Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 ~ 47 to 56

Lots and lots of pictures to post! 

365 #47 ~ Color in the Garden

Not bad for February in New Jersey

#48 Favorite Snack

My girl likes to steal the coffee creamer and eat it with a spoon.

Or drink it.

#49  Tree

#50  Look up

I looked up and saw the moon.

#51 Performance

My girl on the Toddlewood red carpet, getting ready for the Oscars pre-show!

We had a great time, Inside Edition was there filming (show has not aired yet, we are waiting!) and there were all kinds of fabulous children there, dressed to the nines!   Plus a special unveiling of Tricia's Academy Award posters. Amazing!  You can see some of her work here.

There was some mayhem too.  LOL.  I love the candid expressions I caught here.

OK, enough about that.  On to #52 ~ Sweet Treats

Someone found the last of our anniversary cake!

#53 ~ Framed

Empire State Building framed by trees

While I'm at it, a few more shots from our recent trips to the city.  I love New York.

Windy walk ~ Highline Park

Our good friends, on the way to American Girl store.

Happy girls:

Happy mamas:

#54 ~ Love of Art

This was supposed to be "love of music" but I could not resist the artwork here.  And I am still kind of shocked that I let her get an American Girl doll.  I must be crazy.

#55 ~ Cup of ....

Everyone who knows me knows that the only answer is COFFEE.  Preferably organic Mexican blend from Whole Foods with plain soy creamer. 

And finally ~ #56 ~ From the Side

Mr. O had a successful visit to the dentist and showed off his sparkly, clean teeth.  He is lit from the side.  And if you are wondering, he did have one cavity, but we still consider it a successful trip because he sat for X-Rays and the dentist thinks they can fill it without putting him under.  For this kid with autism, that is a big step forward. 

Yay Mr. O!!  Handsome devil!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How I Gave My Son Autism

Photos coming again soon, I'm taking them but haven't had time to post them.  I promise, I haven't given up.

Today I read a powerful blog and I think it is worth sharing.  Actually, I almost could have written this post.  A few differences, not as much Pitocin and antibiotics, but things to think about.   If you have children, are thinking of having children, if you have a body of your own that you have to take care of every day, this is worth reading.

Click on the link.  Read it.  Think about it.

If you really don't have time to read the whole thing, here are some highlights:

"Ultrasounds have, in fact, been implicated in autism among other neurological disorders."

 "Fast forward a few years and Coca Cola Classic was found to have one of the highest levels of mercury due to HFCS of any product tested. "

" I had Pitocin for 36 hours. Here is an explanation from an excellent article on that explains the potential risks associated with Pitocin."

"C-Section – George Malcolm Morley, OB/GYN has done extensive research regarding C-Sections and autism and has concluded that, “A baby born by C-section is 3-4 times more likely to have autism.” "

"Here is what everyone should know about Augmentin:  Augmentin has been implicated in autism. "

"Vaccination REQUIRES a properly functioning immune system to work, which may explain why he has ZERO titers to the diseases he was immunized against. According to the CDC and the vaccine inserts, children should not be vaccinated if they are sick or on antibiotics. "

"Acetaminophen shuts down the production of glutathione, the body’s #1 antioxidant. Glutathione is absolutely critical in the body’s ability to rid itself of toxins. So basically, one of the absolute worst things you can do is to give a baby acetaminophen when they get vaccinations or when their body is trying to fight an infection. "

"Fluoride contains fluorine. Fluorine is only slightly less toxic than arsenic and is more toxic than lead. It is also a carrier molecule. It loves to combine with other materials and create even more toxic situations. It also can cross the blood/brain barrier. So if there is circulating aluminum in the body from say, oh, I don’t know, vaccine adjuvants for instance, or if there is lead in the joints of water pipes, the fluoride can attach itself to these toxins and escort them right across the blood/brain barrier and into the brain. "

"I truly believe that my son’s autism was preventable. Think. Research. At this point, you can’t afford not to."


I hope you will take the time to read the entire blog and not just my excerpts.  And click the links, follow the data, look at the information that is available to you.  Don't blindly follow any doctor.  Find a good one, and research all you can.  The numbers are going up, it could happen to you.  I love my son with all my heart, and wish he could live a less frustrating life.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

~ The more we live, the more beautiful we are. ~

365 ~ 41 through 46

This has been a week of ups and downs, lots going on as usual.  Typical for winter, we have been taking turns having a cold (my turn today) and saw snow, saw it melt, saw a little more snow and today we are watching it melt again. 

Day 41, was still had lots of snow and we got to go out and make a snowman.  And Mr. O actually got along with his oldest brother for a bit, which was a surprise for all of us.  The theme was supposed to be "in the garage" but if you could see the state of my garage, you would understand why snow pictures were a better idea.

Day 41 was supposed to be "entertain" but c'mon. On a Monday?  Instead you get some crayons.  I liked the colors and really didn't get to take any other photos on Monday.  I'll get back to "entertain" another time.  Okay?

Tuesday the theme was "celebrate" and again, we are going to have to come back to that one.  Instead you get some dance  pictures.  Working with low light, but these little dancers are very cute.  They are going to be dancing to the Coca Cola song in their recital and I can't wait.

Wednesday came and I am sad to say that for the first time since starting this project,  I didn't take one picture all day.  BUT, I finally have a "texture" photo for you since I missed that one a few weeks ago.  We can pretend I took this one on Wednesday instead of Sunday.  Our beach grass in the winter.  (Day 44)

Day 45, the theme was LOVE.  I'm going to save that one for day 46, and instead you get some photos from our trip to Philadelphia.  We went to the Academy of Natural Science and saw the butterflies and some dinosaurs and ran around the city a little bit.  I can't pick just one, here are a few.

Finally we come to Friday, day 46.  Stealing Thursday's "love" theme since it was our 21st wedding anniversary.   Here we are, ready to go out and celebrate.  Hubby's idea to hold up fingers to make the number 21.

And then there was the cake.  Someone had a hard time waiting.

This week, I also learned of the passing of a good friend.  It was not expected and she was really too young to die.  She taught everyone  around her that "the more we live, the more beautiful we are."  She was a fellow photography mom, with a beautiful blog about her adventures.  I don't know many suburban moms with the spunk to take three kids on a trip to Africa, or to pick up and move the entire family to Hawaii to live out a dream.  But she had that spunk, she really reached out and grabbed life while she could and she never let little details hold her back from doing amazing things. 

I think her message was beautiful and I will continue to do my best to remember it.  Remember not to look at my wrinkles and age spots and grey hairs, but to instead,  think of how beautiful it is to be alive.  Thank you Holly, my beautiful, gracious friend, for all of your photography advice, your kind and encouaging words, and your fantastic example of how to live a fearless, fabulous life.  You will be missed.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

365 / 39 & 40

Friday's theme (#39) was "More than One."  This was actually a perfect theme for the day, since I was spending most of my time being the "yearbook photographer" at my daughter's school.  Not the guy who lines up the classes and takes everyone's individual photos.  I'm sure they have someone with a fancy tripod for that job.  I was there to photograph candid shots of the specials (gym, music, art) and also during a fun event called "Brain Day." 

I didn't know what to expect.  I haven't had a child in elementary school for the longest time.  I don't know any of the other kindergarten moms.  I don't know many of the teachers or the support staff.  I am not actually a photographer.  AND I know that my own kids run and hide whenever they see a camera.  So, I was a bit nervous.  I grabbed my camera, my white card, my comfy boots and off I went. 

First step, check in.  I am thankful for a school with a very high level of security.   I wait in the vestibule while they check my license, take my photo and issue me a pass that has a barcode and disintegrates after 5 hours.  Only with this barcode can I come inside.  And then I'm in.  What to do?  First stop, my daughter's classroom since the teacher knows I am coming.  I get to visit until the Brain Day assembly starts. 

Here's my first surprise, the kids see the camera and they WANT their pictures taken.  What?  Even my daughter, who later whispers to me that she is just pretending to like it so that her friends don't know how she acts at home.  I'll take it.

Brain Day was so fun.  It was a crazy game show where kids compete to win 50 cent ribbons and the best part was that they had to dance after each question to keep their points.  Hilarious.  Working for the yearbook, I had full reign to take photos of any student.  But since that permission does not apply to using their photos for anything else, I am only going to share this one shot of the back of everyone's head:

I did get a lot of great shots, and no surprise, I spent more time with the special needs classes than the other kids.  What can I say, they were the cutest!  My girl had a great time too:

One thing that struck me as I walked through the school, was how many classrooms had signs outside their doors.   Peanut allergy.  Shellfish allergy.  Strawberry allergy.  Spinach allergy.  Dairy, soy, corn, tree nuts.  I don't remember a single kid who was allergic to food when I was growing up.  And I remember knowing ONE kid who was allergic to peanuts when my boys were in kindergarten.  When I sent my kids to school and asked the teachers not to feed them anything with refined sugars or dyes, they looked at me like I had two heads.  Not anymore.  What is going on?  I have my ideas, but it is really just crazy when you see the signs hanging all over the school.  And see that the special ed classes take up the entire first row of every section of the auditorium.  I know my daughter's class has a child allergic to nuts and strawberries.  I knew which kid it was when I walked into the class.  Hyper.  Eczema so bad it was bleeding.  What are we doing to our kids to have them all so sick?  Harumpf.

To quote Mr. O when he wants to change the subject, "Let's talk abut home."  I won't put my hands over my ears and scream, but I do think that has a special kind of charm when he does it.

After my busy Friday, we had a lovely snowstorm.  Lovely because everything that was scheduled for Saturday got cancelled.  End result, I get to stay home in my sweatpants and drink coffee, work on eBay and eventually clean up my house.  And my oldest got to go out and make some money.  This kid is definitely my ambitious one, I hope he plans to support us when we are old. 

Today's them (#40) was "Through the Looking Glass."  I should have done something fun with mirrors, but I am just hanging out in my comfy clothes and no way I want to look in the mirror.  So instead (I am saying that a lot lately, "instead.") you get this picture of the dog, looking in through the glass.  Does that count as "looking glass" ??  Close enough for me.  And then a few shots of the snow.  I should really take the kids out for some sledding, but my coffee is so nice and warm and I have this little personal space heater right next to the computer desk and I don't want to get dressed in snow clothes and ... and .. and ...

365 / 35-38 What a Week!

Things here have been busy in a way that is only possible when you have a kid with autism.  Plus three other kids with lives that don't stop.  But I have been making sure to get in at least one picture each day. 

This week I had one call from the school nurse, two kids home from school on different days, about ten extra loads of laundry because someone keeps overflowing the tub, pouring lotion in random places and changing clothes a few extra times a day.  On top of our normal activities, this week there was a doctor's appointment, a school art show and finally, on friday, I spent the day at my daughter's school playing photographer for the yearbook.  Oh, and then we had a snowstorm last night.  Is it wrong that I am just filled with relief to have a day to stay home?

Monday's theme (#35) was "Beat" and that is just how my girl felt after gymnastics that night.  I know this has a blue cast to it, but that is because the only light in the room was the glow from the TV.  Loving the low light capabilities of my new camera, have I said that before?  This has almost no editing, just a little crop and sharpening for the web - I can't believe I didn't have to lighten the exposure at all. 

Tuesday's theme (#36) was "Nap."  There was no napping that day.  Since Mr. O came home with tummy trouble on Monday, he could not go back to school on Tuesday.  Even though he was fine.  Even though I knew his tummy trouble came from eating something he shouldn't have.  Even though I had a boatload of errands to run.  Sigh.

So, he came with me to the store.  The Dollar Store.  The grocery store.  Staples.  The drug store.  And then, because I am a glutton for punishment, we stopped at Goodwill too.  Since he loves to shop, I was glad to take him.  It is always a treat to wind through a store, holding tightly to your 11 year old as he points to people and asks "Man or woman?  Long hair or short hair?"  Bonus if we run into a man with long hair, which will usually cause him to say, "MAN!  MAN!  Man with LONG HAIR!  He needs a haircut!!  Ewwwww (insert gagging sound) the man needs a haircut!!"   Most people are nice about it. Some are puzzled.  One man we met at Goodwill thought it would be fine to give Mr. O permission to rub his head and actually got mad at ME when I told him no.  Just trying to teach my kid some boundaries, call me crazy.  But I digress. 

After all of those errands, it was dance night, topped off with my girl's school art show.  So, yeah, no nap.

Instead you get a shot of beautiful Kindergarten artwork, and another low light shot in the snow.

Wednesday, I rejoiced at the thought of a kid free day to work.  Alas, not to be.  My girl woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose.  Wednesday's theme (#37) was backlit.  Instead you are getting a shot of my girl having a little fun with oranges. 

Thursday, everyone went to school.  Can I get a "what what"?  I didn't get too excited though, since my girl had a half day and after school we had our monthly visit with our crunchy doctor. I do love the crunchy doctor, he has been helping us a lot, but with the two hour round trip drive and the inevitable one hour wait, it takes a lot of time and since insurance doesn't cover most of it, puts a hurt on my wallet too.  Ouch. 

The photo theme was "Use Your Senses" and while I am sure that I did use my senses all day long, I don't have any photo evidence.  Here's what you get instead.  Day 38, just to remind myself that even though he drives me bonkers, even though his treatments are breaking the bank, even though he overflows the tub, smears lotion on the floor and occasionally pulls his pants down on the bus, he is pretty awesome. 

I think I am going to stop there and do another post for Friday since this one is getting long.   Betcha can't wait.

Monday, February 4, 2013

365 / 33 & 34

Posting after the weekend.  For a change, it seemed like I got done with almost everything on my list.  Not the laundry of course, but I am never done with that! 

Day 33, the theme was supposed to be "shadow" but that didn't work out for me.  Even the groundhog didn't see his shadow this year.  Supposedly that means we'll have an early spring, but I think it may just mean the opposite since Phil is only right 39% of the time.    Anyway, no shadow for Phil, no shadow for me, instead you get this shot of my girl singing karaoke.  Great opportunity for me to try out the higher ISO's on my new camera, and to practice more with custom white balance, because it was pretty dark, the only light was casting a really yellowish tone and on top of that I had to try really hard to concentrate since there was such an awesome concert going on in front of me.  I was pretty happy to get this shot:

Then Sunday's theme (Day 34) was "Pop of Red."   I will admit that I wasn't thinking about the theme at all.  I took pictures all day though, because we had friends visiting from Nicaragua, more friends over for a pre-Superbowl party and even some light snow, which brought out the birds.  So, a few I liked that had a "pop of red."

Today's theme is "beat."  As in, "I'm beat"?  Or maybe "Beat the drum slowly"?  Or maybe, "The kids beat me to all the leftover Superbowl food"?  I guess I get to choose.  We'll see what happens around here!