Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forever in BlueJeans

Hammer gave his Asperger's speech tonight at Boy Scouts!  It seems as if this years talk went even better than last year!  More boys were there and many asked Hammer questions.  In fact, the question and answer part went on for about a half hour after he spoke! 

I am so proud of him.  :-) 

Today was a good day... heading to bed now...

be well,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alive and Kicking

In a play on Poltergeist, the movie, 'I'm baacccckkk!'  lol

Last week, was NOT good.

However, on Sunday, the kitchen was completed, backsplash and all. 

The floor still isn't done, though.  We have to go order that soon.

Here is a close up of the backsplash, and one of four decorative tiles in a coffee theme, of course:

I will post pics of the others over time... I took this picture at night and it doesn't do the color justice because there wasn't enough light.  I will retake some pictures soon.

Fuzzy had a week from hell last week.  It became obvious that trying to keep him off his meds at this time for allergy testing is just not going to happen.  So, back on all his meds he went. 

They are just getting up to speed now, and no, he was not able to do the Junior Police Academy.  We were all very disappointed. 

At least he made it school yesterday and today!  And, we were back at the doc, and fine tuned his meds a little, today, too.  Not much we can do.  The pollen counts are off the charts and his body/immune system is under attack.

Pumpkin Muffin even had a rough week, getting a rash all over her arms after playing outside in whirlwind of pollen.  Ugh. 

Anyhow, after many days of working on it, all the kitchen is finally put back together.  Phew... glad I don't have to do that again!

be well,

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Say What U Need to Say

So, apparently, once I write about Fuzzy being healthy, that is an immediate jinx.

I don't know if it was being outdoors doing the marching drills on the freshly mowed grass or if it was the glue smell and dust from the countertop installation but whichever/however - Fuzzy was sent right back into asthmatic distress. 

He stayed home from the Police Youth Academy yesterday and today, and is back on all his asthma meds.  We know the specialist wanted to do the allergy blood work in the midst of his 'bad' season, but we cannot afford for this kid to be sick anymore. 

The police have been wonderful and understanding; in fact, the officer I spoke with today has 2 kids with asthma and they have been having a bad year, too. 

We expect Fuzzy to be able to attend Thursday and Friday.  Please, keep your fingers crossed and keep him in your thoughts.

In kitchen news, we had our first construction 'delay'.  The plumber cancelled yesterday and is coming instead today.  Supposedly, soon.  I am waiting for him now. 

Pumpkin and Sporty have been having a great time together.  Right now, they decided to go outside and practice 'set ups' for volleyball.  Bless their little energetic hearts!  lol

I am finishing coffee number 1 and will be heading to get coffee number 2 shortly!  LOL

be well,

ps... A little Dr. Who for my Sci-fi loving readers... lolcat style!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kitchen Remodel - The Countertop

Just to remind you, here is the kitchen sans counter:

And, now voila!

Tomorrow, the plumber comes to connect the faucets, dishwasher line, and the range top!  Yay!

Here is a close up of the molded sink... I love it!  All one smooth piece!

Here is a comparison of the other side, where the cat food was before, and now after:


Same cat... nicer cabinets and counter!  LOL

The counter looks very grey, but it has a lot of brown specks in it, too.  Here it is the swatch:

Still a lot to do, of course, the backsplash still has to be tiled, and the floor done, and the striped wallpaper area stripped and painted, but it is getting there!  I can't wait to have a sink, dishwasher, and range top again!  YAY!

Don't ya love the little scotch tape on the window screen?  Yeah, still waiting for the patch to be done by Hubby... I think for about 3 years now!  LOL  Now, he will have to do it!  Hee hee hee

More tomorrow!

be well,

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I love this picture!

I had a huge collection of Garfield stuffed animals throughout my teens and early twenties.

Anyhow, Fuzzy continued to improve daily and was able to attend the Junior Police Academy today!  Thank goodness!  He really deserves some things to go his way right now!

The kids are off on Spring Break this week.  Right now, Hammer and GalPal are finishing off the original Star Wars movie.  Pumpkin has a friend over also who will be sleeping over for the next TWO nights!  Yep.  I know... I am nuts!  LOL 

Pumpkin, her friend Sporty (nickname), and 2 other neighborhood girls are outside playing basketball and box ball alternately. 

It is a gorgeous day!  Yay!  Finally, we have been getting some actual spring weather!  I hope it continues for this whole week while the kids are off!

I am also waiting for the countertop to be installed.  They just called and said they will be here at 4:30pm.  Ack.  So close to dinner... but I truly don't care!  Just get here and get it in!!!  lol

More pictures of the kitchen to come...

Guess what???  My RA/Lupus has been pretty good... Shhh... don't say it too loud! 

be well,

For the Monty Python lovers...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Starting Over

I am really sorry to do this... but I just can't catch up on the over 150 alerts I have received.  So, I am deleting and starting from scratch.  I feel bad because you all support me, but I just have to do this for my sanity!

Fuzzy is doing better.  I am hopeful he will be even more so tomorrow.

be well,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday and Update

It's me... Thursday Thankfuls coming at you with an update all rolled into one...

1.     I am thankful that our pediatrician realized on Monday that something is really wrong that Fuzzy keeps getting worse.

2.     I am thankful that Hubby was able to bring him straight to the pediatric specialist that helped us before, with no notice. 

3.     I am thankful that I am a stay at home mom, so that while Fuzzy was removed from all his asthma medicines and bombarded with adult strength steriods to take down his lung inflammation (his breathing capacity was at 75% ish), and adult strength antibiotics to deal with a raging sinus infection, he could cuddle up with me. 

And, lean on me, sleep with me, and cry with me holding him, because until the new meds started to work, it was really not fun.

4.     I am thankful that Fuzzy began to get better early on Wednesday afternoon...

.... before the raging rash hit him, and we found out that he was allergic to the antibiotic (and the steriods were surpressing the reaction at first).  I kid you not.

5.     I am thankful that the benedryl worked and we were able to stop the itching so later poor Fuzzy did have a good night sleep.

6.     I am very grateful that Hubby didn't call for the 'men in white coats' to take me away when I burst into tears asking for a Haagen Daz Ice Cream bar when he walked in at 9:30pm Wednesday after Boy Scouts, and instead went back out to get one for me.  (yes, the dark chocolate with chocolate ice cream)

7.     I am very thankful that Fuzzy took the new adult strength antibiotic this morning, and that (so far) there has been no allergic reaction. 

8.     I am very thankful that through this all Fuzzy's school has been very supportive and concerned.

9.     I am very thankful that the cold/cough I started the week with has gotten much better, although it is back into that lingering stage.

10.    I am very, very, thankful that 'momma told me there would be days like this', but really wish that there weren't also weeks, months, and years!  Ack!

11.    I am very thankful that maybe, just maybe, the worst is over, but I am knocking wood as I type this out.

So... that's my life in a nutshell.  I'll be back again soon.

be well,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life in the Fast Lane

... Life in the Fast Lane but going nowhere, about sums it up!

I did make it out with for coffee with Laura on Friday night, and it was really nice.  We need to meet again this week.  :-)

Unfortunately, when I got home, I found that Fuzzy was back from his dance with Hubby.  He only made it about an hour before he started to feel bad and wanted to come home for nebulizer treatment.

We did our best for Fuzzy all weekend, but we need to get him to the pediatrician today (at 2pm) and get him on stronger meds.  Probably back on oral steriods for a while and maybe an antibiotic until we knock this clear out of his system. 

Fuzzy is very frustrated.  Not only has he missed school today, he has missed at total of 4 baseball games, a Boy Scout fund raiser, and he is very worried about missing the junior Police Academy next week.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

I am also struggling with the cough/cold thing again.  It was inevitable.  As soon as Pumpkin got it, passed it to Fuzzy, well, I knew my name was on the list in capital letters.  Unavoidable.

In kitchen news, we have purchased the tile for the backsplash, and that will hopefully be installed next week shortly after the countertop.

I am very behind on journals, and I apologize.  I will do my best to catch up, but it may take a while.  I hope everyone is having a good Monday.

be well,

ps... I hope the Star Wars themed lolcats made you chuckle!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Look of Love

Here is another update picture on the kitchen.  Today the electrician powered up the oven and put in the power for the microwave/range hood and installed the latter.

We also got the date that our Corian countertop will be installed!  4/21!!!  I am so shocked!  It is only 12 days from the date they made the template!  Yay!  Something else early! 

Then, we can schedule the backsplash tile guy and the floor.


I have been really lax about memes lately!  I really will try to get one up later!  I promise!

Tonight, I am going out to Starbucks for coffee with my cousin-in-law and former co-worker, Laura.  She is back in school to get her Bachelor's degree in nursing.  She already is a working registered nurse.  Laura is interviewing me on my health issues for a project!  I guess with my long and sordid issues, I am the perfect subject!  LOL

Fuzzy has his 7th grade social this evening.  The theme is 'A walk on the Boardwalk'.  So, he and all his buddies are wearing shorts and button down/stylish shirts.  Should be fun!  Hubby will be a chaperone, so I will have him try to get some pics!

I hope everyone has a marvelous weekend!

be well,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Just one thankful for today, regarding my brain tumor.

The uber-neurosurgeon, specializing in skull-based tumors, has reviewed my MRI from December and has concluded:

 'There has been no discernable growth in the 6 month period.'

WOOHOO!!!  I am doing the happy dance over here!

I get to wait one whole year until I have to have an MRI again!

YAY!!!!!  (see my side bar for link to my original diagnosis)

All the good wishes and prayers must be working, thank you!!!!

And, yes, it will always be there in the back of mind, or skull, literally, but I will now file it under 'do not worry about' until next December!

be well,

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kitchen Remodel - 8pm Yesterday

Well, the cabinets were installed complete by 8pm last night!

Here are the pictures...



The refrigerator is working, but that is it for the appliances.  The double oven and warming drawer have to be connected by the electrician.  The dishwasher is in place but still needs the plumber.  The plumber will also hook up the sink, and the range/stove top, but that isn't until the countertop arrives and is installed. 

The countertop guy is here making the template right now for the Corian.  The sink is molded right into it, also made of Corian. 

Yay!  I have no complaints.  The Sears coordinator calls and keeps you informed each step of the way.  I haven't had a contractor show up late once.  Usually, early in fact.  It has been as pleasant an experience as it can possibly be!!! 

On the family front, it seems that Pumpkin's illness was not allergies but a cold, because we are all dropping like flies!  LOL

Fuzzy, unfortunately, always gets it the worst, due to the asthma.  He had a horrible night, and has been on the nebulizer for treatments all night and day today.  I am hopeful for school tomorrow, though.

Hammer, Hubby, and myself, are all suffering to a lesser degree.  So far it is just in our heads and we are taking our cold medicines since yesterday!

If you could keep your fingers crossed for me that it stays away from my lungs, I would appreciate it!

In other news, Hubby dropped off my December MRI cd at the super neurosurgeon's office on Monday.  The doc's assistant said they would call me Thursday and let me know if I need to come in for a consult or not.  Hopefully, not, as that would mean it has not grown at all or only slightly.

I hope everyone is well!  We have sun shining today, it is very nice!

be well,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kitchen Remodel - Day 2

Here are two pictures of how the kitchen looked at 7am today.

That is the shot toward the L, no cabinets over there yet.  Note the sub-floor was skinned with wood prior to cabinets being set.

This picture is of the inside wall, one cabinet left to install on that side.

Last night, we received a computer call that the appliances were all being delivered between 8-10am.  Perfect.

Instead, the door bell rang at 7:10am, with me in jammies, while I was just waking the kids!!!  ACK!

Well, early is always better than late... so, it was just fine!

Here is the picture of the L section as of 1pm today!

They are installing more as I type this!  The refrigerator is also set in place on the inside wall, I will show pictures of that later!

We were not moving any walls, so obviously that is why they are able to go so fast.  However, every other place we got estimates from said 2-3 weeks, plus time for the countertop.  Sears Home Improvements was the only one that said less than week.  We didn't believe them!!! 

Hubby stayed home with me today because he saw how nervous I was last night!  I am so thankful!  He also knew I was tired and sore, so after the kids left at 8am, I went back to bed, and in spite of the noise I did sleep for about 4 hours!!! 

I love my Hubby!  He is out picking up lunch right now! 

More to come later...  I feel like I am hosting a home show!!! 

be well,

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kitchen Remodel... by the hour!

Here are a few pics:

In this first picture, the back wall of cabinet is still not removed, but you can't see it.

This was at 12 noon.  They had been working since 8:30am.

Here is one hour later!

They began to tear up the layers of flooring.

This is about 2:15pm, when only the sub-floor was left!

The electrician has been here working and the cabinet men have been assembling the cabinets in the garage.

Here is the picture I took at 5:30pm, as they are working on putting the inside wall of cabinets!

AND, they are still working as my dad would say, 'like the hammers of hell', so... more pictures to come!!!

be well,

ps... I am so excited!

Crazy Train

It has officially begun!!! 

The hammering, the un-screwing, the havoc!  lol

Thank goodness my dad stayed home today for the start of the kitchen remodeling!  They were asking all kinds of questions about fuses and electric... I would have had no idea!  LOL

Pumpkin is unfortunately home today.  Not sure if it is allergies or a cold, but she was coughing a lot, not conducive to school work! 

Here is a picture from our visit to the historic train station yesterday with J, my nephew!

Adorable aren't they?  This is not the station house, but the caboose that they also have renovated! 

It was really nice spending time yesterday with Kathy and J! 

It was a good weekend.  Busy.  Lots of last minute things to do to get ready for today, but all is well.

I did my Enbrel shot last night, and took my methotrexate Friday.  It is my 7th week of shots in a row without a break, so hopefully soon I will have some relief!

Poor Libby!  She is just beside herself with workmen in the house!  LOL

Gotta go...

be well,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sunshine on My Shoulders

It is not raining!  Yay!  Sun is shining!  Yay! 

I would like to say I was sleeping yesterday waiting for Caturday...  but I wasn't!

Mom and I finished the kitchen packing.  And, Dad too.  We worked from 9:30am until about 5pm when we ate dinner.  It was a long, long, day. 

I slept today for 14 hours.  I was a sore blob of red joints.  Still a bit swollen, but rested.

Pumpkin is learning Billy Joel's 'Piano Man' and she is doing a great job.  She has such a gift.  It comes very easy to her, I wish I had been that lucky with music when I was a kid!

Tonight we are going to the Olive Garden!  We tried to go last week and it was an hour and half wait!  Ack! 

Tomorrow, Kathy is coming with my nephew J!  Yay!  I will have pics as we are going to see our historical train station! 

be well,

ps.  This lolcat is for Pumpkin who LOVES curley fries!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday and Wednesday Word of the Week!

Aye yi yi yi!!!  Still lots to pack, today is after school bowling league, and my hands are sore, swollen, and hurting like HADES!  ACK!

Alrighty then... that's enough about that!  I am so sorry that I didn't get here yesterday! 

Wednesday Word (s) of the week!

I love Latin, and so many Latin words are used direct into English, so I decided to give you a few of them today, to make up for my absence.

Caveat:  let him/her beware; warning.  As in the phrase 'Caveat emptor', 'Let the buyer beware.'

In situ:  means on the site, used quite often in medical field, especially in biopsy.

Quid pro quo:  something for something; a trade-off

Vox populi:  voice of the people.  one half of the expression, 'Vox populi, vox Dei' which is 'The voice of the people is the voice of God';  Often further shortened to 'vox pop'.

Tempus fugit:  time flies

And, of course...

Carpe diem:  seize the day

... but you all know that one already!  LOL ;-)


Now, without further ado, my thankfuls!

1.     Coffee.  Yup.  'Nuff said.

2.     Hubby.  He seems to have successfully removed his head from his butt and improved his mood and therefore 'behavior' this week.  Last week he was a bear.  Ack.

3.     The Kids.  What a motley crew!  LOL  They are always my heart, my reason to live.

4.     My parents.  My rocks that I lean on.

5.     Books.  I have read some great ones lately!  Including, Jim Butcher's 'Small Favor'.  Loved it!

I hope that everyone is having a good Thursday!

be well,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month

As I have mentioned, my eldest son, Hammer, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Hammer hates the words 'syndrome' and 'disorder' because he strongly feels that although he is different, it isn't something 'bad' or something that has to be 'cured'.

Last year, Hammer did a talk for his Boy Scout Troop.  I am reprinting it here for you.

I will also be printing some other articles, and writing some more essays with regard to Autism this month.

Here is the reprint of Hammer's Talk for Autism Awareness Month

(sorry, double spaced)

April is Autism Awareness Month.  Mr. Trapp has asked me to speak tonight because I have a form of high functioning autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.


There are many different degrees of autism.  Think of the spectrum of colors.  At the far left you have yellow, and that would be like Asperger’s and other high functioning forms, and all the way on the right you have the deepest darkest purples, and that would be like Kanner’s Autism, so severe that you cannot speak, communicate or be touched.


Autistics have their own way of thinking.  They are often misjudged by those of you who are neuro-typical, we don’t say ‘normal’ because everyone has their own ‘normal’.  Neuro-typical is how all of you without autism think.


Autistics think differently which does not mean it is inferior. And, thinking differently is not the same as thinking different things.  It means that our brains are wired to process and react to information and stimulation around us in a very unique way.  The best thing that you can do is remember that anyone with autism is not being different to be ‘difficult’, it is just how we are.


Autistics and Aspies, like me, get overloaded by things that other people hardly notice, and each of us has our own set of sensitivities.  In order to cope with overload we have to allow for ‘down time’ and time to ‘decompress’.


For example, I have some sensitivities.  Sometimes noise can really be painful and difficult for me to handle.  I often will use soft ear plugs that dull the noise and help me cope. 

I also have a problem with bright lights.  Sometimes I have problems with tactile things too.  I can be bumped gently and have it feel like I was tackled.  Other times, I can bang a part of me and not even notice. 


My pain scale is all messed up, too.  I have a hard time recognizing internal body pain, like stomach aches, and ear infections, until they are super bad.  I broke my nose once, and when the doctor snapped the bone back into place with a metal rod, I never stopped talking to him about Star Wars.  He was amazed because most grown up people, men and women scream, and some even pass out! 


I also have something called dysgraphia which makes it painful to hold pens and pencils for a long time.  I do a lot of my school work orally because of that.  I also like computers better, buteven that can be stressful after a while.

I am also particular about my foods.  I don’t like the different things on my plates to touch.  I am pretty lucky though, some kids and adult Autistics only eat white foods, like Larry on the show Numbers, or only eat 2 or 3 things ever for their whole lives!


One of the most difficult situations for Aspies and Autistics are social occasions.   Groucho Marx once said, “I’ve had a wonderful time, but this wasn’t it.”  This illustrates how many of us feel.  I love being with people, but it can be really hard when they don’t get me.  I am pretty sensitive and can easily have my feelings hurt.  Once people understand where I am coming from, then we usually get along fine!  Chit chat can be tough, but if you come to me and ask me about things I like, we can really have a great conversation! 


Autistics and Aspies often have tics or do repetitive things called, ‘stimming’.  It isn’t meant to be annoying to everyone around us, but sometimes it may seem that way.  Some kids and adults may rock, flap, tap, sway, pace, hum, make weird sounds, stare at walls, etc.  These behaviors are calming for us as we are being bombarded by all the things that you neuro-typical people never even notice.


You may have noticed my tics.  Sometimes I will make a strange noise, or rub my face.  No big deal.  Just ignore it! 


Many Aspies, like myself, and other high functioning Autistics are very smart, but not all of us.  Usually, our smarts or genius is in one or two specific areas, and we struggle with others.  However, all of us here on the Autistic Spectrum are exploring alternate realities with our different thinking and brain functions. 

This can lead to great creativity and inventiveness.  Many studies now believe that Albert Einstein had Asperger’s Syndrome.  He certainly did look at the world of physics in a different way in his time, no one can debate that fact.


Other famous people who have admitted to being on the Autistic Spectrum, or who are now thought to have been after researching their lives using the definitions of Autism, are Bill Gates, Marie Curie, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Orson Welles, Mozart, Carl Sagun, and there are more. 


There are a lot of great books out there to read about Asperger’s and Autism.  My mom has a bunch and she is always willing to loan them out.  Some are made especially for kids, and some for adults.  Just ask me about them.


Well, I hope this was interesting for all of you.  I will take any questions you might want to ask me now.  First though, I am going to ask my brother, Fuzzy, to come up and help me.  You see, I will answer you from my point of view, but Fuzzy may have more to add, since he is my neuro-typical brother living with me and Asperger's each day.

That was the speech for last year.  We will be writing a new one together for this year.  I will share it, of course.

be well,

The Rain Song

Which is why you WON'T see me drinking it today! 

Too much to do!

I packed away 3 cabinets!  Yay!  Only 17 more cabinets, 10 more drawers, the counter 'stuff' and the refrigerator/freezer to go!!!  YAY!  

Heaven help me... what I have gotten myself into!!!  Am I insane?  ACK!  <sigh> 

It will get done, it will get done, it will get done...

Tomorrow, will be sunny, that will help!  I will open all the windows and the power of the sun will push me forward!  No rain to make me creaky and achey!!!  Yay!

Well, that's the plan... we'll see how it goes! 

Hammer and I did run out to Barnes & Noble and picked up the Jim Butcher book!  Yay!  I also got 2 other paperbacks, and he got one other.  We are both happy. 

Of course, Hammer is actually reading the Jim Butcher book, whereas I was packing up stuff, so he is happier than I am.  However, a rest is coming for me, and I will be snatching it from his hands momentarily!  LOL

April Fool's today and I totally got the kids.  Well, mostly Pumpkin!  Hubby called and although they heard the phone ring that was all they heard.  So, I went it to Fuzzy and Pumpkin and said, 'That was the PTO, school is canceled due to a water main break!'   Pumpkin exclaimed, 'YES!' and Fuzzy said, 'Really?' and then I laughed! 

Pumpkin told me she HATES April Fool's!  That would be because she falls for it each year!  LOL  Sometimes it is hard being the baby!  LOL

I got fooled too today by a friend in email!  I didn't scroll all the way down past her siggy where she wrote 'April Fools' so it was my own stupidity!  LOL

Hope you have a fun foolin' day!

be well,