Friday, October 21, 2011

weight loss is boring

I lost 7 pounds in a month and have flatlined because I don't care anymore. And I like beer. But I'm still not eating grains or sugar (except for maybe once or twice a week), and I'm keeping my weight off. So, no dramatic before and after photos. Not for a while anyhow.

What this post is about is not weight loss, but about Elliott. Today, I watched some video of him from exactly a year ago. I could not understand anything he was saying. Everything began with a "k" sound and ended with a "k" sound. It was like he could not get his muscles in his mouth to work. He was trying to talk, you could tell he knew what he was saying, but I just couldn't understand it. And I'm his mom. Imagine what other people heard.

Yesterday, we went to a coffee shop, and Elliott told the cashier, "I have a backpack." She said, "You do? What kind?" He said, "Scooby Dooby Doo." She said, "Cool."

This may not sound like an amazing exchange, but my heart nearly exploded. He had a conversation, with a stranger and SHE UNDERSTOOD HIM. On top of that, he looked into her eyes when he talked to her. Holy shit. This was HUGE.

Not only that, but before we left school, he asked a boy what his name was and then he and the boy went off to play for a few minutes. Another mundane (HUGE for him) event!

On the way home, he told me what he had for lunch and a song they sang at school, another big deal.

It was just one thing after another, back to back, and I realize it sounds so small when I describe it, but it was amazing for us. I turned to Elliott in the back seat on the way home from the coffee shop and said, "I'm so proud of you." He just looked at me and asked me to play his Sesame Street CD again. I know he doesn't understand what I mean. But I also know that he will someday, soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

week 2, a week that will live in infamy

Confession: I had 3 beers and fish and chips and a whole wheat tortilla and cheese and rice noodles this week. The rest of the time, I ate Paleo. I just couldn't control myself.
So here are my new stats.

Beginning of last week: 178
Today: 177

I lost only 1 pound. I mostly blame the beer and the fish and chips, and the worst part about the fish and chips is that they weren't even very good. Since I hadn't had anything fried in a very long time, I think a deep fried sock would've tasted good to me.

On top of this, Ryan was sick this week and I had no time to exercise--I only did some strength training and yoga.

I have decided that I cannot eat the amount of meat required in Paleo, so I'll be doing a modified version that is actually not Paleo at all. I am going to allow myself minimal amounts of dairy, legumes, and soy but still no refined sugar or grains. I'm also going to make sure that I exercise at least 5 times this week (after all, my triathlon date is rapidly approaching). I'll report back next Sunday!

On a side note, Ben started the Cub Scouts last night. I invited a bunch of kids and their parents into our house. We had a pretty successful meeting, I thought, and Ben wore his uniform. I'm co-leading the pack and while I don't agree with some of the larger Boy Scouts policies on gay people and religion, etc., I'm making my own rules. Gay people? Totally welcome. Atheists? Your leader is one. Kids will not be pressured in this den. The cub scout motto, after all, is "Do Your Best," not "Be a Christian Republican."

Friday, September 23, 2011

school photos

It's a bad year for school photos in this family. We got Elliott's school photos back from his current school. In the close-up of his face, he looks as though someone was pinching him in the back of the arm while he was simultaneously looking at the sun. In the class photo, he is looking directly at the ground. We tried to return the proofs today, but the teachers said, "Go ahead and keep them." Lucky us.

We got the photos back from Ben's school as well. I didn't know it was photo day, so he was wearing an odd shirt that he had stained with his breakfast, and his straw-like hair was standing straight up in the back. I had tried to comb it down that morning, but it is resilient and stubborn. So, while his face looks okay, his hair and shirt are pretty shameful.

I guess there will be no framed hallway school photos this year. We'll just pretend like none of this ever happened.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

week 1 results

I have done 7 straight days of Paleo diet, as of this evening. Here are my results.

Starting weight: 183
Today's weight: 178
(5 pounds lost!)

I don't think you understand how difficult it is for me to lose weight, so this is a huge deal for me! I have tried to be very good, except today I accidentally ate beans because I forgot that you can't eat any legumes. I also had half and half twice this week in my coffee when I was away from home. Not too bad, I don't think. The best part about it is that I haven't been hungry at all, and I can eat as much as I want. I hate it when I count calories because I feel hungry all of the time. The hardest part is not drinking beer because I love me some beer. I'll admit to also having fleeting cravings for cheese. But I'm going to go the 30 days and try not to cheat, and then I'll work stuff back in in moderation. The main things I'll probably stick with are limited dairy, no grains, and no refined sugars because those are the worst things for you and I honestly haven't missed them. I use coconut sugar or stevia for a sweetener and I use almond flour for baked goods. I use coconut or almond milk for dairy.

It is very motivating to wake up and weight just a tiny bit less than the day before. I hope that continues. Wish me luck on week 2!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Ryan and I are both diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. It manifests very differently for both of us. I'm more compulsive; he's more obsessive. I throw everything away; he keeps everything and packs it away. We both worry...a lot. We both have occasional panic attacks. We are both on medication.

Obsessive thoughts are a hallmark of autism as well, but Elliott is probably the least obsessive one in our family. Benjamin is a different story. All little boys get really, really into certain activities, but Ben takes it a step further. His first obsession was letters and that has dovetailed into other interests. Currently, it's Super Mario Bros. I love Super Mario Bros. as much as the next person and we play games together with the kids. We limit their video game time to 1 hour per day, but here's the thing. If Ben isn't playing a video game, he's made up a live action game with the figurines. He draws comic books featuring the Mario gang. He plays Mario at school during recess, at playground on the weekends. He talks about it nonstop, from the moment he wakes up in the morning until, literally, the moment he goes to bed. Tonight, I was scratching his back and he was falling asleep after storytime, and he suddenly opened his eyes and said, "Mom?" "Yes," I said. "I'm worried." He was worried that his video game hadn't saved properly. I assured him it was okay and he relaxed again, clutching the little Dalmation he sleeps with in the crook of his arm.

I am worried about how this translates on the playground at school. He found a friend who likes to play Mario with him. I'll call that friend Dean. Today Ben told me, "Sometimes I ask Dean to play with me, but he doesn't hear me." I can only imagine that Dean cannot keep up with the intensity of Ben's dedication to the Mario, that Dean, perhaps, wants to play handball or swing occasionally. I gently suggested to Ben that maybe he ask Dean if he wants to play something different some time, that maybe it would be a good idea if he tried something different. "I just like Mario," Ben said.

I feel badly that we have given this to Ben. I know that we could find ways to pull back on Mario, but I honestly feel helpless because if it's not Mario, it will be something else. It always has been, since before he was 2, when his intense interest in letters exhausted me. The good news is, he's doing well in school and he does have friends. So far, it hasn't interfered with his education. I just want him to be happy and balanced.

30 days

So, I can't lose weight no matter what I do. I exercise a ton and I eat pretty healthy, and weight loss. In fact, when I exercise more, I gain weight. Some of it might be muscle, but there's no way it's ALL muscle because, well, that would be a lot of muscle.

So, I need to get my metabolism in check. I decided I'm going to try this Paleo diet for 30 days and see how it goes. It makes sense to me and seems reasonable. Basically, no grains, no dairy, no beans, no refined sugar, no processed foods. Lots of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, etc. You can drink coconut or almond milk instead of regular milk. Today is Day 3. I don't really want to kill myself or anything; I just have a dull, slightly sad feeling towards food. Something like resignation. I've eaten more fruits and vegetables than I have in a long time, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that the Paleo diet requires eating meat. I do not like meat and, for me, I think it's unethical to eat meat (no judgment on anyone else). However, my vanity is more important than my morals at this point. I have a triathlon coming up on Oct. 15th and I want to feel good and I want to look good, too. Hopefully, after I get back to my fighting weight, I can adjust the diet and work the meat out of it.

I took some before photos in the hopes that there will be after photos. I will post them in 27 days (if the results are good). I'm posting this up here because if I make it public, it'll motivate me to stick with it. Wish me luck!!!

Also, here's an idea of what my diet looks like. I ate this yesterday:

2 eggs with spinach
coffee with coconut milk and stevia

Pear and 1 clementine

Salad with carrots, bell peppers, ham, and balsamic dressing

Dried, unsweetened apples

Roasted chicken
Broccoli salad with bacon, pears, and carrots

Thursday, September 08, 2011

insomnia, anxiety, hope

I know it's been awhile. Stop looking at me like that. I already feel guilty. So I awoke at 3:17 a.m. this morning and my mind began assualting me with "what ifs" and "to dos" and I could not go back to sleep until I had created an Excel spreadsheet the possibilities. I am not exaggerating.

Here's what's going on. Elliott is in an okay preschool with pretty good teachers and curriculum. He is happy and learning. However, his program is called an inclusion program, which means he should be with typically developing kids. The reason Elliott would benefit from this is 1) it's the law and 2) he does very well with watching and adopting more typical social skills from neurotypical kids. He does it with Ben all of the time. He went to a regular preschool for two years and did it there as well. At the same time, he needs the supports in place to help facilitate his goals, and this is why he needs to be in a special education program. An inclusion program offers both the support and the learning from typical peers. Redlands said they were giving him that but they didn't--all of the kids in his class have some sort of deficit, and many have more serious conditions. This is not an inclusion program.

So a friend and advocate told me that I can possibly establish district residency where I work and after a lot of back and forth with that district, on Monday, I have an observation at one of the most cutting edge special education inclusion preschools in the state. If we decide to move Elliott there, my schedule and his schedule will go all to hell. I will have to find someone to help me transport him to and from a school 35 miles away from our home. I'll have little time to work around that schedule. I'll need to devise Excel spreadsheets and worry late into the night. He'll likely have to attend a few meetings with me at work. He'll have to adjust to a new school with new kids and a new teacher. But it will be worth it. That kid is on the cusp of getting to where he needs to go; he just needs a great program to get him there. I hope this one is it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

road trip 2011

Last week, we took our first family road trip to the Bay Area and then Redwood Valley. We were gone for five days and saw many friends, some of whom we hadn't seen for 10 years (and who had never met the boys), and many family members. It was the farthest north Elliott, Ben, and I had ever been. I was an anxious mess at first, especially the first day. Elliott had never been on a real road trip and he was sleeping in a motel room and being hauled all over town, to meet new people in new places. We made a social story for him, but he didn't seem to get it. We bought these, the best purchase of our lives, and installed them in the car.

Ben had a blast and was polite and helpful and just his amazing, affectionate, fun self the whole trip. Elliott had a mixed reaction to the trip. When we went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, he was totally enthralled for about two hours. But then he short circuited and started screaming and demanding fruit snacks. And then he pooped his pants and it was all over. Still, he recovered from each freak out and slept great most of the time. At Ryan's aunt's house in Redwood Valley, he did fairly well, but did have one night of sleeplessness (growing pains), and one day of screaming (going to the coast).

The thing is, when we got back, despite all of the screaming and stress, he had grown measurably. He has been talking more, more affectionate, more aware, and more social. Like his occupational therapist says, we can keep him in his bubble without any stress, or we can challenge those boundaries and force growth. The latter is more difficult, but it is so much more rewarding.

And now we know that there is one more thing our family can do.

breaking news

Blue Cross is forced to pay for a tiny little bit (six months, when years are generally required) of ABA, the only proven effective treatment for autism. People on the comments immediately get angry and defend the insurance companies and worry about their own pocket books. Disgusting. See my responses here:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

feeling better

Elliott peed normally all day today, so we are a little relieved. Yesterday was the first day of what was supposed to be his summer preschool program offered through the district. I intended to stay for about 20 minutes to observe and make sure the placement was appropriate. But when I got there and saw how severe the kids were, I decided to stay for a little longer. About an hour later, I was prepared to grab him and make a run for it. These kids were severe. They kept escaping from the teachers and one of them even ate crayons--twice. None of the kids said anything, and many of them were rocking or moaning or screaming. The teachers were doing their best, but this was not an appropriate placement for Elliott, as the law requires. After recess, (and after a girl with flailing limbs knocked Elliott flat on his back), I got him the hell out of there. It is for the best. I am looking forward to letting Elliott have a real summer with trips to the museum and the beach (in addition to his occupational, speech, and behavior therapies, which will continue). We may sign him up for a couple of classes here and there, but I'm taking the pressure off--all of us. Hopefully it will work out.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

a dark mood

So...Elliott's beginning to hold his urine in again. I had bought Ryan tickets to see the Beatles "Love" show in Las Vegas next week, and I just got off the phone canceling both our hotel and tickets. The people I spoke with were very sympathetic and gave me a full refund, luckily. Ryan and I were both very much looking forward to this little get away. Oh well.

Elliott starts a new summer program with the school district on Monday as well and I don't want to miss that. We were offered the class very last minute (as in yesterday), and so I want to make sure it will be an appropriate placement for him. Given that he is not peeing and starting a new preschool, we didn't feel right leaving.

I wish I could know that everything will be okay, and I wish Elliott didn't have such a limited vocabulary. He can say, "I want snacks." He can't say, "It hurts when I pee" or "I'm uncomfortable" or "I'm upset that I finished my last day at my old preschool today" or "I'm not ready for potty training" or whatever it is that is causing this problem.

There are only questions and no answers. I feel sorry for him and I feel sorry for Ryan and I feel sorry for Ben and I feel sorry for myself. I guess I should be more positive, but I'm not feeling it right now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I drafted a Mother's Day post that I never finished, but I just want to say that my husband and family made it a really wonderful, relaxing day. The kids' behavior started out a little rocky (it's a Mother's Day tradition!), but they were really sweet the rest of the day, and Elliott's social skills are just blossoming at a crazy rate. Thank you to Ryan for making it such a happy day.

It's almost the end of the school year for all of us. We have made the decision to take Elliott out of preschool until he starts up his new preschool program with the school district in August. We are going to put him in social skills classes and an autism speech and fun day camp and possibly music or tumbling classes. He'll also still have speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA. We are going to work hard to keep up a routine for him, but we also want time together as a family to do family crap like going to museums and the beach, etc. Elliott's social and speech skills have been on fast forward this week. He's asking kids to play with him at school, talking in crazy long sentences, articulating like a madman. It's amazing how quickly he develops skills once he gets the hang of them.

Speaking of family crap, etc., I have to volunteer at the PTA carnival at Ben's school tonight (at the exact time the Rapture is supposed to strike). I fully expect to be pressured to join the PTA for that hour when I am hosting a booth. When the PTA gets you in their clutches, they never let you go. Don't get me wrong; I'm happy to volunteer in Ben's class and contribute and all of that, and I do, but I simply do not have the time or inclination to join the PTA. Ben's also going to be in "Billy Goat's Gruff" the play at the end of the year. His teacher asked him to try out for the lead--the troll--but he would rather be one of the 12 rabbits. That's just how Ben rolls. He has no desire to be the center of attention. I can't wait to see this play.

I'm so grateful I have a job that is so flexible and has allowed us to keep up with Elliott's insane therapy/dr. appt. schedule while working full time. I'm so grateful that I get to be off for 8 weeks this summer to rest and enjoy my family. I'm also planning to write this summer--I have 3 feasible projects in mind, and I'm going to be making a schedule for myself so I can stay on track.

My plan is to wait until the Rapture doesn't strike, and then I'll grade those stacks and stacks of papers. And then...summer! Holla!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I sat in the back seat of my car with Elliott this morning as he finished his waffle before school. Although he eats a lot, sometimes he gets silly and nibbles on his food like a tiny mouse, taking long stretches of time to eat a small amount of food. Since I consume entire meals in a matter of minutes, and generally do everything as quickly as I can, it kind of drives me crazy to watch someone eat so slowly. Plus, I didn't want him to miss circle time. So we sat together in the back and he smiled at me because he thought it was funny that I was sitting in the back seat rather than the front like usual. I rubbed his head and he asked me to see "wormy," his imaginary friend (basically, our index fingers). Yesterday and last Friday, he had to get a bunch of blood taken for routine medical exams related to his autism and his low weight. It seems like he is always obligated to do something: speech therapy (at two different locations), occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, assessments, doctor's appointments (psychological, medical, biomedical). He also has school and swim class. He's part of a research study up in Sacramento which requires even more testing. He has to get more blood, urine, and stool taken and examined than any other kid I know. I want him to get better, but I don't want him to feel like he can't simply enjoy his life. Sometimes, it's a tough thing to balance. When he was first diagnosed with autism, when things were really bad, when he was still just barely a toddler, I used to ask him, "Elliott, are you going to be okay?" before I put him down to bed. I never got an an answer of course. He's just begun to learn how to the names of emotions and how to recognize and imitate them. Sitting in the back seat with him, I asked, "Elliott, are you happy?" He said yes, and he smiled to demonstrate that he was happy. I asked, "Are you sad." "No," he replied, shoving a big bite of waffle (finally!) into his mouth. So, for now, I guess I'll do my best and take his word for it.

Friday, May 06, 2011


I go to this site called The Daily What, usually to distract myself and watch dumb videos about cats or Japanese inventions or whatever. Alongside these videos, there are interesting political stories and gossip about celebrities. It's a nice mix of inane and intriguing. In any case, I came across a link to this man Derek's final blog. He wrote it before he died after a long battle with cancer, to be posted upon his death. He left behind two daughters and a wife.

If you can, take a minute to read it. It is beautiful. Elliott walked in when I was reading this, and he looked at me and I was crying. He laughed because he has never seen me crying, and because he doesn't fully understand what sad means yet. I just hugged him and he squirmed away. A lot of the time, I am too closed off from people. I'm able to get a lot of stuff done, and I'm able to survive some of the crappy stuff I've been through, but it comes at a cost. I admire Derick's eloquence and openness. I will return to his blog and make my way through his posts because it affected me on such a deep level, especially his final lines to his wife:

"I don't know what we'd have been like without each other, but I think the world would be a poorer place. I loved you deeply, I loved you, I loved you, I loved you."

Here's the link to the full post:

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

short update post

1. I'm fighting with my school district over Elliott's services, and it is ugly and it is exhausting. I know a lot about special education law now, enough to know that this school district is violating it.

2. Ben has started using "like" every third word or so and he thinks he is kind of cool all of a sudden.

3. Elliott is making huge progress pronouncing his words. His speech pathologists think he has apraxia, which is why it's so difficult for him.

4. Elliott got a "Moe Howard" hair cut today. Not by request.

5. I can't wait for summer break. I'm going to be swimming every day in the Bartletts' pool!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011

inland empire autism resources that i've found helpful

Autism Resources That I've Found Helpful

IEPs: (run by a local woman with a child with autism—lots of local workshops and meetings) (special education law, run by an attorney—he also does workshops nation-wide) (an overview of the impact of IDEA 2004 on special education) (handbook from the CA Dept. of Education on transitioning from IRC to preschool to kindergarten)

Book: Autism: Asserting Your Child's Right to a Special Education

Here are the names of the two email listservs I'm on through yahoo groups. The parents on these are a full of amazingly helpful information. You just need a yahoo email account to sign up for them:


Local Resources:
Local autism meetings:
Inland Empire Autism Society:

Also, KVCR is hosting lots of television specials on autism this month. They are great. Here's the programming schedule:

Finally, we put my son on a gluten-free, casein-free diet. It helped him but doesn't help every kids. Here's a link to a book on that:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

they are getting older and it makes me sad sometimes

Elliott turned four at the beginning of the month. There were a lot of people at the party, and he was overwhelmed at times. For several days after the party, his behavior was off--more screaming and general pissiness than usual. This is what generally happens after large events or get-togethers so it wasn't too big of a surprise. However, this was the first birthday during which he allowed everyone to crowd around him, stare at him and sing him "Happy Birthday." It was also the first time he blew out his candles at one of his birthday parties. Two years ago, he screamed for the first hour or so of his party and then slept the rest of the day. He used to shut down completely. But this year, he truly enjoyed most of his party.

Benjamin has lost his front teeth and I didn't realize how sad this was until after it happened. Suddenly, he looks 15 years older. It doesn't help that he is as tall as a small adult (say, my Mexican step-grandmother, Diegolina). Then, two days ago, he informed me that he was too old to take baths now, that from now on, he'd be taking showers. So he took his first voluntary shower (i.e., I wasn't hosing off vomit), and he laughed the whole time, his eyes closed as the water sprinkled all over him. "I'm going to take showers from now on," he said. This, however, meant that Elliott had to take his first bath alone in his memory. "Where's Ken-Ken?" he asked, sadly. Ben dutifully sat next to the bath and talked to Elliott, but it was the end of an era, all in a matter of minutes, and I wasn't prepared for it.

There's that book that I always thought was creepy, I'll Love You Forever. The mom crawls into her kid's window when he's like 20 and picks him up and rocks him in her arms. What a creep, right? Yeah, well I'm going to be that mom one day. And I fully expect my adult sons to creep into my room when I'm an old lady and rock me to sleep. You hear that, kids? Mom's crazy. Indulge her.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

getting my groove back

I was really overwhelmed on Monday when I spoke with the lawyer regarding Elliott's case and his school district. I cried and thought and cried and thought and talked and talked with Ryan. I emailed all of my crazy awesome mom-of-autistic-kid friends on Facebook who know so much more than I do about all of this stuff. I have decided to stay in Redlands for now, not to hire the attorney, learn the law myself and advocate for Elliott as best I can. I'm prepared to politely but assertively take on this district and go to mediation and due process if we need to. I'm ready to attend school board meetings and notify the newspapers as well. I'm motivated and therefore less depressed about it all. Next Friday is the big meeting. Bring it on.

Monday, February 21, 2011

rise to me

The Decemberist's lead singer wrote this about his son with autism. It makes me cry.

when all of your options suck

I went to see a lawyer today and though he was telling me stuff I already kind of sort knew in the back of my head but had suppressed, it was overwhelming and I cried in his office. It was embarrassing. He told me that he was expensive. He told me that Redlands Unified is one of the most difficult districts to work with in terms of autism education. He asked me if I was attached to living here. He gave me my options:

1) Stay in Redlands and hire a lawyer for a lot of money and fight the man. This will likely be long and costly and frustrating because this IEP team is particularly undereducated and overenthusiastic.
2) Move. Go to a district that is better equipped to handle the needs of kids with autism and more likely to include him in a comprehensive program. Even if we'd need to retain a lawyer, it would be minimal. Our options? Etiwanda and Riverside.
3) Keep doing what we're doing. Knowing that Elliott isn't fully getting what he needs or is entitled to. Knowing that this district sets low expectations for kids with autism and doesn't provide those kids with comprehensive, inclusive, appropriate education. Sure, we are getting some of this for him, but I know it's not what it should be. It's been a stop-gap measure.

I don't have a lot of money. I don't have any money. I don't want to move. I don't want to have to uproot Ben and Elliott. My stomach is all tied up in knots over this.

Also, we found bed bugs in our room last night. And Ryan suffered a neck injury. And I started my period today.

Ugh. Elliott's IEP is overdue, and I don't even know what the next step should be. But I'm pretty sure those bed bugs are regretting ever meeting me. I spent a full four hours today dealing with those little bastards.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

e's birthday party

So here are some ideas for gifts for Elliott.

My wish list from Super Duper Publications (games for kids with autism):

An ipod shuffle (which we'd load with kids' songs for him).

A kids' boombox with a microphone.

Fisher Price record player...the vintage one (we're going to hunt this down...I think he'd love it!)

Cars or trains

Two tickets to Vegas

Thanks! Love you all. More to come probably. :)

Sunday, February 06, 2011


For the past 9 months or so, I've been fundraising for autism research and preparing to do the Surf City Half-Marathon in Huntington Beach. I raised almost $1400, thanks to the generosity of my family and friends. I trained for 12 weeks to prepare. The night before the race, I got a text from one of my friends asking me if I got my bib yet. I just figured I'd get it the morning of the race. I wasn't too concerned until, as I was finishing loading music into my Shuffle, I looked for the race day instructions. And there in bold it said: There is NO race day pick up.
I started freaking out. I cried. I emailed everyone on our team. I hyperventilated and I may have thrown something. Then, I got a call from someone on the team who I hadn't met before and she kindly told me to show up at 5:30 a.m. to beg for my packet. I was so grateful, but still had a hard time sleeping.

So I woke up at 3 a.m. to drive to the beach. I got there at 4:30 and waited outside the tent until it opened. I was so relieved when they gave me a bib number! I could race!

13 miles is long. And I'm sore. Ryan met me at the end and he, I, and our friends from our team had a bunch of beers and hamburgers together. The fog cleared and it was 70 degrees and beautiful.

I'm very proud of myself for actually doing this. In some weird way, training for this and raising the money makes me feel like at least I'm making some contribution to help Elliott and other people with autism. On top of that, I ran it in 2 hours and 8 minutes, which was way faster than I expected!

It was a beautiful day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I just read the book Room

by Emma Donaghue and it kind of blew me away. It's a simple book, in a way, but it's written from the POV of a 5-year-old, and, given that my kids are 6 and 3, I guess I could relate. Also, the 5-year-old is very different and very special and very sensitive, all of which characterizes my two boys, and I just connected with it. It's also brilliantly written and inventive and layered. I just loved it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

effing kaiser

Well, I met the new Kaiser autism doctor today. She is really nice and seems really intelligent. But as soon as I told her I'd like regular speech therapy for Elliott since he's extremely behind, she shut down and said that Kaiser doesn't consider this a medical need so much as an educational need and that they'd only cover 2 sessions. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but autism is a neurological (THEREFORE MEDICAL) condition.

There is this wonderful woman who provides a step-by-step guide to getting services from Kaiser. It is possible but it's so frustrating that they make you jump through hoops and their default mode is to not help autistic kids. What about parents who can't fight or don't realize they can?

The doctor said something like, "I know this isn't ideal, but..." It just makes me even more irritated because I know that she knows this is wrong.

Monday, January 03, 2011


I've been gaining (a lot of) weight despite training for a marathon. I have my period every 2 weeks and my mood is all over the place. Ryan's had a migraine/sinus infection the whole weekend. We both went to the doctor today to figure out what the hell is wrong with us. (Good luck with that, buddy.) A bangin' start to the New Year. But tomorrow we are taking the kids sledding, which could be a nightmare, but I'm hoping will be fun. Wish us luck. No New Year's resolutions for me this year. I'm going to take it one day at a time. I'm feeling a lot better though. :)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

happy new year, you guys

I'm in a funk but I'm trying not to be. Hope this year brings great things for all of you. Ryan put this song in my head today: