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Monthly Archives: June 2012

World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls

Do you ever lay in bed at night thinking of what you would like to make for breakfast?  Do you dream of freshly made croissants and steaming piles of eggs? Do you agonize over how early you’d have to get up to make all that a reality?

No?  Ok, well it’s just me then.

I do this.  I do this nearly every weekend.  Essentially I want to wake up and have a full-time chef hard at work preparing the perfect breakfast in my kitchen (preferably one who will clean up after, too).  Since this is in no way reality, nor will it ever be, I endlessly debate the benefits of losing some precious sleep to rise early and prepare this fabulous breakfast that only the boyfriend and I will enjoy.  Connor will no doubt enjoy something recently frozen, fresh from the toaster.

Usually the desire to sleep wins out over the desire to make something fabulous early in the day.  Usually….

Last weekend as I obsessively searched Pinterest for ways to use my prepackaged crescent rolls that were rapidly approaching expiration, I had a brainstorm!

What if I could make cinnamon rolls from just a few simple items?  Would they actually taste good?  I decided to give it a shot.  It was touch and go there for a while during the actual making of the recipe, but in the end I created


I am not being overly dramatic (ok well maybe a little overly dramatic, but totally appropriate level of excitement).

Oh mama they were tasty!

Here’s the recipe:

two cans of premade crescent rolls

1 stick of butter, melted

1/2 cup of white sugar

1/4 cup of cinnamon

(Please ignore the obvious errors in the above picture.  I don’t know why I thought two sticks of butter would be appropriate for one can of crescent rolls.  I had so much leftover butter I could have dunked each roll into it and then shortly after had a heart attack.  Also I didn’t actually measure the cinnamon, but it looked like 1/4 cup.  Feel free to add more or less.  I happen to really like strong cinnamon flavor, as in I love red hots!  So I can’t actually judge if there was too much cinnamon in the sugar mix.  Use your judgement.)

Ok, this recipe is easy peasy.

Step 1) Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter.  Unroll crescent rolls and place them on a clean work surface.

Step 2) Lay them out side by side like the above picture and pinch the edges together, making one large pastry sheet.

Step 3) Mix sugar and cinnamon into melted butter.  (do not eat!  It is delicious but use it for the cinnamon rolls first, you can have the leftovers.)

Step 4) Smear butter mixture all over the dough.  (I’m sure there’s a better word than smear: paint? coat? lovingly apply?)

Make the mixture as thick or as thin as you like.  I wanted a lot of calories in this dish so I made sure the coat was as thick as possible.

Step 5) Roll dough and slice into rounds.

Side note: I am including this awful picture so you know that I am not perfect.  Cooking is a messy business!  Things seldom go perfectly!  In fact at this point in the process I had serious doubts about the whole endeavor.  This looked terrible.  I hadn’t pinched the dough together enough.  It was getting really squished.  I was positive this whole thing was going to be a failure.  Resigned to seeing it through I continued on.

Step 6) Place rounds in a round, greased cake pan.  Slip them in the oven for 20 min.

Step 7) Pray. Then open the oven.

Sweet Lord!  They look amazing!

Step 8) Whip up a quick white icing and drizzle over top.

Stop drooling, it’s getting everywhere!

Step 9) Eat and enjoy!


An Abbreviated Break

Or perhaps the title should be “Connor gets jipped.”

Connor’s school schedule has been a little off since the beginning.  As a special education candidate he started preschool just after he turned three, when the school district is legally required to assume responsibility for his education and the majority of his therapy.  One of the greatest blessings in our life has been the early intervention programs Connor has been a part of, first through the Regional Center of Orange County and now through Ocean View School District.  We were lucky enough to live in an area where government programs for the disabled were still nearly fully funded while the rest of the state (and the country, for that matter) struggles to find funds for special education programs, such as early intervention.  But because budgets are such a delicate balancing act, each program is eager to hand over participants to the next program.  Thus Connor started preschool in April, instead of following the traditional school year and entering in the fall.

We had about two and a half months of school, during which Connor was sick probably half a dozen times and missed close to ten days in that time (this is the reality of entering school—your immune systems get tested more than your student!).  By the end of that two and half month period Connor was adjusting to going to class everyday.  He wasn’t even crying most day when I dropped him off.  He’d managed to steel himself for the prospect of separation every day.  In short, Connor had nearly adjusted to preschool.

And then school ended.

The school year officially ended last Wednesday, not to pick back up until September….

Thank God for summer school!

Poor Connor.  If he only knew that he was being forced to attend school while the rest of the county’s students enjoy three blissful months of no class, no work, no teachers.  He would be extremely upset if he knew.  Connor loves all those days of no demands or responsibility!

Thankfully he is not yet cognizant of how the world works!

Because change is such a struggle for Connor, his special education plan ensures that he attends school throughout the summer.  It is also imperative to the early intervention model that Connor receive continuous services until he reaches his communicative and behavioral goals.  What that means is Connor will receive almost constant schooling and therapy until he reaches the level of average kids his age.  Poor Connor gets no summer break.

To make up for the fact that Connor is being deprived of an entire of summer of doing nothing, I wanted to make his five-day summer break great.

So we went to the aquarium, we saw half of a movie in a theater (which I guess is good enough for Connor, because who needs to see the end of a movie really?  It’s all about the set-up!), we went to the park, we swam, we rode bikes, we got a cold.

Ok, so that last one wasn’t on the to-do list.  But we did get a bad cold/flu.  Connor rebounded pretty fast, but I was bed-ridden for 2 of the 5 days.  Not how I wanted to spend “summer break” but hey I don’t have to go back to school today (he he).

We did get to spend one awesome afternoon at the aquarium.  The Long Beach Aquarium, The Aquarium of the Pacific,  might be Connor’s most favorite place in the whole world (outside of my arms of course).  The Aquarium has it’s own icon for Connor’s calendar, so he regularly goes to the calendar, grabs the card, and asks to see “fishies? fishies?”.  So even though we only had a five-day summer break, we had one perfect afternoon.

Connor is fascinated by fish.

As usual, Connor is surrounded by women…and oblivious to them.



Improvised Chicken Parmigiana

Let’s say, just hypothetically, you decide you want baked chicken parmigiana for dinner.  You pick this because it’s an easy recipe and you have all the ingredients on hand.  Or at least you should.  And then let’s say you find out you’re missing a few key ingredients after you’ve already defrosted the chicken breasts.  What should you do?

You do what all great mothers of the world do!  You IMPROVISE!

(I think maybe I should get this word tattooed on me somewhere as it seems to be the driving motto of my life.)

Here is the recipe for baked chicken parmigiana:

2 chicken breasts

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

2 eggs

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce


From that list, here is what I had:

2 chicken breasts

2 eggs

1/2 jar of tomato sauce


Not quite the same!  So I improvised.

Instead of Italian bread crumbs, I had Panko bread crumbs (a Japanese variety of bread crumbs).  I wasn’t too sure about dipping the chicken in eggs before using the Panko bread crumbs, so I just rolled the slightly moist breasts in the Panko and plopped them in the pan with some hot olive oil.

Also because they weren’t Italian bread crumbs, I added some dry Italian seasoning mix in with the Panko before breading the chicken.

Then I browned each side of the breasts a bit before putting them in the dish.  (Oh! Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees.)

Next, instead of having a large pool of sauce for the chicken to rest in, I just spread a little on the bottom of the dish to prevent sticking.

Then I placed the chicken in the dish and covered with the remaining sauce.

Or at least I covered as much as I could.

Now would be the time to typically sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top of the sauce.  However, I didn’t have any mozzarella!  Or at least I didn’t have any in the traditional sense….

What I did have was Trader Joe’s low-fat mozzarella string cheese.

So I chopped it up!

It may not look perfect now, but I assure you it will melt the same as regular shredded cheese.

All that’s left to do is pop it in the oven!

Oh wait!  I decided at the last-minute to add some dried basil, to help make up for the non-Italian bread crumbs!

Bake for 25 minutes and VOILA!  A lovely dinner….that I forgot to take a picture of.

Ok….I’ll improvise again!

Here’s a picture of Connor:

We were playing with glow sticks in the dark during bath time last night.  We pretended to be insects with glowing antenna and tongues!  It was fun!  It has nothing to do with the dinner but I’m hoping you’ll be enchanted enough by the idea of a glow stick bath to ignore that.  Please?

Highway to Hell

The boyfriend and I enjoyed a lovely weekend alone in Palm Desert. We slept in, we swam in the adult only pool, we sipped cocktails, we took a three-hour nap…in short, it was extremely relaxing.

Too bad all good things must come to an end.

The drive from the desert into LA should have been relatively easy given that it was a Sunday around noon, not your typical high traffic time. This fact did not stop LA traffic from appearing, though. Oh no, it did not. Traffic materialized in West Covina and accompanied us all the way to Santa Monica, for no other reason than that the sun was shining.

Fine. No big deal. I can deal with traffic. It’s a given in LA. You just have to learn to brush it off.

So when Connor was handed off to me snotty and tired I accepted it as par for the course. I mean I hadn’t seen him in two days, he would of course be cranky. Again, that’s pretty much a given.

Things started to deteriorate from there. If you get queasy easily by bathroom stuff, this would be a good place to stop.

Connor refused to wait in the car while I went into the office building with his dad to use the restroom after three hours in the car. Well, not only did he refuse to wait in the car, he refused to wait outside of the restroom with his dad. In fact he screamed something that sounded remarkably like “I HATE DADDY” when I tried to hand him off so I could go pee. That was a nice family moment for the receptionist to enjoy while we stood in the middle of his dad’s office lobby. We may have scared that young man out of never having in children in just those 30 seconds. So I took Connor to the bathroom with me, as I’d done hundreds if not thousands of times before. I had hoped Connor would simply stand next to me in the stall gently sobbing while I used the toilet. No, Connor demanded to be held while I sat on the toilet. That’s right: I sat on the toilet, Connor sat on my lap. Fun.

Returning to the car I now had a wild animal in my arms, as the trip to the bathroom seemed to have unhinged Connor in some way. Time to improvise. The boyfriend would drive with Dodger (dog #2) in the front seat while I sat in the back with Connor and Penny (dog #1). I’ve driven with Dodger in the passenger seat many times before so I felt confident that this was a good solution.

I don’t know why I ever feel confident about any of my decisions because I am always wrong!

Connor immediately started crying, demanding that I go sit in my usual seat, the driver’s seat. Dodger was restless for some reason, twirling around in the seat, trying to get his snout out the tiny crack in the window. I merely instructed the boyfriend to drive!, hoping the children (both furry and human) would calm down once we started moving.

Eventually, after roughly five straight minutes of high-pitched crying, Connor calmed down, clutching my hand in his and asking for hugs. Happy sigh.

Yet Dodger remained fidgety. (Seriously stop reading now if you get grossed out)

Dodger is always an active dog, getting his nose in things where they don’t belong or trying to snuggle in aggressive and inappropriately timed ways. So when he kept trying to sit in the boyfriend’s lap on the way home, I wasn’t too surprised. Nor was I surprised when he literally came and sat on my lap in the back.

What did surprise me was the dog poop stuck to his tail when he came to sit in my lap. Gross, but he’s a dog! It happens. I just wondered why I hadn’t seen it there earlier. Hmm…

He was just as fidgety on my lap as he was in the front seat, so I pushed him back up there and kept an eye on him. There was something off.

The boyfriend was starting to get seriously frustrated with Dodger when he tried to sit in the boyfriend’s lap for the tenth time in about 2o minutes. And when a mysterious foul smell hit us, I knew something was wrong.

Dodger was getting more and more agitated. Twirling in the seat faster and faster. Suddenly he started frantically digging in the bottom of the front seat. Something was definitely wrong. I recognized Dodger’s distress signal.

I practically yelled at the boyfriend to exit at the next possible off-ramp. To just get off the freeway as soon as possible!! Thankfully the gods were with us and we managed to cross four lanes of traffic without anyone honking, flipping us off, or causing a major accident. I told him just to pull over in a neighborhood, we needed some grass stat!!

Pulling down the first street we came to and picking a random strip of grass in front of a largely untended house, I jumped out and grabbed Dodger from the front seat. He didn’t need to be told twice! He immediately hopped down and unleashed a torrent of horrific diarrhea. The seat where he had been twirling around, trying to keep it in was covered in a fine layer of liquified poop! I grabbed a bag of wipes and started cleaning everything, from top to bottom while the boyfriend tried not to vomit. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry about Dodger wandering off as he looked at me with shame-filled, sad eyes as he squatted pathetically in the grass.

Meanwhile, Connor is screaming his head off because I’ve gotten out of the car. No one is able to calm him down as I’m busy cleaning poop off of everything while the boyfriend is trying not to bring up his breakfast.

My only blessing at the moment was that the owner of the house didn’t come out and start yelling at me. I seriously would have lost it had that happened.

Instead, I ushered Dodger back to the car, using the rest of the wipes to clean his tail, bottom, and paws, leaving me one to wipe down my hands. I then make a bold attempt to clean up the poop in the grass with a random plastic baggy from the car. Given the liquid nature of the bowel movement this was nearly impossible and took way too long. Of course there were no trash cans anywhere on the street, so I have to climb back in the car holding the bag out of the window while Connor continues to wail, Dodger whimpers, and the boyfriend turns an unpleasant shade of green.

Thankfully there is an elementary school just down the street which means there has to be a damn trash can somewhere!!!

The boyfriend pulls up in front of the school going the wrong way to let me out. There is no way in hell Connor is going to let me leave the car without him again, so grabbing my sobbing child in one arm, carrying the poop bag as far away from me in the other, we trek into the school. Of course there are not trash cans in sight, so I have to randomly pick corners to turn and hope that a trash can will appear.

While a trashcan doesn’t appear, a large playground does. Connor hops out of my arms, forgetting all about the fact he couldn’t be separated from me as a matter of life and death a mere minute before, and runs toward the jungle gym. Even knowing it will be a battle to get him away from the slide later, I just don’t care in that minute. I have got to find a damn trashcan! It is taking every ounce of my will power not to unleash a stream of foul language on the world at large as I scout the area around the playground. Finally I spot a trashcan all the way across the campus, outside of a portable. It is lined, but I still silently ask forgiveness from whoever has to empty that trashcan out later.

Connor is contentedly going down the slide, when I return. I grab him under one arm before he can protest and head back to the car.

I know three things in that moment:

1. There is no way Connor is going to get back in his car seat.

2. Dodger needs to sit in the back or the boyfriend might kill him.

3. I still had poop on my hands.

As soon as I get back in the car with Connor, Dodger hops in the backseat. He needs his mama just as much as Connor does. So I make a decision, please don’t be horrified.

I unbuckle the car seat and push it in between the driver and passenger seats. I then buckle Connor and myself in with the same seat belt, with him on my lap. We are five miles from home and the only way we are going to get there is if I hold my child.

So that is what we did. For the last five miles to the house, I held my human child in my lap, while stroking Dodger’s now quiet form laying down next to me, while occasionally giving poor Penny a scratch for being so wonderful through this whole ordeal (she kept her head turned away from all of us, looking back, as if denying she was part of this crazy family).

And for the first time since Connor was handed off, the inside of the car is absolutely quiet and still.

Connor stops crying, nestling into my lap, resting his head on my chest. Dodger stops whimpering and starts to breathe normally. Penny waits patiently to be let out of this crazy car. And the boyfriend’s color slowly returns to normal.

When we pull into the garage, I usher everyone into the backyard. The dogs can frolic and pee. Connor can play on his own jungle gym. And I can go wash my hands 27 times.

Care Packages

If raising a child with autism is a war, then all the support I received from friends and family yesterday felt like letters from home.  Though they can never completely remove me from the situation, they can lessen the stress with every kind word.

A couple of comments and texts I received yesterday got me wondering about other parents of autistic children and their struggles.  According to the brief research I did, we are a subject group of considerable interest to researchers.  I came across several scholarly articles discussing the stress levels among parents of autistic children as being significantly higher than those of parents of “average” children. Many of these articles offer an analysis and advice of family, therapeutic and parent intervention.

There are also several support groups online and nonprofit groups that deal with the parents of autistic children specifically, offering them advice on how to cope with the stress and better ways of communicating with their children.

Perhaps I’m alone in this but when I read these support groups websites and all these articles, it just makes me feel worse.  I am giving all I can give on a regular basis.  Many of these sites offer advice on how to do things “better” which means I’m doing something incorrectly, which then spins me into a guilt tornado.  Ugh.  No thanks.

I prefer the care packages I receive from friends and loved ones.  I prefer the simple words of kindness and encouragement.  It’s nice to hear from other parents dealing with similar issues, or have dealt with similar issues, or parents of normally developed children whose kids do something infuriating!

If you’re unsure how to support me (or any parent of an autistic child) here is a nice article I found that offers a thoughtful discussion of what to say, how to say, and what questions to ask.  I know many of us, myself included, often worry about saying the wrong thing.  When you’re talking about someone’s kid, that worry can build to the point that you don’t want to say anything.

What to Say to Parents of Children with Autism by Jean Winegardner at the Washington Times.

Parenting a child with autism can be incredibly isolating for many reasons.

It’s difficult to take Connor out to public places for fear of how he’ll behave.  He may tantrum, shove other children, run away from me, monopolize toys/books/games, etc.  Or he might simply scream the whole time.  We were at Disneyland just a couple of weeks ago and while he had fun for the first hour, he slowly lost the ability to control his emotions and began to tantrum at the drop of a hat.  Every rule we’d worked on, every communication we’d developed, every peer interaction we’d practiced, went right out the window.  He hit me, pushed two unknown children, ran into an employee only area, tantrumed the entire time we were on the train.  Good times. But there are other times we’ve been there when he didn’t cry at all, interacted appropriately, waited his turn, etc.  It’s a very dangerous guessing game to play as to which behavior you’re going to get.  And as the parent you need to be prepared for the worst.  And you need to be prepared to leave any place, at any time, without any notice.

Sometimes that’s just all too much.  Sometimes I prefer to take him to a park that I know will be empty.  Or we’ll go for a walk on the vast wetlands with no one else around.  And sometimes even that is too much, and we’ll just stay home. When we have days like the past few days, I feel like a prisoner (or maybe the warden) in my own home.  This is Connor’s comfort zone.  Honestly, this is my comfort zone as well.  There is nothing that can happen at home that I am not prepared for.  We can be in the same room, interacting, or we can not.  Either way is fine.

So when I get your text, your email, your comment, it’s like a lifeline to the outside world that I’m not quite so alone as I feel sometimes.  Thank you for reminding me that I have friends, family, kind strangers, who care enough to share a moment of life.  Thank you for keeping me company if only for a minute.  Thank you.

And because I’m a woman who likes nice things, when I got an email from Coach yesterday offering me 25% off my purchase, I knew it was a sign from God that he wanted me to have something nice.  So thank you Lord.  I can’t wait for my care package from Coach!

If I’m going to have a child that drives me crazy, I’m at least going to look good on my road to insanity.


Being a parent of an autistic child is something akin to juggling live grenades.

At first you’re dropping them all over the place.  Explosions keep knocking you off your feet.  Your head hurts from the constant thrashing, banging, and the deafening sounds.  You feel scarred, and scared, unsure of yourself and this whole operation.

Yet, you persevere.  You get back on your feet, shake the ringing from your ears and begin again.

Of course you’ll drop grenades occasionally, but you’re getting better.  You’re managing to go days without an explosion.  Perhaps you even get to the point where you say to yourself, “Hey! I’m getting the hang of this!  I haven’t dropped a grenade in weeks.”

You give yourself a mental pat on the back.

And then when the next grenade hits your hand, it explodes.

There’s no rational reason for this.  There’s nothing you did.  Nothing has changed.

But there is carnage none the less.  Screams fill the air and you’re unsure who they belong to, you or the child.  There is crying, there is blood, there is trauma. And the rest of the grenades fall from the air as you try to stop the bleeding.

And you did nothing wrong.

This has been my last 36 hours.

Connor woke up yesterday just ready to pull the pin.  He was angry, defiant, destructive.  Everything was a battle, from changing his diaper to getting his shoes on to feeding him.  All of which failed.

He refused to let me put a new diaper on, kicking me and screaming for what seemed like hours but was really only a matter of minutes.  Feeling sorry for my obviously unhappy child, I let him go naked.  Later in the day, when I actually managed to clothe him briefly, I should have known that shoes were not going to happen.  All I got for my trouble was a kick the head and a lot of tears.  Food was equally ridiculous.  He refused to eat a hot waffle, screaming at me when I cut it and poured syrup on.  He wanted a frozen waffle, which I gave him, which he promptly placed next to his hot waffle and then ate said hot waffle.

All of which is happening without words.  Connor refused to communicate in any way other than screaming, physical violence, and gesturing.

I gave him a mental health day.  Taking him to preschool in that condition would have been the equivalent of taking one of my dogs to preschool.  The teachers might have actually gotten more obedience from Penny than they would have from Connor.

I figured I’d be a nice mom and just give the kid a break.  Adults need days off, why not kids too?

I let him be naked, eat goldfish, watch Sesame Street.  I took him swimming at my mom’s.  I gave him ice cream after he was such a sweet boy for his Nana.

Yet as soon as we got home, grenades began to fall from the sky again.

I was beginning to feel shell-shocked.

So when he fell asleep at 8, I was relieved; when he woke up at 8:40 and stayed up until midnight, I was unsurprised.  I had hoped that a night’s sleep was all he needed, that a day at home was all he needed to set him back to right.  I had hoped I could hold the grenades in the air today.

Connor treated me to exactly the same type of morning as yesterday morning.

There is only so many times a person can be kicked, hit, and scratched before something inside them snaps. As he lay on the ground screaming, kicking, crying out for me to stop trying to dress him, I lost it. I have never been so abused in my life than I am at the hands of my child.  I flipped him over and spanked him once on his bottom.  The only thing it made him do was cry harder.

I yelled, the dogs cowered, and Connor yelled back.

I pinned him to the floor face down, using my body weight as leverage, to force pants, socks, and shoes on him.

I held him down in this booster seat and buckled him in for a breakfast he wouldn’t eat.

I moved his chair against the wall when he tried to flip it over with his frantic kicking.

I placed cereal and juice in front of him despite the fact that I knew he wouldn’t touch either.

I went about starting the  day, all the while we both cried.

At last he quieted and I sat across from him.  I asked if he was all done.  He repeated all done.  As I unbuckled his belt, he leapt from the seat into my lap, wrapping his arms around my neck and whimpering.

Now he’s at school, after crying pathetically for me not to leave him there.  And now I’m at home, crying pathetically over the guilt I feel for one spank, for yelling, for holding him down to dress him, for screaming at him to stop, just to stop!!

I just want the grenades to stop falling.

This is what parenting my autistic child is: juggling grenades and then feeling guilty for taking cover when they begin to fall.

Room Matters

Have I mentioned that I’m “room mom” for Connor’s class?  No?  Well I am.

I think there’s something wrong with me.  I honestly don’t know why I volunteer for everything.  I don’t mind being room mom, not at all.  That’s not the point.

The point is that as soon as I have some free time I seem eager to find a way to fill it!  Not that the responsibilities of being a room mom for a preschool class are all that pressing.  (I’m not even allowed to help out in class since Connor has separation anxiety issues and would want to spend the whole time I’m there glued to my side.)

I’m just amazed at my driving need to volunteer.  I think in this case I volunteered to be room mom the first time I met Connor’s teacher!  I casually mentioned I’d be happy to help and she casually mentioned they didn’t have a room mom.  The next thing you know, bam!, I’m room mom, like I’m some over-zealous school girl waving her hand frantically in the air to clean the chalk boards or collect the books.  OH!! PICK ME! PICK ME!!  I WANT to help!!!

In fact, I did this as a school girl.  I was always eager to be teacher’s helper.  Or helper to anyone actually.  Need some kickboards stacked up after swim class?  I’m your girl!  Need help grading spelling tests?  I’m on it!  You’re throwing a shower/party/wedding? How can I help?

See?  It’s not even that people even directly ask me to help.  I volunteer!!

I think it’s a sickness.

The sickest part?  I like doing it!  I like helping.  I like being the person someone else can count on.  I think I also, not so subconsciously, like that pat on the head when I’ve done something nice.  I think my twisted little heart likes being thanked, enjoys the approval of others.

This disturbs me.

I don’t want to be that crazy old mother who one day screams at Connor, “After all I’ve done for you, this is the thanks I get?!?”

Nothing about that would be good.  So how do I keep eagerness to please from turning into a driving need for recognition?  How do I stop myself from playing the part of the martyr?  How do I continue to help out without losing my sanity?

I’m not really sure.  I need to keep reminding myself that what I do is no different from millions of other parents out there.  I need to remember that I’m not the first mom to make crafts for her child, flyers for the classroom, cupcakes for friends.  I just need to keep in mind how very average this all is.

That’s right.  I’m just a mom, nothing out of the ordinary.

So how can I help you?