I was on a roll.

This afternoon, Morgan was playing with his toy cars, re-creating the traffic jams and car wrecks that show up on the traffic report here in Dallas (more on that later). I noticed that Gus (our cat) was playing with one of his toys.


He obliviously plays with his matchbox cars.

“MORGAN!” This time in a squeaky voice because I’m sick and my voice is gone.

No result.

“Morgan, I’m talking to you! Look at me!”

Finally, he looks at me.

“Take your toy into your room. Take it away from Gus.”

Well, now he sees his toy is in jeopardy, he moves swiftly to take it away from Gus, depositing it in his room. On his way back, I figure I’ll give something a try.

“Morgan, take care of your bowl.”

This is the remains of a bowl of applesauce he just had. One of his favorites. Amazing! He takes the bowl from the table and puts it in the kitchen next to the sink. I figure I’m on a roll now. Let’s see how far I can take this.

“Morgan, pick up your toys.”

Back to playing with the cars.

“Uh-oh! Cars broken!” he says.

And there he is, setting up little dioramas of his matchbox cars in wreck positions. One car is halfway under an 18-wheeler. Another is on its side. A third is overturned. The rest are lined up in four rows, just like on the highway on TV.


God I love this boy.


Last week was a very strange turn of fate. Last Sunday, Morgan was climbing up on the entertainment center to see what was on top of it. As he was getting down, he accidentally turned on the TV. We have satellite TV, so it was set to channel 4. What was on? Nascar racing. Well, this just grabbed his attention. He immediately sat down and started watching. Now, if you haven’t watched Nascar in a while (or ever, like me) they now have cameras in all the cars, looking forward and behind the cars as they race.

This is what made Morgan’s day. He loves to take his little cars, hold them up to his eye, and imagine that he’s driving the car. The camera view must be just what he imagines when he’s playing with the cars, because he sat still and just watched for a half hour. For the rest of the time, he kept coming back, sitting down right in front of the TV, and sitting for 10 minutes or so, mesmerized.

Now, he’s asking for racing cars on TV all the time. He doesn’t understand that they are only on once a week. Well, now I have to go look up the Nascar schedule so we can watch. You see, as a parent, whenever Morgan shows an active interest in it, I will exploit that interest until it screams for mercy.

“You want to see the racing cars? Pick up your toys”

“Clean your room if you want to see the racing cars.”

And so on.

Morgan’s new school

We found out today that Morgan will be going to a new school next school year. The school district has decided to move all the K-2nd grade children to a different school, and the 3-5th grade children to yet another school. Morgan’s teachers are apparently going to get the really bad cases to work with. They told me that only one of their current students will be staying. They will lose all their other students. Morgan’s teacher said she was very sad to be losing them.

Naturally, this sucks. Morgan loves his school, he loves his teachers and he loves the coach and PE. I’m not happy about it, and Ash is really pissed off. I’m resigned to it, however, while Ash isn’t and probably won’t be for a while.

We’re going to schedule a visit to see what the new school is like, meet the teachers, and perhaps have them meet Morgan. I think we get to visit the school the day before classes start.

The cause of autism?

“Thousands of parents, hundreds of doctors and scientists, and several congressmen agree: The cause of autism – and its cure – has been found. Generation Rescue

How I’d love this to be true. Of course, the fact that several congressmen agree means I’m automically suspicious.

Now we have something else to look into. If you have a child with autism, this kind of thing really shines a ray of hope on your heart. I want this to be true with all my being. Everything would be so simple if it were. There is a cure, not easy, but it’s there.

Who knows? I sure as hell don’t, but now I have something else to hope for, and one more thing that could knock me down a little closer to the breaking point if it turns out to be a big lie.

This sucks! Part n

Well, I’m sick yet again. Thanks Morgan. I really appreciate you bringing your nasty germs from school and infecting me, while leaving your much more deserving mother healthy as usual. I swear I’ll be so glad when he gets out of school and I don’t have to catch his diseases any more!

I’ve lost count of how many times he’s got me sick this school year, thus the part N (math) reference. Morgan’s schoolteachers warned me that he would be bringing home all kinds of diseases his first year, and even better, he’d give them to us. He’s good about sharing like that. Fortunately, I’ve been the one hardest hit by them, not Ash. Ash has usually gotten by with a lite version of the disease or (damn her!) not been sick at all.

Of course, when does get the full blown version I stay home to take care of her because, like all women, when she actually gets sick enough to have to stay in bed, it’s very serious. It’s happened a couple of times. Not like us men who start whining when we get a head cold. Women are tough like that. They may get a -1 to Strength, but I always gave a +1 to Constitution to make up for it.

So, how will this play out, you ask? Got me. What I have now, feeling generally icky but able to stay at work, may be as bad as it gets, but I’m not holding my breath. It would be nice, but I have the feeling I’m going to miss some work. This sucks, because I have two very important things to do on Wednesday and Thursday. I may come in no matter how bad I feel just to get them done and to hell with my whining! Single mom’s do it by the Gods, so I can do it too.

P.S. I’m on my lunch break dammit! I can blog if I want!

My new goal

My newest goal is to learn AppleScript. I have a little manual called AppleScript for Absolute Beginners. I’ve been going through it and learning the basics. Right now I’m starting on defining lists. I see AppleScript as a gateway drug to Python or Perl, and then eventually to C or C++ or even Java, perhaps.

What I’d really like to learn is LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP or Perl). That is a nice skill set that will really help me in my job.

My goal is to write scripts to parse out the data we get from customers at work into an easy to import format. We put their data into our databases, and I want to make it simple and no brainerish to get their information into our system.

The amazing Morgan

I’ve discovered that Morgan has the amazing ability to gag and almost vomit whenever he doesn’t want to take his medicine. Now, Morgan has a couple of medicines he has to take. First, he takes his morning and evening pill to calm down his meltdowns. He doesn’t really have a problem with them. We’ve been putting them into a mini peanut butter cup for a while and he has no problem eating them.

Before the mini peanut butter cups, we put them into peanut butter sandwiches, or his trademarked sausage sandwiches, a sausage patty on toast with a slice of american cheese (he’ll ask for them by name). You can use a knife to cut a small slit into the sausage patty and push a small pill into the slit. Works like a charm. We have to cut the sandwiches into quarters, (squares, not triangles!). One thing we noticed early on is that he will always eat the top left quarter of the sandwich first. Guess where the pill goes.

More recently, his pediatrician prescribed Claritin. He’s been stuffed up lately and has adenoid problems. She said the Claritin may help with the adenoids, and if he has allergies, it may help with that too. Claritin doesn’t work for everyone, so we’ll assess if it is working in a week or two. She also prescribed Flonase. This is a nasal spray that helps with allergies. I’ve been taking it forever and it works. Morgan doesn’t want anything to do with it. The first day we gave him some, he vomited. The second morning I gave him some before school, he vomited. The third morning, he started gagging when he saw the spray bottle. I decided to discontinue it that morning.

On Wednesday night, Morgan had a cold. He was coughing pretty bad, so we kept him out of school on Thursday and Friday. We have these thin strips for coughs and colds. We didn’t get them to put on his tongue, of course, since he’d just vomit when he tasted them. Instead, we are sneaky parents and we put them in his sandwiches, or stuff them into a peanut butter cup. We can’t use the peanut butter cup, because he’s wise to that now. He always inspects them to make sure there are only pills in them. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are still good. The jelly masks the flavor. Ash thought of putting them in his applesauce and mixing it up so it dissolves and he can’t taste it. I haven’t tried that yet, but you know I will soon.

He reminds me of me when I was little. My thing wasn’t medicine, but vegetables, though. Ask my parents about their attempts to get me to eat veggies. Ha! I laugh at their feeble attempts. Poor Morgan has to deal with my sneaky ass, though. Because of my history of avoiding veggies, I’m always seven or eight steps ahead of him, poor bastard.

Which is better?

A shower in the morning or one in the evening. This is something I’ve wrestled with for a while, trying to figure out which I prefer. Both have their good points.

Morning showers wake you up. If you’re asleep, a good morning shower will wake you up like nothing else. You are clean starting in the morning. You walk out the door freshly showered and clean.

Evening showers are leisurely. No rush to get it done and get out the door on time. I have a son I have to get off to school, so this is a definite advantage. Mornings can be less rushed or you can get up 20 minutes later.

Up to now, I’ve been taking my showers in the morning. I think I’ll give it a try in the evening for a while and see how that works out.

Those smart bacteria

I recently read somewhere that bacteria are the most common form of life, and that when you look for life anywhere, you should first look for bacteria. They are also the most successful form of life, the most diverse, etc. I read in the same place that higher forms of life were short lived abberations in the scheme of things, when compared to the bacteria. I couldn’t help thinking about the symbiosis between people and their bacteria. This led to the question of who evolved to serve who? Is our reason for existence to provide a nice home for our bacteria?

Well, I thought it was an interesting question.