Friday, September 28, 2012

You Are Wonder Woman

So, the other day, this photo came across my Facebook feed:


And all I could think was, I bet that's exactly how I look at IEP meetings. Well, not exactly. I mean, I don't usually go for quite that much cleavage at IEP meetings. But you know I do have that Wonder Woman bracelet I wear for IEP meetings. Look:


It got me to thinking about what an epic mom Wonder Woman would be. I bet nobody would mess around and blow off her kid's speech therapy.

So I captioned some Wonder Woman photos. Like this:


And this:


There's a whole bunch more of these photos over at Strollerderby. Please click here to check them out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Katie Couric Is My BFF For Realsies

Me and my BFF, Katie.
Mostly, my big news is that I got to meet Katie Couric, which was awesome, because Katie was already my BFF (in my head). We've been super good friends (in my head) ever since my twins were born and I started watching the Today Show like it was a freaking cult.

But I could totally tell that we really are BFFs because she kept looking at me during the taping. It was definitely because we have this amazing psychic connection, and not because the camera was over by me and/or she was blinded by the glare of my sweaty forehead.

Katie Couric in real life is, if you can believe it, even more charming than she appears to be on television. In between segments she was goofy and funny and self-deprecating. Also, I learned that Katie changes out of her fierce high heels into flats as soon as she's backstage. So basically, she's Mr. Rogers. Somehow, this makes her even more charming.


I was invited to come to a taping of her show, Katie, because of my coverage of youth sports and concussion. They even set me up with wifi so I could live-tweet the episode.


Live tweeting the show with fellow blogger
Lisa Duggan of the parent du jour.
Besides learning about Katie Couric's shoes and that the "green room" really is green, I learned a LOT of interesting things that day. Probably the most important thing I learned is that kids shouldn't be heading the ball in soccer until they're at least 14. Little Dude is going to try soccer this fall, and the last thing he needs is his brain rattled around.

Also, I learned that when I actually keep my laptop on my lap for an hour, it gets wicked hot and I become unpleasantly sweaty. In related news, we could absolutely solve the world's energy crisis if only we could harvest the oil produced by my forehead.

After the show was finished taping, I got to interview/stalk all the guests back in the green room. I got to discuss the development of myelin in kids' brains with Dr. Robert Cantu, and talk with teenagers who had suffered concussions and then made a really awesome PSA video about it.

And I met Joan Pelly, whose son Eric died at age 18 after suffering multiple concussions in youth sports. After his death, he was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, the same “brain bank” that posthumously diagnosed CTE in college football player Owen Thomas and NFL player Junior Seau.

Deep in conversation with Katie. Side note:
she's wearing like four-inch heels and I'm in flats. 
I'm not usually one for daytime TV. With my girl Holly Robinson Peete not on The Talk anymore, what's the point? But I was super impressed with Katie. It's smart. The experts didn't dumb it down. She's talking about things that matter. Fingers crossed they'll have me back, and maybe let me yap about autism one day.

In more important stuff, I'm continuing to keep tabs on Paul Corby's situation. He's the young man who needs a heart transplant, but was denied placement on the transplant list in part because he has autism. Paul is scheduled to be evaluated by a different transplant center next month. In the mean time, a coalition of disability advocacy groups is pushing for the U.S. government to issue legal guidance to transplant facilities to ensure that patients with disabilities aren't victims of discrimination.

The set of Katie.
I can't say enough good things about the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN), and its president and co-founder, Ari Ne'eman. Ari is this amazingly smart guy who happens to have Asperger Syndrome. He was appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability, making him the first person with a disability to be appointed to the Council. Ari's whole focus with ASAN is "nothing about us without us," and he is relentless in pursuing equality for people with disabilities.

Ari was one of the people who recently met with senior staff at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Transplantation, to urge that HHS issue strong, unequivocal legal guidance to transplant facilities, detailing their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

It would probably make more sense for me to do a "weekly catch-up" on a Friday, but whatever. To make up for it, today I'm sorting my writings into helpful categories like WTF, OMFG, and OMGWTF.

WTF
Nooooooo: Worldwide Bacon Shortage 'Unavoidable,' Says Trade Group But I've got the steps you should take now to protect your family from this horror.
WTF: Hiring Image Consultants for Sorority Rush Is a Thing Which is surprising, since I'm handing out advice for free. Advice like, "hey, how about not spending $8,000 for someone to tell you not to chew with your mouth open?"

OMFG
Dried Bull Penis Pet Treats Recalled, Has Nothing to Do With Inherent Skeeve Factor I take the really important angle on this news story, which is that OMFG people feed dried bull penises to their dogs.

OMGWTF
Fraternity Suspended After 'Alcohol Enema' Incident. Also known as "butt chugging." Hey college kids, please don't take party planning tips from Jackass.

Science That Justifies My "Parenting Style"
Kids Not Active Enough? Try More Video Games, Study Says

Actually Informational
Concussion Expert: No Tackling, Heading, or Checking Until Age 14
Must Watch: The Best PSA on Concussions Stars Teens, Not Pros
Why Checking Up on Coaches Is Every Mom's Job (on Katie Couric's website!)

Yay!
British Soldier Gives Birth on Front Lines: Top 9 Reasons She's Already Super-Prepared to Be a Mom

Actually Important Special Needs Stuff
Disability Advocacy Groups Push for 'Strong, Unequivocal' Legal Guidelines on Organ Transplants

Stuff to Distract You From Weeping for Humanity
Things That Will Brighten Up Your Day: 12 Animals Doing 'Jazz Hands' (Photos)
Epic Hermit Crab Migration Totally Looks Like Harry Potter Horcrux Cave
Why American Idol Totally Could Have Hired My Kid Instead of Nicki Minaj
Anna Paquin's "New Mom of Twins To-Do List"

(All photos courtesy of Katie.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

You Know What's More Interesting Than What the Candidates' Wives Are Wearing? Anything.

I also don't care what color nail polish they're wearing.
Today I saw my millionth headline about what Ann Romney and Michelle Obama have been wearing. Really, people? Don't we all have more pressing issues?

Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney are both very intelligent, capable women. I'm far more interested in their causes than their clothes. You can check out my post on Babble today: This Just In: I Don't Give a Crap What Michelle Obama and Ann Romney Are Wearing for a little more ranting and to find out about what they'd both do with the very visible position of being First Lady.

But of course, neither Michelle Obama nor Ann Romney is running for office. On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, we'll elect either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama as President.

I don't care who you vote for.

I mean, I do, but mostly, I just want you to vote.

If you're not registered to vote, you can register to vote using the form on the right column of my blog. The registration gadget is paid for by the Barack Obama campaign, but the form allows you to register as any party, or no party.

If you don't know where to vote, you can use the League of Women Voter's nonpartisan website, SmartVoter, to find your polling place. Not only will it tell you your voting location, but it will tell you all the races this year for your district.

SmartVoter also answers all kinds of questions about voting, and as we get closer to the election, it'll have very clear info on where each candidate stands on every major issue. No fluff, no sound bites, just what you need.

Many states now require a photo ID when you go to vote. To find out what, if any, ID requirements your state has, you can visit the National Conference of State Legislatures website hereYou don't need to be a driver to get a state-issued ID card. Every state issues non-driver's license photo identification cards -- usually they're issued at the DMV or wherever people get driver's licenses in your state.

Women fought to gain the right to vote in 1920. In 2008, 66 percent of eligible women actually voted, according to the CDC. And even though that's kinda lame, it gets worse:

Of women age 25 to 44 who were registered, about 64 voted. But so many of those women aren't even registered, only 55 percent of women 25-44 who could have voted, did.

Look, ladies. I know you're busy. I know you're up to your eyeballs, in fact. But taking your kids to the polls is actually a really fun, free activity.

To be able to vote in November, the deadline to register to vote is October 26. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ten Random Things About Today

Mad-Eye Moody Cat. (via Cheezburger)
Some random observations about my morning so far:

1. Holy day-before-the-first-day-of-school meltdowns, Batman.

2. My husband and Little Dude decided to engage in something called a "sweat-off" this morning. I think the girls and I are the losers in this challenge.

3. The kids are currently forming their own Dueling Club. Must have own wand. Related: today's echolalia password is "EXPELLIARMUS!"

4. Getting four kids to try on last year's school pants should be an Olympic event.

5. Our school district, in its infinite wisdom, has seen fit to make the first day of school a half-day, and a Friday. Because that totally makes sense.

6. I have a post on Babble in which I respond to another writer's statement that motherhood is not, in fact, the hardest and most important job in the world. Here's a tiny clue as to how I responded: the writer (who I normally really like), Jessica Valenti, is married with one child, born in 2010. So, yeah. I adore being told by a new mom to free myself “from the expectations and the stifling standards that motherhood-as-employment demands.” My post is here: Actually, Motherhood Is the Toughest Job I've Ever Loved.

7. The Pork Lo Maniac and Cookie start middle school tomorrow. I am totally pretending to be excited for them.

8. The Peanut Butter Kid is entering 3rd Grade and/or Pre-Med Studies tomorrow. It's unclear which.

9. Little Dude is entering First Grade tomorrow. He is not pleased at all. However, we met the (awesome) teacher ahead of time and there are (gasp!) Legos in the classroom, so there's that.

10. Blood work determined that my thyroid is only slightly effed up and most of my problems right now are from anxiety. I either need to run for an hour a day or up my meds. I'm trying the running first.

Some other posts of mine you may want to check out:

On Strollerderby, News for Parents
Parents: Teacher Should Be Fired for Participating in School Bullying Caught on Tape (Video)
Everybody Panic: Asthma Inhalers May Stunt Children's Growth Permanently
Question: Is Your Tooth Fairy Cheaping Out or Overspending?

On NickMom
In the News: Kids Eastwooding
Snooki's New Mom To-Do List
Not mine but they both have me crying laughing: Live-Tweeting Pre-K Registration and Live-Tweeting Back to School Shopping

On Babble Pets
Dancing Chihuahua: A Double Feature (Video)
14 Pets That Are Ready for Some Football!
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