Friday, July 29, 2005

Why do/does...

  1. Tim Hortons workers look at me like I have two heads when I say that, in fact, it isn't ok if they substitute a white bun for the whole wheat I ordered?
  2. I feel it necessary to say "Bless You" when people sneeze, when, really, I have no authority to bless anyone?
  3. my husband think that "macaroni salad" is the same thing as "cold orzo and snow pea salad."
  4. I feel it necessary to make lists all the time?
  5. some people give so much unsolicited advice? If you're on the receiving end, can you offer back unsolicited advice, such as, "don't give unsolicited advice. People don't like it."?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

That's the kind of day I'm having

  1. On my last visit to the loo I noticed that my underwear was inside out. But it was too much effort to change it, so I didn't.
  2. Today is Frankie's birthday, but we didn't tell him because he already had his party on the weekend and we didn't want to create expectations of more presents.
  3. It's lunchtime and I'm hungry, but it's too much work to get up and microwave my can of soup. So I'll just sit here with my stomach growling.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The perks of insanity

I saw a man crossing the street downtown today. OK, to be fair, I see lots of men cross the street on any given day. This one, however, caught my attention because he was wearing green tiedie shorts that were several sizes too small and a woman's shirt with black and white vertical stripes accented with a red diagonal stripe, commonly seen in the 80's. His hair was askew, his beard long and natty. He was being helped across the street by a lovely, sane-looking woman.

And what should go through my head at that moment, other than the fact that I think I once owned a shirt like that? "Wow, it must be so liberating to be insane. You can wear anything you want and still get walked across the street by a pretty girl. I wear mismatched socks one day and get ridiculed by my peers."

I'm thinking about setting new expectations at work tomorrow by showing up unwashed in my pajamas. What do you think?

Monday, July 25, 2005

I'm back

Whew. I have hit the "too much of a good thing" threshold in my life this week. So much has gone on that I cannot possibly post about it and expect you, dear reader, to read more than the first few paragraphs before wandering off to a more interesting blog.

Here is my abridged week:
  1. New York is like hell, but with a really good restaurant and theatre scene.
  2. If people laugh when you say you're going to drive through downtown Manhattan, take the hint.
  3. If you wish hard enough that an old friend has gained weight so that you don't have to feel bad about your own size, it will come true.
  4. Allowing your wife to take the vacation pictures will result in blurry photos of Rupert Gee.
  5. Detours on upstate New York highways are not straightforward. Be prepared to make many U-turns.
  6. Tipping the camp counselor can help increase the chance that your son will take a shower while there.
  7. Cats pooh on your carpet when they are angry that you left them behind.
  8. Don't tell your daughter that you're inviting Daniel's parents over for a cookout if the neighbor's son is also named Daniel. She will invite them, and you will be surprised when they arrive.
  9. Getting together with your closest friends for dinner is as close to the perfect evening as you can get. But how can 4 couples have 10 kids between them, with a boy to girl ratio of 9:1?
  10. Don't be surprised if your sister asks you to be the godmother to her daughter even though you're an atheist. Be amused that when she gets around to baptizing her 11 years later, she realizes her folly and unasks you.
  11. 10 year old boys are silly, stinky, messy, loud, and absolutely wonderful. Get invited to their birthday parties. Better yet, host one. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Rocky Road goes to Camp

Frankie is away at camp this week. It's a bitter-sweet experience to take him there. On the one hand, I'm so excited for him, because I know he enjoys it so much. On the other hand, I worry that it will rain all week, that he'll come home with a horrible disease, or worse, that he won't make any friends.

As you may know, Frankie marches to his own beat most of the time. He is such an outgoing and innocent kid that he sometimes doesn't notice when "cool" kids find him lame. That's mostly a good thing, I guess. But, no one wants their kid to be mocked or ostracized.

I can't believe I'm even admitting to this, considering some of my previous posts about the importance of Rocky Road, but I took special care to pack non-geeky clothing and non-loser games. I packed on the Vanilla side of the spectrum for the week. Frankie didn't notice. He was just happy he didn't have to pack.

As we were walking up to the cabin, Arthur noticed that Frankie's pillow tag was poking out of the pillow case, quite prominently displaying the "Laura Ashley" brandname for all the world to see. He stopped in the parking lot to flip the pillow around.

"All he needs is to be branded 'Laura' all week," Arthur commented. Ten year-old boys can be very cruel. Frankie, however, was completely oblivious.

We walked into the cabin, and Frankie had a minor heart attack when his friend (whom we call Shaggy) wasn't already there. A look of absolute terror gripped him for a couple of seconds, then he composed himself, and asked his cabin head if Shaggy had checked-in yet. Turns out that he was in the bunk next to Frankie, and was just off exploring the campground with his parents. Whew. Minor crisis averted.

Next, in came a rather rotund little boy clutching his pillow and bag. His mother, who was similar in shape to her son, spread out his sleeping bag on his bunk. At that moment, I am ashamed to admit, my worries for Frankie vanished. The boy had brought a Winnie-The-Pooh sleeping bag and pillow to camp. Even Frankie noticed this.

If anyone was going to be picked on this week, it wouldn't be Frankie. Thank the gods for thoughtless, over-protective mothers of fat children.

Truly, if there is one, I am going to hell.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam!

I'm not telling you this to make you jealous. I'm sharing this information to make you GREEN WITH ENVY!

Next week, while Frankie is at summer camp, Benjy is with her favorite sitter, and the cat is at Grandma's, Arthur and I will be in Manhattan to see Spamalot. Orchestra D. If you don't know what Spamalot is, then you really have no business on my blog. Hit the Next Blog button immediately. Go. Get!

Are they gone? Good. Fricken troglodytes.

Seriously, though. Arthur and I are quite excited about the whole affair. Neither of us have been to Manhattan, and thus obviously have never taken in a Broadway production.

We also haven't been on a roadtrip without the kids for about 10 years. We used to absolutely love going on long drives together. We'll get to spend 10 hours there, and another 10 back again. If you don't hear from me by next weekend, someone call the State Patrol to have a look on I-81 to see if we've killed each other.

Wish me fun and luck!

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. "

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Eddies in the Space Time Continuum

I've got nothing today. So, I'll borrow from the illustrious DNA.

From Life, The Universe, And Everything:

"Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now here he was already chasing a Cherterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Walking the Rocky Road

I have mentioned in the past that my son is not a Vanilla person. He's Rocky Road all the way. It's both a blessing and a curse for him (and us). And, as much as I think that long term, he'll do amazing things with his life, the here and now can be very difficult. While every adult that meets him comments on what an interesting and intelligent child he is, he's nearly failing out of school.

It's been a long struggle for us to help him develop strategies for coping with his specially-wired brain. He has a million thoughts running through it all the time. This becomes readily apparent when he changes the question he's asking me two or three times in mid-sentence. It's very frustrating for him and me. I worry that the world won't give him the patience he deserves.

I know there are stimulants that can help his thoughts "get in line" (as a former ADD colleague and child Ritalin user used to say), but for us, that isn't something we're ready to resort to just yet. I've heard some success stories and an equal number of disasters. We've tried super doses of Omega 3, extra homework help, individual education plans, and a host of other techniques. All with limited success.

The latest, and most expensive, experiment is eeg neurofeedback.

We're meeting with a psychologist on Thursday to discuss beginning him on 40 45-minute sessions. Basically, they attach eeg stickers to his head to monitor his alpha, beta, and theta brain waves, and hook the eeg to a computer that plays games. As he plays the games, he is rewarded for producing more beta waves. It is supposed to teach the brain to increase its use of beta waves, which is normally the difficulty for kids with attentional issues. It gets progressively more difficult, but is supposed to have an 85% success rate in treating the symptoms of ADD. And, unlike drugs, it's lasting - especially when done with children.

I have my doubts on whether or not it will work. But, I think we really do have to try everything we can. I'd feel horrible if I knew there was something that we could have done to make his life a little easier and we didn't. That being said, I'm not complete naive. I plan on negotiating some benchmarks and performance metrics into our contract, so that if it isn't working, we don't get stuck paying 100% of the bill (luckily, our benefits cover about 1/4 of it).

I also worry that this therapy might take away his Rocky Road-ness, which would be a tragedy. But, on the same token, his current state is causing his self-esteem no end of harm. Ahhh. The joys of parenthood. Tough decisions and heart break at every corner!

Has anyone heard anything about eeg neurofeedback (or eeg biofeedback)? Any anecdotes or information on personal experiences would be great.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Lose Some, Lose Some

It was a sad week for London Ontario, having lost the new Shriner's Children's Hospital bid to Montreal. Those wily Francophones outsmarted us at the last minute.

On the plus side, we beat out Paris for the 2012 Olympic Games, so that's something, I guess.

Oh. Wait a second...