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going jesus

the adventures of the church secretary at St. Ned of Flanders Episcopal Church

Updated: 2010-01-08T11:23:54.315-08:00


the prodigal blogger returns


Hi, person who uses an rss reader! You should change your rss feed to the one @

the prodigal blogger returns


While I was off contemplating my own navel, blogger decided to remove the ability for me to publish my drivel to this site, so it seems like a good time to pack up and move. From here on out, I'll be publishing on a different platform @

extreme kitchen makeover


I just posted about Isaac's refurbished play kitchen over on my much-neglected craft blog. It's kinda awesome.




Happy 2010! Later, 2009. Don't let the door smack ya on your ass on the way out, stupid year.

In many ways, there's not much to show for 2009. I pulled inward a lot, especially after Isaac's diagnosis. Getting services for him and getting my head around the autism was a much larger effort than it seemed at the time; it's not surprising that I didn't have much energy left over.

The best thing to come out of the year is that Dennis and I are on very strong footing as a couple; I think this was the year we really learned how to take care of each other. We solidified into a family, instead of two adults staring at a small human trying to figure out what it wants. The statistics on marriages with kids on the spectrum are pretty effing grim, so I'm relieved that we're actually in a better place now than we were last year, even with all the additional anxiety and stress.

And of course, Isaac is just awesome. He really is. School is going very well for him and we're seeing great progress. He has more words and makes eye contact and plays with friends a bit more and today I got a very natural, "hi, mama!" when he and Dennis came home from the park. His favorite game right now is pretend sneezing - all I have to do is start saying, "RRRRAAAAAAAAAAAA..." and he will fill in, "CHOOOO!" and then we do it back and forth for a ridiculously long time. This is pure comedy gold. Trust me.

And here is Isaac in footie pajamas playing the piano, if you accept a loose definition of the word playing:

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He seems to have inherited Dennis' enthusiasm for all things musical, and will often sing along with whatever we're listening to in the car. We're trying out a dance class this week, too.

A few months ago, I bought a membership at the local children's museum, and it was a great decision. Isaac loves to go there, and having unlimited admissions takes the pressure off of any given trip. We can spend the whole time in one area or leave after half an hour, it's all up to Isaac. His favorite part is the huge water play area, which is why I always have to bring a complete change of clothing, down to shoes and socks. The smock is no match for him. Here's one of my favorite recent photos, in which Isaac experiments with fluid dynamics:




One of the good things about living in silicon valley is that there are so many ASD kids here that the school districts have programs in place for them starting at age 3 when they age out of Early Intervention services. So Isaac is now in a small (six kids!) preschool class just for kids on his part of the spectrum, with extra speech therapy a couple times per week. The class time is twice as long as his Early Intervention class was, so we ramped him up with partial days the first week, but now he's going for five hours a day and really likes it. He's happy and excited to get there every morning.

The evaluation the school district did at the beginning of October was the first eval where he's been fully tested for cognitive ability, and he scored just fine and age-appropriate in that area. I knew his little brain was whirring, but it was nice to see it in black and white. He has made a lot of progress in language and socialization in the last six months, but of course those delays are still the most significant. The report also called him cute, so that's official.

(image) I didn't have the energy to do anything awesome for Isaac for Halloween this year; he was quite happy to run around in his skeleton jammies from Gymboree, and he was a damn cute little skeleton. That's good enough for this year.

The hardest thing for me right now is that I am so focused on all the great progress Isaac is making that I get kind of blindsided when I'm around neurotypical kids and see what the rest of the two- or three-year-olds are up to. And then I feel deluded and pathetic for being so pleased with how well he's doing, when there is still so much ground to cover. I'm still trying to find the right balance of optimism and concern I guess.

He's being super-affectionate lately; he has a move where he sort of wraps his arms around your head and squeezes you close to him. He's also trying to figure out how to give kisses, but for now it's kind of awkward and slimy (and sweet, of course, but mostly awkward and slimy).

Gratuitous cuteness: Isaac drives a fire engine.




Isaac's birthday party was last Sunday, and I'm finally getting around to recapping!

The theme of the party was Plan 3 From Outer Space, obviously a riff on a certain b-movie.

I did some space decorating on the back patio. The wind did a number on the fringe on the roof.

The lattice is covered with CDs.

I also taught myself the fine art of spray-paint spacescapes. I am now qualified to paint the sides of rusted-out vans. I thought the results were reasonably decent, though. The first project is a sunshade over Isaac's sandbox/rock quarry. The sun really beats down on it in the afternoon, so I painted an old blackout vinyl shade and attached it under the canopy.

The banner is another old roller shade. It didn't take the paint as well as the other one did.

Isaac loves numbers, so I made a countdown banner using scrapbook paper.

What we really want to see is THE CAKE, right? Leigh suggested a UFO cake. This is what she came up with:


It's a silver spaceship full of little green tentacled aliens, beaming me and Dennis up.

I have never been gum paste before! There are windows to see what the aliens are up to - namely, all of Isaac's favorite activities!

Playing with trains:
Splashing in a wading pool:
Eating pretzels:

In between the windows were infinity mirrors. The whole thing took multiple 9-volt batteries to power all the LED lights. There was also a powered turntable to spin the saucer. (more details on the cake are here!)


The party itself was fun; we had a bounce house on the front lawn. Isaac loved it.


I can't believe he's three. Today was his birthday and we declared it Isaac-Palooza: Everything Isaac Loves Day. Which isn't all that different from his usual weekend routine, of course. We went to the farmer's market and saw the big clock strike 11 and watched Mighty Machines and went to the park. So far, Isaac really likes being three!


your heart is a glorious MIGHTY MACHINE


There is so much going on inside Isaac's little blond head. A few recent highlights:

He loves to clap and say YAY! given even the slightest excuse. Dennis was watching some of the press coverage of Sen. Kennedy's death last week, and they showed a clip of one of his speeches, and when the audience burst into applause, so did Isaac.

Also, the number after 10 is YAY. I suspect this is because he has a very cute embroidered counting picture above his changing table, and after almost every diaper, we stop to count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 and then clap and say YAY! Sometimes he climbs up there himself (grrrrr...) and counts and claps. He knows what order the numbers go in, and can identify them. We've been playing with his number train floor puzzle which goes to 20, and trying to introduce the next set of numbers after YAY. YAYleven, YAYelve...

He has been trying out other words (bubble, pop, doggie) but none of them have stuck the way YAY has.


He played with a friend this weekend! Nathan (3.5) came over and they did their usual "I am playing with these trucks, you are playing with those trucks don't touch my truck!" parallel play, which is pretty age-appropriate, but then they started playing a chasing game around the house and were interacting with each other! Nathan would chase Isaac out of his room into the living room, and then Isaac would push Nathan back toward his room (which is Isaac for, "I'd like you to go over there now, please,") and chase him in there. They were giggling and out of breath and kept it up for a very long time. It was freaking awesome.

He only has about six weeks left of his current program, because once he turns three he's officially the school district's problem and will need to transition to their program. He has a bunch of evaluations scheduled and we have meetings coming up and I'm mostly trying not to be a giant ball of anxiety about it, and I'm researching private programs even though I can't imagine how we'd pay for it. It's a constant ball in the pit of my stomach. I'm not good at uncertainty. Dunno if you've noticed that about me.

My parents are on their way out here right now, and I'm taking next week off from work to hang out with them and maybe try to relax a bit. What I really need is some creative time. I've been knitting, but I really need to do an insane project for the house or dust off the sewing machine or something, because I'm feeling - what's the word they use for Isaac when he's off-kilter? Unregulated. I am unregulated, and the best cure for that usually involves fabric or paint or glitter or all three.

Random link of awesomeness: Leigh's most recent cake. She's already working on plans for Isaac's third birthday cake. Stay tuned.

funny paws


We have the beggingest cats who ever begged. To review, our feline companions are Bea, who showed up at our door at about the time we brought Isaac home from the hospital and announced that we needed a little black kitten with a fluffy tail; and Gracie, she of the deformed feet and soft soft blonde fur. They look at us accusingly and perform their Yowlathon for Empty Bowl Syndrome (we can stamp out EBS in our time! Yes, technically that is food in our bowls, but we would like an upgrade.), and we fill in their ultimate selling points - "I was homeless!" "I have funny paws!"

I feel like right now "My kid has autism!" is my "I have funny paws!" Not that I'm using it as an excuse, except maybe for why I've put about 20 of the 45 pounds I lost last year back on. I'm doing a study on Pie Therapy for the treatment of OFMKHA (Oh Fuck My Kid Has Autism) Syndrome. Early results are promising, including a serious benefit for suppliers of Fat Jeans. No, it's more just this basic weird new fact of my life that I find myself constantly trying to get my head around.

That's all coming off a lot more self-centered than I mean it to; I know this isn't about me and my pie-lust, but I'm starting to try to process what this means for me and for Dennis as well as for Isaac. Hopefully, this is healthy. I haven't really crashed the way I did after Isaac was born; I've cried a bunch at totally random times, but overall we're handling this, at least for the moment.

small breakthroughs


(image) Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone. They are much appreciated.

One nice side-effect of having in-home therapy is that my house looks reasonably good at least two days a week. I did a massive anxiety-clean before the first visit, since they were videotaping us (eep!) and I didn't want anyone viewing the tape to be distracted by the dust-buffalo (they're way beyond bunnies at this point) stampeding under the train table. Since then, I've been doing a compulsive straightening on therapy days.

Over the weekend, Isaac started playing a "put mama and daddy to bed" game - this isn't too surprising given that we've had some (ahem) struggles around bedtime lately, probably related to the giant upheaval in his daily schedule now that he's in school every day and having additional therapy most days.

Anyway, he herded us into his room and pushed us on his bed (currently a twin mattress on the floor, after a total refusal to accept the adorable toddler bed) and then closed the door. Since we were playing the Isaac role, we wouldn't stay in bed, cried at the door, wandered out, etc. He was giggling with delight as he rounded us up and sent us back to bed, and said "night-night!" as he pushed Dennis' head back on the pillow. That's the first night-night we've ever gotten, and he was also saying "Daddy!" so if we want to use a very loose definition, he was using a two-word combo. Yeah, it might not hold up in court, but we thought it was very exciting. It was also the first time we've seen him role-play like that; he seems to be inching toward symbolic thought lately.

Last night, I put on a Mighty Machines video for him while I got his room ready to start the bedtime routine, and when I said it was time to get ready for bed, he gave me a crafty smile and did a perfect three-point gaze (tv, me, back to tv) and got pretty close to the sign for "more" - the little monkey was asking for more video! Of course I praised him all over the place and let him watch one of the short episodes. Hey, if watching stock footage of Canadian dumptrucks motivates him to communicate, I'm not going to argue.



(only without the dance numbers)

So...yeah...let's be honest. I've been avoiding you. Nothing personal, it's just this...thing...I haven't wanted to talk about, but it's really, really hard to talk about anything else because it's all related.

However, just to get it out of the way - I am not pregnant, unemployed, divorcing, growing a tail, starring in a reality series, or under indictment.

We gots teh Autism.

Isaac is, as they say, On The Spectrum. That's pretty much all we know right now, except for the stuff we've known all along - this is one amazing little boy. His strengths far outweigh his challenges, and we've put together Team Isaac to get him tons of help. He's getting five days of his special preschool per week, plus therapy at home and at the International House of Boodles. I went there with the therapist last week, to introduce her to Isaac's wonderful daycare ladies, and they brought out all their photos of Isaac and basically gave him a ringing endorsement. It was so sweet.

So that's where we are now. We have a happy laughing boy who needs some extra help to figure some things out. He also needs to be squirted repeatedly with the garden hose, needs a haircut, and would like a few minutes alone with the vacuum cleaner, just to look at it and maybe take it apart just a little bit. He's two and he's awesome. So is his dad (awesome, not two); this whole thing is giant glittery proof that against pretty much everyone's expectations, I managed to get a really, really good man to marry me and knock me up.

We've also had to quickly grow into the Isaac's Advocates costumes because, at least at the beginning of the process of getting evals, etc., nothing happens without pushing and cajoling and sending light-but-pointed emails. Good thing I'm so fucking charming.

The hardest thing so far has just been staying in the moment and remembering that we have zero idea how this will turn out. I mean, this is the guy who couldn't walk more than a few steps on his own at the beginning of the year, and now he runs everywhere. So what the hell do I know about the future? That would be: nothing. Same as always.



Here are a few of my recent projects around the house. A big chunk of our living room is basically Isaac's play area; his train table is there and there are Ikea Expedit units to hold his toys, along with a bin system for the little things I'm always stepping on. So we're not exactly talking about a sophisticated environment.

A while ago, I started buying vintage children's puzzles from the 50s-70s. I love the colors and the graphics. Isaac is a puzzle enthusiast of the highest order, but he gets more modern versions, at least for now. So to show off the collection, I glued the pieces in and put hangers on the back and made a puzzle wall.


Not all of the puzzles I've bought are 100% awesome; in cases where there are missing pieces or the puzzle is just blah, I've reused the pieces by putting magnets on the back. My fridge is so festive!


This is the door from the living room to Isaac's room. The door of SCIENCE! It's covered in game boards and the covers of science and space books. It's still in progress, I need a few more books to fill in at the bottom.


I know, I know...I don't call, I don't write.


I honestly don't know what has happened to the last two months; I've
been so busy and distracted that I completely missed them.

Work has been insane for both me and Dennis; it's all good and interesting but I'm having a hard time managing my anxiety level a lot of the time. I need to get better at stepping away and putting it all in a little box for the next day.

(image) My reward for managing to get away from my computer is that when I get home, Isaac does his little Mama Is Home Dance, which pretty much involves running in circles and smiling and leading me around by the hand. It's awesome. I love it.

We're still very pleased with Isaac's new preschool program, and he's going to get his services increased over the next few weeks to include some one-on-one work. He's still not talking much, but he's communicating more, so there is progress.

He's a very busy guy, and oh so fast. We had our first visit to Radiology last weekend, for a series of leg/foot x-rays after a furniture-climbing incident ended in an awkward dismount. Fortunately, there wasn't a fracture and he was running again within a few days. Crazy monkey. He's definitely a Climber. We're living a more minimalist lifestyle at the moment, to cut down on opportunities for him to climb up furniture. Of course, part of me is secretly delighted to see him working out intricate plans involving (quietly) bringing his low push-wagon over to the kitchen counter, then (quietly) putting his floor drum inside that and climbing on top. Obviously, the delight kicks in after I have removed him from the HORRIBLE ROLLING SAFETY HAZARD. There's a Wile E. Coyote quality to his scheming. I'm on the lookout for deliveries from ACME.


remembering to blog


Argh. My apologies for the absence, it was not at all intentional. It has just been a super-busy two months at our house.

Isaac started a new therapeutic preschool program, and so far it's everything that the other program was supposed to be and so totally wasn't. It's three mornings a week, and I think after four weeks we're almost into the new routine. We're seeing communication progress already. We also finally pulled off a successful hearing test, and Isaac can hear just fine, which was a huge relief.

I turned 39 in April, and Dennis and I celebrated with a night! away! in Santa Cruz. There is a B&B that we really like, and thanks to the craptastic economy and our willingness to be there on a Monday night, we got a great deal on their best suite, the one with its own private deck and hot tub. It was wonderful; the boardwalk was open for spring break, so we got to ride the bumper cars and play skee-ball. I love Santa Cruz. Dennis' mom watched Isaac, who enjoyed his Grandma spoiling immensely.

I have been out @ garage sales or flea markets every weekend, and have had some major Thrift Karma happening. Recent finds range from a big plastic slide for Isaac ($5!) to a really bizarre piece of fabric printed with tips for enjoying your sauna use. In Finnish.

(linked to flickr image if you want a better look)

I did a little makeover on this garage sale find to make it fit in with Isaac's room:


And, because I can't not post photos of the boy, here is Isaac with his trains.



Most weekends, we take a walk downtown. Isaac is always especially interested in a big clock on the plaza, which has a kinetic sculpture in its base that sends balls down a track to ring the chimes. There's a photo of it in the previous post. It's pretty cool.

He always does a thorough inspection to see if they have added an On switch for him. Today we were right there at 4:00 and saw the whole sequence, which is rather impressive. Isaac just tried to take it all in.


Afterward, he grabbed Dennis' hand and pulled it towards the glass. We are very familiar with this gesture, which means, "Please, dear parent, would you be so kind as to repeat/turn on/move this thing for me? Thank you ever so much." He seemed very confused when we couldn't make it go again. I suspect he thinks we're just holding out on him.

like a blog post, but more boring



Look at the happy boy! Almost makes you forget that I have totally lost the will to blog lately, right?


As you can see, we officially have a Boy Who Walks. We have more boy than ever following a recent growth spurt, and I finally got around to retiring almost all of his 18-month size clothes this weekend.

Talking is coming along albeit a bit more slowly. We changed insurance in January so we've been in referral limbo but he has a bunch of appointments next month to get his hearing checked and see the developmental specialist.

We lasted in the developmental preschool for about two weeks. That exact program was selected for us using such scientific methods as "who has an immediate opening" and it turned out to be a bad fit. Our service coordinator will call when there's another opening somewhere else, and we'll decide what to do then.

It's been an exhausting year so far, but damn that's an awesome kid we've got. He's so unrelentingly happy and enthusiastic about everything. He loves to sing and bounce and spin around and around until he gets dizzy and falls over giggling. It's fun to be Isaac!

slightly damaged


Isaac has been very enthusiastic about walking lately. Sometimes it doesn't go all that well, which is why he currently looks like he has been in the boxing ring. He did quite a faceplant into the train table yesterday.


Merry Christmas!



Isaac gave me exactly what I wanted for Christmas - lots of independent walking! He has been very steady on his feet since yesterday morning, and is walking longer distances than ever. We're still talking "halfway across the kitchen" and not a 10k fun run, but he's definitely getting the hang of it.

We all have awful colds, so it's a very mellow, not-infecting-others kind of Christmas for us.

later addition: the best part of today was probably watching Isaac investigate the big box of packing peanuts my parents sent. Of course, there were awesome presents inside as well, but the peanuts were a total thrill and he spent a long time sitting in the box and throwing the peanuts out. The time I spent cleaning up afterwards (all hail the dustbuster!) was so worth it.

(image) (image)

Merry Christmas!


this just makes me happy



This may be the only time anyone ever describes Isaac's brain as Normal, so let's savor the moment, shall we?


The Neurologist just called to tell us that everything was normal on Isaac's MRI! So we're done with that whole line of inquiry, which was entirely too scary for me to even wrap my head around.

He is home today with Random Toddler Crud, Snot Division, and I'm home with him since I think I may be getting it, too. He feels well enough to lay waste to the house, anyway.

two years!


Today is the two-year anniversary of bringing Isaac home from the hospital!


In current-day news, we now have An Actual Plan for Isaac. He's going to go to a special preschool three mornings a week starting in January, where there will be a speech therapist and a physical therapist and occupational therapists, and they'll work with him and with us (it's parent participation-style preschool, so one of us will attend with him). It sounds like it's going to be really good for him, and the therapists can refer him for more one-on-one time if they think he would benefit from more intensive work after observing him at the school.

Last Thursday, we had to take Isaac for the MRI his neurologist ordered. I was a total stressball about it from the moment it was scheduled, mostly because he needed to be sedated (holding still not being one of Isaac's hobbies). But it wasn't too bad; he couldn't eat after midnight (insert Gremlins joke here) so he was hungry and grumpy that morning, but really he was nicer about the whole thing than I probably would have been. I hate hate hated watching them put the mask on him to put him under. Dennis and I went to the waiting room, where I stress-knit. He was a little groggy when they brought him back to us, but alert enough to grab for the snack I offered him. By the time we got home, he was happy and went straight to playing. We'll hear back from the neurologist soon with the results, but I'm not expecting anything alarming.

I have a biggish empty Amazon box in the kitchen, which Gracie thinks is just for her. Of course, this means that Isaac has a fabulous Cat In A Box toy. From Gracie's perspective, I think it's something like: la la la la I'm sleeping in my box happy happy ARRRRGH GODZILLA! Poor Gracie. Bea pretty much gets ignored by Isaac (maybe because she picks her napping spots more intelligently, favoring no-boy-zones like Dennis' office), but he thinks Gracie is comedy gold.

can you hear me now?*



Isaac's second hearing test was no more useful than the first one. He didn't melt, but he also wasn't interested enough to provide any real data. There's another kind of test they can do, so hopefully I can get that scheduled soon.

I spent most of the weekend decorating the house for Christmas (or maybe just a really, really sparkly Advent, which is of course the exact opposite of what Advent is supposed to be, but ZOMG PIXIE ELVES!!). I haven't really decorated since 2005, so there was some pent-up energy there.

Yesterday morning, I had some friends over to make ornaments (ha! take that, crippling social anxiety!). I bought a lot of sequins and styrofoam and ribbons for super-festive Balls of Sparkle, and we also made some rather ridiculous dork-tastic ornaments using dead keyboards I salvaged from my office. Here is the IS4AC one:


Yes, the aluminum tree is up. It's not spinning this year, though; in the interest of averting cat- and/or toddler-related disaster, I decided to anchor it to the wall so it can't tip over. I'm actually less concerned about Isaac getting into it, since we watch him closely and have a gate up, but this is also Bea's first experience with the tree, and she's not the sharpest bag of hammers in the toolbox. I'm sticking to the shatterproof ornaments for the tree this year; the breakable ones are hanging from the picture rail molding in the living room.

I'm really not in a position to do another Cavalcade this year, but of course I reserve the right to throw in a few bad nativities in the next few weeks.

*I wonder how many lameass blog posts there are in the world with that title.

I could still have an easy life


We got the report from Isaac's evaluation. The whole time we were there, they kept reiterating that we should not, repeat NOT flip out over the report and the numbers and percentages and everything. They have to quantify the level of delay so that a) he can qualify for services, and b) so that they have something against which to measure his progress. So I was prepared, and I knew what it was going to say, but reading the report was still a bit of a gut-wrench.We have a hearing test scheduled this week; this will be the second attempt, since the first one ended with a meltdown and it's hard to test subtle levels of hearing when the subject is howling with anger because his monster of a mama won't let him pull wires out of the wall. Toddler hearing tests are rather amusing; we were sitting in a soundproof room that had a speaker in each corner, mounted over a plexiglass box containing an animatronic stuffed animal. The audiologist was in an attached sound booth with a microphone, and her voice or a sound would come out of one of the speakers, and the associated animal would start dancing or playing the drums or whatever. So Isaac figured out that if he turned his head at the sound, he would get to see something cool. But then he saw the wires that make the whole thing work, and it was all over. I'm hoping for a better outcome this time. We also have a meeting with his service coordinator coming up next week, to go over the report and talk about what services he's getting and what that will look like.All of the stress and mindfuckery belongs to the parents; as far as Isaac is concerned, the world is awesome. His new favorite thing is YouTube; I thought it would be fun to show him the Isaac videos I've posted...he thought it would be fun to watch them again and again and again and again and again. And then once or twice more. His favorite one is the one called Gigglebutt from when he was about six months old. He laughs and laughs at that silly baby. Of course, the down side of this is that I can no longer use my laptop when he's around, because he immediately wants to get on my lap and watch Isaac or his other obsession, this crazy dog.In other fun-ness, I got to have my first-ever root canal yesterday. Whee.My new favorite site is One Pretty Thing, which aggregates all the fabulous DIY projects on the interwebz into one big inspiration pile.I was a bit hyper last weekend and finished sewing my shower curtain, which is made from one of the awesome new Heather Ross fabrics and has giant squid all over it. I do love me some giant squid. I also made some valances for the living room windows. I'm looking forward to more exciting productivity over the long weekend, including Christmas-ifying the house. The spinning aluminum tree IS going up this year, even if it has to go behind a gate. The only shopping I'm planning to do is a run to the yarn store at 6:00 a.m. to get 35% off the yarn for Dennis' new sweater. Given the fit issues on the last sweater I attempted to knit for him, I've selected a top-down pattern for this one, so that he can try it on as I'm working.Happy Thanksgiving! I keep having these odd moments where I feel vaguely guilty for having such an easy life, which is probably the sign of serious mental illness given that my life is...well, what it is. But it feels pretty easy lately, and I'm grateful for that.[...]

Isaac on the phone


Just a quick little video. He "talked" to my mom on the phone yesterday and decided that the phone is the best thing ever.

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mama stress-butt


Isaac had his evaluation for the Early Start program yesterday. Early Start is a program that hooks kids with developmental delays up with support like speech therapy or occupational therapy, and this intake appointment is the first step.

I've been a big ball of anxiety about it all week, mostly because I was pretty sure they were going to say that Isaac is awesome but his mama is doing everything wrong. Which didn't actually happen, but that's what it's like in my brain most of the time.

The three of us spent two hours with a developmental specialist and a motor specialist, and they determined that there is some gross motor delay (duh) and some communication delay, but much more on the receptive side than the expressive side. He doesn't have a lot of trouble letting us know what he wants, but he has trouble understanding what we say. None of this a real surprise, and he did score very well on fine motor skills and social/adjustment, so the news wasn't entirely upsetting.

The next step is to meet with the Early Start coordinator in the next few weeks, once they get the report from yesterday, and figure out the plan for Isaac and what services he'll be getting.

So the whole thing was pretty scary, but we came out of it with a better understanding of where his challenges are, and what we can do to help. They gave us a few simple suggestions for small changes to make with him, probably just so that we will feel like we're doing something while we wait for the next appointment. You know, besides googling and worrying.

I've dealt with all this anxiety in various ways, including stress knitting - in the past week, I've knit almost an entire Isaac-sized sweater, a bit of stress shopping, which is good in that I now have a few warm sweaters that aren't tent-like on me (I cannot seem to hit the -50lb. mark, possibly due to a few rounds of stress eating), and entirely too much online sudoku.

Speaking of knitting, there's still time to knit your Thanksgiving turkey hat!

happy halloween!


Isaac's porcupine costume:


It's not my best work, but it was still pretty cute. Isaac is very anti-hat (Mama: wrong on hats, wrong for America) so I didn't even bother making one. Not having a hat really limits your toddler costuming options.


He enjoyed having trick-or-treaters come to the door. Hi! Hi! Hi! He also thought the bowl of candy was awesome. It will be worse next year when he knows what's in the wrappers; this year he was content to dump it all out and put it back into the bowl.


A quick retrospective of Halloweens past:

First Halloween, age three weeks, Isaac The Pissed Off Burrito:

Second Halloween, starring Pissed Off Monkey:


There was a Pissed Off Porcupine, but I was too busy prying it away from my laptop to get a photo. That's what he's going for on the table. I'm so unreasonable about the laptop. Sure, I had to replace the keyboard after tiny fingers removed the C key but is that any reason to deny Isaac the thrill of modern technology? Is it?

THIS boy?


Find the person in this photo who is probably up to no good:


Thanks for all the kind words last week. I'm getting my equilibrium back, albeit slowly.

Dear This Week: please stop sucking. Love, Sara.


I'm going to try to keep the whining to a minimum, but seriously? This week is full of Teh Suck.

Monday: took Isaac to see the pediatric neurologist at the request of his pediatrician, to see if there's a reason why he's not walking or talking all that much. The answer is probably what I've thought all along, aka Isaac Does Stuff When Isaac Wants To, but they're going to do some tests to rule out anything meta. I filled out a mess of paperwork to get him a new developmental assessment which will probably lead to some occupational and physical therapy as well. His muscle tone is within the range of normal, but on the low end, so a bit of PT should help him along. The paperwork included a big section on When Did Your Baby Do X? so I had to go back in the blog and the flickr album to figure out when he started holding his head up and turning over. Remember when he used to just roll across the room to get around?

I'm having some really major anxiety about all of this, of course.

Tuesday: slammed at work, feeling a bit frantic, working late, check facebook on my way out the door...and find out that my grandfather died! One of my relatives had updated their facebook status about it. To be fair, my mom had called and left a message at my house, so that wasn't intended to be the official notification, but I still file it under tragically comic/comically tragic.

It's not like we didn't know it was coming, and very soon. I'm still randomly bursting into tears, though.

Those are the big ones. Also, the Rabbit is still at the body shop and I'm still driving a gigantic land yacht of a rental, Rustoleum decided that this is cooler than DiaperBot, and work is pulling me in 15 different directions at once and I feel like a giant failure.

On the up side, we finally cut Isaac's hair and he is now even more aggressively adorable. You almost don't want to look directly at him lest you be overwhelmed by the awesome. I'll get the photos off the camera soon.

End whine.