Saturday, October 29, 2005

::Margie, Sid and Bob::

Rob is a meticulous painter. I won't go into the hours involved in taping, taking off tape, repainting where tape had been.

I'm working on the complain-free habit. 2 1 days to form a habit.

I'm dead tired but wanted to post a post. Does that mean I just want to be heard?

Love my church. Love my pastor, Chuck Smith. And Luke's Sunday School teachers, Margie, Sid and Bob, love him to pieces.

I've started to put together our new computer hutch but should have waited for Rob to help me and not been so impatient.

Happy Halloween. Costume post tomorrow, I can't wait.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

::dandy and a paint::

T'was a giddy with ice cream sugar, giggly, leaves-in-the hair, Lukie smily, Leila cuddly, husband treasure, happy kind of day.

Afternoon at the park. Luke falling down with laughter and tickled with himself. Ice cream dripping down his chin.

Met a woman who has not one but 2 autistic children. She was one of the most positive people I've met in a long time with a big smiley face. Inspiration.

Currently Rob is continuing to tape the borders of the woodwork for the trim in the bedroom. He's the painter in the family. I'm the designated DJ at the computer. You Were the Last High by Dandy Warhols is playing. Not quite dinner at la Tour D'Argent. But I'm thoroughly enjoying our music/painting date. Hey you take what you can get right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

::swahili on the inside::

To all my lovely, beautiful friends, new and old, who think I have it all together: Last night I sat down and made this list. (Yes, it does actually say "Keeping Sanity" at the top.)

Way Back Wednesday. Last week's assignment was "roadtrips" so I'll share some images of the open road with you...
This is one of Rob and I in San Antonio. Many roadtrips to up to San Antonio and Houston when we lived in Corpus. We craved a city with a cafe.

Luke had his physical assessment today. By far his strongest physical ability is kicking the ball. He showed his stuff and I was so proud. He was able also to lift each leg as the instructor lifted hers. Imitation. So that was encouraging. Although he did nothing else (run, jump, walk on the balance beam, walk up the stairs properly or throw the ball) the instructor said she was "really impressed" and that she sees real potential. I of course see real potential because he's my little guy and I believe in him 100 % however, I'm not sure how she could believe in him after what she saw today. I'm nervous that they're going to say he's not in need of physical therapy which would be ludicrous. I know I must relax. I'll be so happy to have this IEP meeting with the school district behind us. Tentative date: December 6.

Rob's single client visit today took him over 3 hours. The guy taught himself Swahili, Mandarin and 2 other languages (which I forget) in prison. He's currently reading Anna Karinina. Now that's using time wisely. Course, he's got a good deal of it I imagine.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

::last year Luke was a cowboy::

ke's second clinic was today. They've created a new program for him. Trying to get him to cross his midline. As he reaches for something, if it is on his left side, he'll use his left hand. If it's on his right, he'll use his right hand. Ambedexterity I guess but he won't really reach. So they're going to be working on that.

The Regional Center asked CARD for a 60 page report of Luke's progress. They asked for the report on Friday and said if they didn't have it by Tuesday (today) they would stop funding. Impossible. Well, they aren't getting a 60 page report. Ridiculous. Slightly unfair. I feel so much more optimistic after clinic because the supervisor of Luke's case always makes it clear that she's seen his behaviors before. She seems to have a program for everything. Even when I expressed my concerns about his potty-training, she said, "we have a program for that, don't worry for another 6 months." She's fantastic and the one person who gives me more hope than anyone has ti date in this nightmare. I'm holding on to her firmly -- white knuckled.

Luke's friends Elliot and Gabriella will be here in about 30 minutes. He has great fun with him and actually really plays. They play a game with my huge GAIAM ball. I can't express my elation at seeing Luke interact with another child. He's much better at relating to adults.

Rob's finished the walls but is now needing to go back and work on the woodwork. He's worked so hard bless him and he is so overwhelmed at work.

I've decided on the costumes for the kids (b/c I still can). Luke will be the ocean and Leila will be a flower. I bought these beautiful pieces of felt for 20 cents each and thought surely I can make a costume out of them. So that's what it's going to be. Last year, Luke was a cowboy.

Monday, October 24, 2005

::who's suffering withdrawals the most?::

Rob was painting the master bedroom this weekend. I took care of all things children. They were angels but it still gets tiring - being on for 13 hours. I don't know how you moms do it all the time. Luke is generally in session during the week in the mornings and then Rob is totally hands-on during the weekend.

I thought Rob had dismantled the computer and I wasn't going to be able to reach my blog-buddies (very sad) for a few days. After he went to work this morning I found that he had dragged the cord from the computer to the wall and the cable for the internet to another wall, with the computer sitting in the middle of a paint and paint equipment cluttered room, and had in fact not been able to be with out the computer as long as I. Alas, he is worse than even his geeky wife !! I am definately the computer nerd of the family but today, after that discovery...I don't feel quite as bad. So that's why I'm ...sitting at the computer in the middle of a paint cluttered room.

Lovely weekend all in all. Getting chilly and I love that. So ready to move on from the sticky summer. House in total chaos but I'm learning to live with that for a couple of days (all things, including clothes, tossed out of the master bedroom reeks havoc on the order of the home). I'm usually a neat (not necessarily clean) freak and can't function with things not in place. Wierd I know. Rob and I are opposites. He likes everything always dusted and sparkling. Don't get me wrong...that's good too but if I have a few minutes I'll more than likely be putting things away, picking things up off the floor (or jumping on the computer for a few minutes --bad mama).

I'm pretty good though I guess to the extent I'm never on the computer if the children or away/not in session. But my good friend pointed out to me once that's it's my escape. She's right of course.

But I'm not as addited as Rob. You know I love you baby.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

::strength and beauty::

My mother-in-law is one of the strongest women I know. As she faces some health challenges her strength and beauty shines on through. We love you Bet.

::bright feet::

Added bonus: Your mice will think a train is coming.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

::foiled again::

I can't keep secrets from Rob. Which is just as well in the area of having affairs or involvement in anything deviant or underhanded. The flip side however is that I can never surprise him. He always knows what he's getting for Christmas and his birthday or when I'm planning on redecorating. I kid myself into thinking I can pull it off but he generally always finds out. This time was no exception and he and Luke are literally at the paint store as I write.

So I guess this means I have a partner in decorating -- pretty cool. I've decided on all the finishing touches already so we won't have to bicker over the details AND he even went for rivage par la mer for le walls...

Doctors visits today for the two Ls. Leila is 2 inches longer than Luke was at three months. She's in the 100th percentile. I came out of his office determined to get Luke into speech therapy.

Looking forward to Friday night Bunco.

Proud Mama splurge:

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

::hair by david and current obsession::

  • buried to my knees in swatches, pillow cushions and magazines. Obsessed with redecorating our suddenly slightly depressing bedroom. I'm suprising Rob. Sometimes it's easier to get forgiveness than permission in our household. Those of you who know the dynamics of our household don't need the details.
  • my 3-year search for a hairdresser I like has come to an end with the unbelievable talent of this man.
  • wits end with the no-nappage. Thank you so much for all of your kind words of encouragement and pointers. Day by day.
  • took down the curtains and bookshelf in preparation for change.
  • beautiful sunshine today. The squids and I will be mostly going to make some returns at Target and getting a power drill.

Monday, October 17, 2005

::alternate media::

I'm totally out of control with this decorating slash creating slash craft frenzy. I think it may be some of the a*mazing blogs I've been reading lately. I've planned out our master bedroom redo and put together this paper bag scrapbook/journal/photo album in 1.5 days.What's up with that?

Not really sure but I think it has a lot to do with escape. Like relaxing the brain kind of escape. Part of it too is that Rob's been watching a documentary for the last couple of nights and so I've been filling that time with creative whatevers. I find I crave it now. I was so NOT a creative/artsy person growing up. Now I'm finding I love working on something and having a finished product...something to show. I've always wanted to be one of those who gave handmade gifts for Christmas. Now I might be.

Luke is officially a no-napper. He hasn't napped for 3+ days but then konked out from 2.30-4 today. Only thing is, he then didn't go to bed until 11:15. So from now on I'll just have to keep him up the best I can during the day. Stay tuned for some inevitable melt-down stories.

Fantastic time with old friends Nick and Lorraine this weekend. Nick loaded Limewire and iTunes on our computer and Rob is in music heaven. It's all at his fingertips.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


A precious woman at our church just had her second miscarriage. I can not even contemplate that kind of grief. After her first miscarriage she said, "I have a child waiting for me in heaven." What beautiful consolation. I hope she'll introduce me to them both one day.

Blessed today by this song...

Above all powers, above of kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms, above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure what You're worth

Crucified, laid behind a stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

--Rebeca St. James

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Goings on, mainly Luke:
  1. No feeling in the world folks like your little boy putting his arms around your neck...a real hug...for the first time. Luke's always been cuddly. Extremely cuddly. But he's never actually initiated a hug and put his little arms around us. He's always been quite happy just being the recipient.
  2. Pointed to comment. He actually pointed at my face and then smiled today. Then later on he pointed at Rob's shirt. The reason this matters is that it shows he is bringing us into his world or wants to or is making some inkling of an effort. Really a turning point. Slowly but surely?
  3. Leila and Mommy went out to purchase Mommy a pair of shoes (because I realized that all my shoes have open toes and I remain optomistic that one day soon it will be below 90 here in So. Cal, geez). Upon returning we found that Luke had taken a tumble off the bed during a rough-house session with Daddy and had a cut under his eyebrow. Poor Rob was so worried that he might scar.
  4. I took a zillion pictures of Luke looking at a guitarist performing at IKEA the other day. He was completely engrossed and kept smiling. He's always loved music and has hummed since he was about 16 months. I'm teaching him some Simon and Garfunkle and the moment.

Friday, October 14, 2005

::a place for cards::

I was going to attempt one of those amazing paper bag books that I've seen on Sarah and Sweet Honey Child's sites but got sidetracked and ended up with this decorated envelope for cards. (?) Can't see too well but it says "cards" on the front.

How the blank do you get a toddler to stay in a toddler bed after they're used to a crib. Luke's nap times have now turned into his battle-with-mom times and mom is getting little scrap time --eeeeekkk. Not that THAT's important but he's then pretty cranky for the rest of the afternoon. Flip side should be early nights to bed. Nope. Somehow it doesn't work out that way. Any pointers?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

::candid carlins::

We never take photos as a family so when we do I want to carve them in stone. I will do better Mom. I promise. Yes, I realize that Leila's face is not actually showing and for that reason, this probably doesn't even count.

This is what my head looks like. So many projects. Costumes, gifts, kits, decorating (you can't really call it REdecorating if you have no decoration to begin with.), etc., etc., etc.

Difficult day really but not one of those kind that make you cry -- more like one that makes you laugh because it's so ridiculous. Can't even go into it all but it consists of one dishrag getting stuck in the garbage disposal, one complete toddler melt-down in the middle of a crowded IKEA, no nappage of the squids and sheer panic at the idea that my camera might have been left at previously referred to IKEA. All's well that ends well and with my family safe and sound and snuggly in bed, it's ending well.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

::graffiti genie for self-portrait tuesday::

Self Portrait Tuesday.
A walk to the Argentine Market.

::zinkin and crashin::

There's a cat asleep on our patio table. I'm a dog person but this little orange ball of fluff is rather loveable. Making him/herself perfectly at home thank you very much.

Gorgeous morning yesterday. Made the most of by the Carlin four (yes, Daddy Carlin too-Federal holiday) by making the short drive to Corona Del Mar and a visit to Rob's favorite cafe.

Mama Carlin throughly enjoyed a cappuccino although not nearly as much as her Bobcaticcinos. Our Cafe appearance was cut short by the mighty tang of our Luca's bottom. While Mama Carlin had gotten her "little" act together (the little is for you Mom, caller of all things in my life little ie: "have a good afternoon with your little family : )) last week and packed a "backup bag" in the trunk of the car including diapers, changes of clothes and blankets of all variety, she had overlooked the necessity that morning of packing a diaper for her two year old actually on her person. The car was now 5+ blocks away. Nice one.

So, leaving a fragrant aroma in our wake, we walked to the car, our usual conversation of cost-of-living in California vs. anywhere else (this conversation takes place between Rob and I at least once every week) taking place, and drove home.

It was a no nap day for Luke and Rob was a diamond by taking him over basically and letting me putts around the house. It's wierd. If Rob has the day off I usually take the day off my "chores" too.
So today I had a massive clean up and feel better about sitting here at the computer. But then Luke, miraculously, went to sleep at 8. Leila had been asleep since about 7:30 and Rob and I were actually able to sit down to a movie together for the first time in seemingly forever.

Monday, October 10, 2005

::better days::

At precisely 8:30 the four Carlins drove this morning into the parking lot of Mictchell School, 3100 Harvard, for our transitional meeting with the school district.

"How may we help you?"

"Yes, we're here for a transitional meeting...we're the Carlins."

"You must be in room 39. Down the hall, take a left, follow the white line up the ramp."

Following the painted white line took us out of the scarily ill-constucted, temporary construction company trailor like "building", around a mac truck and into another equally badly fashioned structure. We met our Regional Center contact upon opening the door and sat ourselves down at a child's play table.

We were joined shortly by the transitional meeting coordinator and speech professional for the district.

All those that I've spoken to regarding these meetings with the school district strongly suggest taping each and every contact with them. When I suggested we tape, they said this would mean they would have to tape to, although no one moved to get a tape recorder and glared at me like I had a tooth growing from my nose, so I didn't press it.

So then we began. Basically the coordinator listed a series of additional assessments (going into the teens at least for the number of assessments Luke has had to undergo since we received his diagnosis last year) .

It was then explained to us that the very school in which we were meeting, children with various needs are eductated. They accomodated down syndrome children, those that are medically fragile, ADD, those with ortheopeadic problems, autistic children and others. All in one school.

I felt suddenly like I was hurling back through time into the dark ages wherein those with less than "typical" behaivors and conditions were all placed together in one big facility. Didn't matter what the individual actually required for the particular challenge they were facing. Just so long as they weren't with the rest of the "typical" people.

But alas, this wasn't the dark ages at all. It is today. Autistic, down syndrome, add, medically fragile children and yes even those with ortheopedic problems all learn differently.

At last we were given a tentative date for the dreaded but necessary IEP (Individualized Educational Program) meeting. December 6. There will be at least 10 people present to decide the education of my little boy. We will have our attorney and the supervisor of his ABA program and hopefully that will be enough. I'll be thrilled to have it behind us.

In the stupor of baby daze fatigue last night, I managed a relatively active game of livingroom-soccer with Luke. Encouraged by the fact that he actually kicked the ball to me -- a huge development since he doesn't usually reciprocate. "Playing" is not something Luke knows by instinct but he is learning. We've had a good four days in a row. Better days may be ahead.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

::sunday wear and hair::

The first of my sweetie-babies donning a freshly sent sweater vest from his English Nan. Taken right before Sunday School class.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Luke's therapist was a no-show this morning. He's now short 10 hours this month. Let's do better than that folks. This is my son's development you're messing with.

Girls afternoon out:

Forced this evening to immediately start the transition from crib to toddler bed upon finding Luke with both feet perched ever-so-dangerously on the side of the crib, seconds away from a jump.

Scrumptious Rob made me a scrumptious ice cream sundae with my favorite.

::color me elated::

To have found these beautimus thingies. They're like 7 feet tall. Only 4$ for a few. Thinking they'll be mostly used for sticking in a pretty something or other to cheaply spruce up our master some time soon.
Thinking also of a mosquito net :
Easy chango-presto for the whole look of the room. Then the rest like white with touches of bright aqua/turquoise blue. Too summery? Truth is, t'will probably be summer again by the time I finish. So maybe it works?

Friday, October 07, 2005

::days of discovery::

Leila realizing she has hands. Loving these moments.
Relatively on schedule with Leila's book ~ hurrah. Mind you, she's only two months.

::mama sanity saver of the month::

My new best friend:

Five o'clock was the most stressful time of my day. Leila's fussy hour, dinner uncooked, Rob to be home in 30 minutes and Luke restless and ready to chow. What's a mama to do? That's when this beautiful appliance works it's magic. Let me tell you, there's nothing like having dinner cooking in the early afternoon hours with the kidos taking a nap. Knowing that you might just have things relatively under control when the family comes together at dinner time. Boy do I need my sanity savers and this one takes the cake this month.

What are yours?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

::another gardening glitch::

So yesterday evening I look up from my computer to see my dear husband feverishly hacking away at the morning glory ivy growing up the trellis in the far corner of our garden. I didn't mention anything to him but that evening he quietly asked, "Do you think the ivy on the back wall grows from the top or the bottom?"
"Probably from the bottom," I say.
"The bottom part was rotton."
"I think it's more like it's autumn and things die in the autumn and then blossom afresh in the spring."

He's probably right. It probably was dead.
So this is what it looks like now...

Since then he's apologized without end which is completely unnecessary because I think it's hilarious. Very endering. Of course, how could I be upset when he was trying so hard just to make our home a little better.

But the point is: this one isn't down to me. Just so we're clear on that.

::completely shallow fashion post::

  • Never paid much attention to them before but am really lovin' the J.Jill fall collection. Folkloric Florals in Bloom.
  • BBC America is where it started. Gotta love Trinny and Susanna.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


With each of my two children, after they were born, I've had to overcome a dread fear of bringing them with me to the outside world (apart from friend's houses). Is that nutty or what? I imagine what strangers must be thinking if the baby is crying; no doubt incorrectly imagining the worst. Because Rob had 2 months off work, I had a perfect excuse for not having to go it alone for a while.

With Rob back at work as of last Monday, I've realized I have to bite the bullet. So far we've gone to the park 3 times and church once ...until today. So out we venture, shopping list in tow, and make our way to the neighborhood produce store and Ralphs (2 stops mind you).

A couple of mishaps: cantelope rolling under the car, a pile of toppled tomatoes in the produce department but all in all my sweet babies couldn't have been better. I know there will be days with melt-downs aplenty but they pulled through for me today and helped preserve my Mama confidence. It's funny what we're afraid of until we take that leap. Just doing it makes all the difference.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

::bringing me joy::

Things that are bringing me joy at the moment:
  • My white roses bloomed again --a nice little surprise before fall.
  • Women of Beauty and Strength group starting today.
  • Learning how to give and love selflessly (teaching Luke numbers, letters rather than scrapbooking.)
  • The change in seasons.
  • Dreaming of redecorating one day.
  • Meeting Kelli, Mike, Cole and Kyle at the park.
  • Discovery of a new creative artform: paper bag books (thanks to the truly inspiring Sarah).
  • My morning run.
  • My new scanner, copier, fax printer.
  • The knowledge that tomorrow is another day. A day when I may be better at keeping it all together. Maybe.

::and i usually say "nice day"::

Current read: "In the early evening, high-altitude clouds in the western sky formed a thin yellow wash which became richer over the hour, and then thickened until a filtered orange glow hung above the giant crests of parkland trees; the leaves became nutty brown, the branches glimpsed among the foliage oily black, and the desicated grasses took on the colors of the sky. A Fauvist dedicated to improbable color might have imagined a landscape this way, especially once sky and ground took on a reddish bloom and the swollen trunks of elderly oaks became so black they began to look blue. Though the sun was weakening as it dropped, the temperature seemed to rise because the breeze that had brought faint relief all day had faded, and now the air was still and heavy."

~ Ian McEwan, Atonement

::beautiful soul::

Thank you Aly. I love you : )

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Trying to find my creative style. Feeling the need to personalize --grow to another level.

A laugh and smile with Karen. Rejuvinated spirit. Thankful for new days.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

::happy birthday dear mom::