Friday, October 31, 2008

Goodbye to October 2008

October is over. This has been kind of a weird month for me. I've been more stressed out than usual and have let the blog slack a bit. We've had plenty of wonderful adventures this month, but I just haven't written about many of them.
This week has been particularly fun since one of my besties has been in town all week. Fischer and BFF have gotten to spend a lot of time playing with P6, Q4 and I2. They've played at each other's houses, at the museum, at MOPS and they all went tick-or-treating together tonight! It has been so much fun and we are really sad to see them go home tomorrow.
I have signed up for NaBloPoMo... so you should be expecting a post everyday in November... see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our swap package finally made it to its destination

The swap package we sent finally made it to T and D in the UK today. Go check it out and I'll tell you more about it later.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FYI: Important Halloween Warning

Be smart, and be careful with what you give and what you get on Halloween this year. PLEASE HELP GET THE WORD OUT! Check this out on CNN and over at, for more information. Thanks for the warning Renee. Say a Little Prayer is asking for your prayers to help with this disastrous and tragic milk problem.

Don't Tell Avery's Daddy!

Fischer had a play date with his good friend... I wonder if her daddy would approve of her playing doctor with a boy?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update on: "...Autism cannot wait until April to be discussed"

For those of you who have been following this story... Operation "Just One" begins tomorrow! Eileen and Kim are getting ready.

This is their current plan of action, as written by Eileen:

  • First of all, we are doing a mass mailing to bookstores asking them to participate in our mission.
  • We are going to canvass a local university about 2 hours away from our hometown with flyers regarding our book and autism. Spreading the word, making people aware of the existence of our book.
  • Then we will be approaching bookstores to ask them to carry one book as a sample copy for their shelf. Because we are sensitive to the fact that in this economic climate bookstores may be reluctant to do so, we are offering a poster for stores to display that has the image of our book cover and stating that it is "available for order upon request."
  • Then we are taking to the streets holding up signs that have our website, image of our we will be lawfully doing so, but I have joked with people about it. When they ask if my husband is going to join us, I always tell them "no...he has to bring the bail money!!"We are hoping to get some media coverage out of this, but if it doesn't happen, we won't be disappointed.The purpose is for people to get talking about our book, about autism. If we have to talk to one person at at time, one bookstore at a time...we are making a connection and that is what this is all about.

  • So Operation "Just One" will commence Friday in a city in Oregon. If one of your readers spots us along the road, give us a honk or a wave!!

Kim and Eileen are very thankful for any help you may be able to send their way. Wish them luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"...Autism cannot wait until April to be discussed"

Remember Eileen and Kim? They created the book: "The Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art". They'd like you and I to be able to get our hands on a copy - in a bookstore. Unfortunately, bookstores don't have it. It is on Amazon, but that doesn't help people who'd like to see inside the book before purchasing. Eileen, Kim's mom, sent me a letter this morning. I thought I'd share it with you. Maybe if we all inquired about the book at our local bookstores, we'd be able to get bookstores to have a copy in stock. (I bolded certain phrases for you)

Good morning Lisa,

Kim and I thought it would be fun to go to a couple of bookstores (60 miles from our area) to scout out our book on the shelf. Much to our surprise, we could not find the title. We weren't expecting numerous copies, but it would have been nice to see just one. We went to the front desk to inquire. We were told that this particular book store does "carry" the book, but does not keep it in stock in their store. I asked if they would ever have it on the shelf, to which they replied, "no." I went to subsequent bookstores in this area and found that there were no books on the shelf, but they were "happy to order it." When I arrived home, I went online to check stores on west coast/east coast and found that the only stores that had our book in stock, were the bookstores that I had contacted in person weeks prior to publication.

I want your readers to know that if they want to buy our book in a bookstore, they will have to ask for it to order it.

I have contacted news organizations all over our state to make people aware of the existence of our book. We have heard nothing. (Many organizations, news and bookstores in the past have expressed that they want to wait until April which is Autism Awareness month.)

Plan of action: Kim and I have decided to take this directly to the people. We are going to go out into our state's community and meet with people to introduce ourselves and our book. Of course, we are going to do this in a creative and unorthodox way, but ever since Kim was born, my life has been extraordinary.

Our Mission: We want to kindly ask bookstores everywhere to carry a "sample copy", ONE COPY, on their shelf, so that customers can peruse to see if they would like to place an order. Our book is our voice, if our book is in a warehouse, it is not being heard. To let people of the community and news media know that autism cannot wait until April to be discussed. Parents and individuals with autism live with incredible challenges and experience victories every day, not just to be recognized during that certain month. If it takes just one person at a time, one handshake at a time, one community at a time, we are willing to be proactive to introduce ourselves. How can people request or order a book that might be helpful, if they have never heard about it? How can "The Girl Speak With Pictures" when her artwork is not seen? Her art is so unique, the context in which it occurs adds richness to her communication, it requires explanation.

Remember, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." author unknown

We want to start a bonfire!

Eileen Miller

Eileen and Kim have some "unorthodox" plans to accomplish their goals. I cannot wait to hear about their experiences. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime you can look at the book on Amazon and you can request to see a copy at your local bookstore.
You can read more about the Kim and Eileen here, and here. You can also visit their website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our swap package arrived!

Fischer and I signed up for One Good Book Swap over at Life with Nature Girl, in September. We were paired up with 5-year old twin boys, T and D from the UK. We've learned a bit about them and their crafty mom via email and were excited to choose a book for them. We mailed the boys a package of goodies based upon our book. They did the same; it arrived yesterday, and I had forgotten to get the mail! So... Fischer opened it today. He was so excited to see what the boys had sent him. We sent theirs out on Saturday, and I think our package will take its sweet time getting there.
Fischer was totally spoiled! He was beaming! The package was themed around the wonderful book, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Fischer had never heard this story and got a huge kick out of the onomatopoeias and the actions we did.

Their mom made Fischer a fabulous cloak to wear during his own bear hunting. It has a bear on one side and his name on the other. I can see why her blog is called Craft Matters, she is definitely talented! I can't imagine the time and skill that went into making it. Soo cute.

As if the cloak wasn't treasure enough, she also made Fischer a crocheted dog to keep him company on the hunt! The detail is incredible, we are so lucky!

T and D sent him bear stickers, and a bear cookie cutter, and super yummy "Smarties" from the UK, where they live. Their Smarties are chocolate! He ate the Smarties first thing, who needs breakfast?

Thank you so much to T and D and their awesome mama! We had a fabulous experience and hope that you get your package soon!

PS If you like the sweet little doggie, check out Craft Matters' Etsy shop.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blatant disregard for the rules of punctuation

As a teacher, you'd think I'd be a stickler to the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation in my own writing. In fact, you'd think I'd find it humiliating to discover an error written on my blog. All of this is true... however somewhere along the way, I just started writing and forgot to worry. I DO try to always spellcheck - I actually HATE misspelled words... but once in awhile one slips by and onto this page. As for grammar, I do my best... but mostly I write the way I speak - which is the beauty of a blog. I can write down my thoughts without spending too much time diagramming sentences.

Punctuation. It is a problem. While most of the punctuation rules have taken a firm hold in my brain, a few have slipped out my ears. Therefore I have repeatedly misused the ellipsis, and will probably continue to do so. I use it to illustrate a dramatic pause, a change in thought, a breath, a connection... basically anytime I can't think of the proper punctuation for the sentence. I admit it. I own it. I will continue to abuse the poor little ellipsis. I apologize to those of you who care... and to the ellipsis itself.

As far as I know, abuse of the ellipsis is going unnoticed, either that, or I'm the only one with this problem. I've found at least 4 blogs completely devoted to the abuse of apostrophes:

there is even a society formed for protecting the victimized apostrophe. Apparently this sort of abuse is becoming an epidemic... I had no idea.

Apostrophes aren't the only ones... apparently quotation marks are being abused and so is the lowercase L and now even words are going to have to protect themselves. The word 'literally' has been targeted (I hate to place blame, but Jenny, this may be because of you. Thank goodness you've recently switched to "what-not").

Anyway, although I am going to continue my ellipsis abuse (how can I sleep at night? I don't know.) I've decided that those three little dots should have their own blog to raise awareness of their victimization. So, "F is for Fischer" will also be known as "Examples of Ellipsis Effrontery". I'm sure every post past and present will show representation of this problem. Awareness is how change begins to happen.

P.S. I must admit that linking to these punctuation and grammar rule-abiding blogs freaks me out a little. If those authors happen to come over here, I hope they can leave their red pens at home. The hey-day they could have with my defilement of the dash or hyphen, terrifying!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beautiful Autumn Weekend

This weekend was gorgeous. The leaves have changed, the weather was warm... it was perfect. Saturday, Fischer, BFF and I met some friends at the coolest farm for fabulous fall fun! They had everything you could want: animals, hayrides, slides, a spook alley, food - you name it! We had a great time. Unfortunately my camera died after the first picture:

Fischer and BFF had a great time... Fischer even shared his water bottle with a goat! Ew!

Today, my best run-pal and I went on a hike. It was beautiful and sweaty, and I even was stung by a bee! I guess it doesn't sound too fun, but when we reached the top and were able to lounge in some cozy stone chairs and look across the entire valley... it was sooo worth it! Here is the view half way up, I turned around to take a pic of the fall colors (ok that was just my excuse to stop and catch my breath):I'm thinking this picture may be the first in a series I'd like to call: Views from the "gym". Meaning... I'll show you what I can see while exercising and maybe that will help me to do it everyday.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Look what we missed!

Did you know about this? I didn't!

This site spends one week a year raising money for breast cancer research. During a specific week in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), people send in pictures of their "racks" and/or monetary donations to fund raise for a cure. I think in the past they have gotten some negative feedback, but in 7 years they've raised over $50,000.00 - they shut everyone up!

Go poke around over there... go ahead and peruse the photo gallery - you know your curious... I'll admit that I looked at all the pics. Be aware that you'll be looking at all kinds of boobies - covered and uncovered, even man-boobies (because after all they get breast cancer too).

I cannot believe it! Talk about a FABULOUS fundraiser idea!!! Why didn't I think of this? Oh yeah... because I'd never submit a picture for it! - Or would I? Hmm, we shall see next year.

I'll remind you about it next year, in case you are interested. What do you think about this? Is it offensive to you or smart and original or what?

Read more about the history of the Boobie-Thon here, it all started in 2002. This year, in one week they raised $9,300.00, not bad, not bad at all.

What can you do while you wait for next October? Well after you buy new bras and get your own boobies in photo-shape, you can click, click, click to give free mammograms.

The Breast Cancer Site

AND - don't forget to do your self breast exams AND don't forget what we've learned from Toddler Planet about Inflammatory Breast Cancer and NO lumps!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty - Let's cure it with a girl!

Today is Blog Action Day 2008. Our subject is poverty. I only found out about this Day and this topic late last night, and therefor have not had time to create an in-depth and educational look at this problem for you to read (as if I'm ever in-depth).
You don't have to know the daunting and horrific statistics about poverty across the globe. We all know it is there, we all know it is unfathomably sickening.
The World Bank describes it simply:
"Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom."

We knew that. We already know that it has the most devastating of affects on children.

  • According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

  • Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.

  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

  • These facts and more can be found on, along with their original sources.

Nothing is nearer and dearer to my heart than education... and that is exactly what it takes:

"The role of education in this process is particularly one of achieving universal primary education and adult literacy. The report made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations within the context of the Decade for the Eradication of Poverty confirms that universal primary education is central to the fight against poverty. Understandably so, because this is the level of education through which most poor children pass and within which their achievements should assist them to break the cycle of poverty. In fact, education is the social institution that reaches the largest segment of the population with the goal of guiding it through a systematic learning process." (

OK, so education is important... but where do we start... well, we know that it HAS to start with girls. Educating, investing in, and supporting the girls of our planet is going to be the CURE for poverty in our lifetime. We can do it. Can you believe that? We can eradicate poverty before our own children are grown? If you were the one in poverty and you were looking at your young daughter... going without food, clean water, health care, education, sanitation, etc... and someone said... here is what you have to do to ensure that your daughter and all of the children who come after her will NEVER have to experience this Hell - you'd do it. We all would. How do I start, where do I sign, what limb can I rip off to make this happen as soon as possible?

The information and the organizations are out there... get the word out, give what you can, learn, and be proactive. OK, ok, wait a minute... it really isn't my kid who is in need... in fact I don't even know any kids in need... and the economy is bad and my family is tightening our purse strings right now... we have to look out for ourselves... I mean we could be in a soup kitchen line if we're not careful! Oh... umm, I guess we could be wearing the "P" on our sleeve too.... Oh crap... OK... go on, tell me more.

Are you ok? Is the picture getting a little clearer? A little foggier? Let's move on. Watch this real quick: The Girl Effect:

The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries.
If you want to help end poverty and help the developing world, the best thingyou can do is invest time, energy, and funding into adolescent girls. It'scalled The Girl Effect because girls are uniquely capable of investing in theircommunities and making the world better.

Are you on board yet? Wanna see more? Go here.

Well what can I do? You can go to their website and learn more.

You can make a difference in a girl's life with Goods for Girls. You keep those girls in school during their time of month. They can't be missing 5 days a month of school now can they?

Goods for Girls

What else, what else?

Why not try supporting the End Poverty 2015 Millenium Campaign?

"In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration agreeing to do everything in their power to end poverty. They pledged to do this by achieving the Millennium Development Goals, a roadmap to end extreme poverty by 2015.
Still, every day, 50,000 people die as a result of extreme poverty and the gap between rich and poor people is increasing. Nearly half the world’s population live in poverty, 70% are women. We have the power to change this.
Campaigners worldwide will
STAND UP and TAKE ACTION to push their governments for more and better aid, debt cancellation, education for all boys and girls, healthcare, trade justice, gender equality and public accountability."

This Millenium Campaign definitely has girls on the front burner too. We all know what needs to be done, let's Stand Up for girls everywhere.

Check out: Stop Child Poverty and Justice for Girls, two more organizations looking to make a difference.

We are all talking about girls and education as the key to eradicating poverty. Even our kids are talking about it through Net Aid/ Global Citizen Corps.

We're talking about it in the United States, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Rwanda, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Cambodia... and today we are talking about poverty all over the globe. Everyone has an idea, a thought, a theory... let's band together and make a difference! What a lesson to us all... can you imagine?

So, what are you going to do?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Mario is going to have to stand-in for Andy again. because even though NOBODY would be able to tell that last pic was of him... he could.

My Darling HUSBAND

1. What is his name? Andy
2. Who eats more? Me (he has tummy troubles)
3. Who said I love you first? I can’t remember (is that terrible?)
4. Who is taller? Andy
5. Who is smarter? Depends on the subject. He is more “Cliff Claven” smart, while I’m smart about things that really matter ;)
6. Who is more sensitive? Me – to myself, Him- to others
7. Who does the laundry? Me
8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me
9. Who pays the bills? he does
10. Who cooks more? Me, now that I’m home, but he used to do ALL the cooking and Grocery shopping
11. What meals do you cook together? Breakfast for dinner
12. Who is more stubborn? Me
13. Who is the first to admit they're wrong? Me
14. Who has more siblings? Andy – 7, Me-1
15. Who wears the pants in the relationship? Andy
16. What do you like to do together? Now – we like to play with Fischer and watch reality TV shows. Before he was sick- we liked to kayak, hike, mountain bike, and ski/snowboard.
17. Who eats more sweets? It’s got to be about equal, we both have a sweet tooth – my sweets just love me enough to take up residence on my body!
18. Guilty pleasures? TV- My Name is Earl, The Office, Survivor (we’ve NEVER missed an episode), The Amazing race, Lost…
19. How did you meet? College – in Special Ed 101
20. Who asked who out first? He invited me to a party at his house.
21. Who kissed who first? He kissed me.
22. Who proposed? He did.
23. His best features? Twinkly eyes and a nice bod!!
24. What is his greatest quality? He can always see the other side of the coin, he knows me better than I know me, he is very loyal, honest, and ethical, and he takes pride in what he does. He takes great care of our family.
25. Tag? Jenny, Jana, Jessica, and you. Leave me a comment if you do it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book of the Day

We've been reading lots and lots of Halloween books around here. Fischer loves The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis and S.D. Schindler. The pictures are funny and the text has a good rhythm. Fisch really likes the "'round and 'round across the ground makin' thumpin' bumpin sound came that thumpety, bumpety, thumpin', bumpin, round and roll-y RUNAWAY PUMPKIN!" line that is repeated throughout the book. We've read it enough to almost have it memorized!!
He is also a big fan of Kay Winters' The Teeny Tiny Ghost series and Ten Little Mummies by Philip Yates (which is good if you can get past the idea that "little mummies" would have to be dead children - apparently that doesn't bother Fischer ;)).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008


Who wants to hear a scary story? Don't stop me if you've already heard it, I tend to repeat and repeat stories... they are just that good!!! - Or maybe I'm just that forgetful. Anyway...

So... once upon a time (this is a true Lisa story)...

A few years ago, it was early early on a weekday morning and I was getting ready for work. I was in the basement half awake, half asleep, standing there in the laundry room in my pajamas while I ironed my clothes for work. I'm sure I must have been lost in really deep important thoughts, when I was suddenly startled back into consciousness.
I heard loud clunking footsteps, mansteps, upstairs.

My heart immediately began to race and I froze in place, listening. Oh my gosh, someone is in my house! A man is in my house with his heavy man shoes. Why aren't the dogs going nuts? He must have been hiding in the house all night, making friends with the dogs, so that in the morning he could walk around my house freely to come and get me! I have to leave. I take one step and kick the dog bowl, it goes skidding noisily across the room. I freeze again, for what feels like hours.

Did he hear that? Does he know I'm in the basement?
I don't hear anything, so I quietly and carefully creep toward the basement door and slowly and silently unlock it. I step outside into the cold dark morning. Am I safe? What if he looks out the upstairs window and sees me? He'll see me see him and then he'll HAVE to get me because I've seen him. Aaaaaahhhhhh. I run out of the backyard and into the front of the house. Where do I go? I don't really know my neighbors yet.
I run across the street to the neighbors where there is a light on. The guy answers the door.

Me, frantically: "There is someone in my house and I don't know what to do, I escaped through the back door!!!! Should we call the police?"
Neighbor: "Umm, let me put my clothes on, come on in."
I rush up the steps to look out their front window at my front window to see if I see the silhouetted stranger through the shades in my house.... Nothing.

Neighbor, returns wearing clothes, : Maybe I should go over there and check it out."
Me, Freaking out: "NO! You could get killed!!!" Still staring out the window waiting to see something, anything.
Neighbor: "Ok umm..."
We both just stand there watching out the window, I'm shaking and he is wondering what in the heck he is supposed to do.
Neighbor: Looks at the clock, 5:30 am. "Geez, Andy really has to leave early for work doesn't he?"
Me: What the small talk???? "Yeah." I glance at the clock. Oh my God... Andy doesn't leave till 6! What have I done? Those footsteps were his! How could I have forgotten all about him? Oh my gosh oh my gosh, ohmygoshohmygosh! I am standing in my neighbors house in my pajamas at 5:30 in the morning looking for a lunatic....what do I do? I AM the lunatic!
Me, red-faced, running down the steps and out the door: "Oh, wait, um, Andy hasn't left yet , uh, I gotta go, I'm so sorry!"

I run back across the street barefoot, hair sticking out every which way, make-up plastered well below its original spot, hideous pajamas flapping in the wind... I go to the front door. It's locked, duh. Suddenly, I do not want to walk back through the mud and the thorns on the side of the house into the backyard (didn't notice them earlier),

I knock.
Andy answers the door, staring, bewildered..... "What are you doing out here?"

Me, accusatory: "I have just had the most terrifying 20 minutes of my entire life because of you!" As I storm in and past him, like it his fault that I forgot he existed for a few minutes while he had unknowingly been going about his business of getting ready for work.

Needless to say, the neighbors thought that I was crazy and we never did get to be good friends, and my husband already knew I was crazy so... he didn't think much of it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beautiful Autism and Powerful Words

Those of us who have had a personal relationship with a person who has autism, know that people who have autism are just as unique and beautiful as people who do not have it, sometimes more so.

I have recently found myself lost in the beautiful Faces of Autism. Casdok has created a unique blog where parents submit a picture of their autistic child and a bit of info about them. They usually all link to their own personal website about their child or their family. I think that some older individuals have submitted pictures of themselves and linked to their own blogs. This is a creative way to let outsiders in on the beauty of these children and also a way for parents and autistic individuals to find each other and connect.

Casdok is the author of Mother of Shrek, a personal website about her son, C, and their experiences together. I find their encounters fascinating and sometimes disturbing. This mother and son have run into some incredibly rude and ignorant people. I cannot imagine the same situations occurring here in my neck of the woods, although sadly... I'm afraid they may. In any case, she is an inspiring real mother who is tackling life one day at a time... like the rest of us. I think she is hoping that through her blog, she and C may help you and I to think differently. Check her out, and don't leave without clicking around in her sidebar for related issues and definitely take a moment to read C's autistic rap!

While we are on the subject of neurodiversity and rudeness... let's not forget the power of our words!

For more information about words, please check out the R Word Campaign and another strong video: Offense Taken.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You know...

You know when something is about to roll of the counter, but your hands are full, so you just catch it between your body and the cabinets? Well, that doesn't work as well when that something squished between your thigh and a slab of wood is an egg!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calling all boy moms and pee pee experts!

I need help... again. This time I'd like to ask you all about pee pee. Fischer has been in underwear for about 6 months. He is 31 months old. He initiated the potty training, he did great for quite awhile, and then the novelty wore off. He started having accidents. So I upped the ante, now instead of just getting an m&m or a skittle for using the toilet, he could get a great prize for going the entire day with dry underwear. I implemented the oh-so-tantalizing and incredible prize bag. That worked pretty well for awhile, I have always made sure the prizes were totally awesome so that he'd want them, but he is still having accidents. He is capable of staying dry all day, and although he wears pull-ups at night, he often is dry in the morning.

Here is where you come in... you pee pee experts. I'm calling it an accident and he is losing out on the prize anytime his underwear is even a little bit wet. Is this wrong? Do boys just leak? I'm scratching the day for the tiniest bit of wetness because he will tell me that he peed his pants. i don't know that he could decipher between pee pants and leakage. Often I feel like he is going a tiny bit and then realizes he needs to go to the bathroom. HOWEVER, don't forget that he can stay dry and has stayed dry plenty of times. The past two days have been dry. But we have gone for long stretches without two dry days in a row.

What is happening? Is he too young? Is he just too busy playing to stop and go? Does he have a problem that I should talk to the doctor about? Is the incentive not great enough?

I think I've given you enough info - please tell me about your experiences and/or your advice. You were able to solve our binky problem... so I've come begging for your guidance once again. Please help! Thank you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reusable lunch gear

Last week Fischer and some of his friends went on a tour of the landfill. I will say that this was my idea for playgroup and there were not too many moms who thought that it would be fun... so attendance was low. However TWO other brave mommies did come... and Sheila sent BFF with me so that she wouldn't miss out. Anyway, I found the tour incredibly informative and eye-opening. In my state, recycling is voluntary. Therefor we saw mountains of cardboard out on the landfill that will never be recycled... too bad. In fact our landfill will be full to capacity by the time Fischer is 52 year-old. Then what??

So what to do? We already recycle as much as possible at our house. Our family has broken the bottled water habit with reusable bottles. But there is still so much more that we could be doing - after all, I have a pretty heavy addiction to zip-lock bags!! So I have been in search of some solutions. And I thought I'd share a few of the really great ones:
  • Let's start here with Martha and her reusable oilcloth lunch bags. They are cute and practical and would be great to send lunch to school or work or on a picnic. She has all of the instructions here.

  • OK now I have my cute lunch bag, what do I put my sandwich in? There can't be any better solutions that a zip-lock bag, right? Ah, but there is! The Wrap-N-Mat keeps your sandwich fresh and provides you with a place mat to boot! All perfectly washable and reusable. You don't even have to make it, you can buy it at reusable (that site has tons of reusable solutions for sale).

  • OK now I have my lunch bag and my sandwich bag and even a place mat, but what about my snacks? What about my napkin? Thank you for asking. Jill over at Life with Nature Girl has two fabulous tutorials on how to make your own reusable snack bags and napkins. Too fabulous!!

Now, I just need to learn how to sew! I'm just going to have to go over to Sheila's and start practicing. I really want to make these things. She doesn't know it yet, but she really wants to make them too. My other obstacle? Getting Andy to let his food touch fabric... I think he'll gag.

Hey, does any one know of any fabulous replacements for my zip lock freezer bag problem?

Sunday, October 5, 2008


"Free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery."

I've recently been introduced to CaringBridge. It is a free website/journal set up specifically to meet the needs of people who are going through a troubling time in their life. It helps keep their loved ones informed and provides a place for friends and family to give encouragement, prayers and support.

I found out about CaringBridge from the Say a Little Prayer website, as they are asking for prayers for a young boy who is battling leukemia. I recently ran into it again over at The Askeance as Ray pays tribute to a man in her family who is experiencing the final stages of Cancer. She links to his CaringBridge page. As upsetting as these situations are, CaringBridge has given both of these guys an outlet. They and their families are able to draw strength from the comments people have left, as well as keep everyone updated without making hundreds of phone calls.

If you have found yourself thankful for the experiences you've had with this service or thankful that you and your family have not been in need of this service, you may want to donate to help keep it running.

"Families say the journal provides a therapeutic outlet to reflect on their experience. Patients and caregivers use it to request prayers and support. Loved ones know where to turn for information 24/7.
CaringBridge is a U.S. 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Nearly 90% of all funding comes from individuals and families who use CaringBridge. Your gift will help us reach every family facing a serious medical condition, to help them stay connected and to help them heal."

If donations aren't your thing... maybe you can send up a few prayers.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First Trip to the Dentist

Fischer went to the dentist for the first time ever today. I picked up Going to The Dentist by Dorling Kindersley at the grocery store last night to help him prepare. This morning, we read the little story about Dora's first dentist experience, and studied the photographs of all things dental. I really think it helped Fischer to know what to expect. Although, he still cried when they said it was his turn (he's gone strange - more about that in a minute), he quickly calmed down and let the dentist look in his mouth and count his teeth. The doc said that his teeth were healthy, and in fact the ones that had turned gray after he bonked them a few months ago, are fine now!
I had heard conflicting stories about when is the best age to have your first exam, so I thought we'd just go and make sure everything was going well. Yay, it is. Fischer received a green sticky hand for a bravery prize. I was going to take his picture in the big chair, but he was glued to me the whole time, so that wasn't going to happen.

About "strange", the other day I met a woman who told me that children this age may "go strange". In fact she asked me if Fisch had "gone strange yet". Huh? Apparently the phrase is referring to the clingy whiny, shy, scared, crying 2 1/2 year old that is my son. So, yes, he has officially "gone strange". Let's hope he comes back soon!

I've made a discovery... you probably made the same one ages ago!

Did you ever notice that little white search box in the upper left hand corner of blogger pages? I didn't either, or if I did, I thought it would be to search for other blogs. No, no, no! It is to search MY blog or whatever blogger blog you may be viewing at the time! So cool! I had no idea! Go ahead try it... type anything in there. Maybe you want to find the recipe for that yucky fun oatmeal dough or that fabulous chicken salad, maybe you'd like to find the links for Earth Hour or Unscrew America. or maybe you'd like to know just how many of my posts contain the word "poop" - SIX!! OK, now seven. Anyway, it is probably a more useful box for blogs with more posts... but still, I couldn't believe that I had no idea it was there!

Oh wait... I've just made another discovery!! Now I've added a search box lower down on the left side of my page between the labels and the archive. Just in case someone else thinks that one way up at the top must be for something else. Geez, I'm so internetty.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Too hot and too long, yet somehow mood lifting

Yesterday I was crabby. I realized this after Fischer's third trip to timeout when he'd only been awake for 30 minutes. Hmmm, the problem might be me!! We skipped soccer and loaded up the jogging stroller with snacks, hats, sunglasses, water bottles, plastic bags (for dog poop), overdue library books and the kitchen sink. Then Fischer, Sophie and Kaia, and I headed out for a long run/walk to the library. Round trip - it is a little less than 7 miles. Well, what I didn't realize - is that it was 150 degrees yesterday! Whatever, I thought we were trying to have autumn! Anyway, all was well, I was hot and sweaty by the time we got to the library, but after a bathroom break and the four of us chugged our water bottles (well, Sophie and Kaia did more slurping than chugging), we were on our way back home. By now, I'm realizing just how hot and tired Kaia truly is. She is mostly black and pretty chubby and 10 years old. She was slowing quite a bit. As Sophie and i jogged, Kaia trailed behind. So i started walking too and gave her the last of the water. I just kept hoping that she wouldn't collapse before we could make it home! Plus, I kept thinking about this story my mother-in-law told about her dog that was running around playing at a backyard party and then dropped dead mid-stride! That visual was beginning to really worry me as Kaia's tongue grew longer and longer.

And then, she DID collapse! We were about a mile from home on a busy road next to a very long retaining wall. There was no access to the neighboring houses to get more water for her or to hose her down. There was no way to drag her home and I couldn't get her to stand up, let alone walk another mile in the sun. Across 5 lanes of busy traffic there was a neighborhood, but we were nowhere near a cross walk and I couldn't drag my 100 pound dog across that road while pushing a stroller and wrangling Sophie. What to do?

Much to the amusement of the passing cars, I pulled Fisch out of the stroller and tried to lift Kaia into it!! I had laid down the seat to make more room, but she didn't fit and she looked like a giant seal in there. Her elbows were pressing into the tray and neither she nor I had the strength to maneuver her into a more comfortable position. I had to lift her out. the fire department was near by... they get cats out of trees, maybe they get dogs off of sidewalks? No, no... we'll wait a little longer. Well thankfully, after a few more minutes I was able to coax her to stand and encourage her to walk the last mile home. Then I promptly plopped her into a cold kiddie pool. Sweet relief, for her.

For some reason after all of that sun, sweat, worry, and eventual relief.... I wasn't crabby anymore.