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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Terrific Appetizer Recipe Gifs

Okay, I'll admit it - I'm totally hooked on recipe gifs. These quick how-to guides make it super simple to whip up whatever it is they're showing off (and they always show the link to the full recipe at the end). And of course, I'm sure mine will totally look exactly as nice as theirs, right? Right?

Oh well, it'll taste good at least. You have to be selective with some of the recipe gifs circulating out there. I swear more than half of the dinner recipe gifs have cream-of-whatever soup as their main ingredient after the protein. Makes me crazy. And half the dessert gifs have cream cheese (which I happen to like) but it does get tiresome to see so many of them.

That being said, I've got a bunch of these that I've actually tried and can give my stamp of approval to. Today, the appetizers! Check 'em out!

This one had my mouth watering: Garlic Parmesan Pretzels

Monday, February 26, 2018

These 5 Companies Offer Adaptive, Sensory-Friendly & Special-Needs Clothing

Having a child with sensory or medical issues can be a real challenge when you're looking for clothes that (a) fit, (b) look good and (c) don't make your kid squirm because they itch or pinch. Here are a few companies who are making it easier to dress your special-needs kid.

Did you know that has an entire shopping department for adaptive clothing and shoes? One of the companies featured is Independence Day Clothing, with elastic waist pants that are easily disguised, pants that can be worn front or back, and super-soft items for those with extreme sensory issues - and their sizes go all the way up to adult!

The Cat & Jack clothing line at Target is an inexpensive and fashionable way to clothe a child that struggles with buttons or zippers, or has things like a G-tube to work around or special sensory needs.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Time For Another Edition Of "What The Hell Did I Just See?"

It's another group of freaky pictures that I've collected! What the hell am I doing with my life, you wonder? Well, the truth is I'm a writer, and we're great on procrastination. And you get the joy of the fruits of my labors! So sit back and prepare to scratch your head or possibly recoil in horror at this latest group of "What the hell did I just see?"

When a Face-Swap goes wrong.

I'll take the elevator, thanks.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Power Of One Touch

[Special Note: This post originally ran in November of 2011.]

He was eight simple cells when I first saw him, through an electron microscope.

We went to the doctor’s office that day to have the embryos from our invitro fertilization implanted, and the microbiologist asked us if we’d like to look. Would we! I stepped into the back room and stared at the screen where the microbiologist brought up the eight perfect circles that would eventually, hopefully, become my baby. I reached out to touch the outline of those circles and I remember saying “Come on, baby. I’ve waited my whole life for you. Don’t make me wait anymore. Your sister wants to meet you.”

Five months later, I sat in another doctor’s office, my fingers touching and tracing a tiny printout of my baby. My baby boy, I now knew, and I couldn’t stop my fingers tracing the shape of his head, the way his hand reached up like he was already curious about the world around him. My finger lingered on his hand and I remember thinking I’d be holding it someday.

I lay in bed a few months later, unable to sleep. It was that last hellish three weeks before the due date, and sleep came in 20 minute snatches, interrupted by kicks and prods, heartburn and bathroom breaks. My hand reached down to touch my distended stomach, gently pushing, and I smiled in the dark as my little somebody pushed right back, against my questing fingers. “I love you,” I whispered. And I knew he loved me too. I knew it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fire Drill

She was late for the bus this morning and I had to drive her to school
I was grumpy about it, too
I barely spoke to her at first 
I was angry that she dawdled in bed too long 
Then she said quietly
We had a fire drill yesterday, in the morning
And then something went wrong
I made a non-committal noise in reply, and she went on
In the afternoon, the alarm went off again, for no reason
It was a glitch, but it scared us all so bad
We'd already had the fire drill, she explained
So nobody knew why the alarm would go off again
We thought maybe somebody had a gun
Teachers made us stay in the classroom while they checked  the hall
Some kids were holding each other and I was hyperventilating
Everyone was upset and wondering if this was it
 But it was just the alarm? I clarified.
Yeah, just the alarm. We were so scared. 

I am scared. And I wish I could have driven right by the school and kept on driving, with her in the car next to me. I wish we could spend the day together, because I'm suddenly wondering how many mothers have dropped off a kid at school and never heard them talk about their day again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When You're Taking A Picture Of Cat Poo For Facebook, You Know You've Gone Too Far

[Special Note: This post originally ran in November of 2012]

Ah, the weekend. I can sleep somewhat later (why is it my kids can't wake up on weekdays, but the slightest touch of sunlight to their eyelids on a weekend, and they're ready to bounce off the walls?) and everything's a bit more relaxed. I headed downstairs this morning only to be greeted halfway down the stairwell by a tell-tale stench.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Not Doing The Brain Thing So Good Right Now

Guys, I am seriously brain-numb right now. I had an author event yesterday, I'm under a massive deadline for my next YA book, and I'm going away for a family wedding in two weeks so I'm scrambling to get this book rewritten before then. I feel like I've got a constant fog around my head and the idea of coming up with something new and entertaining right now is enough to make me want to mash my head into the keyboard.

So I'm calling for mercy from the blogger gods this week as they see me to my deadline and I leave you with some reruns. I know you understand me when  I say I can't brain this week. I just don't have it to spare.

Chat ya next week and wish me luck (and brilliance)!

Friday, February 16, 2018

All Signs Point To Friday - Check Out This Hilarious Collection!

Running a little behind this Friday, but better late than never, right? Anyhoo, here's a collection of signs that made me laugh. Hope it works for you, too.

We can't risk another frontal assault - that goose is dynamite!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Wish This Wasn't So True


Monday, February 12, 2018

Autism In The Workplace Is Becoming More Easily Accommodated

Photo Credit: CBS

 A friend clued me in to this wonderful article featured on CBS: The Growing Acceptance of Autism in the Workplace follows various people on the spectrum and the companies that employ them, highlighting their specialized interview strategies and the shifting focus of their training programs.

All the companies went out of their way to make the interview process less "talking" and more action oriented (such as giving them the "marshmallow challenge" (pictured above) and taking them through real-world scenarios to demonstrate skills the candidate may have difficulty describing or talking about.

Employers are truly beginning to realize what an untapped market the autism community offers, and they're discovering an entirely new and vibrant talent pool - and it's about time!

If you're an employer and you'd like to know more about the hiring and managing of people on the autism spectrum, The Autism Research Institute has a tip sheet that may be of help, and offers a printable pdf guide for the successful employment of people on the autism spectrum.

People on the spectrum can bring so much to any organization, with just a little patience and creative management. I hope this trend continues, and we see companies reassessing their interview and management techniques for everyone.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

10 Great Things That Other Countries Do

I'm generally proud of the land I live in (current government leadership notwithstanding), but I'm also fascinated by the customs, laws and culture of other countries. I've collected some of my favorites and thought I'd share them with you today:

1. In Finland, every newborn baby is given a "baby box" by the state. It includes clothing, blankets, a snowsuit and mittens, diapers, bathing supplies, a picture book and a teething toy - along with nursing pads and condoms. The box also doubles as a sleeping crib!

2. In Barbados, everyone citizen who turns 100 gets to be on a postage stamp.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's Okay If I'm Not The Memory Maker

Superbowl weekend was Dad's weekend with the kids - which translated to Dad's weekend with Anna because David had been invited to spend the weekend in the mountains with his best friend. My ex is a die-hard Eagles fan, being a life-long Philly area native, so this was one hell of a weekend to be at Dad's house.

I'm not much of a football person, but I did have the game on in the background while I was writing (mostly because I love Justin Timberlake and I wanted to see commercials). After the win, I was texting Anna and I asked her what the noise level was like over there. She replied that everyone was losing their minds, and she and her Dad and all her friends over there were chanting E-A-G-L-E-S and singing the fight song and it was amazing.
I love it. I love it so hard that she was in the middle of all of that. I texted back: MEMORIES with a big heart emoji. Oh, it was awesome.

And once again, I'm reminded of how far I've come.

Monday, February 5, 2018

"How To Dance In Ohio" Gives A Warm And Insightful View Of Teens On The Autism Spectrum

I was wandering around YouTube this weekend and I came across this outstanding short film. How To Dance In Ohio is about a group of teens with autism, preparing for their spring formal - a rite of passage for many teens, but for teens with autism, it can be a sensory bombardment and a social skills nightmare. The film addresses so many of the challenges they (and their teachers and therapists) face as they navigate this milestone with courage, compassion, and a touch of humor.

Check out the trailer:

And if you're interested in seeing the full film (it runs just over an hour), it's on YouTube in its entirety here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Fun On A Friday: Time For Another Edition Of "Today In The News"

It's Superbowl Friday, guys, and my local team is in the playoffs. This is how I know it's Superbowl Friday, because I do not watch football but apparently everyone else within a hundred miles of Philadelphia does. So . . . Go Eagles!

There. I did my part. And now, on to the news.

So glad this was resolved without violence.