Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
A sad end to the story of a missing Lawrence man. Eugene Losik's body was found in Boston Harbor yesterday 9 months after he disappeared from a Boston hotel in the middle of the night. He was last seen on a surveillance camera at the Long Wharf Marriot after attending the birthday party of a friend in Faneuil Hall.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
ESPNBOSTON is reporting Martinez has signed a four year/$50 million deal with Detroit. This leaves Boston with a gaping hole at catcher and less interchangeable parts at catcher and first base. Let's go Theo show us what you got!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
AMC's new zombie thriller "The Walking Dead" has been renewed for a second season after only two episodes. Why so quick? "The Walking Dead" has shattered cable TV ratings records. It's first two episodes have attracted the highest viewership for a cable TV series in history, a total of ten million viewers in it's first two episodes combined.
Pic credit: amediamindset.blogspot.com
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
(WARNING: Please be advised there may be content in here that would leave you squeamish or ultimately run for a package of birth control pills... Take it or leave it... This is reality. Its a messy subject.. and i write it how i see it.)
I would love to write a book that would be gifted to every expectant mother the day she found out she was going to have a baby. There are a lot of good ones out there, but I haven't found one that really tells you 'what to expect' yet. The truth is, you cannot write a marketable book about what to really expect, because it's so horrifying that no sane person would want to have a baby after reading it.
Every pregnancy is different. There are no two people who have the same pregnancy. I know a few women who claim to "LOVE being pregnant". But somehow, I can't help but think they are telling the truth. Sure, there are plenty of things to love. Mainly the idea you are going to get a beautiful tiny person when you are through cooking them in your oven. But if you are anything like me, you wonder if your baby will actually be beautiful. I had plenty of nights tossing and turning over the idea my baby would be born with a giant birthmark across their face and the whole oven notion? Its more like a furnace. Babies create an inferno on your insides that all but make you want to strip naked in public to try to find relief from the heat.
What you can really expect is that unless God gave you AMAZING amounts of elastin in your skin, and your child weighs over 8lbs there isn't a coco-butter lather in this universe that can save you from stretch marks. There is also no cure for stretch marks once you have them no matter what those magazine ads try to tell you. What you can really expect is hemorrhoids, embarrassing pee your pants accidents in public situations, and heartburn after drinking water,let alone any sort of food with flavor.
You can expect other mothers to yell at you for drinking a cup of coffee. My own OBGYN gave me FULL PERMISSION do do so. Thank you want-to-be doctor mom's, but if I don't have a cup of coffee to start my day- with caffeine, I promise you- You will NOT want to be around me. People will yell at you and make you feel guilty for eating tuna, for eating a candy bar.. and everyone will ask you if you are eating well. My first pregnancy was so traumatizing to my body I thought for sure I was dying. I had morning-noon-and night sickness for MONTHS. I couldn't keep anything down. To this day, eight and a half years later, I still cannot stomach the thought of saltine crackers and if I even see a TUMS bottle I wretch. Once I could eat, all I could eat was ice cream. It became my own personal 'breakfast of champions', as I found ONE THING I could actually keep down. Ice cream made me feel like a champion. It occurred to me more than once that my body was trying to turn itself inside out while in the bathroom, hours each day. I thought for sure, that my baby was trying to kill me.
What you can expect ? In real life while pregnant is to learn how to share. You wouldn't believe how selfish you are until you are pregnant. NOTHING highlights your selfishness like having a baby. Everything you thought was yours, and yours alone...is shared. Before the baby is born, pregnancy preps you for sharing in ways you never thought you could or would. There isn't anything about this in the books. You share all your organs, your food, and your BODY with another person.... intimately. Babies play with your bladder on your insides like its a new shiny soccer ball, and your ribcage becomes some kind of kick-boxing bag. There was a poster on the back of the door in my doctors office... An internal side view of a woman pregnant with a baby at about 7 months gestation. Given the fact that i was in that office about 45 times over the course of three children in utero. I saw this poster enough times I memorized it. Your organs in your body move to places they just shouldn't be. Your stomach ends up so squashed and close to your face its no wonder why a pregnant person has to eat tiny meals all day long. There's no way you can possibly eat a full meal. If you saw this poster before, you know what I'm talking about. Its crazy.
What you can really expect for a delivery is that there are no certainties. I have heard a million stories about labor, and not one of them is the same. If you thought you'd give birth in a nice soothing tub with candles, you probably ended up with a completely different scenario. My sister just had her third baby all natural- and she said "I was actually screaming..." Knowing her- this is not what she thought was going to happen. You can expect that even the MOST modest woman will become the LEAST modest very quickly. I was shocked at by the time it was 'showtime' to have the baby how little I cared who saw my "hoo hoos". I guess that's all part of the sharing concept. You are about to share all of yourself with a room full of people in the the most beautiful and disturbing way possible. Because I had c-sections, I was very aware that behind my little blue curtain, I was in my "all-togethers" with the entire staff of surgeons, pediatrics, anesthesiologists and nurses and students, didn't bother me in the slightest. I made a lot of jokes in surgery. They told me to stop talking and laughing a bunch of times. I'm sure everyone wished I wasn't awake. I would just like to say that c-sections are not so bad.
I am all for breastfeeding. Its truly the best choice you can make nutrition wise for your baby... but those pamphlets and books they gave me did not at all prepare me for how difficult a time I would have with that. They had beautiful photos of mothers smiling happily with practically a halo around their heads, nursing a perfectly perfect baby who was latched on to their breast in a perfectly perfect way. With my firstborn I had such a different experience, Disheveled and hooked up to the automatic pain med box after my c-section I was passed this amazing little creature with a perfectly round head. Delighted that although, I had major surgery to bring him into the world, his giant noggin was out sans cone head - and undoubtedly far less trauma to my body than the c-section made. He was so cute and visibly hungry. I got comfortable and he latched on "perfectly" as the nurse said. His first feeding was something like 35 minutes long... He ate like a champion.
It was pretty great. I felt like a champion. My baby was healthy and happy, and he was eating. Somewhere in the midst of visitors, and diaper changes, and feedings.. I began to be very sore. By the first night- I was literally bawling my eyes out. The nurse came in and asked me if i was alright, and I could barely even speak through the tears. She said something about hormones and let down after having a baby which she assured me was normal-- and I insisted, "NO!"- I then ripped off my hospital nightgown and showed her the horrible truth... My beautiful baby had all but sucked the skin off both my nipples, I was BLEEDING. I was in so much pain i wanted to throw up. That gorgeous child was a cannibal, I was sure of it. I was convinced that the amount of blood he was consuming he would be a monster. I was on so much pain medication at that time, I thought I shouldn't have been able to feel ANYTHING. The c-section was nothing. The best part of this traumatic breastfeeding day- was when the lactation specialist came in soon after that nurse left saying "That baby could suck wallpaper off a wall..."
The lactation nurse came in and basically told me that if i opted to give my son a bottle, that i was a terrible mother. All hormones and pain meds, I wanted to rip her face off. I showed her my swollen chest,bleeding and raw and screamed something about the lies in that beautiful brochure,how my baby was a vampire and how if she was in my shoes, if she would let ANYTHING come near her breasts. She insisted over and over about the bonding, and priceless moments. I'm sorry, I couldn't jump on board that train. I wanted so badly to succeed at it,I wanted so badly to be a good mom. I let a nice nurse bring my baby a bottle with formula. Is it terrible I was PRAYING for "nipple confusion"? After realizing it was MY choice to supplement formula.. I was able to make breastfeeding successful. I nursed him for 11 months. You never saw a more roly poly happy baby in your life. And I am happy to report, he didn't grow a set of fangs.
Sharing your breasts with a small person for feeding is just the beginning. Although they no longer share your insides, you realize how much more difficult it is having them on the outside.You have two arms, and even if you are some ambidextrous prodigy, you will have to learn how do do everything with only one hand. Amazing the skills are of a seasoned mother. No really, I believe with all my heart there should be a job for people with this specially acquired skill. I have seen moms change a diaper of a 7 month old baby, on their lap with one hand. If you have any idea about how wiggly and large a 7 month old is, this is nothing short of amazing. Your lap, as a mommy, is no longer yours. It belongs to boogers, spit up, and leaks. It belongs to your baby's rear-end until they can tell you they are too old to sit on your lap, and my aunt will tell you her 18 yr old daughter still comes to sit on hers.
You will share your bed. You will share a bath. You will share spit. You will share tears. Often, you will feel like your baby is the only friend you have left- and i promise you will share your deepest thoughts- out loud, to your baby out of desperation for conversation. When you have friends over, they no longer come to see you, they come for the baby. You share your friends. You can expect to share countless wee-hours with your baby. This will still happen often even when they grow older. Those are the worst though- as it usually has to do with vomit. I despise doing laundry at 2am. You will also share that stomach bug too. Somewhere in doing that disgusting load of sheets, your child will share the virus with you. Kids are awesome at sharing germs, viruses and flu's.
What you can expect is for a sudden urge to post your status updates about "how amazing" your kid is, about a hiccup, about poop and pee, and about 10 billion photos. Deep in your heart, you will desperately wish people would respond to your updates- but after your first 400, you will realize nobody except for your own mother cares. You can expect some level of depression to hit you. You can expect a million people to ask you about it. You will deny it all the million times, and until your husband looks at you and demands to know where "the person he married went"- you won't tell your doctor.
*PLEASE go to the doctor and tell them you are suffering depression. They can and will help you. There is no shame in that. Everyone who's ever had a baby and is honest can tell you it's normal. Do not wait to go to the doctor.*
You can expect that somewhere in the midst of all this craziness, that you will change into a completely different person. You will be given super powers... Super sense of hearing, smell, and you will learn how to do everything with just one hand like a freak circus performer. You will be able to carry twice your weight in anything- strategically hung from every limb, finger and crease of your body. You will learn how to function on zero sleep. You will learn how to sleep sitting up. You will undoubtedly become a much less selfish person. You will learn to speak another language, TODDLER. You will become amazingly knowledgeable about laundry detergents, foods, coupons, SOCKS, sizes of everything, soap, diaper rash treatments, vaccinations, diseases, nutrition, and recycling.
You can expect this will be the best thing that ever happened to you that you won't make a dime doing. You can expect nobody to give you a Doctorate, although you definitely should get one with all that you will learn. You can expect to wonder how you will pay for shoes, never mind college.
To all the mothers out there- I salute you. Please feel free to add your own "you can expect_____" in the comment section below. It should be a real hoot.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
(VIDEO)Link: From PBS Elisa Leavitt explains her son's Aspergers Syndrome
Autism's known best to the world as the symbol of a puzzle piece. Unless you actually know a child or adult with autism, it is a very hard thing to understand. The puzzle piece is very fitting, as it is a very complicated. As with most things in my life, I can't help but see God's sense of humor in giving me a child who is in the Autistic spectrum, as all my life I have claimed to HATE puzzles.
My mother's favorite thing to do when i was a small child was work on puzzles. Her favorite were the most challenging. I remember her system, and watching her silently put each interlocking piece in one by one until it was done, then she would immediately take it apart and put all the thousands of painstakingly put together, cardboard, jigsaw shapes back into their box. She asked me all the time to join her, it would be all of 5 minutes before I felt so frustrated that I'd jump up to leave. Puzzles are the equivalent to a migraine headache to me. My entire body seems to wretch with the notion of such a tedious project that you just destroy when its finished.
Not shockingly, the greatest gift of my life "my firstborn child" is one giant puzzle. God's humor is really something. I guess that everyone should get good at solving puzzles. Including me. The kick in the pants is, that my son's 'picture' changes like the wind. As soon as I think I have figured out how to put the last puzzle pieces together- or at the very least, the pieces that will give me a clue of what the picture is supposed to be, he changes and gives me a whole new puzzle. The last one I was putting together (often working on it for months) destroyed and put back in the box. My son's "puzzle" comes in boxes with no helpful photo on the front you see. I have to wing it. I try to sift through his emotions, his meltdowns and his quirky behaviors DESPERATELY trying to find the edge pieces to try to understand how big the puzzle is. What i have gathered so far is that this autism thing, this puzzle is unlike any puzzle you can buy in a store.
There are no clean edges. The shape of the autism puzzle is not square. None of it makes sense, because in my neurotypical world of understanding and how my brain is wired, It's a puzzle that I cannot wrap my head around. Its a puzzle that often sucks everything I have out of me, and leaves me dizzy with exhaustion.
Thankfully, God not only gifted me with this amazing boy with a beautiful mind I can't quite figure out yet, but seems He gifted me with some sort of strength and patience also. Although I am tired at the end of each day and I often want to pull my hair out in frustration. Not understanding what could possibly upset my son so much, that he is holed up in his room punching pillows. Somehow, by some miracle.. I haven't wanted to quit trying to solve the puzzle. The longer I live in the same house with my son, the more I begin to grasp that it can never be solved.
Neurotypical is another way of saying- I'm not on the spectrum of autism. Although, we all have sensory issues to varying degrees, and we all have quirks. Some may argue we are ALL on the spectrum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurotypical I cannot deny my own quirks- but I can see plain as day exactly why I don't fall under the canopy of autism. I thrive on social interaction. I read facial expressions well, often too well. I chit chat better than most and could do a 2 hour speech on the lint collecting under my dryer. My son is a man of few words. I have to program him like a robot. I have to program him with socially acceptable answers to things, as his real responses are usually so offensive or there is just NO response at all, leaving the 4 walls of our home he doesn't always function so well.
What my son has is called Asperger's Syndrome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger%27s_Syndrome.
Asperger's is a fascinating diagnosis. In every way, my son looks like a perfectly regular kid. To my husband and I, he's exceptional. We of course, are allowed to think so. Sometimes, he even acts like a regular 8 year old. Then, he opens his mouth. Not a whole lot of 'regular' 8 year old's can tell you everything there is to know about the Presidents of the United states. From the year they were born, what number president they were, what party they belonged to -- and most amazingly to me, when my son meets someone, he often asks them their birthday. (This is often misunderstood as rude, as many ladies don't enjoy giving out the YEAR of their birth!) My son then, will tell them who was the President serving at the time they were born and sometimes, other world events. His brain is like a computer with dates. He obsesses on things, he has Echolalia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echolalia which drives everyone around him crazy. As his mother even, it drives me mad. A completely involuntary tic of repeating himself under his breath - sometimes after every sentence. Easy to imagine this goes over really well in social situations at school right? No. He is his own worst enemy, and he doesn't have any idea. I don't think he even knows he does it. Even if he is aware. I am 100 % sure he doesn't care.
All of that is to say that the puzzle, or Autism, is a terribly challenging road to navigate as a parent. Since no two kids are alike, neither are kids with Autism spectrum disorders. There are a lot of books, and boy I have read a lot of them. But there is not a book or website that can tell me what happened today that made my kid have a full-blown meltdown, and exactly how to handle the meltdown. The pressure is mounting, he will be approaching puberty before we know it. The rush of testosterone that will absolutely transform him into a man, can also look a lot more like The Incredible Hulk on a boy with a large frame, and a very very big tendency toward violent outbursts. The better I can teach him how to take out aggression in a healthy way, program him with appropriate responses NOW, the less likely he will run into HUGE problems in school, his job, or just walking down the street.
I have a whole new appreciation for puzzles these days. I won't be purchasing a 50,000 piece puzzle of broken crayons or candy corn any time soon, my hands are pretty full as it is. I am very thankful for the online support I have, for the staff at my son's school who have gone above and beyond helping him transition from home to the school environment WELL. I'm forever thankful to the people who have traveled this road and who were thoughtful enough to write a book about it. (chances are- I read it.) And I am overjoyed to have a husband who is supportive of my efforts, and parents WITH me.
Puzzles this large require more than one set of hands. I am forever thankful to everyone who's offered theirs to help me.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Kid Frank Contributor:
Sometimes in life, you are handed things that you could never have prepared for. Looking back over my 30 years, I realize that this happens to me an awful lot. Life does not come with an instruction manual. If there's anything in this life I am sure of- It's that I am very thankful that it DOESN'T. Why, you ask? Because I have been known to read ahead... When i was younger, I would skip parts of books to jump ahead to the exciting things when I was reading. I guess drama, romance, and sci-fi craziness is great when it involves fiction or someone else's life. If I had a manual for my life, I would definitely read ahead. I am sure it would scare me so much I might decide to check out.
If anyone had told me when I was 18 years old, that I'd be married, have 3 boys and live in splits-ville suburbia with 2 cats, a dog and be driving a minivan all before I turned 30-- I definitely would have laughed in your face. Not that all this is BAD, I just had a completely different idea of what my life would look like. (if I had said manual- I may have avoided this scenario in my ignorance... Boy am I glad that I didn't see this one coming.)
Having children is amazing. It's so often referred to as a 'miracle'- and for good reason. Its a miracle alright.... It's a miracle anyone can walk around with another person on their insides, sucking the life force out of you for 9 months and completely destroying what you had for a figure, feet, and skin. It's a miracle, that after having the first one-- that we forget how awful that was- and get PUMPED to do it all over again. Its a miracle that I have kept all three alive- yet, for some reason, i cannot keep house plants alive for more than a month! Even more than the miracle of keeping them alive-- I'll be honest-- It's a miracle I haven't killed them... and that THEY haven't killed ME.
Having had only two sisters in my house growing up, and a father who wasn't around a whole lot, I was accustomed to being surrounded and raised in a sea of estrogen. The house always smelled good.The bathroom was always clean. The toilet seat was always down. There was always pretty soaps to wash your hands with that smelled like rose petals. We ate girl foods. We sang songs all the time, and even though i have always been loud and outspoken, there was an appreciation for quiet-time.
In contrast, I am outnumbered 4-1 in my house with male creatures who surely come from another planet. I am convinced of this- because after 9 years of marriage, my husband still doesn't know where the dirty laundry belongs, and I am DAILY sorry that we didn't install a urinal before potty training the little guys. My house smells... and it isn't in the good way. My sons are all under the age of 8, yet the locker-room smell of sweat, feet, and whatever that smell is, is beginning to take over the bedrooms. If I had a manual it might tell me how to get rid of the smell I guess, but the thought of living in a stinky house with a bunch of stinky creatures would have horrified me if i read ahead.
What would a manual help anyway? I doubt very much that any of my kids could have come with instructions... because just like life-- kids are complicated. There is no set of perfect instructions. No matter how well you try to instill manners, teach your children right from wrong, and sign them up for Cub Scouts to help them become real stand-up citizens.Kids go in their own direction. In my children's cases- they have been known to embarrass us in restaurants, chew with their mouths open, tell people they hate the gift they were just handed, and my 6 yr old swore in front of all the kids on his first night of Tiger Cub Scouts. What my point is, the more I think of the manual and how my kids don't follow rules, I realize that I am the same way. Aren't we all? We all want to change "the rules", "bend them" or make up our own. We all want a guaranty for happiness.
Often, life is like the present someone hands you that you hate. Its hard to be thankful sometimes. But God hand picked all this stuff for me and even though the bumps in the road feel NOTHING like a gift, I am beginning to understand that its a HUGE present. The present is GROWTH. Without all the surprises, good and bad there is no growth. I have had to GROW into being a mother and by golly, I still have a lot of growing to do before all of them are out of my nest. I had to GROW into being a wife, and I hope and pray everyday that I can continue on that forward course of growing. or else, we are doomed. I'm thankful for not being stuck at 18, with a manual for my life, so fearful for what was to come that i stayed put. I would have missed out on a lot of things.
I would encourage anyone reading this to embrace the bumps in the road and keep your focus on how it's going to grow you as a person in lots of areas. There is no manual. No magic crystal ball. Life has no certainties. It was set up that way for a reason. Go enjoy the rest of your day and be filled with JOY that you are alive and that you have the chance to grow today.
WHAT A GIFT!