Artificial color and high carbs = gah

So we’ve been trying to avoid artificial colors and keep a decent amount of protein in the kids’ diets. It’s been working very well – I learned just how well today.

Faith had artificially colored cereal for breakfast, and not much milk, so lots of carbs… and this afternoon has been awful. Gilbert too.

Abby, Trixie and Bede are unaffected.

So now we know!

my little hacker

So. Bede continues to amaze.

We have several computers in this house. OK, more than several. We have five. One is exclusively Bede’s, one is for Faith and Abby, one is mine and two are Sean’s (the old Mac and the new Mac.) Bede has been using the computer since he was two years old and taught himself to read and it is a necessary item for him. He will likely favor typed and written communication over spoken for the rest of his life. He loves the computer. LOVES.

He generally confines himself to his machine, leaving the girls’ computer alone (all the family computers are in the livingroom.)  But sometimes he wanders over and fools with theirs. I’ve never worried because I had passwords on the accounts, so what could he do, right? He wouldn’t hurt their stuff, but he might rearrange favorites, or rename files on their desktop, or in some other way be pesky and little brother like on their account. ANd mine needed to be secure because it’s administrator level and he could really screw something up.

He hacked the passwords.

From a combination of watching us type them and sheer luck, he figured out what they were and was delightedly clicking about on the girls’ account. As I said to a friend, HE IS FOUR YEARS OLD. FOUR, people!

I think we’re in real trouble here. Let’s hope he uses his powers for good instead of evil.

Presidential Candidate Quiz

70% John McCain
70% Mitt Romney
68% Fred Thompson
67% Tom Tancredo
63% Mike Huckabee
55% Ron Paul
48% Rudy Giuliani
47% Chris Dodd
46% Hillary Clinton
45% Bill Richardson
45% John Edwards
44% Barack Obama
36% Joe Biden
30% Mike Gravel
25% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Well, that’s interesting. Now all my friends who have results flipped from mine are thinking “How can she like those guys???”

I’m a riddle wrapped in a mystery wearing a vest.

My darling brother

Is ill, and in the hospital. They don’t know what’s wrong with the man, and they’re at the head scratching point of “Huh. Got me.”

I think he’s pretty inconsiderate to go and get sick enough for hospital admittance when I’m 39 weeks pregnant, don’t you? The nerve.

Anyway, if you could keep him in your thoughts and prayers, I’d appreciate it. I’m quite fond of him, you see. You would be too, if you knew him.

 UPDATE: Not admitted, yay! Kept on an IV abx for the afternoon, given multiple blood tests, scheduled for more tests, but by gum sent home. Whew.

cramped up feeling

I’ve had intermittent contractions since about 5AM, but they aren’t getting any stronger or closer together, and they also stopped for a couple hours. I don’t think I’m in labor or anything, but it’s nice to know things are twirling towards freedom. I hadn’t had any real “your pregnancy will be over soon” sensations to speak of and it’s so nice to start getting some of them!

These milder contractions help the baby find the best places to be and help efface the cervix to thin it out. I dislike the term “false labor” applied to them because, unlike Braxton-Hicks contractions earlier in the pregnancy which aren’t actually leading to active labor, these are having an effect on the uterus, baby and cervix – just not necessarily a dilatory one. Prelabor contractions is okay.

Don’t you fret – I’ll post if anything changes.

Six days till EDD, woo!

Katie McCarron, in the words of her grandfather

Katie spent much of her life in the care of her paternal grandparents. Here are some of her grandfather’s words about her. 

I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie’s pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter.

Continue reading at

overheard in my house

Gilbert went over to Bede on the computer and poked a key or turned off the speakers just to get a reaction from Bede, because Gilbert is a pesky little brother. Bede reacted by saying “noooo! awk!” and pushed Gil into the sofa where he sat on his back. I remove Bede, Gil gets up and shoves Bede. I scold Gil, keep Bede from re-retaliating, and tell Gil not to bother Bede’s computer while he’s playing on it. Gil says “I didn’t bozzer it!” I roll my eyes and say “Don’t touch it, Gil. Be nice. Don’t bug Bede!” Gil says “But I want to bug Bede!”



I’m so big!

I guess I need to get a picture taken. I think this is the biggest baby belly I’ve ever had! I think I gained more weight with Gilbert than I have this time, but for sheer size I think I’m about maxed out.


Last chance to guess when and what, here!

Karen McCarron’s trial continues…

Autism Vox is doing a great job covering the trial. Here’s some of Day 3…

Gail McCarron recalled that her daughter-in-law said “‘I really wish Katie were dead,’” at least three to five times and also that “”if Katie had cancer, I could deal with it. But I’ll never accept autism’.” Gale McCarron also said that “toward the end,” Karen McCarron did not call Katie by her name, referring to the three-year-old as as “‘the kid.’”

And a bit more….

[Witnesses] said the topic of every conversation with her revolved around curing Katie’s autism. Negativity and hatefulness were ceaseless when she discussed the child, who they say she never hugged, kissed or praised after she was diagnosed with autism.

“It was never good enough,” Jennifer McCarron said. “She looked at Katie as a problem, and she got rid of her problem. There’s nothing more to it than that.”

As I write this, Bede is happily playing on his computer behind me (currently he’s at where he loves typing words and phrases in different fonts) and getting up every few minutes to run over to the front door and back to his chair as he warbles, grinning hugely. Lest you think life with Bede is always idyllic and charming, I will also note that last night at around 10:30PM he pooped (runny, bleck!), tried to clean it up himself (I appreciate the thought, not the actuality. Also, he was nakey.) and took a shower while I cleaned his chair and the glass of the computer monitor where he had gotten some. He did it in the space of about 2 minutes while I was getting a cup of water for Gilbert.

No it’s not always easy. But it’s always more than worth it. Always.

newborn ribbed hat pattern

I made a really little hat for a really little head. I’ll post a picture when there’s a little head to put it on.

This hat is very basic, very quick to knit, and VERY SMALL, truly a newborn or large preemie hat. It won’t fit a month old baby, for instance. Notice also the decreases change a bit towards the end to make a rounder crown. Please comment if you find any errors in my pattern!

Yarn is Peaches and Creme 100% cotton, and not much of it. One ball is more than plenty. (Any worsted weight cotton will do, but wouldn’t you rather support a lovely American made yarn like Peaches and Creme?)

I used US size 8 DPNs (5mm), use whatever gets you a gauge of 4st/in in st st AFTER washing and drying.

Cast on 48 stitches in a nice, stretchy cast on. I like the Twisted German cast on, but a standard long tail cast on is probably okay, if you do it loosely. 48 stitches conveniently means 16 stitches per needle.

Join and K1 P1 for 18 rows.

Row 19: *work in pattern for 6 stitches, k2tog*

Row 20: work in pattern as established, knittng the knits and purling the purls

Row 21: *work in pattern as established for 5 stitches, k2tog*

Row 22: as row 20

Row 23: *work in pattern as established for 4 stitches, k2tog*

Row 24: as row 20

Row 25: *work in pattern as established for 3 stitches, k2tog*

Row 26: *work in pattern as established for 2 stitches, k2tog*

Row 27: *work in pattern as established for 1 stitch, k2tog*

Row 28: *k2tog*

Cut yarn, draw through remaining stitches, poke through middle hole, weave in all ends. I split the yarn into its plies and wove those in as invisibly as possible so the hat was reversible. Machine wash and dry hat to tighten stitches, find newborn still wet behind ears to put on, and you’re done.

ssi update


You wouldn’t think it would be so exhausting to sit in a room with a hundred other people for four hours, would you?

But it is.

We finally got the last bit of paperwork filed for Bede’s SSI, and we should get it beginning in February! Yay!

Comments I fielded during my time in the waiting room:

  • Wow, you look like you’re about to pop! (x4)
  • Your sixth? (x5)
  • Knitting? I could never do that. (x2)
  • Homeschooling? I could never do that. (x3)
  • Wow, autistic? I bet he’s amazing huh? (x1)
  • Oh, autistic? Is there any, you know, hope for kids like that? (thankfully, only x1, and I think she knows that autism is Really Okay, now. No thanks to Autism Speaks. Jerks.)

Whew, again. OK, I’m really ready to have the baby now. Nothing else to do before labor hits, so come on, bring it!

Karen McCarron’s trial to begin tomorrow

I don’t have cable or watch much TV, so I don’t know if this trial is getting any national publicity.

Karen McCarron had a daughter, Katie. Katie was autistic. Katie is described by her loving and heartbroken family as “beautiful, precious and happy.” Here’s a picture of Katie:

(What follows involves the murder of a child, so if you don’t want to read it I understand.) 

Karen decided she wanted a “life without autism” and she suffocated 3-year old Katie with a plastic bag while she was at her (Karen’s) mother’s home, then took Katie’s body back to their home, carried her body upstairs (past other family members) and put her in bed, then returned to her mother’s home to dispose of the bag.  The next morning she tried to overdose on over the counter medication, and confessed to the police.

After countless delays, Karen’s trial begins tomorrow. I trust that justice will be served.

Myself, I don’t want a life without autism, thanks. I like my life just fine. Rest in peace, little girl.

learning about disability

Hala had me go to Wikipedia for a brief intro to the social model of disability. I’m still reading and learning, but this stuck out to me, and is exactly what I’m getting at:

The social model of disability is often based on a distinction between the terms ‘impairment’ and ‘disability.’ Impairment is used to refer to the actual attributes (or loss of attributes) of a person, whether in terms of limbs, organs or mechanisms, including psychological. Disability is used to refer to the restrictions caused by society when it does not give equivalent attention and accommodation to the needs of individuals with impairments.

Thanks Hala. You’re teh awesome.

ssi, disability

We applied for SSI for Bede last year. I can’t remember if I blogged about it at the time or not. For those who don’t know what that is, SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income, and it’s much like Social Security Disability, except it’s for people who have never paid Social Security taxes and is funded from the general federal budget. So, in a general sense you can think of it as being like SSDI, pretty much.

Anyway, we found out today that he was approved for it. It maxes out at around $640 a month, and we don’t yet know how much he’ll receive. We plan to immediately begin using it for at least monthly occupational therapy (he’s never had any because we couldn’t afford it) and more frequent visits to his psychologist. All of that will depend on how much his payment is, which will be dependent on our income, which we have to update for the SSA. Clear as mud?

I have some interesting feelings about the whole thing. I’m VERY happy that this money will be available to Bede. I know he will really benefit from OT and seeing his psychologist more often. But at the same time it is a heavier yoke to bear for me as I am reminded that my son is considered disabled. Even the gummint thinks so. Myself, I forget that he is. It sounds silly that I could live with this little naked boy who cannot really speak and forget somehow that he is, but I do forget it.

I don’t think of him as disabled. Impaired, handicapped… sure. But not disabled. I just don’t think that’s what he is.

Ah me. Ran out of steam, I think. In the meantime the ABFH has a post on a similar topic, here. She’s more eloquent than I. She didn’t have a 22mo clinging to her leg or trying to reboot the computer, no doubt.

Now that there’s a handicap.