Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Toy Story Three

I could hear my husband laughing from my seat way at the back.  Watching Toy Story III together was a sheer delight.  I'm afraid I get motion sick, especially with 3D movies.  Sitting way at the back keeps me from getting queasy, but my guys were right and in the center and loving the action :)  It was an awesome family outing.

Other things to share:

This week's Objectivist Round Up.

Cute antics:
• hopping into a building with only one shoe on.  Why? Because, he decided to leave the other shoe in the car.
• taking to starting all sentences, even requests, with "of course".  For example regarding the tape player, "Of course.  Turn it back on."
• singing HMS Pinafore with full drama while playing with his legos, "What never?", "No, never.", "What never?", Well, hardly ever!"
• commenting as he finished some jerky, "I want more because I'm a carnivore." (He was highly pleased with his rhyme.)
• responding to a taste of Daddy's Gin, "Absolutely not!"
• deciding as we floated along the river that he only understood the words "uno" and "roho". (It lasted five minutes.)
• laughing at our paddling errors with, "You got me wet.  What a lovely mistake!"  (I was all grins.  Now, if I can only get him using "delightful", he'll have both of my favorite adjectives that I know I overuse.)
• coming up with the idea of a Hobbit based clue board which we made together.  As of the first game, Bilbo did it with a knife in the Misty Mountains.  I think it would have been much more engaging though if had been Beorn with the black arrow in Rivendell or Thorin with Smaug's fire in Hobitton!  
• grabbing my legs from behind at the top of stairs, he responded to my startled "Cameron!" with a long list of I-didn't-knows culminating with, "I didn't know that you could have fallen down the stairs!"  (Having enough time for my heart rate to come down, I asked how he knew now and he told me, "I figured it out when you startled me."  Sigh.  It's nice to know he'd figure out the problem as I was catapulting down the stairs, but a little forethought would keep my bones intact!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A "Typical" Day

Just a fun, quick post about a "typical" day here.  It's in quotes because, like most homes with kids, they just keep changing!  It's really a good thing if we want them to reach independence, but it certainly gums up the predictability works :)

Breakfast of homemade yogurt and a scramble while each family member shared about 3 good things that happened yesterday and one thing we were looking forward to today.

We picked up for the new cleaner who helps with deep cleaning.

We changed our Mommy School curriculum today to be all around "Lord of the Rings".  If boulders were falling, I'd say, "What if 9+4 boulders fell?  How many came down?" If we were practicing Verbalizing and Visualizing, I asked him to draw a picture in my head of what his tentacled water creature looked like through detailed descriptions. Practicing writing?  No problem.  He wrote "Bilbo" beautifully and the password to the gates of Moria was "friend" so that was an easy one to practice non-phonetic spelling.

Cameron continued his new love of spinning coins while I read to him and brought me a knife to un-wedge the dime when he stuck it into one of our number blocks.  (These blocks are a tool recommended by this optometrist with lots of experience with sensory challenged kids.  You ask the kid to add a number less than six to any number and then have them picture the dice number to make it easier.  For example, if he was trying to add 9+4, he could picture the 4 dots on the die and count up 10,11,12,13.  It's supposed to be easier to keep track of the counting when visualizing the picture of the die.)

I snuck in a quick email scan during movie pieces of Lord of the Rings.  We went back and forth as we usually do with a higher difficulty book, watching what we had already read.

Tightened Cameron's swim trunks which he wore all morning.

Baked up some of my triple chocolate cookies. (I always give house helpers, including cleaners, some kind of sweet treat.

Read "Sadie and the Snowman" which was fun and spurred a whole coversation about how air in water looks white (crashing waves, snow).

Drove to the swimming lesson (listening to a Henry Huggins audio book) and watched Cameron do some good back stroke.

Talked all about the importance of being patient when driving. (We were running late and I like to share what I'm feeling and thinking in those kinds of situations so he knows about the choices i.e. not driving unsafely even though we're in a hurry.)

Picked up fresh vegetables from the local farm stand.

Dropped off / picked up books at the library.

Dropped off Cameron for 50 minutes at Children's Therapy Center where he works with an occupational therapist and a peer to get controlled, coordinated movement in a social situation.  (That's a challenge for him.)

Called to make a car service appoint and dentist appoint, plus researched an opera ticket for Andrew and chopped up veggies / started some soup bubbling in those 50 minutes.

Ate dinner with Cameron who decided he wanted some of my soup so I did an impromptu whip up of more.

Talked about opening other people's mail and privacy since we were curious about a letter my husband received.

Made coffee ice cream to restock the freezer supply. (It's one of the few flavors son and husband agree on and I've been humoring the son a bit more recently.  He wanted cinnamon or butter pecan again.)

Cleaned dishes and prepared my husband's dinner while Cameron watched cartoons for twenty minutes.

Laughed as our psychotic, neighborhood ice cream truck went by playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

Sat down at my computer to see what was happening in the world (and posted my history teacher homework) in the 45 minutes before the babysitter arrived.

Went to Starbucks with my husband where we caught up with each other about the day and he ate dinner and then we went off to our joint voice lesson. 

Arrived home and finished typing this up. I'm ready to go upstairs and do some history reading homework before sleep.  (Slipped in making three new squares for Cameron's picture calendar before heading upstairs too.)

Just an ordinary day of bustling around and getting things done and I'm all smiles and, yes, ready to snuggle up with my book :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thyroid Update: Post Naturopath

I just got laboratory results back and it's been a busy few months, so I thought it was time for an update on this saga.  The good news, I'm making progress!  Since the last update, I saw a naturopath who looked at me and my labs and concluded: 
- I have refractory celiac disease (significant malabsorption issues that haven't resolved with removal of gluten)
- I should start on the T3 thyroid medicine without further delay.
- I should take Melatonin to help with sleep.
- I should take Betaine HCl with meals to improve absorption and continue with a multivitamin / fish oil/ Iodine (add amino acids).
- I might have B12 deficiency (They gave me a trial injection which had inconclusive results.)

I decided to tackle those recommendations one at a time to see if they made any difference.  It's taken several months to do the trials.

There wasn't really a change with the celiac diagnosis and I admit that I'm not 100% convinced he had sufficient data.  However, I have no desire to go through an intestinal biopsy to prove it, I'm content continuing to avoid grains based on other data I've seen.

It's been wonderful!  I can sleep so much more solidly through the night.  Last week, I tried to wean off of it and not only had sleep problems, but also a return of the h/a, nausea, fatigue symptoms in the evening for the first time in two months.  Lesson learned!  I wasn't ready for that and restarting has worked fine.

Betaine HCl
This is basically just extra stomach acid to help with digestion.  I didn't notice any difference in symptoms, but I think it's helped me absorb iron!  I was thrilled to find my Ferritin is now optimal which (usually takes a long time and) should significantly help with thyroid issues.  

I'm afraid this has been inconclusive and it's all the fault of the weather!  Summer came and I have no clue if I'm feeling less cold, lethargic because it's warmer and I've had a glorious vacation.  My free T3 went from 2.1 to 2.5 which means I've made it to low normal, but my doc didn't test reverse T3 as I'd requested.  So... I'm not sure if I should be switching to regular desiccated thyroid.  

Now that I've tried all his recommendations, I'm planning a trip back to the naturopath to discuss next actions.  I still often fatigue early in the evening, need the melatonin to rest, and can have funky temperature differences.  I'd like recommendations on what to do about the thyroid medication and if I should test iodine.  It's been several months now that I've been supplementing and I don't want to get too much.  I'm taking half an Iodoral tablet (6.75 mg) and my serum Iodine  was normal, but I've heard that test is a very poor indicator of Iodine status.  Finally, I want to ask about my lipid profile.  I've got my regular doc worried because my cholesterol has gone up, but the naturopath was worried because my triglycerides were so low.  
January to July
Cholesterol 202 to 254
Triglycerides 30 to 59
HDL 79 to 74
LDL 117 to 168 (This is calculated and I've heard it's inaccurate with triglycerides bellow 100.  The preferred equation yielded a level of 139.)
Hgb A1C 4.9
So, I have my regular doctor talking about medication in 3 months if the labs don't improve and the naturopath who is probably going to tell me it's wonderful that my absorption is so much better.  

Finally, I'm still pleased that the weight gain stopped, but I still have the same 30 pounds to lose that this hormone roller coaster left me with.  Body By Science workouts and paleo eating haven't changed the status.   I love doing our long family hikes and today we canoed 10 miles down green river... excellent for fun, but no scale results.  Recently, I've been trying to eat earlier in the evening (instead of 8:30 or 9p when my husband gets home) as recommended for decreasing cortisol.  It's only been on trial for a week, but it seems to be helping. 

I know that's a rather ambiguous status with so much still up in the air, but I'm thrilled to not be getting ill several times each week and I am making progress in understanding what helps.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Family Canoe!

We added another option to our regular family outings with... a canoe!  Cameron was delighted at being ditched and retrieved from various islands on Rattlesnake Lake :)

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
The tooth fairy visited our house again this morning... now he has a gap on the bottom.

Cute antics:
• [Crashing sound] "I'm alright.  I just skipped a few stairs."
• getting out some pre-meal energy by doing a dozen circles around his chair
• looking at this picture and commenting, "I think they're going to get a ticket."

• as I placed the letter to his penpal in an envelope, he said "Can't we just fly to Malaysia and give it to him?" (Hmmm, 98 cents or travel... tough choices.)
• starting each complaint with a compliment.  For example, "Thank you for making me eggs this morning.  Tomorrow, I'd like honey yogurt."  (I love when my suggestions are both heard and integrated!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tooth Fairy Musings

When my son lost his first tooth, the tooth fairy brought a little compass.  We'd started hiking regularly as a family and Daddy had his own compass, so the thought was that this would be special.

I think the second tooth was the big derailment... Daddy brought home a hiking back pack.  (We were going to get one anyway.)  Third tooth, I was informed the hiking boots were already on the way with the same rationale.

So... here we are with a highly generous hiking tooth fairy and... now my son is losing interest in hiking.  Looking back on the first few months of tooth fairy experience, I thought it was time to ponder the fun, the mistakes, and the plan :)

I think the first one was a full success.  The compass was small.  We reported what had happened when we lost teeth as kids and suggested he see what happened.  We've been playful and maintained it as a fun interaction.

I'm thinking the cost of the gifts for two and three were over the top, but I don't think it will be a big issue because my son is just gaining a concept of cost.  I had a bit of a concern that switching from hiking would be a problem, but I really don't think it will because the tooth fairy seems to know things :)

Finally, a funny story about the third tooth which came out as we were leaving on vacation.  Would the tooth fairy be able to find my son on the California coast?  The chatty tooth fairy left a note that said hiking boots were being dropped off on his bed and provided a special chocolate since he'd been taking such good care of his teeth and would need to wait for the boots.  The next morning, my child said he discovered the empty chocolate wrapper.  The tooth fairy was accused of lying!  The hypothesis of a chocolate thief was floated.  Clearly, something serious was afoot :)  Well, I mentioned that I'd seen the chocolate as I went to bed, so the tooth fairy was off the hook for misleading him.  No one admitted to being a chocolate thief.  He clearly did not remember having eaten it at some point during the night / morning.  So, he wrote the tooth fairy a note explaining about the empty wrapper.  Now, what should a tooth fairy do?  The very tolerant tooth fairy left a note in his room sympathizing with his distress.  But, the replacement chocolate was left at his place on the table!

We've really enjoyed the playful aspect of the tooth fairy while refusing to say anything confirming existence and asking lots of probing questions.  I don't think it will last long for Mr. Inquisitive, but he's having a great time with it now and so are we!

You can see the three tooth gap as he hangs upside down... loves that frisbee!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anniversary Present

I've been married for ten years and romantically delighted for fourteen.  Happy anniversary to me!  And...

... Andrew got us a rather large present!

Other things to share:
A particularly cool podcast on Cultivating the Virtues
A very cool video on running in a way to prevent injury (although I'd never heard of the shoes).
Last week's Objectivist Round Up.  I hosted this week :)

Mondo Mega Cute Antics!

• commenting at 10:19pm when I thought he was asleep, "Actually, I've just finished the book after 'Mouse and the Motorcycle." (another 100+ page chapter book)
• rifling through our host's drawers for shorts (luggage in my room), picking some giant boxers, and walking around holding them up with one hand while insisting he didn't want to change clothes.
• reading the no-parking signs, he commented "Who in the heck wants their car to be towed away?"
• evaluating the fancy, cherry preserves my dad opened for him, "It tastes like cherries and dog poop... well, cherries and something terrible." (Tact?  Nope.)
• responding to my statement, "You know I like to squash little boys" with "I know you're pretty weird."
• postulating regarding something missing, "Maybe Graham secretly ate it." (His non-mobile infant cousin.)
• making suggestions to his aunt regarding her baby's sleep, "It's your choice, but I'd rather let him sleep if he's tired."
• coming out during his getting ready for bed time with the question,"Can I do the maze?"
"What maze?"
"The one in the magazine."
"Show me."

"Hmmm, what shape do you think that is?"
(He got it with reference to the bottom picture and, yes, he did the maze.)

• catching on to the trick of being told to look a different direction before a toss with trying to do the same thing back.  So, uncle says, "look at that!" and then gets a head start for the frisbee race.  Next round, Cameron laughs and laughs and tries the same thing.  (Subtle. So subtle.)
• asking, "Why are you including me?", hearing from grandma "Because you're so special and I love you so much.", and responding, "That makes sense."
• reminding me his visual acuity surpasses mine by stating, "You found no hobbit on Mt. Rainier."  (That would be a marmot, but he did spot it first :))
• noting as we waited for the correct train after ours broke down, "And they kept sending us trains that were useless!"
• random declaration, "Throw me out!  I want to be in the garbage for nine years. [Long pause] Just jokin."
• playing pipe jumping (gotta love construction sites)
• making me do a bit of a double take on my sanity... I'm not used to finding cups sticking out of the wall

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Objectivist Round Up

Happy three year annivesary to the Objectivist Round Up! In honor of this ambitious project and all our hopes for the future, I thought a quote on "ambition" would be appropritate.

“Ambition” means the systematic pursuit of achievement and of constant improvement in respect to one’s goal. Like the word “selfishness,” and for the same reasons, the word “ambition” has been perverted to mean only the pursuit of dubious or evil goals, such as the pursuit of power; this left no concept to designate the pursuit of actual values. But “ambition” as such is a neutral concept: the evaluation of a given ambition as moral or immoral depends on the nature of the goal. A great scientist or a great artist is the most passionately ambitious of men. A demagogue seeking political power is ambitious. So is a social climber seeking “prestige.” So is a modest laborer who works conscientiously to acquire a home of his own. The common denominator is the drive to improve the conditions of one’s existence, however broadly or narrowly conceived. (“Improvement” is a moral term and depends on one’s standard of values. An ambition guided by an irrational standard does not, in fact, lead to improvement, but to self-destruction.)
“Tax Credits for Education,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I; 12, 1

Deb Ross presents Rochester Family Newsletter July 8, 2010 | posted at, saying, "My weekly newsletter goes out to 9000 parents in Rochester, NY. My goal is to infuse ideas of reason and freedom into what I write, in a charming way that will raise few objections but will make people think. This week's commentary is about the laissez-faire attitude that is more common in the Rocky Mountains than in the East, so I thought it worthy of submission to the Round Up."

Jared Rhoads presents Twead #3: Mitt Romney posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, "A recap of Twead #3 on the healthcare chapter of Mitt Romney's book, No Apology."

Rachel Miner presents Back From Vacation and... the Game! posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "I can't remember where I first heard about this game, but it was a delight during my recent vacation. I share some pics and a review of Rush Hour Jr."

C.W. presents INFLATION, WHERE? posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "This is an open question, where is inflaiton? What are people seeing in their own experience?"

Paul McKeever presents Run from the Rahn Curve posted at Paul McKeever, saying, "here is another essay - and an accompanying video - to help Objectivists more easily to grasp what is wrong with libertarianism; why it is at odds with reality, reason, and rational selfishness."

Shea presents Minicon Talks! posted at Shea's Blog, saying, "These are the recordings of the lectures I gave at the Atlanta Objectivist Society's Mini-con over July 4th weekend."

Ari Armstrong presents Where Do Rights Come From? posted at Free Colorado, saying, "In this short video, I briefly summarize false theories of rights and sketch the natural rights theory advocated by Ayn Rand."

Alyssa Smudzin presents Henna posted at Sanguinity, saying, "An introduction to my summer money making venture: Henna Body Art"

Zip presents Attempting to Have His Cake and Eat it Too posted at UNCOMMON SENSE, saying, "Perhaps if young Jeremy was so opposed to the government's policies he should have discovered the backbone to stand for his principles before he became the governments artistic whore, not after."

Diana Hsieh presents Reminder: Pledge for an Op-Ed by Paul Hsieh in Top-Tier Newspaper posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Do you want to support Paul Hsieh's tireless fight against socialized medicine? You can help him publish in a top-tier national newspaper with your pledge!"

Joseph Kellard presents The Boss Is Dead: Long Live the Yankees! posted at The American Individualist, saying, "My thoughts on the legendary and controversial New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, on the day he died of a heart attack at 80."

Michael Labeit presents An Epistemological Problem with Anarchism posted at Michael Labeit at, saying, "My refined argument against libertarian anarchism"

Amy Mossoff presents The End of OCON posted at The Little Things, saying, "I wrote a few reports from OCON last week. This one sums up my feelings about the incredible people I spent time with there. The culture of Objectivism, especially the sense of purpose and ambition, was, as always, one of the best parts of the conference."

Amy Mossoff presents Vacation Values posted at The Little Things, saying, "Some amusing thoughts on the difference between vacations prior to having children, and vacations taken away from one's children."

Paul Hsieh presents More Objective Law in Arizona posted at NoodleFood, saying, "An Objectivist lawyer helps move the law of self-defense in the right direction."

Jeff Montgomery presents Mount Columbia Hike/Run posted at Fun With Gravity, saying, "This post is about a recent hike on one of Colorado's high peaks, with photos."

Rational Jenn presents Grocery Store Math posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Using math as a tool, and a weapon for distraction! Sometimes I'm a stealth homeschooler. :o)"

Jenn Casey & Kelly Elmore presents Podcast #8: Praise versus Encouragement posted at Cultivating the Virtues, saying, "Our most recent podcast features a Mommy WIN! (keeping her temper in the car), a discussion on the differences between praise and encouragement, and a listener question about the role of uncles and aunts in a child's life. Thanks for listening, and we'd appreciate your feedback--write a review on iTunes, or leave us a comment!"

David C Lewis, RFA presents Investing: Against The Odds? posted at A Revolution In Financial Planning, saying, "Are the odds really stacked against investors? Why does the average mutual fund investor only earn less than 4%, even with proper asset allocation?"

Doug Reich presents Liberal Despair Over Obama, Taker of the Ham Sandwich posted at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "A "debate [is] raging within the progressive community over why the promise of Obama’s candidacy has not lived up to their expectations." This post analyzes the philosophy underlying one liberal commentator's 17,000 word take."

Earl Parson presents OCON, OhomoCON, and 10 Days in Las Vegas posted at Creatures of Prometheus, saying, "This is probably one of many in the carnival - it's my wrap-up from OCON. It's more of a personal memoir than anything else, from the best week ever spent of my roughly 41 1/2 years on the planet."

That concludes this edition. The next edition will be hosted by Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Update #3: Autobiographical (Episodic) Memory

I am as enchanted as every with this activity!
Board 1
Board 2
and now...
Board 3 just completed with my awesome kiddo :)

The theme was "moving with control".
He came up with these statements after another delightful conversation-
I'm a person who:
•wants to learn things new
•gets better at doing stuff with practice
•can be safe with fragile things
•can be pretty careful
•works hard to learn AND wins at learning new things

That last row is him frosting a cake, carrying my sister's wedding rings on a crystal tray, folding cookies into triangles, and gently releasing a butterfly we raised.  We were both all smiles looking at how he's worked and learned and gained more and more control.  This such a fun way to focus on the good and build a positive self evaluation!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back From Vacation and... the Game!

After views like this

and this

and this

and this

and this

I was feeling properly pampered with ocean love!

My son was not quite as enamored with the scenery, but I had a plan!  I sent ahead several new games to discover as the week went on and, while the first one didn't shine, the second one was wonderful.

Rush Hour Jr
Talk about cool and engaging and the adults kept crowding around to try and play!  So, the dilemma is that you've got an ice cream truck stuck in a traffic jam (gasp, choke, moan).

Child to the rescue!

They set up the traffic jam as viewed on the card and then they can move the cars, trucks, buses forwards and backwards (no side moving or flying cars) until the ice cream truck is able to drive out of the traffic jam (small opening on the side of the board).  The levels go from beginner (one scoop) all the way up to expert (banana split)!  So, we have a cool game that allows a kid to play independently and starts easily enough for them to get hooked on the challenge.  As a bonus, it comes with a bag that can hold everything.  (There's a free iPhone application and an older kid version available too, but the top levels were challenging the grown ups.)

This game brought hours of happiness for my kiddo and break time for grown ups.  I highly recommend it appears the next time you want to add some spunk to a vacation/ playroom or some smiles to birthday kid :)