Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday's Window Into My World/Whine

Well, I'm sick I have the flu...I'm so miserable, and in so much pain...I really should have called off work, but I'm too stupid and loyal... so the shift starts off crazy, I have this new patient who's a screamer, I'm like oh crap I don't have the energy for this. I was in her room 100 times it felt like in the first hour of my shift. Finally she quiets down, and we're so relieved, I call to make sure her dinner is ordered, and then I was sitting outside her room gossiping w/ a couple of the nurses I work w/ when the daughter walks in, walks right back and w/ this panicked look on her face and says WHATS WRONG W/ HER???? The nurse and I look at each other and are like what do you mean, we were just in there and she was fine. I'm thinking daughter is overreacting so I stayed at the station while the nurse went in to check on her, and I hear her saying the patients name over and over. Then I knew something was wrong so I went and grabbed a machine to get her vitals, I walk in and the lady is grey and in obvious resp. distress. So I grabbed the phone and call the RAT team (rapid action team)which is a group of ICU nurses, Resp. therapist, and nursing supervisor who we call when someone is about to code. The lady is a DNR so we wouldn't code her, but you still treat! We throw a 02 mask on her, I take her oxygen its 50 something (100 is what you want, anything under 90 is bad)...I tell you what though, nothing like a little adrenaline to make you forget you're sick! So we work on the lady for a while, it's apparent there's really nothing we can do to save her, we transfer her off to a tele floor for closer monitoring, we're thinking she probably threw a clot the way she went so fast.

So I struggle threw the rest of my shift and finally get to the end. One of the other nurses asks me to walk her patient, he was a fresh surgery and he had been refusing to I say sure, I'm always willing to help out even if it's not my patient, so I go in and tell him his Dr. wants him to walk and he starts freaking out on me...he's like where's my nurse, I said she's in another patients room, she asked me to come walk you for he's yelling about walking, and I'm not really listening...I pull his blankets off and he yells at me not to mess them up...I said well you gotta take them off to walk, in sortof a joking voice trying to lighten him up, and he LOSES IT...he's like are you getting smart w/ me, I was like NO, I must have had the most OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS look on my face, and am in total disbelief that this dude is FREAKING out over a little walk, he continues to go off about I better not be i'm too young to get an attitude w/ him blah blah blah... so I'm ignoring him go ahead and scream, I finally get him up, yelling at me the whole time, he walks a few feet in the hallway, being a jerk the whole time, get back to his room, he keeps yelling saying pick my feet up, do this do that...finally he goes WTH are you doing, I laughed and said listening to you yell at me for some reason, which of course he didn't like that very much, so I tucked his nasty ass into bed and left he's like what's your name, I said Michelle, what's your name, he's like YOU KNOW MY NAME, I said no I don't you're not my patient, he's like YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW MY NAME...he had an outpatient surgery, but refused to go home cuz he doesn't have anyone to take care of him, I can see why! So he asks to talk to his nurse, and apparently tells her he is going to talk to my boss to have me fired @@, so moral of the story call off work when your sick and don't do anyone any favors lol
- Show quoted text -

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The walk-a-thon!!!

Saturday was the Autism Awareness Walk-a-thon that raised $ for a local camp for autistic children. Me, the kiddos, and my SIL went and walked...I was REALLY nervous how the kids would do walking a mile...well worried about one kid...after all, walking from wal-mart to the parked car is a VERY long walk during a melt-down...I was worried about how long a mile might feel! But he did fine! After the walk, they had lunch for us, and was quite excited to see they had GF options for everything, chips snack etc. After lunch the kids played for several hours on inflatables, and Isaiah ran into a little girl from school, who's sister is an ASD kiddo. After that we played at the nearby playground until the kids were exhausted. They all 3 crashed out on the ride home, and vegged out the rest of the day! I even fell asleep at 7 o'clock lol...this year I didn't really give myself a fund raising goal since it was our first year...figured at least a hundred...but every year my goal is to top myself. This year I raised $ next year my goal is to beat that!!!
I'm looking forward to this being an annual event for our family. Oh and want to know what one of my favorite parts was???? As I watched my son standing in line waiting his turn for the inflatable slide...I watched him stim like he always does when he's excited...but guess what NOBODY STARED!!!!!!!! And he wasn't the only one! Being ok, to just be us...felt so good

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So we met w/ the principal

The meeting went ok, I would have been happier if they were taking action months ago when we first brought it to the schools attention, but I guess better late than never. The principal said he had called the 4 kids in all at once, and then talked w/ each of them separately...I was interested to hear their side, since there can be two sides to every story. But from what the principal got from the other kids, Isaiah was not doing anything to provoke them, they were just being evil little brats (my words not the principals lol), so that being said they've been warned now...and Isaiah sits by the bus driver now, which makes me feel better. The past 2 days there have been no more incidences according to Isaiah, so hopefully that will continue to be the case for the rest of the year!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Now you wanna cover your BUTT

NEVER COVER YOUR BUTT Pictures, Images and Photos

So Monday morning Rob called the school and made us an appt w/ the principal. The secretary said he wouldn't be in at all Monday but they would call us Tuesday and set up an appt. Today there was a nice long message on our answering machine from the principal, obviously he knew why we wanted to meet w/ him. He began covering his ass then and there, saying...I got your email (which he never responded to and I sent March 5th!) and saying that Isaiah had talked to him, and that he had talked to the bus driver blah blah blah and obviously there is still a problem so he will talk to Isaiah again @@@@@@. Yeah I've been asking you for over a month to do something, now you wanna cover your ass cuz obviously we're pissed!!!! On one hand I guess good, maybe he's gonna do something about it!!!! On the other hand, the need to cover your ass tells me you know you weren't doing your job here! So we'll see how tomorrow goes, I'm not excited about it, but I'm ready for it!

Menu Plan Monday

I'm a little behind, I was having a hard time getting motivated to MP this week...but they needed me to stay over at work w/ a suicide patient, so 4 hours on the computer inspired me to find some new recipes...since I just don't feel like making any of our regular recipes

Monday: Rob made the kids sloppy joes
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wed: Emeril Lagasse's slow cooked chicken (recipe below)
Thursday: Au Gratin Potatoes with ham(recipe below borrowed from Kill.the.gluten)
Friday:Chili dogs, and chili cheese fries

Time6 hr 5 min
4 to 6 servings
CloseTimes:Prep10 min Inactive Prep-- Cook6 hr 5 min Total:6 hr 15 min Recipe Tools:
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1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
Kosher salt
Cracked white pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, juiced
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Rinse the chicken both inside and out under cool running water. Pat dry. Season the chicken liberally both inside and out with salt and pepper. Place in a slow cooker. Scatter the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice over top of the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to high. Cook for 6 hours, undisturbed.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, and pour the accumulated juices into a 2-cup heatproof container. Skim the fat from the top and transfer the liquid to a small saucepan. Dissolve the cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of water and whisk to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the juices and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until thickened, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve, with the thickened pan juices ladled over the top.

Au Gratin Potatoes
(or Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes)

2 lbs russet potatoes, about 6 medium sized
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1 Tbsp rice flour
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups milk (will be using milk sub)
2 cups shredded cheese, cheddar or cheddar jack (will be using galaxy vegan cheddar slices, they work good in mac and cheese so hopefully will work good in this recipe)

Prepare your potatoes by peeling them, and then slicing thin. Rinse the sliced potatoes with cold water and spread into a 9x13 pan.
In a saucepan, melt the margarine. Add the dried minced onion, flour, salt, and pepper and cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Add the milk and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Stir and boil for 1 minute.
Pour cheese sauce over potatoes. Bake in a 375 oven for 1 hour. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top and bake another 10 minutes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Can't make lemonade

lemonade Pictures, Images and Photos

Normally in life I am not a worrier...I don't get upset easily, and I don't stress over much. My life philosophy is if I don't like something I change it, if I can't change it then it's out of my hands and I'm free of it, it is not mine to worry about since worrying won't fix it, so why do it. The only thing I haven't been able to apply this philosophy to is, death and conflicts. I absolutely HATE conflict. When I know I have to confront someone or there will be a conflict it eats and my stomach and makes me so nervous and anxious its unbareable. Death I think it's pretty obvious why I just can't blow that one off and be ok about it, as a Christian maybe I should be stronger when it comes to death, but I'm not...

Well, right now I am dealing with the 2 lemons in my life that I've never quite figured out how to make into lemonade

Conflict: In a few hours I will be calling the school to make an appointment w/ the principal to discuss the bullying issue with stomach is in knots...I hate this, I try so hard to avoid drama and crap like this...but I have to stick up for my son, no one else will, that is my job as a parent to defend this child at all cost, no matter how much sleep I lose and how much my stomach turns.


Death: My little brother has taken a turn for the worse. He is VERY tired, and has stopped breathing on numerous occasions now, and seems to be having some small seizures. I'm so horrified that I won't be able to see him one last time, I NEED to see him one last time. I need those memories, I need him to have some recent memories of me. He's my only sibling, I waited 21 years for him...all I ever wanted was a sibling to share that piece of myself that no one else shares...he completes a piece of's so weird, my whole life i hated being an only child...I always felt a void in my heart...and since the moment he was a tiny little embryo, that void was filled. I love that child so much it hurts...and the thought of him leaving me without one last chance for memories and hugs, is more than I can all I can do is pray right now, and ask others for prayers too...right now the airline tickets are far too expensive for even just me and Tierra to fly I'm praying that things will fall in line with airlines, and time off from both mine and Rob's jobs and Matt's health to not decline too far before it is able to work out, if I knew I had months I know I could pull it off, but it could be just weeks we really don't know...the next time I see him can't be at his funeral, it just can't.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Food Review Friday (GF/CF)

As I was grocery shopping the other day, a product I'd never noticed before caught my was honey nut chex. I don't ever remember seeing a honey nut chex before, but apparently it's been around...but what is new about it, is it is now Gluten Free!!!! Big huge letters on the front of the box, I was so excited!!! There's very little variety in cereal in the GF/CF world, so I'm always excited on a new find! I must say it was very good! It stayed crispier longer than reg chex, and I like the little extra sweetness that plain chex doesn't have! I don't like most of Isaiah's foods to be honest, but this is good and will def be a pantry staple from now on!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

No more Mrs. Nice Girl

So today, yet again Isaiah informs me of more bullying on the school bus, this time after they were done taunting him, one girl stuck her foot in his face and told him to kiss her dirty shoe...I am done asking the school nicely to help my son...Monday morning Rob and I are marching into the school and demanding they help my son, and if they don't I will be going to the school board, from there to the mayors office and from there to the we need a spokesperson like Jesse Jackson who will come raise a fuss when we are ignored lol...I'm soooooooooo frustrated and angry! I'd hate to see what my blood pressure is, I've been shaking w/ anger for hours now! Man I wish they had school tomorrow! I was reading an article about a mom who got on the bus w/ a gun to threaten the kids who were bullying her son! I understand where she's coming from and that scares me!!! I want really bad things to come of these children, and that's not me, but I've been pushed to the point where I fear I could snap! If anyone has been threw this and has any advice I'm open and willing to take it! I can't believe how cruel kids are :(

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday's Window Into My World

So the other night I worked a double...I got home at 8 am, and laied down in bed, Xander was watching cartoons next to me...I asked him to rub my back while I fell a good little boy he did! Apparently rubbing your mama's back isn't much fun, so Xander found a way to spice it up a little bit!!! Here's what I woke up to!

Fortunately for me, Rob caught him pretty early into his masterpiece! I think I have a future tattoo artist on my hands!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday

Rob is in Wisconsin again this week, for more classes he needs for work. I'll miss him, but I have to say I'm kind of excited to to have 4 days off of work to just be a mom and housekeeper! I've got sooooo much planned as far as cleaning...I don't know if it's possible to get EVERYTHING done, I want done...we shall see!

Here's my hope list anyway!

*Get caught up on the laudry
*Organize my closet and Tierra's closet
*Clean and organize the landry room
*Organize the hallway closet
*Organize the kitchen cabinets
*Clean the entire house from top to bottom until it sparkles!
*Organize the junk drawers and entertainment center
*Clean the boys room

Well, wish me luck lol...I'll let you know how much of this ACUTALLY gets done...any bets??? I'm guessing maybe 1/2 lol. Yesturday was day one, I got the boys room cleaned and did a TON of laundry...I don't think I'm 1/4 of a way done though, so that's not good, means I'm already behind scheduale...but I can only make the washer go soooo fast lol. I have a HUGE pile of clean clothes on the couch...Xander walked in from his nap and said OMGOSH lol. I can say I've made a dent in the laundry but that's about it. Wish me luck that I get MOST of my list done lol.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

This week, Rob will be out of town for work, so it's just me and the kiddos. This weeks menu plan therefore consists of easy kid friendly meals.

Monday-Chicken Tot Pie
Wed-Chicken Tenders
Thur-Beenie Weenies
Fri- Pizza

Chicken Tot Pie...

I use to make this w/ a bisquick crust before we went GF/CF...I had a craving for it this week, and decided to try it using tater tots for the crust instead. The filling is frozen mixed veggies, chunks of chicken breasts, and cream of chicken soup using GF Mama's recipe which has by far been my fav GF/CF recipe!

Friday, April 3, 2009

My autism biography, and thoughts about the photoshoot

My name is Michelle Leal. I am a 31 year old wife and mother. I have 3 beautiful middle child Isaiah is autistic.

I suspected something was wrong from the very beginning. Although Isaiah met all of his expected milestones he didn't communicate as a baby. He never cried when he was hungry...I fed him every 3 hours because it was time for him to eat...not because he was "asking" to be fed. He was so content. I knew I could never put him in daycare because he was so content I was afraid he would be ignored! That's when I became a stay at home mom.

Around age 2 we began to notice sensory issues. He started to have melt downs. If something was too loud he would scream and scream. We had to take him out of the house just for me to vacuum. He refused to wear shoes, this caused more meltdowns. He also had to stick to a strict routine, if things changed even the slightest during our day to day routine he couldn't handle it. Then there was the pica...something I thought only pregnant woman had! My son craved fuzz...he had a beautiful blanket his grandmother had knit for him, and he would sit and pick the fuzz off of it, and eat it. We also had to keep him fully dressed or he would pick the fuzz off his diapers. If all else failed he would pick it from the carpet fibers. We had no idea what was wrong with him. We expressed our concerns to our pediatrician, who only saw that he was meeting his developmental milestones, and that was sufficient for him.

At age 3 Isaiah began preschool. I began to get more and more worried. He couldn't tell me about his day the way his sister would when she was little. If I asked him how his day was he might reply "cookie" or " park". He seemed so oblivious to the world around him. I again expressed concerns to his Dr. although Isaiah had the appropriate amount of words for a 3 year old, I was concerned that he couldn't hold any type of conversation. His Dr. thought this might be due to the fact that Isaiah has severe wax build up in his ears. I still didn't buy it...I knew something was wrong with my son, I just didn't have a word for it, and what I thought I knew about autism, didn't describe my son.

At the age of 4, I was able to request an evaluation from the school system. I wanted a second opinion. I went in w/ the expectations of being told the same things my ped said, that my son was fine. When they called me in after they were done, I sat at the table with the three experts who had tested him, my son lay on the floor racing a car back and forth in front of his face. I smiled and waited for them to tell me how smart my boy was, and over paranoid I was being. The next thing I know they are telling me they see some delays in my child, delays that are common in children with autism. My eyes teared up, did she really just tell me that my child needs tested for autism??? WAIT NO, THAT'S NOT RIGHT, I'M AN OVER PARANOID MOTHER WHO'S CHILD IS FINE...MY DR. SAID SO, YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO AGREE SO I COULD FEEL BETTER ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE'S NEVER SHOWN ANY SIGNS OF PRETEND PLAY BUT INSTEAD ECHOS LINES FROM THOMAS THE TANK AS HE PLAYS WITH HIS TRAINS. WHY WEREN'T THEY SAYING THIS?????!!! SO WHAT IF HE HAS NEVER SLEPT THREW THE NIGHT IN THE ENTIRE 4 YEARS OF HIS LIFE, MAYBE HE'S JUST A LIGHT SLEEPER!!! HE CAN'T BE AUTISTIC HE CAN TALK, HE LOOKS ME IN THE EYES, HE HUGS ME!!! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING, SOMEONE WAKE ME UP, MAKE THIS NIGHTMARE GO AWAY!!!!!!

A piece of my heart broke that day, probably because I knew they were right. I had finally gotten the word I was searching for to describe what was wrong with my son...AUTISM.

I allowed my heart to break for a day or two, and then it was time to get busy. Time to figure out where we go from here. The first step for me was to get an official diagnosis to confirm the schools suspicions, after that we began therapies, and special ed preschool. By the end of the next year Isaiah had improved so much! He started to be able to answer the "wh" questions. People often had to be told he was autistic. He had lots of friends in the neighborhood, and was very high functioning. He was able to be mainstreamed in Kindergarten, we were so proud at how far he had come. And then came the shots...the dreaded kindergarten shots. Being a health care worker I didn't buy into the belief that shots have anything to do with autism...until he got the kindergarten shots, and our world came tumbling down.

Isaiah began to withdraw, he started stimming constantly and having over 20 meltdowns a day. His anxiety levels were threw the roof. People no longer were shocked to find out he had autism, and the neighborhood kids no longer wanted to play with him. Our world was spinning out of control. That's when we began looking into biomedical interventions. This world that I once thought was made up of naive parents willing to throw away all their money on the sheer hope of fixing the unfixable, began to be something worth trying. Did I think it would work? No, but I needed something to try because my world was falling apart, and the thought that there was no hope just wasn't acceptable anymore. After months of research, we decided to try it. So we found a DAN! Dr. and began the GF/CF diet. The first week on the diet, something shocking happened...Isaiah's psoriasis went away!!!! How could that be???? How could this hoax have fixed his psoriasis??? Now I was intrigued! We continued treating Isaiah with vitamins, diet, chiropractics and acupuncture (no needles just a painless laser), and the next thing I knew the 20 a day meltdowns stopped! OMG we were getting our life back!!! To this day we continue to treat Isaiah...he is 7 now. He has come so far since we began this journey, I am so thankful and finally hopeful to the future.

When I first heard about the Autism Mom/Warrior Mom photo shoot, I knew right away it was something I wanted to be involved in. The message of strength and courage and standing together for our kids was everything I felt I could represent. The day of the photo shoot, I had had about an hour sleep, all in the life of an autism mom! I was worried how could I represent our strength with bags under my eyes??? And then came the make-overs! I was so grateful that a salon had donated their services to us, and expected the very bare minimum...after all it was free! And then, I walked in to a world so unfamiliar...I sat down in a chair, to get my over-grown-not-cut-in-six-months hair done. The hairdresser asked would you like a cut today? WOW, you're REALLY going to cut my hair??? I thought you were just going to try and tame this wild mess so I look somewhat presentable for a picture!!! YES PLEASE CUT MY HAIR!! She sat me in a chair and PUT MY FEET UP!!! She massaged my scalp with oils, gently washed my that felt SO good! She set off to cut my hair, I had no idea what I wanted, as I had no idea I was getting my hair CUT! She talked with me for a while about my needs, for instance working in health care I needed enough length to be able to pull it back out of my face, but short enough that it's easy enough to manage...oh and how about a little bang to cover my wide forehead. And then she worked her magic. Next came the make-up...yes they donated their services in that also!!! I was REALLY excited about this because I had never had my make-up professionally done, and lately haven't been wearing makeup because I just feel like I didn't know what to do with it anymore, and a bad makeup job is worse than no makeup! Again the make-up artist talked to me, discussed what I like, problems with my skin etc. She even went as so far as to give me samples to help me with my dry skin problem! The pampering didn't end there, we also go manicures. I'm not talking paint your nails and be done, I'm talking hand massages and all!!! I've never felt so pampered and special in my life. It was truly a once in a life time experience WAY up there on the top of the "greatest days in my life" list. The photo shoot was a blast, it was so nice to be around other moms who "get it". For the very first time, since Isaiah got his diagnosis, I finally felt like I fit in with other moms, it was a truly remarkable feeling. It was a very special day in my life, one I'll never forget, one I'll always be grateful for, one I'm so excited to share with the world!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We're In Today's Paper!!!

'Warrior Moms' gather for photo shoot
By Rob Earnshaw
Times Correspondent | Thursday, April 02, 2009

Northwest Indiana mothers of autism are demonstrating how powerful a force they are.

It's all part of a worldwide campaign organized by The Autism File magazine due to the huge impact of this month's cover shoot featuring six autism mothers, or "Warrior Moms," striking an authoritative pose.

The magazine asked moms from all over the world to participate by gathering together to do their own photo shoot to be featured in its July issue, the Web site and at the Autism One Conference in May.

Today marks World Autism Awareness Day. One in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. It is the fastest growing developmental disability.

The campaign was sparked following a federal court ruling earlier this year that childhood vaccines don't cause autism.

"The ruling was a pretty big blow to our community," said Lisa Fox, president of the National Autism Association, Northwest Indiana Chapter. "The Autism File started this campaign to show that you can rule that but we'll never stop fighting for our kids. We'll always be the Warrior Moms -– and that's what those ladies on the front cover were representing."

Fox, who has a 7-year-old autistic son, gathered nine other autism moms to create their version of the magazine cover at The Color Room Salon & Day Spa in Dyer. The spa graciously donated hair and make-up services for the moms as did Tak Photography for the photo shoot.

"This is a real big treat for the moms," Fox said. "It's a nice little break and makes them feel special."

Maria Janik, vice president of NWI-NAA and mother of two autistic boys, said the campaign was a great way for the moms to get together.

"We want to make families aware there are treatment options available to help our children inside just as therapy helps them on the outside," Janik said.

Tracy Blaney, who has a 7-year-old son with autism, said the campaign was a pleasant surprise and great for the moms.

"Autistic moms don't have time to get pampered," she said. "We usually don't take time for ourselves."

For information on the local autism chapter visit On Aug. 1, The Color Room Salon & Day Spa, 14785 W. 101 Ave., Dyer, is hosting its 2nd Annual Family Festival. The event includes games, food, music and a silent auction with a focus to earn funds for the NWI National Autism Association -- Helping Hand Project. The project provides grants to families in Lake and Porter counties who are affected by autism. To find out how to help, call (219) 365-0173.

Red Flags of Autism
* No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
* No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
* No babbling by 12 months
* No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
* No words by 16 months
* No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
* Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
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