Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why I hate technology. (And dating.)

Isaac and I stayed home alone tonight, New Year's Eve. By choice. There is absolutely nothing going on that I would rather do than be at home with my Little Man on his first New Year's Eve. He's already asleep, but you'd better believe that, at midnight (provided I last that long) I'm sneaking into his room (oh, who am I kidding... my room) and getting my first kiss of the new year.

I was actually (sort of) asked out on a date (I think) for tonight. A guy I met recently through a friend mentioned dinner and a concert, but he asked me out via text message. Here's how it went down:

Him: What r your New Year plans?

Me: None. Just stay home with the kiddo. Nothing going on.

Him: Ya not much going on here in Tulsa. I may hang at
(friend's name).Or i wanted 2 take u 2 dinner and check out Dustin Pittsley.

(Day-long silence.)

I thought about it for a really long time before declining. I think I blamed it on not having a babysitter. But really, the idea of going out on a date still didn't sound as good as staying home with the LM. And, yeah, I'm scared. Dating is awkward and weird and terrifying when you haven't done it in almost three years.

Plus, was I really supposed to interpret his text message as an invitation to a date? I'm sorry, but, to me, that just seems kind of lazy. And I don't think it should be that casual. I mean, yeah, I'm liberal, progressive, a feminist, all that and more, but I still think when a guy asks me out on a date, he should really ask me. Like, call me up or see me in person and say the words, "Would you like to have dinner Friday?" There should at least be some sort of personal communication.

I've been out on one date since I split up with John, and the thing was arranged through Myspace messages. Seriously. I kind of let it slide because the guy did call me three or four times before that and ask me out, but we could never get our schedules synchronized. I started our latest correspondence by sending him a message in response to something I'd seen on his profile, and that led to him asking me to dinner.

But still, my only two prospects as a single woman involved some strange, vapid form of communication where the guy didn't actually have to speak to me. Is a verbal conversation too much to ask for in 2008? Then what does 2009 have in store for me?

I think both of these guys were trying to play it cool and act casual. They probably didn't want to put too much pressure on me or on themselves. And I can understand that. I think that any guy who is thinking about asking out a single mom probably worries that she is more likely to get attached quickly than a woman without a kid because she's looking for a daddy for her squirt or something. I think they should know that I'm way more hesitant now to get involved than I was before Isaac because it's not just me anymore. But, I'm not out looking for someone. And I'm definitely not taking any first dates too seriously. But, if I don't think there's a chance I could have a future with someone, I'm not going to be too eager to go out on any second dates.

I like each of these guys okay. Not enough to make my knees shake or anything (that's what's supposed to happen, right? I don't really remember). Probably not enough to go out on a second (or first) date. I don't think I could like someone who asked me out via text message that much. I think it's just a red flag, warning me that he's definitely not the guy for me.

Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone! Bust making my resolutions now and watching gooey, icky couples on TV who proposed in Times Square tonight talk about their wedding plans. Ugh.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008: A Recap

For us, it began early Wednesday afternoon. I was "working from home" so I had plenty of time to spend with the LM. We visited my mom's sister, my Aunt Merilee, for a lunch of coneys. Isaac was going to be with John and his family that evening, when we traditionally celebrate with my mom's side, which is now down to my mom and her sister, so I wanted him to have a chance to visit my Aunt Merilee and Uncle Don. Plus, my mom's oldest brother, Kent, and his wife Carol were visiting from Texas, and I hadn't seen them since my grandmother passed away when I was 13. We had a nice visit, and Isaac got to open his first Christmas present, a V-tech talking, singing book from his aunt and uncle. (I had somehow, miraculously, managed to refrain from giving him and of his presents early. It was tough, believe me.)

After we left Merilee and Don's, we went home for a nap and then to Brookside Body Piercing to visit "Aunt Lauren" (a good friend I've known since 2002 who insists she is destined for aunthood, not motherhood) and receive our second gift of the season. Lauren warned me that she bough him a hoodie that looked like something she would wear and tht, if I didn't like it, I could take it back, but I thought the blue and black houndstooth pullover was adorable. Can't wait to see him in it.

Here, he hasn't quite gotten the hang of digging into his gifts, but, by day three (we had four days of Christmas), he knew exactly what to do.

That bag lit up and play music, by the way. It was pretty sweet.

That night, Isaac visited his Nana and Papa Robinson, where he got more gifts and Mommy got a case of diapers, some baby food, a gift certificate to Gardner's and a Jim Shore figurine, all of which she was very grateful for.

(By the way, I love Jim Shore's stuff. I think it is beautiful. I've never much cared about Christmas decorations, other than trees and twinkling lights, and his stuff is the first I've ever wanted to collect. So far, Sandra is the only one who's picked up on that, and she's gotten me figurines for the past two years. I LOVE THEM.)

John came over Thursday morning to watch Isaac receive his stocking from Santa/Mommy and open the beau coups of gifts he had waiting for him under the tree. See?

They're not all for him, and they're not all from me, but a lot of them were both. John brought his gifts over, too, instead of having Isaac open them Christmas Eve, so he had a lot of work to do.

Here is his stocking, pre-filled. My mom made it. It is almost as big as he is. Hell, it may be even bigger. If you'll notice, it's handing from a hook sitting atop the dresser I use as an entertainment center, and it reaches past the fourth drawer. My mother put a lot of pressure on me. I'm the one who has to fill that sucker every year.

It definitely has that ugly, homemade look to it, but I absolutely adore it. We all have stockings this size that my mother has made for us over the years, and they all have their own, special idiosyncrasies. Isaac also had one that my mother keeps at her house that has a big Santa face on it. And the "s" in his name is crooked on that one, too.

This year in his stocking, Santa brought some cool, kid-sized art books from Philbrook, an Ugly Doll, a maraca and some bells and squishy blocks from Target. He loved the musical instruments the best

From his dad he got a V-tech crawling ball and a Shop and Learn shopping cart. From me, he got a wodden cube with activities on all sides, a Melissa and Doug shape sorter and a Plan Toys drum from Lundeby's Eco Baby.

After opening his gifts, he and I went to my parents' house, where he had another stocking and more presents waiting. There, he got more books, some badly-needed pajamas, a toy organizer (not really a box, but shelves with different-sized bins) and another V-tech ball. We went to my uncle's (dad's youngest brother) in west Tulsa and dined on a traditional (read" delicious) Christmas dinner and played a dirty Santa game. I walked away with a bottle of red wine and a box of Hot Tamales, but the wine fell out of my car and smashed on the curb in front of my apartment. Deeming it salvageable in any way (although I definitely thought about how I could possibly sop the wine up from the cement), I picked up the glass and threw it away. What a dirty trick Santa played on me. I blame him.

Friday night, I took the LM for a short road trip to Stillwater, where we visited UTW's cinema editor Cory, his wife Stephanie and their precious baby girl Kaia for yet another delicious meal, consisting mainly of meat (that's definitely not a complaint).

Kaia and Isaac exchanged gifts (here's where Isaac started to get the hang of it. He went straight for the bag, tipped it over toward him, and started to pull the tissue paper out), and their mommies planned their future arranged marriage. Seriously, it would be like joining the two cutest babies on the planet. I'm pretty sure that's what they call a match made in heaven.

Isaac was pretty jealous that Kaia, being the older, wiser, more mature woman she is, can already crawl and he can't, but, luckily, her gift to him was an inflatable thing (? not sure the word) with balls inside that is supposed to encourage crawling. Yippee! Next time they meet, he can chase her sound the living room.

Really. Tell me these aren't the two most adorable babies you've ever seen. Kaia's the only kid I've seen with eyes bigger and bluer than LM's. You could get lost in them.

Isaac made lots of new friends that night. Not surprisingly, they were all women. He kind of has a way of stealing your heart.

Christmas concluded Saturday night when my BF Chalyn and her hubby Chris dropped by with more gifts, which included a ball popper thing for I-Man. You drop the balls in, they follow a maze down a tube, and then pop out of the contraption without warning, At least, that's what the box says they do. I was one D battery short of getting the thing to work, so Isaac just tried to eat the balls. There are five. Someone remind me of that when I think I've lost one. Or all of them.

I'm not sure Christmas could have been any better. The absolute best part was the time I had to spend with LM. Five days in a row! I Should work from home more often. I think Isaac enjoyed the time, too; it was hard for both of us when I went back to work Monday. For the first time, Isaac cried when I left him. Cried and reached for me and pretty much broke my heart. I'm thinking it's about time to put one of my harebrained schemes into action so I can work for myself and have more time with my LM.

I hope everyone else has a merry a Christmas as we did. I'm already looking forward to next year (but still hoping time doesn't go by too quickly).

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Tissue Paper Fiasco

I could probably post for weeks about Christmas, boring you with every little detail (and don't think I won't), and so I'll probably have to post in increments. The first is this, an event that will go down in Christmas Day infamy. It was early Christmas morning. John was over to watch Isaac empty the contents of a stocking that was almost larger than he is and unwrap his various other ifts. While opening a Melissa and Doug shape sorter (from Mom), the trouble began. Somehow, Isaac became entangled in the tissue paper. I think it started out as a game, but ended... well, see...

Little Man discovers what tissue paper tastes like. The consensus: not good.

Eek! Now he can't get it out of his mouth!

What a bad mommy am I. Not only did I give the gift that attacked, but, instead of rushing to the aid of my poor, helpless baby, I laughed and took pictures.

Sorry, baby. I hope this doesn't scar you for life.

Looks like you escaped unscathed. Thank goodness. And Merry Christmas.

A Teaser

Still getting photos ready to do a post-Christmas post. Until then, this...

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm it

Shelly tagged me. What a fantastic way to avoid being productive on a Monday morning.

8 TV shows I watch.
1. The news
2. House
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Law and Order SVU
5. Desperate Housewives
6. Brothers and Sisters
7. Wheel of Fortune
8. Friends reruns
(These are all, of course, completely dependent on whether or not Isaac thinks Mommy should be watching TV. And, what time he goes to bed on a given night.)

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. In the Raw
2. Fuji (Yeah, I like sushi. A lot.)
3. Elote
4. Dalesandro's
5. The Brook
6. El Maguey (Delicioso Mexican cuisine in Sand Springs)
7. Steak Stuffers

8 things that happened today
1. Isaac peed in the bed. My bed. Again.
2. Drank two cans of Diet Pepsi.
3. Got to work after 8:30 (which happens every day I have to go to work).
4. Pumped (not enough, ugh).
5. Worked on a Sudoku puzzle I started last week. At work.
6. Finished my Arts Experienced column.
7. Debated whether or not portions of my Arts Experienced column were too harsh.
8. Heard some juicy gossip.

8 things I look forward to:
1. Picking Isaac up from my parents' house.
2. Christmas!!
3. Traditional Christmas dinner (the potluck Mexican feast my uncle's girlfriend proposed is nixed, thank goodness).
4. Getting some sleep (hopefully).
5. Warmer weather in the coming days.
6. A girls' night with friends I haven't seen in too long.
7. Getting paid Friday.
8. Losing the rest of my baby weight (assuming that, someday, it will happen).

8 things I wish for:
1. Good health for my family.
2. For Isaac to be a kind, thoughtful, sincere young man.
3. For me to be a good mother.
4. For me to always keep my priorities straight, only worry about the things that matter and let go of the things that don't.
5. For my family's business to be successful (not stressful).
6. For there to be no child abuse or neglect and for all children who are born to have good, loving homes.
7. For Isaac and me to find a church home.
8. For me to lose the rest of my baby weight. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Isaac hits the bottle

Here, Isaac's halfhearted attempt at self-sufficiency. He's held his own bottle before, but is was a skinner bottle that I guess fit better in his tiny, baby hands. And he was reclining. And he's mastered the art of getting the sippy cup to his mouth, but he has yet to figure out how to get the water out.

A couple of nights ago, after Little Man downed an entire jar of organic carrots (no, I didn't puree these myself. Gerber provided), I let him have a drink of water. But, I thought, maybe it's time for LM to grow up a bit and learn how to hold the bottle on his own. That didn't quite work out the way I intended, but it sure was fun to watch.

Now, which end of this is up? It's not marked...

It's a little slippery in my carrot puree-covered hands.

Now, how to get that pesky nipple in my mouth?

Just look at how focused he is.

Remember, he's just eaten an entire jar of carrots. Even after the bath that followed, his cheeks still had an orange tint to them.

Getting closer...

Yes! I did it! Mission (semi-) accomplished. He never did get the end of the bottle high enough into the air to get any of the water our of it.

Doh! Foiled again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

O Tannenbaum

That's me, brushing up on my German for our impending trip. Although, our trip likely won't be for at least another year, and, even then, we'll probably go during the spring or summer when the word "Christmas tree" (or the song, for that matter) won't really do me much good. Still, it's always nice to get into the Christmas spirit and also exercise your tongue in a foreign language at the same time. That, and about all I can remember these days from my high school German class are the Christmas carols and a few catch phrases (Gunter ist mein Freund. Ich wohne gleich um die Ecke.) I'm pretty sure I could still make a mean Muesli, too. But these days, you can buy that stuff in a box on the cereal aisle.

Anyway, back to the point: Christmas. You know how I said I didn't want the season to escape me too quickly, how I wanted to be able to enjoy and savor every moment? Well, what I should have said was, "FAT CHANCE!" Christmas is next week! Yeah, the shopping's done, the presents are wrapped, the stockings are hung with care, but I still feel like I need more time to enjoy the giddy, before-Christmas anticipation. Because, after next week, it's all over, folks. (Too bad this arctic air won't leave with it.)

Last weekend Isaac visited the Santa that sets up shop in Utica Square. And I've made it to a few of my favorite holiday shows. I saw the naughty holiday cabaret at Nightingale (hilarious, my friends) and on Sunday I'll see Tulsa Ballet's The Nutcracker.

I think I'd like to take Isaac back to Rhema one more time before Christmas, and then on Wednesday evening he'll be with John and with me and the entire Wall clan on Christmas day. I'm excited, but I'm also excitedly willing time to slow down just a bit.

Here is our Tannenbaum. This was actually meant to be a practice shot before I made my dad take about 30 pictures of us (one of which will end up in the Christmas cards I have to send out TODAY), but I figured it was a nice enough representation of our tree to post it here. This is our first white tree, although I've wanted one for a couple of years. I found some super groovy Christmas ornaments and a blinking LED peace sign tree topper online at Urban Outfitters (and on sale!) that I'll probably get for next year.

This is Isaac's first ornament. I struggled (well, maybe "struggled" isn't the right word. I "debated") with whether or not to get the cute but generic "Baby's First Christmas" ornament or this one. In the end, I decided on this one. When Isaac was a newborn, until he was about two months old, he used to thrust his arms into the air, his fists clenched, like he was soaring through the clouds a la Superman.

We called him "Superbaby." We still do, sometimes, just for fun. And because he is pretty super.

Here is one version of the photo that will eventually end up in our Christmas cards. Sorry to spoil the surprise for those of you who will be receiving one of said cards. Merry Christmas, anyway!

Monday, December 15, 2008

This time, it's personal

Until I started working at Urban Tulsa and had actual health insurance, I was a client at Planned Parenthood for years. Years and years. I had all of my annual exams there and picked up my birth control there. The first year I went to Planned Parenthood, my exams and birth control were all free because of my low income and student status. In three years, my exams went up to $90 each and my birth control cost me $30 a month. My income stayed the same.

The prices went up because the state and federal governments started messing with PP's funding, making it more expensive for the low-income families who need the agency's services to afford them. I was extremely lucky I could afford $30 a month for birth control and $90 once a year for an exam to ensure my health. Many of the women who need PP's services the most cannot afford them now. And while I think PP Tulsa recently received a grant that enabled it to lower its costs, what anti-choice activists are proposing is a travesty to women's health.

Abortion-related services make up only three percent of the services Planned Parenthood offers to low-income women and families. Three percent. The majority of the services PP offers come in the form of providing contraception, STD testing and pre-natal services. For anti-choice activists to wage war on low-income women in the name of politics is disgusting and despicable. Without an agency like Planned Parenthood, there would likely countless more unwanted pregnancies resulting in countless more unwanted abortions. I have yet to hear of any Christian agency offering these same types of services to women and families.

Seriously. It just infuriates me. It makes me sick.



DECEMBER 11, 2008

Abortion Foes Open a New Front

Abortion opponents are pressing state and local governments to stop sending
taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, arguing that the nonprofit group has
plenty of cash and shouldn't be granted scarce public funds at a time of
economic crisis.

Planned Parenthood receives about $335 million a year -- a third of its
budget -- from government grants and contracts to subsidize contraception,
sex education and non-abortion-related health care for poor women and

The group is also the nation's largest abortion provider, and critics have
long argued that the public funds indirectly subsidize abortions by keeping
hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics afloat.

But the new lobbying effort, backed by conservative Christian groups such as
the Family Research Council, focuses more on economic than moral concerns.
The campaign paints Planned Parenthood as a wealthy organization that
doesn't need taxpayer help. Planned Parenthood reported record revenue and a
$115 million budget surplus last year, and it is building a network of
elegant health centers to attract middle-class clients.

"The money needs to go to local organizations that actually need it and
don't have the backing of a multimillion-dollar organization," says Scott
Tibbs, an antiabortion activist in Bloomington, Ind.

Planned Parenthood responds that its health-care services fill a critical
need, especially now, when so many people are losing their jobs -- and their
health insurance.

A new effort by abortion opponents to pressure Planned Parenthood relies on
lobbying based on economic concerns, rather than demonstrations.
Past reductions in government funding have forced local chapters to close
clinics, raise fees and cut back on subsidized contraception, which Planned
Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, described as "a lifeline for
millions of people."

In recent weeks, Planned Parenthood chapters have lost public funds in two
states as elected officials juggled tight budgets.

Fulton County, Ga., which includes Atlanta, canceled a $420,000 contract as
part of statewide cuts in health care.

Sarasota County, Fla., ended years of subsidizing Planned Parenthood's
sex-education programs with annual grants of as much as $30,000.

"It had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood's mission," said Paul Mercier,
who recently retired as a county commissioner. "It had everything to do with
them not needing the funding."

The Family Research Council is developing a kit to help grass-roots
activists dig through financial reports so they can make detailed
presentations to elected officials about the assets and revenue of local
Planned Parenthood chapters. The council has sent letters to 1,200 state
legislators describing Planned Parenthood's strong financial position and
urging "a second look" at public funding.

With a Democratic president soon to take office, "we're very limited as to
what we can do" on a federal level, said Thomas McClusky, vice president for
government affairs at the Family Research Council. "But on the local level,
there are a lot of victories to be had." The group has been courting elected
officials who they think would be receptive in states including Indiana,
Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky.

Regional executives of Planned Parenthood say the campaign misleads
legislators about the state of the nonprofit's finances. The chapter in
Sarasota, for instance, is wrapping up a $12 million fund-raising drive to
build a new flagship building and three clinics.

"Our audits look pretty fat and they've used that against us," said Barbara
Zdravecky, chief executive of the chapter, which covers southwest and
central Florida. But operating revenue is down, Ms. Zdravecky said, and the
chapter is running at a deficit.

She and others argue that cutting Planned Parenthood funding is
short-sighted and will cost taxpayers more in the long run if low-income
women can't get services such as birth control or cancer screenings.

That argument has succeeded in some places. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who has
said he opposes abortion but doesn't want to ban it, has vowed to hold firm
against cutting Planned Parenthood's funds.

Write to Stephanie Simon at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three teeth in one weekend!

My mother has been telling me for almost two weeks that she thinks Isaac is getting one of his top teeth. I'd never seen or felt anything. Until yesterday. He finished nursing, and he was laying across my lap. I was tickling and playing with him, and when he opened his mouth to laugh, I noticed something white in his top gums. His top right incisor has started to come in! I noticed later yesterday evening that the other top incisor is coming in, too. It's just barely broken skin, not too far behind the other one. That means he's getting three teeth all at once right now, and still no change in attitude or behavior. I think it's so weird. It's going to be even weirder when his adorable grin is punctuated by four equally adorable teeth. Oh, a side note: It appears as though the second bottom tooth coming in is coming in a little crooked.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Welcome to Isaac's mouth, Tooth Number Two

Mom called earlier to inform me his other bottom incisor had just broken skin. I thought I had seen something white in his mouth last night, next to the tooth that is already there, but every time I'd try to stick my finger in his mouth and feel his gums, he'd get really, really irritated. Guess now I know why.

Gosh, I just can't imagine that in a few months Isaac will have a mouth full of teeth. It's weird. I'm going to miss his sweet, toothless grin, that's for sure. I'm very surprised and proud he's taken the teething thing so well thus far. When the first one came in, there was a bit of fever and crankiness, but nothing major. With this one, I wouldn't have known he was teething at all if I hadn't seen that clue, the glimmering white speck in his mouth. Isaac, you're being a real man about this whole teething thing. We're proud of you. But remember, it's okay to let your feelings show once in a while.

Dallas or Bust... And we survived!

Isaac and Mommy survived our first road trip together, a five-hour jaunt to Dallas last weekend to see my friend Gina and do some shopping at Urban Outfitters. My mom came along for the trip as well and proved invaluable. I might have been able to do it by myself, but it would have been harder and taken longer and I'd probably have decided, by the end of the trip, never to do it again. As it is, I will probably do it again, but not anytime soon. I think our next trip may be a flight to Portland in the spring or summer to see Ginger and revisit a city I fell madly in love with last time I was there. Depending on how that goes, I can gauge Isaac's (and my) readiness for a trip to Germany to meet his girlfriend Leni.

Here, documentation of our trip:

Isaac, rarin' to go. Mommy dressed him in his jammies in hopes he would sleep the whole way. Except for the first two hours, he did.

Isaac and Leland, Gina's hubby and I-Man's babysitter for the day. All in all, Leland did a pretty great job. He was mostly relieved at not having to change any dirty diapers. Isaac waited until Mommy got home for that. Maybe he sensed that Leland couldn't handle it.

Leland and Isaac showing Mommy what they did all day.

Gina and Leland practicing. They're only three years away from having their own, if they stick to their timeline! (I like to remind her of this. Often.)

Best buds, reunited. In Mesquite, Texas.

Isaac ready for the long trip home. I put the toy next to him, thinking he might like to play with it a bit as we drove. Instead, he slept the entire way through Texas and most of the way through Oklahoma.

Pit stop in Durant. Isaac in good spirits. He'd just had the first of two very long naps. In Durant, Isaac got a bottle and some fresh air out of the car seat while grandma went into Big Lots and Mommy chowed down on McDonald's fries and nuggets for what she hopes will be the last time.

Okay, this one has nothing to do with the trip. It's just adorable. Isaac always crosses his feet like this. Always. When he's in the car seat, when he's sitting up and playing, even when he's sleeping.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Book Signing


Local Author Releases Children’s Book about Living with Autism

Local author and autism advocate Adonya Wong invites the public to a pre-release signing of her new book In My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism at 2 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 13 at The Collective, 3148 E. 11th St.

In My Mind is a full-color book, illustrated by Benton Rudd, depicting the world as seen through the eyes of a young boy with autism—a world no one else can see. From exciting adventures to silly games and conversations with friends, look closely and see how a child with autism sees the world… and how the world sees him. The book is inspired by Wong’s son Nicholas, who is autistic.

The book isn’t about defining autism by her own experience, Wong says. “The book is more my way of trying to ‘explain,’ in an adventurous way, a few of the things my son, and others with autism, do. It’s my perception of how a child with autism sees the world, and, in turn, how the world sees him,” says Wong.

“I wrote In My Mind because I felt that there weren’t enough books that children on the spectrum could identify with,” she says.

Though the book is meant for children, it also poignantly reaches adults, inspiring them to examine their own preconceptions about people with developmental and other disabilities. The book teaches both children and adults to see the world through the eyes of others who may be different than they are, eliciting compassion, tolerance and patience from the reader.

Wong will sign copies of her book, available for purchase at the event, from 2 to 4 p.m. During that time, Wong will award a free, signed copy of In My Mind to the lucky winner of a raffle.

Portions of the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Tulsa Autism Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by autism and related neurological disorders. The Tulsa Autism Foundation provides programming such as community awareness and outreach, early screening and intervention, parent and professional information and training and family support.

Wong says she chose to donate proceeds from her book to the Tulsa Autism Foundation because “it is Tulsa’s only extensive source of information on autism.”

“Donating a portion of my proceeds to TAF means I’m helping our community… one dollar at a time,” says Wong.

In My Mind is published by Tate Publishing, a Christian-based, family-owned publishing organization with a mission to discover and market new and unknown authors. The book will officially be released in January 2009.

Wong is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served in Iceland and Maryland. After being honorably discharged in 1991, she served with the California Air National Guard for four years. When she is not writing, Wong home schools her son and heads the Tulsa-based nonprofit she founded, M.O.C.H.A. (Mothers of Color for Holistic Alternatives). Wong also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching classic movies and curling up with a good book.

For more information about her book and this event, visit or E-mail

Thursday, December 4, 2008

His First Word

Isaac says "Dada" all the time. It started about two days ago, much like it did when I was sure he was going to say "Mama." He started babbling "Dadadadadada.." Then he looked straight at me and said "Dada."

I said, "No, I'm Mama."

"Dada," he said again. And he's been saying it ever since. Morning, noon and night, he says "Dada" over and over again.

John's excited, to say the least.

Now, how to get those tricky "Ms" to come out of his mouth...?

Monday, December 1, 2008

In the holiday mood

I-Man and I had a really great weekend. Thursday with the fam was a lot of fun--probably more fun than I anticipated it being. Isaac was very patient with all the new, strange family members who wanted to take their turns holding and coddling him. On Friday, he spent some time with his dad while my mom and I bought and set up a new tree--a white one, which I have been wanting for a couple of years now. We also visited the Philbrook gift shop, where I got the absolute coolest stocking stuffers for my little man. Don't tell him... they're board books that incorporate famous works of art in stories for kids. I bought three. Couldn't help myself.

Isaac loves our tree. He loves the lights and the shiny glass ornaments. I love that it's pre-lit. :) Growing up, it was tradition for our family to decorate our tree the evening after Thanksgiving. I want to start that same tradition with Isaac.

Friday night, Mom, Dad, Uncle Stinky (that's what I-Man calls Brother) and Isaac and I went to see the lights at Rhema. Isaac was pretty excited by those, too. He was kind of in a trance. As we were making our way to the gazebo to get Isaac's picture taken with Santa, he fell asleep. Maybe it wasn't the lights that were putting him in a trance but sheer exhaustion. Either way, we had a good time.

Here, more examples of Isaac's impeccable cuteness. These don't have much to do with Christmas, but I don't care. Enjoy them anyway.

I'm so worried that the holidays are going to fly by and I'm not going to enjoy them as much as I should. They tend to fly by anyway, but combining that with our busy schedules, me working too much, trying to spend as much time as possible with I-Man just makes me think that, if I'm not careful, they could slip by so quickly that I don't have time to enjoy them. I refuse to get stressed out this year. I've already got about half of my Christmas shopping done, and I've spent the last couple of evenings, after Isaac goes to sleep, wrapping my gifts with recycled brown butcher paper and reusable Better Bags from Whole Foods. I found a couple of recipes for milk-based paint online, so I think, after the holidays, Isaac and I will fingerpaint our wrapping paper. I've needed artwork to hang on my walls since I moved into this new place, and I'm going to get it! :)

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