Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dear Noah....Day Three of the Walking Zombie...

Again when I picked you up from school your face revealed the "walking zombie" expression. I know I personally am exhausted from all the running around we have done lately with trick-or-treating, and birthdays, and other seasonal events. But I don't want to get off on a tangent about me.

This afternoon before you came out another mother went up to another little boy standing there and loudly told him to basically quit hitting on her son. I have no idea the details other than she apparently saw this little boy pushing and shoving her son's head and body around. I know sometimes boys will play like that and it looks much worse than it is but I also know how I feel when I see the same thing happening to you. And then it hit me. Oh great, something else I might have to worry about? A parent coming up to me telling me or you to stop pushing or shoving their child around? Or trying to bite them? I imagine some would not even care that there could be an explanation for your behavior. In a public setting it really makes no difference and you MUST learn what is and what is not socially acceptable. The sooner the better off for everyone involved.

You have been trying to "fit in" by mimicking the other boys and girls...something I was afraid might happen...and something I am not really thrilled about; because some of the mimicking is for expressions or phrases that only get you into trouble. You are extremely naive and impressionable. I have surrounded you with nothing but as many positive people and circumstances as possible your entire life. I admit I have sheltered you from the rougher reality of the world and the people in it. It was always much easier to tell you to just stay away from kids who played rough than it was to let you get in the mix and watch while something triggered a major meltdown response or worse from you.

Because you are in the public school system again and in a regular classroom for most of the day I am aware that this can be exhausting for the teacher even with the help of a paraprofessional. When I have told them you would need "constant prompting" on specific things before you would "get it" I am getting the impression perhaps they underestimated what I was trying to tell them. Now they are getting a taste of what true constant prompting and redirection means. It can test your patience and also tire you very quickly if you allow it. When I home-schooled you I controlled your environment and world. I could teach you things much faster because I controlled the outside stimulus. This was good and bad. Good because you learned positive behaviors and more academically, but also bad because you have no clue now how to handle some situations that might be less than desirable. Of course even if you had always been exposed to the rougher reality it does not mean you would know any better ways to handle those situations because your reality is you just do not even understand what is going on. You do not understand when someone says "oh you dog!" that they are joking around and it only needs to be said once. You figure if they got such a good response saying it once saying it ten times would be even funnier. This however only disrupts class those few minutes longer than it usually would.

Today was to be a day when the teacher had "a talk" with the other students about things such as this. How specific things they say and do around you only cause you to then do the same in return and not just once. You do it many times, over and over again. This has to stop and the teacher felt if she had a talk explaining this to the other students maybe it would help. You and your paraprofessional were not going to be in the room during this time. I do know the teacher was not going to say anything direct about your "autism" which I think is best. No need to single you out even further than necessary.

When I asked your paraprofessional if the teacher had the talk today she did not know because the teacher apparently left early to go home sick. She told me you had a great day today though and that you did well.

I see a need here, a common trait among many autistic children, are the social aspects they just do not grasp and are missing. There has to be overall instruction to provide a link, both at home and at school. It should consist of constant prompting and redirection while being exposed to specific, controlled social situations. The free-for-all whatever happens theory used in a regular classroom may not be the best way possible to accomplish this. I think it will take specific classes and training to learn this. AND YOU CAN learn these things...it will just take you some time. It does not come natural or instinctively for you like it does with most other children.

So we have a lot to get busy with Noah! I love you!

Mommy
XOXOXOX

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dear Noah...

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When I picked you up from school yesterday you walked out with your paraprofessional with a strange expression on your face. I instantly recognized it though I have not seen it for awhile. I call it the "walking zombie" look. This usually occurs after you have had a period of stimulation and then you "zone out" and recuperate. I do not see this look often these days, but the last time I did, it lasted for three days.

When I first noticed you having these spells of zoning out years ago it did not take long to connect them to the periods of over simulation that occurred prior. I soon realized it was all part of how you "work" and you "must" have these periods of zoning out afterwards in order to cope.

Every year about this time of year you become a lot busier than usual with all the holidays and special events and I guess it does tend to act as a trigger for these episodes. In the past this has been when school time in the public classroom setting spiraled downward. I am very optimistic this year you will do very well regardless though I have to admit my stomach and body fills with dread when I see this look on your face coming out of the school. I know this usually means you have had a pretty "active" day, with at the very least some "behavioral issues."

This held true yesterday. Again when you were in the bathroom another little boy came in and you tried to pinch him. I am not sure why. I don't believe you even know why. When the little boy was telling you "No!" you apparently then tried to bite him. So this meant you had to move your tag from the green "good" zone to the yellow "warning" zone at school.

I believe this is the third time so far this year you have attempted to bite someone. This is such a regression of how far you have come. You have never gotten close enough to actually bite anyone or even touch them with your mouth but still, it is the point behind it all. I have to wonder if the school is implementing the "social skills sessions" they were going to begin according to your IEP. I cannot emphasize how important this is for a child such as yourself. In fact I believe all children could use some training in social skills and what is or is not acceptable behavior for specific situations. We will continue to work on this at home as well as we have always done.

Needless to say you acted like you were drugged by the time you got home. We had planned on going to the grocery store and doing some shopping with the highlight for you being taking your camera to film the toilets flushing, but you did not even want to do that. You started to cry and said you were "not in the mood" to go to the store OR film their toilets. You wanted to go see your grandma, but really only ti film her fans turning upstairs as you discovered some fans plugged in up there the last time you were there and you wanted to record the blades spinning around.

I allowed you some down time and then slowly coaxed you into going regardless of how you felt because it was my day off and the only day we could really go grocery shopping as we needed some things we could not wait on for the next day. I told you if you had no energy to walk in the store you could ride in the shopping cart. Suddenly I was transported back in time by at least 3-4 years as it flooded my mind with all the memories of how things used to be for you on a regular basis, of times when I could never even make it to the store. Where one adult would have to stay home with you while the other ran all the errands. Of being cooped up inside the house 24/7 never venturing outside for any reason.

You sat in the cart as I tried to cram the groceries in all around you. You decided to play with the canned cat food, stacking them and saying they were "poop" and falling into the toilet. Times like these are when I know you think a little differently than most and that difference is striking. Your obsession with toilets and flushing of toilets is at an all-time high. If you could go into public bathrooms or the school restrooms and stand there and flush the urinals over and over again it would be what you would call "my best day ever!" I realize you need to do these things as it soothes you and calms you. I do take you places to film toilets most days when we can to satisfy this. The other night at the local drugstore I could be found waiting outside the men's restroom listening to you flushing the toilets and squealing "WOW!" over and over again. When you came out your face was beaming.

Tonight we are to go trick-or-treating at nighttime at my parents' town. I think it will go well and I am thankful you have an early release on Friday as I think you will likely need it after such a busy past few days. Meanwhile I will work harder to give you what you need and plenty of "quiet time" afterwards to recover and cope.

I love you Noah. Here's to your success!

Mommy
XOXOXOX

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Noah...

As each day passes and I sit back and watch you, I am always amazed to realize what progress you have made over time. It is October and Halloween, a time for tricks or treats! I remember in years past where you would have nothing to do with any of it. You did not want to dress up in any costume let alone think about going out trick-or-treating. The thought of putting on any clothing that did not, in your mind, resemble actual clothing, was not an option for you. Clothing had to be just right, and snaps had to be just so, and if they were not you would have a meltdown! Back then you rarely wanted to venture from home, preferring instead to stay inside, usually inside your room, surrounded by familiar things. Your daily rituals were very routine then and any variance in the rhythm would set you reeling. You did not handle change or trying new things well at all.

Flash forward to today. I hardly recognize the little man you are becoming. You have made such incredible progress. Whenever I read over former medical documents about you from even two years ago, it hardly seems I am reading about the same little boy I see standing before me now. It has definitely been a process and a very trying one at times, but I am very proud of you for the way you are learning and growing. You are much more mature than you have ever been in your life.

Moving back two years ago to be closer to our extended family was a good move for us. One of the best for you in your lifetime. You have been exposed to many more social outings and I have exposed you to as many social playtimes with other children and even adults as I can. You have come alive during this time. Many times it is like I see you slowly waking up, shaking the sleep from your eyes, sometimes things still being seen a little fuzzy; yet at other times with a light going off and you "getting it!"

Yesterday we celebrated your grandparents' birthdays. You got to see the family and play with your cousin Audrey whom you adore:

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The week prior we went to her Halloween party:

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You really got into the games and wanted to try them all. Your writing is improving so much and I am amazed to see how well you can hold a pen or pencil let alone actually use one now, something I wondered if you would ever master.

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You went to the Halloween parade this year and the store-to-store trick-or-treating earlier this week...and really enjoyed that.

Today you went trick-or-treating in town, then we stopped by grandma C.'s house so she could see your costume. While there you got to see your cousins who were also out trick-or-treating so you were all in costume. I have to say you were all adorable and will all break many hearts one day soon! You all played very well together....though you thought the youngest little guy played a bit too rough. You all had a great time and we will have to arrange a play date again soon!

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In all these photos I notice your face. You look the happiest I have ever seen you look! It is striking. You are so excited to be around all these other kids too. Tonight we went to an alternative trick-or-treating event at a local church. While there you saw two other children you go to school with so you hung around real close to them.

I stood back on the sidelines in my usual "monitoring-just-in-case" position, when I suddenly realize I am not there anymore to be ready to cart you off should you lose it and breakdown. I am only there to perhaps redirect you if necessary. But I have noticed in most cases you can now redirect yourself or I can help, simply by a look your way. Tonight you looked back my way often, your eyes seeking approval or direction from me. Assurance you were doing the right thing. A nod of the head, a look of my eyes was all it took to steer you in the right direction. You watched the other kids. You were very careful with your arms and legs and body. You did try to keep your distance. You just wanted to be a part of the rest of the group. And do you know what? You were. Oftentimes you fit in so well now most do not realize anything is different about you in any way at all, unless they are around you for a long period of time and one of your quirky ways pops up.

I have had a couple of people ask me recently if this meant you were "getting better." I tell them it is not so much you are getting better like your autism is going away, as it is you are learning ways to cope in order to live in our world. I know that it is not easy for you, but you are doing great.

And I love you so much Noah. And I am so very proud of you.

Mommy
xoxoxox

Boys will be boys......and these boys are dolls!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

video

Halloween Parade movie clips

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Dear Noah...your sense of humor....

is really developing! Last night while doing your homework you had to use the word "shirt" in a sentence. When writing out the sentence you forgot the "r" thus spelling out - - "shit." You thought this was hilarious......especially when your sentence read "I just had a black shit" instead of "I just had a black shirt!"

ALSO......your final thoughts before falling asleep were these. You had noticed that one of the toilets at the school did not seem to flush as well as the others. You felt it should be replaced....and you asked to take a piece of paper to the school today to tape to the stall door to leave a personal message for the janitor. You wanted your teacher to make sure to tape this message to the stall door. You wanted to say this:

Mr. Janitor: "The slowest primary toilet should be replaced with an American Standard toilet....FAST suction.....Kohler-like, with lower than 35 PSA pressure!"

You were very specific. I had to write it all down before I forgot because to be honest I could not remember all those details!

Today is a HARVEST party of some type in your class. You will celebrate AUTUMN and the HARVEST and get to see a movie and then have a snack the teachers provide. WHAT that snack will be I have no clue. I am hopeful it will include something you are willing to eat as you do not eat the traditional stuff most other kids eat. I have also warned you and told you if they had nothing you could eat or drink......that it would be "no big deal" as you could have something later here at home or a special treat out. I asked the teachers about making up TREAT BAGS to take for your class. I can do them and did make them last night......but they are NOT allowed to have any candy products in there. SO here are our contributions.

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The bags include Halloween pencils and erasers, and plastic crap I hope was not made in China with too high lead content, and some leftover Happy Meal toys we had tons of....still wrapped in their packaging!


When asking about costumes and such...the children are also NOT allowed to wear any costumes......only dress in the proper THEME for the day if desired....which is a FARM theme. WHEN I asked you what you thought that might mean for you....you said you should have MISSING TEETH!!! You informed me that hillbillies always seem to have their front teeth or some teeth missing. I guess you are much more observant than we all probably give you credit! SO........you will probably just go in jeans and something very casual....as you do not really have anything that would be very farm-like other than that.

Speaking of products......you wrote a letter to the former neighbor girls......which was so adorable. I will have to copy and post it......but it was actually well thought out and you included the phrase that you wanted them to come and see your new products! You got some new writing materials including a dry erase board which you are thrilled with and you always showed them anything new you got and let them try it out. You invited them to come visit and of course ended with how you loved them and lots of X's and O's for kisses and hugs.

You have had trouble keeping your hands to yourself all week. We need to focus on keeping your hands and body to yourself. EVERY time you go through learning stages I wonder how long they will last. It took you forever to get completely potty trained. AND it was very frustrating at times for me. BUT finally at nine years of age you have basically mastered it. Using wet wipes of course as you really do not like to use toilet paper. BUT you are able to do it all yourself. I cannot tell you how long I have waited and hoped for this to occur!

SO the same will apply here. We will keep plugging along and moving forward until you also learn this concept of personal body space and keeping your hands to yourself and not having a "moment" if someone does something as simple as look at you the wrong way, which could potentially cause you to act out. MOST days now however, it would require more than someone looking at you the wrong way to get your back up. SO that is also a good thing. You are learning to distinguish. When I asked you yesterday about an incident where you hit a student because he grabbed the same chair you were trying to grab....when I asked you what you forgot and what you should have done.....you easily recited back to me that you forgot to calm down and take your deep breaths and to just let it go. I have explained numerous times that there are some things in life that are simply not worth getting that upset about. Learn to let some of them go....and that it is OKAY for someone else to have the same chair you might want. After all...it is not just YOUR personal chair. Your UN-predictability factor I believe is becoming a bit more predictable...and it will take me some time getting used to that......but what tremendous progress!!

Okay...mommy has to get her butt back to work! I LOVE YOU NOAH WESLEY! To the moon and back again.......forever I will.

mommy
XOXOXOX

OH....and last night the Halloween Parade downtown was not so much a parade. It consisted of ONE police car.....ONE band......and anyone else who was dressed up that wanted to walk behind the police car and the band. That was it. It was over in the blink of an eye and a big disappointment. You were more excited and thrilled to see the traffic lights at night......and had me take movie clips of them flashing and you standing beside them as well as all the air conditioning units outside the buildings. We went store to store to get some treats....and avoided the long lines of people and walked the streets instead with you darting over to a candy station when you saw one you wanted to get some candy from....and blending in with the crowd without officially BUTTING in......and getting your candy and then moving on. It was the perfect night......not too chilly and no rain. VERY fall-like. Here are a couple of photos from that and a movie clip!

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YOU by the traffic light!


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You by one of EIGHT different air conditioners you saw and filmed last night!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You had a "NIGHTMARE"....

the night before last....

About 3:45 a.m. I realized I was not in bed alone. I felt tiny fingers poking me on my back.....and when I turned and looked I saw your face peering back at me. I asked you what you were doing in my bed......you said "I had a nightmare!"

When I asked what the nightmare was about.....you said "A toilet was overflowing!"

yes.....I can see where that would be a worst nightmare for you!

Dear Noah...

Well after 2-1/2 months of school it finally happened. You had to have a bowel movement during school. I was very impressed with how it was handled and you did very well. I won't get into details but there will be no more worries as far as the bathroom goes and I am thrilled about that! I also know you probably won't need to use the bathroom for that reason much if at all ever again....because we have worked hard training your body to learn to go before or after school.....except for peeing of course. This has worked very well!

You have had a couple of issues keeping your hands to yourself at school this week. I know you are not the only child with this issue......but....you have to learn you cannot do this. You have the best parapro ever....she really adores you and pretty much does for you exactly the same things I would do. SO this is ideal! What we all dream about and hope for. Definitely an answer to prayer! This affords me a lot of relief while you are at school each day!

We had a great time at your cousin's Halloween party this past Saturday. You got to test out your M&M race car driver costume! Here is a shot of that:

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AND tonight in town they will have a Halloween parade.......followed by blocking off of the main street in town and allowing kids under 12 to go merchant to merchant to get treats! This is a great way to walk/visit our entire downtown area which we have been wanting to do......in order to see all the shops down there....and I know you will enjoy it. We got rained out last year so hopefully this year you can actually do it! THEN Sunday during the afternoon is regular Trick Or Treat time in town...and then Sunday evening a local church has an event. AND Saturday is a birthday party for your grandma and grandpa! SO lots of activities coming up!

For now I need to get back to work. FALL is definitely here now and I took you for a walk in our local park after school the other day and we found some glorious colored leaves! You have really been enjoying the cat.

Every day when I look at you....and see you growing up and changing....I stand amazed and am quickly reminded of just how much progress you have made and are continuing to make each day! Your writing is coming along very nicely! You are getting faster at it.......no longer complaining about tired hands or aching fingers. You can quickly do your homework and are getting mostly A's on your work in class. You even chose to write a letter to the neighbor girls who used to live next door! You are able to come up with your own words and sentences.....very impressive!

In case you did not know......I love you. Very much.

mommy
XOXOX

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dear Noah...

It was sprinkling rain when I went to pick you up from school. As I came around the corner the principal came out to meet me. She wanted to call me earlier in the day but never had time. She knew she would see me coming to pick you up so she decided to wait and grab me aside then.

Apparently there was an "incident" today at lunch recess. Apparently another little boy from your class kicked your lunch bag up to the wall of the school building but then picked it up to set it on the wall so it would not "get run over." This is what you told me. The principal said you totally misread the situation and she never mentioned that the boy kicked your lunch bag....only that he picked it up and put it on the wall so it would not get run over. BY WHAT I have no clue. Neither did you when I asked. SO we have conflicting stories and since the principal is not outside on the playground when you are.......I pretty much imagine what you said happened happened. The kid probably did kick it aside and then picked it up and placed it on the wall. WHY you did not know and neither do I. The principal said he was actually trying to do a good thing......trying to HELP you......PROTECT your bag......but it is not like cars run up and down the playground and ALL THE OTHER kids' lunch bags were also sitting outside in line-up for when you went back inside class. WHY this child only picked out your lunch bag to MOVE is still unknown on my part.

SO.....you apparently thought this child was being mean......and then going to steal your lunch bag.....so you went up and tried to bite his arm......and then you did successfully pinch his arm. You did not draw blood or even break the skin. In fact it sounds like the attempt at biting was unsuccessful. BUT......you got called on for it....which you should have.........but I really hope the situation was clear to the teachers on the playground at the time and it sounds like the entire incident was very fuzzy. I do hope the old trend of you being the last one being seen doing anything and then you being the only one getting into trouble is not going to repeat itself all over again. You usually only react if provoked. I have seen the so-called MONITORS on the playground and I have to say they do not always do a great job in MONITORING what is actually going on all the time. You apologized to the boy.....he accepted your apology....all was fine.

You now will be spending your time with a DUTY MONITOR all the time when out on recess which is something I requested a long time ago. I requested that your parapro be with you at ALL TIMES.....even on playground/recess. I guess she has to have a lunch break and other times away too though I do not understand why she cannot be on the same schedule as you. Anyway.......someone now will be with you at all times and they are to watch you at all times to hopefully help redirect you and make sure you stay on track. NOT sure how effectively this can happen if they do not really know your situation.

I emailed the principal and homeroom teacher to let them know we did talk about it. We went over what was wrong with what you did and what you should have done or do the next time.

I will probably email the principal again asking why your parapro cannot be the one outside with you on recess. I don't know....maybe she has to help other kids besides you?

Anyway.........when the story came out today my stomach instinctively knotted up again like it used to every day when I picked you up from preschool because every day that is all we heard....about all the things you did "wrong." I am thankful you have made such tremendous progress and your parapro went on and on today when I picked you up about how great a mom I was and the staff always says Noah has the best mom and how great a job I have done working with you and how they wish all moms were like me. While that made me feel a bit better.......I realized I am only doing what a mom should do and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

BUT they all reportedly love you....and are amazed at how bright you are.....such good eye contact (seems to be so important to neurotypicals).

Anyway......we will keep plugging away. For any moms out there with children newly diagnosed with autism......this is why the earlier you can begin working with your child the better. It is much easier to try to teach these things to your child as soon as possible because it can take YEARS for the child to master and understand them. You do not want to have to wait until they are almost a teenager to have them start learning these social skills. Then they could have an unfortunate incident where they instinctively act out or react inappropriately in a social situation and get themselves into a lot more trouble......because they are older and bigger.

Enough said. It is raining....very fall-like outside. I have candles lit throughout the house.......Opie is sleeping on the cushion beside me.......and you are playing in your room. You have already done your homework and had a snack.

And all is right in the world again.

I love you Noah...

mommy
XOXOXOX

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SCHOOL CLOSED DUE TO FOG!

Needless to say Noah was excited!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grandparent's Night at Noah's school......

He brought home a flier maybe a week ago? Did not act interested....never said he wanted anyone to come so they could go to this event. I asked him if he wanted to go or have anyone come. He never really decided.

Then THE night of the even rolled around. When I picked him up from school his parapro told me that Noah had talked all day long about going to Grandparent's Night at his school. ....and he was planning on going. I told her that was news to me. SO I wondered what we were going to do. Late notice.....my mom having a bum knee right now. My grandma or Noah's great grandma would have come had she known about it sooner. SO I asked Noah what was the main reason he wanted to go to this grandparent's night. He wanted his grandparents there to see his TOILETS at school and HIM FLUSHING the toilets. He cared less about his classrooms and the projects they were working on....or showing anyone those things at the school. He was excited thinking he would be able to go to ALL the restrooms and take his video camera with him and record all the toilets flushing!

We discussed the grandparent's night further. I asked him if he would be just as happy to go somewhere else to see toilets and flush them.....say for example Walgreens and Big Lots. OH he became VERY excited about those prospects. See Noah has come up with "THE PROMISE"....which is any time we go somewhere they have a toilet....he can take his camera along....and then I am to allow him to go to the restroom and record the toilets flushing. SO....now every day before school and after he talks about THE PROMISE. "Mom can we do the promise again tomorrow?" is all I have heard since we got home tonight. I ran him to Walgreens to see and flush all their toilets....Men's and Women's bathrooms. Then to Big Lots....same deal there. THEN he started to cry in Big Lots saying he changed his mind about the event at school and he would probably be the only one NOT going and he wanted to go. This was at 7:45 PM and the event was over at 8:00 PM and I had just asked him not 10 minutes prior if he would be OKAY tomorrow if he did not go tonight.

So we checked out quickly and rushed over to the school only to find locked doors. We were persistent though and finally got in when some other parents were coming out. The first stop....yep...you got it. The BATHROOM. He hit several in the school......and found his folder he forgot to bring home earlier in the day......and all was well in his little world again. Long gone were the tears and he was smiling and happy and content all over.

I had to laugh at something his parapro said. I guess today there was a little girl who had these jeans on with a pink fuzzy stripe down the sides of the legs. I guess Noah got down on his knees and went up behind her and stretched out one hand on either side of her legs and proceeded to run his hands up and down her legs....to feel that pink fuzzy stripe! I guess he really liked how they felt. The parapro said it was all she could do to not bust out laughing!...(and we all knew he was only doing it for SENSORY reasons)....but that is a great example of a social situation that he and others like him just do not clearly understand....that you just cannot go up to someone and TOUCH them like that. I know one time we were in Lowe's when Noah was a little younger....and he saw a woman walking down the aisle with a Pillsbury Poppin' Fresh Doughboy on the front. He reached over to her and went up and stuck his finger into the stomach of Poppin' on her shirt....I guess expecting to hear that all-too familiar GIGGLE like from the commercials. He had no clue you don't do that. Same for one day at Chic-Fil-A......a woman was sitting there with shorts on during the summer.......he went over and rubbed up and down on her legs......he loves legs. Actually he loves all women's body parts!

So.......back home. Noah is happy again......he can say he went to Grandparent's Night....and he saw and flushed many toilets and gave me the low down on their make, model, how many gallons of water they had and the pressure used to flush them...etc. Here is a clip of him flushing at school......and it is adorable because at the end he was singing a song in the one restroom......something about being in the bathroom at night......it is cute....(The first part the bathroom was really dark.....but it gets better as the clip goes on)

Noah I absolutely adore you!

Mommy
XOXOX



OH......and a visual for your enjoyment. I bought a frozen turkey at Kroger's yesterday......and it was in the back of my SUV when we went to pick up the kitten from the vet...and when I opened the back of the truck once we arrived...to get the cat carrier out of the side of the truck......when I lifted the back door of the truck up...something came FLYING out of the back and landed about 10 feet from me on the blacktopped drive. It was......THE TURKEY! I got to laughing so hard I about peed my pants! I am thankful it hit the blacktop and not my foot! OR someone else or their pet! If hit in the head it could have killed someone!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday updates....

Well the neighbor girls came back on Sunday with their parents to load up their final load to move. I let Noah go outside and play with the girls in the front and backyard. A couple of times the girls had to go inside and he was very worried he would not be able to say goodbye forever to them. I handed him a piece of paper with his name, address and phone number to give to the girls telling them to write him sometime. I also told him since he was learning to write letters in school he could practice really well by writing letters to the girls and mailing them to their former address. The mail would get forwarded and hopefully once they had time they would write back and he could have fun writing back and forth. It was very bittersweet when it came time to give hugs and say goodbye. BUT Noah did very well knowing he could still write and stay in touch.

Life is very interesting to me as it unfolds. The circumstances in one's life can change sometimes without much notice or warning....but the timing of it all is impeccable, even when we do not think so. Things occur always at just the right time...and things always happen for reasons. Sometimes we do not see or understand those reasons until much later on when more pieces of the grand puzzle fall into place.

I strongly believe all these changes in our lives right now.....the girls moving.....us bringing home that cat.......and even more I will not go into here......are truly preparing us for the next chapter in our lives. I finally decided to climb out of the pit of despair and not be part of the problem anymore but part of the solution.....by writing down exactly things needing to be addressed and then seeking solutions to them. FINDING the solutions has been fun so far and realizing that there ARE solutions out there offers tremendous hope. It allows us to see more of the puzzle ...sometimes even before other pieces have fallen into place. This is a very exciting time in our lives. BIG changes are ahead and Noah and I are looking forward to them with much enthusiasm!

I love you Noah......very much!

Mommy
XOXOXOX

Saturday, October 13, 2007

an emotional day today..

Blog Entry

The OSU game was not televised today. WHAT crap!


Noah found out today that the girls next door ARE indeed moving. He is very upset about this. He told me he would have to say goodbye to them forever...with huge tears in his eyes. He cried and cried. This brought back memories of when I was packing everything up to move across country with him a couple of years ago. He cried then too....saying he would have to say goodbye to all the familiar people and places of his life thus far. ....for FOREVER. It made me feel like crap then.....even though I knew it would be for the best....and it makes me feel like crap all over again now.

I have explained to him it will be okay. We will be moving ourselves sooner than later. I told him that change and different situations can be good. He can meet new people and make new friends. He can have new adventures.

But his relationship with those little girls was his first experience at a real friendship and playmates that he could actually PLAY with on a regular basis. All he had to do was step out into his backyard.

As long as I live I will never forget the days where he would come running to me shouting "Mommy, mommy....Emma and Brianne are outside!"; "Can I go out and play?"....a milestone that took years to attain. He would go darting out the back door squealing greetings to "the girls" through huge smiles and giggles as they did the same back to him. I am sure he also will never forget the kisses goodbye at the end of the day. Chasing fireflies at night in the summer. Swimming in the pool. Lazy, long days...sharing toys, tents, popsicles and dreams.

On a day such as today I feel so inadequate. I wish I had a shoulder to cry on. I wish I could make it all better. I know God is there to always hear me out....because I doubt most any other human would care to. I am thankful for this. I feel like two individuals ....one wishing I could reveal my fears to someone else....but then realizing I can't. No one really wants to share burdens like that. SO my lips stay sealed. My mouth shut. Something I know is rare for me.

I opened the windows today because it was such a glorious day outside. Opie smelled the fresh air and was crying to go outside. This made me feel really crappy too because I cannot let him out. I cannot really even allow him to be seen in the windows here. I gave him a bath today and ever since he has shunned me. I feel like a bad-ass mama to him. Not a good feeling.

As I sit here and spill the beans here.....even if only partly...I know in the long run everything will end up fine! EVEN BETTER than now. I believe this. I cling to this. I WILL manifest this. I am.

But dammit it can be exhausting doing it all by yourself. Or even "feeling" like you are doing it all by yourself.

I am so busy telling everyone else it will be "okay"......I sometimes just wish I had someone around to verbally do the same for me. ...even if I already know things will be "okay."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dear Noah...

You have continued to do pretty well at school. Today you have NO school. It is a teacher's in-house work day or something like that I think. You are excited to have a 3-day weekend!

I just read about another 14-year-old arrested for planning an attack to open fire at his school. I think those stories just make us all so sick to our stomachs! It certainly makes us feel vulnerable and not safe at all and we worry about our children like you even being IN a public school......especially coming from a safe home-schooling environment. While I know having you GO to public school now was the correct move for you.....it still bothers me a bit...especially when I read these horrific stories in the news!

I love you Noah. VERY much.

mommy
XOXOX

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

saw this on another site......had to share it....it is so upsetting...

An 11-year-old autistic Massachusetts boy was brutally attacked after school last month and police are now planning to charge some of his classmates in the case. The attack happened Sept. 28 in Templeton, a community about 40 miles northwest of Worcester.The boy, whose name was not released, was beaten after stepping off the school bus near Baldwin Drive and the entire attack was captured on videotape.

"They do know he tried to fight back, but there were five of them, so there's no way he could have," his aunt said, choking back tears. "They pushed him in a mailbox and he cut his hand and they have a picture of that." His aunt and legal guardian said the fifth-grader suffers from Asperger's syndrome."When I watched the tape I was devastated. I'm absolutely devastated that these kids could do this," she said.

The kids who allegedly attacked the boy had previously teased the victim. One of the children, a girl, allegedly handed a video camera to a boy and asked him to record her as she started pushing and shoving the victim as the group neared some woods."They have video them pushing him in the woods and him being in there and them saying, 'Kick him while he's down,' and 'Do it again,'" his aunt said.

She said her nephew returned home 15 minutes late and struggled to tell her what happened. She said bruises appeared on his legs and arms the day after the attack. She filed a police report.The two girls and three boys who were accused of attacking the boy were suspended from the Narragansett Middle School for the week and the school held an assembly on bullying."We were very upset with what we saw," School Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hemman said. "We worked very well with the police and he was right on top of that and the parents of these students were brought in and talked with and appropriate action was taken against those students."

The mother of the boy who videotaped the assault said her child had no idea what was going to happen but also did not try to stop the attack. She said now he is very remorseful and wishes he had helped the victim. She said he has since apologized to the boy.

In the meantime, the victim's aunt said she's worried he will regress."This impacted him greatly. He's lost a lot of his independence. The trust that he's had is not there," she said. Police are filing charges against his classmates in juvenile court.

(I am speechless)

Dear Noah....

When I picked you up on Friday you had apparently had a bad day. It was extremely hot and the school is not air conditioned and you do not handle the heat very well. You got upset easier about a few things...and had at least 2 semi-major "moments" (I don't like to say meltdowns anymore because they seem to be much smaller scaled episodes than they used to be). You got upset when your parapro was not in Social Studies class with you...and you let your demands known to EVERYONE........becoming very loud.....and stamping your feet around.....I think kicking at things....not a temper tantrum thing.....just kicking at the legs of the desks...etc. THEN at this moment in time this morning I no longer remember what happened after that......but you apparently told the teachers and everyone else in the class because you were talking SO LOUDLY....that you may as well move your paper clip to the BLACK ZONE because you could feel another episode coming on!

SINCE I picked you up from school on Friday......you have been a mess of attitude! AND SO LOUD! It is like you have been STUCK in over-stimulation mode for 3 days!

Monday the day at school was even hotter than Friday. I sent a larger bottle of water....(OH THAT is what the second thing was that happened at school....you wanted a drink of water on Friday and you had to wait for it for some reason....and that ticked you off). Anyway.....yesterday you handled it better.....and did very well......till you pinched Alex L. in the shoulder unprovoked......so you did have to move from the green to the yellow zone. NOW Alex L. is the typical troublemaker kid in most schools......we have all seen them in action and every school has at least 1 in every classroom. Alex L. will do things to kids including Noah for no reason all the time. I guess Noah decided to get him before he got Noah and the teachers really sometimes just turn their eyes the other way feeling Alex L. probably deserves some of it and they are actually a little pleased when they see him getting a taste of his own medicine!

BUT after I picked you up from school I noticed finally you were ZONING out.....you appeared very much like a walking zombie......somewhere else where I could not quite follow you. I kept asking you if you felt okay.....you were extremely quiet.....appeared very retrospective.......had a very DEEP look to the expression on your face and eyes. And as the norm for you......once passing the ZOMBIE ZONED out stage......your behavior improves. SO your behavior since has been very good......quiet...more calm and peaceful.

Since I had not seen that type of behavior out of you for SO LONG...it was a very difficult trying time for me this past weekend and a bit exhausting. I found it very difficult to tune out all the loud sounds you were making....and in all reality you were really just probably being a kid. BUT I do know repetitive sounds and extreme loud laughter and sounds in your bedroom calm you down....but it was like this time it was not working. You appeared to just become more wound up!

sigh........So anyway....we even got into raising our voices with each other at least twice.......and you hit me once.......threatened to rip your shirt in two during another episode where you did not agree with me on something......and last night when I was going to send you to bed a little earlier and you got upset about that you again stood there almost shaking and raised your hands like you wanted to hit me. I swung you around and told you to NEVER EVEN THINK about hitting me or anyone else ever again in any anger episodes you might have. HITTING especially in anger would only wind your butt in trouble...to remember to take your deep breaths and calm down FIRST and then talk about what upsets you. I told you if you could not continue to listen to me and at school....for each episode I caught you not listening to what I have told you to do....or at school.......you would start getting docked 15 minutes off your computer time at home. THAT seemed to get your attention......but not yet sure it will actually be a positive incentive for you to try even harder. I really believe and know you are changing and growing and all this is very difficult for you. I know your emotions are rushing around all over the place inside your brain and body. I know we MUST find new ways for you to cope......because it is apparent to me you are searching for new ways to cope because some of the old ways no longer work like they used to. You have outgrown them I suppose. NOT sure. BUT we must sit down together and think of a new way that would work for you......and re-instill the CALM DOWN book with you yet again....reminding you of what you SHOULD be doing when you get frustrated and upset in different situations. A review would also certainly not hurt Mommy.

So there......that was a mouthful but it is finally out of my brain. Okay.......not really but my subconscious does not know the difference between reality and faking it......so faking it will eventually become the reality.

You got your hair cut again yesterday....because SCHOOL PICTURE DAY is Wednesday.

This time I DID take pictures and here is one.....


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


yes......you recorded/filmed the entire thing......

I love you Noah.......but we still have some work to do!

Mommy
XOXOXOX

Thursday, October 04, 2007

another LONG recall list.......crap......we need to bring our products back HOME to manufacture and oversee!

This message consists of the following:

1. KB Toys Recalls Wooden Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

2. Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Color Blocks Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

3. Eveready Battery Co. Recalls Toy Flashlights Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

4. Dollar General Recalls Tumblers Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

5. CKI Recalls Children's Decorating Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively at Toys "R" Us

6. Key Chains Recalled by Dollar General Due to Risk of Lead Exposure

7. Antioch Publishing Recalls Bookmarks and Journals Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

8. Sports Authority Recalls Aluminum Water Bottles Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

******************************
**************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-004

Firm's Recall Hotline: (888) 843-9520
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

KB Toys Recalls Wooden Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Products: Wooden Pull-Along Alphabet & Math Blocks Wagons, Wooden Pull-Along Learning Blocks Wagons, 10-in-1 Activity Learning Carts, and Flip-Flop Alphabet Blocks

Units: About 10,000

Importer: KB Toys, Inc., of Pittsfield, Mass.

Hazard: Surface paints on the toys can contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None.

Descriptions:

Wooden Pull-Along Alphabet & Math Blocks Wagons and Learning Blocks Wagons The recalled wooden toy wagons have 28 blocks and a pull string. The wagons measure about 7½" x 13" and have blocks with letters, words, numbers, or pictures on them. "First Learning" or "My Kidz" are printed on the products' packaging, in addition to UPC #834162002158 or #834162002165.

10-in-1 Activity Learning Carts The recalled activity carts are three dimensional learning toys with various activities. The cart measures about 17¼" x 16½" x 7¾". "First Learning" and UPC #834162002127 are printed on the products' packaging.

Flip-Flop Alphabet Blocks The recalled wooden toys have blocks that flip with letters, words, numbers, and pictures on them. The toy measures about 10 1/8" x 10¾" x 2¾". "First Learning" and UPC #834162001212 are printed on the products' packaging.

Sold at: KB Toys stores nationwide. The Pull-Along Wagons were sold from August 2005 to August 2007 for between $9 and $13. The 10-in-1 Activity Learning Carts were sold from August 2006 to September 2007 for about $30. The Flip-Flop Alphabet Blocks were sold from August 2006 to September 2007 for about $7.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and return them to any KB Toys retail store for a store credit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact KB Toys toll-free at (888) 843-9520 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the company's Web site at www.recall.kbtinfo.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08004.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-005

Firm's Recall Hotline: (866) 203-6788
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Firm's Media Contact: (770) 971-0677

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Color Blocks Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks

Units: About 35,000

Distributor: Kids II Inc., of Alpharetta, Ga.

Hazard: Surface paint on the blue block contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall involves the blue block included with the Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks, Model 30726 and Model 30881. The blocks are made of soft textures and come in different colors. Only date codes of GE7, GF7, and GG7 are included in this recall. The model number and date code are printed on the labels affixed to the green-colored block.

Sold at: Various retailers and specialty stores nationwide from June 2007 through September 2007 for between $10 and $13.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled blue block away from children immediately and contact Kids II to receive a free replacement of the affected block.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kids II toll-free at (866) 203-6788 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.kidsii.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08005.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-006

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 925-0628
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Eveready Battery Co. Recalls Toy Flashlights Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: "Pirates of the Caribbean" Medallion Squeeze Lights

Units: About 79,000

Importer: Eveready Battery Co., of St. Louis, Mo.

Hazard: Surface paints on the leather strap attached to the medallion squeeze light contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall involves "Pirates of the Caribbean" medallion squeeze lights, which is gold-colored and about 1¾-inches across. It is attached to a leather strap and metal clasp.

Sold at: Various retail stores and Web sites nationwide from September 2006 through October 2007 for between $4 and $6.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled squeeze light away from children immediately and contact the firm to receive a voucher for another Energizer-brand product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Eveready at (800) 925-0628 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.Energizer.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08006.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-007

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 678-9258
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Dollar General Recalls Tumblers Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Frankenstein Tumblers

Units: About 63,000

Importer: Dollar General Merchandising Inc., of Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Hazard: Surface paint on the center of the eyes of some of the cups can contain high levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall includes green, plastic, Frankenstein head-shaped tumblers.

Sold at: Dollar General stores nationwide in September 2007 for about $1.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take these tumblers away from young children and return them to the store where purchased for a refund or replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Dollar General at (800) 678-9258 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.dollargeneral.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08007.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-008

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 869-7787
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CKI Recalls Children's Decorating Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively at Toys "R" Us

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Children's Toy Decorating Sets

Units: About 15,000

Importer: Toys "R" Us Inc., of Wayne, N.J.

Manufacturer: CKI Toys, of Hong Kong

Hazard: Surface paint on the back of the recalled mirror contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: These Totally Me! - Funky Room Décor Sets are designed to make various room décor projects and includes a clock, clock movement, satin fabric, round box, door hanger, mirror, paper mirror frame, glitter glue, sticker sheet, foam shapes, sequins, seed beads, elastic cord, fabric flowers, and gem stones. The part containing lead is the mirror.

Sold at: Toys "R" Us stores nationwide and toysrus.com from May 2007 through September 2007 for about $10.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled products away from children and return the item to the nearest Toys "R" Us store for store credit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Toys "R" Us toll-free at (800) TOYSRUS/869-7787 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at www.toysrus.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08008.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-009

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 678-9258
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Key Chains Recalled by Dollar General Due to Risk of Lead Exposure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Key Chains

Units: About 192,000

Importer: Dollar General Merchandising Inc., of Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Hazard: The key chains contain high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves key chains with a coiled cord and a metal charm with one of the following engraved words: "wisdom", "truth", "believe", "love", "hope", or "dream". The key chains were sold on a cardboard tab with floral designs and the words "Metal Keyring" and "$1" on the front.

Sold at: Dollar General stores nationwide from June 2005 through August 2007 for about $1.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take these key chains away from young children and return them to the store where purchased for a refund or replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Dollar General at (800) 678-9258 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.dollargeneral.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08009.html

********************************************************
NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-010

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 543-1515
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Antioch Publishing Recalls Bookmarks and Journals Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Bookmarks and Journals

Units: About 150,000

Importer: Antioch Publishing, of Yellow Springs, Ohio

Hazard: Paint on the spiral metal bindings of the journals, clip of the bookmarks and the clear coating on the marquis bookmarks and bracelets contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal lead paint ban.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves various designs of bookmarks and journals from Antioch Publishing's Signature Collection. The character-themed bookmarks and journals include the following designs:

Clip Bookmarks:
Winnie the Pooh (© Disney)
Lady Bug & Flower
Hope & Courage
Star
Sun & Rainbow
Sun & Moon
Coffee
Follow Him & Cross
Monkey & Bananas

Marquis Bookmarks:
Dragon
Hugging Cat

Bookmarks Sold with Bracelets:
Mother's Touch
Breast Cancer

Journals:
Cherry Blossoms
Sweetheart
Sassy

Sold at: Book, card and gift stores nationwide from March 2005 through October 2007 for between $4 and $14.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the bookmarks and journals away from children and contact Antioch Publishing for a refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Antioch Publishing at (800) 543-1515 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.antioch.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08010.html

********************************************************

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
Release #08-011

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 360-8721
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Sports Authority Recalls Aluminum Water Bottles Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Alpine Design Aluminum Water Bottles

Units: About 11,200

Importer: Sports Authority, of Englewood, Colo.

Hazard: The surface paint on the water bottle contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves the Alpine Design aluminum water bottles sold at Sports Authority. The water bottles are sold in different colors and measure between six and 10 ½ inches tall. The water bottles are silver, blue, red, blue with pink flowers, red with the depiction of a mouse, or blue with the depiction of a zebra. "Alpine Design" is painted on the water bottle.

Sold at: Sports Authority stores nationwide from April 2006 through September 2007 for between $5 and $8.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled product immediately and return it to a Sports Authority store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Sports Authority at (800) 360-8721 any time, or visit the firm's Web site at www.sportsauthority.com

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08011.html

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

Dear Noah...

I had the OFFICIAL formal meeting with the staff and teachers and specialists at your school yesterday. I have to admit part of me was prepared to feel the usual dread prior to such meetings but this time I really did not experience it. I was really not even a little anxious. So that is good. The meeting went very well. The teachers and specialists were quite impressed with you and without tooting my own horn, said after reading the notes about you from before and your prior attempts at schools and former evaluations they could not believe you were the same little boy...as you have made that much improvement and progress. They thanked me for working so hard with you over this time to help accomplish those improvements and progress...stating that if all parents did as good a job as I did with you with homeschooling and social skills work.....they would all be out of a job. I have to admit I miss homeschooling.....and I still want to stick my hands back in that pot and get them wet with you again......even if only part-time here at home. I am hopeful you will still be receptive to doing it too and I can get my schedules and life worked out so I will have TIME to do this.

All in all you will remain in with the regular class which is GREAT news. I remember a time when I did not want you to be mainstreamed.....but now you are much more ready for it....even if you are emotionally more immature than your peers. At least you can handle it now very well. You are physically becoming stronger and have no limitations in gym. You will receive speech therapy and occupational therapy at school which is good news.....and you will have a few special helps in place to help you be successful but they are actually very minimal and nothing extreme as in the past. I was quite impressed with your scores on some of these tests. You are reading above a 12-year-old level which really did not surprise me...and you were off the charts in areas like memorization and visual skills. You have come a long way.

I got to meet your friend Travis yesterday who reminded me very much of you. When it was time to leave school you ran over to him and you both hugged...probably the only two boys in the entire school who would be willing to do that in front of everyone else on purpose! I loved it. Travis would like to get together and have you come to his house one day or the other way around. I think it is great you have made a friend you really enjoy playing with and you both "get" each other.

Life with OPIE the new kitten has been good for you too. I just cannot stand knowing I am not supposed to have a cat here and I do......that really bothers me and the pressure is mounting. You however are loving this cat and play with him all the time. I seriously need to just have everything fall into place so perfectly right now so I can take advantage of the buyer's market on houses and hopefully finally be able to BUY a big old house to give us more space.....and allowing us more freedom to do things in the house than we have now. We need the space......room to stretch out.

Now if I can whip out my money making machine and start reeling out those 100.00 bills......we will be in even better shape. I have worked hard to get to where I am today......and I do not wish to go back to where I came from....financially....etc. However, I MUST start working FULL time or increase my income in some fashion......and like YESTERDAY......so we will be able to survive. Working only part-time for 2 years has caught up with me......I cannot charge crap anymore.....the IN-come has to do just that.....actually come IN.

BUT not to worry......God always provides.......and somehow I know things will still work out very nicely for us......better than we could have imagined.

Here you are with Opie......you are so very happy to have this kitten to play with...

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Monday, October 01, 2007

cats......






Well Noah and I went to the local fruit farm for their fall festival and had a great time. The weather was near perfect and it was pretty windy....which I am sure stirred up some allergies. We walked in the Krazy Korn Maze.........not paying attention to the fact that it was 5 ACRES......Noah got tired of walking after awhile....but I told him he had to keep walking till we made it all the way back OUT of the maze.

They have a lot of activities to do out there......Storybook Forest......swings.....hayrides....train rides.....activities for kids....pumpkin patch.....and a GIANT SLIDE that Noah loves to go down....he even filmed himself coming down. We had a good time.

Afterwards we stopped in to see Grandma C. and the stray cat we are grooming to become more friendly to bring home one day. We call him Tom....or Tommy......or Tom-Kat. Well......Noah and ole Tom played or a long time......a couple of hours I think. They get along very well. However this cat still does not really want to be inside.

WHILE playing with Tom......there was another cat who came up.......a smaller cat that was very lovable and very friendly......and Noah fell in love with him. The cat crawled up into my lap and I also fell for him. Next thing you know I apparently tossed good judgment and sense right out the window as I was driving by myself to get cat litter and litter box last night while Noah stayed behind with the kitten.

NOW........I currently live in a home where I am not allowed to have pets. I have been pet-free since like 1995 so I have to admit I have gotten used to living without pets around anymore. BUT these cats need a home and while I do not wish to end up on the Oprah show with a starring role as a cat lady one day......I really just felt compelled to give these guys a home if I could. SO....I thought about my lease but figured what the heck. WHAT AM I THINKING??????? I have already been looking for a house to hopefully BUY........a big old house would suit us very well......and would be cheaper........and I could give these cats a good home. There is also a dog that I think needs rescued but that is another story.

SO.......I hope my landlord does not read this.....but I have a kitten sitting in my lap as I type right now.......and today he has a vet appointment at 4:00 p.m. Noah loves him and played with him all morning before school.

Speaking of school....this morning when I came down a side street I was behind a big double-wide pickup truck......who was at the stop sign......and rather than pull around the corner to let his child out for school he let his kid get out right there. AND held me and Noah up.......we could not get past him.....I should have pulled around him somehow. As the kid got out Noah said it was that same kid who has said he hates Noah!

NEXT thing you know this guy is not pulling out.......and the bell for school is ringing and Noah is panicking....so I honked my horn. The man pulled out part-way......traffic is coming so he decides to back up!!!!!!!!! BACK UP!!!!!!!!! WE WERE THERE!!!!!!!!!! I started blasting my horn......but he backed up anyway and rammed into my grill guard....which he pushed back into the front of my truck. Thank goodness I HAVE that grill guard cause it did what it was supposed to do but still. AND did he stop? NO>>>>>>>>>>>>he pulled forward and out and went slowly down the street.......and then finally stopped at another stop sign where he sat forever......and then finally pulled on. I called the police thinking I needed them there to see what happened.....but there was no real damage to my truck......the bumper guard is a bit closer to the front of the truck I think......but the policeman was able to pull it back out ......and the truck itself looked okay.......MY truck that is. Have no idea about the other guy......he left the scene and never did come back. I am thankful he did not keep coming back. The policeman said he doubted the man even knew he hit me. I said I did not know how he could not.....his truck stopped backing up once he rammed me......and I was blasting on my horn!

SO now with all the excitement and worries of hiding a cat......finding a new place to live soon hopefully.......and someone backing into my truck this morning.....I am fighting off a migraine.

I have to work more than part-time to justify a house payment likely.........this will indeed be a GOD/UNIVERSE THING for all this to fall into place just so.......and hopefully not too far off into the future.

I am not sure what I did was right......but I could not turn this little guy back outside to roam around and who knows what would happen to him.

Anyway......here he is.......so sweet and so cuddly......he is sleeping on my lap now as I type.





and I will enclose a snippet from Noah's filming of himself coming down the slide......this is his view......from the inside coming down and him running around and doing it again!