Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dem bones

For all of you out there keeping track of Oskie's bone age, it is now 15 months! Yeah! When we had it checked about hmmmmm, 9 months ago, it was only 6 months, so something got him kick started again. The one thing I feel bad about is that apparently I missed his bone age birthday. If I'd only known. What do you get bones for a gift? 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Occupation Homemaker

I've had to fill out some forms lately over the phone. Medical information, phone numbers, occupation.... I always take a minute to answer this one. I'm still technically a writer, even though I haven't actually been employed as one in 3 years. Inevitably, in their rush to get the forms completed, they suggest an answer for me..."Homemaker?". Then there is a REALLY long pause as I grapple with my answer to that question. I usually just agree, as it seems the most expeditious thing to do, but I really, really don't like it. I think it has to do with the wording of it. HOMEMAKER. It sound like I am either in construction, or I subscribe to some Martha Stewart emboldened cult wherein it is my duty and joy to make my house a home. 'Cause that's what I do. I embroider doilies and bake cookies and hang draperies. I pat fluffy pillows and set up candleabras with my own handmade beeswax candles. (The honey, of course,  I have harvested myself earlier that summer.) I wonder who came up with that name anyway. Was it a way to re-vamp housewife? Cause that one is pretty bad too. "This is my housewife... the one I keep at home to do domestic things." Do you also get to have car wife and a work wife? Homemaker is not much of an improvement, I must say. So I am proposing some new titles based on what I really do all day. How about "Head medical supervisor and youth coordinator"? or "Chief financial officer, head of purchasing and distribution, food clothes, medicine and time outs"? There's gotta be something better than Homemaker. I think from now on, when asked to fill out these forms, I will just put "Emperor, 5228 Kellogg Ave." 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

new age gobbelty-gook?

Oskie and I had foot baths today. You put your feet in a tub of clean water with a coil of copper attached to this machine that has a flow of positive and then negative ions ( or maybe it's the other way 'round) and it supposedly pulls toxins like heavy metals and crap out of your body. See if you can guess which water is mine. I may have to stop eating uranium. Oskar thought it was a blast and kicked and splashed and got us both soaking wet. A bunch of crap came out of his feet too. I can't say I feel any different, but it sure looks impressive. 

Ode to Minnesota

Here is a poem Max wrote this week: 

If you're not from Minnesota
You don't know winter
You can't know winter
Freezing cold winters
So cold that it stings your fingers
Anything wet will freeze in a sec
10 degree weather 24/7
If you're not from Minnesota
You don't know winter

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jesus who?

At Thanksgiving dinner the other night,  I somberly volunteered to say grace. I got as far as " Bless us, oh Lord for these thy gifts which we are about to receive through the bounty of........ and I totally blanked. There was a long pause and my Aunt finally came through with " our lord, Jesus Christ".  

                                                 Oh yeh, that guy.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

1st grade vigil

You may have noticed a lot of pink merchandise in the stores in the past month. The Susan G Komen thing. Maddie picked out this water bottle at Target and on the way home in the car she told me that she felt really good about supporting the fight against Breath cancer. I'm not sure how common breath cancer  is, but I can tell you that I'm pretty sure her Dad has it. 

King of the Groms

Max placed 8th. There were 34 kids entered in his category, so I'm proud of him, but he's mad because Al promised him a cellphone if he placed in the top 5. I tell you, you can't win. Anyway, Max started his own blog so if you are interested in a personal slant on his victory, or a video of his performance, check it out at maxblak.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope ( not the Obama kind)

I'm exhausted. I shouldn't be, but I am wasted and I'm getting two cold sores, and yesterday I drove away from the gas station with the pump still in my car. Waiting for a miracle is tiring business. I really have a lot of hope invested in this acupuncture treatment and I think I am constantly on edge. Looking for something. Trying to detect a change in seizures. Is he looking at things more, or am I imagining it? Is he stronger, or is he just having a good day?

Have you ever driven by a church and seen that slogan. " Expect a miracle"? Well, I do. I know Oskars miracle is out there if I can just find it. Every single day I wake up and think " maybe he won't have seizures today". It wears me out, but I don't know any other way to be. I can't give up, or I wouldn't be able to get through the day.

So I will wear lipstick to cover the shankers and double check the gas pump and try to get some sleep and and carry on.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Day three of Oskie's scalp acupuncture treatment. More needles than ever today. I haven't noticed a change in his seizures yet, but I have to say he seems more alert and stronger to me. I feel like he is throwing his head back less and looking around more. I wish Hannah or his teachers and therapists could be here to tell me what they think. Anyway, I am still hopeful, I'll keep you posted. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Glide memorial

Oskie and my mom and I went to Glide today. It's a methodist church in SF with a huge gospel choir and an incredibly diverse congregation. It always lifts me up, but today was especially moving. The church was packed to the rafters with people coming to celebrate hope. Watching a slide montage of images of Obama and MLK and homeless people holding signs about change with the 100 member gospel choir singing while a church full of total strangers holds hands and sway back and forth like Who's on Christmas morning was an amazing experience. Glide has a reputation for being a place of tolerance and love, and the crowd this morning was proof. I saw black and white, lesbian, gay, transgender, families with small children, old people, homeless people, recovering addicts. I do have to say, however that I wouldn't have wanted to be a Republican in that church today. I mean, there's only so much we can tolerate. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dr Zhu and Oskar

okay, I'm too tired to try and be funny. Osk and I are in California and today we went to our first scalp acupuncture session. We drove an hour and a half with my mom to see Dr Zhu in San Jose. We talked about Oskie and he believes that he was probably born with some problem of the brain that was intensified by his vaccinations. I know there are probably people rolling their eyes at that, but my mothers intuition tells me the same thing. He had his first seizures an hour after he had his third set of vaccinations. Anyway, he put about 10 needles in his scalp and we went home with them still in, which was quite nerve wracking. We'll see if it helps. We go back tomorrow and then have the weekend off. I did notice that Oskie seemed especially alert and bright eyed after the session. He was a little pissed off about the needles though, probably because he was napping in La la's lap when they were inserted. A cheap trick. 

Obama Nation

For the first time in a long time, I'm really, really proud to be an American. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Max Blak

This is Max practicing for King of the Groms. In case you're totally out of it, that's a skateboarding competition. I don't go to the Skatepark because if I saw him doing this in person I would probably faint. As he was walking out of the skateboard park today, a kid stopped him and said " Are you Max Blak?" and Max said " yes" and he said "I saw your videos on Youtube, dude, you rule". When we named him Max Blak it was out of nostalgia for my Danish heritage.  Turns out it's quite useful as a skateboarding name. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

old timey minnesot-ey apple orchard

Some friends of ours took Max and Maddie to an apple orchard. Here's the video: http://gallery.me.com/the studio5/100006

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Girl Scouts of America

There are a lot of things I never pictured myself as. A midwesterner, a mother of a special needs child, an expat...perhaps the most surprising though is my latest metamorphosis. Yes people, you heard it here, I am an adult Girl Scout of America. I signed the papers tonite! Maddie wants to be a girl scout and there was no one to lead the troop, so I went to my first training tonight. I learned the Girl Scout pledge and the hand signal. Those of you who have known me for a long time probably could have seen this coming, with my high moral standards and my burning desire to be a role model for young women everywhere. And, of course my love of Thin mints. I'm pretty sure we get a discount on the cookies. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008


What do you call Oskar laying in a pile of leaves?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


This is a picture of the tree in our front yard. In the last few days it has turned all brown and orange and now the leaves are starting to fall off. I think it must be some kind of disease. What freaks me out is that the last time this happened, about a month later it got really cold and there was this white stuff all over everything for months... I'm not sure what to do about it. 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Maddie's religious education

Maddie was looking through a catalog today for things she might want for Christmas. She got really excited when she saw this and yelled "Look Mom, a Jesus boat!" 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Successful baby

This is Oskar with Jim Reed, his physical therapist from the Edina school system. Oskar just had his yearly review and I don't mean to brag, but phrases like "substantial progress" were thrown around like confetti at a New Years party. Really,  it was mostly the people who know Oskar, his O.T Joan, his P.T Jim and his teacher Kate and me sitting around telling funny Oskie stories. They have become like my family here in a weird way and I am so grateful for them. I think so many people look at Oskar and only see the things he can't do, and I can't tell you how nice it is for me to sit around for an hour and talk about all the things he CAN do. Things like pass a toy from one hand to another, or choose a toy with his eye gaze, or be attentive to a toy for 3 minutes ( his new goal is 5!) These things we so take for granted with our "typically" developing kids. They are like precious gems to me now, when Oskie does them. They give me hope. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Dark side of Al Roker

Oskar and I like to watch the Today show in the mornings as we drink our tea and ease into our day. Today, Al Roker interviewed this woman ( turns out she was a friend of his) about a novel she wrote based on an incident in her childhood. It turns out that when she was six, her best friend's mother committed suicide and killed both of her children by locking them in the car with her in the garage with the engine running. Very sad. So one of Al's follow up questions was what it was like for the author to imagine herself as that mother. She explained that her own children saw her personality change as she got more inside the character. She then joked that her daughter even asked her one day " Mommy, are you going to do what the lady in the book did?" Al Roker and this author then proceeded to joke for the next few minutes about this scenario. "get in the car!" " No mommy, dont make me!" Then they laughed and laughed and laughed. Oskar and I agreed it was totally F 'ed up. 

On a side note, it has not gone without our notice that Meredith Viera makes ALOT of jokes about drinking cocktails in the morning. I'm not saying she has a problem, but they might want to double check that cooking sherry after the kitchen segments, if you know what I mean....

 Anne Curry seems to be the only one with a modicum of decorum on that show these days.  Oskar thinks we might have to switch to Good Morning America.  

Bargaining with God

I find myself spending a lot of time lately thinking about deals I would be willing to make with God. What I would give to have him take Oskar's seizures away, for instance. My car, my home, all my material possessions. That's a no brainer. In my head though, it's never a deal where I have to sell my car and use the funds to have some medical procedure done, it's more like I get a contract in the mail, fill out some paperwork and a celestial repo man comes and takes it away. That morning, miraculously, Oskar wakes up and his seizures are gone. I would also be willing to drop it off in some kind of lot. Even if I had to drive a substantial distance. I could have Al follow me or I guess I would be willing to take the bus home. These are details I'm still working out. From there, the deals get more involved. Would I give an arm? A leg? Yes. Would I kill a stranger? No. But I can't see why God would want a deal like that anyway. I mean, my car has resale value at least. Then there is the toughest question. Would I give my life for Oskar's? Or would I take his seizures myself so he could have a normal life. I waver on this one, not because I am scared of the pain, but because if I was sick, who would take care of Max and Maddie and Oskar? So far I've netted out that I would be willing  to alternate days with him, or we could work out a 3 day on, three day off schedule. Whatever it is, hopefully it would be organized enough that I could arrange childcare for my afflicted days. 

And Hannah. What would I give for Hannah to not have to go through what she is going through? I'm working on it. I think I've come up with some deals God won't be able to refuse, but I'm not ready to divulge the details just yet. 

Does anyone know where I submit these offers? 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm so glad they are finally making baby clothes with the skull and bones. It's about time. 


   A lot of people ask me if Al and I are reconciling, and all I can say is that we are going to a lot of therapy and reading books and stuff. In Al Anon, we talk a lot about not worrying about the future. I actually have this written on my mirror. "I needn't worry about things that might happen in the future. I don't know if they will happen, or how I will feel if they do."
    One thing that has really helped me is that no matter what plans I make for the future, my higher power is really the one in control. Who knows... I could get hit by lightning tomorrow. Al could get hit by a bus...why, Al could walk out his door one morning and get attacked by a rabid wolf.  His head could hit the cement as he is knocked unconscious, then he might wake briefly only to see the steely glint of the wolf's eyes as he raises his blood-covered muzzle for a moment before diving back in for another mouthful of entrails and vital organs. 

This thought gives me comfort. 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Maddie's hope and dream cloud

Spider looks nervous. I am keeping the knife drawer locked. 

The election

Yes, it's over. The most important election of our time. Max won his bid for fourth grade student council representative. The competition was fierce. Fortunately his message of freedom from the oppression of bad cafeteria food and hope for more school-wide events like pajama day and crazy hair day was a message that the constituents of room 109 were ready to hear. As his campaign managers, Al and I suggested negative campaigning ( his main competition, Molly is apparently a well-known nose picker) but Max decided to stick to his guns and spread his message of hope and change. Viva la maverick! 

We're all waiting for news about Hannah. Keeping our fingers crossed. Oskie and I miss her terribly.