Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm a guest blogger!

I've made it to the big time...I'm a guest blogger.

You can find today's episode of Biel Blather here on the blog for Starfish Therapies.

Starfish Therapies is a pediatric therapy company in California.  They provide PT, OT and Speech services for children.  The owner of Starfish Therapies is Stacy Menz, PT, DPT, PCS, who was a classmate (and friend) of mine at Boston University.  I personally often use the Starfish Therapies blog as a place to find new ideas for treatments, new information about equipment, and for family education ideas.  Stacy and Starfish Therapies have been a great resource for me (and in turn my colleagues).  If you're at all interested in pediatric development or therapy, I urge you to check it out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


It is hard to feel good these days. The end of March and into April was even more stressful than last year.  I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I think next year, I'll just skip it.  Trying to focus on the positive, Pat was hired on as a permanent employee at GE, so we won't have the stress of a contract, year-to-year position.  While the money is good, the lack-of-peace of mind is not, and we'd rather have peace.  Jake had an unexpected, but uncomplicated appendix removal just before break.  He remained the trooper that he always has been, and came through with flying colors.

School resumed after April break. Due to the early timing of Easter this year, we're looking at an eleven week span with only one day off (Memorial Day), which, at this time, seems endless for students and staff alike.  Spring seems like it will never get here, and if we get a glimpse, it does not stay for more than a day.

I continue to be weighed down by my worry for my son.  Is he truly happy?  Have we made the right decisions for him in terms of his medication and education?  Do we push him too much?  Should we push him more?

I worry that my daughter will become caught in all the material trappings of society.  That she will be led, rather than guide. That appearances will mean more than substance.  That she will take the easy route and not live up to her potential.

I worry that my husband will not find peace of mind.  That contentment and happiness will elude him, as sleep does now.

I question whether we will ever have answers to the disappearance of a missing acquaintance.  I cannot imagine what her family is going through, stuck in limbo that must feel more like Hell.  I still hope and pray for her safe return, but know that it is unlikely.  I don't think the news of her death would be the worst thing anymore...I think the worst thing is not knowing.

I watch friends grieve over the lost possibilities of their angels.  There is nothing I can do to ease their pain.  They are missing a piece that cannot be found.  And I cannot help them.

My heart breaks reading the story of a family who has lost more than anyone ever should.  She could be me.  Another mom, another amatuer blogger, another Kate.  My heart goes out to the Leong Family.  Read their tale here, but be warned to have tissues ready.  I question why two people have to endure such a road.

And lastly, I can barely process the horrific events of yesterday.  I grieve for the heartache and pain that is being felt.  I have walked that street, I have watched that race.  In the past, I have been there.  Three lives lost.  Countless limbs lost.  A war zone in my favorite place on earth. I cannot imagine the pain Bill Richard is going through. His wife has a brain injury, his 6 year-old daughter lost her leg, and his 8 year-old son lost his life.  How do you carry on?  How do you get up every day with that heavy a loss weighing down on you?

I apologize that this is not an upbeat post.  It is hard to feel good right now.  I know that this feeling will lift.  With every smile and hug, every random act of kindness.  With people being kind to each other and all shouldering the load, it will all feel a little less heavy.

I took my kids to Boston for the first time 6 weeks ago.  This is in the Public Garden, just  off Boylston St.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy National Sibling Day!

I had the idea for this post, and then I found out it was National Sibling Day.  Who knew such a thing existed?

I have two older brothers.  In my perfectly clear recollection of childhood, I was the perfect little sister, and was needlessly and endlessly picked on by my brothers.  I was the innocent victim for years.  Of course, now that I have children, and may have a daughter who may be a little something like me, I may see that perhaps on a few occasions, I may have been the instigator.  But mostly, I was an innocent bystander.

That being said, for all the sibling rivalry and competition, which I'm happy to say we've outgrown (pause for laughter), I have some pretty good memories from childhood that include my brothers.  One such thing is that my brothers were my portal into the world of music.  I have early memories dancing to "Disco, Disco Duck."

We had a whole, totally awesome collection of 45's that we used to listen to in my parents' basement.  I remember listening to Kiss playing on my oldest brother's cassette/alarm clock radio from down the hall as I was trying to fall asleep at night.  Then came the middle brother's obsession with the Boss.  And then I was introduced by my oldest brother to Buffett.  But somewhere in between Rick Dees and Jimmy Buffett, my middle brother and I discovered Weird Al Yankovic.  We loved him.  We had at least two albums (on cassette) of course, and played them to the point where I can still recite most of the words to this day.  One of the songs was "Yoda," which was set to the Kink's "Lola."  Being the Star Wars generation, we thought this was awesome.  And I can still remember the day, while on family vacation in Cooperstown, on a very staticy radio, we heard the original "Lola," and were so shocked that "Yoda" was a parody, not an original toon.

Fast forward three decades (oh God, am I really that old?).  My son is really into Star Wars.  And because of my warped memory, I'm pretty incapable of looking at his Yoda figurine without at least humming, "I met him in a swamp down in Degobah."  I decided that Jake would enjoy the song, so I looked it up on You Tube.  There is not an actual video, but it is the song, set to appropriate movies scenes.

After we watched that video, I saw the link for the Weird Al song, "One More Minute."  That is an original song by Weird Al.  I got all excited and told Jake we had to watch it.  "Uncle Dan and I used to listen to this.  We loved this song."
I start singing along.  Jake has a huge smile on his face.  Then comes the line, "'Cause I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass, than spend one more minute with you." (1:19ish)  Jake gets a huge smile on his face.  He says, "That's why you and Uncle Dan liked this song.  That's how you must have felt about Uncle Dan because that's how I feel about Sophia."

Happy National Sibling Day!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mom Fail

I guess this proves it...I'll never be a super-cool mom.

Now, I firmly believe that parents should parent, and not worry about being their kid's friends.  That being said, there is part of me that wants my kids to think I'm super-cool.  And that it would be even more super-cool if they thought that while I was being a kick-ass parent to-boot.

Yep, not gonna work here.

As you may be aware, Jurassic Park has been re-released in 3-D for the 20th anniversary.  [Pause here to lament that I first read the book when I was 16, and wrote a term paper on it in Junior English, and that was 20 years ago! Holy cow, how did that happen?!?] Jake, being a typical nine year-old boy, told me he wanted to go see it.  He claims to have seen parts of it on tv, and that he wasn't at all scared by it.  So, me, the super-cool wannabe, plans this whole day.  I take Jake to drum lessons, and plan for the movie afterwards.  I have Pat running diversion with Sophia so she won't realize that we went to the movies, because I KNOW the movie is too scary for her.

File:Jurassic Park poster.jpg

Minutes before getting to the theater, I get a hold of my best friend.  Since I'm driving, I put her on speaker.  I tell her that Jake and I are going to see Jurassic Park.  She kind of has a mini-stroke and relates (on speaker phone, mind you) about how people on the radio were saying how scary and gruesome it is in 3D.  Now, I've read the book.  I've seen the movie.  I went through a phase where I worshiped all things Crighton (until Congo came out, from which I will never recover).  Jake's seen parts of the movie.  How bad can the 3D make it?  I reassure her, and Jake, that it will be totally fine, since there is no way a person can ever really get eaten by a dinosaur (as opposed to a shark, which can really happen and is therefore infinitely more scary).

Um, yeah.  It wasn't the 3D.  It was the T-Rex roaring at full volume, with the awesome, state-of-the-art audio systems that were not around 20 years ago.  It was my son, curled up into a ball, covering his ears.  Of course, the T-Rex dropping the goat leg on the roof of the Explorer didn't help.  Neither did the guy getting eaten while he was on the toilet.

Now, I tried to do some damage control.  I told Jake, while holding him tightly, who was going to get killed and who was not.  Sometimes, he does better if he knows that a character will survive.  Before the raptors got loose, he asked to leave.  We did (even though I was enjoying the movie tremendously, and didn't really notice a difference with the 3D effects, frankly).

Jake has been unusually quiet.  He asked to go to Barnes and Noble, but couldn't find anything that interested him.  He said he had a headache.  We got some FroYo, and talked about the movie.  Mostly, we talked about the outdated computer systems and how computers used to be.  He did not seem to want to talk about dinosaurs at all.

I'm pretty sure I scarred him for life.  This is what I get for trying to be the cool mom who ignores the rating guides (as well as the people calling in on the radio).  I hope he doesn't have nightmares.