Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'd say that's pretty funny, Bob

Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella?

Fo' drizzle


Monday, November 14, 2011

I will not fail

I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail. I will not fail.

I I repeat it to myself enough, maybe I will win BloMo, yes?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

From the ashes

At the therapy center where Lucas goes, on Thursday nights he attends a feeding clinic. For two hours, he and a group of children sit around a dining table with various therapists, and they attempt to eat a variety of foods. We have been attending for several months, and in that time, all of the children have made great strides.

Adjacent to the room where the children are, the parents watch from a webcam linked to a monitor in our room. Slowly, over the course of weeks, friendships were forged. We've laughed together, we've listened to each others cries. It has been an amazing journey.

There is a huge comfort in connecting with other parents of special needs children. They are other parents who share the same worries, fears, and hopes that we have. They delight in the excitement of tiny milestones reached.

It is amazing to know that I am not alone. Others have been there. Others are arriving. We're all finding our way, slowly and with carefully placed steps. This piece really resounded in my heart today. I have printed a copy, and put it in the front cover of Lucas' binder of medical documentation

Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?”
“Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it,” said Jacob. “But I do find a strength in the ashes.”
“In the ashes?” asked Mr. Gold.
“Yes,” said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a great distance.
“You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone. Each of us is in the great darkness of our ignorance. And, each of us is on a journey.
“In the process of our journey, we must bend to build a fire for light, and warmth, and food.
“But when our fingers tear at the ground, hoping to find the coals of another’s fire, what we often find is the ashes.
“And, in those ashes, which will not give us light or warmth, there may be sadness, but there is also testimony.
“Because these ashes tell is that somebody else has been in the night, somebody else has bent to build a fire, and somebody else has carried on.
And that can be enough, sometimes.”
~Noah benShea

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moment of Truth

What type of pets do you have?
We have two dogs - Rizzo and Wilbur. They are big, goofy pitbulls, with a combined weight of 200+lbs.

We also have three birds - Paco, Consuela, and Hedwig. They're parakeets, and they have no interest in humans. They only like each other; we're just the big stupid creatures who feed them and change their paper and water. Sissy named Paco and Consuela. I had a hand in naming Hedwig.

And we have a fish tank, that to the best of my knowledge has a little striped fish, a gourami, and two shrimps living in it. They are the aquatic animals who will live forever, as I've been waiting for their demise for years now so we can get rid of the gigantic tank.

What is your favorite color?
I love all the colors. Seriously, I really do like them all. Purple is probably my favorite, seconded by pink. Lime green, orange, and blue are up there, also.

What is your favorite food?
I feel as though my answer to this question changes every hour, depending on what sort of day I've had, and how hungry I am when the question is asked. I'm a big fan of comfort foods - pasta, soups, mashed potatoes - things that warm you from the inside out.

Where do you want to retire?
By the sea. With palm trees. Or palm-ish trees. And then, once a year around Christmas, I want to vacation in a snowy cabin with my family. A roaring fire, cozy sweaters and leggings, fuzzy socks....and then return to the land of flipflops and year round tans.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
I've been blessed to have wonderfully kind people around me for my whole life. If I had to choose my most memorable random act of kindness, though, I'd have to say it was a hundred years ago, at least.

When I was 16, my best friends and I were in a terrible car crash. It left me petrified to get behind the wheel, and I rebelled against getting my license for a very, very long time. I finally caved when I was 18, when my father (who was sick of driving me places) bribed me with a VW Jetta custom painted sparkly pink. Fast forward several weeks, and I was hit from behind by a gigantic Oldsmobile. My little pink Jetta was totaled, and I was stuck inside. Given my past, and the fact that I was 18, I was hysterical in my little mashed up car. A random stranger who witnessed the accident came over to the drivers door, put his hand inside my broken window, and held my hand tightly until EMS arrived. He kept rubbing my hand and telling me it was okay, that I would be okay, and help was coming. Even though it was a small town, no one knew who he was, and I still say prayers for him, sometimes. I couldn't pick him out of a line-up if I tried, I just remember his red windbreaker, and his kindness.

What would you do with a million dollars?
I'd buy your loooooooooooove.

Bonus points to those BlogFans who get that reference.

Seriously, though...a million bucks. Do we mean million pre-tax, or a million under the table? It's my blog, so I'm going to say that it's not taxed. I would pay off my house ($334,000). I would pay off our student loans ($27,500). I would pay off cars, credit cards, and other miscellaneous floating debts ($36,000). I would put a large sum of money for each of my kids [and some for the third baby I dream of having] in the hands of a responsible investor ($300,000). I would give fifty thousand to each of our siblings ($150,000). I would pay off our parents homes and debts, which, thankfully, isn't much 'cause we're cutting it down to the wire, methinks ($150,000). That leaves me with like $2500, if my calculations are correct. With that, I'd take the kids someplace fun for the week - like Sesame Place

You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school, what is it about?
Acceptance. In all forms. Acceptance of yourself. Acceptance of others. Acceptance of differences.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This Veterans Day, I believe we should do more than sing the praises of the bravery and patriotism that our veterans have embodied in the past. We should take this opportunity to re-evaluate how we are treating our veterans in the present.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A day in the life

This. Is. Brilliant.

I live the gay lifestyle, the gay lifestyle that is often mentioned by some Republican candidates for president. For those who are unfamiliar with the lifestyle, this is a typical day:

7:00 a.m. I wake up, and just as I have done every morning since puberty, I choose to be gay today. This will come as a great relief to my gay, homosexual, male lover who lies beside me. Because being gay is a choice, our relationship is a gamble day to day. Even though we have both chosen to remain gay and to be together every day for the past 16 years, we never take anything for granted. One of us just might throw in the towel one day and give up the lifestyle.

7:30 a.m. I take a gay shower and let the gay water rinse off my gay body.

8:00 a.m. I have a gay breakfast of cereal with milk, and a good, strong, gay cup of coffee. I am fortified for another day of ruining the fabric of American society.

9:00 a.m. I start my morning shift as a gay hospital volunteer. The hospital is not gay, just me. The patients are mostly normal people. But it is OK. The hospital has a rule that all volunteers must sanitize their hands before meeting with patients. This is to avoid spreading germs, but I think that hand sanitizer is also effective in stopping the transfer of my gayness to other people.

12:00 p.m. I return home, eat a gay lunch and take my gay dogs for a walk. Well, I am not sure if the dogs are actually gay. I have heard it said that homosexuality does not exist in the animal kingdom because it is not natural, so chances are that the dogs are not gay. But because they live with me and my gay, homosexual, male lover, they are perceived by others to be gay. I would feel bad about this, but the fact is that I need these dogs. They are the closest that I will ever come to having actual children, because, as everyone knows, gays should not (and cannot) have children. I push this out of my mind as I walk the dogs gaily through the neighborhood.

1:00 p.m. I teach classes at a small, prestigious, liberal arts college. I am a gay college professor. The college is not gay, just me. But some may view the college as way too liberal, because “sexual orientation” is listed within the college’s anti-discrimination policy. This basically means that the college turns a blind eye as I infect the impressionable students with my gayness on a daily basis. I do not teach anything particularly gay in my classes. I am a theater professor, which, for all intents and purposes, is gay to most people, anyway.

6:00 p.m. My gay, homosexual, male lover returns home from his job. Luckily, he has chosen to be gay today, too, so we can sit down and have a nice, relaxing gay dinner together. We are aware that our relationship is ripping at the seams of our heterosexual neighbors’ marriages, but we choose to ignore this. If we were normal people, the guilt might weigh on us heavily, but we are gay, after all, so we do not have consciences. We eat in peace.

8:00 p.m. We go gay bowling at our Suburban Gay Bowling League. There are quite a lot of us homosexuals who gather each week to bowl at our local bowling alley. This makes the normal suburban bowlers uncomfortable, but we do not care. Some of them are openly hostile to us. The more polite ones just stare at us. It makes us feel like we are caged, exotic animals in a zoo. But we count ourselves lucky because the alley owners have sold out. They allow us to bowl here because they are desirous of our ample, disposable gay income. Ah, the almighty dollar! The owners show mercy on the normal suburbanites, though, by putting a buffer zone of two vacant lanes between our gay league and them. We are respectful of this line, which we call the “edge of gayness,” and do not cross it. We try to tone down our gaiety and frivolity by focusing intently on our bowling. The normal suburbanites never venture past their side of the line, either, because it would be unimaginable to them to interact with us.

11:00 p.m. My gay, homosexual, male lover and I collapse from the weariness of the gay lifestyle we have been living today. All of this subversive loving, volunteering, working, eating, playing and socializing is exhausting. Some say the gay lifestyle is self-enslavement, but we just cannot think about that now. Before we fall asleep, we each take out our personal, leather-bound copies of The Gay Agenda. The Gay Agenda is our Bible. We do not look at the real Bible because we are gay and therefore have no religion or morality. We read and strategize how we can best destroy American society tomorrow. Sharing a good, hardy, gay laugh, we each fall into a sound, gay sleep.

Written by Domenick Scudera, courtesy of Huffington Post

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cooking with Saki

Today, BlogFans, I am about to bestow upon you my very favorite crockpot recipe. Like all good recipes, this one came from a beautiful friend who is also a mother, and understands that sometimes, dinner just needs to make itself. The best part about this recipe? It's not one of those mill your own grains, slaughter your own chickens type things. This is a five minutes start to finish absolutely delicious recipe.

Rummage the pantry, because you will need:

1 large onion, chopped
1 16-ounce can black beans
1 16-ounce can kidney beans
1 16-ounce bag frozen corn
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomates with chili peppers
1 packet taco seasoning
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Dump all the ingredients, except the chicken into your crockpot. Stir it all up, and lay the chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Cover, and crock it all day. Just before serving, fish out the chicken, and shred it up with a fork. Stir it all together, and serve with shredded cheese.

Dinner is done!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Its Election Day!!

And for those of you who know me, you understand that this is like my ChristmaHannuKwaanzikah. So, it goes without saying:




Demand the ballot as the undeniable right of every man who is called to the poll, and take special care that the old constitutional rule and principle, by which majorities alone shall decide in elections, shall not be violated.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Overheard in our house

The Scene: Walking into Outback Steakhouse
Saki: Sissy, are you hungry?
Cecilia: Yes. I'm gonna eat the hell out of that onion!

The Scene: On the phone with my mother
YaYa: I can't believe I got called for jury duty!
Saki: That's what you get for voting!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

An open letter to Senator Colgan

...And any other politician who would like to acquire my vote. I have written to Senator Colgan, Congressman Jerry Connolly, and Delegate Luke Torian, both of whom are on the ballot this year.

For the record, Senator Colgan is the only one who has not responded in any fashion (other than to leave me a pre-recorded message to remind me to vote for him on election day).

Senator Colgan,

We are writing to you today to ask for your assistance with a serious matter my family is facing. We have been residents of Virginia since 2004. My husband and I have two children; Cecilia, aged 5, and Lucas, aged 3. Our problem is with the medical care for Lucas, who has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome late last year and most recently been diagnosed with autism. He has global developmental delays, and currently wears leg braces on both legs. He uses a pediatric medical walker for longer distances. His afflictions are treatable, and with properly managed care he can live a fairly normal life. We want desperately to give him that chance.

Currently, our whole family is covered under an insurance policy provided by my husbands employer. This policy provides for 40 therapy sessions each calendar year for physical and occupational therapy combined. As of this date we have already exhausted our therapy sessions allotted for 2011. Lucas attends various therapy sessions each week now at a cost to us of over $400 per week. This is not a situation that will be resolved once the new policy year begins, it will just repeat, as Lucas will require such treatment for the foreseeable future. As with many childhood disorders, early and aggressive treatment of autism, and the many debilitating conditions associated with it, is paramount to successfully allowing the child to live a normal life. To not provide this care is to condemn him to life we don’t really want to consider. Ongoing physical therapy is essential to strengthen his muscles and protect his fragile joints and connective tissue from a lifetime of painful dislocations and subluxations.

My husbands employer has provided a very generous insurance policy for their employees and their families. However, in our case we are experiencing some severe medical costs. Recognizing the special nature of autism and the need for extended therapy sessions, the State of Virginia mandates publicly offered insurance policies to provide unlimited habilitation therapy sessions for a diagnosis of autism, regardless of what other session limits may apply to other diagnoses. Unfortunately, MITRE has negotiated a self-funded contract with Aetna Insurance, which places a cap at 40 sessions, with no possibility to appeal for more visits.

We have been working with the Human Resources department and with our insurance company to try to work out a solution. Although we all agree that there is a need for assistance, we have been told that it is not possible to cover these costs through the policy. We have received, and continue to receive, some benefits from state and county organizations, but it does not fill the gap. Lucas has aged out of the county PIE program, and is on the wait list to be evaluated by the public school system. They hope to be able to evaluate him before the close of 2011. The ARC, Easter Seals, Autism Speaks, and United Healthcare Childrens’ Foundation have all been very helpful so far, but none have been able to help us with a solution to the insurance coverage issues. We have been denied by Social Security due to income requirements.

We are respectfully asking for your help in several ways. While we understand that healthcare issues are a very heavy issues for politicians, we ask that you take a stand for the special needs citizens of Virginia, and help fill the gaps of the current situation.

If the mandate would encompass all insurance policies, rather than just those that are publicly funded, then all children would be able to receive the services that they need and deserve. We know that ours is not a unique case, and that there are countless other families struggling in the same way we are. Given the seriousness and prevalence of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, we firmly believe that changing the provisions of the mandate would be tremendously beneficial to the children in our state.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Friday, November 04, 2011

It's been a while. . .

It's been a while since I've forced you to revel in the splendor of my children, so I thought I'd offer up a recent picture of my babies.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Everywhere I go, I see Christmas trees, hear Christmas music, see Christmas lights twinkling. Now, I love Christmas as much as the next girl, but give the Turkey some space, people.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Season of Thanks

I have seen several people offering up reasons they are thankful this November. ...okay, okay, I saw it on facebook. These warmed my heart, so today I am going to post my own list of things I am thankful for right this second.

- Two beautiful, wonderfully smart, healthy kids
- An equally wonderful, smart, healthy Hubbin'
- A cozy house, small enough to be secure, big enough to hold all the chaos inside
- A big extended family, who knows what it means to stick together
- Fuzzy socks and steamy mugs of coffee
- An amazing sister who inspires me
- Friends who support and cheer me on; but also help me pick up the pieces when things fall apart
- Two big goofy dogs, who make us laugh, and keep us safe
- Warm clothes in my closet, healthy food in my kitchen, and also the not-so-healthy food in my kitchen :)
- Happy memories, and the promise of many more to be made

I don't know about you guys, but I certainly feel better!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

About that time again

I have a blog?

Oh right. I have a blog!


Sorry, BlogFans. I didn't mean to leave you stranded out there in the interwebs, all waiting with bated breath for my latest and greatest posting.

But I'm back now! And it must be your lucky day, because guess what today is the start of! That;s right, it's MSNBCasey's annual NaNoWriMo rip off - NaBloWriMo!!!! November is the month where I diligently post 30 posts in 30 days. I have lofty ambitions of one day NaNo-ing with my writer peers, but BlogFans, this year isn't that year.

So, welcome back to our little bubble, sit back, grab your kids Halloween candy, and enjoy the ride!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

They want the government controlling social security like it's some kind of federal program

The scene: Sitting in a sea of paperwork, just about to wrap up a three and a half hour application to social security for Lucas

Saki: Okay, that should do it. Anything else I should say about Lucas?
The Hubbin': Did you mention that he's studly?
Saki: I don't think there's an ICD code for that, babe.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


..the newest member of the Costa Casa: Wilbur!

He is cute, yes? It's a good thing he's cute, 'cause he's pretty fresh. He has a sweet disposition, but he's exceptionally mischievous. He is a notorious counter surfer, and a big time snugglebug.

Rizzo is slowly getting over herself, and begrudgingly forging a friendship with Wilbur, or Willy B as we like to call him. Technically, it doesn't matter what we call him, Wilbur is deaf.

Having a deaf dog has its advantages - he sleeps through the chaos that is our daily routine. He is unfazed by the neighborhood dogs barking. He doesn't go apeshit over the doorbell.

It's a tough adjustment for us, though. Waving your arms in an angry fashion isn't nearly as satisfying as yelling "Wilbur, NO!" in response to him eating the leftovers off the countertop.

And so, the chaos continues, with four new legs in the house. All is well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Day I Almost Died (or, How my elderly neighbor saved my life)

We have to start this story back in very early spring. I hate long, drawn out stories as much as you do, Blogfans, but it needs to start at the beginning.

In one of the last storms of winter, the mesh covering for one of the vents on our soffit fell down, leaving a gaping hole in the underside of my overhang. It was one of those bastard places to get to, where you really have nowhere to put the ladder, so you have to lay on your belly at the edge of the roof and pray to god that you don't tumble off.

Needless to say, we let it go for a while. While we were away for a long weekend, a family of starlings moved into the hole, and started dragging grass and twigs and stuff up there to nest. Upon our return we saw that there was not just a nest up there, but there were also broken egg shells on the ground under the hole. The starlings had started a family.

The Hubbin' was insistent that the birds needed to be evicted ASAP. "But there are babies in there!" I protested. "Just wait until the babies fly away, and then we can scoot the nest out and seal it up."

I want you to go back and read that sentence again, Blogfans. I stuck up for those birds. I am the only reason they are alive right now. Me.

Against The Hubbin's better judgment, he listened to me, and the birds stayed. The weather grew warmer, and the baby birds grew louder. Starting around 4:45am, they start peeping for food. And they do so every 40 minutes or so until the sun sets. It grew so loud that it would wake my five year old up from a sound sleep. She would bang on her window and yell "Moooom!! The birds are too noisy again!"

The Hubbin' again offered to dispose of the nest, but not wanting the babies to be abandoned, I firmly declined.

And that's how life went for a while.

Until today.

I pulled in the driveway, a car loaded with groceries, and two grouchy children. I got the kids out of the car, and then grabbed as many groceries bags as I could carry. We started to walk across the lawn to the front door. A few steps in, a bird landed in front of us.

"Look! A bird!" Sissy squealed. "Peep peep!" the bird replied to her. We looked at the bird for a few seconds. The bird look at us, with it's sweet little bird face. We Oooh'd and Ahh'd, and then stepped around the bird onto the sidewalk.

This is where it went downhill.

The bird flew in front of us and landed on the sidewalk. It flapped its wings and screeched at us. "Get out of here! Shoo!" I said to the bird, showing it I wasn't afraid.

Lucas, still thinking this whole situation was fun, laughed and said "Awwww, cuuuuuute!!! Bird!" The bird responded by hopping forward and pecking Lucas' bare toes several times in rapid succession.

I dropped my grocery bags and picked up my screaming baby, who was tucking himself into turtle pose. I told Sissy to follow me, and we hurried towards the door. But the bird was quick! And clever! He flew past us, landing on our porch, squawking his obscenities at us. I rattled my keys at him. I yelled. I hopped up and down, but the bird wouldn't budge. Finally, I kicked at it, and my flip flop flew off of my foot and scared the bird. "Quick!" I said, unlocking the door, and putting Lucas down inside.

Unfortunately, Sissy, spooked by the whole ordeal had run back towards the car. I stood on my porch, my groceries spilled on the sidewalk, and my daughter crying by the car. I took a step forward, and that sneaky little ninja bird popped up from the step and started pecking at my bare foot. But this time I was prepared. Broom in hand, I bravely started poking towards the bird. The broom didn't have quite the effect I had hoped for. Actually, I think the bird laughed at the broom.

So I hauled back and batted the bird with the broom. It flew far. "Run, Sissy!" I yelled. My girl tore across the lawn and into the house. "That bird was fresh!" she said, peering at me through the screen. I nodded and made my way down the steps to recover my groceries from the walkway.

Just as I happened upon my kaiser rolls, the bird made a kamikaze swoop at me, squawking with a vengeance. I screamed and covered my head, afraid the bird would somehow get stuck in my hair*. The bird landed on the ground, standing firm between me and my groceries.

Alright, Saki, I thought to myself. You're like a billion times bigger than that bird. Get your shit, and go in the house.

The bird must be a legilimens because he knew my plan inside and out, and responded with a resounding bird cry of "Oh heeeeeell naw." The bird went in for the kill, pecking, swooping, bucking and lunging. I screamed, and feebly batted my hands about, all while doing an elaborate dance to save my naked toes.

Through squinted eyes I saw my neighbor, a kind and soft spoken retiree, sauntering across the road, a bag in his hand. He marched up to the bird, and in one fell swoop captured it in a bag.

"Go ahead and get your groceries, Dear. I'll take care of him." he said, offering a kind smile.

"Thank you!" I called to him, as he walked slowly back to his side of the road.

Like a boss.

*Because you know I have luxurious golden curls.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone

Twelve months have passed since "everything" started with Lucas.

Twelve months ago, he was not walking.

Twelve months ago, he was not talking.

Twelve months ago, we had our first meeting with intervention services, who referred us to ortho, who referred us to neuro, who launched our catapult into the special needs community.

It was a community that at the time, we were devastated to join. We vacillated between denying there was anything wrong, and trembling with fear about what might be wrong.

We still don't have a diagnosis that encompasses all of the puzzle pieces. But I do know this - there is nothing "wrong" with my boy.

When we meet new people, and it comes to light that we have a child with special needs, most people respond with a sympathetic "I'm so sorry." Well, I'm here to tell you this - don't be sorry. I'm not. Lucas is a smart, loving, sweet boy. He gives 150% all the time. He throws his whole heart into everything he does. There is nothing for anyone to be "sorry" about.

It was something that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't understand until Lucas' struggles became apparent. I never understood when parents said "My special needs child is a blessing." I get it now. I completely understand and embrace it now.

Twelve months have gone by.

We still have our struggles, and we still have our sad moments, but we keep moving forward with our heads held high.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

With a heavy heart

Bruno, a big headed jabberwocky, died peacefully today at home, under the shade of the maple tree in his yard. He was five years old, residing in Woodbridge, VA. He is survived by two adults, two children, three birds, and his best friend, Rizzo. He will be sorely missed by all, except for maybe the birds. He never hurt anyone, which is more than I can say for most of us.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 years ago

Five years ago today, I delivered a beautiful baby girl. She was the smallest person I had ever seen. She healed my heart and changed me forever. Happy birthday, Cecilia. You're perfect.

she sees she says she wants.
she wants I see she gets.
I say she takes to heart.
she takes she takes apart.
Every time
she blinks she strikes somebody blind.
she thinks blows her tiny mind.
That's my daughter in the water.
Everything she owns I bought her.
Everything she owns.
That's my daughter in the water.
Everything she knows I taught her.
Everything she knows.
That's my daughter in the water
I lost every time I fought her.
I lost every time.
Who'd have ever thought?
Who'd have ever thought?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hoppy Eastah! (also, the post in which I fail at youth religious education)

The scene: A crowded restaurant, jam packed with senior citizens during the early lunch rush. I am sitting with The Hubbin'; Cecilia, 4; and Lucas, 2.

Cecilia: It's almost Easter!
Saki: I know! Are you excited?
Cecilia: Mommy, why do we have Easter?
Saki: Because of Jesus. Do you know who Jesus is?
Cecilia: *deer in headlights*
Saki: Jesus was a very, very, very kind man, who lived a long time ago --
Cecilia: Oh, that's nice.
Saki: ...But he died.
Cecilia: That's terrible! How did he die?
The Hubbin', as he runs away: I'm just going to get up and go somewhere that isn't here
Saki: *nervously looking around* Well, there were people who didn't like Jesus, so they put him on a big cross, and he died there.
Cecilia: That was fresh of them.
Saki: But it's okay, because three days later, he came back to life!
Cecilia: What? How?
Saki: Because Jesus is God's son. And God is magical, and because people believed in him, he helped bring Jesus back to life.
Cecilia: So God is magical?
Saki: Uh....yes. Sort of. Yes.
Cecilia: OH! I get it -- God is magic like Harry Potter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


In western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night,
And swaying branches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Click, Read & Be Merry

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've compiled an incomplete list of resources for parents of children with special needs and/or disabilities, limited to the United States - sorry overseas BlogFans. If you know of any other worthwhile links or resources, let me know, and I'll happily add them on.

Rehab Equipment Exchange This national network is a FREE service to facilitate the exchange and transfer of used rehabilitation equipment. Individuals can use the website to buy, sell, or donate used rehab items of many types, including wheelchairs, pediatric equipment, mobility aids, ADL (Activities of Daily Living) aids, communication devices, assistive technology, and exercise equipment.

PipSqueakers Squeaky shoes for babies with vision and mobility disabilities

Different Roads to Learning Products and programs designed to support the Autism Community

The Autism Superstore Affordable developmental toys and educational items

Seedlings Free and low-cost braille childrens books

National Association for Down Syndrome Ensuring all persons with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to achieve their potential in all aspects of community life

National Down Syndrome Society National advocate for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome

The Arc Promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

ASD Hope Help, Options & Parent Empowerment

Angel Food Ministries Non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support

HealthWell Foundation Non-profit organization committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who can not afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.

Patient Access Network Providing financial assistance to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses

Patient Advocate Foundation Providing mediation and arbitration services to patients to remove obstacles to healthcare including medical debt crisis, insurance access issues and employment issues for patients with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses

Partnership for Prescription Assistance Helps patients without prescription drug coverage get the medications they need for free or low-cost

Co-Pay Relief Provides direct financial support to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries

Special Olympics Provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship

American Council of the Blind Information and referral on all aspects of blindness, scholarship assistance, public awareness and training, advocacy

Beginnings For parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Hands & Voices Supporting families and their children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them

Lifeprint American Sign Language resource site

Raising a Sensory Smart Child Helping your child with sensory processing issues

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Expanding knowledge, fostering awareness and promoting recognition of Sensory Processing Disorder

Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders Advancing the identification, prevention, and treatment of developmental and learning disorders.

NICHCY National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

United Healthcare Children's Foundation Provides financial assistance toward the family's share of the cost of medical services

The Morgan Project Making opportunities reality granting assistance nationwide

National Autism Association Responding to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential. Offers one time grant through Helping Hands to pay for tuition, medication, evaluations or testing

Disabled Children's Relief Fund Provides disabled children assistance to obtain wheelchairs, orthopedic braces, walkers, lifts, hearing aids, eyeglasses, medical equipment, physical therapy and surgery

Queen of Hearts Foundation Helping children gain independence from disability caused by premature birth and brain trauma, such as cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus

eSpecial Needs One stop shop for adaptive equipment, rehab equipment, and therapy solutions for children and adults with special needs.

Ehlers Danlos National Foundation Overview, support and resources

Muscular Dystrophy Association Advocacy, clinics, support groups and camps for children and families dealing with a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Apples to Apples

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit!

We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That's $585 X 180= $105,300

per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special

education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an

hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days

= $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids! WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hell on Wheels

Well, the title pretty much says it all: My kids have discovered the wheel. The Hubbin' has been diligently teaching Cecilia how to roller skate. She's getting to be pretty good, and spent Saturday morning (very slowly) skating backwards!

The Hubbin' and Sissy ham it up!

Flying Solo

Lucas, of course, wants nothing to do with skating. He feels that if God had wanted him on wheels, he would have been born with them on his feet. He did, however, get a sweet new walker. It's a "gator" posterior pediatric walker, made by SnugSeat. And it's AWESOME. Clearly, he's pretty chuffed with it, too.
Safe and sturdy, and not attached at the feet - the way wheels were meant to be!

Cherry red, tricked out wheels, little silver bell - OH YEAH!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


While sitting at the dinner table, telling each other jokes:

Knock Knock
Cecilia: Who's there?
Saki: Little old lady.
Cecilia: Little old lady who?
Saki: I didn't know you could yodel!
Cecilia: . . .That wasn't even funny
Saki: Okay, then. Knock knock
Cecilia: Who's there?
Saki: Banana!
Cecilia: Banana who?
Saki: Knock knock!
Cecilia, sighing: Who's there?
Saki: Banana!
Cecilia: I know this one already. That one isn't funny, either.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Damn you, auto correct!

Via text message between The Hubbin' and I:

Saki: I picked up cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake today
Hubbin': Cool. Any new flavors?
Saki: PB swirl, caramel, and dysentery champagne.
Saki: Curses! Strawberry Champagne. I wouldn't feed you a dysentery cupcake. Not today anyway.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Assembling with Saki

It would be unfair to title this one "cooking" with Saki, because there is absolutely no cooking involved. We have a delightful wintery appetizer for you, today, BlogFans. It's an appetizer that I don't partake in, because of my hatred of olives, but I do have to admit, they are pretty cute. Strap on your snowshoes and march to the store, because you will need:

1 can "Jumbo" black olives, pitted
1 can "Small" black olives, pitted
1 large carrot
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1 jar pimentos (optional)
1 box toothpicks, bonus points if you get the ones with fancy things at the top

Drain all your olives. Pat dry, and very carefully slice the "jumbo" olives lengthwise. Gently open, and stuff the olives with a piece of fresh mozzarella, leaving a stripe of cheese showing down the middle. Cut your carrot into rounds, and cut a wedge out of the round. Using a toothpick, carefully stack your carrot round, stuffed olive and one small olive. Trim a tiny piece of carrot off of the discarded wedge, and make a small slit in the front of the small olive. Shove the carrot piece inside, making a beak. Garnish with a pimento scarf, if desired

Makes: One flock of penguins

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Cheers to a New Year

..and another chance for us to get it right!

Welcome to 2011, BlogFans! I hope you all had a happy little holiday season, and a safe New Years Eve. We had a quiet New Years Eve with family, filled with lots of good food and blessed relaxation.

Today brought the first day of the new year - it was mild and calm, and I hope the rest of the year follows suit. While sitting around today, we got on the subject of resolutions.

My mom has sworn off resolutions; she is still bitter that her resolution of New Years Past to stop cursing lasted all of forty one seconds. I don't love resolutions, either, but I make them anyway. This year I will do my best to:

Have more patience with my husband. He is more worthy of my patience than random people I encounter throughout the day.

Take more photographs. And try to be in some of them. Also, actually do something with the photos, so that they don't spend eternity in digital purgatory.

Live healthfully. Physically, emotionally, socially.

Speak proper English. I've found myself saying things such as "A whole nother." As in: I'm going to eat a whole nother apple. That isn't even a word! It's a word with another random word shoved inside of it. I also abuse the word "like," and punctuate what I say with "ya know?" and "Right?!" Terrible. To think - I majored in English! My father paid good money for this. The time has come to put it to use.

I think that about wraps up the big ones. What are your resolutions, BlogFans?