Friday, July 31, 2009


Ain't Got Time to Die
Lord I keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
When I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
When I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
Ain't got time to die

'Cause it takes all of my time (It takes all of my time, it takes it all)
All of my time (to praise Him)
If I don't praise Him the rocks are gonna cry out
Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die

Lord I keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
When I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
When I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
Ain't got time to die

Lord I keep so busy servin' my master (keep so busy)
Keep so busy servin' my master (I'm servin')
Keep so busy servin' my master
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm gonna give my all to Jesus)
When I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm gonna give my all in all)
When I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm givin' all of my life to Him)
Ain't got time to die

Now won't you get out of my way (oh get out of my way)
Get out of my way (you better get out of my way)
Let me tell you if I don't praise Him the rocks are gonna cry out
Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die

Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die
Ain't got time to die


How cool would that be as a church charter? There was a Salvation Army truck in front of me on the freeway yesterday. It's slogan across the rear door was huge: Hearts to God, Hands to man. (nodding)

I spent last evening at a CE class on Intrathecal Baclofen. It took a few minutes for me to re-immerse my head in the big words -- medical terminology and muscle groups, agonists and inhibitors. I've been reading a ton (shocking) on brain development and neurotransmitters. "They" don't exactly understand Baclofen's mechanism(s), but it appears to send or make more GABA available at it's receptor sites. So, after my reading and the class merged in my head, I've boiled it down for us: It's all about the neurotransmitters. Duh, you may say. Well, yes.

But think about this -- what if ADD, infidelity, violent impulses, and a general inability to get where you say you want to go in life, all boil down to a person having a balanced brain? More and more research points past the myth of the perfect brain (and it doesn't exist, not statistically speaking) toward the importance of getting and keeping one's neurotransmitters in balance.

So, when thinking about research in health and longevity, there are two things you should know. One, do whatever you can to drop your levels of inflammation. Do this by eating well, exercising, ingesting very little processed "food" -- a huge source of systemic inflammation, and getting good rest, lots of water. Do whatever you can to avoid HFCS, hydrogenated oils, food coloring, and MSG. Be just suspicious enough when it comes to your food supply.

Two, figure out where your brain has dropped it's neurotransmitter marbles, round 'em up, and manage them. If you lash out with alarming regularity, you might consider GABA. If you have trouble keeping all the balls in the air simultaneously, think about L-tyrosine. Hopeless? SAM-e or 5-HTP might help. There is endless information to be had about vitamins and minerals facilitating those neurotransmitters, and Omega 3's should make up most of your brain. Did you know that your brain is made out of at least 60% fatty acids? You want it to be made out of Omega 3's, not so much 6's or 9's -- which show up in cheap oils and fried stuff. Picture your brain, instead of being all healthy and jello-y, looking like the crispy stuff on a nice piece of KFC. Yeah.

Disclaimer: I am in no way qualified to give out medical advice and you should research these things carefully for yourself. There are great nutritionists out there who can help you figure out how the things you're putting in your mouth might be either messing with your head or helping you become the person you want to be. And, you know, you still have to take personal responsibility for your choices and their ripple effects. But what if you were able through your diet to increase your ability to relate well and in fact, to make good choices? At the very least, it's an interesting thing to contemplate, no? And I believe that there will be huge implications for Q as we go along. What a cool time to be alive, yes? Amazing things to learn and appreciate.

Happy weekend -- may you make for yourself a healing Sabbath space and approach your coming week renewed.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

And... We're home!

Plane, train, automobile.

There. I've been itching to say it and I finally gave in.

I slept not a moment of the night before I left, too wound up. I printed my boarding pass at home, hit the ATM (not like that) at 4:52am, was dropped off at the airport to negotiate an exceedingly easy security line, and even had time to use my little giftcard at Starbucks before piling on to the plane. Whereupon I slept in spurts, enough to drool, so attractively.

We landed a couple of minutes early -- the air temp here was 75 when I got to the airport, 66 when I landed there. Weird. I grabbed my stuff and hauled my tail out to the curb ASAP and spotted my guardian angels/driving friends literally as I walked through the door. I threw my stuff in and we were off.

After having some serious beyond-the-call-of-duty help from several really kind Amtrak employees, we got our big bags checked and boarded the train. To wait for another one to arrive so that train could make it's connections. Oy.

The kids were exhausted too, so almost as soon as we were all given seats (more thanks to those hard-working Amtrak guys), we were snuggled down in our pillows and blankies (which were shipped ahead so I wouldn't have to check bags on the flight), and out cold. Something about the rocking of the train? The level of exhaustion all around? We managed snacks and little spurts of entertainment, but kept falling asleep, curled into our reclining seats.

So now that we have all that for experience, here are my hot tips for train travel. Do take your own pillows and blankies. It got chilly on board and you'll need the extra padding. Do take snack stuff, especially some higher protein items (helps avoid those melt-downs). We ate most of the stuff I sent ahead and could have used more. In fact, if you're going to be on a train for enough time, really, do get sleeper accommodations. I believe meals come with those tickets, a fact which in this case would have allowed the sleeper accommodations to have paid for themselves. No kidding. And they come with access to the on board theater, sweet stuff, and daily local wine tasting with artisan cheeses on the side. All free. Oh -- and! The Parlour Car. A refurbished old car in which only those with Sleeper tickets are allowed to eat, ordering from an "alternative menu" and whatever else they do in there. Funny -- makes me think of that show, what was it. Wild, Wild West? The Parlour Car seems to be from about the same era.

The kids did well. E and K watched the sun rise over a snow-capped mountain, we followed bodies of water and played guessing games about them, we started reading "Twenty One Balloons" (love that book), and played some Uno and Skip-bo. G was such a super help, offering to run through the five cars between us and the snack area to grab whatever, taking my cell and various sisters' DSis to the limited plugs for charging. They were all troopers, and kind and helpful to other passengers. Which was noticed and commented upon by train staff and passengers. "Your children are extremely well-mannered." Is there anything that can warm the cockles of a mama's heart better than that? I'll leave you to ponder that as I prepare to sign off. The room seems to be moving rhythmically and I hear click-clacking of wheels on rails...

And Q is restless again. But it's down to 82 inside so far tonight, with second story window/fan combinations running for all they're worth. It was, according to reports, 113 here today. Right here, in our little town. Tomorrow is forecast to be the same temperatures for surrounding communities as it was today, so we'll be going right from appointments to the library. Or the grocery store, whatever. AC is good and then we'll have packing to do. I think everyone else might finally be asleep, with wet heads, train gunk showered off.

What a wild couple of days it's been. We saw deer, several, at different times, hawks and falcons, pelicans of different colors, egrets, herons -- including one I've yet to identify, otters, sea lions, mergansers, Canada geese, a swan, several snowy volcanoes, lots and lots of water, trees of all kinds. We saw several junk yards, some of the poorest neighborhoods and the biggest houses. Next to the rails were growing grapes, artichokes, cabbages, spinach, lettuces, blackberries, corn. So cool.

We're wiped out. At least until morning.


Monday, July 27, 2009


Okay. I'm just about ready to go. I'm leaving a little after 4am and packing light enough to not need to check anything. Fifteen dollars a bag. Puhleeze. Besides, I'll be sprinting, no time for checked bags.

I'm trying to think what I might have forgotten to pack...

Well, sitting here isn't getting anything done, so here's a link to ponder: Link.

I'm off to catch a quick sleep before beginning the trip, the first couple of legs of which will be spent working on not hyperventilating to the point of passing out. I might be exaggerating. Let's hope, shall we?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good stuff, for which I'm grateful

I'm picking up the big kids in less than a week.

Q is growing -- intellectually, emotionally, physically -- and happy, not drug-addicted, in pain, or sad and unable to tell me about it. (Boy, will he be glad to have the kids back. He was pretty sanguine for the first couple of weeks, remembering that they've done this before and rolling with it, but he's been less patient about their absence over the last week.)

There are a lot of people out there who care enough about my kids and how they turn out that there are a constant stream of prayers going up on our behalf. There are a shorter list of people who put forth serious daily effort to make sure that my kids have what they need. I'm absolutely on my face thankful every day for both of these groups, especially where they overlap in word, thought, and deed.

The one up-side to being essentially on my own is the serious set of mommy muscles I've grown and will continue to cultivate. I always had 'em with each kid, from newborn through toddler stages, but carting Q and all his stuff means frequently hoisting 30-40 plus pounds of stuff several times a day. So, you know, that adds up.

I am so glad to be able to read. I can't imagine my life without the ability to use the written word, to use it for research (and my self-imposed "CE" endeavors -- heh), for pleasure, for helping the punkins.

The chance to be with and sink myself thoroughly into these five children is such a privilege. It is for many reasons an absolute necessity, but that in no way lessens the blessing it is to me.

I am grateful for a sense of wonder. Seeing the snow-topped mountains blush pink to the east as the sun slips behind and shows in hazy blue and coral relief those to the west? It perpetually elicits a "wow...".

I get to teach some art to some kids in a few weeks. I am excited and terrified and I can't wait. This is yet another reason I love our church -- plenty of people create fabulous opportunities for their own children, but who does this sort of thing as outreach? Apparently, we do. What a singular thing to be involved with people who are all about giving hands and feet to their faith. And for my children to be immersed in it? Awesome.

Did I mention the part where I'm picking up the oldest four? Yup, pretty excited about that.

On that note, it's off to bed, for which I'm also grateful. Projects await tomorrow, lots to do yet before the kids are back, and time just spins and spins, doesn't it?

Hope you're having a lovely summer, getting to really revel in the ripe deliciousness of it with your littles, your not so littles, and their mama/daddy.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random items

My back is better today. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers (grins). I'm going to take the muscle relaxant tonight when Q goes down. I think perhaps my combo of icing, practically overdoing all manner of herbal anti-inflammatories, and maintaining a tight Valsalva every time I've had to lift Q or his chair, perhaps that combination is somehow magical. Or whatever. It seems to have worked for a quicker than expected recovery.

I got the final installment in The Saga of the IKEA Dresser That Would Not Cooperate all wrapped up today. My mom will have their new dresser at some point. I'm glad not to have to argue with those customer service people anymore. Who knew that two whole separate boxes could be so messed up? Does a dresser need three end pieces? How about two complete sets of drawer bottoms? No? But perhaps it could use some, say, drawers? Yeah. It was that much fun. But! I do seem to get results, yes I do. Got the cable people to knock an extra $60 off my parents' bill, and now the dresser issues are resolved. Maybe I could make a little money playing Consumer Advocate for a couple of hours a week?

The kids aren't home. I don't know when they will be, as they seem to have conflicting versions amongst them. Tomorrow will be a day of rescheduling the children's appointments and lessons and stuff. They were supposed to participate in a local charity soap box derby event this weekend -- driving for SN kids, especially a bunch of kids with autism. We had plans for G's birthday. But hey, this way maybe they'll just get to have more time with their dad.

Deep breath, now find the opportunity in the moment and on we go. Emotion often overwhelms good sense, much to my chagrin. I did apologize for my rather, erm, hasty mouth. And that's pretty much all I want to say about that. Except that I would like to be done apologizing, done with difficulty of any kind in relationships of any kind, and moving on to other, far more rewarding things. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may involve investing in a bale of duct tape for my own silly self. Or seeing a counselor so's I can vent to someone who's under the constraints of privacy laws.


Elsewhere in reality... Q's swallow study, which has been on my schedule for more than a month, has not yet been okayed by radiology. Which means that it's anyone's guess as to when it might happen. But he ate some smooshy cauliflower today! I put mashed potatoes in his mouth with the cauliflower so he could figure out what to do with it once he'd mooshed it up. The texture counfounded him a bit. I put a tiny piece of equally soft turkey in his mouth too -- he managed that as well! His Speech Path lady was appropriately impressed. Hurray! And I've discovered that if you puree cherries and heavy whipping cream together they turn into a nice cherry fluff, which, with whey powder and oat cereal, makes Q a nice, nutritionally complete meal.

The maintenance for the van was surprisingly expensive today, even though they took 10% off since I waited nearly an hour past the time they said I'd have to. Q had to be so patient and I was holding off his nap further than he was happy about so he could be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the airport this evening. But still -- ten percent is not bad. And they washed it -- bonus. (So we're going to push past the fact that there's a small dent in the poor thing. I've no idea from whence it came, but man, I was hoping we could avoid that for at least a little longer.)

Aren't I cheery this evening?

I'll go find other things to sort and dump, I guess. If the kids stay away much longer, they'll come back to find mere palates on the floor and two outfits apiece in their closets. I'm kidding. That would be just mean. But I am going to see what else I can move on out of here. Maybe I can get to the book sorting and selling I'd been hoping to do? I could go through my clothes again and give away something, I'm sure. I need to figure out a different way to store Q's diapers and something to do with G's chemistry set, too. There's plenty to do, if the bored and lonesome Q will let me get to it. I'm just quite disappointed, which seems frankly petty in comparison to the fact that the kids get so little time with their dad anyway...

I think I'll take myself off to try and put the still chipper kid down. Surely by now the meds have kicked in? And I shall collect myself by morning and get on with it already, no more complaining. Promise.

XO. Rest well.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I hurt my back cleaning out the house. Wah. I'm all whiny about this, because the kids were going to be here last night. They aren't home yet, which I'm sad about, but at least this way they get to be with their dad for a couple more evenings. But since they aren't home yet, I was looking forward to really digging in, hauling out more stuff, all the way into all the corners of every single room. Or as close as I could get to that in an extra 48 hours.

Instead, I am working out creative ways to hoist Q, taking those half doses of Vicodin and muscle relaxers only at night, because if I'm going to be here alone with the boy, I need to be able to drive and all, even if it's not likely that I'd need to. I'm glad the weaning of the meds is going well, because at least then I'm not too worried about that -- seizure activity.

A friend has been here helping a bit this afternoon so I don't have to lean into the dishwasher, lift laundry baskets, crawl into wierd and awkward positions... Anyhoo, she's about to take off, so I'm going to try to feed the little monkey and then somehow entice him to nap. When I've tried to get him down in the afternoons lately, he's cried piteously, as though I'm somehow torturing him by noticing that he's tired.


XO, hope y'all are well.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Almost a week ago, a wee box arrived. Inside was an even smaller box. I was a little nervous, because small boxes contain either rocks and bugs and musty dried up flowers or expensive objects, usually electronic, and often somewhat confounding to me.

Inside the little box was this, an iTouch, with gift certificates enough to purchase Proloquo2go, an app that may just allow Q the beginnings of his very own voice. I'm posting this from my brother and sister-in-law's house, as I'm figuring out the way cool features -- like wi-fi.

There is no way to properly thank the lovely people behind this incredible surprise gift. But I'll say it anyway -- thank you. So much. I find myself lately regularly saying those words and every time I do, wishing there were some way, some short and useful way, to express the welling up of gratitude, right up from my toes... Since there's not really a good shorthand for all that emotion and superlative thankfulness, I'll just be sticking with the old standard -- thank you. This totally rocks.

And who knows? This could help Q to someday say "thank you" too.

Wow. And thank you. Again and again.