Monday, November 30, 2009

I did it!!

November 30 2009

Posting each day of the month of november was the aim of NaBloPoMo, and I did it!!

I used the "post-a-day" to post a little bit less than usual.
Confining myself to one post a day seemed to be a good idea with so many things going on.

I've devoted my extra time to working for Action for Autism. There are so many things to be changed to improve life for autistic people here.
Especially twitter has turned out to be an important tool to reach people and to discuss important subjects.

I've also started a blog for my son who moved to his own apartment.
Tips for your home can do with your tips too. Just send them and I'll post them.

But the most time of november was spend on my children.
And ofcourse on dreaming of Scotland. LOL!

They had fun at the siblings-day

November 30 2009

The girls have had a great day yesterday.
In the center of the country a special day was organized for siblings of special needs kids. Well, with 4 brothers with autism they belonged to that group.

They've bowled about 3 hours.
One of the girls turned out a real winner.

They've also played all sorts of boardgames and were able to do other things to relax and keep themselves busy.

In between they had a healthy lunch.

As it was not their first time it was of utmost importance for them to see some of the other girls they've met before.
They've talked a lot and were so tired when they came home, they had hardly the energy to tell everything about it.

I'm glad they had such a nice time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

they're autism-siblings

November 29 2009

The girls have left early this morning with their father.
He can travel for free and take them with him for a low fee, and that's better than sending them off alone or that I'm going with them. Even though I would have loved to have a day with them.

They're now at a special event organized for siblings of children with autism and other special needs.

It's a pity it's always far away from where we live, but it's great they're able to go anyway.

These days are organized to help them forget daily life for a day and to create happy memories.

Dealing with a brother or sister with special needs isn't always easy.
My girls have to adjust themselves every day to the needs and characteristics of 4 autistic brothers.

In reality it means for instance that they can't practice bagpipes as often as they want, because autism also means for one of the boys an oversensitiveness for noise.
The result is that one of the girls didn't get through the bagpipe exam and was thrown out of the band without any consideration.
She really wants to become a bagpiper and I'm trying to teach her now. But the same noise limits exist.

Another difficult problem to deal with is the unexpected nature of the behaviour of their bothers.
Some of them forget their appointments (even when they're told a few minutes before),
and their classic autistic brother has meltdowns at the most unexpected moments.
There are times we just can't understand why he is so frustrated, and at times he scares the hell out of us by starting to yell.

It means a basic level of preparedness for the unexpected and even worse: not bringing friends to their home.
Especially children from school are not used to behaviour of autistic children and the girls don't want a gossip campaign to be started.

These are just a few examples about what it means to be an autism-sibling for them.

Today is a surprise day for them.
It's a day with games and maybe bowling. That's all I know.

So I'll just wait until they're back.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why do people get a loan for christmas?

november 28 2009

I can't believe people get a loan to buy christmaspresents.

We're not very rich people, money wise, but there's more to christmas than presents.

When I see the huge toys which are bought, I've spilled a few tears in the past because I couldn't buy them for my children.
I wanted to give the girls a wooden kitchen and shop and a lot of other things, but they never got them. Not the way I wanted them, I mean.

But they played kitchen and shop anyway, and they don't have the feeling they were neglected.

The past years have been a real financial burden to us.
With 4 autistic children there's always more money to spend than to be earned.
My autistic son kept ruining the chairs he sat on at his own room. Not on purpose, but because of his movements and weight.
We now have a chair we got from an office. It's old, but it's the first chair in years that not gave in within a month.

Two years ago we didn't have any money for december presents.
It really did hurt me to tell the children, but we had a nice evening together anyway, with some useful little things like gloves, and some home made christmas ornaments. They've all saved them, so there must have been a good memory attached to them.

This year we won't be able to give them much either.
We've drawn names, so each has to buy one present only.

But there won't be added extras.

Our decemberpresents are part of the Sinterklaas tradition. So we need to have them all by december 5th instead of the 24th.

Oh, I wish I would see the real Sinterklaas or Santa and I would be able to ask him to bring my kids the gifts I would love to give them.

But using money that isn't mine? Getting a loan?
No way!!
When I can't save the money for the presents during the year, I won't be able to pay back the loan, can I?
It's as simple as that.

And maybe, maybe the greatest gift to my children is the awareness that it's more important to have a great time together than to play with your new gifts.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The continuing story - another try

november 27 2009

Last week we went to a meeting at the daycare to see what they can do to make going there easier for my classic autistic son of 17.

He wanted to know precisely what was expected from him, what he needed to do etc etc.
In fact he wanted to have a video with it all on it. Timetable included.

The same evening he had a mail with two schedules to choose from.

Making a choice is not something he enjoys.
He's rather leave it to someone else, and he blames that person afterwards for what went wrong.

This time he had to make a choice and it took him almost a week.
Again he had a reply that same evening.

He told us he would go today, but after so many promises and disappointments I just kept my distance.

But he went... he really did!!

Ofcourse I hoped he would be at the busstation when it started to rain terribly, and ofcourse I expected him to return telling me he couldn't go there in wet trousers.
But until now he hasn't returned.

He'll be gone for just a few hours this time, but it's a first step...I hope.

The daycare is for people like him, to help them find something they want to do the rest of their lives, and to develop some skills.

He could have done well in school when the people who should have invested in him would have done their job.

But let's hope he can find a way through all his negativity, objections and all the other barricades he created for himself.

It's strange without him here.
A strange kind of freedom has entered the house.
No complaining, no negativity, no meltdowns, no comments on the behaviour of others, no angry words because he can't chose whether he wants something to drink, or what he wants on his bread.

It's a tremendous pity his father has troubles with his knee again and is sleeping on the couch. He can't walk upstairs, and he has heavy painkillers. He snores like hell.

No rest for the wicked!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

november 26 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

for those who celebrate it.

Here in this area we're not celebrating something like thanksgiving.
We're preparing for Sinterklaas.

From the second half of november until the night of 5 to 6 december it's Sinterklaastime.

It's the presents taken out of Christmas.

Little children are allowed to put their shoes ready (almost) every evening, with a carrot for the horse of Sinterklaas. In the morning they'll find a small present.
Their gratitude is expressed in songs.

More grown ups restrict their presents to the evening of december 5 and share them with or without poems in the family, group or, like we did when the children were young, with the last presents for the children on the table.
The morning of december 6 they would find their presents and spend all day feeling happy and grateful. (Or angry because they didn't get what they want. LOL!)

It makes christmas a much more pure and more spiritual event, and gratitude more of a daily feeling during the darkest time of the year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

my eyes are OK

november 25 2009

Finally time to go to the hospital to have my eyes checked.

Not my hobby, but it had to be done.
Diabetes can cause small bleeds in the eye and when you're in time these bleeds can be controlled with laser therapy.

The last time I went I dedicated 3 hours to this good cause.
So I wasn't too keen to go.

When I arrived I was send back to the entrance hall because the card I had was not up to date.
Turned out more numbers needed to be added to my hospital ID.
I was told it was a government decision...
I asked if the hospital protested against it.


In the waitingroom some woman told me the number was needed because there were people not paying for theit insurance.
I couldn't keep my mouth shut and told her that it was to prevent people who were not admitted as citizens of our country yet to use the medical system. That it was just another example of lack of solidarity and lack of human care for people who have to live in less fortunate conditions than we live in.

An older man beside me gave me a smile.

Well, I was lucky to be called in.

The doc wanted to know everything about my diabetes, but I told her that I stopped remembering all these numbers, because I do what I can to keep control.
And what's the use of her knowing details of it all?
"To be able to tell where abnormalities come from."

Well, there were no abnormalities at all.
Perhaps my eyes are the most normal parts of me. LOL!

I got some drops to widen my pupils and was send to drink a cup of coffee.
One of my sons accompanied me and offered me coffee, but I had to pay. LOL!

When we came back I was called in immediately and 5 minutes later I was send home.

So that was not even 3 quarters of an hour! Wow!

With very dark clouds behind us we walked to my son's new apartment.
It's still a bit empty, but very nice.

He loves chinese things and he'd been able to find some wall hangings, a lamp and some little things.

When I left the rain was pouring.
I was lucky I had my sailor's coat on, but my trousers and shoes were a mess within minutes.

For the first time in ages I was glad to be at home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A bag that draws the attention, for me!!

november 24 2009

This morning I could hardly get out of bed... me oh my...aching all over from working too much, too hard this weekend.

But then the postman rang at the door and handed me a large box.
I was puzzled...such a nice large box... for me?

The postman had a huge smile and told me I deserved a present and this was it.

Ofcourse I should have looked at the labels, but instead I opened it and found my surprise.

I was completely overthrown by it.

Well, I won't make you any more curious.

Lynne, from The Sewing Mom, made a bag last month and when I saw it I immediately fell in love with it.
Living in the country of tulips my eyes were drawn immediately to the lovely bright coloured tulips that were outside and inside the bag, by the butterflies, the stars, the other flowers and the colours.
Even the size meant something, because it was a perfect fit for my smallpipes. (a kind of bagpipes).

I don't like it that everything in the bagpipe world is so man minded, with black bags and carriers. The best concession I could find was dark blue.

And Lynne's bag was precisely what I needed, something really female, very nice, artistic, and the perfect size for the smallpipes.

But her blog didn't say anything about selling, so I assumed she wanted to use it herself. And who could blame her?

But strangely enough the bag kept in my mind and I even carried it in my dreams.
Oh dear!!

Last week I went back to her blog and told her so, and boy, was I surpised and happy she offered the bag for sale, against such a prize that I feel I got it as a present.

I don't often buy something for me, so I sat there in my room with a big smile, enjoying the bright orange and yellow colours (see the square), feeling like it was spring already, instead one of the darkest days of the year with the storm raging around the house and the rain pouring down.

Me oh my, will I give those men at the band a powerful signal that we women really do count in the bagpipers world. And will the women stare with a light of jealousy in the eyes to my bag. I know they will, except for one, who will give me a nice compliment and will tell me she loves the bag. She's the sweetest!!

I love bags, especially handmade ones.
It's so nice to know that someone gave her love and attention to make something beautiful for someone else.

Lynne's bags are made with utter precision. They're firm, and have nice pockets.
You can see the twinbag of mine here, in the etsy shop of her sister. That bag is green, so it's a bit less drawing the attention than mine, but very beautiful and a message from spring.
It makes a lovely gift, so my twins told with a begging smile. (Alas ladies, my paypal is empty.)

I advice you to visit the shop of Karen and Lynne often, because she offers wonderful bags in all sizes and colours.

Monday, November 23, 2009

storm and a fallen tree

november 23 2009

A storm raged over the country.
Warnings were issued for sudden powerful winds, lots of rain and thunder and lightning.
With the floodings in the UK in our minds, we kept a close watch on the amount of rain coming down.

The girls wanted to go to ballet and their father was supposed to fetch them, but he suddenly arrived home, just before they were leaving.
After his knee surgery he never completely recovered and he came home from work early, partly because of the weather and partly because of the pain. He already made an appointment to see the surgeon next week.

So we told the girls to come home by themselves and which road they had to take to be safe from fallen branches and lightning.
I would fetch them in case they would feel afraid.

But as soon as it was dark one of the boys came in to tell one of the old trees had fallen.
Well, with this storm it was to be expected something would happen.

So I went outside.

The tree had dropped on a few bicycles and was resting on the rosestand and the old willow.

It was rather easy to break away the branches, but I had still to manage a 5 to 6 metre of tree which was laying right across the gardenpath.
No one could get his bicycle past it. Couldn't get under, couldn't get over...

So I started to saw.
Above me lots of lightning, which is a bit scary, because the christmastree in our garden is higher than the houses and is the highest tree in the whole neighbourhood.
It was raining with buckets full and the tree was old, so of very firm and solid wood.

It took me quite a while to get the saw halfway.
Then I took the ax and hit very firm.
Which was kind of unpleasant too, because I wasn't sure of the head of the ax was still firm on the wood.

Well, after quite a while I was able to give the tree a good blow with my foot and it separated in two.

After that I got the bottom part loose from the ground and was able to drag the lowest part of the tree at the side of the garden path.

The girls weren't at home yet, so I called them to warn them of the tree in the garden.
It's dark there at evenings like these.

They were near the shopping center, so I walked towards them.
Quite a while ago I bought a sailors coat online for 15 euro and it kept me dry and warm while I leaned into the storm.

It was good to see the girls and walk with them under the trees here, watching for falling branches, but it was even better to go inside.

The coat is in the washing machine now.
The tree was dirty and after the fight with it I was too. LOL!

It feels kind of strange to work in the garden at such a weather.
It's a men's job.
Well, it needed to be done, but after today and yesterday I'm aching all over.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

new floor

november 22 2009

For a long time I've been wishing for a new floor in the kitchen and livingroom.
The old one, vinyl tiles, was put there just before my autistic son was born, and it was supposed to last for two years.
He's 17,5 now.

A few weeks ago when we were looking for the table we saw vinyl flooring looking like wood. It was very nice, affordable and a bit darker than the former floor.
I really liked it and said I wanted at least to have the kitchen floor done with it.
To my surprise he said he liked it. I think it helped that it was at an introduction prize... so cheaper.

He fetched enough for the kitchen and this weekend I've put it down.
It looks very nice, and all kids love it.

So maybe, maybe we can get him as far that he gets the same for the livingroom.

We've saved for it for many years and this kind of flooring is very affordable at the moment.

Having a nice floor means such a lot!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Talking in Your Sleep

november 21 2009

1. Has anyone in your life talked in their sleep?

Yes, but most of the time I couldn't understand what was said.
I also observed that most of my children did during early puberty.

2. What do you like about fall?

The colours, and the fruits. But not the decay I see.
I know the fallen leaves provide a hiding place for animals during the winter and that they are fertilizing the soil, but these bare trees make me feel so depressed and lost.

3. Do you have an addictive personality?

No, not at all.
Otherwise I would be boozing all day. I guess.

4. Who was the last person to do something extra special for you?

That was Lynne from The Sewing Mom who sold/gave me the bag I was in love with.
Others would have set a high prize for it, knowing I really loved the bag, but she made me very happy by sharing the costs between us.

5. Would you ever take someone back if they cheated on you?

I have...had no choice with small children, 4 of them having special needs.

6. Are you happy with where you are in life?

I can hardly find satisfaction dealing on a day to day basis with someone who resists all growth, fighting bureaucracy, substituting the lack of care of others, organisations and institutions, fighting their mistakes, and seeing and feeling myself grow old far too fast.
I know I have talents and I would want to use them more and with more effect to others.
Let me take over Oprah's show. OK!

7. Do you believe that you can change someone?

I have, more than once. Just by holding up the mirror they needed. I'm a psychologist, I would have been a bad one when change wouldn't have been the result.

8. Have you ever wished you could've had someone but you couldn't?

Yes, but not as bad that I started to manipulate.

There are still a few men I have a soft spot for. One of them got lost when he moved from one country to another. He still pops up in my mind.

9. Would you ever fight someone over your significant other?

I don't understand the question.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

bowl of autism wisdom #1

november 20 2009

Because he needed support at school, we decided that son nr 3 who was already diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia would be officially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

I either expected asperger disorder or PDD-NOS and didn't worry a bit about the outcome.
With a family with so many autistic people he was just one more who fitted in the picture. One characteristic showed a bit more, and another a bit less.

We thought it best that he would be diagnosed by the child and young people psychiatrist, instead of by the adult psychiatrist. (He's 18) At the organization they work so much more efficient and they're very kind and are used to parents who want to be involved.

We were surprised that they'd changed the efficient protocol and talked to the parents after seeing him and testing him.
I was even more surprised when they fired a whole bunch of questions to me during a session of more than 3 hours!! I was exhausted!!

The result took a lot longer than with the other children and when we asked we were told they had a few difficulties deciding because his thinking seemed to be so chaotic.

The normal meeting in which parents and child hear the diagnosis was skipped and today I got the concept of the diagnosis in the mail.

It's OK with me to do it that way, so I sat down with a cup of coffee and started to read.

I was surprised by some findings.
"no impulsivity"... if anyone is impulsive it's this young man...
etc etc.

And the diagnosis: schizoid characteristics

You should have seen my face!!

Maybe the woman who'd done the tests used the DSM III, instead of DSM IV-TR, to check her findings, maybe she forgot to read the chapter about autism, or maybe she wanted a change in our family.
I just don't know.

But I don't agree at all.

Isn't it great to be a psychologist myself? LOL!
Wish I was just a stupid human being accepting everything I'm told.

Instead I mailed the professor that I didn't agree at all and wanted the testresults so I could have a look myself and give a scientific basis for my rejection.

So here we go again with another series of posts about autism, called: bowl of autism wisdom.

I hope to get things settled well soon, so my son gets the support he needs in the right setting instead of the fear of his life to have the genetical make-up of someone with schizoid traits.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Healthy eating habits for children

november 19 2009

I was surfing around a bit and found a blogpost about appetite enhancers for children.

I can't believe parents would use them to make their children eat, or eat more.
It's like everything is medicalised these days.
Children don't eat a proper breakfast, but get something out of a bag, with some pills beside the plate

We're lucky to live in a country where the whole society considers it normal that parents are at home during dinnertime, but I know there are countries where it's normal for children to prepare their own meal in the microwave.

Almost all children go through periods of less eating.
Children don't develop evenly. At times they grow their body, at times they grow their mind, their social life or motorskills.

Children are able to feel what they need, unless that feeling is gone due to insane eating habits from the parents, bad raising or illness.

Children who don't want to eat don't need the food, otherwise they'll get hungry.
They won't be harmed by skipping a meal, they're just getting more aware of how their body feels.

The problem is most of the time a problem of the parents.

Parents want their children to eat certain quantities at a meal.
Often they're not even aware of the fact that the children have snacks and sweets that inhibit their appetite.

When you want your children to eat during a meal, then raise them without in-betweens, and only serve dessert when they've eaten enough healthy stuff.

This also will prevent childhood obesity.

Don't think that you'll teach your child healthy eating habits by making them use vitamins, appetizers or anything else chemically.

Nature provides......

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy birthday girls!!!

november 18 2009

Happy birthday girls!!

I'm very proud you're becoming such a wonderful young women.

Today you're having a great time at school, because it's a day full of special projects and cultural events.
And no homework!!

Maybe we can find a few moments to hop over to the shopping centre, or have some girl's time here at home.
Your dad took your autistic brother with him for an hour or so, so we're finally without the pressure he causes.

Let's have fun!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the birth of the twins

november 17 2009

Tomorrow is the birthday of my twingirls.
They're growing up far too fast.
14 they'll be.

I'm amazed that such tiny babies have become the young ladies they are. Competing with my length, with their own opinions, they own style of dressing.

Their pregnancy was a high risk one, due to the fact that my second baby died after birth and the pregnancy before them ended in the stillbirth of a small girl.
So expecting two babies was very stressful for all.
Because of that a special echo was made at week 20.
I'll never know if the cardiologist saw what I saw: 2 girls.

It's the best kept secret, I think.

When I was near the end of pregnancy the amount of rhesus antibodies went up, so I was admitted to hospital.
We were at a room of 4.
One of them was not very social, but the other 2 were very kind.
We all lost at least one baby before, so we shared a lot of feelings.
We cried and we had an enormous amount of fun.
Especially when I had to walk to the bathroom we nearly burst our bellies.
When I pushed back the sheets we started, because I was like a balloon with small legs, trying to get the legs beside the bed.
3 steps meant I could use the bed of my neighbour either to rest or to hold firmly, waiting until I caught my breath again.
Moving past the bed was 3 other steps, and then I had to bridge 7 to the doorpost. LOL!

Giving birth was a special event for two of my friends. I asked them to join us, in case the twins each had to go their own way. So there would always be someone with the twins and with me.
Another friend, a midwife, called she couldn't come because she had to go to another delivery, but when I was fully dilated she suddenly turned up.

The gyneacologist/obstetrician was a friend who delivered some of the other babies too, and he was assisted by my favorite gyneacologist/obstetrician.

Baby 1 was born very soon.
Me oh my, when my other deliveries would have been that easy I would have had more babies, be sure of that.

The whole situation was under echographic control, so I could see the second baby was lying perfect when the first one was born. I caught her intuitively between my hands, to prevent her turning. She suddenly had so much space.
One of the obstetricians wanted to take over, but I didn't want to take the risk of her slipping away and blocking the birthcanal.

They wanted me to wait about half an hour before she would be born, but I just started to push and guided her out with my hands.
Huh, giving birth is a moms's job, they're to assist. LOL!
My midwife friend had a good laugh, talking about my single Scottish gene making me stubborn even during giving birth to twins.

The girls were both taken to another room and if I had been able to walk I would have gone with them.
I hated them leaving the room, and it was against all we agreed about the situation.
But the men were afraid the girls wouldn't make it and they didn't want me to witness that. I am still not agreeing with them, especially not as my first girl died in my arms. It's not death which makes people afraid, it's not understanding that a living human being suddenly has no soul.

Well, the girls needed two complete exchange transfusions and two bloodtransfusions before they were safe and alive enough to go home.

Two lovely babies, tomorrow two young women celebrating the day the faced the world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Manic Monday #189

november 16 2009

You have a brain tumor. Though there is no discomfort at the moment, this tumor would unquestionably kill you in six months. However, your life can (and will) be saved by an operation; the only downside is that there will be a brutal incision to your frontal lobe. After the surgery, you will be significantly less intelligent. You will still be a fully functioning adult, but you will be less logical, you will have a terrible memory, and you will have little ability to understand complex concepts or difficult ideas. The surgery is in two weeks.

How do you spend the next fourteen days?

Well, I've dealt with a brain tumor. Didn't need surgery. It was cured with meds.

Spending 14 days before loosing part of myself... Hmmm...
I would inform important people, record what I want to say to the world and move to Scotland as soon as possible.

Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly.

What do you talk about?

Wouldn't be a large party.
I've always been far too shy for one night stands and such.

My speech will address the fact that each of them are people which are "different".
They were all surprising.

One became the husband, because I thought he would be a place of rest for my soul.
Instead of that my soul fell in a pit, because of his autism.
The loneliness was so deep, that it seamed to be the main issue I had to conquer in my life.

One I respected for the way he dared to be himself.
Being with him was a mix of resting my head against his shoulder and acceptance of him and myself.
He seemed to be a person who allowed other people to be free while searching for his own freedom.
Our relationship was a roller coaster, with him directing speed and direction.
When he found his own freedom, I was able to see myself in the mirror and assume the roles he left. Being a mom to his son was one step too far. I should have stayed shy, silent, and accepting him completely.
So he threw me out of his life, and I tried to fight back, which made him só angry.
I never know why he told me so many years to find my own identity and when I did he used it to kick against it.
What hurt me most was that his son and I really loved each other and he split us up, leaving the boy with another woman leaving him. I never got the chance to explain.

Years later I saw the father again and he still harboured a grudge.
So far for giving people the freedom to be.

I still felt love towards him.
I think we need to work that out in a next life.

Person 3 has been my home.
He still makes me smile when I think about him.
He respected me, and made me respect myself, my love for other people.
We were blown towards each other by the wind and with the same movement we were blown away from each other.
It's how life is sometimes.

I hope I can be his home and resting place when we are old.

When they all three would die, I'll miss him most, even though we're not able to live together right now.
He's too restless, too much himself, without taking away something from me.
He's the only one who has never ever hurt me, who respects me fully and makes me feel whole.

You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2,000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon.

Which option do you select?

OK, send me to the moon.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unrest at school

November 15 2009

When the girls applied for a certain school we were guaranteed that it was 98% true that the school was bully free.

I've never believed in that dream, not after my boys visited school that guaranteed the same and made a mess of it.

Last year it was said the group of the girls was "noisy".

I complained a few times about bullying, but there seemed to be a certain level of problems all the time.

This year we heard more complained about the group and I stirred quite some emotions by telling the school that one of my daughters was hindered leaving the park near the school after they had a nice time enjoying the sun. Two girls blocked 4 others over and over again until a woman stopped them.
I gave the school a choice: police or action.

Action was taken.

But the group stayed noisy and unbalanced, so both girls started to complain and one got lower results at school.

This weekend we got a mail from the contact parents: the school was taking action.

Well, I don't think talking and threatening with an hour more at school will help.

I mailed back that I missed intervision, a good look at the role of the teachers (one bullied one of my girls during a test!!!), observation in the classroom, individual counseling for the bullies and those who create unrest, and positive reinforcement for those who do well.

I also told my girls to tell their mentor the school would get a month to get matters better otherwise we would want our girls to go to another group.
The answer amazed the girls: "that doesn't help, because the problems of unrest are in all groups."
A teacher who overheard their request said the same.

Ofcourse I know lack of concentration, bullying and unrest are problems at most schools.
But I'm surprised by the fact that this school admits children with a 98% guarantee they can handle it.

They just can't.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Man on the Moon

november 14 2009

1. Do you think it was important to send a man to the moon?

Yes, and it's even more important to send a woman to the moon.
Just ask me. LOL!

It's important to research the possibilities of living at other planets and livingfacilities in space.

(I wonder though how fast the environment is polluted there.)

2. What is your biggest fear?

Burning alive.
My other fear is having a heart attack because of my autistic son.

3. If someone hung a sign around your neck today, what would it say and why?

Ready to scream!!

4. What is the longest line that you've stood in and was it worth it?

Don't know.
Maybe it was before the Tower of London.

5. As the holidays approach, what song are looking forward to hearing again?

The first noel.

6. Whose music do you think is the most important of your generation's?

Of my generation?
Hmm... the Beatles I think, but I also think that Velvet Underground did a lot for non-mainstream music.

7. Do you find it is to be kind to strangers? Give an example.

If it's important to be kind of strangers?

Yes, I think so.

I think people are less aggressive when you treat them kind and nice.
With kindness understanding is promoted, as we all need that.

A smile doesn't cost a thing.

8. When do usually lose your patience?

When the father of the kids talks to me like my IQ is far below zero.
I've got my university degree, and my practical intelligence is far higher than his, so come on.
I'm not even blonde.

I also tend to loose my patience when my autistic son is too long blaming others for his terrible behaviour.
He makes his own wrong choices.
I've raised him well, with all I had, so don't come and tell me that I'm a bad person and a bad mother.

9. Is there a book that you're dying to see as a movie?

Yep, the book I'm writing about my life.
Well, a soap opera would be far better.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - a car...

November 13 2009

A car stopped in front of the house.

I registered the noise when painting a piece of the kitchenwall.
Like always when I do some painting I turned my t-shirt inside out, and when the bell rang I forgot to turn it back.

A nice man waited in front of the garden: "the driving lesson for your son."

Well, my son told me he would have a lesson at 2, not at 11.
he still comes home to drive from here, probably because the street here is very quiet and not as unnerving busy as the streets near his apartment.

I told the nice guy I would call my son, and I did. (putting a cardigan over my T-shirt when picking up the phone.)
Then handed my phone over to him so they could settle the matter straightaway.

I was amazed none of them got the idea that the instructor could go to the apartment and pick him up there, so I whispered that might be a good idea, with a huge mommy smile.
The guy told my son that might not be a bad idea and finished the call.

We had a short talk before he left and he really made me smile.

Later my son told me he told me he was lucky to have such a nice and understanding mom.

Great, isn't it?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St. Maarten

november 12 2009

No trick and treat here, but a similar event of children visiting the houses with lights, singing a song and receiving sweets in return.

It's a very old tradition, of pagan nature, when the children would enter the black night during the darkest time of the year and bring the promises of light (and true fire) to all who needed it.

Later the Catholic church incorporated the event in the annual calendar, using the day to mark the beginning of the 40 days fastening before the main event of the year: the arrival of the Three Kings at the manger of the holy child at january 6.

The special day has survived in The Netherlands and a part of Belgium.
It's called St. Maarten after the legend of Martinus/Maarten.

He was born in the year 316 in Hungary.
The emperor made him his knight.

On a midwinter day St. Maarten was traveling on his horse and saw a poor man sitting in the snow without a cape.
St. Maarten stopped, took his sword and divided his own cape in two and gave the unknown man half of it.
His good gesture was always remembered and when he died at november 11 397 people decided they would call the day St. Maartensday, and it became a custom to give children some sweets at that day.

We believe that trich and treat stems from this custom and is brought to america by the first settlers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The continuing story - another excuse

november 11 2009

Last week I called daycare after my son made clear he wanted to go there.
I left it for two days, but as he was still very positive and smiling I made the call.
I even mailed a day later to request a special room when he can work.(or rather: learn working)

Yesterday evening I went through all the moves of getting his trousers, belt and the rest of his outfit ready, so all he had to do was jump in it and go.

His father took the effort to shave him...which was not done properly because he started to make problems.

Aha! Just as I thought, it soon would be clear he planned it to have an excuse not to go.

He complained his chin was painful.... heard that on TV... and further shaving was rejected.

It wouldn't have been a problem, because the only part which wasn't done well was below his chin, in the area where his shirt would cover the last bits of hairs.

Well, whatever we did, it was without success.
He refused to shower, refused to dress himself and ofcourse refused to go.

Oh, I can't believe I lived a few days believing he would go this time.
I'm such ans easy believer.

When I called I didn't even bother to get his counselor on the phone, but just left the message he wouldn't come.

Friday will be his last opportunity and then it's all over.

Because he still had to pay a visit to our family doctor, we went today.
I was glad we were able to get an appointment at the end of the morning.

I assume the lady of the national autism has called our doc, because he wanted to know everything about it.
Well, all I could say that it was too far away for us, and that they were not caring, and were very convinced of their own high standing.
He smiled.

He asked whether we had been clear enough it would be a "no".
Told him that I needed to send her two extra mails to make clear we didn't wsnt to go. That she put my son on the waitinglist without our permission, and wanted us to see a psychiatrist.
He had a good laugh.... "Like you need a psychiatrist to know what is good for your children."

I told him that when she wouldn't accept a no I would refer her to his practice.
His wife loves to deal with people who can't accept "no" as an answer.
He said I was very welcome to do so.

So I left with the feeling to be backed up a bit in this case.

Just hal;f a year waiting and my son is considered an adult. Haha!!
The only positive is that the facilities for adults are far better here in town, from emergency admission to psychiatric care.

I hope we can struggle on that long.
I'm growing old so fast the last year, I'm very amazed.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Berlin Wall and the Mexican Wall

november 10 2009

This week many people celebrate the fall of the wall in Berlin.

From august 13 1961 until november 9 1989 a wall divided families, a town, a country.

At the end of WW2 in 1945 it was decided at the Conference of Jalta to divide Germany in 4 areas, which would be governed by France, the Sovjet Union, the UK and the USA.

The area around the former capitol of Germany, Berlin, belonged to the Sovjet Union, but the city itself was devided into 4 zones too.

The end of WW2 accentuated the difference between communism (the sovjet union) and kapitalism (western world).

It escalated in 1948 at june 24 for the first time.
Because there was a lot of illegal trade the Deutsche Mark was introduced as a means of stopping illegal trade and preventing inflation. Russians felt threatened by it.
The sovjet union closed all traffic (streets, railways, waterways) between the western zones and West-Berlin.
West Berlin had to be supplied by air.
The blockage lasted until may 12 1949.

In the meantime the sovjet union had created a borderpolice.
Whoever wanted to cross the border between the eastern and western zone needed a interzonepassport.
Barricades and wires marked the border.

At october 2 1949 the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)was founded in Eastern Germany.
Many people left for western germany, to find better jobs and a better life.

From 1952 the sovjet union took action against people who fled to the west.
The border was marked with fences, security towers and alarm installations.
At the side of the border they created a 500 meter wide bufferzone.
The part in the builded area was hard to guard which enabled people to cross the border without too many difficulties.
Between 1949 and 1961 about 2,6 million east german people escaped to western germany using Berlin. Polish and Tjech people used that part of the border too.

Because many people who fled were young and well educated this had a negative influence on the economy and in 1961 sovjet leader Nikita Chroesjtsjov decided this needed to stop.

In the night of august 12 to 13 the building of the Berlin Wall was started and within weeks a massive concrete wall marked the border. It was highly guarded with soldiers with the order to shoot to kill.
Only 7 places enabled people to cross the border with legal documents which were very hard to get.

It's said that during the years 200 fugitives were killed, but the number of missing people is a lot higher. At least one of the guards tried to cross the border. He was caught on camera and his photo was seen all over the world.

At the western side of the wall a statue was erected for those who died.

Protests against the wall were heard all over the world.
Many celebrities and politicians visited Berlin.
In 1963 John F. Kennedy, and in 1987 Ronald Reagan.
They both made very clear they wanted the wall to come down.

The aversion against the wall grew and in may 1989 Hunguarian guards cut a hole in the border with Austria. Soon after that the same happened in Prague.

In october 1989 Erich Honecker lost his position partly with the support of Moskow. He was succeeded by Egon Kenz who wanted free elections.

November 9 1989 DDR-politician Günter Schabowski announced at a press-conference that the wall would be opened.
A journalist asked him when people would be free to travel.
His answer: "Sofort, unverzüglich" (right now)

East germans immediately traveled to the wall, surprising the guards who didn't know what to do.
Because of the massive crowds they finally opened the gates.

People started to break the wall with everything they have, even scratching with their bare hands.
Some saw an economical gain and they took the blocks concrete home and sold them.
Up til now people buy blocks that are said to come from the Berlin Wall.

The fall of the Berlin Wall reunited families and friends and ended the imprisonment of a whole nation.

When you think this is something that happened in the past, and that we have learned from history, you're wrong.

Between the USA and Mexico a huge wall of concrete and fences is erected to prevent Mexican people to cross the border.
It's a wall between the first and third world, keeping people who are poor away from wealth.
The average income of a Mexican is less than $4,000, in the USA it's over $30,000.

Because the western world doesn't acknowledge people who want to better their life by wanting better jobs, Mexican people who have crossed the border are illegals.
The use of words as "illegal aliens", places these people outside feelings of compassion.

The US-Mexico border is about 2,000-miles (3,000 km) long.
661 miles (1,058 km) is marked with a fence or a concrete wall with a fence.
It's estimated that between 400,000 and 1 million people tried to cross the border and that 20 to 25% of them were caught.
The border is guarded by official guards, but also by citizens who see it as their duty or consider it as an adventure to catch people who cross the border.

Recent numbers indicate that repairing a hole in the wall/fence costs about 1,300 dollars, maintaining it the next 20 years: $6.5 billion
(according to Robin Emmott at

Today it was in the news that at Juarez alone the border costs 15 deaths a day.

It's estimated in official documents that since 1994 5,600 people lost their live while trying to cross the border. Those who are killed by illegal border surveillance are not counted.
This year alone Customs and Border Protection has reported 416 deaths. Many of them died in the desert or in the rivers. Undertaking a risky journey to cross the border that way makes clear how desperate people are.

I can't understand how a country that calls itself Christian can tolerate the killing of so many people.

Didn't Jesus himself share Bread and Wine as an example for all?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Manic Monday #188

november 9 2009

What does it mean to you to have courage?

To face up to what needs to be done and do it.

When I grew up I was a very shy girl.
I was told to respect older people and to be silent when I was in their company.
My grandmother thought that was not good, so she asked me to speak out, vent my opinion, and we had long discussions which sharpened my mind.

When I was at university people didn't consider me shy anymore. But in my heart I still was.

It's a part in my I won't loose, but I can live with it.
And I have to live with it, play with it, use it.
I'm the lion who has to protect my children and make the choices which are right for them, even when so called experts don't agree.

It's easy to follow, but I don't.
I have to stand up for my children, and I do.

The shy girl in me still feels amazed when I have the courage to be honest, straightforward and if needed when I have the courage to tell the world they're making decisions for my children which are not good at all.

And I'm speaking out for all children, if necessary.

Is your favorite time the past, present or the future?

The past wasn't good to me, with an abusive mother.
The present is difficult.
So the future os favorite.

I'm lucky to be a dreamer and to think, against all odds, I can still realize some dreams.

What makes you a good person?

Ask someone else, please.

Well, I'm honest, I hate arguing, I try to care.
I share the little I have, I'm good for Mother Earth.
I respect all living creatures, and I have rather high ethical standards for myself.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

The forgotten soldiers

November 8 2009

Remembrance day is as close to the hearts of the British as is our remembrance day at may 4.

But even though we're not British, we always remember with them.

My father served in the RAF during WW2 and he stayed with a family who lost a dear young man of 21 in 1941.
They waited for him to come home from a flight to Germany, but he never returned.

The day that my father went with the family to the memorial statue and to a special place in the hills where he loved to look over the country is glued in my memory forever.
My children haven't witnessed the depth of the feelings of grief those people experienced, but they've always sensed how touched I was and still am. Out of respect they witness with me the memorial events on TV.

I know that when my father lived, he didn't only remember that fine young man, but also close friends who lost their lives while he waited for them at the airport before he was allowed to fly too. I know he'd seen far too much of life and death for a person his age, when he was in WW2. He carried it with him in silence, but I knew.
All I could do was rest a poppy at his desk.

As the years pass, and my father is so very, unreachable, far away, my feelings grief for the lost lives grows.

One of the reasons is that people seem to have forgotten that so many people from The Netherlands, France, Poland and other European countries joined the RAF and lost their lives fighting for freedom.

Like my father, they were giving everything they had in service of the RAF.

But there's no representative for them at the remembrance events, no one who lights a candle, who holds a flag, or who puts a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

How I wish that next year those brave soldiers, who managed to travel through europe during the brutal occupation of the Germans, cross the Channel and enlisted in the RAF and other parts of the army, will be represented and remembered.

Like all those others they never returned home.

Graphics made with red poppies from Kirstys Scraps and a white poppy from Dakara Creations.
Poem is from The "Ode of Remembrance" from Laurence Binyon's "For the Fallen", which was first published in The Times in September 1914.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Be True to Your School

november 7 2009

1. What was your favorite subject in high school?

Well, I feel a bit ashamed to say, but it depended on the teacher.
I've enjoyed dutch, my native language, with some teachers, enjoyed English with some.
I loved learning. Going to school was a way to stay from home during the day.

2. Do you watch reality shows? Which ones?

No, our family life is enough of a reality show.
I watch soaps: As the world turns, Casualty, Holby.

3. What's your favorite all time reality show?

I have none.

4. Do you feel "reality" shows are real or are they faked?

I really don't care.

5. What did you look like when you were a teenager?

Like a fashion model: tall, slim.
Others saw it, I didn't. Isn't it a shame?

6. Whose advice do you listen to?

I have no one to give me advice, so I have to find things out myself.
There's just one friend who is considered "wise", even though he never ever would admit he is. I value his opinion a lot. But I hardly see him, let alone have a long talk with him.

7. How often are you sick?

Well, I'm one of those people they call now: "with underlying diseases".
I feel ill quite often, but I can't give in.
But last week I had a bad few days because of the flu.
I would have loved to take it easy a few more days, but alas!

8. Do you like or dislike change?

I love change.
I'm not a person of lists, or fixed daily plans.
In fact I don't like appointments and a full agenda.
Best is to go with the flow.

9. How many times in your life have you had a broken heart?

Let's think.
M... but he's more an unanswered love, like with another H.
I cherish the memories.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

autumn drop


Thursday, November 5, 2009

A job for my asperger son

november 5 2009

He did it!

He was asked for a job!!!
In this time...

He, my son with asperger syndrome and ADD, had a terrible time at school.
People telling he was weird, should be more social, should walk normal, should talk more.

He was hiding in a fantasy world with trains, and trains and more trains.

And then suddenly he dropped out of school.
We didn't see it coming because the school didn't bother to inform us properly.

For a few months he tried another school, and that was it.

At home he was busy computering, trying out programming and then even started to take computers apart.
With each month that passed we were more aware that he should study in that direction.

We found a school for individual teaching, he applied and studied so hard that he did more in a shorter time than anyone else there.

For practical assignments he had to work at a real business.
It took a long time to find a place for him, but all went well in the end.

And now, suddenly, he's asked for a normal, steady job.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The continuing story - No is no, but not for everyone?

november 4 2009

Today we had an appointment with my autistic son's psychiatrist.

We wanted to hear his opinion about my son having problems going to daycare, and we wanted to discuss our visit to the national autism center. (See here).

To be honest, I didn't expect much.
Too often we went there to hear something interesting, or to get some backing up in the way we're dealing with our son, and we left with a smile, but nothing more than that.

Well, let's say I love pleasant surprises.
And I got one today.

My son was a bit more open to talk than usual, so we discussed which problems he experienced and what he wanted to change himself.
Ofcourse at first he blamed the daycare itself for being too noisy and such, but I reminded him of our talk a few days ago, in which I told him that he gave autism a chance to rule his life, instead of being the boss over his own autism.

Then he came with some good suggestions how he could get used to the place in a smoother way.
That was absolutely great.

Then we told what we experienced at the national autism center.
That I had the feeling they were pushing us to use their facilities, whereas they offer about the same as daycare here.
It's just a difference in name: daycare vs daytreatment, and a difference in the need to keep one's ego on top. (I hope you understand what I mean.)
The psychiatrist smiled and agreed we could go there in the future, in case we needed them.

He adviced us to take more time to give our son the chance to adjust to the daycare here in town.

Then our son told him all by himself that he thought his meds were not working.
Well, when he doesn't use them, his behaviour is worse.
But we've been dealing with some terrible meltdowns the past weeks, and I was amazed my son put that clearly on the table.

Last time nothing happened, but this time the precription was changed and when everything is OK we can expect changes for the better.

We left with the feeling of being heard and we were all very content with the advice we got.

At home I found a mail from the woman of the national autism center.
I'd mailed her last week that my son didn't want to go there, and that we didn't want to stop daycare here to make him go a lot further from home to a facility which is about the same.

We got an appointment after years of waiting.
When we were referred there we had no facilities for autistic young people in town, but when we were moving up the waitinglist things changed and the organization for the disabled opened their facilities for autistic young people too.

We thought we had a good agreement: when things would go wrong here, he could go there.
To enable him to get a mental picture of the facility there we agreed with an appointment to have a look, she would send us the date.

The secretary did, inviting son and father. Not mom. And at a date we'd mentioned as impossible. She wrote we'd been there for an intake. (Which was wrong as we just wanted to be informed.)

I mailed the secretary back to tell her that date was inconvenient. Using the mailadres of the organisation and putting her name and department in the subjectline. Couldn't go wrong.
I thought it was better to mail than to write a letter to get the wrong appointment canceled so other people could use that time.

The woman we had the first meeting with mailed back at an unpleasant tone, like she was the teacher telling me off for using the wrong pen on the wrong paper.
I should have mailed her.
Then she gave me a summary of the meeting, Like I wasn't able to memorize that myself and mentioned that my son was put on the waitinglist.

Well, when I get a mail from the secretary I mail the secretary.
But I didn't want to sound too intelligent, so I apologized, and immediately after that told her that putting my son on the waitinglist was far too soon, and not wanted.

I stressed again that we came there for information and not to make solid plans for treatment.

Her comment on that mail I found when we got home from the psychiatrist:
She didn't like to mail (she said she liked it when we were there and she gave us her mailadres) and she wanted us to make an appointment with their psychiatrist so we could get clarity over the treatment our son would get there.


We went there for info and now they want to pull us into treatment we don't want for our son???

What is so difficult to understand?
Doesn't she know the meaning of the word "no"?

Well, it feels like she gets a bonus for every autistic youngster she pulls in there.
What a pity she has to do without it.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I've won at Rena designs

november 3 2009

You know all those give-aways and contests with the endless list of rules and regulations, so long that at the end you need to reread it all. Or with the huge disappointment that you nearly feel slapped in the face by: usa only.

Well, I found a site when surfing around when I was very tired and had to look twice to see that the give-away was a true altruistic give-away.

But I nearly forgot the contest, because I loved the scrapwork at the site and I got so caught up in enjoying the little pieces of art on the site that I went to bed far too late. But not before writing down the url.

The next day I went back and wrote a comment (and a few other ones, because I fell in love with her scrapkits and had to see them all again. LOL!)

OK...are you curious now which site it is?


Uh, wait...first read the rest of this post, because I'm sure you'll be as fascinated by her work as I am.

I was very lucky to be one of the three winners and got a very nice collection of scrapbook materials. And I still feel very happy about that!

Scrapbooking is a joy, but I don't have the opportunity often to loose track of time.
Today however I sat down and played around a bit.
I'm not a very good scrapper, and I used a psp tube of Outlaw by Design, because I want my children to keep their privacy. To compare the outcome of scrapping with the kit the same center of design was used.

Here they are:
a bit too large for the blogpost, but I don't want to resize them.

I made another one, but I'll save that one for later. :)

Rena offers a great range of scrapkits for all sorts of occasions.
They include very useful items, which enable you to prepare very delicate looking scrappages.

Thank you Rena!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I should be a monthly topdropper at more than 250 sites

November 2 2009

After my computer crashed due to a dirty trick of one of the sites I was dropping on, I made a list of sites to drop on.

In a way it didn't feel good.
I liked surfing around and I loved finding new participants. Wanted to give them a good chance to become a fully participating member.
So I was hardly mentioned as a monthly topdropper.

But I'm using a list now and I dropped each and every day.
I might have missed a site here and there when I was ill, but I dropped at the sites of my list.

So I think that I should be mentioned as a topdropper at more than 250 sites.

What do you think?

Manic Monday #187

november 2 2009
Most of the U.S. observed Daylight Savings Time yesterday. Is it easy or difficult for you to switch your body clock? Do you suffer from jet lag when traveling?

Well, I'm not living in the USA. We changed the clock a weekend earlier.
Usually I experience troubles switching my body clock. It just refuses to switch.

This time I was ill and I'm still not recovered.
I've decided not to live by the clock, but just to listen to my body.

Jet lag and traveling is just a dream, so I can't answer that question.

If you had to pick one place in your town to bring a tourist, where would you go?

Maybe to the ruins of a castle near the river.
Standing on the former town walls one can see very far on a clear day.

When you travel away from home, do you miss it?

As we're making plans to move to another country... I don't expect to miss my home town a lot.
I miss a bit how it was, when I was young.
But there have been so many changes and a lot are planned..
It's not really my toen anymore.

Missing my home?
I'll miss a few things and my bed.

So I'll take photos and find myself another bed to feel comfortable in.

Logo made by me with tubes from Outlaw by Design.
It's permitted to download it to your own computer and upload it to your site.
Please don´t direct link, as it slows down my site. I´ll change the link regularly so you´re left with an empty space or a red warning sign.
Please credit properly.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Top droppers november

Thank you all wonderful droppers.
It's been great to see the low number of droppers after the publication of the plans for ads rise again.

Thank you for staying with me.

The top 10 of this month:

The Way I See It
Winesworld's blog
Parent Times
Coming Back to Life
My second trial
Marriage and Beyond
Greetje greets you

I have created a site and group for former and present entrecardmembers to stay in touch. It can only succeed with participation of each and everyone of you.
Ofcourse I understand that those who were in the game only for money don't care to keep in touch, but all are invited with open arms.

Go to:
to subscribe or write an empty mail to:

We're on twitter here.

See you there!!!


Samhain and halloween

october 31 2009

Happy halloween!

and to those who celebrate Samhain:

a blessed Samhain
Happy New Year!!!