Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Boo Is Still Sick

We took my son to the doctor this morning because he still had a high temperature. She said he's got a virus. By this afternoon, my son had a fever of 106. I was terrified and called 911. I gave him some Tylenol since I had already given him Motrin, and I put him into a lukewarm bath. It seemed to take a long time for the EMT's to get here...maybe 15 or 20 minutes. By the time they got here, my son was walking around with his drum on his head like a helmet. His temperature was still 103, but at least the crisis was over. I felt pretty silly, but I would have done the same thing again. 106 is a scary number.
So, there won't be much of a post today, and probably not tomorrow either because I'm tired. But, it seems like most people prefer not to read posts every day anyway because it's too much to keep up with. So, that makes me feel better.
Also, that's why nobody has gotten Entrecards from me...I'm busy doing more important stuff. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Reality of Life with Children...

My son woke up from his nap with a 103 fever. So, dinner wasn’t quite what I planned because I needed to take care of my poor, sick Boo. I got the meats and artichokes made, but I completely forgot about the potatoes, and I got interrupted while making the Bearnaise sauce, so that never made it to the table. You can’t be interrupted while making that sauce. It’s completely unforgiving, and if ignored for so much as a second, it becomes inedible. We did have the wine, which was wonderful, but we fell asleep before we ever made it to dessert. LOL Well, my wonderful husband appreciated the effort and didn’t mind that the meal wasn’t what I planned it to be, and that is one of the many reasons why he is wonderful. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuesday Weigh-In on Monday and Happy Birthday Hubby!

It's Monday, I know, I know. But I have a dentist appointment tomorrow when I would normally have my Weight Watchers meeting, so I went to a meeting today with my usual leader, who I just love.
I'm terrified of going to the dentist, which is why I always go, because I hope nothing too bad can happen within a six month time span...except during pregnancy, which does terrible things to teeth. I'm using my Uncle's dentist, and I hope that he will be able to numb me up to do anything that needs to be done. I have funky nerves, and not every dentist is able to numb me...hence my fear of the's really a fear of pain.
Anyway, FINALLY, I have good news. Because I stuck with it, and forged through the tough times, I have made it through to the other side. This week I lost four pounds. That's a total of 32 pounds. Yesterday, when I was doing the laundry, I was able to run up the four flights of stairs from the basement to our third floor apartment without getting out of breath. And, I'm sitting at the computer today wearing a sweater in a size I haven't worn since I was in college 16 years ago. It's been a good week.
Today is my husband's 40th birthday, and I have all my points all worked out for dinner much everything needs to weigh or be measured out as, so I don't have to waste time looking everything up at dinner. I was thinking of going out to dinner, but I have all the control if I cook at home, and can make and measure everything according to what I can eat. Anyway, I'm a pretty good cook, and don't mind eating the food I cook. :) Excellent food in small serving sizes is a good thing. Julia Child always said everything in moderation, and opined that satisfying meals of nutritious food would cut down on craving and snacking.
We're having steamed artichokes as an appetizer, with a dipping sauce of extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Dinner will consist of lobster tails (I just can't kill them myself) and fillet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce (from scratch...powdered sauce mix won't do for my husband's birthday) and fresh herb roasted fingerling potatoes and Pinot Noir. I have edible flowers and fresh herbs to use as garnishes.
Instead of cake for dessert, we're having Grana Padano cheese and comice pears drizzled with honey served with Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, you can have this meal on Weight Watchers, and it would be 33 points...almost all 35 bonus points (and I just happen to have 31 bonus points left for the week ending today, so I only have to use 2 points from my day...but I do have to pay close attention to the portions and weigh and measure everything), but doesn't it sound worth it????? Cheers!

My Long Awaited Yaktrax Review (BUY SOME NOW!!!!!)

Well, if you can't tell from the title of my post, I LOVE my Yaktrax. LOVE. I can NOT believe how awesome they work. I've been waiting and waiting for ice so that I could try them out, and yesterday we got a mix of snow and rain that froze. I had to go food shopping last night, and my husband was staying home with my son, but I was taking the baby along. I walked outside with my daughter in her infant car seat, and as soon as I stepped into the street, my foot slid. Normally, I would walk back inside and not go back out, no matter what I had to do, because I am so afraid of falling on the ice, especially in the street, in the dark, with a baby. However, this time, I walked back inside, and got my Yaktrax. They take a little tiny bit of practice to put on, but WHOA, they are incredible. I honestly felt like I was walking on dry pavement, and thought maybe I was hallucinating the ice. So I bent down and felt the ground with my hand. Sure enough, it was a sheet of ice. I confidently walked around my car as I scraped off the ice (after using all my strength to open the doors, which were frozen shut...which is normally very difficult because of course there's no traction on the ice...not this time!).


I kept them in my pocket in a plastic bag, so when I got to the supermarket (there was a big patch of ice right next to my door), I put them on, walked across the parking lot, took them off and put them back in the bag in my pocket (they are not recommended for indoor use), shopped, and then put them back on to go back out. They fold up small enough so that you CAN keep them in your cool is that? They were very comfortable to walk in, and I had no trouble at all driving with them on.

There is a warning on the box saying that they won't prevent all injuries, and I suppose that if you're trying to pole vault on the ice, play tackle football, or climbing up or down a 45 degree slope, you MIGHT slip. However, just walking, I could not make myself slip. I tried. I would imagine you can even go jogging with these on, although I'm not going to tempt fate.

So, if it's icy outside and you want to go geocaching, want to walk to your ice fishing hut on the lake by your Adirondack property, if you want to go hiking or walking, if you're pregnant, injured, or elderly, or are just plain terrified of walking on ice like me, if you have a dog or a toddler who pulls you along as you walk, or live anywhere where there might be ice (like a hockey rink), do yourself a favor, and get yourself some Yaktrax. I've tried other types of rubber strap on ice walkers, but they pale in comparison to Yaktrax. Yaktrax are very reasonably priced at $14 to $20, depending on where you buy them (although I got mine for free...thanks Carolyn!), and you'd better believe I'm going to get my husband a pair. He used mine last night to take out the garbage, in fact, and he was really impressed too. What a great alternative to ice hiking boots!!! The only thing that would be better is if they came in sizes for children. They need traction too!

Since I only opened my box yesterday, I had no idea that Carolyn had placed a bunch of other goodies in the box for me! What a great surprise!!! She put a sample of every product Yaktrax makes, including a pair of socks that help your feet not slide around in your sneakers when you're exercising, a pair of shock absorbing shoe inserts, and a pair of shock absorbing shoe inserts that are CUSTOM FIT... how cool is put them in the microwave for a few seconds, then you put them in your shoe, put your foot in, and viola! It forms around your foot into a custom fit. I can't wait to try these out, and I'll write a review about them too! I have to get new sneakers that are worthy of all these wonderful products!

To read more about Yaktrax:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Goodbye, Shea Stadium

Citi Field from the NY Mets website

Pictures of Citi Field I took yesterday while we were driving by (I wasn't driving, of course. :) )

Yesterday we went to the New York Hall of Science in Flushing, NY. I'll write more about that in another post. On the way there, we passed Citi Field, next to where Shea Stadium used to stand. It was very sad. It's a huge, beautiful stadium, much larger than Shea, but it sits 15,333 fewer people. I wonder if we'll even be able to afford to take our kids to a ballgame anymore since the entire stadium is all upscale from having more luxury boxes to serving upscale luxury food. I really don't need to eat sushi at a ballgame. The whole idea of a family outing seems to be lost. I hate that the stadium is named for a bank and not a person, and money dictates everything these days (if you want to buy stock for Citibank, it's under two bucks a share).

I have forged many memories at Shea, having attended games with family and friends for years. I brought my son to his first baseball game at Shea. Our family used to have an annual get together at Shea. When I was in high school, I was in the marching band, and we played at Shea.

Goodbye, Shea Stadium. Thanks for all the great memories.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Macy's is Having a Fantastic Sale!

My daughter is getting Christened in two weeks, and I got my suit dry cleaned for the occasion. I figured I'd have it tailored for the Christening. I brought it to the tailors, and it would have cost $80 to have it tailored because it was so big. I remember when it was tight, and today I could just about have walked right out of the skirt. So, I figured I'd better go out looking for something new that fit! My husband, the kids, and I went to the mall, and I headed straight for Lane Bryant because they have nice plus sized clothes. My husband is always wonderful, but he's especially wonderful to shop with because he will give me an honest opinion of how clothes look on me. All the clothes I picked out that were down one size from what I usually buy were much too large. I went down another size, and another. They were still sort of big, and nothing looked quite right.
I thought maybe Macy's might have some good sales, because sometimes they do. I once bought a pair of pants there for 99 cents. Well, they just so happened to be having a clearance sale. Many things were 75% off (which is right where I was looking...and tomorrow is the REAL sale with things 50-85% off!!!!!). I looked around for the plus section, and of course, it was on a different floor because I guess they don't want the fat folks shopping in the same area as normal sized folks. I always resent that. So we all went up out of sight to the second floor, and I found some pretty nice things, but no skirts or dresses...they were only on the first floor. So, I figured I'd take a look at the regular sized clothing and try some stuff on JUST in case, and I promised I wouldn't get too upset if nothing fit. Well, everything fit, and looked nice...I chose the outfit that looked nicest, and I got a $100 outfit for $25 in size XL. Some people might think that's still big, and it is, but I haven't worn that size since college, which was about 16 years ago. I couldn't believe I was able to shop in the regular part of the store. I was so happy. So, even though the past two weeks I've been in a slump, I have still made it a long way, and DO have results to show!!!!! I'm so excited! Now I feel like I have even more incentive to keep going.
I CAN SHOP IN ANY STORE I WANT NOW. That is so amazing. Wow. What a great day!
And Carole is doing terrific too! Go give her some support at
Woo hoo!!!!!

Random Thoughts

Horse Farm
Although I took this picture from the driveway of the farm, I can see this nice horse farm when I'm leaving my complex during the's a seasonal view. :) I love the different colored jackets on the horses. My son enjoyed looking at the horses too. I love living right across the street from a farm. Christmas Tree Shops
Isn't it a pretty store? I was so curious about what on Earth there must be in the Christmas Tree Shops that they are opening a month and a half after Christmas! Boy, did I have fun looking around. My husband had a different experience chasing my son around while he had fun looking at all the neat stuff. :) It's a variety store with all sorts of things for the garden, home decor, toys, and seasonal decorations. Everything is very inexpensive, so you don't feel too guilty shopping there. I bought a little goody bag full of stuff for my Mom, but I can't tell you what's in it because she reads this blog, and it would ruin the surprise! I'll let you know after the weekend. :)
Oh, no snow on the ground. I got a pair of Yaktrax in the mail from the manufacturer to try them out and write a review, but since I got them, the weather has been pretty nice, and all the snow and ice have melted! I've never wanted snow and ice, but I'm so excited to try out my Yaktrax, that I want it now! We have had some snow lately, and even a hail squall today, but nothing is sticking. My son thought the hail bouncing around was just the funniesst thing he'd ever seen. How cute!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My First Award!

I have won my first award! I'm thrilled to announce that Cindy from Fenced in Family ( has given me the Sisterhood Award! Thank you SO much, Cindy for the award and for saying that I’m a “good blogging buddy"!

Here are the specs on the Sisterhood Award:
“The Sisterhood Award is inspired by the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and was created by Diana to be given to your best bloggy girlfriend(s). You give them the award to thank them for their special friendship.”

Please visit Diana at
I am passing along the Sisterhood Award to these wonderful women whose friendship I am grateful for.

Carole from "So You Wanna Go Geocaching"

Andrea from "My Autism Insights"

And to my Mom, who doesn't have a blog, but who deserves any award there is to give. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Weigh-In

Another icky week. I gained another pound. I have no idea why. The only thing I can think of is that I THINK I'm writing everything down, but since I am constantly interrupted in the middle of each and every thing I ever try to do, maybe I'm not. There has to be some explanation, and it has to be something going into my mouth. Unless I'm sleep eating or eating in some other way without my knowledge. Maybe there's some evil IV person who sneaks into my room at night and puts high calorie IV stuff in my veins. (baby crying) Anyway, I can cry (baby crying again), and I did, and I can complain and get all angry, but the fact remains that something I'm doing needs to be corrected. As I can not get rid of my distractions, I will have to find a way to deal with them. So, I have decided that I am not going to eat my 35 extra points anymore. This should (I hope and pray) compensate for anything I forget to write down. (baby crying AGAIN). Um, where was I? and AGAIN. Where was I? Again. And again.
Oh, I give up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day that started with my husband and son bringing me my very favorite breakfast in bed, whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanutbutter, and a cup of coffee, light with two nutrasweet packets. Yummy! My son just loves to help make toast.

Then my husband was off to work, and I spent the day with my two love bugs, and we had a nice day. This evening, we all went out to a local Italian restaurant for dinner, and exchanged mushy cards.

For dinner, I had grilled salmon with steamed vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, calamata olives, and artichoke hearts. It was sooo delicious. I also had a piece of bread dipped in some wonderful extra virgin olive oil with garlic, sun dried tomatoes, calamata olives, and basil. Mmmmmm. Both kids behaved beautifully. For dessert we came home, and I had three pieces of my very favorite chocolate, Merci. I had Merci chocolates for the first time when my family from Germany brought some over during a visit, and I've seen them in Hannaford's and Target. I got my husband some dark chocolate covered strawberries and dark chocolate non-pariels from the kids, which he was too full to eat after a huge steak, mashed potatoes, stuffed artichoke hearts (I had a half artichoke heart with about a tablespoon of the stuffing...very good), and I'm not sure exactly how many pieces of bread.

Surprisingly and thankfully, the kids both went to sleep soon after we got home, so we got the opportunity to spend some much needed alone time together. That was the best present of all.

Thank God for National Geographic

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, Black Holes and Astrostuff, and the post was about specials coming up on the National Geographic channel about the fastest, smallest, biggest, and most explosive. You can read the entire blog entry here:

The show, "Known Universe" begins on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night at 8pm EST.

Yee ha, brains of steel, here I come! :D

Mushy Brain


I think I used to be a pretty intelligent person, but lately, it seems as if my brain has gone to mush. I'm not sure if it's because I have too many degrees, and I wasted all of my brain cells on acquiring them, or if I just watch too much Sesame Street. It could be some sort of combination of both. I used to go to work every day and talk to lots of different people. I used to have to solve complex problems by gathering background health history, going through a test battery to determine the presence and site of a lesion, and I used to rehabilitate people. I used to ponder nanotechnology and biochemistry. Now I change diapers and make bottles. I used to read scientific journals and the essays of Stephen Hawking, and now I read about bus wheels and hungry caterpillars. It's a bit of a culture shock even though I've been doing it for over a year. I know I am doing the most important job in the world. I am eternally grateful to my husband for working so hard so that I can stay home with the kids.

I felt so guilty while I was working that I wasn't spending more time with my son, and now I feel guilty that I'm not bringing in any income. I don't think men go through this...not most, anyway. My son, at one point, was in daycare for ten hours a day. It killed me. Because I was "indispensable" at my job, I couldn't get time off to go to his therapy meetings, take him to his specialist appointments, or take care of him when he was sick. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on with his therapy because I couldn't participate, because I was at work. I couldn't follow through on the therapy because I was rarely home. And I just plain missed smooshing and kissing my son. I cried for a long, long time when I put him in daycare when he was 12 weeks old, and I am so happy that I don't have to do that with my daughter. Since I've been home, I've been able to go to every meeting for my son, attend all of his therapy sessions, follow through with everything at home, never have to worry who will care for him if he's sick, don't have to worry if school is closed, don't have to worry about snow days or snow delays, don't have to worry about doctor's appointments, and I don't have to worry about summer. All of these things make me very happy, and now I truly am indispensable. There will be time to re-firm my brain later on. I'll have to get one of those work out videos...never mind "Buns of Steel", I'm going to need "Brains of Steel". :D

Friday, February 13, 2009

Big Boy Bed!

My son is finally in a big boy bed. We got him a really neat bed guard with places to put a sippy cup of water, a pocket for toys, and a pocket for books. He seems to really love his bed and his special places for his special things (although he likes to take them all out of the pockets as soon as Mommy puts them in...especially Thomas the Tank Engine, who you can see at the bottom of the picture).

Now I don't have to worry about him climbing in and out of his crib anymore...just climbing in and out of our bed, jumping on us, shouting in our ears... It's actually great to wake up to (although, not necessarily at 5 a.m.).

Do you remember being young and all excited to get up in the morning because all you had on the agenda was play? I actually do. I used to get up around 5 because my friend Steven's mother used to drop him off very early at his baby sitter's house, which was just a few houses from mine. His babysitter had a pretty easy time of it, I guess, since we just played all day. :) It was a lot of fun.

Now I wake up to coffee and responsibility, and I'm grateful to God for both. :D

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beautiful Day!

Today is such a beautiful day for a walk. Why don't you come along?

The view from the top of our hill.
Another gorgeous view from the top of our hill.

It looks like maybe a plane left a trail through the clouds.

Here's a little squirrel nest. My husband noticed that you can see the entrance near the bottom. My father liked looking at the squirrel nests. Being able to see all the little critter nests in the trees unobstructed by leaves is one of the best things about winter.

Some geese came for a visit.

There's finally even some ground visible!

A perfect blue sky. My Grandfather always loved to look at the sky.
A bald eagle even flew over us, but it was so quick I didn't have time to take a picture. What a perfect way to end a walk!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For Better or for Worse

My favorite comic strip (and in fact, the only one I read on a daily basis), is For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston. Late last year, she ended the strip. I was devastated. I knew that she was planning to start the strip over from the beginning, but I was really bummed because I already knew how everything turned out. However, out of habit, I continued to visit the strip. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I still love it, and maybe even more so because the mother, Elly, is a mom of two: an older boy and a baby girl, just like me. So, I've found the strips poignant, funny, and pertinent. I'm so happy! If you'd like to take a peek, here's a link to the daily strip "fix". Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Apologies...

I have been an Entrecard slacker. My son, thrilled with no longer being confined by his crib, laughs whole-heartedly at Super Nanny techniques and believes that it is worth any punishment to postpone bedtime as much as possible, skip naps, and get up at 5 a.m. to play on top of Mommy and Daddy. My daughter is working on her first tooth, which is finally erupting from her bottom gums. However, despite Baby Tylenol and Baby Orajel treatments, she cries until at least 12:30 or 1 am, and is up and ready to eat and play by 7. So, I'm just too tired and busy right now, but promise to get back on the bandwagon asap. :)

Tuesday Weigh-In, As Promised...

As promised, I am reporting the bad with the good. I gained a pound today.
Starting WW: -22.2
Week 2: -3
Week 3: +1.2
Week 4: -6.4
Week 5: +2.8
Week 6: -2
Week 7: +1
Total: 28.6 pounds lost
Arghhh I can't get back to where I was in week 4, where I was finally down 30.4. Of course, I was deathly, DEATHLY ill, so that's probably why. Anyway, according to my pattern, next week should be a down week.
I gained a pound today. I am so upset, because I did everything I was supposed to do this week...except work out. But I measured, I weighed, I drank water like a fish, I wrote down each and every thing I put in my mouth, and I did earn activity points from walking, cleaning, bench pressing, curling, spinning, and chasing my kids, which I did not eat, and I didn't even eat all my bonus points. Oh well. That's what next week is for. This is the way I have always takes me forever to lose any weight...I lose weight sooooo slooooowly, and go up and down all over the place. Ugh. However, I decided that this time, no matter what, I am not going to give up. This is my seventh week at Weight Watchers, and I'm up to my seven week itch, where I usually stop going. But I will not this time. There's a gentleman in my group who I always sit behind (in the corner cause I always have the baby along), and it took him over a year to lose 60 lbs. So, he's inspiring to me. It's always nice to be around people in the same boat who have also decided that they're in it for the long haul, and have also accepted that they are who they are. I am me, not anyone else, and so I will not compare myself to anyone else...or at least I'll try really hard. :)
I will try to learn a lesson from my son and celebrate every tiny accomplishment, take baby steps, and just keep going with a positive attitude. I also set little goals so that they are goals I can getting those last stinking 1.4 pounds back off. I'm also trying to keep the big picture in mind...I've lost 28.6 pounds. When I started, I had 124 pounds to lose, and now I only have 95.4. Things go slowly, but when you look at accomplishments over a long period of time, they are significant. Just because you have to work twice as hard to achieve half as much, that's just the way it is, and it's a thought that needs to be discarded and not revisited. No excuses. Just because something is accomplished later, or after a lot more time, doesn't make it any less of an accomplishment. We are who we are, and we do our best. My son is my strength and my inspiration.
My father, who passed away in July, had his own struggles. He was not always encouraging to me while he was here, but I know he did the best he could, I know he loved me, and I like to think that he's cheering for me from up above.
Please visit Carole at to cheer her on. Her weigh in day is Thursday. Please also visit Cindy at to cheer her on too. Her weigh in day is Wednesday. Two pounds down!!!! Hurray for you Cindy!!!!!
Glasbergen, R., (2007). Fit2 comic accessed 2/10/09 from

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chef Jacques Pepin on Top Chef

Top Chef Head Judge Tom Colicchio (whose cookbook "How to Think Like a Chef" my wonderful husband bought me for Christmas) and Host Padma Lakshmi (too bad she's not good looking...Ha! Holy Cow, if only I looked like that!)
This Wednesday at 10 pm EST on A&E, Chef Jacques Pepin will be a guest judge on Top Chef. I'm so excited to watch!
Top Chef is one of my favorite TV programs. They're up to the fifth season already! I started watching during the second season, and then was lucky enough to catch a marathon of the first one. The show starts with 16 contestant chefs, and they are eliminated one by one (occasionally two by two), until there's only one standing. That last one standing becomes the Top Chef for that season, and they win all sorts of neat stuff like $100,000, an editorial feature in Food and Wine Magazine, and a spot at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen.
The show begins with a quickfire challenge, where the chefs are given some sort of rules and a short time limit to come up with the best dish they can, or to compete in skills, or to identify or name ingredients in a dish they taste. For example, on one episode, they had 30 minutes to create an amuse bouche (amuse the mouth...a small mouthful to whet the appetite) using only ingredients they could find in a vending machine. Sheesh. LOL
Then they go on to the elimination round, which is more involved. Again, they have a challenge and usually limited resources or ingredients to work with, and have to make the best dish they cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner using only microwaves and toaster ovens.
If you haven't checked out the show yet, give it a try. It's a lot of fun to watch. :)
By the way, none of my posts are paid...I just like to write about stuff I like. :D

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Train Ride!!!

I can't wait for my Yaktrax!!!

Waiting for the train. Here it comes!

On the train!

Today we went for a ride on a train...15 minutes down the line, and then we switched tracks and rode the 15 minutes back home. It was lots of fun. It was a nice day to go outside and enjoy some fresh air, and the conductor even let my son keep his ticket as a momento.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Victory! A New School Bus Car Seat!

I'm not sure how common it is for a child to need a car seat on a school bus, but since my son is only 26 pounds and three feet tall, he does. I don't know what policies are like for all bus companies, but my son's bus company is a private company where they have old car seats that nobody is trained to install or check, and nobody is trained to properly harness the children in the seat. This is a nightmare when you're putting your three year old on a bus with a stranger as a driver. The drivers change, and the bus attendants change, and you can't be sure that your kid will be safely secured if anything happens. There are school bus accidents on the news all the time, and if you read my blog, you know there's a lot of ice up here where we live.

Before school even started in September, I called the bus company to make sure they had car seats, and that there would be a car seat for my son on the school bus. The first day of school, my husband and I had to adjust it because it was not installed correctly, and the straps were twisted beyond repair. We straightened them best we could, but it was impossible to straighten them completely.

My brother, who is an engineer, explained to me the danger of having twisted straps when I strapped his kids into their car seats. He explained that all the force would go to where the twist was, and this could cause serious injury. So, every morning, I would put my son into his seat myself, and try to untwist the straps as well as I could. However, I was not there when he got out of school and was put on the bus there.

As I mentioned, the attendants are not trained how to fasten the children into the car seats properly, and when he came home, the straps would be twisted and loose. I started having the various attendants fasten my son into his seat while I watched, and corrected anything they were doing that was not correct. I had to do this all the time because there were always different people on the bus. I called the bus company and requested that they take the seat apart to straighten out the straps. That didn't happen.

One day when my son came home on the bus, I was horrified to see that one of the shoulder harnesses was not fastened. I called the county on this one and complained that nobody is trained on how to use the seats, and because they do not fasten my son into the seat correctly, he could be killed. I printed out instructions for the bus driver on how to correctly fasten children into the seats.

Then one day the bus needed to be inspected, so the driver used another bus to take my son home. This bus had no car seats, so my son was not in a car seat for the ride home at all. I was furious. I said that when I changed cars, or someone else took my son somewhere, I moved the car seat. I called the county to complain again. The bus driver didn't like me too much. Nothing happened, as far as I know. Somehow, the straps became even more twisted, and I demanded that they get a new car seat.

I was confounded that no other parent complained about the seats, or so they said. I kept calling the county until they were sick of hearing from me. Finally, after the holidays, my son had a brand new Btitax car seat, and I was very happy. Since I've told everyone how to use it, my son hasn't come home unfastened since. The thing that bothers me is that there are other children in car seats on the bus, and none of their parents ever have any issues.

I think that there should be a law that car seats need to be inspected periodically and that school bus personnel should be trained on how to use them. I should write to my congress people...although with the new president and the economy, I don't know if they'd care...maybe I should write to Oprah.

At least my son is safe in a new seat. Since having him, I've learned to be an advocate. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, and I've learned to squeak good and loud.


I am SO excited. Carolyn from Yaktrax read my blog, and she is going to send me a pair of their walker traction devices for me to try! I will be writing about my experience, and I will give an HONEST if you're someone who finds themselves walking on ice a lot, or someone who would like to go geocaching and finds it difficult to do so in icy conditions, stay tuned to find out how my experience goes! (If you'd like to know just about anything and everything there is to know about geocaching, read Carole's blog So You Wanna Go Geocaching at ) Be assured, that if they help ME walk safely on ice carrying an infant and dragging along a toddler with noodle legs, they will be able to help anybody!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Adapting to a Different Type of Winter with Lots and Lots of Ice

Yaktrax walker traction device

The view out our front door of beautiful snowy woods.
My cousin just loves winter, even though she has to chop up ice on a driveway that may as well be a private road. God bless her. I don't hate winter, but I don't like ice one bit because I am a perpetual klutz and have visited the emergency room more times than I can count. Ice scares me. Driving in snow and ice is scary too.
I grew up in Queens and then lived on Long Island for several years, and for the most part, as soon as it started to snow, or even before, the roads were salted and sanded, and driving wasn't too bad. Stores made sure there was no snow or ice on the sidewalk or near the entrance, and parking lots were pretty clear. I was spoiled. Although some places are cleared up here, the roads are not generally plowed, salted, or sanded right away, and some of them don't get done for days. Even roads that are busy. The spaces in between parking spaces are covered with ice. There is ice on the ramps for wheelchairs in parking lots. There is ice in front of stores. Everywhere, there is ice.
As we have moved up state from "the city", we are viewed as interlopers. But, we're bound and determined to assimilate, acclimate, and adapt. We came here because we love it and wanted to get away from "the city", not because we wanted upstate to be like the city...we do NOT!!! So, even though I'm sure I sound whiny, I'm sure that soon I'll be laughing at newbies trying to drive without snow tires and walk on ice in shoes without good traction. I think I'll start now...HA HA HA!!!!!
Now, on a positive note, I'm never one bit surprised by the ice. I broke my ankle down in Queens because I slipped on a surprise piece of ice. Here, the ice is everywhere all the time, and in two years, I haven't once slipped. And, my poor son slips all over the place all the time, so it is ironic and terrifying that I, the perpetual klutz who has been to the emergency room more times than I can count, has to hold him up...and I have!
Also on a very positive note, there's almost always snow on the ground all winter long. Down on Long Island, things look dead and dreary because it's more temperate there, and the snow melts. Here, everything looks perpetually pretty. I don't mind the cold. I usually don't even have my coat closed. But, oh, the ice. I'm afraid to take them for a walk or go to the playground, because everything is covered with ice. It makes the options for playing outside very limited. Since my son is hyperactive, it can make staying indoors very difficult.
But I will adapt. My husband doesn't really need to adapt, because he's part cat. He never falls. No matter how slippery something is, or if he's standing on roller blades for the first time, he's right at home and can jump and do anything he wants. He's amazing.
My Mom got me these nifty rubber things to put on my shoes that have cleats on them and give lots of traction for the ice. They work pretty well, but the cleats are only on the toes, and they're very uncomfortable when you're walking. I saw a different pair that I may get called Yaktrax. They have coils wrapped around crosswise over the toe and heel. The spiky ones are great to keep in the car because I won't have to walk up and down the stairs or on my linoleum with them, and the others will be great for walking to the bus. Other than the ice and that it can be difficult to drive in the snow, I don't think there's anything I don't like about being upstate. I think about people who have to learn to do things in different ways because of disabilities, so I think I can learn to do things in a different way and learn to love, or at least be at peace with the ice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Best Dyspraxia Program Ever

This is the title of an article that my son's nutritionist gave me yesterday after his feeding therapy. You can read the entire article here:

Dyspraxia, literally translated from Latin, means poor coordination. Dyspraxia affects all motor skills and motor planning, which is movement and the brain deciding how to tell the body how to move and in what order to do so. Therefore, complex actions like riding a bike, eating, and speaking are very difficult or impossible for people with this disorder, like my son. The author, Kelly Dorfman, M.S., L.D.N. proposes that having the proper fats in adequate amounts added to the diet can aid in motor planning. Specifically for my three year old, 1000 mg per day of Omega 3 fatty acids from Barleans Omega Swirl EPA/DHA and 400 iu per day of Megafood Vitamin E complete. Apparently, the DHA in most supplements and children's formulas is much too low, and most vitamin supplements don't include all 8 types of Vitamin E. I would have liked to see some studies cited in the article, since the report contains anecdotal evidence only. She reports children with dyspraxia "showing exciting leaps in language complexity", and claims that a doctor cured her three year old of dyspraxia using only Vitamin E. I'm surprised that a medical article offers no mention of studies conducted, research results, or some other peer reviewed evidence. I'm going to give it a try, but I'm also going to do some research on my own to see what studies have been done to demonstrate the evidence of this approach.

Well, I did some research on PubMed, which is an index of journal articles published in various fields of medicine. All the studies published are in nutrition and alternative medicine journals. The results are mixed, but promising. The hypothesis is that there is some metabolic disorder that causes a deficiency of phospholipids, resulting in various disorders and chronic disease. Therefore, supplementation may be a viable treatment option. These studies have only been conducted over the past six years, so the idea is still relatively new.

I'm ordering the supplements today, and I'll report on any changes I see.

Tuesday Weigh-In

Well, I didn't post about my weigh in last week because I gained two pounds. But, then I thought, I hate when people succeed allll the time, and sometimes I want to hear about someone not doing so well so I feel like I'm not so alone in my struggles. So, I am sharing late that last week I gained back two of the six pounds I lost. I think it's because I lost six pounds from being dehydrated after suffering the fate of the stomach bug that's going around, and that the two pound gain was just rehydration. However, it's never good to gain, and I was very relieved when those two pounds were gone again this week. So, that's an even 30 pounds lost for me. Technically, I gained almost 3 pounds since Weight Watchers counts tenths of a pound, and that is why I'm 30 pounds down instead of 31 like I was. But, I hope that next week that other 8/10 of a pound will be gone too. :)

Please log into Carole and Cindy's blogs to get inspiration and lend support. Go Us!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snowy Morning!

We got some snow this morning, and my son had fun making footprints with his new boots. There have still been no takers on the bird feeder. I think I may break off some pieces of cereal to give my son some hope. It's no worse than Santa Claus, right? Then, I think we'll make another bird feeder with something the birds might like to eat more, and maybe he can watch the birds eat that. I feel so bad. It's such a cute bird feeder. It's too bad the camera focused on the tree branches instead of the bird feeder...I'll learn!!!! :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Late Thank-you to My Top Droppers for January!

Carole's Thoughtful Spot
New York Renovator
Technology INSANITY
Mutual Love
Zack Zoomer and the Internet Adventure

New Glasses and How Doctors Test an Infant's Vision

How cute are these? My son looks adorable in his new glasses. They're Go Diego Go! They have tiny animals along the sides. Soooo cute. We had to get new glasses because his glasses snapped in half across the bridge while I was cleaning them. I brought them in to be replaced under the warranty, and dug out his old glasses for him to wear. Somehow, while putting on his old glasses, I managed to snap off the piece that wraps around the ear. Luckily, we had old old glasses, and I put those on him. Last night before his bath, I managed to put those glasses in a spot that I have yet to identify. So, I had to send my poor son to school with broken glasses with only one ear piece. Thank goodness, his new glasses came in today, so I met him at school to put on his new glasses. I can't believe that in two weeks we are on our fourth pair of glasses. AND his frames are supposed to be brown, and they only had blue, so they gave us the blue frames until the brown ones come in. I don't know if we'll be getting two new pairs of glasses then, or if we'll have to give back the really cute blue ones. I hope we can keep them since we now have no more pairs of backup glasses left!!! In April, he will be able to get yet another pair of new glasses through the insurance company and a new eye exam.

He first got glasses at 18 months. I noticed that no matter where I brought him, or what I showed him, he never seemed interested in anything. He was developing very slowly and was very far behind, but when he finally started pulling himself up, he would stare at the TV when he was right in front of it.

We'd been to every specialist you can think of, and they all (including the neurologist) assured me that he could see just fine. I thought it couldn't hurt to bring him to one more doctor, so I brought him to an ophthalmologist.

I was so curious about how they would test a non-verbal baby to see if he could see. They had me sit him on my lap, and had a dancing Elmo toy on the other side of the room. My son showed no response to the toy, and so the doctor started to put other toys closer and move them around, and again, my son showed no interest.

The next test was a refractive test. They put drops into my son's eyes to dilate the pupils. Usually this bothers children because it blurs the vision significantly. Other than hating to have the drops put in, it didn't bother my son or affect his behavior at all. That was an odd sign. The doctor then gave the drops a chance to work, and then used an ophthalmascope (which is a handheld light with a magnifying glass on it used to look at the eye). The light is supposed to be refracted, or bent a certain way by the lens of the eye so that the light is reflected on a certain location on the retina. The doctor then began placing lenses between the scope and my son's eye until the light refracted correctly. She proceeded to tell me that he was practically blind, that his vision would never improve, and could probably not be corrected surgically.

So, we went to have glasses made at the local optometrist's office. When we put the glasses on my son for the first time, he saw himself in the mirror and smiled. I took him outside, and it was Christmastime, so there were lights everywhere, and he just couldn't stop looking around. Then I brought him to a local variety store, and he was touching and looking at everything. I was so moved. I KNEW there was something wrong, and I was right. He's done so much better since he's had his glasses, and I'm so pleased that he had at least one problem that was easy to correct.