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January 2016
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March 2016

Well, that didn't take long. I sent Ezra's teacher some evaluation forms and surveys on Monday. She filled them out that same day and faxed them directly to our doctor, like, OMG GET THIS KID SOME HELP. The doctor called within 24 hours and was like, whoa, yeah, that's ADHD and also OMG GET THIS KID SOME HELP. This is the book Noah's therapist read to him after he was formally diagnosed and we made the decision to start medication. I just ordered a copy for Ezra, and yes, we are making the same decision for him. We were very reluctant and resistant with Noah, and in retrospect we agree that we waited too long. Believe me, we tried just about all of the alternative med-free strategies, multiple therapies, diet changes, you name it. We didn't just throw up our hands and spring for the meds to make our lives easier. (Well, okay, I did throw out one of those ADHD IS A PACK OF LIES-type book that my MIL gave us after a cursory Google search on the author, revealed her to have close ties to the church and teachings of Scientology. Didn't even recycle it. Not even a... Read more →


Special Needapalooza

I went to Noah's IEP meeting yesterday, our first "real" meeting with the new school. We had an initial "move everything from County A to County B and try to not let anything get lost in translation" meeting in the beginning of the year, but this was the Actual Annual Big-Deal one, where we determine services for the next 12 months. The good news is that...well, it's all good news. Noah has transitioned beautifully and his new team loves him, and even better, REALLY understands him. After years of being classified solely as a SPD/ADHD kid at his old school, to the point that the team seemed surprised by his eventual Autism diagnosis (and then had to rapidly overhaul his IEP), I think it was really beneficial to move into this school with the ASD code firmly in place. No question, Noah needs those specific needs met, and here is everything this school can possibly provide. His new IEP is strong, comprehensive and best of all, was written from the point of view that this is just who Noah is and how he thinks and learns. He is not a problem to be solved. He is a child who will... Read more →


Of Eyeballs and Autocorrect

I went to the eye doctor this morning. The good news is the zombie pinkeye virus is gone and didn't do any permanent damage to my eyeballs. The bad news is I still managed to flunk the vision test pretty damn spectacularly. Combination of being naturally a little farsighted coupled with all the straining and squinting from the last couple months means real honest-to-God grown-up glasses are in my future . (Also, I'm just old.) The possibly hilarious news is that my eyeballs were dilated during my appointment and I can't see anything close up at all and I am currently using the voice over feature on my phone to write this post. I have no idea if anything I'm saying is getting transcribed correctly, Hell I don't even know if I'm logged in to the right blog. So if this shows up on my about page...well I'll fix it in about six hours. Or not because I'm sensing this post might end up being a pretty good example of everything you need to know about me . Also this is pushing the limits of "I write how I talk" to a really awkward degree as I'm sitting here at... Read more →


I noticed a couple topic requests for Further Yakking About from the comments on the last post, and as I am in a procrastinating mood and have nothing better to yak about, let's do it: 1) The time-limit parental control thingie. Our kids used to solely play with our old, discarded iPhones. Plus an iPad that was technically still mine and I don't remember giving up custody but eventually it was chock full of nothing but kids' games and was always sort of sticky. I was never really happy with the parental control options in iOS. App purchases and downloads required a password, but I wanted to be able to set time limits, block certain websites, and just sort of generally know what they're up to without having to literally sit there staring over their shoulders. (And thus, having to listen to the Angry Birds theme song over and over and over and over...) There are two choices with options like that: Amazon Fire Kids Edition with the Amazon FreeTime subscription service, or a tablet with full Windows 10 installed and Family Safety enabled. At the time, we didn't have an xBox or anything, and Noah was DESPERATE to play... Read more →


So if any of you are regular-ish readers of the Advice Smackdown, you'll appreciate this delicious slice of piping-hot irony: Ike won't eat his dinner. Ever. A bite or two, at the most, followed by dramatic "yuck" faces, protests over non-existent spice levels, feigned gagging over textures, then a sustained and stubborn refusal to touch anything else on his plate. And whining. So much whining. It's funny because oh ha ha, how many times have I told other parents EXACTLY how to handle this type of behavior, like we had it SOLVED FOREVER and LOCKED THE HELL UP. Step One: Buy Ellyn Satter's book . Step Two: Do whatever Ellyn Satter says to do. Step Three: Be smug about it on the Internet. Ike has never known anything BUT the Satter method. He has always eaten what we eat, he has always been offered a wide array of flavors and textures, he has two older brothers modeling damn near picture-perfect table manners and eating habits. And he is not an unreasonably picky eater. At breakfast, lunch and snack time, he will eat anything and everything you put in front of him -- INCLUDING DINNER LEFTOVERS -- with minimal to zero... Read more →


So I get that Valentine's Day is a cheesy, unnecessary holiday birthed from crass marketing and consumerism, and it's cool to be all, "whatever, we don't do anything for Valentine's Day because we don't celebrate Hallmark Holidays blah yadda blah." But I married a romantic with a penchant for big gestures and special occasions. Not doing anything for Valentine's Day goes against his very DNA. So we celebrate Valentine's Day, but to prove that we're not complete lemmings, we don't celebrate it specifically ON Valentine's day. This year we went with February 13th. Yeah, that'll show 'em! Stick it to the man! (On Valentine's Day Proper we took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda 3, which wasn't technically terrible or anything, but I feel like the storytelling possibilities and overall concept of a kung fu fighting panda have officially run the full course and it is time to move on.) (Next up: Jujitsu Shrimp! Crossfit Honey Badgers!) On Saturday, Jason woke me up with the news that he'd booked me a surprise massage appointment, because he is amazing and also loves to ignore our "no gifts this year, right?" agreement every single time. Probably just to make me look... Read more →


Garages are so overrated. In my defense: 1) Our garage is a really, REALLY tight fit for the minivan, even with the mirrors closed. 2) The previous owners left a ton of shelving/storage crap in the garage that makes it even worse. 3) Today was literally the very first time I've even attempted to back a car out of a garage, ever, like in my entire life. 4) I was running late. 5) I forgot to make coffee. 6) I'm a virgin who can't drive. Anyway, it's been a great day for idiots doing idiotic things! I'm loving today! And now I have to go drive my busted car all over creation in search of 50+ Valentines for my kids, because I fail at math and calendars and for some reason thought I had until Monday. But of course I don't have until Monday, THERE'S NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY WHEN IS THERE EVER SCHOOL AT ALL AROUND HERE. I'm sure whatever Valentines or Valentine craft supplies left in the stores are going to be super top notch and awesome. At the very least hopefully I can find some card stock and ink cartridges and spend the rest of the day... Read more →


Ike: *is off from school again because ha ha ha ha of course he is I should get a manny* Ike: *approaches me while dramatically rubbing his stomach* Amy: No. Oh no. Ike: My body doesn't feel so good. Amy: *internal screaming* Amy: Are you going to throw up? Ike: Maybe. Ike: My body needs to play on the Xbox. Ike: That will make me not throw up. And scene. BREAKING EPILOGUE: He just came into my room and tried the exact same thing, as I was typing this. Still haven't given him the soothing curative balm of the Xbox, but I did get him unload the dishwasher. Points for still being a tiny bit smarter than my four year old! (That face though... I feel like that face needs to play on the Xbox.) Read more →


Snow Day Part 412

So I've been waiting for something to...you know, HAPPEN before firing up the blog-o-thing, but um. It's been day after day of vast, boring nothingness. The children were SUPPOSED to go back to school today after a stretch of conference/professional days, but ha ha ha haaaaaaa (plz continue until you reach a satisfying level of maniacal-ness), it's snowing again and school is canceled. Again. (Are the streets fine? The streets are fine.) I made the boys pack lunches last night in a fit of optimism while Jason pulled the cars into the garage and laughed at me. "They so aren't going to school tomorrow, babe," he informed me while I curled up on the couched and growled at him like a feral cat. There's not enough snow to play in, it's too cold and wet to play basketball or ride bikes. I've been desperately trying to limit screen time for reasons I've lost track of (something about...brains? eyeballs? motherly fascism?), which makes it deliciously ironic that I am sitting here in front of a screen, getting interrupted LITERALLY EVERY SEVEN WORDS by whining children. "NOAH TOOK MY TAKANUBA POHATU KUBACCA!" Ike shrieks, as if I know: 1) What the FUCK... Read more →


10 Surefire Tips to Smooth Schoolday Mornings

1) Before the school year begins, let each child pick out their very own alarm clock for them to completely ignore every single morning. Having three different alarm tones blaring is a surefire way to make sure you never oversleep and can start shouting at your unconscious children right on time. 2) If a child doesn't have any clean shirts in his closet, it's best to dig one out from the bottom of the hamper to make sure it wasn't worn recently enough for anyone to notice. 3) Teach older children basic breakfast preparation skills, both for themselves and their siblings, for maximum screaming when older child goes on a cereal-withholding power trip. 4) Bros before Hoes and Coffee before I Make Anybody Eggs. 5) Pack lunches the night before. Keep lunchboxes in the fridge for optimal frantic grabbing at the last possible minute. 6) If you plan to send in anything special that needs to be heated up or prepped in the morning, make sure your children have back-up money in a school lunch account, because YOU KNOW you gonna forget that shit and send them to school with like, a juice box and some pretzels. 7) Have dedicated,... Read more →