Friday, March 30, 2012

I Just Have to Ask.... WHY?

So I guess most of you have heard about the new autism information released by the CDC yesterday.  In case you missed it, here's a quick summary from Babble:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released a new report on autism in children and the numbers are staggering: in the last decade, autism spectrum diagnoses have increased 78%. They now say that one in every 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Since the CDC’s last report in 2009 alone, the number of children identified with these illnesses — which include autism, Asperger’s, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) – has gone up 23%. The statistics were compiled by looking at the number of eight-year-olds in 14 states who were receiving services for ASD such as therapy and school support.

As a mom of a child with autism, I must admit that many times I read an article or hear a news segment about possible causes of autism and I tend to think, "Who cares?  Quit spending money chasing rabbit trails as to why we have autism and use those funds to help our kids get the services they so desperately need."

But seeing this latest report, reading tweets and editorials, and watching our local news do a piece on it, I found myself getting frustrated.

The increase in autism spectrum disorders in the last decade is astounding.  And there seems to be no end in sight.

Maybe you can attribute some of it to better awareness by parents and better diagnosing by doctors. Or maybe you think that autism is the new "go-to" label for children who seem to be just a bit "off".  Or maybe you believe vaccines are the cause - too many shots at too young an age.  Or maybe you agree with those who blame environmental causes - pesticides, insecticides, hormones and chemicals in food products, and the like.

But no matter what you or I believe, it's time to do something about it.  It's time to find the cause, or causes.  It's time to ask why.

There have been many instances in our history where terrible things have happened to a large population.  Because enough people started asking why, some of these "epidemics" were later proven to have been preventable.

Take Thalidomide, for example.  It was commonly prescribed in the late 1950's to treat morning sickness but was withdrawn in 1961 after it was determined to cause birth defects.  Numbers vary but anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 children worldwide were affected.

This is nowhere near the number of children we are seeing affected by an autism spectrum disorder today.  And I don't know how many more children have to be diagnosed before something more substantial is done.

When our children are newly diagnosed, we should be entered into some kind of clearinghouse, where we are recording all kinds of information in one place, answering questions such as the most common foods our children eat (and what brands), what medications we took while pregnant, how often we have our homes treated with pesticides, if we faithfully follow the vaccination schedule, if our children developed and then regressed, if they are always constipated, what the common airborne allergens are where we live.... and on and on.  Heck, let's go so far as to be ridiculous and ask what kind of car seat we use and what brand of diapers we buy.

We need to start searching for common denominators that link all of us together so we can stop this madness.  It may not be the same thing for every single child but let's start somewhere!

And let's stop treating people like they're crazy if they believe their child changed after the MMR vaccine.  Let's stop belittling people who choose to pursue biomedical options that seem wacky and like a waste of money.  We're all in the same boat and we can get a whole lot more accomplished if we stand together and make some noise as one very loud, united voice.

And it has to come from us parents.  Because here's what some of the "experts" said about the increase:

The CDC researchers believe the increase in autism in children is due to better awareness and identification by parents, communities and healthcare providers, and several experts have chimed in to say that, as scary as the numbers sound, the increase could actually be a good sign. It means that more kids who need them are being connected to services and treatment.

Excuse me?  The increase could actually be a good sign?  Only an "expert" could say something that stupid.

Yes, more kids will get connected to needed services, only if their parents are willing to invest enormous amounts of time and money, advocating for their child, tirelessly fighting tooth and nail for every single service their kids are entitled to as tax-paying citizens of this country.  From where I stand, there doesn't seem to be enough access to services for the kids we have already diagnosed.  Is there enough money for more and more children every decade to get all they need to learn, thrive, and live happy, productive lives?

If you couldn't tell already, I'm concerned.  Maybe some will think I'm crazy and maybe others will think I'm getting worked up about something that can't change.

But this is my kid I'm talking about.  This is my 1 in 88:

Yes, she already has autism.  And yes, I want to know what's going to be done for her, for her future.

But I also have to look outside of myself and my situation.  I want to know what's going to be done for future children.  We just can't keep things they way they are right now.  If we don't do something, when will the epidemic end?

No, I'm not a doctor or a scientist or a researcher.  But I'm a parent of a child with autism.  And that is the best kind of autism expert there is.  And I want to be heard.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I like big BOOTS and I cannot lie.

Thanks to Sir Mix-a-Lot for the profound lyric that inspired this caption.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Spoonful of Sugar

Coming up with ways to disguise medication can be a full-time job around here.

Currently, Lily is taking medicine three times a day.  And all of her meds are tablets that I have to crush and then hide in various food items to ensure they go down the hatch.

Most of the time, mixing the crushed pill with a little bit of juice does the trick.  But lately, Lily's been balking at drinking the "special juice" and honestly, I'm never quite sure that she's getting all of the medication anyway.

I think my biggest problem has been variety - changing up what I use to conceal the drug so that the Bird doesn't ever really catch on.  I tend to find something that works and then ride that wave for as long as it lasts, starting over with something new when she figures it out.

So I've been doing what I do best - looking online for sneaky medicine delivery ideas.  I came across quite a few and thought some of you might be interested so here's a quick list of what I've found so far:

Try Mixing Medicine With:
  • chocolate syrup
  • peanut butter
  • Twizzlers
  • chocolate milk
  • frosting
  • ice cream
  • yogurt
  • pudding
  • applesauce
  • jelly or jam
  • soda
Anyone have some other ways that worked for your kiddo?  I'd love to hear more suggestions!

Oh, and one more thing.... just because Allie asked for it, here's a link to the recipe for the super delicious fruit salsa and chips Reagan and I had Sunday night.  Enjoy!

fruit salsa cinnamon tortilla chips recipe
Photo & recipe courtesy of Divas Can Cook

Monday, March 26, 2012

Autism Information: A Good Place to Start


It's been quite the weekend at the Rush house.  I've not had any free time to get a post with anything of substance together for today.

Well, that's not completely true.  

Ryan and Ryley went to a Spurs game last night which just left me, Reagan, and the Bird at the house.  After I tucked Lily in for the night, Reagan and I sat on the couch like bumps on a log and watched an episode of Psych while eating yummy homemade fruit salsa and cinnamon sugar pita chips - which Reagan made all by herself, I might add.

But hey, Sundays are busy days in a preacher's house so we needed some time to hang out and relax.    

Any-who, I did come across something on Twitter that I've been meaning to pass along to all of you so how about I do that today?  And then we can count this as a really helpful and informative post, right?

I think 100 Useful Sites, Networks, and Resources for Parents of Autistic Children would be a great thing to bookmark and refer back to when you're looking for information.  It also could be quite helpful for parents with newly diagnosed children.

Click on the title up there and see what you think.

Have a nice Monday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meme, Myself and I - 10 Things

My sweet friend, Allie, over at Little Baby Fields, tagged me in another meme.

Another, you say?  Did you miss the first one?  Oh, I can't have that!  Click here to discover just what a meme is and read my first one ever.

Now most of you know that I still get excited about being tagged for these silly things.  I like being "picked"!

Here are the rules for this meme:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who bestowed the award on you. 
  2. Post 10 things about yourself that others may or may not know. 
  3. Tag 6 others
  4. Let those 6 others know you are spreading the love meme style.

So let's get this show on the road:  Ten Things You Don't Know About Me:

1.  I have a dent smack dab in the middle of my forehead from falling out of my high chair as a baby.  And this is why I will always wear bangs.  The end.

2.  I was a dancer all four years of high school and all four years of college.  Drill team.  You know those girls you see out on the football field at half-time, high kicking to marching band music?  Uh-huh.  That was me.  And no - we did not wear the inappropriate, midriff-bearing uniforms you see all the dancers wearing today, thank you very much.

3.  I am terrible at math.  Like, horrible.  I didn't learn how to count back change until I was prepping for a homeschool lesson, getting ready to teach my girls and it finally clicked.  I was so excited, I called my dad, who is a human calculator, and shared the good news with him.  He was very proud of his 30 year old daughter.  And for those of you who might be worrying, I hired a math teacher for my girls shortly after that.

4.  I tend to be a bit of a speedy driver.

5.  I have an ironic obsession with both junk food and reading health books.  As in, I don't really see what's wrong with reading Michael Pollan's  Food Rules while eating an Oreo or two. Or five.  Well, truthfully, I see what's wrong but I just don't care that much.

6.  I cannot grow anything.  Nothing.  If we had to survive on whatever food I could grow, we would starve.

7.  I am a Skee-Ball master.  Enough said.

8.  I still hot roll my hair, like I've been doing pretty consistently since my sophomore year of high school.  Some habits, like big curly hair, are just too hard to break.

9.  I do not like camping in any way, shape, or form.  And here is why:  Brownie camp.  4th grade.  Sleeping under a mosquito net.  Hundreds of nasty daddy long legs behind a shelf in our tent.  Community bathrooms a good walk away from said tent.  Best friend with very small bladder needs me to walk with her to bathroom in the pitch black of night.  Swarm of hideous june bugs buzz around my head and one gets stuck in the smocking of my nightgown, resulting in me screaming bloody murder, abandoning my best friend who should've been able to hold it anyway, crawling back under hateful mosquito net, and counting down the days until my parents came to get me.  NEVER AGAIN.

10. I spent my last two years of college living in a tiny little off-campus apartment by myself, which I loved.  But my dad, having spent many years as a Houston police officer, wanted to make sure I was safe.  So when I moved into my apartment for my junior year, along with all the clothes, shoes, books, and bedding was a little something extra, just from my dad - a pump shotgun for keeping under my bed, that I wasn't afraid to use. What?  Isn't that what every college co-ed takes to school?

Now for the hard part - tagging six others.  Most of my bloggy buddies have been tagged but I can think of just a few more:

Elizabeth from Out to Lunch

And how about you, Nicki from Beebs and Bro?  Want to give it a go?

Bea, from A Stroke of OT - are you feeling the meme love?

Last but not least, my sweet cousin and one of the best mamas I know, Kristin from The Hayden Family.  Want to play along?

Now, y'all get out there and have yourselves a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you may have already seen this.

But I think it's pretty cute and worth another look.

And for those of you who missed it the first time around, enjoy!

I know her eyes are closed but she was so proud of her little leprechaun hat...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Peek At Proloquo

Lily is getting more and more proficient at using the Proloquo2Go app on her iPod Touch.

Since I'm always interested to see how people are incorporating assistive communication devices into their daily lives, I thought you might like to take a peek at one of the ways Lily is using hers at school.

This video shows her following along with the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and if you listen closely, you can hear when she selects a button on the device.

As you can see, the therapist is doing some of the scrolling for Lily so that she stays on the correct category.  If left completely on her own, Lily would probably opt to finish up story time a little early, change to a different category, choosing unlimited snacks and outside playtime.

While I'm happy to see the Bird using Proloquo and her Touch and getting more comfortable with it, I still long for the day I hear her own sweet voice say what animals she sees rather than pressing a button.  Come on words!!

If any of you have a video of your kiddo using an assistive communication device, I'd love to see it.  I get so many good ideas from all of you and would love to see what you're doing.  Feel free to share - maybe by leaving a link on a comment below?

Have a great day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Best Weighted Blanket in the World (or at least in the Rush House)

Let's talk weighted blankets today.

Cozy Calm Weighted Blanket

First, for those of you who might be wondering, a weighted blanket is simply a blanket that weighs more than a typical one.  The weight can usually be customized to suit the age and size of your child.

A weighted blanket is usually used for calming purposes.  It provides some nice all-over body pressure and can be especially comfy while sleeping.  They're great for helping people with sensory issues relax.

There are lots of different styles and sizes of weighted blankets on the market.  In fact, click here to see Friendship Circle's list of 13 Weighted Blanket Stores to Choose From.

The Bird has had a small weighted blanket for quite some time now.  The only problem is that during the night, she still doesn't stay covered up and she doesn't cover herself up yet.  So if she wakes up and is freezing, she still needs us to come help her get re-adjusted under the covers.  

Honestly, I don't think she's really made the connection that blanket = warmth. 

Sometimes, when she wakes up cold, Ryan just brings her into our bed.

And that is how we discovered the absolute perfect weighted blanket for Lily.

And here it is:

If you're thinking, "Hey!  That's not a weighted blanket!  That's Lana!", then you haven't been around here long enough to discover all my many talents.

When Ryan brings Lily into our large king size bed, even though there is plenty of room for all of us to sleep without touching, I become the weighted blanket.

Here's how it works:
  • Ryan sets the Bird on his side of the bed.
  • She sleepily crawls all the way across the bed to my side, where I am sleeping on my side, facing the middle of the bed.
  • Lily gets as close to me as she possibly can without getting underneath me.
  • She lays on her tummy, sliding her right hand up to the elbow under my torso.
  • She then shoves both her legs between mine, so her little legs are like the peanut butter, and my legs are bread slices.  
  • I bend my left leg (the top one) over her waist.
  • My right leg is not bent quite as much and her legs are laying on that one. 
  • Hooked a certain way, she can rest her feet on my bottom right calf.  
She then burrows down, sighs deeply, and falls back into a sound sleep, while I spend the rest of the night feeling like I'm cuddled up to a hot water bottle. 

All be it, a very precious hot water bottle...

I've gone back and forth on buying a larger twin-sized weighted blanket for the Bird, and maybe something in a cozier fabric.  

But for some reason, every time I sit down at the computer to purchase one, I hesitate.  

Part of me wonders if Lily will really like it.  They can be kind of pricey so I want to feel good about my decision to buy one.  

Another part of me thinks it might work wonders and she may never need to sleep in our bed again.

And that's the part that makes me not press that "Submit Order" button.

Call me crazy, but I kind of like being a weighted blanket.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My First Special Needs Ryan Gosling

Get excited folks.  

I'm finally joining in the Friday fun started by Sunday Stilwell over at Extreme Parenthood.  Truth be told, I spent more time trying to figure out how to get my Ryan's words on the picture than I probably ever have writing something important for this blog.

But by golly, I figured it out all by myself.  

So please put lots of wonderful comments about how my poster is the best thing you've read all day and how it changed your life so that I can justify the time I just wasted trying to put this thing together. 

 Without further ado, I give you Special Needs Ryan Gosling and his thoughts about Lily Bird.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Adventures in Shaving Cream

As Birdie Boot Camp continues, I'm discovering that my child with sensory issues will get her hands messy if she considers the activity worth it.

Weekend before last, finger painting was a success.

This past weekend, shaving cream.  A hit.  As in, total and complete, knock-it-out-of-the-park hit.  Probably the most fun she's had at boot camp yet.

See for yourself.

Checking things out a little bit tentatively.

Getting the hang of things.

Deciding that shaving cream is pretty dadgum fun.

And, of course, as with all fun things, a quick taste is needed.  I am trying to prevent the tasting with my arm, which got slimed and then licked - a total failed effort on my part.

Shaving cream is not that tasty, but it sure is fun!

The good times didn't end here, though.

I'm not afraid to tell you we picked up the tray of foam, made it to the bathroom without touching any furniture (a small miracle!), and let her cover the shower walls.  And coat them she did.  While having a blast.  

Best news of all, though? A couple of Lily's wonderful church buddies have told me they've noticed a difference in her focus and attention.  She's participating and giving an activity a little more attention than usual.  Music to a mama's ears.

And more messy fun to come...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Great Big Thank You!


Just a quick post to let you know how much I appreciate all your words of kindness, encouragement, support, and love regarding my prayer requests for the Bird.

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again - I absolutely love my sweet support community!

Yes.  I'm talking to you!

Lily will be doing yet another round of bloodwork in early April so keep those prayers coming and I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

And thanks for being a friend.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Special Request

I have a little favor to ask of you.

We had our monthly follow-up phone call with Dr. Goldberg last week.  (For those of you interested in catching up with our medical journey, click here.)

In a nutshell, we are following a very specific step-by-step protocol.  Step One, basically the foundation for the protocol, is addressing the chronic virus in Lily's brain by increasing her white blood cell count, which has been exceedingly low since Lily was born.

Since October, Lily has had three rounds of blood work done.  Each time, the results have shown that her white cell count is even lower than when we started the protocol.  

Without using too much medical lingo, basically Dr. Goldberg has been treating this low white blood cell count since October with two types of medication and for whatever reason, it's simply not working.

He has suggested we see a local pediatric immunologist but isn't really holding out much hope that they can tell us what the issue is, why it's happening, and what we can do about it.  He just wants to make sure he's not missing anything.  

Now, Dr. Goldberg still has options for us and is certainly not ready to say we've hit the end of the road.  He's not frustrated or at a dead end or anything like that.  He's already made one tweak in her meds and will be adding a new one this week.

But here's what I'm thinking:  while we have seen some positive changes, I don't think we're going to see anything really big happen until we get to the bottom of this white cell issue.  If we can figure out why her white cell count is low and take the necessary steps to improve it, then it stands to reason that we ought to see even more positive changes once this low count is no longer "holding her back".

So here's where the favor comes in.  

The Rush family could really use your prayers.   What can you be praying for the Bird?  As always, we'd love it if you would join us in the totally audacious prayer that our sweet girl will talk.  Just open up her mouth and let the words come flowing out.

But we'd also appreciate your prayers for that white blood cell count.  We want, no, we need, it to increase.  We need it to reach normal levels and stay that way.

And the God I know and love and trust and believe can do this thing!

I know this child is already a living, breathing miracle.  And maybe that should be enough.  But I am a greedy mama and I want more!  And I know just the Person to ask for more miracles from!

So many of you have been with us right from the beginning of our sweet girl's life.  Will you continue to be a part of our journey and pray for the Bird?

We thank you kindly.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ryan Gosling - Need I Say More?

What started out as a fun diversion for Sunday Stilwell over at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood has become a Friday tradition for many special needs bloggers.

Besides the common bond of raising special needs kiddos, Sunday has found a way to connect us through laughter, a great way to build friendships, in my opinion.

Rather than try to explain this tradition, how about you just click here and I'll let Sunday and Ryan Gosling do the explaining.

Who knows?  Maybe next Friday, Mr. Gosling will have something to say about the Bird.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Vending Machine that Dispenses What???

Have you heard about the newest ATM machines?

Instead of dispensing cash, these machines dispense.... cupcakes!

The Sprinkles cupcake ATM, set to open in Beverly Hills.

Sprinkles Bakery, a gourmet cupcake chain with ten locations nationally, will open the first ever 24 hour cupcake vending machine at the original location in Beverly Hills.

This idea got me to thinking.

While it might be nice to have access to a freshly baked cupcake at any hour of the day or night, what other things might an ATM dispense that I would love even more?

How about an Olive Garden breadstick vending machine?  With a little marinara on the side just for dipping.

Or, thanks to Miss Karen, I would love to see a Big Train vanilla chai tea latte vending machine.

Since I live in Texas, an ATM that dishes out extra thin, warm, crispy tortilla chips with a choice of salsa, queso, or guacamole would be simply lovely.

But then I got to thinking outside the idea of a food ATM.

I don't typically wear much jewelry but I hate it when I forget to put on some earrings.  So how about an earring ATM?

Or for those days when you wear a cute pair of new shoes and they really start to hurt your feet, wouldn't a vending machine with those little roll-up ballet flats be nice?

I once went to church with mascara on only one eye.  I don't have any nails to speak of but a ragged, peeling fingernail drives me crazy.  Or being without a Kleenex and desperately needing to blow my nose.  And when my Burt's Bees lip balm isn't in my purse, it almost brings me to tears.  A nice cosmetics ATM could really come in handy.

Now for Lily, a really awesome vending machine would be one that dispenses pants and a Pull-up.  It never fails that we go out, I forget an extra set and that's the day we have... ummm... multiple leakage issues.

And please don't say, "Duh, Lana.  You don't need a vending machine for any of this stuff.  Just a 24 hour Wal-Mart."  Because that's not the point.  Pulling up and not having to get out of my car is the point.  Besides, how about a little novelty just for the fun of it?

So what about you?  What would you like to see in a 24 hour ATM?  Get those wheels turning!  Maybe we'll come up with the next greatest thing in vending machines!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Scenes From Birdie Boot Camp

Finger painting was a definite success, as I think you'll see from the following pictures.

Working so hard, both hands are a blur!

The finished product - complete with a little finger isolation design, as well.

I got these cool little easy grip mess-free paints which Lily tended to use like those Do-a-Dot stampers, kind of "pounding" the paints to make polka-dots.   

Next time, we'll try to work on making some lines. (and in case you're wondering, Lily also did a little finger painting on her shorts, which you can see in the picture below!)

Last up, her favorite puzzle, a musical alphabet one.  I highly recommend this if your kiddos are motivated by sound feedback.

Interested in our boot camp supplies this week?  Click the links below to check them out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

All The Smart People Are Doing It

You are not going to believe what I found today.

I discovered a book.  But not just any book.  No sir.  A book that just might change my life from this day forward.  Or at least make me feel better about myself and what I've always thought of as a lazy habit.

Check. This. Out.

Y'all.  I am not even kidding - this is an actual book!

Here's the description from Amazon:

Imagine a product that increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory. Now imagine that this product is nontoxic, has no dangerous side effects, and, best of all, is absolutely free.

This miracle drug is, in fact, nothing more than the nap: the right nap at the right time. The work of Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., a researcher at the Salk Institute and the leading authority on the study of the nap, Take a Nap! Change Your Life. is the scientifically-based breakthrough program that shows how we can fight the fatigue epidemic—which afflicts an estimated 50 million Americans—through a custom-designed nap. 

A custom-designed nap?  Seriously??  Sign me up!  For the sake of science, of course....

I can't tell you how happy I am to have found this information!  Because my family is continually sending me little Pinterest pins like these:


All I have to say about that?  

Haters gonna hate.  (My teenagers are rolling their eyes right now...)

Here's an excerpt from the book on the most common reasons people don't take naps, besides pesky children who won't leave you alone:
"If I nap I'm being lazy."
Some of the most hardworking figures in history--national leaders, scientists, CEOs, movie stars--have used napping as a tool to get more out of each day. As demonstrated by the latest brain imaging technology, your mind is still at work even if your body is at rest.
Replace with: "Napping makes me more productive."
"I'm too busy to nap."
Just look around your office at 3 p.m. More than likely, instead of a hive of industrious activity, you'll see a bunch of bleary-eyed workers checking and rechecking their e-mail. As the great napper Winston Churchill said, "Don't think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one… well, at least one and half." The latest scientific research has proven him correct.
Replace with: "I'm so busy, I need to nap."
"I haven't done enough to deserve a nap."
Do you deserve to eat? To breathe? No natural function--including napping!--should be regarded as a privilege. Stop cheating yourself.
Replace with: "I'm exercising my inalienable right to nap."
"I can't get anything out of a 20-minute nap, so why bother?"
You can reap benefits in as little as five minutes. Naps under 20 minutes can increase alertness, improve physical dexterity, boost stamina and lower stress. Post-lunch naps of 15 minutes have been shown in university studies to increase alertness and performance.
Replace with: "In less than 20 minutes, I will restore my alertness for the rest of the day."

So from now on, if I'm drooling in my pillow at 2 PM, I'm not being lazy.

This mama's workin' - and getting skinny, and reducing my stress, and boosting my creativity, and looking younger, and on and on it goes.

And to think, I've never liked science that much.  How wrong I've been...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Just popping in to let you know I'm taking the day off.

Enjoy your weekend, hug your kiddos, have some fun, and I'll see you Monday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mama Knows

Last weekend, one of our neighboring churches had an enormous used baby/toddler/kid sale.  My mother-in-law called to tell me there was some pretty good stuff to be had, if I was interested.

As I wandered around the room, my eyes landed on one item in particular.

You know how there are some toys that you just know are going to drive you crazy but you're pretty sure your kid will simply adore?

That's exactly the kind of toy I found.

And yes, it drives me a little bit nuts.

But that smile on my little Mix-Master DJ's face?  

Well, let's just say driving Mama a little bit crazier isn't going to make that much difference at this point. Sacrificing my sanity for some smiles and giggles is a small price to pay.

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