Ten Random Things I Want to Mini-Blog About

1) I got a message on facebook that makes me both ecstatically happy and insanely jealous at the same time. It appears that Jen Ambrose met, in person, the one and only Louisa Lim. Jen and I have long standing admiration for Ms. Lim and her journalism for NPR in China. She is an excellent journalist and has a great voice, which is kind of important for radio journalism. Jen has yet to blog on this experience as she still has so much to share from her recent trip to Europe (which you MUST check out on her blog, amazing pictures and stories) but I can’t wait for all the details :).

2) I am doing another 5K this year. Well, I’m walking it, but I’m doing it. Again, I am doing it for the Autism Society of North Carolina an organization that my parents and Jeff, myself and the kids belong to that brings the services of parent advocacy for parents of autistic children, legislative lobbying on behalf of individuals in the state of North Carolina with autism and their families, and Camp Royall, one of the oldest camps in the country for individuals with autism that gives them a chance at a “normal” camp experience. Next year, Shelby will go to camp because of the ASNC and we have utilized their parent advocate service multiple times on her behalf. I’ve often said that having a child is autism is like driving to California blindfolded and with ear plugs right after someone has spun you around a few hundred times so that you are completely disoriented. A parent advocate is the parent of an autistic child him or herself who has not only been in your position but has additional training and education to help you. So, I am NOT to proud to beg for support for our team: Shelby’s Bells. One dollar at a time, we will keep this thing going! Every.single.penny.counts. As Jeff tells his students, we not all have been created equally, but we all deserve to be treated equally which the ASNC is working to do, every day.

3) I am super excited about the new season of tv coming up, which I know is superficial and shallow, but I am. Particularly the new seasons of Parenthood (which starts this Tuesday night at 10 pm on NBC) and The Office (next Thursday, September 22 at 9pm on NBC). Both shows will feature new babies this season. Adam and Kristina (parents of Max–who has Asperger’s) unexpectedly found themselves expecting on the season finale with baby #3 right after Adam lost his job. It will be interesting to see how new baby Braverman and Max interact as well as how the show will portray a pregnancy during a stressful situation like unemployment (I have been there, so I know it well). Actress Jenna Fisher’s real life pregnancy (she’s due with a baby boy) will play out on The Office as a sibling for Jim and Pam’s daughter Cece. The shows producers allowed Fisher to name her first on-screen child and she chose to name her Cecelia Marie after her newly born niece in real life. Wondering if they will make Jim and Pam’s new baby a boy, if they will allow Fisher to name her on-screen offspring again, and whether she will choose to name him after her son or choose something completely different. I am loving that the producers of Parenthood chose to show Adam and Kristina embracing this “unplanned” pregnancy despite the difficulties of raising a son with Asperger’s and a new crisis of unemployment. That really gives me hope that people will begin to entertain the idea that it IS possible to survive and thrive in those situations, even if it is not easy. I am also excited that despite already giving Jim and Pam a baby, The Office producers embraced Fisher’s pregnancy and wrote it into the upcoming season with open arms. There are lots of other shows I am also excited about (The Middle, Suburgatory, SVU (still upset about Stabler leaving through), Parks and Rec, Modern Family, and Big Bang Theory) but the other two stand out.

4) For the first time since we moved into our house, eight years ago almost now, we are regular library patrons. Now, in all fairness, our library is painfully small and has really restrictive hours. And that was before the massive budget cuts. And all of last year it was closed (actually until June of this year) for renovations. But, I’ve been taking the boys at least weekly for the last couple of weeks now both to borrow books and movies. They are enjoying both. Last week, Will found a book he HAD to borrow. It is a Chanukah book. In September…oh well, we’ll study up for December! This week we are going to make our first attempt at story hour. It should be interesting particularly as Will has no concept of an inside voice.

5) Shelby School Update: School is going very well. Shelby starts her fourth week this week. Well, the first week was one day because Hurricane Irene took away the second day that week. Then we had one full, five day week. Then a four day week for Labor Day. This week we have 4 1/2 days. I have no idea why we have a 1/2 day on Friday, but we do. She is enjoying her teacher, the assistants, the other children and the therapists. Her teacher is wonderful. She communicates openly and responds quickly. Riding the bus is going very well. She is always eager and happy to see it and bounds on without a care in the world. Funny how that is what we were most worried about!

6) Jeff now has a new solution to our shopping woes. Here is a brief rundown of our shopping woes. Shopping by yourself with all 3 of my kids is a non-starter. For one, Shelby MUST be in the cart. She wanders, she picks things up, enough said. William MUST be in the cart. This is because.he.walks.so.sl–ow–ly. And he wanders and crawls under displays, you get the idea. And Joey MUST be in the cart, because William MUST be in the cart and if you don’t want to listen to whining the entire time, you relent. And the push one cart full of kids while pulling one cart full of groceries…well, it’s a good idea in theory but since only one cart in all of a 100 mile radius has wheels that work, it’s an epic battle requiring gargantuan strength. And going with both of us is an imperfect solution at best. For one, Jeff refuses to take half the list. He wants me to take the whole thing. Which means, in his cart, we often find things not on the list that we really do not mean. It also means I give him a few items to get and then never see him again, making shopping, well difficult. And if he goes by himself or with limited amounts of children, he often returns bearing gifts we don’t always need…SO: solution time… his proposed solution is that I go to the store alone with my list. Because one of us leaving usually prompts unprecedented interest in the children, it would be Friday evenings, after he has gotten home and after they have gone to bed. Trial run this Friday…stay tuned!

7) I have started a new job and work part-time on the weekends. I took this job telling my boss I was only available to work part-time on the weekends. One month in and every single week I am scheduled at least one oddball weekday shift. One month in and I am asked every single week when I will be able to work weekdays. One month in and I am asked every single week when I will be able to work 40 hours. One month in and I am beginning to think this job might not just be part-time or weekends but TEMPORARY as well. I enjoy the work, it’s easy and the people I work with are nice, but this type of managerial incompetence is really starting to bug me….

8) You would think most people who come to my blog via google would get here by searching for St Monica, right? Well, no, actually the most common search is for St Lucy. Apparently the novena I ran last December is high up on Google. St Penelope is also a wildly popular search term as is Saint Raphael…who would have guessed…

9) I would like to ask your prayers for Jeff’s mom. She has been in the hospital since Thursday with complications from COPD and emphysema. Thank you. For now, that is all on that.

10) On September 11, 2001, I was at work. I worked part time in a drug store while I was in my senior year of college. Around 9:45 our phone ring and I happened to answer it. It was my boyfriend at the time, now my husband, informing me that two planes had hit the towers in the World Trade Center in NYC and a third had hit the Pentagon. Of course, to my customers, even the ones who knew, it was more important they get their painkillers than for co-workers of mine to call family and friends stuck in harms way. To say that day changed our lives is an understatement. Today I had to tell my almost four-year-old that before he was born very bad and evil men got on planes and crashed them into buildings and a field in PA and that all the people on the planes died and many people on the ground did too. But that God still loves those evil men and those people who were innocent on the ground. That God loves all of us no matter what we do or how we forsake Him, but we have to admit we are wrong and beg for forgiveness. And we tell him how one man, a priest, worked with the fire department. That he went into those buildings that day. That he was praying and the firefighters and police officers could feel him praying. That he went outside when people started jumping out of the building. That he went to one and was giving the sacrament of Last Rites when another person landed on top of him. That He died doing God’s work and we should all be so blessed to know we were doing His work when we go.