Last week I asked for seven clever questions. A few of them are so clever, they might have to be entire posts someday. In the meantime, to get this ball rolling and I will answer questions from seven readers. If your question is here... email me with your mailing address! My email info is in the sidebar. Thanks for your questions!
I just had to start with this one from BAM:
Once, I had last-minute dinner guests and no dessert plans. I had lots of fruit on hand so I made a simple syrup mixture and let it cool. I pureed kiwi fruit and put it in one Ziploc bag and pureed watermelon in the another. I added the simple syrup and some salt to each of the bags and placed them in the freezer. Every ten minutes or so, while I was preparing the rest of the meal, I opened the freezer and squished the bags around.
By the time dinner was finished, the bags were each frozen to a nice, sorbet-like texture. I placed one scoop of each flavour into serving dishes and topped it with fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds. It looked pretty and festive and as though I'd been planning it for ages.
Okay, I am totally doing that again in the next week or so. I haven't thought about that one forever.
Thanks for the questions, Hollie. I think I would be girl superhero/insurance hawkster Erin Esurance. For reals! She fights costly premiums and she has a sweet pink bob!
Erin wants Hollie to know that Jewish girls don't have tattoos, because if you have a tattoo you can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery. But if I had a tattoo, I guess it would be... Erin Esurance.
Rhonda Roo wanted to know:
Ummm... is it odd that I carry a pink jewelers loupe in my purse? I mean, you just never know. Someone might give you a bracelet or a ring and you might have to slip into the bathroom to make sure they're real diamonds before you get too enthusiastic. The Secret Weapon gave me my pink loupe years ago and it comes in handy for all sorts of things. Oh, and you look pretty cool when you pull it out of your Juicy handbag when you're shopping.
Gail at Crafty Little Beana asked two questions and they were both so good, I answered them both. She asked about my hair:
I haven't seen my natural hair colour since I was about sixteen. You can see that Loopy has followed in my highlighted footsteps.
In fact, the same person who does my hair now is the same person who did it then: my BFF, Andrew. He practiced his styling skills on me in high school, and later, in beauty school. I was his hair model more than once when he was styling in competitions and The Fan could tell you a few stories about his "experiments" that left me yellow, purple, black, permed, pixie cut, shagged, shorn or beehived.
Andrew has a top-secret formula that he honed over 25 years of working with my hair. He claims to have it written down on a special card in his salon, but he went to Italy once and I decided I just had to get my roots done in his absence. His top-secret formula at the hands of any other is just not the same.
Plus, he shares all sorts of mood-altering pills with me. She also asked:
Regular readers of this bloggedy-blog will remember that Loopy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and later, with Asperger's Syndrome, a social disorder that is related to autism.
I have a few key ideas to share:
First, children with special needs often have multiple disorders. This was obviously Loopy's case. I was so focused on her physical needs and working at therapy to meet her needs regarding her mobility issues that it was easy to miss the signs that something else was wrong... she wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until she was almost twelve years old. Behaviours that should have been an indicator of Asperger's were "explained away" as being part of her initial diagnosis. In hindsight, my mommy instinct was telling me that something else was wrong... but I didn't listen.
I mean, would you ever think that two things could be wrong with your child, let alone one? Once we got the second diagnosis, things got much easier for us. Suddenly, we had more information, access to more help, and most importantly: a plan.
Of course, I would also say that every parent, but especially the parents of children with special needs, need to listen to their mommy instinct. You know your child best.
I have also tried my best to teach Loopy to be her own advocate. Sometimes, this has backfired because people with Asperger's have less of a "governor" when it comes to speaking their mind but it generally helps. I won't always be around to guide her and stick up for her, she has to learn how to do it for herself. It would be easier to step in and make more decisions for her and spend more time on her behalf dealing with teachers but she really needs to learn how to do this. When I do advocate for her, I make sure she is part of the discussion and process. I always try to model firm, businesslike behaviour when I deal with teachers and doctors. That's why I was so upset with myself when I "lost it" on the last day of school and left some frustrated parting thoughts with the principal.
We don't have private schools here where we live, so that wasn't an option for us. Homeschooling may have been an option, but not for Loopy. She tends to be withdrawn as it is and she needed the forced social interaction of the public school setting. Otherwise, she would be downright anti-social.
Lastly, it has been our experience that since Loopy was a tiny baby, sometimes we weren't told outright what programs or assistance would be available to us, and it didn't occur to ask. For instance, I had no idea that the government plans would pay for diapers and incontinence supplies or a lightweight wheelchair... we needed these things until she was about eight years old. The doctors thought the nurses told me who thought the therapists told me. It was a giant muddle. Make sure you ask the golden question, "who can help me with this?" and don't be afraid to ask for help. It also didn't occur to me to ask for a wheelchair parking sticker for my vehicle until I'd wrestled with her wheelchair for a year.
Michelle, while I am a fan of Hawkins Cheezies, I must admit that I also enjoy Old Dutch dill pickle chips. I'm told they are a Canadian "thing" and when I mentioned them on this blog before, there were plenty of quizzical comments about them. Yes, they taste like... pickles.
Aside from the excellent snack foods, Canada is home to a wonderful health care system, and some very talented musicians. I really dig Canadian music. I'm not talking about just Celine Dion and Shania Twain!
Check out Michael Buble, Chantal Kreviazuk, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, The Tragically Hip, Diana Krall, Alanis Morrisette, Barenaked Ladies and Jann Arden.
You won't be sorry.
I'm glad you asked that Jenn. I have just found what I think is possibly the best mascara I have ever used: Make Up For Ever "Smoky Lash" Professional Mascara. In black, of course. I lurrve it. It goes on without clumping and added great length and definition... just what I look for on a mascara. It stays on in this summer heat but comes off nicely with just one cotton ball of makeup remover. I hate having to use extra makeup remover!
Oh, and if I didn't answer your question here, I might pull some questions out another day. In the meantime, some random answers are: no, yes, an Armani dress for forty dollars, Paris, Sassy, cold pizza with hot chocolate, no, yes, many, a list-maker, I'm not telling you that, Campbell for a girl and Kendrick for a boy (not mine, Gracie's), Grace for mine, and four cupcakes in one sitting.