Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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24 Hour Challenge

Good morning, addicts! Today, we have a 24 hour challenge. Don't worry~ this is not about donating money, losing weight, taking a blood oath, or sending on a spiritual chain letter. It is SO much more important than that. One of our own is having a bit of a rough time. We all know what that's like, in our own individual situations, with our own individual monsters.

Y'all may know her as the brilliance behind Kat's Cafe, a warm and generous woman who has stepped up to the plate time and time again to help others. (And if you haven't read her blog and seen her brilliance yet, I encourage you to do so!) Well... she needs some love, too. Her little Logan monster has had adventures with seizures recently and she, being the warrior she is,  fights the Fibromyalgia dragon daily.

So... the challenge. I want to see how many people will send her a hug, or a good thought, or a happy little quote. You can tweet it or post it on her site's facebook wall. Please let her know she is loved, and that our extremely tight knit little community of special needs families is missing her and thinking about her and her family. In my mind's eye, when Kat gets back online, she will be flooded with messages and images of love and support. Need help? Here. I'll let you copy off my paper...

Thinking of you, @KatrinaMoody, and sending hugs your way! Have a great day!
Happy Wednesday, @KatrinaMoody! 

-or you can blame it all on me-

@ihave7monsters says @KatrinaMoody needs a hug. Send her one & join the 24hr challenge!*add link here*

I have left the redirect to the hug image at the top of my post available, so if you'd like to copy the URL and post that, you're welcome to do so. Just PLEASE credit the image appropriately via photobucket. Spread the word.. tweet, retweet, post to facebook. And if you have her email (I am not posting it here, because I do not have her permission to do so), please drop her a line.

When life gets a little bit too real, sometimes a note of encouragement can make all the difference. Want to make a BIGGER difference for our friend? Blog a little post and let your Triberr buddies help you spread the love. I did. Will you? Pay it forward, y'all. You never know when it will be your turn to be on the receiving end. You don't have to know someone personally to brighten their day.
image in this post by Photobucket, of course!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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Happy Homemaker Land

Greetings from Happy Homemaker Land! Taking a little break from bottling stuff, because you know, harvest time for the very Logan safe organic garden and all that. Since last night, I have bottled green beans with ham, sauerkraut, kosher dill spears, and dill sandwich stackers (so THERE, Vlasic!). I'm living the Laura Ingalls Wilder dream.

So, while I'm waiting for the last few jars to finish their nice little boiling water bath, let me update y'all. Dave,Rick, Adam, Lee Ann, Patty, Nikki, and Debra, if you have not received an email, phone call or message, this is what you should know:

We've taken care of the shots the twinnies were lacking in order to go to school, and 15 pounds of paperwork for the twinnies regarding allergies and medications, etc. is right now sitting on the pediatrician's desk waiting for his scrawl and big important medical-type initials on the dotted line. The problem, however, is that even though we were in his office Friday, he hasn't signed off yet, AND he's not in the office today. The earliest the district nurse (that's YOU, Debra!) will get a fax is tomorrow. What can ya do, right? Anyway, know that we're doing the best we can (I've been harrassing the doctor's office since yesterday) and we're shooting for having them in class next week. Cross fingers, eyes, and toes.

In other monster news, another lovely IEP meeting at the high school for me this afternoon. Yippee-kie-ay. This is not going to go well, because I know (even though the resource teacher doesn't know this yet) that I will have to break my monster's heart after this meeting unless there is some kind of divine intervention on this kid's behalf. More on this later.

Okay, y'all. Must go! Pickles to process, twinnies to chase. Have a good day!
Image in this post by Google images

Monday, August 29, 2011

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Doors you never even DREAMED existed

Looking at Logan, and knowing that he is starting school so very soon, with people that are so eager to help him succeed there, I can't help but feel a little bit like Auntie Mame. Like Patrick, Logan has had a very sheltered life.   And like Auntie Mame, his team at school will show him things he never even knew existed. This is a double edged sword for me. I have spent his whole little life protecting him, and now, I have all kinds of people helping me do that, while at the same time, I'm having to let go a little bit and let him experience life.... cautiously.

So, today while I am running around trying to get the last of the paperwork for Logan and #6 where it is supposed to be, and arranging appointments for the Daddy, and sniffling a little bit because the twinnies are not babies anymore... I will pretend I am Auntie Mame, and tell Logan and #6 all about what is in store, while smiling, and looking all excited and anticipatory and Auntie Mame-ish.

Friday, August 26, 2011

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Monster House Follow Friday!

The twinnies are getting shots today, and I hate shots. So, as soon as we're done with the pediatrician, we'll visit:
@Walmart, which is where we will go to get the twinnies a
@Jello and a @Hot_Wheels , because they can't have
@Pizza Hut or a @Popsicle which just makes me sad.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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Life Is A Special Occasion!

Happy Thursday, everyone! You know how sometimes silly little things happen, like the kids actually didn't spill syrup on the cat or spill a gallon of orange juice at breakfast this morning, and inside your head you're doing a little dance? Well, y'all, THAT is a special occasion! Let us not forget other awesome things like, Junior did well with a social story, Daddy's little girl did NOT lift up her dress in church this week, and all the first smiles, birthdays, anniversaries, and science project wins. We all know, special occasions are worth celebrating.. no matter WHAT makes them special!

Perhaps, as special needs parents, siblings, caregivers, and teachers, we have learned to celebrate a wee bit more, because we know how very important the little victories are. 

 I had the unbelievable opportunity to speak with representatives from Hallmark Cards earlier this month at BlogHer and take part in their "Life Is A Special Occasion" booth. I was able to fill in a "_______ Is A Special Occasion" t-shirt, and have my picture taken. They transferred all the pictures of bloggers who participated into a mosaic on Hallmark's VisibleMash. It WILL make you cry. Grab the tissue. But, we already knew that with Hallmark, tissue is a requirement.

When you visit the link above, you can click through and see every one's special occasions through pictures and video. Here's mine

Ready for the AWESOME part? YOU can be part of the mosaic! Just click the "Add Yourself" button on the lower left side of the mosaic. There will be a very quick moderation, and then your submission will appear.

Now, if you've been at the Monster House very long at all, you know my favorite phrase on Thursdays is "But WAIT, there's MORE!" And there is! We're pleased and honored to be hosting a Hallmark "_______ Is A Special Occasion" giveaway! Hallmark cards is offering one "________ Is A Special Occasion" t-shirt and some cards to one winner!

But first, the boring, important stuff:
Logo and "LIASO" are copyrighted property of Hallmark, and are used here with permission

I was not compensated in any way for this review/giveaway. All opinions are my own.

And now.... let the entering begin!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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Why Every First Aid Kit Needs Highlighters & A Camera

This past Friday, #6 decided we can't let Logan have ALL the fun. So, he climbed up on the counter, opened up the baking cupboard and took out a brand new bottle of cinnamon. Then he proceeded to decorate the kitchen with the fragrant brown powder. I mean, really, white floors are SO boring. They are much more interesting when covered with slightly oily ground cinnamon. Also, cinnamon makes GREAT foot prints. And you can finger paint in it, and stuff!

A short time later, in the bath, he started getting welts on his chest and belly. And they were pretty scary looking. Luckily, Logan has trained us well, and I ran for the benadryl. 20 minutes after his first dose, the welts were just getting uglier and redder. Cue dose #2, and the Momma shrieking to #4 to grab her camera and a highlighter out of the box of school supplies (thank you 3M! It was lovely seeing you at BlogHer!).

The monsters were shocked when I started outlining his welts in day glo pink and taking pictures, after also writing the time and what caused the reaction on his belly in black ballpoint. They thought dear old Momma had flipped her lid and called the Daddy to tattle on me tell him so. Imagine their surprise when he told them the Momma was smart!

Luckily, within 20 minutes of the second dose, the welts started to calm down, and #6 took a long winters' nap.. I mean,uh... #6 passed out fell asleep on the family room floor for nap time a little earlier than usual.

The moral of this story? Document, document, DOCUMENT!! Let us not forget the time Logan had such a severe reaction that he went lethargic, and the paramedic who transported him to the ER told the intake nurse that his lethargy was due to a benadryl overdose. Luckily, that nurse had an IQ, and eyes that work, because Logan was wheezing, covered head to toe in rash, and his face was completely swollen, clearly indicating an extreme allergic reaction. She asked the paramedic if he was usually this stupid. (Thank you awesome nurse with the IQ points and eyes that work) This nurse must have gone to one of the best nursing schools. You know, one that teaches you to use your eyes and brain to help treat, rather than blaming everything on a benadryl overdose.

Need more stories? Oh, have I EVER got them! We also use highlighter to document suspicious looking bug bites. We're out in the sticks here, and bugs like our house. #3 has a spider bite on his thigh. Nothing horrid, but it's a bit red, radiating just a little. And we're watching it. Yes, we used highlighter and the camera for him, too.

 Let's face it. Everyone one has heard the stories about the fish that got away. And everyone knows, with each telling that darn fish grows at least a foot. With medical things, you don't want to remember important details inaccurately. Your camera/phone will be your best friend for showing a doctor progression of infection, welts, bites, swelling, etc. Taking it a step further by outlining  and documenting time/date/cause will make your doctor's job that much easier.

And that, dear addicts, concludes today's Public Service Announcement. Now go and toss a couple highlighters in your medicine cabinet and/or first aid kit.
Images in this post by Google Images

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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Fun with Lucy and Norman

I have decided that there is no such thing as a story that cannot be told by using photos from I Love Lucy episodes and Norman Rockwell prints. And I can prove it. Today, I will tell you  what will happen this week, through next Monday, with a little help from good 'ol  Lucy and Norman.

I'd like to schedule an appointment for the twinnies, please.
Yes, Wednesday will be fine.

Everything looks lovely! The nurse will be in shortly for your shots.

But I don't WANNA go to school! I wanna stay home and watch Fwankwin!

My babies are growing up!

Oh, what a beeeautiful picture you made today! Tell me all about it!
Images in this post by Photobucket and Google Images

Monday, August 22, 2011

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The Momma's Holy Grail

For years now, I have had a Holy Grail. That one thing that I have yearned for, lusted over, coveted when I see other women who have it. However, with each additional child, that holy grail has become less and less attainable for me. So, the other day, I had a brilliant idea! I tweeted about my holy grail. Now. Everyone knows that you can ask about darn near anything on the twitter and get answers, or links, or referred to someone who will be able to assist you in your quest. This time was no different! My beloved twitter followers came through for me as they always have. Are you dying of curiosity yet? Here's what I tweeted:
Caryn Haluska
May I vent for a minute? I will NEVER be able to wear mothers' necklace, bracelet, etc because NO ONE makes them for 7! It's my Holy Grail.

So, true to form, I had several people hook me up with links for places online that DO offer Mothers' jewelry for those of us who have more than five little monsters running around. I was so impressed, I simply HAD to share them with you!

Now. I'm not about to spoil everything and tell y'all which one is MY favorite, but I DO want y'all to tell me which site you think I should choose and why. My birthday (and my very firstest Bloggiversary!) is at the end of September, so I'm thinking I can talk the Daddy into getting me a Mothers' necklace next month.

Now. When you are pretending to be me, and choosing something fun, keep in mind that there are seven monsters, so seven potential pendants/names/pictures on a necklace or bracelet. Also, I have 3 year old twins that think my jewelry is really THEIR jewelry. Oh, AND five of my monsters are boys. They have let me know in no uncertain terms that they are NOT willing to be depicted by anything even remotely girly.

Later in the week, I'll let you know which site I chose, which item, and why. But I love love LOVE getting other opinions. Y'all have fun looking, and leave me lots of comments and thoughts. I promise I'll be reading them all!
Holy Grail image in this post by Google images

Friday, August 19, 2011

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Monster House Follow Friday!

It's that time again! I love this part of the week. Here we go!

Because @ihave7monsters, and they do, too!!
image in this post by Photobucket, of course!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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Dolphin Organics Review and #GIVEAWAY!

Remember how I told you that fun things were going to happen here as a result of my trip to BlogHer? Well. Here we go!

While at BlogHer, I had the amazing good fortune to speak with the people from Dolphin Organics, a company that, well.. let me have them tell you what they are all about:
Dolphin Organics™ is a family-owned and operated company right here in the USA. We are committed to making the best, most honest organic and natural products for your baby, while holding ourselves to the highest standards.
 I spoke to Nigel and Ayo Hart, who founded the company, for quite some time at the Expo, and I was sold before I ever held one of their products in my hand.

Check this out! Their products are not only organic and natural, they are...... LOGAN SAFE! This means that there is nothing in the ingredients of ANY of their products that will hurt my extraordinarily allergic little guy. Until this point, there was no such thing as a commercially made soap, lotion, bubble bath, or hair conditioner that did not make Logan's eczema itch and sting, or even make him break out more severely.

With the products from Dolphin Organics, I was able to use the shampoo/body wash, the hair conditioner, the bubble bath AND the lotion with not one adverse reaction from Logan. Not one!! He didn't scratch. He didn't cry and shriek "Owie! Owie! Get it off!"  from the burning sensation hidden alcohol in other products causes. This is a phenomenal occurrence for the Monster House.

Best of all? These products are all tear free and unscented. Now, I know that you have all tried unscented things in the past and thought, holy cow, that smells horrid! But in this case ( and this may be a little more honest than Nigel and Ayo may wish for), after bathing and lotioning Logan, #6, and notorious #5 with these products, the only thing the Daddy said was, "Hey, I smell Cheetos!".  I consider this a success, since the Daddy has a nose more sensitive than a bloodhound.

Here's more from the amazing people that have made this all happen:
As parents of twin girls, we wanted to use only natural and organic products for them. We found that most big brands contain artificial ingredients, and that many products whose labels claim to be natural and organic also contain artificial and potentially harmful ingredients. We decided that the best way to get the products that we wanted was to make our own.
And so, that's exactly what they did!

Here's the fun and exciting part! Dolphin Organics would like to have a giveaway! One lucky person will win a travel set of their products! This set includes four 2 ounce bottles of bubble bath, baby wash/shampoo, hair conditioner, and baby lotion , along with a natural sponge and attractively packaged in a mesh pouch for easy storage or travel. These are also perfect sizes for diaper bags, backpacks, or mom's purse.

And now, the serious stuff, before the fun entering part:
All quotes, logos, and images are copyrighted property of Dolphin Organics and used with permission.

I was given free products to review. I was not compensated in any other way!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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When you wish upon a star......

Dear Santa, Tooth fairy, and Easter Bunny,
All I want for Christmas, Easter, or in payment for my childrens' unfilled teeth this year is a guest post from Stark. Raving. Mad. Mommy. Can ya hook me up? Just in case you need a little help in thinking of a good reason to help me out, you might want to pause and consider how much monetary support the Monster House parents give you on a yearly basis..
Much love and kisses headed your way,
The Momma xoxoxo

Dear Monster House Addicts,
In case you don't know Stark. Raving. Mad. Mommy ( how is this possible? Doesn't EVERYONE know her??? Good grief), here's a LINK TO HER SITE . I think hers was the first blog I ever became addicted to. And I've been stalking her about guest posting  asked her a couple of times to guest post, but my timing was always horrid. I have a talent for bad timing, you know. Also, I may have been a little gushy and "OMG, you're my most favoritest blogger evah! And you're wonderful and buckets of awesome and I just LOVE ya!" and, even though y'all know I'm normal not a lunatic not completely insane, SHE doesn't know that. So I'm thinking... what if we RT this, and post this to her fb page a few million times? Is that overkill? Or will she be flattered? Let's find out! Go, addicts, go!! Here's what you need to know:
On twitter: @starkravingmadM
On facebook: stark.raving.mad.mommy

image of santa, toothfairy and Easter bunny by Google images.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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"Compassion won't get you what you want"

School registration is evil just because it's school registration. School registration for three kids in high school is above and beyond the call of evilness. Somewhere along the line, someone decided (in a less than lucid moment, I am certain) that it would be a good idea to charge fees to attend public school.

Some of my high school senior's required class fees :
 textbook rental (textbook rental?!? what is this, Harvard?)    $30.00

 class fees (this means you get your name on the roll)                $15.00 

 activity fee                                                                              $25.00

Think that's bad? Check out the fees for my EIGHTH GRADER in the same school as the high school senior! 

Student Fee ( gimme your lunch money, or else!)     $12.50

Textbook Rental (Harvard, junior edition)                $25.00

Class Fee                                                                $15.00

Science Lab                                                            $6.00

8th Grade Shop                                                      $12.00

Safety Glasses (because really, it would be too much to ask that the 12 bucks we just paid for the privilege of taking a required shop class actually cover things like safety glasses) $3.00

P.E. Uniform (worn by a thousand kids before you. Are your shots current?) $15.00

Now. If your child in this school wants to have some experiences in middle/high school that are somewhat fun, such as getting a yearbook, taking Driver's Ed, playing an instrument in band, or joining FBLA or DECA, well, that's gonna cost ya. Those fees I expect.  But this next part... THIS threw me for a loop.

There's this thing called a fee waiver. Which means your child(ren) actually CAN get a free appropriate education through the public schools if, for example, there are a gabillion people in your family and you make less than 70k a year. Or, say you have a child with a major medical need, whose medical bills and ongoing care are proving to be a large strain on the family finances. I'm pretty certain we qualify for both of the things mentioned above.

So I went to the high school yesterday with registration forms correctly filled out for my three eldest, and asked for a fee waiver form. First, I was asked why I wanted one. Then I was asked why I had the audacity to think I would qualify. THEN I was told (all by the high school secretary, mind you) "Compassion won't get you what you want. The principal decides who will qualify for a fee waiver on a person to person basis."

I beg your pardon? Does it sound like I was playing a violin and singing "woe is me"? No. I was not. I was simply asking for a form, for a fee waiver which my family qualifies for in spades. But even though we qualify, we may or may not get a fee waiver depending on the mood of the principal on the day he looks at my application? There are so many things wrong with this picture

All images in this post by Google Images

Monday, August 15, 2011

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Shoe Therapy

image by
I am writing this shoe post, not because it has anything to do with family, autism, or extremely restrictive diets, but because these shoes started conversations at BlogHer. It must be said, right at the beginning, that I LOVE SHOES. LOVE them. Also, it must be said that this is not a picture of my legs. Mine are much more weeble-worthy.

These shoes are good for the soul. They made me feel all kinds of attractive and feminine, and I wore them from People's Party, to Queerosphere, to Sparklecorn.

Anyway, back to the story. These shoes started more conversations than my usual ice breaker of, "I have 7 children".  There is this whole world of shoe loving women out there, most of whom have extremely good taste in foot wear. (I am still remembering fondly that pair of giraffe printed high heeled Mary Janes, and the conversation with the woman wearing them. They don't sound cute in print, but were absolutely stunning in person)

It's good for a Momma of  7 to feel attractive from time to time. And so, just in case you're reading this, and you're not feeling particularly cute today, here is my challenge for you. Go dig out your favorite pair of shoes.. you know, the ones you wear when you want to feel cute and feminine. Spritz on some cologne, do your makeup. And who cares if the only place you're going  is to the kitchen to unload the dishwasher, or to the laundry room to start the 49th load of laundry? Who cares if you're wearing ratty cut off sweats? You're wearing The Shoes... and that right there will brighten up your day in 15 minutes or less.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

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So now what?

Y'all... I have a dilemma that I hope you can help me with. School starts back for us on Thursday next week. Pre-K starts the week after that. I had thought we had things taken care of for the twinnie monsterlettes to attend, had met with the Speech therapist for the district, had ongoing conversations with the Special Ed teacher for the elementary school, everyone knew "Logan is coming, Logan is coming!". All we were missing was Paul Revere.
However, now we have a little tiff going on. The school district insists that Logan is missing some immunizations. The pediatrician's office, as well as the paperwork I got from them, insists otherwise. And now? Now we have exclusionary status for both of the twinnie monsterlettes for preschool. 
I have a problem with this. I am NOT going to go and get duplicate hep A and pneumococcal shots for them. While I am not anti-vaccine, I draw the line at duplicates. What can I do? I have already talked to the district until I am blue in the face. The doctor's office, his assistant, and yes, even the doctor himself has contacted the  school district. It's like the people answering the phone are practicing for a starring role in an ear plug commercial...

When I was telling one of my friends about this whole mess, she suggested something I hadn't thought of. "Caryn what if this is their way of preventing a special needs child from being in that classroom?" and I immediately went all stabbity. They wouldn't do that. Would they? They COULDN'T do that.... could they?  Now I'm all kinds of upset. So. Suggestions for this situation would be ever so helpful. Okay. Go!!
Images in this post by Photobucket, of course!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

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It's here, it's here!

I promised I would get the Special Needs mini con transcript from BlogHer to you the very second I found it. Well..... I found it! So, today I'll not go on and on about life at the Monster House. Today, you shall attend the Mini Con. It is phenomenal! Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

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It Happens In Threes... I Hope.

What is it about the last week of summer that makes everything decide to fall apart? Goodness. #3's crown came completely off after eating frozen cinnamon gummy bears ( I know, I know. I don't wanna even go into the conversation we had about that.), the garbage disposal fell out of the sink AND when taken apart, we discovered there was a handful of hardware in it. This would be a good explanation for why the thing stopped moving completely before it fell out (how does that happen?), and the dishwasher has decided not to drain properly, causing all manner of nastiness to spew up onto the dishes.

This is putting a serious dent in our back to school budget, and you know... those dang monsters just keep growing and wearing out shoe leather!

Today's excursion to town will include an emergency dental visit to replace the crown (I can hear the checkbook whimpering already),
new pipe for under the sink (because you know, a garbage disposal cannot fall out without breaking a pipe or three),

and some sort of miracle dishwasher cleaner our plumber recommended that will apparently clean out the nastiness in the dishwasher and take care of the crap in the drain.

We will not, however, be buying shoes, clothes, or school supplies. That will have to wait until the first week of school. So here's my question of the day. Have any of y'all ever had to put off all the back to school expenses for a week or so?  And if so.. how many years did it take your senior in high school to forgive you for not making sure she had a rockin' awesome back to school outfit for the first day?
images in this post by Photobucket, of course!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

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Say Cheese!

I realize I'm tardy in posting all the fun photos from BlogHer... but better late than never, right? I'll take you through it as it happened.

Gosh, BlogHer was amazing. I flew in Thursday evening, and decided to go with Lisa (aka @lovelylicious) to the People's Party to kick things off.

Right away, we met @geekbabe who is amazing, and has a rockin' sense of humor. SHE convinced us that we had to go to Queerosphere with her, because her husband would have gotten a kick out of it. Well. While walking over, we ran into a couple celebrities!
We had a great time partying, and got back to the hotel late. Friday morning, we decided to go to the Expo before the Special Needs Mini Conference to see what all was there. Take a look!

We attended the Mini Con, which was more incredible than I have words to express. I'm not going to go into a lot of it here quite yet, because I have it on good authority that there will be a transcribed copy of it available shortly. I'll follow up on that and let y'all know as soon as it's available.

Friday night? Sparklecorn!!
I heard rumors that the unicorn cake was made by Ace of Cakes, but I have no idea if that's true or not. At this point, having seen, heard, and met so many incridble people at BlogHer, it wouldn't surprise me in the least!

Saturday, We attended more sessions, and ... I got to meet some of the people I love from twitter!
Courtney, aka @OneBoredMommy actually came back, on her way to the San Diego Zoo, just to give me a hug and take a picture with me! I love this woman! And WOAH.... does she EVER have energy. I am in awe.

Heather, aka  @CafeSMom, and I had sworn to meet up at BlogHer, imagine my delight when I saw that she had filled out a form at the Hallmark booth just ahead of me! That's how I found her, and we HAD to take a picture together!

BlogHer was phenomenal.. crazy, nothing I have ever done before. Would I do it again? I'd go again TOMORROW!

Thank you to everyone, for sending me to this indescribably great conference. Next year? New York City!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

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Lift Up Your Voice!

Now more than ever, I am seeing and hearing the frustration. The desperation. The fatigue. The temptation to give up, even with the knowledge that doing so would be a travesty. To the woman at the mini conference yesterday, who told us about her children she had to take out of school, while hovering on the brink of tears and rockin' a baby bump, who said she was too tired (and rightfully so!) to advocate at this time: now is the time for your community, this tight knit group of people who care, to carry your voice for you. I tweeted this quote from that conference yesterday:

This community is alive. it is vibrant. It is vital. #specialneeds #parenting #mommaawayfromhome #BH11specialneeds

Addicts, throughout this phenomenal BlogHer weekend I have seen the power of our voices. Perhaps as singular special needs parents and bloggers we are neither loud nor powerful. But as a community, our roar of unity will not go unheard , nor will we be ignored . We will provoke change for our children,  we will join our forces, our resources, and our strengths until the only option for those looking on is to stop and take notice as we raise our battle cry for our children.
We are fierce. We are warriors. We.... are parents. Mini conference lady... your comments touched me to the core, and I have rededicated myself ~ until every special monster has what they need, without a fight... jut because they need it.
Anyone want to roar with me?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

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Waiting, wondering, and feeling a tad lost

Preparing to be away from my family for a few days while I am attending BlogHer has given me a few new experiences. This morning, as I kissed the monsters goodbye, told them to be good for Bubbe, and promised to call the very second I walked off the plane in San Diego, I swallowed tears. I have never been away from my twinnie monsterlettes, not both of them, not at the same time, and never for more than a day.

This time, though the adventure will be wonderful, the experience promises to be inspiring, and my own well being will improve by being able to eat and sleep regularly and interact with adults, I feel a little lost. I am sitting here on a sinfully soft, wickedly comfortable leather couch in the St. George Shuttle waiting lounge, using free wifi, and wondering what to do with myself.

I have to keep squashing the urge to ask people if they need to go potty, if anyone needs a drink, and avoid the tendency to look  around for missing monsters.

The adventure has begun, and I hope y'all will come along with me on twitter. I will use #mommaawayfromhome when I tweet, and look forward to hearing from all of you! Oops... the shuttle is loading, and I need to pakck up. Watch for me!

As I said to the monsters this morning.. " Love and kisses all y'all! Be good for Bubbe, and clean your rooms!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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My "MUST READ" Blogher '11 post

Okay, addicts. I'm only going to say this once. It does not matter what you wear. It does not matter if you have that rockin gorgeous $545 Bellevue laptop tote. It does not matter if you have 1, 10, 100, or 100,000 blog followers. What matters is that you belong at BlogHer just as much as that uber well known blogger you'd give ANYTHING to meet.

Seriously. I have *gasp* seven children. Do you really think I'm the sanest, most pulled together, color coordinating, well rested, most lucid choice for BlogHer? Nope. That's why I'm a perfect choice. Being true to myself, by not becoming hung up on my wardrobe (the Lane Bryant debacle, though STILL going on, does not count. That was a hideous customer service issue), and focusing on the fact that my followers ARE my sponsors, and I have an obligation and responsibility to pay attention, take notes, learn much,  grasp inspiration from those farther along in their journey wherever it is offered. And yes, have FUN while doing it!

There will be pictures. There will be funny stories. There will be things that overwhelm me. But I'm READY! I look forward to the adventure, with a great deal of excitement, some nervousness, and an undeniable thrill that zings through me every day as I flip another page in my planner. Stay tuned on twitter, Thursday through Sunday, follow me (@ihave7monsters) along the adventure, and hey.. drop me a line! I'll keep y'all updated on all the goings on as well as a hick from the sticks can. I'll probably delight in the fact that I don't have to do dishes, make beds, or vacuum throughout the trip. That alone makes it worth getting out of the house.

There. Whew! I can cross one more thing off my to do list.. "obligatory must read BlogHer post written...CHECK"

Who else is going? Give me a holler!

Monday, August 1, 2011

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Online Support: beneficial or waste of time?

A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who is also a special needs parent. We talked for quite a while about our families,catching up with each other. During the course of  conversation, we discussed a great many things, but one thing really stuck with me. I said to her at one point, "You know, I love being able to share funny, silly things that happen with Logan and the other monsters. I love watching Logan when he's learning something new. But sometimes it's nice to be able to say, "Today REALLY sucks!" and know that the person I'm talking to truly does understand what I'm talking about."  We talked for quite a while about how valuable our online support is, even though there are many people I may never meet face to face, whom I respect and count as friends. Here's the question for the day: Does the fact that my greatest special needs support system is online with "strangers"  diminish it's value?

The Daddy has, at certain points, become quite frustrated that I would discuss things about Logan with someone online. He's uncomfortable with the thought that I am sharing things with people "who aren't really real." I can, to a point, appreciate his opinion. However, since I rarely get the opportunity to leave home, and we live so far from civilization, I have to admit that my online support system has been my salvation on more than one occasion.

Do you ever have this conversation with your spouse? Am I the only one? And, is your spouse/significant other comfortable with your online friendships or does it make them uncomfortable? Seriously, people... I'd love to know.
Image by Photobucket, of COURSE!