Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cheese Mist

Thane wanted to “cheese” the dog. It's all in the giggle.

Friday, September 28, 2007


“Writing is easier than imagining.” – Braeden

It's time I quoted the 9-year-old a bit!

Monday, September 24, 2007


I tried posting this last night, but Blogger seems to quit whenever I upload a video. I keep ending up going through YouTube instead. This is from our first trip this year to the oceanfront property we purchased last winter. We had originally planned to build this summer, but we haven't decided yet what to put down there . . . though we have our first outdoor furniture as we left a picnic table in the woods near where the house lot is. The weather was supposed to clear up, but it didn't, so this is typical Maine on a foggy day!

P.S. I am posting this mostly for Scott, since he asked if I would blog photos.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


One of Thane’s goals as school has been to drink water – he usually refuses and insists on something with flavor, including soda (it’s diet soda, so I am not sure if that makes it worse or better than Britney Spears and all the talk about her children and their rotting teeth). Anyway, he drank water with his teachers watching and tears welling in their eyes. He asked how to drink it and was told just like you drink juice or anything else, “then you say `Mmmmm!” Well, he did Madison Avenue proud . . .

“So cold!”
“So delicious!”
“So water!”

It would be the perfect advertisement for bottled water!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sleepy Lovey

You can't tell me that a child who falls asleep in his swing chair, with a cookie in his hand no less, isn't totally adorable. Isn't this the sweetest picture?

I wish I had brought in Thane's notebook from school. There was a really cool comment from his teacher. I got an email from Thane's case manager today which kind of irritated me, though it probably wasn't meant to. I think she and I are like oil and water. Thane's home developmental therapist was calling around about prices to go swimming and such with him and the case manager was saying it should be the job of a Sweetser case manager, not the DT. We don't have a Sweetser case manager because we don't have MaineCare, and I can't even apply for MaineCare under Katie Beckett until my 2006 taxes are complete. I personally think the DT and CDS need to gather more information about what is available out there for peer interaction if they are going say it is something that he needs!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jenny McCarthy

OK, I have to admit I was very impressed with Jenny McCarthy on Oprah today. I didn’t expect to be.

When I first heard about her book Louder Than Words, I read some articles online about her thoughts on indigo moms and crystal children. My concern was that she would take something that has so clearly benefitted my child and make it seem like the lunatic fringe that I sometimes feel doctors and researchers consider parents who go down the gluten-free, casein-free road.

McCarthy drew in my total attention when she said a week after starting the diet, her son’s language doubled. That sounds just like Thane! We came at things a bit differently because we removed wheat and gluten based on a standard IgE allergy to wheat and concerns about celiac disease because of Thane’s bowel issues, malabsorption and “failure to thrive.” He’s also mildly allergic to milk and eggs, though his allergy to milk seems less significant than his issues with wheat/gluten and eggs.

She also said something along the lines of “my science is my son” because he is her proof that you can do things to help children recover from autism. She also was honest about it not working for all children with autism, and that she considers it an ongoing process. I’ve had some on the fence moments myself about the idea of fully recovering from autism. I’ve wondered what happens when Thane is older if he chooses not to respect the fact that his body doesn’t like gluten in particular. I’d like to think that the stomach upset it causes would be enough to stop him, but I am diabetic and it doesn’t always stop me from eating things I shouldn’t have. I’ve always felt that the key to his health and mental well-being will be life-long issues. So she won me over again.

I think she also helped give people some insight into different behaviors. I honestly never noticed Thane’s hand-flapping as anything negative. He does it most when he is really excited about a new place, such as going to the bowling alley for the first time. It’s actually rather cute because his excitement is so visible . . . until I realize that he is doing it to center himself – to help organize himself – and then I just wish it was easier for him to process information.

Holly Robinson-Peete mentioned that children with autism are often considered mentally retarded when in fact that may be quite bright. I am so thankful that our therapists see that in Thane because I think he could be easy to dismiss in certain situations. I do wish I had more information on how to teach him, though. His occupational therapist and I were talking about hyperlexia today and how to work with him on his reading skills. McCarthy said doctors need to listen to what the moms are saying . . . I’m glad that ours mostly seem to, as do our therapists. Using Thane’s fascination for letters and numbers really opened the door to getting him to even try to draw anything – you just need the write things to interest him the door swings open. When he’s accessible and interested, he learns incredibly well and very quickly.

Thane actually wanted to help me bake cookies today. I was fascinated that he wanted to help and was stirring up the batter for me. But here is where I need to change and learn to go with the flow. He wanted to smear the batter on the cookie sheet. I wanted to roll it in little balls and bake the cookies and get out of the kitchen. Obviously we had conflicting goals. Not only that, but my balls of dough really annoyed Thane – probably as much as his smears were bugging me. I should have switched to a pan cookie or let him smear and then thank him for his help and scrape it all up and make balls of dough after he went into another room. As it is, I forgot the vanilla so my cookies don’t exactly taste the way they should . . . but it is a big step. He wanted to cook. He wanted to help. He chose to come out and be with me in the kitchen instead of playing by himself.

There are lots of small victories are this road, and each one is a celebration!

There looks to be some discussion about Jenny McCarthy on Discussing Autism. The site is also having another Therapy Shoppe giveaway that looks pretty cool, it's for a spinning board.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thane's Art

Thane has been doing a lot of art at school this week. I rather like the print and think I should put him to work making wrapping paper. I remember doing that with Braeden when he was little. I also can see the whale in the whale drawing. I have to say it is kind of fun getting back all this artwork. Most of what I got back from Montessori with Braeden was tracings from the metal insets.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Overalls Model

I was just playing with some pictures of Thane in his funky overalls. It is so hard to get a good picture of a moving child who actually doesn't really like having his picture taken, but I think he looks cute modeling his Wild Things, dragon, and Kipper overalls.

Tagged Again

Michelle tagged me and I am supposed to tell eight interesting things about myself. Ack!

1) I like to buy new digital cameras and never get rid of the old ones. I leave them in various rooms around the house because a bad picture is usually better than nothing.

2) Related to number one, I have taken several thousand pictures in the last month. Most of them are what I call memory pictures because they aren't too artistic or brilliant in any way.

3) I listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, which seems totally out of character, but they amuse me greatly.

4) I've actually gotten pretty decent at typing with my thumbs on my Blackberry, and wonder how I might do with an iPhone (and I would have been upset if I bought one before the $200 price cut!).

5) I'm too old to have children.

6) I have already begun crafting stuff for Christmas. I would love to have my shopping done, but with two kids that won't happen until my birthday, December 24th.

7) I have a ton of ribbons from agricultural fairs for canning -- including a best in show. They are all really dusty now!

8) Ugh, the last one is always the hardest . . . this will have to be really stupid I guess. I have started wearing Crocs, much to my friend Kim's dismay. Even worse, I have little tree frogs stuck in them. Thane likes my froggies.

I'm not really sure who I should tag since it hasn't been that long since I was tagged. Anyone who wants to self-tag can post a comment and a link here!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Therapy Shoppe

Discussing Autism is having a giveaway from the Therapy Shoppe. I've thought about getting a weighted lap pad for Thane as he uses one at circle at school. He uses a weighted blanket at night and loves it.

The boys both started school this week – Thane on Wednesday and Braeden is camping out at Tanglewood tonight with his classmates. I am hoping he brings home some photos for me. Next week begins the dreaded car pool. I actually drive the same kids every morning, so hopefully it will be easier than last year.

I'm underwhelmed by the newest teacher at Thane's school and need to get the nerve up to complain about what happened yesterday. She kept repeating that “the doors are only for teachers to open.” It seemed grating to me, as well as, well, er, stupid. Either Braeden or I were going to open the door to leave, and Thane doesn't label us as teachers (though obviously we all learn from each other). I didn't want to open the door because there was an adorable little girl standing beside the back door with us and she isn't mine. Instead of taking the child so we could leave, new teacher walked off and would have let us take her. This is not good! I asked Braeden to take her up to the front door with the head teacher. He is suck a cutie. He took her hand and chatted with her as he walked her to the door. I know the first day is always a challenge, but this bothered me. I am glad I am always there before they get out of the classroom.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Thane likes to line things up on the porch rail, mostly vehicles, but sometimes people and horses as well. I'm not sure anyone else will see the humor in this picture, but I like the way that Dave on his tractor blends into the line. We're getting closer to actually putting up the new swing set!