next topic: washing clothes. I have decided that A) I have wayyyyyyy too many articles of clothing (is 20 pairs of jeans too many?), B) I'm horrible about putting things back when I try them on, even when they are clean and C) I really need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to laundry. I'm thinking all columns apply to me. I've spent most of my day organizing my insane closet, sorting loads of laundry, washing and hanging them back up again. And yes, I'm ashamed to admit MOST of them are my clothes. SIGH!!!! Not to mention the stupid sweaters I have that have to be laid flat to dry. I need a runway from our local airport just for this purpose.
In cute news... I attended the girls very first school Christmas concert this morning. It was sweet! Kierra actually participated in the songs, trying to sing as best as she can, and ringing her jingle bells with all her might. Jenna kept looking at us reassuringly that we thought she was doing a good job. She spent all of this week lamenting about being nervous about her performance. You'd think she was the star at Carnegie Hall or something. But she did do well - and we were very proud. Me being the total doofus I am, forgot to charge the video camera until one hour before having to leave, so I had to clear off my digital camera to do video clips. I literally ran out of battery juice when the last song ended (good timing!). I promised Jarrett I would charge the video cam for Christmas.
I've also determined that children will always pick a birthday party theme that is difficult. Case in point: Karis is a total Hello Kitty fanatic. I mean it's borderline obsession with her. I can't find ANYTHING remotely party-ish so I'm going to have to make all the decorations. I did manage to pick her up Hello Kitty p.j's, a purse, necklace, books, chapstick and hair things for her birthday. She'll be four years old in the begining of January. MY BABY!!!!!!
I do have family coming down on Saturday until the 27th. My mom, dad, bro and his fiancee. My sister and her family decided they couldn't come (which actually is probably better in the long run). I should also note that I will be an Aunt once again (I can't remember how many nieces or nephews I now have). My sister (same one) is expecting in August. She's a little hormonal, irrational and annoying right now. I'm trying to be sensitive as you can see.
So that's about it. I'm doing lame things like organizing a pantry so my mom doesn't raise her eyebrows when she comes. LOL you gotta love the moms!!!
Musings by Elle at 4:00 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
BLAH!!! That is the only way to adequately describe how I feel right now. My taking the Cold FX pills only warded off the inevitable it seems. Friday my immune system went on strike and let all the little bad germs take over. Alas - to think I wouldn't get sick was too good to be true. Case in point, I spent most of my week-end sniffling and complaining as a man would. How embarrassing to admit!!!
Saturday, I literally stayed in my pajamas ALL DAY! That's right - I'll admit it and I'll you something else - I'd do it again! This isn't to say that the bed and the jammies united all day. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my friends. Instead I cleaned the kitchen, dusted, cleaned the floors and did four loads of kid laundry. I may wear jammies, but that doesn't make me lazy. Or does it....
Sunday I stayed in bed until 11:00am. I woke up, ate some soup, crabbed a bit, and then went for a nap from 1:00-3:30. After that, I FINALLY took off the jammies (remember I'd been wearing them since Friday night), got dressed, and Jarrett took us all out for dinner. After, came home, put kids to bed, got back in NEW jammies, and sat around waiting to take Nyquil and go to sleep.
I have made a few observations during my week-end. 1. Nasal spray sometimes hurts more than it helps. I took my Dayquils and in spite of them, still couldn't breathe through my right nostril. So Jarrett tells me to use the nasal spray. I do and I swear to God I thought my head was going to spontaneously combust!!! BURNT LIKE HELL!! I'm swearing, I'm rocking on my heals, my eyes are watering and he asks me, "What is your problem?" What is my problem?? My cheek to my eye socket is burning in the ravaging pits of hell!! He asks me if I can breathe. Seriously? Well actually yes, but every breath feels like my nasal cavity is burning into my brain! 2. Nyquil is wonderful but the medicine head the next day is like a proverbial hangover. Why can't they make a wake-the-hell-up pill that accompanies this? They now have those hangover pills (no I don't take them!). I'm thinking can't they make something like that for us poor people who are walking around like drug-induced zombies the next day? 3. When husbands say to you, "But you slept all day, how can you be tired" do they just forget how THEY feel when they are sick? Seriously guys. I mean everyone knows when you are sick, the quality of your sleep is pretty sub-par at best. I mean between getting up to blow your nose, getting up to realize you can only breathe through your mouth (lest the dreaded burning nasal spray), getting poked at by your significant other because you can't breathe and you are snoring (ah poetic justice if you ask me!)- you aren't exactly sleeping beauty. How can I be tired? I'll remember that line the next time you are sick dear.
Today it's a bit better. I feel kinda-not-quite human. I'm not happy to look outside and see it snowed outside and the only thing that could possibly get around out there is a Yettie or a Yettie with a snowmobile. I don't want to take the kids to school. Not because I can't drive - but because of all the other idiots out there that think it's June or something. And the worst part? I have to take off my jammies - the staple of my mere ill existence. So if you have any good antibodies you'd like to contribute to "Make a blogger feel better" please do so.
Musings by Elle at 10:35 AM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Well maybe not so much a mystery. Not even a marvel. More of a pain in the proverbial ass (and the not so proverbial one).
I promised I'd give you all an update on Kierra. So we went to see the doc on Saturday about her last test results. It surprisingly came back normal! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy!! But I can't say I'm not a little surprised. And so was the doctor since a majority of autistic kids show strange levels of bacterias and yeasts in their digestive system. This only means A) we don't have to contend with this and B) now when I give her digestive enzymes, they will actually work for her. To re-cap, the digestive enzymes allow her at times to eat "normal" foods without the effects it usually produces. And to answer the question no, you can't just give her those every meal and let her eat what she wants. It's more or less a fail safe in those cases where there is no other option. So if we want to go out to a restaurant one Sunday, she pops one 1/2 hour before she eats, and presto - she doesn't have any problems with it!!!
So at this point, we are just supplementing her diet with some omega 3 pills (which taste like strawberry - not fishy!). In January, we'll have her fatty and amino acids tested to see if she's absorbing them properly. I'm willing to bet she does since it's unlikely now that she suffers from Celiac Disease and/or Leaky Gut Syndrome. There is three more tests to do. Two require urine tests: testing for neurotransmitter levels and the other for something I can't remember. Yeah that's right - I can't remember and I suck! The other is a blood test that checks the amino acids. We did discuss her "shinners" she's getting, and he theorizes that she's having an allergic reaction to something airborne (most likely in the classroom). That's all the insight he could offer.
Onto the family doctor: he also believes it's an airborne allergy and is referring us to an allergist. This will take God knows how long since where we live, we are overpopulated in people, underpopulated in physicians. I'll get back to why this is bothersome in a minute. After discussing the results from the Naturopathic doctor, my family doctor suggested Kierra go for additional allergy tests. Yes Kierra just had some but those only tested for the specific digestive allergies. She never had the standard environmental allergy test done. He then asked me if I believe in modern medicine. SHEESH! I'm not a crunchy, tree-hugger - I do believe in medicine! I guess he was wondering if I was going to protest and simply grind up bark or something to treat her. In any case, he is also ordering blood tests to check her liver, iron and other levels because he wants to see what those are doing. So I have to take her for a blood draw sometime ... I don't wanna! This will be insane and not good. But in the meantime, no one can do anything about the bouts with the eyes, so we just tough it out until the allergist becomes available.
Onto my husband. He had an appointment with the ENT (ear/nose/throat) guy last week. Actually this was a follow-up from the one he had six months before. Jarrett SNORES! Chain-saw snores. It's horrible! Before we left the states he was supposed to have surgery, but alas he didn't and we moved to Canada. We get here, and the new guy says "there's nothing wrong with you". Sigh - ok so why was he going for surgery in Michigan but here in Alberta, he's cured? Did the sound of music from the Rocky Mountains cure him? Hell no - because I listen to him grunting in his sleep! So this time I told Jarrett to insist on figuring this out. He actually told the doctor if he didn't fix the problem his wife was going to start cutting stuff out of his head in his sleep (not exactly inaccurate; those of you living with snorers know what I'm talking about!). He also snorts this spray up his nose every night so he doesn't develop sinus infections (which he has ALL the time). So he goes, and the same doctor tells him he has a deviated septum (which we knew), his adenoids are enlarged (which we knew), that his uvula is large (which we didn't know), and that he may need tubes in his ears (huh?). So he is on the wait-list for surgery to have two taken out, one fixed and something put in. The kicker: wait is about 8 months!!! This is what you get with universal health care. Sure it's non-discriminating but you pay for it in the wait times. Plus our doctors have to wait for OR scheduling, which means they can do a surgery but they can't pull a Dr. Nick Rivera and use a pizza cutter and do it in a back room in a bar. So until then, Jarrett has to get up about 2 times at night to drain his ears.
And to top it all off, Jenna's cold officially became my cold this morning. Even after I started to take those Cold FX pills (which are bullshit by the way). I got up this morning feeling like someone run over my head. Not a good feeling. Plus Kierra's therapist called in sick for a fever... just not a good day. The thought of going out today to drive them to school erks me. I just want to sit in my jammies all day long! WAH!!!! At least Jarrett is back from his business trip; although he'll just be snoring alongside me at night with his flappy uvula and crooked septum.
Wish us well in the house of germs and medical woes!
Musings by Elle at 8:36 AM
Monday, December 03, 2007
Before anyone who actually still makes visits to my blog reams me a new one, I'd just like to say... yeah I suck. Honest to God, I think, "Oh I have five minutes, I'm going to post something" and then I get side-tracked and two days later I remember where I left my train of thought. Not too many trains coming into the station lately huh?
So hope you all had a good week-end. I had an interesting one. Let's start off with Friday. Friday: my darling hubby took the day off so we could take the girls to see Santa. Usually Jarrett misses this event, because he is working. I guess I could wait until the week-end, but who in their right mind would try to visit Santa on a Saturday? It was bad enough that he accepted children at 10:00am... we were there exactly at 10:00 am and we still waited 45 minutes to see him!! Thank goodness they have a workshop play-area to occupy them. They were satisfied to wait. When they finally got to see the man in red, they were all smiles. Kierra made a point of sitting on Santa's lap - which was surprising! This is the first year she's had any interest in him (which is a good thing to see!). Of course I'll include a picture. I do have to make note that yes, I do realize Santa had quite possibly the worst dentures known to man. But hey - at least he took the time to grow his own beard this year.
Friday night we had my hubby's Christmas party. So I got all gussied up in a dress I already had. I tried to find something else, but alas, it was a feat too big. But that's okay - Jarrett added something new to it by giving me some Christmas ice a little early. This would be a one carat diamond solitaire pendant, and just so my ears didn't feel lonely - 2/3 carat a piece diamond earrings!!!
Yes swoon!!! Who doesn't swoon when their husbands give them over 2 carats of diamonds? He let me wear them as he said it was a "special occasion". However, he did take them back at the end of the night so he could wrap them and put them under the tree. Don't ask me how his mind works. I had to scratch my head at that one. He said so I had something to open Christmas morning. I told him usually that is a moot point when you already wore the gift. Oh well!! But the party was very nice!! I made a new friend (I sound like I'm in elementary school), and I won the centerpiece from our table. Jarrett won $250.00 in a gift card for an electronics store. I can't tell you how great that is, considering the ipod I was going to buy him cost around that much. Christmas present for Jarrett... CHECK!
Saturday we had Kierra's doctor appointment. I'll do another posting this week on the results from that (otherwise you'll be sitting here in a marathon posting). We then met a little girl and her mom from the twins class for the movie "Enchanted". The girls LOVED it! Kierra was cracking up almost the entire time. She has a crazy laugh - which made us laugh. After that, Jarrett went out and bought some stuff to make me a dinner, which he eloquently called it "a special dinner for my lady friend". Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ok nerd. He was actually singing this lame song as he prepared it. He made hor d'oerves, a great chicken pasta dish, champagne and chocolate mousse cake. YUM!!!! Needless to say - romantic evening a la deux!
Sunday, I slept in until 10:30 (whoops!) and then spent the afternoon in a baking frenzy. I baked about 14 dozen cookies, made 30 mincemeat tarts, hand dipped a bag of pretzels because Jarrett likes chocolate-covered pretzels.... and then made three trays of homemade chocolates. Puff puff puff.
So anyways, that's about it from me!!! I'll try to be more diligent in posting this week (however we all know how good I've been about that lately!) Thanks for coming back!
Musings by Elle at 4:09 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
No, I didn't get punched in the face as the title of this posting would suggest. It's Kierra (again). And no, she didn't get punched in the face either. However, she is sporting two huge allergy shinners again. Sigh....
Friday, I had just gotten home from dropping the twins off at school, and I get a call from the main office that Kierra threw up and I needed to come pick her up. I thought "great!" and told them they might as well pull Jenna out too, since I'm not going to drive back and forth all afternoon for children. I get to the school, and Kierra and Jenna are sitting there, and the teacher explains that Kierra just got up, walked over to the waste basket and threw up. Now, I think they should be very grateful. Most kids would just start to bawl, and throw up on that crummy rug they have on the kindy floor. Not my kid - she knows you need some sort of receptacle if you are going to blow chunks. So I look her over (brought extra clothes just in case), and we booted it on home.
We get home and she's chirpy as ever... no signs of being sick. However, I DO notice that her eyes are a little puffy and red looking. Almost swollen. I figure she's tired. She eats, keeps it down... and I lament because I basically pulled her out of school for nothing. But oh well - it was the responsible thing to do. WELL the next morning I get her up and her eyes are extremely swollen and puffy, the underlids especially, and just purple-red! I kinda freaked out and woke up poor hubby (Saturday is his sleep-in day), and told him to look at Kierra's eyes! She honestly looked like someone put on make-up on her to make her look like a zombie!! So of course I call our doctor's office, who is actually open on Saturdays. They are only taking walk-in's but we convince them to put us first on the list.
I get her over there and the doctor looks at her and is shocked with how badly her eyes look. He says it's an allergy of some sort, and prescribes these allergy relief drops. This is all he can really prescribe he tells me, and if it gets worse, Kierra will have to get a referral to see a pediatric optomologist to get these steroid drops. GREAT! After I leave, I go to three different pharmacies trying to find these drops... no one has them in stock. I go home and phone around and finally find someone who carries them (no small feat there).
The worst part is Kierra looks horrible! I hate to admit it but it's almost embarrassing taking her out anywhere! She looks like a child who is either abused or has a very bad illness. Her eyes are so puffy underneath that there are three folds in her lowerlids. Plus she keeps rubbing them and making them worse.
The thing is I have no clue what started this. She had this three weeks ago after her flu shot, but I thought it was a reaction from the shot since she also got hives on her face. Now I'm wondering if it's not something more going on with her. I know for a fact she didn't eat anything she shouldn't. So it's a mystery. Our family doctor is back at the end of the month, so I'm taking her back on the 5th of December. Until I get to put drops in her eyes four times a day (yeah you do this with an autistic kid), and hope they clear up soon.
Musings by Elle at 4:13 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Well now I've done it - I've gotten all Christmassy. Is that even a word? Christmassy? Well if not, it should be. It is the epitome of explaining the getting into the spirit of the season. Funny part was, I was trying VERY hard to put that off, for the sake of not looking like one of those lunatics that get their house decorated too early.
But alas, I failed once again.
It started off innocently as I decided to start making my Christmas cookies. My reasoning was I am having a dinner on December 8, a party on December 15, and my family is coming to our house for Christmas! I need A LOT of cookies, and also I need to off-set the ones I'm secretly stuffing into my mouth when no one is looking. My bad!!! So I made some sugar cookies, some shortbread, pecan balls and some almond balls.... and realized A) I have a long way to go and B) the smell of making these cookies is making me feel ill. I had to take a break from them.
So then I thought, why not get out my winter wonderland village and set it up? I mean it's innocent enough. I got all my houses, shoppes and what not out, set them up on the top of the piano. Got the little figures and realized there must've been a crime spree in winterwonderland's box this summer, because most of them were missing heads and limbs. It was a regular storage container massacre. The only one really left intact was the Priest.... kinda scared of him now!!! I went out and bought some new people. Good to have an integrated town ya know. So I got it all set up, plugged in the 100 lights it requires... and now Kierra rearranges the people. For some reason the Priest keeps ending up in the Blacksmith's shop. LOL it's a little funny but even so.
After that, I nagged my poor husband about outside decorations. I nag I tell you - I nag!!! I went and bought some outdoor snowflakes that light up, and one of those inflatable penguins. I initially got the light nets on the trees, set up the snowflakes. Then Jarrett put up the rest. This included 12 candy canes that light up in the flower bed, lights around the garage... and the projector I haven't seen since we moved from Michigan 3 years ago!! So he gets it all set up! I'm delighted!!! Usually have to pull off the man's arm to do it. We go out for dinner, come home... and the projector slide is not only upside down, but badly out of focus. We laugh, fix it and now we are officially the gaudiest family in our cul de sac. Not to mention our neighbors are Jewish... LOL. Good thing they like us.
And............ ashamed to admit it but been buying a lot of blue and silver ornaments to decorate the "mommy tree". This refers to the purely aesthetic mommy tree that is strictly for my amusement! It is only things mommy likes. The other tree is all the ornaments you are forced to put on the tree. And I even got a blue tree skirt.
So let's here it you closet decorators... who else has been getting into the swing of Christmassy?
Musings by Elle at 12:27 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Yesterday I had a dental appointment, for the usual: cleaning, check-up, polishing and verbal flogging for not flossing my teeth 18 times a day. I know I may catch some flak here from a lovely friend of mine, who just happens to be a dental hygienist (ya ya, you heard me... 18 times a day!). ANYWAYS, everything was wonderful. Teeth looked good, I got a pink toothbrush (LOL).... and then the dentist came in to do a look-over.
And he delightfully told me that I'm grinding my teeth down too much (which I knew, I'm a habitual grinder). I told him last time I came in, I got fitted for a mouth guard (which I hate by the way). He told me that doesn't stop the grinding problem, which I agreed since my guard is almost ground through. Apparently I have lost 5 mm of teeth! Now, in retrospect, that may not sound like a lot. Apparently it is a lot. Not to mention I have a SEVERE overbite. In fact, if it was any worse, my top teeth would be jaunting out of my chin. Again, they mention that I should really get a splint for my mouth, to help correct my overbite and my jaw. Last time I was in, it was $1,500.00. This time, it's $2,500.00! Shit!!!
The reason it went up a cool grand was because they got a new computer program that does your dental and facial mapping. It assesses where things are now, where they should be, and how to get from Jaw A to Jaw B. This is where the splint would come it. It would force my jaw open. He then tells me it will make me look younger. HUH? Dude I just turned 32!!!! Sensing I was not impressed, he then goes on to tell me if I don't fix this, I'm going to grind to the point of cracking my teeth, loosening them, and eventually needing dentures. He said not a problem now, but think in 10-20 years. Do I really want to be gumming creamed corn out of a can?????
On top of it all, eventually I will have to have composite added to my rear teeth to build them back up again, and even.... SHUDDER... braces!
This brings me to my next point... why the hell didn't my parents get this figured out and fixed when I was a kid??? Would've been a lot easier and actually covered by their dental plan. Now that I'm some old bat with an overlapped jawline (LOL sorry but I'm bitching about that), my insurance considers it "elective". OK, so let me get this... they can pay for this now OR they can pay for me having all my teeth fall out and getting replacements? Makes sense to me!
Until then, I suppose I'll just keep up with my daily grind. Irony is Karis is a night grinder too (she sounds like she's grinding concrete). I'll be sure to bring this up at her check-up next month so she's not 32 one day and wondering why the hell she's dealing with such a mess.
Musings by Elle at 2:12 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Hear that? It's a collective sigh of confused parents in the toy section of department stores. Why? Because they are all probably wondering what I am wondering - what the hell is safe to buy for your kid these days? Parents in stores are holding toys at arm's length as if they are about to spontaneously combust. I don't blame them - there is a strong possibility it might happen.
In light of the massive recalls over the past year, you really have to wonder these days just what we are buying for our kids. What may seem safe at the moment could be apart of another nation-wide recall in a few months time. It's not only confusing but aggravating as hell. And actually, disturbing. Why does the problem only seem to worsen?
It's because of two reasons in my opinion:
A) Big toy conglomerates are too damn cheap to ensure the quality and safety control of their products BEFORE they hit the shelves. They are looking for cheap labor, and bigger overhead. If they think putting out a re-call after the fact is saving face, they are really missing the point here. Why are they still having their products made in Chinese factories that are having repeated problems with recalls? I mean hell, even the main dude at the factory in China hung himself. Easy out if you ask me. Rather than owning up and trying to look for a solution, he checks out. I think a better solution would have been to throw lead-based Dora the Explorer figures at him until he begged for mercy.I would rather see these toy companies putting new policy in place and making sure their factories and manufacturing products that are safe from the start. I'm not sure who, in their right mind thinks it's ok to put lead in a child's toy. Probably the same people who want to save a few measly bucks.
B) The Government hasn't stepped in yet. I mean seriously... it's pretty obvious the manufacturer's aren't doing shit about the problem. In case you haven't heard about last week's AquaDots controversy where a 20 month old boy was in a six hour coma from ingesting some of them. Why on earth would you have a chemical on them that could stop respiratory functioning? Do they not get kids put a lot of junk into their mouths? The Government needs to step in and take care of this problem. They need to ensure that products imported into our country are safe for the consumer. I mean we have all these agencies that are supposed to protect us. When are they going to do something to protect the kids?
Funny things to consider: do you think any of the people in management at Mattel or likewise are giving any of their own products to their kids this Christmas? Makes you wonder hmmmm? I had to laugh when they wanted to give out coupons for tainted toys, to buy what? MORE of their products. Yeah that's exactly what I want... to trade down for more of their poisoned crap. And how long before the consumer just says "enough already" and just stops buying their products altogether? I mean I'm sure the head honchos in these big companies aren't too worried... because they aren't really doing too much at this point. A few million dollar lawsuits isn't going to cause them financial ruin. They are heading a multi-billion dollar industry. And what do retailers do to help the problem? Toys R Us is having these huge blow-out sales all over the country to try to get the consumer in the stores. I find it hard to trust myself to buy something just because it's half-off. I mean what good does it do if I'm yanking it from my kids two weeks later? And why do I have to be bothered to log onto their website, wait for them to send me a pre-paid postage label and return the product under their own time limit? I'd rather just take it back to the store. But the retailers wash their hands of it. They don't care that THEY sold it to me. They were more than happy to take my money, but now that I demand it back, they tell me it's not their problem. I beg to differ. These are products that you are peddling to the consumer. If they don't get that they are in this problem, they are even dumber than I thought.
I know parents that already had to take some presents back to the stores because they were on the latest recall hit-list. How do you explain to your son that sorry, you can't have that toy because it's dangerous and could kill you? All I have to say is I really wish there was a Santa Claus at this point. I hardly doubt he'd have his elves painting rosy faces on baby dolls with lead paint or stuffing them with asbestos. Good old St. Nick wouldn't be shimmying down the chimney with Polly Pockets that exploded or G.I. Joes that caused cancer.
So short of learning how to whittle - I guess I'm stuck buying what I can deem "safe" for my children's Christmas and pray that the girls actually get to KEEP what Santa brings them this year. And if not, not to worry - the companies will surely do their part in "protecting the consumer" by issuing yet another mundane recall.
Musings by Elle at 6:26 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
Yesterday I went shopping with my friend A. Her husband has backlogged in gifts owing to his wife, so he made the generous decision to give her $5,000.00 to go spend in a way she sees fit. I got to come along for the ride. Let me tell you something, it is truly amazing the creatures you find in those really expensive stores!!
We went to Holt Renfrew (to you Canadian's, you know this to be a high class store). She had her eye on this lovely Tiffany bangle, which she ultimately bought. But the funny part was watching the OTHER shoppers. While at the Tiffany counter, this woman in her mid-30's comes in with her husband, and her probably six carats total of diamonds adorning her. She asks to see the platinum baby rattle "for a friend," which by the way, total waste of money even if it's considered status. Sure it might be a keepsake, but I over-heard her say it was a boy, and what boy wants a platinum rattle? Not to mention A) he'll never be able to touch it, and B) could knock himself out with the thing. I actually started to laugh out loud at how ridiculous she was. I mean she truly was flaunting herself and her apparent money. I felt like telling her not to try so hard. And as we went through the rest of the store, I kept seeing more and more of this.
Women trying on Prada boots that were over a thousand dollars, some of which were hideous but because they were Prada, they'd buy them anyways. A Dolce & Gabanna dress that was made of feathers (I shit you not, it was probably Big Bird's wet dream come true). Not to mention this sweater vest that looked like it was made of an Airedale terrier's fur! When A looked at it, I said, "You aren't buying that, unless you are planning on getting groomed once a week!" and then looked over to see the lady working behind the counter wearing the SAME VEST!! LOL - ok sorry but seriously. It had to be said.
The piece de resistance was this black, ugly-ass Chanel sweater we saw. It had these HUGE ugly knitted flowers all over it. Some bigger than my fist. It was truly retched and I couldn't help but looked at the price tag... ready? $3,000.00!!! OK who in their right mind buys a sweater for $3,000.00? Not to mention quite possibly the world's tackiest sweater on earth? I'm sure there is some wealthy woman out there who would think it's a steal. I'd think anyone who would buy it had their sanity stolen instead!!!!
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a total witch. I don't think all people who can afford nice things are full of themselves. I mean I'd be a total liar if I didn't say I didn't admire the Louis Vuitton purses (cause I have a slight fetish with them), or eye up a really nice coat. But the point being, I don't NEED these things to validate myself. I mean the same sweater by some fancy pants designer costs $400.00, or I can go to Old Navy and buy the EXACT SAME SWEATER for $40.00. The only difference is the label (and who announces what they are wearing unless you are on the red carpet?).
But all in all, I will say it was an interesting experience. Especially when the store's server went down and no one could use their platinum cards LOL!! Christmas shopping season and no one can use their plastic!!
Musings by Elle at 8:20 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Disclaimer: The opinions you are about to read are of the author's, and shouldn't be misinterpreted as a slander against all contracting jobs. It's just the author's expressed opinion that they are a bunch of rip-off artists.
That being said!
We have had an on-going problem with one of our furnaces. We have two - the main one heats the basement and main floor levels. The other one is in charge of heating the upstairs where all the bedrooms are at. The upstairs one hasn't really been pulling it's weight. In fact - it doesn't work period. It would start up, the fan would run and then it would shut down. So no hot air at night. If you didn't live in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, this may not pose a problem for you. If you do, however, it is. Jarrett first decided it was the flame sensor and that it needed to be cleaned (logical). He cleans it up, puts it back in and still - the same problem.
He goes out and buys a new flame sensor (which the part's guy told him is compatible with our furnace). Jarrett installs it, and alas this doesn't work either. After much of my constant bitching, he calls a furnace repair place. They send someone out who declares it's the wrong type of sensor, but unfortunately repair guy doesn't have one. He'll be back in two days with the part he needs.
Two days later, repair guy comes back. He fiddles with things, installs a new sensor and tells me that the ignitor is also shot (our furnace is five years old). Now if I knew anything about furnaces, I might of been suspicious. But let's be honest, all I know about furnaces is that they keep us from freezing. I'm not supporting "stupid house wife" persona here, but I'm not pretending to know more than I do. So I get the bill, which includes the two new parts, maintenance on both furnaces, labor and also this wireless thermostat Jarrett wanted. Bill comes to just under 1000 clams. I sign it and off the guy goes (you know it doesn't end here).
So Jarrett calls, I tell him how much and he pratcially gives birth. First off, the guy was only here for 1 hour and 15 minutes, which Jarrett says is impossible. He couldn't have fixed the problem and cleaned and serviced both furnaces in that time. Plus the wireless thermostat was $50.00 more than he was quoted. And he's asking why we needed a new ignitor. Dude I don't know!!!!! So he comes home after work, and goes to the furnace room with his trusty flashlight and declares "He didn't even clean the furnace!" All he did was wipe the inside off with a rag. The fan is still covered in crud. He didn't install the ignitor properly, because he only used one of two screws, and the one side was lifted up from the surface. And to top it off, the furnace still wasn't working!!!!!!!
OK you know, I figured that guy had it working. Yes I realize that I should've made sure but who comes into your house for over an hour and does absolutely nothing? Jarrett calls the company and pitches the hugest fit. The ignitor was only really $50.00, but they charged us $250.00 (the guy said it was standard mark-up - holy shit we are in the wrong business then!). Jarrett told him there was no way he did maintenance on the furnace (which apparently the technician ADMITTED!). So they offer to send out yet another person to come look at the problem. We were hesitant to let them even in our house again... but we figured let's just get it figured out.
So the new guy comes and tells us (after doing a simple test) that the original flame sensor works fine, and the original ignitor works fine as well. Those are the problems, it's the gas valve. SIGH!!! The gas valve is $600.00 (I'm sure it's only really $20.00 but anyways). He installs the gas valve and PRESTO furnace is working. They tell us to keep the spare parts (no charge), and refunds us the money for the non-maintenance. In the end it balances out.
End of story.... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Jarrett decided he'll install the wireless thermostat himself. He spend nearly 2 hours getting it all done, and it doesn't work. Seriously. He's majorly flipping, takes it off, puts the old one back on, which works fine. So they sold us a part (again) for $300.00 that is useless. Call them back AGAIN and tell them they are fracking idiots!!! Come get your piece of shit parts, we are going to VISA to dispute all charges now, and reporting them to the BBB. This is just insane. The funniest part? They asked if we still wanted them to do maintenance on the furnaces!!!!
ARE THEY ON CRACK? First off, they are total rip-off artists! Over charged us, didn't do the work, and apparently don't even know what they are doing. I probably could've done just a good a job "repairing" it as them!!! I mean granted, I have heat now and I'm not curled up in the freezing fetal position in my bed. LOL actually I was wearing my bathrobe to bed (yeah that's sexually inviting to the hubby). Actually when you are that cold, the last thing you want to do is let any part of you get naked even if your husband says you can keep your three layers of shirts on. Yah pass buddy. But I have decided where I live in particular, tradespeople have really lost their way. They have come to a City where the cost of living has skyrocketed, and so they A) charge an arm and a leg, and B) don't give a shit about the quality of their work. All they care about is getting the most money for the least effort. Jackasses.
Anyways, hopefully the furnace is truly fixed for good. If not, you'll be treated to another sob story about it I'm sure. Think warm, fuzzy thoughts!
Musings by Elle at 8:57 AM
Friday, November 02, 2007
I think of myself as a tense person. OK, OK.... a VERY tense person. I think you could use my muscles as violin strings. I like to put my problems or negative thoughts on the back burner to simmer in the cauldron of my own woes. It just seems easier. However, when the pot boils over, and then you are trying to clean up the mess - I think you get yourself to a worse point then you would've been if you just dealt with all the crap to begin with. It's like trying to scrub the crud off of a glass top stove. The longer you leave it there, the more work it takes to clean it all up.
In the last while, I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of muscle twinges/spasms. I know it's because I have all this pent up stress that I never let out. I'm guessing since I've left it so long, my body is trying to find ways to release it. Short of slapping one's self in the head subconsciously (that might hurt), your body often takes it's own measures to keep the pot from boiling over.
So to combat my habitual "I'll deal with it later problem" I decided to try one of those self-hypnosis relaxation exercises. I've actually done one before when I was just out of college. My roommate had one and suggested after exams were over, that we lay on the floor and try it out. I didn't think I was the suggestible type, and found out 40 minutes later I indeed was. The best part was, I totally felt mellowed out. So I scoured the Internet in search of one, and found it!! I could actually just buy it and download it to my MP3 player. I thought, "Great!" - and as I said, so I thought. When I tried to download it, my computer froze, I had to re-boot it and I lost the entire file. Oooops! I tried to email the company who seemed to be ignoring me. For people priding themselves of helping you deal with stress, they were really adding to it! So after I dropped the twins off at school, I went to a local Chapters and found the "relaxation" section. They actually have one! I browsed the section, which included many books on the subject. I suddenly felt like this huge stress ball that everyone was looking at - the unbalanced lady crouching among the PPD and Anxiety Disorder books. And to my right, I spy some CD's - exactly what I'm looking for!
I don't know about you, but when you talk about hypnosis, I want to KNOW what the person who is going to zonk me out looks like. Call me crazy (well don't) but if the guy looks like an axe-murderer, I don't want to let him into my brain. Just seems like a safe-guard you know? Otherwise the next thing you know, I'm serving Heaven's Kool-aid at the next party I host. So after finding some pictures of happy looking, sane people - I select two. One is actually guided meditation, which I think works wonderfully as I soak in our jacuzzi tub. The other is about creating inner calm. I buy them (plus Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web because they were on sale for Christmas), and scurry on home. Get home, and see that the Internet company I thought was avoiding me, re-sent the file (ha ha ha!). Oh well.
I try out one, lay on the couch, and let loose. Believe it or not, twenty minutes later I feel refreshed, alert and really happy!!!! Not to mention I slept like a baby that whole night (I've had insomnia lately). And funny thing - not so many muscle ticks anymore either. It's amazing the power of the brain.
So if any of you is really wired or just plain wacky with tension lately, I really suggest trying this. I mean it's not for everyone, and not everyone is the suggestible type - but you can't really argue with feeling laid back and mellow can you?
Musings by Elle at 8:42 AM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Can you believe it's already November 1st? Where did the last 10 months go? It's all a sea of oblivion.
So yesterday was Halloween (which I'm sure you already knew) - and I got my little goblins all dressed up ready to go trick-or-treating. This was probably the first year that Kierra willingly went. Usually there is a huge fuss and muss about the whole thing. I think the fact that Daylight Savings has changed helped - we usually are going out and it's already dark. Now, going at 6pm you still have an hour left of daylight.
Our theme this year was the jungle. Highly appropriate if you ask me, because there are days that I feel like I live in a zoo of wild animals. Karis went as a monkey, Jenna as a lion and Kierra as a zebra. Jenna kept asking me what lions ate. When I told her she looked at Kierra and said, "Don't worry, I promise not to eat you". Ahhhh sisterly love!!! Me and the Mister took them out and they had a blast!!! We did probably the equivalent to one block of trick-or-treating (minus the deadbeats that turned off their lights and pretended they weren't home so they didn't have to buy candy). It was cute to watch them eagerly wait for doors to open, comments of "oh you are so cute!" and then greedy little eyes scanning the candy bowls. The worst was when people told them to pick what they wanted. You'd think they were deciding what wire to cut on a time bomb. Of course, me having a Halloween brain fart - I didn't think to bring along a spare grocery bag to empty their treat buckets. In all honesty who would expect three little kids to get THAT much candy? I had pocketsful of candy to empty when we got home - mostly because Kierra was running and flailing her bucket around so candy was shooting out all over the place. Jarrett said she looked like a slot machine that was paying out. Much to the dismay of the trick-or-treaters behind us - I made sure to pick up every single piece.
We only stayed out 45 minutes. Really that was more than enough. I let them choose the two token pieces to eat (am I cheap? My kids thought so!), and sorted and checked it all out. Sad to say - I had to make a gluten/casein free bowl of candy for Kierra. We had so many candy bars I actually added them back into the giveaway bowl. We did pretty good, we only had a few candy bars left at the end of the night. I think I bought 4 boxes of candy, plus the 7 or 8 handfuls from what my kids collected to give away. At the end of the night, I was giving out fist fulls - because if I had it in my house I knew I would just end up eating it.
Now here's a subject of discussion - do you have the "aren't you too old to trick-or-treat" candy bowl? I like seeing inventive costumes as much as the next person, but there is something disturbing about kids that have facial hair coming to your door for treats. On the one hand, you'd like to tell them they are officially cut off - if you are wearing a bra or your voice is cracking, you shouldn't be going door to door looking for candy anymore. Then again, if you are looking for them to come back later and egg the hell out of your house... you may just want to have the "aren't you too old to trick-or-treat" candy bowl. The saddest treats imagineable, and more than likely leftovers from the year before. And most of those kids - I mean they aren't even trying anymore are they? I had two come to the door, and one kid had two bags. I looked at him with a sneer, and he told me "it's my friends, he's just tying his shoe". I told him to tell his friend if he wants a Milky Way he can finish tying his shoe and come to the door... which he did... wearing nothing more than a navy blue hoodie sweatshirt and a pair of designer jeans. Nice costume kid. What's worse is those girls... you know the ones I'm talking about. Their costumes must be hookers or rapper's girlfriends or something. All I know is it involves a lot of make-up and two inches of fabric. Instead of candy, I should be giving them out some full length skirts and a facecloth to wash the crap off their faces.
Well I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween and none of you were targets of pranks such as egging, toilet papering, and the lovely flaming dog crap bag. And if not just remember....
... there's always next year!
Musings by Elle at 9:58 AM
Monday, October 29, 2007
Such an adequately entitled post - you'll see why in a moment.
First of all, Week One of project "rid child of all dairy/casein" has been completed. I actually did pretty well - there was no incidence of sneaky cheese, covert-op milk or surprise attack whey. And for the most part, I didn't get much of a fuss from Kierra. Then again, she hasn't drank milk since I took her bottles away, and she doesn't like cheese unless it's melted. It really never was the casein part that worried me (although it's surprisingly in a lot of stuff), it's more the gluten/wheat. Which brings me to the next topic...
I decided to search the web for a GFCF (gluten free/casein free) cookie recipe. I found one in bloggerland actually, from a mom that is also doing the same diet for her child. I went to the whole foods store, stocked up on all the stuff I needed.... came home and disaster struck!! Now I don't know what to tell you. Yes I do - that person is on crack if she thinks THAT is a good recipe!! I mean it was bad enough the dough had the texture of chewing gum... and it was worse when the girls started to giggle gleefully when the cookies started to "boil" on the baking pan. I'm not exaggerating people - those "cookies" were bubbling. I took them out of the oven and it looked like a gremlin exploaded on my Farberware. The smell probably wasn't all that better. Of course I took pictures because:
ok a picture because honestly
A) who would believe me and B) It's almost Halloween and I thought it was scary as hell those cookies. To add insult to injury, Jarrett backed into a wall with the car, trying to avoid another guy who was backing into him. In short, car messed up and we pay 100% for the damages. Jenna summed it up well at the end of the day:
"Mommy.... your cookies were just horrible and daddy crashed our car. This isn't a good day for our family."
And before you start to wonder why I entitled the post "a pirate's life for me".... as my husband was crashing my car, I took Kierra out for a mommy-daughter outing to Michael's Crafts, so I could get little orange boxes for the hand-made treats for the Kindergarten class. No I don't give out candy like normal people. I buy orange "Chinese take-out" boxes, make foam Halloween finger puppets that have each kids' name on it, plus stuff in candy and stickers, and then seal them shut with candy corn stickers and top off with a "pumpkin patch" ribbon. Yes I am strange, and yes I realize the bag of Wal-mart candy was the cheaper way to go. But in the clearance isle (because you know, Halloween isn't over but make way for Christmas!), Kierra found a delightful pirate foam hat. Huge and tacky - and of course she loved it. She smiled her big smile at me, and of course I caved (it was $2.00 too). She was so excited at the register, she was jumping and squealing in her special way... which drew the attention of all the nearby customers. I could tell people were staring at her, and not in an endearing way. More of a "what's wrong with that kid" way. I actually was going to hold her hand to stop her skipping around and tell her to hush and then thought WHY??????????? What do we have to be embarrassed about? So instead I smiled into her happy face and announced loud enough for all to hear, "You know what Kierra? Mommy is happy it's the pirate's life for her!" That turned all heads back around and eyes facing shoes.
I may make horrible cookies, I may have in-home therapy for my child every week day, and I may even have to chase her around the playground in sub-zero weather because she won't wear her jacket... but me hearty's it is a good life.
Musings by Elle at 2:57 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
So I finally have the results back from Kierra's blood tests on the digestive allergies. I actually got them on Saturday, but things have been crazy-busy, plus I had to do the other up-dates in sequential order (trip and then anniversary). And I'll be honest, I've been so over-whelmed with the findings of it all - I've been trying to get things figured out. So without much adieu - here they are.
To recap: I did some looking into finding a doctor in Calgary that specializes in DAN. They do tests to determine A) whether the child has any high levels of metals toxicity in their system, B) whether the child has digestive allergies and C) whether the child has deficiencies in minerals/vitamins, has yeast overgrowth in their digestive tract, and whether their liver's are functioning properly. It has been shown in a lot of cases of Autism, that all three are factors in these kids. It is theorized that once you eliminate the allergies; the child can function much better. Essentially the allergy is causing an adrenaline high all the time and is compared to your child tripping out on LSD all the time. This is why she might tantrum a lot, hard to concentrate, spacing out etc.... We did the food diaries and were amazed at what we were seeing. Days with certain foods were definitely showing bouts of bad behaviors.
We visited Dr. Klassen, who was very informative. He explained the DAN testing and told us where we should begin. To start off, he did the blood allergy test for Kierra to test her for digestive allergies. He also did a dip to test for the metals toxicity. The results from Kierra's allergy tests were somewhat staggering. Kierra is highly allergic to all dairy or casein (a protein found in dairy). She is allergic to everything that would possibly come from a milk or milk product. Even goat's milk (which is highly unusual). She also is highly allergic in areas of nuts, grains and legumes. Essentially gluten and gliadin; which are primarily found in wheats. So she is allergic to wheat, gluten, rye, sesame, splet, and whole wheat, plus peanuts. She is also highly allergic to eggs (yolks and whites) and blueberries. The only good news is she's not allergic to any vegetables, oats, soy, fruits, or seafood. We basically are starting a 10 week plan to eliminate ALL of the allergens out of her system. It's going to essentially compare to de-tox - she's not going to be very fun. The dairy should be ok, since she's not really a big dairy person. But the gluten is a big one, since it's in any refined product like pizzas, pastas, waffles, cookies, crackers..... oh pretty much everything. In replacement, we can use amaranth flour, egg beaters, soy milk and cheeses, rice, anything sunflower based and some oats. We will have to start shopping at Whole Foods stores now, and most meals will now require me to plan ahead extensively and be pretty much a label reader extraordinaire! I have already ordered some cookbooks for kids on GFCF (gluten free/casein free) diets. I also have to go through all the cleaning products, her bathing and daily care products and check them all for things. Big major production.
The metals test came back pretty good. No major levels of lead and mercury were found (this is good). She had one elevated level but it's nothing that is concerning. We'll just keep an eye out on that one.
The fecal test is still needed to be done - which will determine the yeast and the liver, plus all the minerals/vitamins. She's now on a special supplement that is totally dye free. She may or may not have to have series of vitamin B12 shots depending on the results. This may also be the reason as to why her hair and nails don't grow or are very brittle, as well as the paleness of her skin tone. We'll see what the tests say on that one. Hopefully we'll have that back sometime in November.
So this week I started "Stage One" of the new GFCF diet. This means eliminating ALL the dairy in her diet. Harder than it sounds. I almost boned the first day at breakfast. After that, I decided I needed to go to a whole foods store and start looking around. I did this, and was completely overwhelmed by it all. Just because something doesn't have gluten in it, it doesn't mean it's casein or egg free. In fact, most of it still had one or the other. Looking for cookies and bread was especially hard - however I did manage to find some cookies that we could buy. The bread... that's a different story. I actually was on the bread recipe quest this week (and I found one) for gluten free bread without the eggs in it. So far so good: Kierra is eating what I'm preparing. Unfortunately the other two girls are getting it as well (because you can't give two kids a cupcake and say, "here you have an apple". I rationalize it's healthier for them. So I rounded up all the stuff in the pantry Kierra can't eat and either gave it to the neighbors or donating it to charity (what wasn't opened that is). I don't know if I've noticed in change in Kierra at all. I'm waiting for this horrible backlash from no dairy - but haven't really seen it. I have a feeling the gluten will be the worst one to eliminate (did I mention that starts NEXT Monday?).
So that's it!!! Hopefully this transition goes well, and I survive it with at least 40% of my sanity. Wish us luck!
Musings by Elle at 8:16 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today marks our nine year wedding anniversary!!! Can't believe it's been this long. But as funny as it sounds, I honestly can't remember life without Jarrett being a part of it (we've been together of 14 years now). And I can't imagine being without him.
So happy anniversary babe!! Love you always.
Musings by Elle at 10:32 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
I'm back!! Did you miss me? Our vacation was great!
I have to start off by saying our plane trip there kinda sucked. We flew with this airline and the plane was older than the hills, and EXTREMELY uncomfortable to sit in for 3 hours. We were wondering exactly why there were no cushions on the seat (it felt like a plank), and why the overhead bins were called that... they should've been called mid-torso bins because you had to be bloody contortionist to get into your seat. I was scared to go to the bathroom; might just be a hole cut in the bottom of the plane. But once we got to San Diego, it was fine. It was fine because I swore to ride a camel all the way back to Canada before I ever sat in another one of their air crafts!
The next day was embarkation!!! We got in front of everyone else (elite status is glorious!) When we boarded the ship, we realized that was pretty much all your elite status involved. They screwed up our dinner reservations. In fact they screwed up a lot since there was a huge line already! At first we weren't even sitting with our friends, and they had us sitting down at 8:00pm. We were like WTF?? We were supposed to eat at 5:45. So in order to sit with our friends, we had to sit at 8:30pm every night (which kinda sucked). We asked about the elite service to which the maitre D told us "old people and children get preferential treatment". OKAY so why did they even ask when we wanted to eat? Did I pay the extra grand fo a mint and a towel made into an animal on my bed every night? However, the room was really nice - Jarrett splurged and got us the Penthouse Suite. However, the first night I was awakened to hear the people above us having very loud, angry sex. The guy kept yelling "C'mon you fucking bitch!" Ummm yeah - I was hiding under the covers. Scary sex.
We got to Ensenada the next day and it was pretty. Me and J went on a 1 1/2 hour horse ride in the hills overlooking the ocean. I had a horse named Jose Cuervo and Jarret - Bud Light. He had the slowest horse in all of Mexico. The ride was very peaceful. Sore asses later but you know, it was worth it. We were completely covered head to toe in red dust - since they had a drought. I was kinda scary and dirty. We went shopping in town afterwards - which was an experience. LOL apparently Mexican Viagra is a big seller. Some Mexican offered to get me some "illegal" drugs. I high-tailed it out of there! So I bought some nice things for my mom and the girls.
That same day was my birthday, so they had a cake for me and everything. It was also the formal night. Introducing skank mom and daughter team. OMG - that's all I have to say. They were such super-sluts it was almost ridiculous. To see a mom and daughter on a cruise, dressed so horridly. The daughter had a long gown on, and the front of it had a panel of see-threw lace, so you could see her panties. It was horribly tacky! Of course they got stuck with these other two parties at this table, who were not happy to sit with them. We sat beside them in the next table. Skank DD was so drunk. I went to the bathroom, opened a door and she was sitting NAKED on the can. Saw her sprayed fake tanned tits and all! I have no clue where her dress was!!! Funny story, the last night on, my friend Alana had the EXACT SAME thing happen to her with the same person!! She opened the bathroom door and AGAIN she was naked!! WTF?
The day at sea was really nice AND HOT!! Sat around the pool and baked. Watched skank dd and mom dance like strippers, by themselves, to their ipods. Very strange. They were totally blasted. We had our massage for 75 minutes (bliss!). Later, me and Alana got the worst manicures of our lives!! I mean torture of the cuticles!! HORRIBLE. The Spa accidentally booked us the wrong day, we were originally supposed to have it the night before on formal night. They were supposed to comp us some off, then they lied and said we were comped - turned out they didn't. Alana got all lawyer on them.
The third day, we were in Cabo San Lucas. GORGEOUS!! Me and J went to the Dolphin Swim - and it was AWESOME. We swam with them, layed on them and they pulled us around, it was sooooooooo cool!!! Got the girls some stuffed dolphins of course! After we met up with our friends, had lunch. The guys went to do that sea helmet adventure thing, so me and Alana went shopping down the boardwalk. Again, I was asked if I wanted to buy drugs (do I look like a stoner or something?). I bartered like a pro for a bracelette LOL. I couldn't believe how awesome it was there. They had this super huge nice mall, and Jarrett bought me a Coach handbag - because I'm a huge purse whore. After, we got back on the boat, totally broke and heat stroked.
The last day, we sat in the sun and just relaxed. Had to do the token water slide - which by the way - wasn't the greatest idea Alana ever came up with. She went first, and I learned quick to "brake" - I literally used my hands to slow down so I didn't have to plunge into the cold water. People applauded my efforts. I think my nipples are at the bottom of that pool as ice cubes. Skank dd and mom were trying to pick up all these guys but didn't do too well. After getting a closer look I can see why - she ain't pretty and she even look that way. They were super pissed drunk. The last night at dinner, they said good-bye, and after they left, all the people at their table toasted LOL. I had to add in there a brief "YIPPEE!" and about five surrounding tables applauded. So all in all, the fun was good. I mean we saw some comedians and some shows. But the boat itself I give a 2 out of 5 only cause I'm comparing it to the Celebrity Cruise I took three years ago. Honestly, never would book with Carnival again. The Maitre D actually had the balls to ask us for a tip, that was conveniently put in a nice little envelope on our bed. We gave him a tip alright - but not monetary. "Tip: The next time you book times for sit down dinners, try to honor them. And when someone buys a ticket that is supposed to get them preferential treatment - try to honor that as well". I know - we are jerks! But in spite of it, we did have a great time on our on-shore excursions.
Of course I had a million pictures but I'm not posting them all. I'll leave you with a few of them!
Musings by Elle at 10:25 AM
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Hey all. It's taken me a long time to recuperate from the Thanksgiving fiasco that I hosted on Sunday. First things first, I didn't even realize that I missed my one-year blogging anniversary. Happy Anniversary to me!!
Sunday I got down and dirty, cooking like a mad woman. Cleaning the house. All those neurotic things you do when you are expecting a houseful of people. At 2:00, my husband puts the turkey in the rotisserie. We held our breathes in anticipation hoping this bird would fit. It does (narrowly), and it starts spinning away in it's succulence. About an hour later, I hear this forlorn wailing from downstairs, practically stabbing myself in the eye with my mascara wand "CRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!"
I run downstairs and see Jarrett pulling the turkey out of the rotisserie. Parts of the skin were starting to burn because it was so fat, it was too close to the elements. Only 3:00 - no where near done turkey. I panic and call Cook 911 (my mother) who advises us to cover it with foil, throw it in the oven, and baste the hell out of it. We think crisis averted (or is it?)
Guests all file in an hour later, the turkey is cooking away in the oven now. Dinner is still on for 5:30. So at 5:15, I start to pull potatoes off to mash them, I honey-glaze carrots, fluff stuffing, and do all that to get the meal out. And at 5:30 my husband takes the turkey out and the little popper thing is still firmly down. We take the internal temperature and it's 170 (shit we need 180). Back in the oven it goes; and I turn on the elements to keep the dinner (which was already on the counter for buffet) warm. Over the course of the next hour, I'm continually swearing at the dead poultry in my oven. My idle threats do not make the physics of cooking a turkey go any faster. It takes it's sweet time. Everyone is noticeably hungry, and being polite not to say anything. Major tip-off is people stuffing olives, pickles and buns into their mouths when they think I'm not looking.
Finally we just feed the kids (minus turkey), and I thank God I made meatballs. Kids are eating, we are still violently stabbing the turkey with a meat thermometer, hoping ticking it with the fingernails will make the dial go up to 180 (this doesn't work by the way). Finally at 6:30 the turkey is done. We all sit down and stuff our faces full. Everyone was happy with delirium to be eating, mumbling "good dinner" between mouthfuls of stuffing and cranberries. I was just happy to be sitting down. All in all I'd say success!!!
The only sad part came after everyone left and I spied the counter full of pots and pans that I needed to wash. You can accurately guess I just filled them with cold, soapy water - and left them for my husband to wash the next morning while I slept in until 10:30. After all, too many cooks in the kitchen; kiss the chef; and thou who spent two days cooking deserves a reprieve.
Musings by Elle at 8:23 AM
Thursday, October 04, 2007
In light of the up-coming vacation, it got us to thinking...
We haven't up-dated a Will since we left the States. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Wills, jurisdictions and such - our Will is invalid. It wouldn't be upheld by any court in Canada. And funny fact: the LAST time we made a Will (which was actually our first) was when we went on our last vacation 3 years ago.
So as I was saying, in light of our up-coming vacation, we figured it was high time to get that Will re-done, signed, sealed and put in a firebox or something. For those of you that think lawyers are a waste of money - we conquer. In fact, there is nothing a lawyer can do for you that you can't do for yourself if you buy the proper Will kit. It also helps that back in the day, I used to work for a lawyer and made out I dunno how many Last Will and Testaments. A lot. I also helped go after people who were in arrears from their student loans. You'd be shocked of all the lame-ass excuses I got from people who didn't think they should re-pay them (people... just pay them back will ya?).
Today I went on the quest to find the proper documents I needed to get my Will on. I tried two registry offices to no avail. Seems everyone in the Northwest side of Calgary is looking to take care of their affairs. Can't blame em. I could have registered my own trademark though (if I only had one). I need one of those stupid catch phrases like Paris Hilton's "that's hot" or Donald's "you're fired". Yes ingenious of them both. Finally, I find a place that has them, and I notice that they also offer the Power of Attorney document, with the bonus of $10.00 off if I buy the Will kit at the same time! LOL - seems like a funny offer but hey, ten bucks is ten bucks.
It gets me thinking of how many people won't do a Will. And usually the answer is because if they make a Will, that means they might die. How illogical is that? People paper doesn't determine whether you live or die. Jumping off a building, swimming with your toaster - those do. I think maybe it's just the fear of untimely demise. If you have your shit together, the cosmic forces might say, "Eh you've had a good run". I don't buy into that. I mean I have three kids, and if I go without the proper documentation, Lord only knows what happens to them custody-wise. Plus, I don't want them fighting over all my jewelry. And you know, you have to delegate trust funds. Jarrett's grandpa wasn't so thought-out. He put fifteen grand in a coffee can on the top of his fridge. Apparently he was saving up to buy a new pick-up truck. Honestly, $15G in a can of Folgers. My great grandmother hid her money in magazines. Like between the pages. For years she insisted that the staff in the nursing home was stealing from her. After she died, and they started to burn all the useless stuff she accumulated (she was 101 years old), they dropped a magazine and two fifties and a ten fell out on the ground. They looked at each other and went through all the books and magazines.... .and found something like $7,000.00 - plus whatever they just burned in a barrel. WHOOPS!!!
Really, it's amazing all the work you have to put in just to pass on. All the little details, in which Jarrett and I look at each other and think "I dunno". He has one request. He wants his infamous catch phrase on his headstone. I told him it was highly inappropriate to have the words "This is bullshit" on his grave marker. He thought it would be funny to the passersby and really, summed up his life in three words. You'd think "beloved husband and father" would be more reasonable. Mine should read "come back later - I'm busy".
So here it is... how many of you still haven't gotten your Will done? And if not, why haven't you? I'm interested. Let's call it a sociological study.
Musings by Elle at 6:14 PM
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Ever bite off more than you can chew? Yeah? Well how about when someone hands you another helping even though you didn’t ask?
It has been past tradition (can you call two years in a row tradition?) I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Usually I have over our next door neighbors. Let’s call them J&A. This year was no exception. We extended the invitation, they happily accepted. Honestly, who wouldn’t? Who in their right mind wants to spend all day stuffing bread up the arse of a dead bird? Oh, just so some of you don’t think I sure like to plan festivities really early - Canadian Thanksgiving is October 8th (or Columbus Day to you Yank’s).
There is a catch my friends Why else would I make a point of writing a post about it? I was standing in the cul de sac with neighbor and friend (let’s call her S) while our kids rode bikes. J of J&A came strolling out of his house with his kiddos. We stand there for a moment or two exchanging pleasantries and he asked if they should bring anything to dinner. D’oh S doesn’t say anything, just looks at the ground. First off, don’t give your computer screen that look. They have a lot of family here and they are usually busy. I stopped asking because they are always doing the family thing. But you know, I figured I’d better ask anyways. So I say , “S, do you guys have any plans this Thanksgiving?” Actually no they don’t. She’s nine months pregnant, and refused to host this year (don’t blame her), so there really isn’t a big shindig this year. So my dinner of 9just became dinner of 13. No biggie - I can just buy a bigger bird. I like A&S.
I tell Jarrett our dinner just got livelier, to which he replies, “Did I tell you H of C&H invited me, and the other two guys over this week-end for a guy’s night?” Do you see where this is heading. C&H are actually good family friend’s of Jarrett’s family. Coincidentally, they don’t’ have any family that lives here. I hypothesize them all sitting around H’s talking about dinner the next night, to which C&H haven’t been extended an invitation. So I sigh, and say we should invite them too (it is the nice thing to do), and then start to calculate just how many pounds of fowl I’ll be needing. So party of 13 becomes possible party of 15. D’oh again
Now I realize that since I’m used to cooking for a smaller crowd, I actually don’t have the stuff I need to prepare the actual dinner. Not the munchies, but rather the cookware to prepare them. I could use three tiny casserole dishes or just go buy one huge one. So the mission yesterday, that I dared to accept, involved my going to Wal-Mart and getting a “few” items. My few items cost me a total of $200.00 - which included (amongst other things) a huge casserole dish, a gravy boat with tray, a big-ass punch bowl, and some other junk I probably didn’t actually need. But the first few yes I did. Today involves me going out and buying groceries. I don’t do anything from a can. I make my own cranberry sauce, I make my own stuffing, I make my own gravy and pies. The only thing commercialized is the green bean casserole because I don’t feel like making my own breaded fried onions. My house would stink for weeks. So in the end, I’ll probably have a bigger debt due to Thanksgiving than Canada’s National Debt.
In spite of it all, I do give thanks for this. I have good friends who want to spend a day with my family. How can you argue with that? At the end of it all, when we are all in a coma-like state from the triptofan in the turkey, I will be thinking not of the pile of dishes ready to be washed, or why I didn’t find a pair of old maternity jeans to wear to dinner simply for the expanding panel - I’ll be thinking that I really do have a lot to be thankful for.
Musings by Elle at 8:29 AM
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sorry to those of you who have been waiting to hear about Kierra's appointment with the new doctor. I fully intended on writing about it on Saturday, but as it was, we spent most of Saturday pulling flowers and plants out of the flowerbeds, then watched as two cop cars and an ambulance sat two doors down because the teenage son was hopped up on drugs and beating up his mom (he no longer lives there). Then to top off the evening, Karis starts to bark like a seal (YUP YOU GUESSED IT!) and it was an ER run for the steroid to treat croup. Believe it or not, it wasn't Jenna for once - the Croup Queen of Canada. So we fully anticipated taking Jenna last night, which wasn't the case miraciously. KNOCK ON WOOD, KNOCK ON WOOD!!!! Karis is doing much better, but she was pretty cranky yesterday. They got there around midnight, didn't get seen until 2:30 and got home around 3am - so tired. Then Kierra started to scream because Sunday is daddy-daughter breakfast day (daddy makes waffles, bacon, egg wraps... mommy sleeps in), but daddy was sleeping. After 20 minutes of tantruming, poor Jarrett woke up and came downstairs tired. It wasn't a fun Sunday. We spent it sleeping on and off on the couches while the kids watched Miss Spider's Sunny Patch. Finally we went to the park and let the kids ride bikes outside for 2 hours. Holy crap, shouldn't I get back to my initial point?
OK so Saturday, my neighbor was nice enough to watch the other two girls so Jarrett and I could take Kierra to see Dr. K. It's across the City, so we trucked down there, and I ogled the massive houses as my husband told me "No way! Do you know what traffic is like on the South side?" Fine! We get to the office, and right away he comes out and smiles and talks to Kierra. You can tell instantly that Kierra likes him. She's smiling away, shows him her puzzle she brought. Fellow moms, you know how golden it is when your kid LIKES the doctor.
So we sat in the room, and we talked a bit about Kierra's health in the past and presently. He asked us a lot of questions about her diagnosis process, her eating habits, her pooping habits and her behaviors. He marvelled how she put her puzzle together in no time flat (typical Kierra - she has amazing memory and spatial abilities). He kept commenting on how wonderful she was. Then we talked about her current therapies she's undergoing. He was very impressed by the work we've put into her (sorry to make her sound like a car restoration).
After that, he started to talk about his theory about Autism. Basically that it wasn't just a neurological disorder. This is when I infamously whip out the article I clipped out of the newspaper the night before from a Harvard University study done on Autism. It stated they've figured out it's not only a neurological disorder - rather it's a whole body disorder. Their findings have been that people with autism are showing a wide range of problems in their organ systems, primarily the immune system. They aren't sure what is causing it, but it's a recurrent theme. This is where Dr. K came in. He was delighted to see the article and said, "This is why I take this specific approach to Autism". He did confirm that it was DNA based, but that it was exaggerated by environmental factors. He also stated that vaccines didn't CAUSE autism, but suspects that it acts like a catalyst for it. Mainly, if you are predisposed to autism, and you have an unheatlhy immune system, that vaccines aren't being handled properly by the body systems. So rather than boosting the immune system, it is causing the body to attack it's own immunities - which causes adverse reactions that can also cause neurological problems. It is his belief that if you look at the immune system, and what other problems are coming from that, you can start taking care of them and decreasing the symptoms of the autism. Dr. K firmly told us you can never "CURE" autism (which we knew), but compared it to diabetes. You always have it, but sometimes with proper lifestyle changes, you can make a positive impact on your symptoms.
I did tell Dr. K that I had hear about the DAN approach about three years ago, but that my pediatrician didn't recognize it and told me it was a bunch of garbage. He said it's typical and not everyone believes it can work. He stated that unfortunately it doesn't work as well in some children as others. Mostly children who were high functioning had the best results; especially when it was a younger child. He also stated that it is always good to see the whole picture because you just never know. Just alleviating some of Kierra's body problems could help with her concentration and overcoming some of her hurdles. Of course we don't expect miracles - but we are willing to see just what, if any, changes can be made for positive advancement for her.
He immediately asked us about food allergies, and then replied he thought it was very probable she had some because she had "allergy shiners". This is the dark circles under her eyes that we have noticed for years now. He said it's a typical reaction to food allergies. He thought we should have a food allergy panel done. Then he noted her skin coloring, which tends to be on the yellowish-side. He said that could be a good indication that her liver functioning isn't quite what it should be and that she's not producing enough bile, so her billirubin is higher than normal. She's not jaundiced - but this means she's not digesting all her nutrients properly. This would possibly be why her hair doesn't really grown and is brittle. Also why her nails never really grow. Also her poop tells him this is probable because it is so light in color. Her body isn't absorbing like it should. He said this could be because of high levels of yeast in her digestive tract, and the lack of the proper bacteria that add in digestion and absorption. So they will be conducting a stool test to look for the yeast, and other issues related to this.
He also talked to us about how children with autism have higher levels of metal toxicity in their systems. Mainly, lead, mercury and tin. They aren't quite sure why, but a urine dip is accurate enough to tell us if she does have high levels. If she does, there is a more advanced test to have it move through her system more to tell us just how much there is. If so, there are some procedures that can be down with involve taking an oral or IV medication to flush her system of these toxins. But he'd rather do the less invasive tests first. He thought she probably had some mineral and vitamin deficiencies, which we'll check for. And he gave her a more organic children's vitamin to take which doesn't contain dyes.
Of course we discussed foods she eats, and the possible allergies. Gluten and casein - which is wheat and dairy allergies. He thought it was odd how she decided to no longer drink milk. We are going to wait to see what the allergy tests say first. Until then, we are keeping a diet journal and noting her skin colors, poops and behaviors that day. He wants to see how her body reacts to certain foods. He said a lot of the time, people with allergies to foods really crave to eat them, because their body's get this high from the shock it produces to the system. Essentially, this is why we develop cravings to certain foods. He said her cravings for carbs like pastas and breads could be allergy related.
We get some results back in about three weeks. He sends it off to a special lab in Seattle that deals specifically in testing for these types of things. We are feeling optimistic that there is something to be said for all of this. Of course we won't know more until those tests come back. Dr. K did seem very open-minded and willing to look at all the possible angles with us, which was great. And he definitely wasn't pushy or presumptuous with us. He just thought that looking at the whole picture was the best approach - which we are finding is probably true.
So that about wraps it up. If you are still reading - wow, you must really like me LOL. Hopefully you've learnt a lot with me. As I've said, I'm not 100% sold on anything at this point but I don't think it hurts to know all options, and to explore them - especially if they don't hurt anyone. In light of recent scientific findings - I'm hopefully optimistic that there are more answers out there waiting to be discovered!
Musings by Elle at 8:11 AM
Friday, September 28, 2007
In about two weeks, I'll be sunning myself on the deck of a ship in Bajas. Ah lovely!! Can't wait. I have been going out and getting things I need for the trip. Well not "need" but like. A few new bathing suits, cover ups... can't find a wide brimmed hat because I waited too long and now everything is made of wool. I refuse to wear a fedora. I'm not Britney Spears, and will not be getting out of my car with my hat and without underwear in the elementary school parking lot. Call it tact if you like. So I'm feeling pretty good that I have everything I need for my trip.
But then I realized I have a LOT to do before I go. My mom was gracious to come to take care of the kids for me. But this also means getting a lot of stuff organized before she gets here. That requires making a zillion lists of things she needs to know about. Doctors, school info, routines... My mom will have to drive the twins to and from school; and she has no clue where that is. She'll have to deal with the therapists that will be here in the mornings. Any play dates will have to be re-scheduled and I have to call to cancel the ballet class. I'm not going to subject my mom to watching little girls running around like cannibals in pink tutus.
Did I mention I'm glad to get away from all of it?
My trip also involves cleaning my house like I have OCD. Because my mom won't tell me something isn't clean, she'll just clean it and tell me about it later. "I cleaned the drain in your shower... did you realize how much hair was in there?" Thanks mom. I was actually saving that to make Jarrett's uncle a hair piece. Honestly my shower hair would look much better than what he has now. "I cleaned your freezer, did you realize you have three racks of freezer-burnt ribs in there?" Thanks mom. I was saving those for the next time my inlaws were out. I actually am more anal about a clean house around my mother than his. Maybe because she tells me my sister's house is a disaster zone. She was at my sister's taking care of her kids while they went on their honeymoon. I can only imagine how her house looked when she got back. Immaculate, shiny and notably commented on. I could only imagine the comments in reverse.
So last night Jarrett asked me if I started on the prep work for mom's visit. I told him not yet, I'm too lazy. He smiles and asked me what I was planning on doing about my bedside drawer. I looked at him confused and said, "What do you mean?" He laughed and said, "Maybe you should open it". Low and behold I realize what he's getting at. I have a sort of *ahem" collection of items we have for getting down and funky in the bedroom. Not the sort of thing you want you mother to happen to come across in her cleaning snoopiness. Could you imagine? "I cleaned out your bedside table and organized all your sex toys. Oh and your lube is getting close to it's expiration date." Thanks mom. I think I could possibly die. I mean there are things that shouldn't be known between mom and daughter. I'm thinking this is one of them. I looked at my husband lovingly and said, "Why darling, I'll just put it in YOUR bedside table". He laughed, stopped and asked me if I was serious. We then discussed where to harbor all the evidence that I do indeed have sex. (I don't know why this should matter. I'm 31, married and pay my own mortgage). We figured the big box in the basement should do it. OH that sounded bad. We don't actually require a big box, it wouldn't be full believe me. I just don't have very small boxes laying around. LOL yah that's it.
Then again... if I leave things as they are this may be the answer I'm looking for. It may just stop the incessant digging around my drawers wouldn't it? My mother ribbed me for the underwear I have. I guess she expected full bottomed Fruit of the Loom or something. Instead she found the spectrum rainbow of thongs. By the way, it's a little creepy when you come home from picking up some groceries and your mom is folding your thongs on the kitchen table. "Just saw that you had some laundry in the dryer to be folded. How can these be comfortable". Thanks mom. Seriously though, I have to re-locate the stuff. I can't have mom going into cardiac arrest with my children in the house.
So do any of you have a funny story of the time you didn't think of what you had lingering in your bedside table and it was accidentally happened upon? C'mon admit it for those that have. After all, we are all adults here ;)
Musings by Elle at 8:26 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
How do I start this post today? Some of you may think I'm about to eat some serious crow. That's cool - I'll try to not get feathers on you. Some of you may laugh at my hypocritical nature. That's cool too. The world loves to prove a hypocrite wrong. My mom is about to get the phone call of her life, and feel extremely victorious. You gotta give your mom the upper hand sometimes. That perhaps is worse than writing this post. However, I will fill you in on why today's posting is the exact polar opposite of yesterday (in a sense).
As you all know, I bought the Jenny McCarthy book "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism". Mostly because my mom was harassing me about it after she watched Jenny on The View yesterday. I think that my latter post was more about my feeling attacked by my mom (in a non-confrontational way). In essence, I felt like she was telling me I wasn't doing enough for Kierra. It's hard to have people telling you, "You could do so much more". It makes a parent feel negligent - basically not a very good parent. I don't believe this is true about me. I think I've fought hard to get her to the point she's at today. But I think deep down inside I have lost a little of my drive. I am not the same woman I used to be by any means. Anyone that knows me will tell you that since Kierra was diagnosed, the spirit that was all about me has faded out a lot. People don't really recognize the humbled out me. The me that is not quite as quirky or silly. The me that sits there more often serious and not smiling. Maybe that's why my mom saw something I haven't, or have refused to see for myself. That I gave up even though I didn't realize I had. More accurately, I've given up in finding the a miracle. This doesn't mean I have found it. But I think I have found my hope again. Isn't that just as important?
After reading the book in it's entirely yesterday (yeah that's right), I put it down on my coffee table and stared at the wall for probably a good 10 minutes. I realized my eyes were burning, because I spent the entire day off and on crying my eyes out reading the words on the pages. It was like ripping open old wounds I thought had long healed. Maybe that's what I needed again. Not to re-hash coping and accepting Kierra's autism, but to find the enthusiasm I had to do whatever I had to do to help my child. Jenny McCarthy didn't sell me on any idea in particular. She didn't make me think there is a cure for autism. But she did show me that there are two kinds of parents of autism: those that wallowed in their "woo is me, my life will never be the same" and the parents who would move Heaven and earth to do whatever it took to help their kid. Even if it meant going down more than one avenue that turned up absolutely nothing. Better to venture into the dead end and learn something, than to never take the journey in the first place. I know I've become the parent that lost her way.
Two years ago, before I moved here, my family pediatrician wasn't much help. I had to fight for Kierra's evaluation. I had to fight to get a referral for a second opinion. I was spending countless hours on the internet looking for ANYTHING that might help Kierra. I bought book after book, searching for something. Something I have long ago stopped doing. It was then I had found this diagnostic lab that would test your child for toxicities, allergies and do a metabolic series on them. It was specific to the autistic child. Unfortunately my doctor had never heard of it, and it required going to an independent lab and sending blood work to this place over the internet. I wasn't sure about it because I thought it could just be a hoax to extort money from parents desperate for answers. I asked Kierra's neurologist about it, and he also didn't recommend it. He had never heard of this being part of treating autism.
While reading the book, I re-discovered this process. It's called DAN or Defeat Autism Now. I realized last year that I spoke to another mom in the park about this technique. She had claimed she took her son to this doctor and that he had done these tests, made some life-style changes, and how he was functioning better. At first, I didn't buy her whole story. If there was a cure-all out there, why wouldn't all parents of autism know about it? She had told me the doctor's name, and ran to her car to write his name on a piece of paper. I put it in the pocket of my jacket and left it there. Then last month, I had talked to Kierra's psychologist and she was saying I should really find a doctor here that specializes in autism. I agreed and she told me about this doctor that a lot of her clients have been going to. Low and behold, same doctor as the one written on the piece of paper in my jacket pocket. I decided to google him, and read the information on his website.
I read about the naturalistic approach he took to treating autism. He wasn't about putting children on anti-psychotics or anti-depressants. He did a series of blood tests to look for toxicities in the body, allergies that could be causing issues, and looking at the body for mineral and vitamin deficiencies. The same approach I had found on the internet two years ago. For some reason I didn't want to dismiss this. I wanted to look more into it because I had Jenny's words ringing in my head "your child is worth trying for". So I sat down and sent an email to him, explaining my situation. I already knew he had a long waiting list, but I figured at least I could get more information about it, not fully expecting anything.
Last night Dr. K called us himself. He spent ten minutes on the phone with Jarrett asking questions about Kierra. He asked if we could come in this Saturday morning, as he had a last minute cancellation. We were stunned. I couldn't believe in the course of a day, I could go from being the hugest pessimist to all of a sudden talking to a doctor about looking into testing for Kierra. I saw a grin on Jarrett's face I haven't seen in such a long time. It was hope. Hope he long abandoned also. Last night in bed, we started to talk about it, and he told me, "You know, it may not be the answer we are looking for. It may never turn up anything that will help Kierra. But how can you blame us for wanting to at least try?" And he was absolutely right. My baby is worth all the disappointments I may face barking up the wrong tree. But more, my baby is worth trying and possibly finding something that helps her make strides in this world.
Nothing has ever been gained from giving up. I realized that doing this is like giving up on Kierra. I would never want to do this; intentional or not. True I have been an advocate in having her therapies in place, making sure she got what she needed. I thought this was the most I could ever really do. As long as she had her services, then I was doing a good job. And who do I have to thank for reminding me? Jenny McCarthy. She made me realize that sometimes it hard to stay strong, and even if we loose our way sometimes, it is never too late to fight for what's important to us. Our children.
Musings by Elle at 9:09 AM