Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a day in the life (true story of 09/24/08)

12:15am - set my alarm for 4:00am, go to bed.

4:51am – my cell phone wakes me up…”heather where are you?” quick realization that I’ve slept through my alarm “I’ll be there in 10 minutes!!!”

5:02 am – arrive at starbucks “heather your shirt is on inside out” crap.

5:03 am – shirt on correctly, bust our butts and somehow manage to open on time

5:30 am – Ding! “welcome to starbucks, what can we get started for you?” repeat 5 or so times directly afterwards.

6:15 am – loud crash outside. I run out and realize there has been a huge crash just outside our store. I run to the scene and help one of the drivers out of the passenger side. The driver’s side was completely busted in and she’s bleeding. I yell “CALL 911” to my co-worker and escort the lady across the intersection to our store. It’s still dark out and cars are whizzing by. She is in shock. Another man stops and helps the other lady. I bring her up to the patio and my co-worker rushes out with the first aid kit.

6:45am!! - ambulance, fire truck, police etc arrive and we run back inside

6:50am – Ding! “welcome to starbucks” steam milk, pull shots, pour coffee, sell oatmeal “hope you enjoy your day”

7:00am – backed up traffic = cranky customers…try to keep a smile on.

7:15am – another couple of co-workers arrive and butt heads over everything. I diffuse petty arguments left and right…proving that I am, indeed, a mom.

8:00am – my shift supervisor and I have a misunderstanding. She snaps my head off. I secretly want to dress her in steamed soy, but instead ask if we can discuss the issue politely when we aren’t in a rush. Agreed.

8:15am – my pits remind me that I have forgotten to put on deodorant. crap. Ding! “welcome to starbucks” repeat a million times. Seriously.

10:45am – shift supervisor realizes on her own that she misunderstood and she apologizes. I forgive. Hug. Run out the door.

11:00am – kiss my babies, kiss my hubby. Chat on the phone with kel.

11:15am – I nurse cora while checking a few emails. Tim showers.

11:30am – toss kids around, put on a load of laundry. I ask tim if he’ll grill some chicken tonite. He says yes and pulls some out of the freezer to thaw.

11:45am – kiss tim and send him off to work

11:50am – feed kids lunch while singing “oldmacdonald” countless times at their request

12:00pm – change THREE poopy diapers. Put cora down for a nap.

12:30pm – tidy house up and make a mental note of the projects to get done today

1:00pm – mother’s helper arrives. I send her down to play with the kids. They are thrilled and I say a quick prayer of thanks that they are bonding. Life is looking up. I relish some alone time upstairs and make myself a quick lunch.

1:10pm – begin to unwind.

1:15pm – CRASH! I hear liam screaming bloody murder and run to the scene. He has a knot the size of a golf ball between his eyes and he is in out of control panic mode. “oh Lord oh Lord!” he has fallen off the swing in our basement and hit his head square between the eyes on a table. It’s huge and bruised already in the 0.5 seconds it takes me to make it to him. I access the situation, cannot get him under control, he starts to try to fall asleep and I do my best to keep him awake. Change another poopy (cloth) diaper. “Father God I need You”

1:20pm – I call tim to come home

1:30pm – we head to the nearest urgent care. They don’t accept our insurance. Crap.

1:35pm – head to urgent care #2…it’s no longer urgent care. Crap.

1:50pm – arrive at urgent care #3. Exam. Tears. MAJOR meltdown. (it’s hard when you’re 3 and you are scared, in pain and you don’t have the ability to express what you feel)
“keep an eye on him. If you see any of these signs go directly to the hospital. I think he is fine”

3:45pm – stop at the train shop to pick out a treat for such a rough afternoon. He is happy. “Thank you, Lord.”

4:00pm – send tim back to work

4:05pm – load all three kids in the van plus the mother’s helper to take her home. Drop her off and tell her not to worry, it wasn’t her fault. (she felt awful)

4:20pm – get some fries all around and a coke for me for heaven’s sake!

4:22pm – realize that the tank is on empty (sigh)

4:26pm – get in the 24-car long gas line and wait.

4:45pm – still waiting

5:15pm – still waiting. Cora starts to fuss. Call tim and ask if there is a better option since I need gas for liam’s vision test first thing tomorrow. He says he’ll take the van tonite and wait. “you’re awesome…thanks”

5:16pm – head home

5:30pm – feed the kids dinner

6:00pm – tim arrives home and I take cora in our bedroom to nurse, we both fall asleep.

7:00pm – CRASH! Garland is screaming. She has pulled the baby gate that I put on our bedroom door onto herself while trying to find me.

7:05pm – (yelling to tim) “I CAN’T DO THIS ON 3 HOURS OF SLEEP!!!!” I snap. It has just been all too much. (and really I got 4 hours and 36 mins of sleep, but it sure felt like 3 when I was yelling it) I retreat to the laundry room (???) to gather my brains.

7:06pm – tim comforts garland in a sweet daddy way

7:07pm – “tim, I really need to just get in the shower for a bit and collect myself.” he agrees.

7:45pm – emerge from the shower a much better mom…seek garland out and give her some really fun mama time to make up for the snap in my behavior. Try to ice liam’s head again.

8:05pm – put older two kids to bed with kisses and snuggles

8:10pm – tim informs me that he’s put the chicken back into the fridge and brings me a grilled cheese sandwich, cut just the way I like it and a mug of beer. He instinctively retreats to the playroom to watch TV so I can unwind without the TV blaring. “thank you God for my husband”

9:00pm – tim emerges from the basement asking…
TIM: “why do they call them ‘separate corners’ anyway? I mean, aren’t all corners separate?”
ME: “I have no idea, babe. Good question”
TIM: “I mean seriously. It’s a boxing term. What are the guys gonna do…retreat to the SAME corner, snuggle and then go back to beating the heck out of each other?”
ME: “well, hon. That’s kindof what WE do.”
We bust a gut laughing. Like really laughing hard.
TIM “I love you babe”
ME: “love you too”
We toast with beer mugs and comment on how crazy our life is these days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

what's for dinner? CHILI NIGHT!

in honor of the crisp air we've been getting, i thought i would make up a big batch o' chili to kick the season off right! yum!

now folks, i have experimented with quite a few chili recipes in my day. some very complicated and some easy as pie.

my favorite is about the easiest thing you'll ever make and it is so tasty.

my mother in law's chili recipe.

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 can of bush's best chili beans
1 can of hunt's seasoned diced tomatoes for chili

brown up your ground beef and onions. drain. add other ingredients and let simmer.

now, to be honest, i've been known to add some crushed garlic in the beginning and sneak in some pureed veggies too. but that's just between you and me.

we like to top our chili with shredded cheddar, sour cream and fritos. put the hot sauce out too just in case it needs a little dash.

happy fall!

honesty. and heartbreak.

i promised myself that when i started a blog i would be real. it is *so* easy to candy-coat things on here and i'm not about that. never have been.

so here is a glimpse into the real world of heather altork.

i have been running this journey with so much passion it consumes me.

and then there are times that i let my guard down and the reality sets in and my heart breaks into a million pieces.
i had a quick 'reality moment' tonite that has me in tears and i feel so weak.

what do i do when kids make fun of my sweet boy?

how do i make them see that he has all of his feelings, he just can't express them?

what about when he's a teenager and other kids do things that he can't? like sports and prom?

and sleepovers. dear Lord, if he's ever invited how am i sure that they won't just use him as a form of entertainment?

my heart breaks tonite.

this road is hard.

i am *so* willing and ready to travel it, but GOD!!! it is hard.

a mother's love is something that i will probably never understand completely. it fuels me. it pushes me beyond limits i never knew existed.

please teach your kids about autism. help them understand. help me surround my precious boy with friends that will fight for him. he needs it.

thanks for letting me cry. i know you all care it's just the cruel world that i'm worried about.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

just pretty cool

i just have to share this.

over the past month or so i have had a scripture verse running through my head about all the work i'm putting into liam and getting him in the right place.

the stress level has been high about that because truly we NEED to get him as much help as possible while he is young enough to let is seep into his being. there really is a "window" there for autistic kids under the age of 6. i know this. i research my head off. i sacrifice sleep. i work weird hours. i tell myself that it will all be worth it in the end...and i really believe that, by the way! and yes, it DOES come naturally. anyone who has a kid knows what i'm talking about here. i'm not just some would do it too. ;)

BUT! i have been reminded by God at least 20 times a day that "not by might not by power..." and i have relaxed for that moment, re-focused and plowed ahead. He does this for me because He knows me so well. i mean, He made me, right? of course He knows me.

well, i put this 'bible verse of the day' gadget on here so that each day i *at least* get a daily dose of God's word to help me along. i put it on here 2 nights ago.

what is the verse for today?

Zechariah 4:6
September 19, 2008
He said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."

out of all the verses in the Bible...this verse pops up on my most stressful day lately? um, yeah.

God meets me. where i'm at. all the time.

i think that is more than "just pretty cool" don't you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

update on liam (autism)

we are making GREAT advances!!!

~intraKID one capfull once a day
~Flora Restore DF once a day
~topical glutathione twice a day
~topical B12 once a day
~detox suport by intagrative theraputics 3 times a day
~GSE by citricidal twice a day
~cod liver oil 1/2 tsp at night
~melatonin for nights when sleep is an issue 500 mcg at a time

~Nystatin 1/4 tab once a day to fight yeast

our doctors:
~dr m. hank sloan (our DAN doctor) DAN = defeat autism now!
~Vaishali Kute, MD our ped
~Dr. Alan Weintraub, MD our deveolpmental ped only used for official diagnosis...which he is great at!

our therapy:
~speech therapy at children's healthcare of atlanta 1x week
~eating therapy at children's healthcare of atlanta 1x week
~occupational therapy at children's healthcare of atlanta 1x week

still to come:
~in home therapy once a day
~added supplements
~ABA in home
~PLAY therapy in home
~a dog!!
~typical preschool (with a helper)
~swimming lessons (he looves the water)

special diet:
~GFCFSF diet (gluten free, casein free, soy free)

update on liam's life:
~liam is the happiest kid i have ever met.
he has all of his emotions, he has great eye contact, he sings his ABC's and old macdonald perfectly. he pushes his sister when he's mad and uses strong words to express his feelings.
this kid will amaze you...he is one of a kind and if you get the pleasure of being a part of his life then you are pretty darn blessed.

supplements/ special diet: $400/mo
therapy $800/mo
hearing your kid say with his own words that he "bonked his toe" PRICELESS!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

my super yummy beefy veggie soup

i made a big batch of this and have been eating it all week. it's so easy that i thought i'd share since we're entering "soup season". nothin' like a hot mug of soup to warm your autumn soul.

~1 lb organic free range ground beef
~1 onion, diced
~EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
~2 cloves crushed garlic
~container of TJ's beef broth (the kind in the carton)
~a cup of diced potatoes
~a cup of precooked brown rice
~a packet of TJ's frozen organic veggies (peas, carrots, green beans, corn...)
~a large can of TJ's whole stewed tomatoes w/ basil, undrained
~couple splashes of worchestershire (i have no idea how to spell that)
~couple splashes of soy sauce
~salt and pepper to taste

brown up your meat w/ the onion, EVOO, garlic...drain fat.
add meat and all other ingredients to the crock pot, breaking up the tomatoes and simmer all day long.
add more beef broth as needed.
simple and delish!