sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
I suspect it's one where they can see dirt and plants and live things, and read about them, but not actually touch.

Going to throw some gardening links in here, since between the weather and the Schrodinger's Cat status of our living arrangements, I can't actually DO anything.

For those looking to avoid GMOs meticulously, please note some of the tomato breeds suggested as resistant to verticillium wilt are on the lists linked to in the first article as being owned by or connected to Monsanto. I'm more interested in keeping the dang things from cross-pollinating the entire world than I am concerned about the potential ill effects of eating GMOs, but it's still something to look at.

Probably going to do a tiny container garden if we're not moving this summer. A pot of dill, a pot of oregano, and whatever local flowers suit my fancy. Dreams of tomatoes and marigolds and plants for both caterpillars and butterflies will have to wait.


Today's been delightful all around. The scheduled three-hour power outage to enable wiring work for the eventual solar panels on our block was this morning. Huzzah. :/ I stuck it out for an hour with the boys before Mark's plaintive requests for Backyardigans drove me to dress everybody and head to Walmart for pedialyte. He's smart enough to know the Kindle can provide cartoons when the tv does not, but unfortunately trying to explain the Kindle needs internet access for Netflix or Amazon Prime video and internet access in turn requires electricity.... Not going to happen. Complete failure to grok.

Jack hasn't thrown up since last night, when he crawled between his fitted sheet and the mattress and proceeded to lose his entire dinner. ::face-palm:: Right now he's napping on the couch. Mark's still got diarrhea. Aside from that, they're bouncy and acting completely normal. So I don't feel TOO bad about foisting them on the staff member who will watch them while I'm at Mark's IEP tomorrow afternoon.

I'm all out of my dairy-free cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheese. :( Not willing to drag the boys out into the wet snow/rain/wind mix we have going on, not for that. Pedialyte and individially bottled juice so we didn't have to open the fridge was a necessity. Snacks are not.

But by God I am going to have some home-made cupcakes tonight.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
The kind where, as I'm giving the Zodlings their baths and tucking them into bed, I could *swear* I'd just done this five minutes ago.

This despite having spent a moderately productive and interesting day baking and wrangling said Zodlings.

Mark's IEP got rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Tom is running the conn at home and retrieving Mark from the bus for me. I'm attending the IEP as Official Parental Unit. Sarah's communicating via teleconference as she can't make it down from Denver. Fingers crossed, and prayers requested from all sides.

Still no news from Misawa. We don't expect them to decide they can cope with our Zodlings, but I'd like firm confirmation of that so we can move on to the next part of the process for finding Tom's next assignment.

Stupid serotonin tricks are behaving themselves. Stupid gastro. tricks are only mildly annoying.

I need to catch up on my reading, on my efforts to learn knitting, and on my self-appointed 'Unfuck the habitat before our as-yet-to-be-scheduled PCS gorram it all" tasks.

Right now, heading to bed, as Tom has early duty requiring awakening at three am the rest of the week. Bleah.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Yesterday, Tom came home and told me that the computer system for outprocessing to new assignments is down until early April for previously-scheduled maintenance and software upgrades/changeovers.

EFMP's system is still up and running, so we're forging ahead on that side.

Today, he forwards me an email he received in response to his inquiry of the Misawa school's special ed department. It was from no less a personage than the Pacific Area Special Education specialist, who is also the coordinator for the DoDEA Exceptional Family Member Program Educational Screenings for the Pacific region.

She informed Tom that Misawa has only minimal services designed for mild to moderate special needs students, and the OCONUS Directory of schools specifically states that Misawa is not staffed or resourced for children with autism. (This matches what I'd already seen on the DoDEA websites.)Further, there are *no* locations in PACAF that can ensure ABA therapy services through the DoDEA schools or through local community services.

She recommended strongly we act through our local EFMP for possible options.

So it looks like EFMP will declare Misawa a no-go; after that, when they go through the obligatory submission of our needs to five other PACAF bases, those will also be declared a no-go; and then they'll have to figure out what to do with Tom next.

My money's on a two-year unaccompanied remote to Misawa, with me and the Zodlings staying here. :(

Getting PCSed to another CONUS base while Tom's gone, to wait for him to return, is also a strong possibility. :(
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Next week. ::sideways look::

I have a good excuse for procrastinating, though.

Two, in fact.

First, due in part to office politics, Tom's section at work have been switched to providing 24 hour coverage of their desks, in 12 hour shifts. Tonight, for example, Tom's working 8 pm to 8 am tomorrow. He's had a couple days to adjust his sleep schedule, but in conjunction with reason two, it's played merry hell with mine.

Secondly, Mark once again has NOT responded well to daylight savings time. Bad enough when he wakes up shortly before 5 am, under the impression it's actually 6 am. This morning, he woke up between 3 and 3:30 am, and had to be repeatedly chased back to bed. Fortunately for me, Tom was still up, as part of his sleep schedule tweaking. But I couldn't get back to sleep, because every time Mark got sent back to bed, he screamed at the top of his lungs in rage and indignation. x_x

So no cross stitch today. Or baking. And I lack the active neurons to comment on my recent adventures in going dairy-free.

But we're working with his ABA therapist on the sleep problems. And he went to sleep within minutes of going to bed tonight. So I'm hoping I'll have more energy to do things, and blog about them, instead of venting about annoyances that pale in comparison to what the people in Sandy's path have to put up with.

In the meantime - laundry folding, then sleeeeeeep. Precious, precious sleeeeeep.
sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
Tom came home from work while the boys and I were in the middle of dinner, looking sick and wan, and went straight to bed without eating anything. He spent most of the night throwing up. We think he caught the bug Mark had earlier.

The boys and I finished our dinners, then watched tv for a bit before sending them to bed. As I laid on the couch afterwards, watching the tail-end of Dancing with the Stars, much to my astonishment I got smacked with an attack of IBS. God damn it, I've been really careful with my diet and activity levels! ::wince::

As a result, I did not make Mark-safe donuts from scratch for his pre-Halloween-parade breakfast at school this morning, as intended. Instead, I broke out the emergency can of Mark-safe cinnamon rolls this morning, and made him those. He was thrilled. Pissed that I insisted they were for school, mind you. Heh.

Shoved the boys into their school clothes and Mark into his Optimus Prime costume on top of his school clothes. Tossed them on their buses. Went to lie down on the couch like a Victorian invalid. Too tired to even watch tv, so I put on the local classical station's internet stream.

Feeling marginally better now, enough to get online and sip apple juice. Haven't eaten anything yet; but I'd better soon lest I cross the line into being sick from lack of food. :/

Tom's currently at work, because between the readiness exercise and the stuff going on at various bases affected by Sandy, NORAD Public Affairs has entirely too much to do. He called a little bit ago to check on me, and sounded miserable. Our original plan for Halloween was for him to take Mark out trick-or-treating while I stayed home with Jack and passed out candy, and then we'd appropriate anything not Mark-safe (which would be just about everything, cough). Right now it's looking like that will not happen. Mark won't mind. He doesn't entirely grok trick-or-treat, and there's three cinnamon rolls left for him to nom.

I am going to lay back down after checking email. I got all the domestic goddess projects done that HAD TO be done within the last day or two; I can and absolutely need to take a break before Zodlings return.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling well enough to work on my cross stitch some more. This project's so close to being done...
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
me, Tom, and Mark's ABA therapist (whom I suspect the special ed lady thinks is not coming as she persistently CCs the emails to everyone else) to discuss a behavioral plan and what kind of active supports we can get for Mark in the classroom.

Also Jack, as it will be 1 pm and he has morning preschool.

Wish me luck.
sethrak: (Bouncing_Panda)
Best of the medical ID bracelets I found; allows for four lines of info to be engraved, such as name, number to call if lost, and medical conditions. The clasp also looks (hopefully) Mark-proof.

Also considering getting some of these temp tattoos, one for "I have autism, help me be found!" and a blank space to write the number with a washable marker, and one for warning people about his peanut allergy.

Also, the El Paso County hazardous waste office takes broken CFLs for free, although they do appreciate donations for the local food bank, and tomorrow's one of the Saturdays when they are open 9 am to 1 pm.

Ay yi yi

Jun. 18th, 2012 03:56 pm
sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
Repeated attempts to call Ms. Casebolt result in voicemail messages left but not returned.

Called the Airman & Family Readiness Center again, seeking their EFMP contact person, and was told their contact person was "not in the office at this time", would I like to be transferred to her voicemail? Yes I would.

Voicemail recording informs me that this box belongs to the person I already knew was on leave until July 2nd.

Tried one of the other numbers I had for EFMP contact, from Tom and the local EFMP Facebook page. They told me I really need to call Family Advocacy, at a different number.

Family Advocacy says I need to call Ms. Casebolt - I explained this was the person whose voicemail I kept getting - or a Sgt, Brandyberry. (A hobbitish name if ever I heard one.) Also, I would do well to simply take my paperwork to the EFMP office, adjacent to the Women's Health clinic here on base, and talk to them. Family Advocacy says that the EFMP office there is where both Ms. Casebolt and Sgt. Brandyberry are located, and even if they are not there the people who are there are who I need to see.

In between all this, I keep dragging Jack off the coffee table, Mark out of the coat closet, and repairing the mini-blinds on the back door, with which Jack is enraptured.

:;temple rub::

Since ABA for tomorrow also got cancelled, I am going to take the boys over to the clinic tomorrow morning and talk to people face to face.

Yay for government-run health care.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
(Yay for military acronym alphabet soup!)

We do not, as it turns out, go through her with the finished EFMP paperwork. We contact a different person over at Peterson Medical Group, whose office happens to be near the pediatrics clinic, and whose name and number I now have.

Going to check on Mr. Jack first, and feed him breakfast if awake, before tackling this next step.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Stressing, and mildly abusing Dr. Pepper.

There WILL be an allergy-kid table, because while individual classrooms are declared peanut-free if students in them are allergic, the school as a whole is not, and therefore plenty of kids can and will bring peanut-laden foods for lunch.

We absolutely CAN send him with a bag lunch from home, even if he didn't have allergies; the rules about packaged and processed snacks vs. home-made food only apply to treats served to kids en masse.

We can request an attendant for him at lunch, and I certainly plan to. Quite apart from the allergy issue, he won't stay put at his lunch table otherwise.

We can request a paraprofessional to work with him during classtime and help him focus, although getting that's a little less certain. I hope we can. He will do SO much better in class that way.

Aside from that? it's a matter of getting a teacher who fits well. Dani won't be able to attend today's meeting, but she says Jane, a staffer at Friday school whom I've never met, will be there and has worked with Mark a great deal. She also says Mark is in a very good place to handle the academic side of kindergarten, allowing for his developmental state, right now, and despite the issues we've been having with complaints from his teacher, in HER experience, Mark is not a remotely aggressive child.

That made me feel better. Still stressed, and inclined to supplement the Dr. Pepper with chips, dip, and sushi. But better.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Was awakened shortly before 6 am by Mark figuring out we'd left a Backyardigans dvd in the player, and turning it on very very loudly. ^_^;;

Came downstairs to find he'd already discovered four of the plastic eggs Tom hid, carefully opened them, then arranged them in a row on the floor by the coffee table. So cute.

Good thing I secured the baskets in the laundry room, or we'd have torn bits of grass green tissue paper strewn all over, and Jack's bunny would probably be broken before he had to see it.

Got my hair done yesterday afternoon. It's a trifle more red licorice than I anticipated, but it's cute, and I like it. :D Tom's taking a pic later so I can finally get a FB icon that isn't the default silhouette. Will probably post it here at some point.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
I seldom have time to go to church, much less for quiet spiritual contemplation of the sort associated with Lent.

Nevertheless, I am filled with deep-seated wordless joy and gratitude to God when Mark, of his own volition, demonstrates he can say larger and larger chunks of the Lord's Prayer with me at bedtime.
sethrak: (Default)
I wasn't having a great day anyway. I might as well signal boost a few disturbing articles, and hope the outrage incurred does some good.

Fair warning: The third set of articles I am going to link to may be extremely triggering for those who have be subjected to abuse or who have had bad experiences with doctors. I will warn again before the links themselves.


The story of an 18 year old young man with asperger's, arrested apparently because he was sitting under a tree at a library next to a school, and someone thought he looked threatening.

Stories like that make me terribly afraid for Mark's adulthood.


An article from NYTimes online, regarding a new theory by some educators that kids don't actually need best friends, and it's better to discourage any kind of close friendships among children because they shouldn't be too possessive of their friends.

Of particular troubling note: "As the calendar moves into summer, efforts to manage friendships don’t stop with the closing of school. In recent years Timber Lake Camp, a co-ed sleep-away camp in Phoenicia, N.Y., has started employing “friendship coaches” to work with campers to help every child become friends with everyone else. If two children seem to be too focused on each other, the camp will make sure to put them on different sports teams, seat them at different ends of the dining table or, perhaps, have a counselor invite one of them to participate in an activity with another child whom they haven’t yet gotten to know. "

Oh my word. How interfering and helicopter-ish is that?

Not every kid is going to be able to make friends with every other kid. Adults aren't friends with all other adults, nor should they be expected to do so. Why impose that kind of artificial 'friendship' on children? As long as they're civil to one another, and don't engage in bullying, leave them alone.

I can about guarantee, as friendless and shy and lonely as my childhood often was, I'd rather have had genuine connections, rather than knowing the other kids were forced to invite me over to play, and rather than being forced to interact with the ones who were the worst bullies.

I fully expect to see an article about this soon on my feed from Free Range Kids.


Fair warning, this article I am linking to regards an appalling story of medical abuse, which may be triggering to those who have had bad experiences with doctors, or sex abuse, or who simply have little girls whom they love dearly.

Apparently some genius at Cornell University thinks it's legitimate medical research to surgically excise portions of five year old girls' clitorises, then stitch them back together. Then he conducts followup exams involving applying vibrators to the now six year old girls, and recording their responses.

Article from The Stranger:

Article criticizing the highly dubious ethics of this study:

Correlating blog post by one of the authors of the critical article:

Post by [personal profile] copperbadge, including some of these links, and more concerning where to write letters:

I do not have the words to fully articulate my rage and disgust at this man. How the hell did he get approval for these studies? Even setting aside (but definitely NOT forgetting) the shoddy science behind these surgeries doing any good at all, or at least doing no harm, who the HELL thought it was ok to do the followups? What kind of parents agreed to it? What kind of person would even consider trying it in the first place?!

These poor little girls are going to suffer severe psychological trauma. Odds are they'll have severe physical impairment as they mature. And there's absolutely no evidence that having 'overly large' clits did them any harm to begin with.

I... just.... I.... GAH.


sethrak: (Default)

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