I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Procrastination, Botox, and Will There Ever Be Another WFMW Post?

Ah, procrastination. Definitely my speciality. Last week, I completely forgot when it was Wednesday - thus, no Works-For-Me-Wednesday post.

I was completely prepared (in my head) for this week's WFMW, but never got around to actually taking any pictures or typing it all out.

It's gonna be cool, though, if I ever get around to it. Next week, perhaps?

Anyway, more Dinosaur Math for Eli. Found some really awesome websites that led me to a bunch of links, that led me to a bunch of more links, that led me to 2 day's worth of printing, cutting, and laminating - which led to.... drum roll.... Eli actually asking to do Math!

(Insert major happy dance!)

Hopefully, I'll get all that ready for next week's edition of WFMW. In the meantime, we are headed to OT and then Nandi gets admitted to Scottish Rite Hospital this afternoon for a series of evaluations and tests and then gets some Botox done on her leg in the morning.

I am promising myself that I will not make any Botox jokes or comments about Nicole Kidman's forehead in front of the doctor. But seeing that I tend to get verbal diarrhea in most social situations, the likelihood of keeping my lame jokes to myself is not very, um, likely.

But, hey, I get to watch American Idol from the comfort of a hospital room tonight. Just me and Nandi, chillin' with that delicious 25 cent popcorn that Scottish Rite sells. Like a little mini-vacation.

Hasta la Vista!

Monday, February 23, 2009

NOT Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


Wow, I just woke up. And I did NOT have the weirdest Oscar dreams last night. They did NOT include the cast of Slumdog Millionaire dancing in a bottle of buttons with Hugh Jackman standing next to them in a coat and tie.

What??

If you are reading this and are one of those people who interprets dreams, I do not NOT want to know what it means. I'm pretty sure it means that I should've gone to bed earlier and not watched 4 hours of television that congratulated a bunch of movies I have not seen.

Because, let's face it. I'm a mother of 3 kids between the ages of 4 and 7. Our movie outings are NOT solely limited to things put out by Disney, Pixar and any movie that promotes itself via Happy Meals.

Ooh! Look! They mentioned Wall-E. Hey honey, we've seen that!

But wasn't Hugh Jackman great last night? I am so NOT crushing on him a little bit more this morning.

Anyway....

After last week's issue of sleep deprivation, colds, and a good ol' dose of stomach virus, I did NOT decide it was time for a little beau-ti-fi-ca-shun.

Which basically means that I did NOT hop up on the bathroom counter and inspect my face like a greedy plastic surgeon. I did NOT discover, to my horror, that some of those fine little wrinkles around my mouth were, in fact, hairs.

As in hairs!

As in "What the hay is Tom Selleck doing growing on my upper lip?"

As in, I always knew they were there but how on earth did they sprout like a field of mating bunnies?

I did NOT at any point during this um, facial inspection, glance at the razor sitting on the counter, glance at my upper lip, glance back at the razor sitting on the counter, glance back at my upper lip, have painful flashbacks to a time in my life when I tried waxing and seriously thought I was going to be buried with half a wax strip attached to my face, GRAB the razor and proceed to shave my 'stache like a man.

That's right. Like a man.

And I am NOT a man.

Or should that be not NOT a man? 'Cuz, you know, really I'm NOT. Or is that not NOT?

Anyway, at one point, I did NOT glance down, lift back the top of my pants, peer in, and say, "Yep, still a woman."

I also did NOT pray during this shaving expedition the following words...

"Please don't let Sim walk in during this. Please don't let Sim walk in during this. Dear God, there are some things a man does not need to see or know."

I must admit, the results were stunning. Fast, easy, and painless. And smoooooth.

And, of course, since I can't keep a secret from Sim, I did not excitedly exclaim, "Dude! Check this out. Is that like a baby's butt or what??"

We did not then spend a few minutes checking out each other's upper lip and comparing whose was smoother. And since I'm a chick, I did NOT ask him questions about stubble and five o'clock shadows.

All things I'm proud to say that have not been an issue since my journey into mustache shaving.

And can I just take a moment to say.. is my husband NOT awesome or what? His wife starts sprouting facial hair and he still digs her. Yep, I'm a lucky gal.

He's also a very smart man. Like, for instance, last night when they were getting all the past Best Actress Oscar winners ready to announce the newest Best Actress winner.... and when I asked him, "So, if you could make out with one woman right now at this very instant, would it be Meryl Streep or Sophia Loren", he did NOT look at me and clamp his mouth down shut.

Would not answer.

Would not budge.

All I wanted to know is if he preferred the more natural looking Streep or the darkly spray tanned and Botoxed (but wonderfully bosomed) Loren.... but he somehow thought it was a trick question and would not answer.

I'm pretty sure he was NOT thinking, "Why don't you throw Kiera Knightley into the mix?" but he knew that I would NOT clobber him for uttering that out loud.

Because there is NOT an unspoken rule that when I give him a free pass to tell me who his movie star crush is, it can not include starlets who are too young to grow moustaches.

But, Kiera, honey, if you're reading this and you do happen to have facial hair, shoot me a PM and I'd be happy to add you to the list of movie stars that Sim's allowed to fancy.

And that's about it. Hope you all have a great week!



Friday, February 20, 2009

Noah's YouTube Video (i.e. Bring Back Anoop!)

As of right now... Friday, February 20th at 12:05 pm, Noah's video on YouTube (watching Anoop perfom on American Idol) has had over 1200 hits!!

People have left the sweetest comments for Noah! I put him in my lap and read them out to him and he gets so excited and babbles and claps his hands. Honestly, ya'll don't know how happy it makes him. He loves it!

So, let's hope Anoop gets voted back for the American Idol WildCard week - and don't you know I'll be sending out a personal plea for everyone to vote.

P.S. Noah pulled an all-nighter Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Screaming, crying, stimming.

You know.... that also happens to be the very same night Anoop was eliminated... hmmmmm... just sayin'.

For Mama's sanity... BRING BACK ANOOP!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Benefits of Sponsorship

If you're not reading Nikki's Ethiopia 2009 blog, then you should really head on over there. She was able to meet her sponsored child, Tsehay, (through World Vision) the other day - and she wrote a beautiful post.

It really does show the wonderful benefits of sponsoring a child.. not only for the child but for the sponsor, as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Well, we know who Noah's voting for...

We're in the middle of watching American Idol right now, and Anoop Desai, the only contestant on the show who's of Indian origin, came on.

Noah has had no interest in the show whatsoever - in fact, he's basically been rolling around on pillows in his room all evening.

But when I said, "Hey Noah - come watch this. This guy's Indian" .... you know, for no reason, just to include Noah... he actually came running.

Holy cow, were we shocked!

Thank goodness I had enough sense to grab the video camera. It's rare to see him like this...

Let's Put a Smile on Little Abby's Face

Hey everyone. I hope you're all praying for Abby and her battle with leukemia. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can click on the button to the right of this blog.

Abby goes back into the hospital tomorrow and her dad has asked everyone for a special request. I know you all can do it!

Here's his original request.....................................................

We have a request for all you video-junkies... Abby is most likely going to be in the hospital quite a bit in the next two weeks. It would be really sweet, and very comforting for her, if some of you could make videos of READING A STORY. It could be a children's story, or Bible story... and would be really neat if your kids were involved.

I can envision you reading the story, and occassionally holding the book up to the camera so she can see the characters or illustrations.

Everyone seemed to have such a great time making videos last time, I thought this would be a great way to comfort Abby when things get rough again. The best way would be to make a video and post it to YouTube or some other online video service (too big to email).

What do you think? I will create a page with links to these videos so that other families can have their children watch them too when they are in the hospital or sick. If we do this, then we should make it where others can be blessed by it too.

If you haven't read it, the last post is an update on Abby going in to the hospital tomorrow.

If you have a suggestion or question, leave a comment and I'll answer them all. If you plan to participate, leave a comment and let me know so I can see how much interest there is.

~ Brent

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Not Me! Monday...

Sorry, due to the raging stomach virus that has hit our household - and the fact that I'm spending a great deal of time in the bathroom wiping bottoms - and I don't have a laptop to sit down on the corner of the bathtub and type... well, Not Me! Monday is getting cancelled this week.

Such a shame, too, as this stomach virus has provide me with loads of things to blog about. 'Tis a pity how you won't get to hear how I was NOT pooped on, did NOT step in the..uh.. result of what happens when a kid doesn't make it to the potty on time, and have NOT been up all night with sick little ones.

Good thing the dog does NOT have it, too! Now that would just be a bit too much, wouldn't it? So glad that has NOT happened to me. Whew! Aren't I lucky?

I am NOT counting down the hours until my husband comes home. Will absolutely NOT call in a pizza at the local pizza place. Will NOT crawl into bed by 7:00 and turn on the TV, - which is good because then I will definitely NOT make runs to the bathroom during the commercials while watching The Bachelor.

And I absolutely, positively, will probably NOT - not even once - hop on the scale to see if this virus has cancelled out the effect of eating sweetart hearts all weekend long.

Nope, nope, nope. Not me!

That's all. Duty calls. Gotta go.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salma Hayek Wet Nursing an African Baby

I love Salma Hayek. She's compassionate, intelligent, articulate. She dives head first into charity work. She gave us the little gem known as Ugly Betty. And she's solid proof that a set of hips make a woman.

And then she does this.

I adore her. I truly do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Flashcards

Uh oh. I don't really have anything to post about today. This is my third week doing therapy posts for WWFM Wednesdays.. and I think I peaked at week #2.

Yep. Like a big ol' goober, I pulled out all the stops for my first two posts and now I'm left blogging about the type of shampoo I use on the kids and the organic suckers we give Noah.

So sorry.

Actually, I've been swamped since Eli got back from England on Monday (I forgot how much of a chatterbox that child is) and we've been diving back into school. So, I thought I'd post some of the flashcards we use with all three kids.

Right now, we're really focusing on reading, spelling, and math. We do a little zoology course on the side, but English & Math are our two biggies. We use Sing, Spell, Read, & Write - although we don't do the songs or the writing part. We just do the workbooks. Currently, we are doing "On Track" which is beginning, basic spelling.

Here's how we tackle that. Keep in mind that each child is different:

1. Noah is nonverbal and very auditory. He cannot write or hold a pencil. We are focusing on spelling words on his alphaboard.

2. Eli is very visual and has dysgraphia. We also suspect dyslexia. Reading and spelling is hard for him. He just mastered the alphabet at 5 1/2. Has a habit of spelling things backwards.

3. Nandi has a brain injury and short term memory problems. Significant speech delay/articulation issues.

We are currently learning "-AT" words. Like fat, cat, sat, mat, rat, bat, etc. We made simple flashcards made up from the words we're studying and then cut corresponding pictures out of magazines.

(Sidenote: I love, love, love the Hi-5 and Highlights magazines. They always have the exact pictures I need. )

This is how we take one word list and use it for all three kids:

Let's start with Eli. As I said, he's very visual and has a hard time with spelling. Here are some of the ways we use the cards with him:

1. Make two columns with the word list and two columns with the pictures - side by side. Have him match the each word card to the corresponding picture card.




2. Lay all the pictures out in rows. Put the word cards in one pile, face down. Have him pick a card, turn it over, and find the corresponding picture.



3. Play concentration. Shuffle the word cards and pictures cards together. Lay them all face down and have him turn over two cards at a time. Each time he picks a corresponding pair, he has a "match". Once all the cards are matched, the game is over.



4. We also reinforce the particular words that we're learning with a corresponding book. We love the Usborne Reader Books "Fat Cat on a Mat" "Shark in the Park" "A Frog on a Log". We bought them all off of Amazon.



5. Place picture cards in one pile, face down, and have him turn over one card at a time. Spell the word on the letterboard. (If you don't know what a letterboard is then see last week's WWFM post).


After doing this for awhile, Eli is really starting to recognize the words without needing the visual cues of the picture cards. We don't rush anything. We know that he has some learning issues, so we let him take his time. We've been working on "-at" words for about 3 weeks now and he's just now getting them right almost 100% of the time.


With Noah (being nonverbal and having very poor motor control), we do this:


1. Go through the list of words and have him spell the word on the letterboard. Sometimes this takes a lot of energy, so we just get him to focus on the first letter. Honestly, we don't try to get hung up on that. Our goal is for him to eventually communicate via spelling. We're talking long-term goal here.


"How do you spell "CAT"? Is it with a "C" or a "B"?

And he touches the correct letter on his alphaboard.


2. Show him a picture (he's not very visual) and have him spell it on the alphaboard. Again, he may just point to the starting letter.



Ex: show him a picture of a word ending in "-at" (like mat). What is this?



3. Show him a pictures and use the corresponding word in a sentence.


"This is a mat. The children wiped their feet on the mat. What did I say this is?"



Have him spell it on the alphaboard.


4. Play concentration. You turn over two cards. Say them out loud and ask if they are a match.



"Okay, we have "sat" and a picture of a "rat". Is this a match?

Have Noah point to "Y" or "N" on the alphaboard.


With Nandi, we just focus on her vocabulary:


1. Turn over picture cards/show her picture cards and have her tell us what it is.




2. Give an example of something and have her hand over the appropriate card and tell us the word.



Ex: "I love animals that say "meow". What animal am I thinking of?" She gives me the cat card and says "Cat".


3. Spell out each word for her and have her repeat. Go over the letters on the alphaboard.


Okay, that's it. Really easy. Cheap to make. Can be used for beginning readers/spellers on all levels - and probably something that everyone already does anyway.


But it works for us!

Monday, February 09, 2009

NOT Me! Monday


It's Monday! Time for MckMama's NOT Me! Monday!

Sim's coming home today! Sim's coming home today! I honestly don't know if I can contain my excitement. Cartwheels! Dancing around the living room! Mad dash to clean the two weeks' worth of coffee mugs and laundry that have accumulated all over the house!

My sweet hubby has NOT been in the UK for the last two weeks with my little boy Eli. They definitely have NOT been stuffing their face with fish and chips and Cadbury's chocolate while experiencing the worst snow that England's had in, oh I don't know, 200 years?

I did NOT gloat about that. NOT even a teeny, tiny bit. Especially not while going for walks with the kids and enjoying the lovely T-shirt and flip-flop weather we've been having.

Nope, NOT me!

And while Sim was away, I did NOT enjoy a fortnight's worth of self-indulged gluttony that included fast food, chick flicks, and a little online shopping.

Nope. Did NOT do that. Did NOT do that at all.

I certainly did NOT turn into a total slob while he was gone - and most certainly did NOT spend the last two weeks feeding my kids a steady supply of mini corn dogs and Hannah Montana Mac-n-Cheese.

Who, me?

I also did NOT watch practically every soppy, tear-inducing, heart-warming film known to man - including, but certainly not limited to, the entire 6 video set of the Love Comes Softly series.

Nope. Certainly did NOT do that!

And my plan of health and fitness and having at least a two-pack by the time Sim got home was NOT foiled by the fact that Nandi's teacher gave me a list of supplies to bring to the Valentine's Day party this Friday. That list did NOT include a package of Oreo cookies and for the first time in my life, I did NOT actually buy something ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute.

Those Oreo cookies did NOT call out my name on Saturday night and I did NOT sit with Nandi and eat half of that package while watching Love's Unending Legacy. And we most certainly did NOT polish off the other half last night while watching Love's Unfolding Dream.

I'm proud to say that Nandi is now a whopping 27.4 lbs!

And that I am NOT going to have to meet my husband at the airport wearing a baggy T-shirt and the overalls that I save for the one week out of the month that I'm bloated.

Because nothing says, "Hey Baby, I've missed you SO much" like wearing a pair of ragged overalls and an XL Lollapalooza concert shirt from 1992.

And I must NOT have to end this blog post in order to make a mad dash of cleaning before the flight arrives. I do NOT have two bathrooms to clean, overflowing recycling to clear out, a couch that is buried underneath mismatched socks and towels, or cookie crumbs to sweep.

And I definitely do NOT have eyebrows that need to be plucked, hair that needs to be straightened, legs that will most likely need TWO razors, and make-up to dust off and slap on.

Now, if I can just find a safety pin to hold up that overall strap, I'll be good to go.

NOT!

Friday, February 06, 2009

And I Can Justify it By Saying It's a Valentine's Present...

Sim and I really aren't that big into presents. Once you get married it's all "our money" anyway. And I know how much of "our money" is in the bank, so fancy schmancy presents are out of the question anyway.


Besides, if any of you know me personally, I don't exactly scream high maintenance. The last jewelry I regularly wore was a nice little stud that Noah yanked out of my nose at 13 months old.


Haven't really seen the point in it since then.


But I just HAD to buy myself a present this afternoon. I called up Sim just let to him know that I was buying myself a Valentine's Day present TO me FROM him.


Would you like to know what was so pressing that I just had to buy it ASAP?















Ahhh, yes. Can you guess what type of things we're going through right now??

I'm thinking about buying Sim a set of ear plugs and a bottle of Advil.

And you thought romance was dead!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cheap Letterboards for Nonverbal Children - Works-for-me-Wednesday

Hey! It's time for Works-for-me-Wednesday - and today we're going to talk about letterboards.

What's a letterboard? Glad you asked!


A letterboard is basically a tool that has the complete alphabet on it. Nonverbal children (especially those with autism) can use this to communicate via spelling by pointing out individual letters.

Got that?

Last week, I mentioned that due to Noah's CP, he's not able to use sign language. Traditional PECS didn't work for us, either. Then we found out about RPM - which stands for Rapid Prompting Method. I won't go into great detail here, but you can look at some of my older posts HERE and HERE to find out how RPM changed our lives and gave Noah a voice.

Right now, Noah's homeschooled and in first grade. We use RPM to help Noah do his coursework. So, although Noah answers most questions by choosing between two or three choices written on paper, our goal is to get him to independently spell out the answers (and eventually work up to his thoughts and needs) on a letterboard.


After that... we'll work on typing. (Due to Noah's motor difficulties, he might not ever adequately use pen & paper, but we're not bothered. But boy howdy, can you imagine if he learns to type??? Who hoo!)

Anyway, a traditional letterboard might look something like this:


It's basically just a flat piece of paper with the alphabet on it. Very one-dimensional.

Another way of doing a letterboard is like this....

It's called a rolled letterboard and is basically the alphabet on a piece of paper that is rolled around a swim noodle. (Another mom came up with this idea. Aren't we autism moms creative?)


This is my favorite letterboard because it doesn't overwhelm the child as much because they're only looking at 5 letters at once instead of trying to find one letter out of a sea of 26.


So, for example, if you want the child to spell bird, you'd roll the first line in front of the child and he'd touch "B". Then you'd roll down a line and he'd find "i" and touch it. Then, you'd roll down further until the line with "r" is on it and then, finally, you'd roll back up to the first line again and the child would touch "d".


This is a great letterboard for kids who are new to spelling and the concept of spelling out words. However, you don't want your child to get stuck on it because the ultimate goal is for the child to completely and independently communicate on his own (without you giving spelling hints by rolling to the proper line).


Okay, so here we go. Noah is having a dickens of a time with the letterboards. He has hemiplegia on his left-side of the body and has a visual field cut. Basically his eyesight is horrible in his left-eye and he is consistently one or two letters off. It's like his left side of the body doesn't exist.

He's got a blind spot. So if the letter board looks like this...

A B C D E F

And since CD is in the middle.... he would only see this...

D E F

ABC would be completely invisible. We are constantly having to shift the letterboard to his right eye. So if we want him to spell 'FAD", we're kind of cheating because we have to shift it so that ABC is in his vision field and then shift it back so that DEF is in his vision field.

Does that make sense? Basically, he's getting a lot of hints and in order for people to believe that he really knows his stuff, we need to get him to do it completely on his own.

Well, our son Eli was also having trouble spelling words. He has an expressive/receptive language disorder (or so the lady who charged us $1100 for his evaluation told us - uh huh). Anyway, he would get so overwhelmed trying to read because (in his head) all of the letters ran together and they also ran into the background.


Ah hah! Lightbulb moment.

What if kids with learning disabilities can't see one-dimensional print? So here's what we did...

We took a wooden puzzle like this:



Just a basic child's puzzle that you can get for a couple of bucks at Walmart. We, though, have a ton laying around with missing pieces so we just used one of those.

Turn it over and add some 1 1/2 inch wooden letters. You can buy them at Walmart for $2.96.


They come 60 to a thing, so there are at least two of each letter of the alphabet. Hot glue the letters together (the two A's together, the two B's together, etc) so that you can get a really good height on them. Then paint them any color you want. We did two boards. One painted black with white letters and one board we left unpainted but painted the letters black. Then hot glue the letters to the back of the puzzle.


It sounds really time-consuming, but it took no longer than 30 minutes tops.

The boards will end up three-dimensional, like this:










Oh my gosh! I cannot tell you what a difference this had made. Not only with Noah but with Eli, too! It really helps to separate the letters from the "page". Otherwise, for some kids, it just all runs together and looks like Greek.


Which is great if you know Greek....


Noah still has a little trouble with his vision field cut, but he is getting the letters right more and more. I think because the letters are raised instead of being flat, it just stands out more to him. Honestly, I can't scientifically tell you how it makes a difference, but trust me. It does!


We also did a rolled letterboard using glittery foam letter sticks. It's perfect for a child with autism! You've got your 3D letters. They're sparkly. And they have a cool, sandpaper-y texture that makes Noah want to touch them.




Sooooooooo cheap and easy!

Actually, ( as a sidenote) Noah's therapist, Erica, realized that Noah loves the feel of sticky tape, so she rolls up pieces of tape and puts them on the letterboard and because Noah sooooo wants to feel the sensation, he is motivated to reach out and spell out words with his finger.

Finding the right motivation is KEY for kids on the spectrum!

Okay, well I am rambling way too much, but one more thing. If you don't have a child who gets overwhelmed by lots of colors, you could make a cheap letterboard by just buying a simple alphabet puzzle at Walmart, turning it over, and hot gluing the letters on the back. Like this:




This is just an example. (We're missing some pieces). We chose not to go this route because Noah and Eli both get overwhelmed so easily.

Anyway, I hope this helps. If you want more info about RPM, then check out their website at: http://www.halo-soma.org/ . You can also look at clips of kids doing RPM on their site.

Cheap letterboards for under 5 bucks. Works for me!


Monday, February 02, 2009

NOT Me! Monday



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Here we go ...


I did NOT buy myself a new pair of Birkenstocks over the weekend.

They are NOT blue. They are NOT gorgeous, and they do NOT look like this...




I did NOT just look at that picture and say to myself, "The woman who bought those shoes has STYLE!"

I am so NOT in love with these new shoes.

I also did NOT feel just a teeny, tiny twinge of guilt for buying my new Birkenstocks - even though I did get them for a steal off of Ebay and they're from Germany and include FREE shipping.

I did NOT just try to justify my purchase by saying that they were a steal off of Ebay, come directly from Germany, and include free shipping.

I also did NOT try to justify buying my new Birks by telling myself that my current ones are NOT being held together by gorilla glue and a piece of duct tape and that I would probably wear these new ones until I'm 65.

I did NOT try to do mental math in my head.

I did NOT then try to do it on paper.

I did NOT then attempt to do it on a calculator.

I did NOT come to the conclusion that if I wear my new shoes every single day and it costs one penny a day to wear them that they will be completely paid off in 11 years.

I am NOT going to tell you how I came to that conclusion in case I'm wrong.

I did NOT say to myself, "Girl... how did you ever pass 3rd grade math?"

I also did NOT say, "... and you plan on homeschooling?"

I did NOT come to the conclusion that it would have been much easier to just admit that my gorgeous new Birks cost just a mere $41.99.

Did I mention that it includes free shipping?

I did NOT feel guilty because I knew that I could have sponsored a child from Uganda for an entire year of education for the price of my new shoes.

I so did NOT then sponsor a child from Uganda for an entire year because I felt guilty for buying a new pair of shoes.

NOT me!

That's right. I did NOT justify buying a new pair shoes by turning around and sponsoring a child from Uganda.

I am such a rational person.

Who?

NOT Me?

I did NOT think.. "My husband's going to kill me when he finds out..."

I did NOT then say... "AARRGH! What am I doing here??"

So I did NOT turn around and buy The Love Dare thinking that if I were to rock my husband's world for 40 days that he would forget that I just bought a new pair of Birkenstocks and sponsored a child from Uganda for an entire year."

Nope, NOT me!

I did NOT casually flip through the pages of the The Love Dare and say to myself...

"AARRGH! What am I doing here??"

Moving on....

I did NOT write a blog post last week titled.. "A Letter to Myself at Twenty."

It should NOT have been titled.. "Oops! Things My Mother Did Not Know....."

And finally,

I did NOT nearly set my parents' RV on fire by attempting to microwave a thing of Easy Mac.. but forgetting to add any water.

It did NOT look like this...




Obviously, my mind was NOT on other things...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Technology Ain't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Dear GPS System,

Was that necessary? I mean, really? Was. That. Necessary?

All I wanted to do was go to the Tyler Zoo and you led me on a wild goose chase.

It's the zoo. In Tyler. The drive should've been filled with highways, gas stations, and Golden Arches.

Instead, you led me down one-lane, rural, back country dirt roads in Deliverance, East Texas.

Now, maybe because you're just a computer, or a satellite, or whatever it is that you are.. . because you are not REAL.... it probably doesn't concern you to drive down one-lane, dirt roads past houses held up by cinder blocks. Maybe you don't start hearing dueling banjos playing when you see houses with rusted out junk cars in the driveway, 30 feral dogs running around, and about 12 men sitting on the front porch in overalls whittling sticks. Maybe the thought of ending up in somebody's potluck doesn't send shivers down your back, but it does mine.

Granted, you did shave 20 minutes off my normal drive. But, seriously, was it worth it? I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to the zoo.

If you're going to direct me to a shortcut could you please make it someplace that gets cell phone reception? I'd like the opportunity to try and send an SOS just in case the need arises. Really? What if I'd broken down??

So. Consider this your warning. You'd better straighten up or I'm going to trade you in for your great-great-great grandfather, Mr. Mapsco.

Comprende?