Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Shayna is just the cutest thing ever... and the song has a wonderful message that is pretty surprising coming from a little girl. I can tell that she's going to grow up to have a beautiful servant's heart... just like her mama.
Click here for the VIDEO.
Oh, and be sure to leave a comment for Shayna letting her know how much you enjoyed her song!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
When I read that to Noah, he had the biggest, sweetest smile on his face. So beautiful. And then he carried the button around the house for a good 20 minutes until I finally had to pry it away from him.
You know, is it just a dream? Did it really happen? Was it just my imagination?
But almost every single time that Noah hears Anoop sing on American Idol or listens to his CD's or gets a package in the mail, it never fails to bring a smile to his face.
And it just lets me know that this is real. That music is powerful and it's healing -and it's beautiful.
Doesn't it just reassure you - doesn't it make you feel good - to know that there are some good guys left? Maybe I'm just a sentimental old fool, but I find it extremely heartwarming.
Why, yes, that is a shopping cart in the middle of my driveway.
What? You haven't heard? All the cool moms have one.
It definitely pays to have parents who are garage sale addicts.
I just happened to mention my newest dilemma to my mom the other day and she said to come on over, go to their garage and pick up Noah's newest method of transportation.
Confused? Let me explain....
A few days ago, I found myself face down on a massage table while a cute, young chiropractor went to work trying to realign my back.
That's right. I threw my back out.
I kid you not.
I yawned, stretched up, leaned back... and "Ooooh! Ouch! Oh my gosh!"
And the rest is chiropractic history.
Basically, the chiropractor told me that I can't lift Noah anymore. He assured me that it wasn't the simple yawn that threw my back out (thank goodness that I'm not that feeble).. but a mild dose of scoliosis coupled with nearly 7 years of hoisting a kid on my hip that did it.
In the words of Winnie the Pooh... "Oh, bother!"
What am I going to do now??
I think this is the dilemma of many a mom who has a child with special needs. Noah can walk. But having him walk next to me in public is next to impossible. For one thing, he's strong. He can pull away and run. He's a runner. The one time I decided to hold his hand and walk through the parking lot of Walmart (instead of pushing him in a buggy), he broke free, took off, and was thisclose to getting hit by a car.
I still panic thinking about it.
But besides running, Noah also likes to lay down and roll around. And sometimes he'll just refuse to budge. A bit like a dog that knows it's about to get a bath. He just firmly sits down on the floor and becomes dead weight.
So, take that + 2 hyperactive younger siblings and it makes a trip to Walmart a panic-inducing, heart palpitating, Advil-taking trip.
Which is why Noah rides in a buggy.
But, here's the thing. Do you remember what it's like to lift a child into a buggy seat? You have to lift them all the way up so that they're practically standing in the seat - and then they slide their feet down. Same way to get them out. You have to lift them all the way up so that they're standing and then lift them down to the floor.
Try doing it with a 7 year old.
Anyway, a friend told me that you can reach in and lift the buggy open and have your kid crawl through the buggy that way. But Noah refuses to do it. Although he understands what we say to him, his body rarely cooperates and he just can't do it.
That's why he can walk, but he can't get in and out of the bathtub, in and out of a carseat, or do most basic lifeskills.
So here's where the shopping cart comes in.. I have to start looking ahead. Noah isn't going to stay 7 forever. Someday he's going to be 12 and then 17 and then 25 and then 35... and, oh my gosh, I'm gonna cry. But it's true. I have to look ahead. I am doing him no favors by doing everything for him. He has to start learning how to do things.
He will always be my baby, but he won't always be a baby. And there's no way I can lift a 45 year old man into the back of a shopping cart.
So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to take that buggy pictured above and Noah and I are going to daily practice having him push it around. First, it will be the driveway - and then we'll take it around the neighborhood and then, once he starts associating the buggy with pushing, we'll try it at Walmart.
I'm trying not to think about the neighbors as they see us going down the street pushing an empty shopping trolley. As most of you know, they already think we're a bit odd.
And after Noah masters pushing the trolley, then we can work on having him walk beside me while I push it. Granted, it will be a lot different when he's in the store and has to deal with sensory overload - fluorescent lights, noise, people, etc - but practicing at home will at least get him familiar with his new job as Mommy's Big Helper.
And, that, my friends is the story of the shopping cart.
Like, I said. Don't be jealous. I'm sure my mom would be happy to rent it out to those of you who would also like a taste of the latest parenting accessory.
And if you have a neighbor that you want to bother... just park it in the grass on your front lawn. Oh, and don't mow for a weeks, either. Works like a charm every time.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A moment of silence please.
Sniff. I have to pull myself together or I'll never make it through this blog post.
Let's concentrate on the positive. I thought Paula did a fantastic job with the choreography for the disco group number. I swear, not 2 seconds after they finished, my mom called and said,
"Oh my gosh, did you see Anoop? Didn't he look smokin' hot!! That scruff! Those shades! Those clothes!"
Oh, wait, a second.
Those were my words.
(Sorry, I just have to take a moment and laugh. I haven't said "my bad" since the Reagan Administration.)
Anyway, my mom did really and truly mention how cute Anoop looked with his sunglasses and disco clothes. Actually, she said she liked the "bad boy" look on him... which made me giggle because never in my 35 years have I heard my mom utter the phrase "bad boy" - not even in a context to describe the serious jerk I dated during my junior and senior year of high school.
But, yep, my 57 year old mother said she was diggin' Anoop's bad boy look tonight during the group number. Isn't that sweet? Actually, I find that really cute and slightly creepy at the same time.
Anoop, if you need serious therapy after all this is over, please don't bill me. I'm broke.
But, sadly, Anoop is going home. I'm not going to concentrate on that, though. I'm going to remember how utterly brilliant he sounded singing tonight and how relaxed he looked. Didn't he look relaxed?
And, I'm going to remember that I am prepared to bribe Ticketmaster officials to get tickets to the AI tour. And, hopefully, we'll get to see him perform when they come to Dallas in July.
We haven't told Noah yet. I'll wait until tomorrow. Right now, he's totally grooving to the fact that we moved Eli into Nandi's room and he's got the whole room to himself. I do have a video of him squealing with delight upon realizing that Eli is g-g-g-gone. It's a funny one.
Anyway, don't want to ruin the mood for Noah on this happy occasion. We'll tell him about Anoop tomorrow.
Anoop, it was a pleasure getting to watch you on our television every Tuesday and Wednesday night. Our little Noah was smitten with you from the moment he first saw you. These last few months have brought about much change and happiness in Noah's life - and, for that, we will alway be grateful. Thank you.
Now. Please put out an album ASAP.
I mean it.
Like, now! Understand? Good. :-)
Monday, April 20, 2009
The American Idols Live tickets go on sale on the same day as the annual Homeschool Bookfair - which you've been looking forward to ALL YEAR LONG... and you're contemplating missing it just so you can be sure to get tickets to the AI Tour.
You realize that the American Idols Live tour comes to town the exact same week that you're scheduled for vacation and you tell your husband that there's no choice but to make the 8 hour RT drive back to Dallas just so your 7 year old can see his favorite singer perform in person.
You are prepared to break out the puffy paint and glitter glue to make signs that say, "We love you Anoop!" , T-shirts that say, "We're Anoop Desai-ples", and brave a crowd of 100,000 people... even though you get pretty cranky in crowds of more than 10.
And, finally, Def Leppard's Vault, which has been in constant rotation in your CD player for the past 10 years, has been replaced by that of a college acapella group.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Isn't that hysterical??!! If you have NO IDEA what this is about, then you need to first read the previous post I wrote called I Am No Jenny McCarthy.
My friend Chantelle, who I am SO loving at this minute and who has completely replaced Jenny McCarthy as my girl crush, left the following comment on my blog post:
"Oh Leslie, I know you love Jenny, but you have to stop covering for her. I feel I should enlighten your readers to the TRUTH about that Shape magazine cover. The truth is... yes, that's Jenny's face on the cover, but that's not her body. It was stolen from a beauty far greater than her own... http://www.starfishdiaries.com/2009/04/real-shot.html"
And it linked to this picture.
Wow, can I just say how in love I am with myself in that little red swimsuit. I don't think I have ever, ever quite looked that good. That's some hot stuff, isn't it?
I am definitely enlarging, printing, and framing that baby. Total inspiration for the diet/workout regime that I needed to start, oh, 5 years ago.
Wow. Me with boobs. Who'd of thought?
I may just have to resurrect the "Boob Job" fund....
After all, Jenny McCarthy is a huge autism advocate.. and it IS National Autism Awareness Month.. and I have YET to blog about it...
And really, Jenny McCarthy and I have a lot in common, don't we?
She's a mom on a mission..... I'm a mom on a mission.
She was told her son has autism..... I was told my son has autism.
She lives with a man who makes her laugh..... I live with a man who makes me laugh.
She has big boobs... I wish I had big boobs.
Honestly, it's beyond me why someone hasn't stopped me on the street yet and asked if I was Jenny McCarthy's long lost twin.
But, nope, this blog has nothing to do with autism...
It has everything to do with this...
This is Jenny McCarthy on the recent cover of Shape magazine. Now, I ended my subscription to Shape a few years ago after I realized that I was doing myself no good by reading the magazine in bed while eating a bowl of Ben & Jerry's.
And, of course, the B&J won.
But when I was in Walmart the other day stuck in line behind the sloooooowest cashier this side of Christmas, I had no choice but to let my eyes wonder over to the magazine stand and witness Jenny McCarthy in a red bathing suit on the cover of Shape magazine.
Now, it wasn't just her in all of her perfect ab glory that made me pick up the magazine and buy it. Nope.
It was the headline next to her in all her ab glory that did it...
"I used to weigh 200 pounds".
What? Really? No way!? Are you kidding? You mean there's hope for real women like me???
I mean, she's a mom, an autism advocate, an author, an actress....busier than a beaver... and she still has time to look like that?
Heck, yeah, I wanted in on her secret. So I plunked down my $4.99 and boogied on out of there.
So, you want to know how she managed to get down from 200 to smokin' hot?
Can I say crap on this blog? 'Cuz I'm gonna say it again.
I hate yoga. HATE IT.
Who can stand still and deep breathe and clear their mind for 60 minutes when there's just so much stuff that needs to be done? Clearing my mind just frustrates me.
But, yep, that's how she did it.
So, anyway, I thought I'd analyze those yoga poses and see if they're really all they're cracked up to be.
Picture #1: The I Need to Go to the Bathroom in a Public Toilet Pose (aka: The Hover & Pee)
I may very well need surgery after attempting this pose. Try it. I dare you.
How on earth is this even possible? Tippy-toes and her thighs are parallel to the ground. Huh? I think you have to have long legs to do this. I've got, like, a 29" inseam (5'6 and a 29" inseam. Oh let me tell ya, my body shape = hot). When I try to squat like this, my butt is practically touching the floor. I should just sit down. And my knees, oh my knees!
Picture #2: The Please, Please Don't Let Me Wee on Myself Pose
Okay, I don't understand how this is yoga because I have seen my 4 year old do this a million times. In fact, I perfected this pose when I had to stand in an enormous long bathroom line during Lollapallooza '92.
I can actually do this one. Not.A.Problem.
Picture #3: The I Was A Cheerleader in High School - Na Na Na Boo Boo Pose
Actually, you know what this pose really tells me? It confirms my suspicion that Jenny McCarthy is not human. Beauty, Brains, Body, Humor, Talent and she's as flexible as a "14" year old Chinese gymnast? She is not real.
This one-legged, look-at-me pose just lets the world know that Jenny McCarthy, in fact, was birthed by a flamingo.
Picture #4: The It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's SuperJenny! Pose
Picture #5: The This is So Obviously Photoshopped Pose
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have attempted this pose. It is impossible. How does she get her foot to rest that high on her thigh?
Try it. If you can do this, please let me know. Don't be surprised, though, if you wake up the next morning and find that your house has been egged and TP'ed.
You know what I think? There's three possibilities:
1. She's either got some massive velcro attaching that foot to her thigh
2. 17 people held her in that pose and then quickly ran out of sight when the photographer said, "Cheese!"
3. 17 people held her in that pose and then were photoshopped out of the picture in order for it to run in Shape magazine.
My self-esteem votes for #3.
Picture #6: The Kids Are All Asleep, The Day is Over, and I'm Going to Lay on the Floor and Collapse Pose
It also comes in handy when you're looking for spare change under the couch or when an M&M rolls under the fridge.
Can't waste those M&M's can we?
So, there we go. Jenny McCarthy used to weigh 200 pounds. She now has a rockin' body with amazing abs. Her kneecaps are like the Bionic Woman's. She might make the 2012 Olympic Gymnastics Team. And her lineage includes "flamingo".
As much as I would love to say I am... unfortunately, I am no Jenny McCarthy.
Now, if short-legged, long-waisted, bad knee-ing, REAL women are your cup of tea, then I'm your gal. :-)
P.S. Please know this is not a diss on JM. I adore her. In fact, she's my girl crush. She is also my autism momma hero. I have read all of her books (including the pregnancy ones - just for laughs. Which then made me thankful that I've never been pregnant). And I think she has done wonders for autism awareness.
But Jenny..... we're on to you. ;-)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Isn't that cool!
I'm not sure if I can name names, so I'll just say Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!. That was so unbelievably sweet of you. We did get it on tape, so we'll always have it. You rock!
Unfortunately, I can't air any of it for ya'll to watch seeing that three things happened during the making of tonight's Noah Watching Anoop video:
#1. Noah was stimming on the ceiling fan lights, so we turned them off. It didn't occur to me that it'd make the whole video dark - which it did. You can hardly make out anything.
#2. Despite threatening Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum within an inch of their lives and demanding that they be quiet as church mice during Anoop's performance, Twiddle Dee decided to climb on the seesaw....
Yes, that's right. We have a full size see-saw in our living room.
Hey, it's cheaper than a season pass to Six Flags and it's a heckuva workout, too.
Anyway, Tweedle Dee climbed upside down on the see-saw and let go and, I don't know, started screaming hysterically.... and I mean, hysterically.
And #3, for some unknown reason other than liking to cause myself sheer misery and torture.. I decided to give up chocolate during my PMS week and basically was not quite in the mood for Noah's video to be interrupted by a hysterically screaming 5 year old who should've known better than to climb upside on a see-saw and let go.
It's all on tape, my friends. But for private showings only. Give me a bag of heavily discounted Cadbury Easter eggs and you're good to go.
So, no video again. Except there is a video, but it's way too dark and there's screaming involved.
But let's not focus on that. Did you catch Anoop? Isn't he adorable? Do you think Noah will grow up to look like that? What a cutie. Not that Noah's not a cutie. 'Cuz he is just downright precious. They're both cuties.
And when did I start talking like that? Cutie Patootie this and Cutie Patootie that? For Pete's sake, I'm a grown woman. Someone pop a chocolate in my mouth and tell me to shut up.
The point is.. .and there is a point... Anoop was great tonight. My 75 year old great aunt called my mom up and said, "That Anoop sure can sing!!" She's right. He's got a great voice. And FANTASTIC family and friends who have completely embraced Noah and made him feel like king of the world.
Thanks again, guys!
Now... off to vote!
It was gross.
What's worse is that it was in our bedroom. Now, I'm a sensitive creative. My nose is very delicate and every time I entered our room a wave of nausea would just take over me.
I spent days on my hands and knees sniffing the floor. Did a pull-up accidentally get kicked under the bed? Did we leave the dog in the house for too long? Did Noah spit out his cod live oil in the corner?
It was driving me crazy.
Finally, the smell start wafting into the living room - which backs up to our bedroom.
So I got on my hands and knees and start sniffing again. (Perhaps I was a bloodhound in a former life?)
Anyway, I about passed out when I got to the floor between the T.V. cabinet and a shelf that had some toys on it. I was positive that our dog had somehow squeezed between the two inch space and peed.
Obviously, the smell was making me hallucinate.
I moved the shelves and started cleaning.
The smell remained.
I was positive that a squirrel has gotten underneath our floor boards and died.
It didn't matter to me that we have a slab foundation and there's no way a squirrel could get under our floorboards. I just knew that something had died in there.
Finally, I looked under the T.V. cabinet, but couldn't see anything.
But I decided to move it anyway.
And do you know what I found???
He had taken a hard boiled egg (that he dyed a week ago) , peeled it, placed it inside a plastic egg, then slid it under the T.V. cabinet in hopes that it would hatch a baby chick.
That's right. He incubated his hard boiled egg. Under my T.V. cabinet. In my bedroom.
The little devil.
It was the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen. The egg had burst open and let me tell you... it certainly was hatching things... but, to Eli's great disappointment... NOT a baby chick.
Boys, boys, boys (shaking head in wonder). What on earth do you do?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The kids have been begging to dye Easter eggs, so we did that first....
This little gem below is actually what was attached to the side of one of our eggs after we fished it out of the boiling water...
Man, we had a blast with that thing! Who'd of thought that you could kill 20 minutes by pretending to sneeze it out, pick it out, cough it up, or dig it out of your ear. My two kids who are all about boogers and snot had a field day with this tiny piece of egg.
Have I mentioned how classy we are?
Below is a pic of the kids dying Easter eggs. While Noah DID participate, he's not in any of the pictures. Everytime I stepped back to take a picture, he tried to drink the egg dye.
"Baby, don't drink the kool-aid!".
"We put the GOD in gaudy!"
Actually, I don't know of many people who do that, but I saw them at First Monday in Canton and my aunt did one, so I thought it would be a good little craft to do with the kids and I could turn it into a lesson on the true meaning of Easter.
This is the first craft that the kids have ever done by themselves. I'm so proud. I actually resisted the urge to do it for them... okay, okay, Noah did have help.. but the other two did it all on their own.
Take a look!
Picking out the buttons and jewels
The finished result?
Nice and simple
Why yes, that is a dinosaur you see!
True, it doesn't take away the fact that he glued a pteranodon on his cross, but still...
Which confirms my suspicion that she might actually grow up to be a Vegas Showgirl.
It's a coin toss.
Happy Easter weekend, ya'll!
She is dealing with a lot of things with her child who has RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and she comes through each episode with grace, strength, and a heck of a lot of humor.
She never fails to inspire me or shock me - and I'm secretly filing away all of her ideas in case I have to use them with a particular little squirt later on down the road.
Today's blog was one of those that shocked me, but then made me just sit back, shake my head and go, "You are one cool mom. Man, I'm so glad to know you!"
So, I thought I'd share it for any of you having similar issues in your home. Head on over there and check it out.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
It's in a different location this time. We were relegated to the bedroom because the younger two waited all day to watch Charlie Brown Easter and it came on at the same time.
Seriously, don't these T.V. executives have any consideration? Sheesh.
Anyway, don't look too close because, yes, you will see dirt, dust, and I think there's a quick glimpse of a shelf full of children's toys. In our bedroom. Soooooo romantic.
Ty Pennington, we need a makeover, please!!
I have to say, I think Noah really likes it when Anoop sings ballads. If you look back at his videos, he seems more connected to "Angel of Mine", "Always on My Mind", and tonight's song.
And I'm not sure if you can tell in the video, but although he is watching, he's actually listening. He's a very auditory little boy and you can see that he's really listening to Anoop sing. The autistic mind... pretty amazing, I think.
Okay, one quick thing. The UNC Clef Hangers sent Noah two of their CD's. The kids love the track where the group covers Justin Timberlake's "My Love." (Anoop has one of the leads - and Noah loves all the Anoop songs.) Anyway, the kids have never heard the original JT version.
Don't you like how I wrote JT... like I'm all hip and cool and up with all that's down with R&B?
Did that sentence even make any sense? Or did it just make me sound really old?
'Cause I actually feel a bit embarrassed now.
Anyway, the original Justin Timberlake song came on the radio this morning and I look in the rear view mirror and Noah has this frown on his face. He's so funny. He has the best expressions. I mean, he was totally not digging it. His eyebrows were furrowed together. His head was cocked to one side. His mouth was a perfectly shaped "O".
Finally, Eli piped up and said, "What happened to Anoop's voice?"
I said, "That's Justin Timberlake singing it. It's his song."
At that moment, I look back and Noah literally sighed a sigh of relief, collapsed against the back of his car seat and started giggling. Like, "Thank Goodness! I was wondering what happened to Anoop's voice."
And then Eli said, "Well, I don't think he's a very good singer. It's a good thing the Clef Hangers did it so it sounds good."
Isn't that hysterical?
If any of you are friends with The Clef Hangers, you can pass that on. JT sucks. The Clef Hangers rock. Straight from the mouth of babes.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Anyway, it is FREE the first Sunday of each month. Yesterday, the kids got to participate in egg rolling races, make clay birds, dye Easter eggs with natural dye made from red onions and beets, and make old-fashioned flowers out of tissue paper. They had a blast!
And did I mention that it was FREE?
Be sure to check out their website HERE.
It is really a fantastic place for kids. Noah had a blast. He stayed in his special chair for the exhibits, but he was able to run around a lot in the fields. And it wasn't crowded at all. He could run and shriek and spin in circles and nobody even cared.
We all had a fantastic time.
It's free again on May 3rd. You should check it out!