“oh yes, sweet darlin’ so glad you are a child of mine” -carole king

a birth story

“am i really doing this? is this really it?”
it was probably around five thirty-ish on january twenty ninth.
a thursday.
“lindsay. look at me. this is it.” ginger says. DSC_1626

it’s the twenty eighth. i’ve spent the day with lucas.
it involved:
a giant lollipop.
a box of popcorn.
a good chat.
a balloon.
holding hands.

i’m thirty nine weeks pregnant.

it’s now night-time. i take a quick fresh air drive.
the cranberries: “ dreamin’ my dreams” plays really loud through my speakers and out the windows.
i am singing outloud.
i spot a tiny sliver of moon.
i cry tears for a good best-friend day with lucas and acknowledge that this dynamic is going to change. DSC_1631
i cry tears for a baby boy. an old friend that i will meet again soon.

back at home i work on my birth playlist a bit.
i add “he came to meet me” by hem. i’ve found his birth song!

“…i'd seen this whole day
like it was drawing near…”

it’s now bed-time and i feel sick.
i take a hot midnight bath and rub my big belly.
i say a prayer for sleep. for peace. and please, no sick germs tonight.
my mom calls from the franti concert. she will be here in a few days.
i sleep good.
luc pukes.
andrey moves to the couch.

the twenty ninth. i wake. braxton hicks contractions are bugging me.
lucas and i eat a good breakfast together.
i clean lucas up and make him a cozy couch bed with his orange striped socks.
i take a HOT. LONG. SHOWER.
i remove ALL the bedding. start a load of laundry. i scrub and disinfect the kitchen.
it now smells like clorox. get these sick germs out!
i email amy for sick remedies:
RE: “open the door and let in some fresh air!”

the contractions are bugging me.

i change over the laundry and set-up to start sewing bumper pads for the baby’s crib.
i call my mom. she’s lunching at red lobster with gram and jen. we talk about cheddar biscuits.
“bring me one tomorrow and when is that birth tub supposed to be here?”
i tell her about the contractions.
“just sit down, hold still and rest” she says.
so i snuggle up on the couch with lucas to write baby shower thank-you’s.
we take a slow little walk to the mailbox and lucas drops each one separately into the slot.
we sit down together at the kitchen table for a yummy lunch. smoothies and a good sandwich. delish!
natalie calls from work to say “hello”
“if you talk to mom,” i say “tell her i think my baby is coming today.” DSC_1633
i am only half way kidding.

the contractions are bugging me.

amy stops by with our sick-y survival kit.
a jug of recharge and some soup.
i cry. i feel different and my mom isn’t here yet.
“mom, don’t cry. i’ll take care of you” lucas tells me.
and he does.

i try to work on the bumper again.
i have to stop sewing with each contraction.
i call my mom, “these are definitely real. they start down low. but there’s no real pattern or anything.”
i want her to come now but i will feel so silly if this isn’t it.
i decide that i have had it with the bumper, put it away and call andrey.
“ i think i might need you to come home soon.”

shannon calls.
my mom has called her and she has a tub i can borrow.
mom calls.
she’ll try and come now – but dad wants me to see ginger and make sure before they switch tickets.
she’ll call her for me.
i call andrey. again. “i think you should just come home, now.”
amelia is at the door. she will take me to see ginger. i cry. she’ll be right back with the van.

i change into my cords, put on my birks and tie lukey’s shoes. DSC_1642
i pack him up a simple bag.
this was a “to-do” item i hadn’t gotten to yet.

i think:
this house is not ready.
the sheets are still in the laundry.
there is no pool, yet
we have no groceries
the back bathroom is a mess.
i haven’t shaved my legs.

amelia is back to pick us up.
the van is full of kids. she’s babysitting today.
i explain to her how i am feeling and she can remember feeling like this, too.
she’ll drop me off and take the kids to the park.

i ring the bell at the blue heron. ginger opens the door and greets me with a hug.
there you are” she calmly whispers to me.
she shoos a lady out of the exam room and helps me up on the table.
she feels my belly. it’s contracting.
it’s two thirty pm. i’m three centimeters. fifty percent effaced.
she calls my mom. it’s busy. she tries again.
i’m having another contraction. i need to lean against the wall.
“you should come soon” i hear her say to the answering machine.
she walks me to the door and gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
she’ll come whenever i need her.

i walk out onto the front steps.
i am alone with this. DSC_1647
there is a breeze outside.
i hurt.

amy’s white car pulls up and i climb in and catch my breath.
we call amelia at the park.
the van pulls up and i switch cars.
i try my mom again. there’s two flights.
she’ll be on one of them.
she’ll either be here at six or at ten.

everyone seems to know i am in labor – but me.

i grip the van door handles until we’re home.
andrey is there. he’s already picked up the pool and has started to pump it up.
i get back into my jammies. i cannot do anything else.
amelia rounds up my birth kit, sets up my bed and says she’ll be back. she is calm but moving fast.
i find my spot on the couch.
lucas is playing in the living room with cameron and i ask amy to please take care of him.
i put my face in the indigo girls t-shirt she’s brought me. another contraction.
“start filling that tub now, andrey” she says.
i ask andrey to call my mom. i need to know for sure.
six! she’ll be here at six! ok. good.

i am in labor.

it hurts.
i remember this.
i ask amy what I’m supposed to do.
“i think you just breathe. just. keep.breathing.” she tells me.

it’s just me and andrey now. i need him to squeeze my feets.
i remember that this helped while i was laboring with lucas.
we time them. four minutes apart. call ginger? call ginger.
we move to my bedroom.
i bury my head in his arm on each contraction.
he’s still in his work clothes. i smell the sawdust. it comforts me. i hold on tight.
andrey remembers that i’ll want to be in a sports bra when I get into the tub.
he finds it without asking and helps me into it.
he turns on the tv for me.
distraction. it’s ellen.
the tub is barely full but the tap water is already cooling. he starts pots to boil on the stove.
i love him for remembering how to do this.
he is calm.
ginger calls. she’s on her way. half hour or less.
i need to get in the pool already. i need andrey.
“they are coming too fast… i can’t get a grip” i tell him.
i get louder with each contraction.

ginger is here.
“good. good.” she says when she sees me.
she quietly but quickly gets the things she will need set up.

i am in labor. it. hurts.

please! turn off the news. yes. HGTV is ok.
the water is cool – but I feel so hot.
i need andrey. i squeeeeeeze his hands. he needs to take off his ring.
i squeeze gingers hands. she takes off her rings, too.
i am loud. i surprise myself with this.
ginger reminds me to keep my voice low. i need to relax and that will help.
she hums along with me. she smells like peppermint.
“i need to hear you” i tell andrey.
“you’re doing so good. you’re ok” he tells me on the next contraction.
i love him for this.
i hold onto the pool handles and let myself float. float. float.
“am I really doing this? is this really it?”
it was probably around five thirty-ish on january twenty ninth.
a thursday.
“lindsay. look at me. this is it.” ginger says.
she checks me. six centimeters. fully effaced.
it’s only been a few hours.

i am in labor. four centimeters to go. no way.

i switch over to my knees. i rest my arms and head on the side of the pool and hold andrey’s hands.
please! turn off the t.v.
i need my playlist. turn it up loud. louder!
“such a way” by stephen kellogg
“…she moves in such a way
that people fall in love with her every single day…”

i realize that the sun has gone down. it’s dark in our bedroom.
i need to push!
ginger tells andrey how he’ll need to pull the baby up out of the water so that they won’t have to move me.
what?! already?
it hurts. bad. i’m done.

i need to push!
i hear my mom. she’s here. i can let go now.
it hurts.
push! he’s coming.
someone! please! get him out!
i lean into andrey. sawdust. “you’re doing so good. you’re amazing” he says.
i hear my mom again. “isn’t she so strong, andrey?”
i need to move. i turn around to sit down.
push! it burns! push!
“there’s a cord” i hear my mom quietly say. “ok. there.”
i push. i am loud. i can’t believe this.
he’s in my arms.
he’s warm and wet. i can feel his heart beat, beat, beat against my chest. DSC_1668
i look at my mom. “is he here?” i ask.
my eyes are huge.
i look at andrey. he has tears.
i look at my fresh baby boy.
ginger flicks his tiny foot and i hear him wail.
he’s here.
“he’s gavin. isn’t he” i whisper.
”oh, gavin west. it’s you.”

{to read this story from my mom’s point of view go here}

lazy daaaaaze.

baby brother is fast asleep. quietly snoozing in his swing. which means i have a quick minute of free hands to type until he realizes he is not being held. i’m still in my pajamas and sat down to purge some of my thoughts.

i heard a sweet lukey voice singing behind me and turned around to catch this:

my little friend who i feared had officially turned into a tantrum-crazed-naughty-boy (ie: cutting off his cousin’s ponytail, painting hot pink on my carpet, kicking and screaming on the shopping mall floor) was sweetly singing a made up happy song to his animals.

i snapped a picture, loaded it up… and today’s blogging thoughts are being postponed.
i’m going to take this minute of free hands to go snuggle with lucas jude.

loves, lin


Varios dibujos algunos viejos mas de 10 años otros no tantos pero nada reciente.

Este es El Capitan Dios.Este es El Guante de Hierro, estilo retro.
Este también pero con un estilo menos "chingado a propósito" y otro uniforme
El Capitán Grito
Volturno el "dimensionauta"
El Mayor Freedom
Magnoculus pegandole a un villano
Una pagina de unos minicomics que salían en el 2001 en el sitio www.yeyeye.com
Un diseño para el proyecto de dibujo animado en falsh "Everybody hates Adolf"
Un personaje, sin nombre, sin historia, simplemente salió así.
Presentación de un comic jamas realizado en el cual el personaje El Puño de Dios se enfrentaba
a el Dr. Hiltler y sus soldados-zombies americanos. Un verdadero dilema para el heroe.

Una versión de Popeye
No me acuerdo porque dibujé este boxeador por diversión? seguro, como todo.
Otro proyecto de animación en flash ( todos siempre "craneados" con el amigo Dario Georges y en esta ocasión también con Mauro Cascioli) era una idea para hacer una casa del gran hermano con famosos asesinos en serie que se irían matando entre ellos.Una suerte de auto-eliminacion.
Hery Lee Lucas, David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz y no me puedo acordar quien era Ricky.
Super héroe genérico.

Tres paginas de una historieta sin terminar del Guante de Hierro en la que se contaba como El Guante había conocido a su ayudante Jimmy. Muchos de los cuadritos directamente levantados de un comic de el Capitan America en el que este rescata al amigo de Hulk, Rick Jones y lo convierte en su ayudante, ya que un villano asesinó su anterior "sidekick" Bucky.

Tres diseños para una segunda versión de un personaje llamado Terrorman que aparece en el blog en un post de hace meses... tendría que etiquetear mas.
Decís "hago un recreito de laburo y subo un par de cosas al blog" y terminas laburando como una ora...

hellooooo there.

greetings from my parent's living room. 
andrey and i did something crazy last week. 
we jumped in our car after only a few hours of weighing our thoughts and drove our family + one slavic-hard-worker-boy and travelled over the mountains. 
andrey and friend have been scaling the eighteen foot walls. painting them a cheery butter yellow while i chase one stoyan boy while nursing another. the house is complete chaos. i am currently tucked in between the dining room hutch and a kitchen table full of what used to be on the walls. 
but it is sweet. and cozy and i've spent a crazy week tagging along with my mama, catching a glimpse of my sisters and just being here. 
back to real life on monday. phone calls to be made. bills to be paid. emails to be replied to. laundry to be done. packages to be sent. 

but for now, i think i'll cozy up into this little nook {between the hutch and kitchen table} for a few days longer.
goodnight loves, 

Receptive Spoken Language

I think I've been so intent lately on getting Lucas to produce sounds, that I haven't been noticing his receptive spoken language - until today. I decided I wanted to see what he would do if I said "milk" while he was eating, and waited for a response. Check out what I got:

Can you believe it? I almost fell over. I'm surprised I sound so unsurprised on the video. He did the same thing for cracker (which at the moment is his most favorite food - Ritz crackers, specifically). He knows I keep them behind where he's sitting in the video, and when I said it, he completely turned around and pointed. How exciting!

Here's another video that shows two different things. First, how he "dances" when he hears music (he does it much better than that, but it at least illustrates the point), and how he "signs" uh-oh. I don't know if it's REALLY how you sign uh-oh, but that's at least his *home sign* for it. It was suggested by his speech therapist (who signs also, incidentally). I think she's amazing, by the way.

So, the turn taking we've been practicing for the past year paid off today. I waited for a response, and I got one. I need to learn to be more patient more often.

Presenting: "mamamama"

Oh happy day! I reported yesterday that Lucas was babbling "mama" on Monday. Well, yesterday he did it some too, and today he did it A LOT - enough to get it on video too! I didn't think this day would come for a long time, if ever. The clip is very short, so you might have to watch it a second time. Don't forget to turn off the music to the right. Enjoy!

2 months post-activation

Blog or take a relaxing bath? I'm hoping to be able to do both before my little man wakes up from his nap...

Yesterday was Lucas's 2-month post-activation mapping and speech evaluation. It was a long day for all of us. (Oma, aka my mom, went along to help keep Lucas entertained in the car, etc.)

We first met with audiology, and he immediately took Lucas into the booth to see what he is hearing. He was responding to speech at 20-25 decibels! I don't know if it will ever cease to bring tears to my eyes when he tells me that! I promptly asked for an audiogram. They were always blank before the CI. Not anymore! I'm so proud, I want to hang it on the fridge! (hahahahaha) Then Lucas got a few new programs with a bit more volume. We come back to see him in a month.

Here's a brief video of Lucas in the booth, if you're wondering what it's like. Babies, toddlers, and young children obviously can not be relied on to signal if they hear a sound, so they are taught to turn to a sound. They are then "rewarded" with the sight of a toy lighting up or moving. This is called Visual Reinforcement Audiometry. CHOP just got some much needed new toys for their sound booths. The toy he turning to is a frog playing the drums.

Then we met with speech. Lucas did not "perform" that well for her, although she wasn't too concerned. He just was not interested in using his voice! She gave me a hand-out on auditory and speech guidelines for children who have been implanted under 2 years of age. So far, Lucas is performing in the "expected" ranges, and has not hit any "red flag" categories. My goal for him for this month is to imitate 2 different vocal lengths. For example: ahhhhhhhhhhhhh and ah ah ah ah ah ah. According to her hand-out, he should be doing that by 3 months post-activation. She said she still wouldn't be that worried next time because of his age, but it's still my goal.

Here are some things that Lucas IS doing!

1. He "dances" to music! He wiggles and moves his head back and forth. I'm still trying to get that one on video! It's adorable!

2. Yesterday, he started babbling: "mamamamamama"! He said it probably 5 or 6 times in the car! I'm not certain that he's saying it with meaning, but it doesn't matter! It was wonderful.

3. He doesn't indicate to us that his coil has fallen off when it has, but he has begun to sit very still for us to put it back on. I think that's a good sign...

I also began the paperwork for bilateral implantation. The first step in that process at CHOP is to get insurance approval, so we'll see what happens with that. We go back to see ENT on April 10, and he's a BIG deciding factor also. More about that later, but I'm excited to get the paperwork rolling!

Hi everyone!

Spring has sprung, the blossoms are coming up, the time change has happened, and I have just updated my ongoing class schedule for the Spring and Summer. Yayyy!
Please see below for current and upcoming classes, times and locations.

Oh, you can also find me on Facebook as well!

Happy Spring!

I hope to see you soon :)

March for Babies

As with so many other babies in the blogging world, Lucas was born too soon. He was due on my birthday (January 23), and born right before Christmas on December 23, without warning or any other indications. He was borderline, being born at 35 weeks, weighing 5 lb 7 oz - they didn't rush him off to the NICU, but waited to see how he would transition on his own. He was admitted about an hour after birth due to respiratory distress, and spent 8 days there.

Lucas in the NICU at Women and Babies Hospital

I remember saying to my mom: "I really hope this doesn't happen to Kristin (my sister, who was due at the beginning of April), because it's living hell." I had no control over my baby, and there were visiting hours! You mean I couldn't be there 24/7? I could only touch him/hold him if the nurse said it was okay. I understood why, but it was really tough as a new mother, who wanted so badly to take her baby home and be left alone. 8 days was a VERY short stay there, compared to many babies.

Lucas on the day we brought him home from the hospital

So, Lucas came home on New Year's Eve, with a bunch of follow-up appointments, but otherwise healthy. January went by, and Lucas reached his due date. Then my mom called me on Saturday, January 26, with some very urgent news: my sister had delivered 10 weeks early, again without any warning whatsoever. I was devastated for her, and couldn't stop crying, because I knew the pain, the guilt, the emptiness of not carrying a baby to full term and the long NICU stay he had ahead of him.

Ryan in the NICU at HUP

Ryan was born weighing 3 lb 9 oz, and spent 35 days in the NICU at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Today he is a 13 month, happy, healthy little boy, with NO lingering complications associated with premature birth. But still, he was born too early.

Lucas and Ryan in May 2008

2008 was a tough, yet very joyous year for our entire family. Lucas and Ryan were soooo lucky, insofar as they survived premature birth without the many complications associated with it. Lucas came home with a list of health concerns, none of which were caused by premature birth. Not all babies are so lucky. Many never leave the NICU. Others come home with respiratory issues, visual impairment, among other things.

Lucas and Ryan on Mother's Day 2008

Where am I going with this? The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. My sister and her husband are participating in the March for Babies in honor of Ryan and are asking for your support. They will be walking in the Philadelphia area on April 26, 2009. If you are interested in sponsoring them, or making a donation to the March of Dimes, you can click here or click on the March of Dimes widget on the sidebar of my blog. One day, all babies will be born healthy. Together we can make a difference. Thanks for your support.

This is the most recent picture I have of the boys, taken in February 2009


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Hearing Loss a la Flintstones

So.... I borrowed this great little video from Heather, who graciously shared it with me, so I could also post it on my blog. (check out the great picture on her blog - I love it!!!)

The video doesn't even get into the profound levels - where Lucas's residual hearing lies. With his cochlear implant, he has a "mild" loss, because he is testing at about 30 dB in the booth. He's not necessarily hearing with that amount of clarity right now, but that's eventually approximately how he'll hear, although probably more mechanic sounding, because it's an electronic signal. It's hard to describe, because only those who were born hearing, lost their hearing, and were then implanted can really describe the sound.

The cochlear implant is AMAZING technology. Without it, Lucas would have a very different future ahead of him. I give thanks every day for this opportunity.

Heroica colaboración para la revista Lule le lele

Comprenlan en serio. Los chicos que la hacen son simpáticos y se quieren ir de vacaciones a Ibiza, aporten a tan noble causa.

Water Baby!

I'm trying to do activities with Lucas that I couldn't do if I were working right now. So... today we started swim lessons at the Lititz Rec Center! He's in the "Minnows" class, along with 5 other boys. We were supposed to start last week, but classes were canceled because of the snow. Here's a little video of my little man having fun in the water (I was enjoying myself too). My mom came along to take pictures and offer an extra pair of hands!

I thought the instructor did a great job... there were rubber duckies and watering cans to play with, some structured time, and some unstructured time. We did lots of singing too, *sigh*. I tried to sign some of the words, but I'm just not that good, and it's also tough to sign to your baby so that he can see the signs, while you're trying to keep him afloat. I couldn't help but cry a bit when we started singing and I knew that he had no idea. I know this is one of those times without sound, and I definitely want him to have the experience, but it's bittersweet, I guess.

The singing was fun though, and really drove many of our activities. We sang: Ring around the Rosie, The Wheels on the Bus, the ABC song (that was easy to sign with one hand!), Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and we chanted Motorboat and Humpty Dumpty. Each song/chant had little motions to go with it. We're going to take swim lessons until June, and then he'll be ready to move outside! Next on our activities list: lapsits at the local library... stay tuned!

Miss Diagnosis

"Where I come from men do not just take musical instruments off the wall and play them." The grey haired woman shifted in her bar seat, sipped her lager, and glared at the old man who hobbled away.

"He probably wanted to impress you," I responded, "Taking the guitar may have been inappropriate but it is sweet and romantic too." I imagined him as a thief who borrowed the guitar to steal her heart. I stood next to the door of Bar Clay, a pub on the Berkeley Oakland border, waiting for my friends to grab their jackets so we could head down the street to another bar.

"Actually," she brushed her hair back exposing the handsome lines around her eyes that spoke of her wisdom. "he's a professor. He has assburgers."

"Did you just say assburgers?" I shuddered picturing a heinous venereal disease afflicting geriatrics. I wanted to bolt from the room.

"No. I said Aspergers." Her cheeks turned crimson. "Google it. It's a form of autism that explains why they are so intelligent but so socially inept." She smiled. "Will you hang the guitar back up on the wall?"

I grabbed the instrument by its neck and hung it on the wall, annoyed that she had ignored the professor and then flirted with me. I pulled on the door to catch up with my friends who had passed me during our brief conversation. As I headed to the sidewalk I turned and said, "I will look it up. Thank you."

A few weeks later, I stood below a pink tower of rainbow holds, watching a chunky twelve year old struggle up the wall of the Berkeley Ironworks climbing gym. Leo skated his feet higher, aiming to for a ledge ten feet off the ground.

"That's good. I want to come down." He hung on the rope half way to the cave. Stretching, his toes dabbed the ground.

"Are you sure?" I asked. I wanted him to climb a little higher. He had pushed well past his previous high point of laying on the ground. I liked Leo. He said funny things at random times. When I was a kid, I did the same thing and had even been chunky like Leo. My mother told me I had broad shoulders and then we would buy my pants from the husky department of J.C. Penny's. I wanted Leo to succeed. He just needed to try a little.

"Yeah, that is okay. I am all done." Leo pointed to the ground and I lowered him.

"Maybe we can time ourselves running up to the cave instead?" He said.

I smiled, grabbed my stopwatch, and said, "Sure, Leo. Is that okay with you Adam?"

Adam, the other twelve year old in our small group, nodded and we passed my stopwatch around. Leo clocked 1 minute 54 seconds round trip. Adam whittled his time down from a little over 1 minute to a reasonable 45 seconds. I did it in 7 seconds. Everyone was pleased. At the end of the session, I took Leo to his nanny.

"Thanks-you are so good to him." She smiled at me.

"No problem." I shrugged. "He is fun to be around."

"Yeah," she sighed. "He's lucky to have someone like you. A lot of kids think he is a bit strange..."

I thought about the relationship Leo had with Adam, and then how he acted around me. Neither Adam nor I noticed anything wrong with him. I tilted my head.

"He does have Aspergers you know?" Her commented made me angry. Suddenly, I noticed the nanny had an odd pear shape to her body.

Leo seemed like a normal kid. Smart, awkward, fine. I turned out alright and I had been the same way. I watched him pull his sweat pants up to his breasts, look down at his exposed shoes, and awkwardly try to tie his laces, unable to quite bend over and reach his toes. I remembered being clumsy when I was his age and not being able to reach my feet. I had struggled to be normal and felt like a stranger in my body. Most people called it adolescence.

"Well," I grinned at Leo. "He's a good kid. I don't know what Aspergers is, but he seems alright to me." I suddenly wondered if everyone that was just alright really had Asperger's.

"Okay Leo," the pear shaped nanny said. "Let's go. Goodbye James and thank you."

"Bye James," Leo said. I waved back to Leo, gathered my belongings, and headed home.

I dodged land mines on the walk to the front door of my room in Berkeley. The anarchists I lived with organized book fairs, leftist protests, and group meetings on gender politics and theories on society as a spectacle. but they acted like true anarchists when it came to cleaning the dog shit off the walk way-no one did anything but let it rot.

In my adjustment from my former life as a dirtbag rock climber, to one of a normal functioning member of society, I felt confused. I was a deer in head lights in the city of Berkeley. And then on the walk to the porch, I would slip on dog shit. The sliding around made me feel unnaturally clumsy. Further, I had been acting awkwardly, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people. While the phenomenon mainly occurred around people I did not know well, it concerned me greatly. Was I really having identity issues or did everyone else just not know what to make of me?

I tried talking about my problems to my close friend Mandi, she said "James, I wish you could see a therapist sometimes." Then she ended our conversation.

My identical twin brother emailed me from Thai Land, where he was training as a kick boxer. He told me, "Just talk to more people. Find a girlfriend." He was closest to the truth.

They both told me I was a little weird. How could I disagree with them? They knew me so well. Without adequate funding I did not know what to do, so I looked to internet gurus for advice. I Google searched a few words that described myself.

"Intelligent, socially inept, clumsy." I hit the search key. A number of descriptions about nerds, and dorks popped up. And then in the middle of the page was a description of Asperger's Syndrome.

"Well," I said to myself. "I already know I am a nerd and act like a dork. There's nothing wrong with that but there seems to be something wrong with me. Maybe that's why I am really smart but say weird things all the time. Maybe that' why I feel like I have so much in common with the professor and Leo. Maybe that's why my friends think I am so weird." Confronted with so many maybes, I continued searching the internet. Suddenly, I realized the truth of it all. I had contracted a severe case of Asperger's.

In 1944, Hans Aspereger, an Austrian pediatrician, noticed a pattern among his young patients. The adolescents displayed abnormalities including verbosity, abrupt transitions, literal interpretations, and mis comprehension of nuance. They used metaphors meaningful only to themselves, they had formal or idiosyncratic speech, and they had oddities in loudness, pitch, intonation, and rhythm. Further they showed audio or visual abnormalities. They had an enhanced perception of small changes in patterns such as arrangements of objects or well-known images.

Whenever I tried to meet new people, I displayed symptoms of Asperger's. Though sometimes shy and reserved, I could be loud. I used idiosyncratic speech; I used expressions that only I understood. I talked about rock climbing with strangers and said phrases like "gnarly", "burly", and "jedi-enhanced drop knees". I noticed small changes in people, especially women I saw on a regular basis. When they wore different clothes, cut their hair, or just about anything, I could tell. I had visual abnormalities.

I stayed up late, pacing my room, rolling in the chair in front of my desk. What was wrong with me? Did I really honestly, have Asperger's? I read discussions about the syndrome, searching through internet forums. I had an uncanny ability to relate to other people with this problem. This suggested that I was part of the group.

I worked my fingers to the cuticle, pounding at the keyboard, searching the internet for answers, I found gurus like R. Kaan Ozbayrak, a doctor who had received his degreee in Turkey, worked in psychiatric wards for Massachusetts children, and had published volumes on Asperger's. The academic work sounded definitive, correct, and in many cases applicable to myself. I scrolled through stories of diagnosed children, like Elizabeth Andress, who had large vocabularies but lacked social skills. In elementary school, I was known for my large lexicon and total lack of friends. I related to the stories.

I stomped through my room, sat down in my chair, and then abruptly stood again. In a moment of panic, I shouted," Oh god! That's me. I do have Asperger's!"

"Shut up James!" An anarchist screamed through the thin walls.

"I can hear you talking to yourself." my house mate Lee yelled. "And it's three in the morning!"

Suddenly, she stood in my room. "And just to let you know, you do not have Asperger's. You are being an egotistical jackass, thinking you can diagnose yourself."

She stopped huffing, looked at me, and said, "Now, relax and go to bed."

The clock read 3.am.

"God," I thought, "she was right."

I was delusional, thinking I could diagnosis myself by reading about it on the internet. I calmly laid in my bed, slowing my thoughts. Why did I believe I could answer my own questions? I inhaled. Why did I constantly think I was right? I exhaled. Was I a self centered asshole? I breathed. I was. I sometimes told girls that I was kind of a big deal and then acted like a jerk to impress them. I rose from my bed, walked to my chair in front of my desk, and I typed a few words about my enormous ego. I wanted help. I hit the search button on Google. Suddenly, I realized the truth of it all. I was a perfectly normal single male. I was a megalomaniac.

file this one under: miscellaneous

"i want a big red car
i want fancy new guitar
i want a house with a big back deck
and i want to come home with a big paycheck
i want to ride a harley davidson
and i want to live in a great big mansion
i want to sleep for hours and hours
i want a garden full of beautiful sunflowers

...and i want to be friends with tom petty"
-dayna manning

...and i want one of these pretty little ladies:
i want alot of indulgent things right now. nonsense things. sooooo many things.

nothing important. and nothing that will bring me any great lasting happiness. but i'm pretty sure they'd make me happy for a moment. and sometimes that's ok, too.

baby mine

gavin west: four weeks
has one dimple
hums after he sneezes
has super human nursing powers
hates to sleep alone
hates to sleep.
la la loves to squeeeeeeeellll!
smells delish

thank you, my sweet friends for your kind words. i am surviving! the fog is slowly lifting and with spring right around the corner... i can't wait to get out in the sunshine with my boys. i am so grateful to be supported by you all here. so grateful for you.
love, lin

i'm happy:

the first sign of spring is here!
...and i couldn't be happier.

i hope you find a package of {springy} happy mail in your mailbox from my dear friend, danyelle.
happy commenting!
love, lin

Happy Faces Cards

We know Lucas is "hearing." He has been consistently responding to a variety of sounds, including all the ling sounds and some very soft sounds too. Two of the most amazing sounds he has responded to lately are a kissing noise from the book Bunny Kisses, and the noise that the bumble ball makes when turned on. He also continues to respond consistently to his name. My two biggest Lucas indulgences right now: calling his name and having him turn his head, and singing him to sleep (however awful I might sound...). Step one achieved: Lucas has sound.

Next, Lucas needs to make sense of this sound. He's working on it... he responds, although not consistently, to words/sounds like meow, light, various animal sounds, and, of course, his name. I have to keep reminding myself that he had NO visible access to sound before January 9, so he has been hearing for less than 2 months. It will take time for him to process these sounds. *SIGH*

Then he needs to learn to create the sounds. He is saying "mmmm" and "ahhhhh" and has started to make this lip-smacking noise, and say "rarararara" with that awful American "r" sound. That's the dorky linguist in me. Say it to yourself: not "are" but the sound for /r/. It's ugly, isn't it? The Spanish "r" is much nicer. At least he's adding to his repertoire of sounds...

So, in addition to presenting sounds for Lucas to hear, so that we can say "wow, good job turning to the sound!" (that's the easy part) we are trying to get him to recognize and produce other sounds. I'm always looking for fun toys to use with him, and I found these great "Happy Faces Cards" at Ollie's Bargain Outlet for $3. I stick my mouth and nose through the hole in the card and make the various corresponding animal sounds. Since the bunny doesn't make a sound, I repeatedly crinkle up my nose (Lucas thinks that's pretty hilarious). I'm still trying to figure out what a ladybug does or says, and I wish the dinosaur were a pterodactyl, because I can make a mean pterodactyl noise. One of these days, he will make the sound back to me when I hold it up to him... but at least for now, he looks really stinkin' cute!