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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Introducing Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid — Tween/Teen Community

Breaking News! We’re pleased to report that our special children have created a new Facebook community designed for teens and tweens with differences. The page, Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid – Tween/Teen, “was designed to help kids with challenges in their lives come together for support and laughs,” said Katie Gallagher, creator of the page. Katie the daughter of “G” was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and is “excited to meet new people and to share ideas and solutions.”  According to Katie, the rules of the page are as follows:

-No swearing.

-Be positives.

– Only kids can post — no parents. Parents are absolutely invited to like the page.

The page will  have some parent monitors to ensure these rules are followed.

Please join us in congratulating the kids on this great opportunity and encourage your child to post and share. Together, we can  help create understanding and break stigma.




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Meet Today’s Guest Blogger – Violeta Flemenbaum

Please join us in welcoming today’s guest blogger — our dear friend Violeta Flemenbaum, who hails from one of our favorite states, Illinois. Violeta is a bilingual interpreter and “mommy to 3 very wonderful children: Antsy pants, Smarty pants, and Monkey pants.” Please take a moment to read Violeta’s Blog, Cynicism Not Allowed Here, and to share the link. You can connect with Violeta on our Facebook page as well.

Cynicism Not Allowed Here by Violeta Flemenbaum

So my son, Antsy Pants, tells me the other day that he wonders why G-d created sweet monsters like Elmo. Yes, that’s right. My child still believes that Elmo, the Tooth Fairy and Spiderman are real. Even though he is almost 10 years old, he still has the innocence of a 6 year old. So much so that he and his younger sisters seem to be on even ground when it comes to that wonderful naivite that was once a part of all of us.

To read more of this blog and other great work from Violeta, click here.




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Shut Up Gets Shout Out from Huff Post Parents

It could be our imagination (or the glasses of wine), but we really feel that The Movement of Imperfection is gaining traction. A Korean publisher has picked up the rights to publish our book, our Facebook imperfect family is growing by leaps and bounds (FYI not all our members are imaginary friends or pets), and we continue to receive emails from all over the world. (If we paid more attention in Geography class, we might even know where these countries are).  Today, we were pleased to discover that the Huffington Post Parents gave a shoutout to this imperfect website. Shameless self promotion aside (we save that for Facebook), you’ll want to check out this informative article from Maria Lin, entitled 6 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent. If you are a special needs parent, you’ll relate. If you’re not a special needs parent, take a moment to read it. It’s very enlightening. If you’re perfect, Shut Up! Just kidding. Thank you to Maria for the shoutout and this wonderful article! It’s a great tool to help educate others on us and our special kids. Here is the link. Be sure to share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Read 6 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent now. Tell us what you think. Do you relate?



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Introducing the newest addition in Team Meating Weaponry — Suck Up Muffins

Tired of attending stressful IEP Team Meetings? Getting nowhere by haggling with teachers and administrators over services?  Mom and blogger, Elise Fong, has helped come up with the perfect solution to more productive and satisfying  meetings –   Suck Up Muffins. According to Elise, “full tummies are significantly more pleasant to deal with.”  Elise has even agreed to share the recipe she uses for these  “To Die for Blueberry Muffins.”  Perhaps Congress should follow this recipe for success.

So what are you waiting for?  Get cooking!  To read more ideas and insights from Elise Fong, visit her terrific blog at



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An Extra Special Post — Meet Guest Blogger Elise Fong


Our Guest Blogger initiative has been a huge success! We’ve not only had the opportunity to meet some talented writers, but also, get some unique perspectives from other parents raising children with disabilities.  We’re pleased to introduce you to our newest blogger, Elise Fong, creator of  “Extra Special Kids,” which describes life with her to daughters, one with special needs and one without. Elise, featured in the photo with her beautiful daughters, hails from California, and has shared her blog “Take a Ride On My Helicopter.” P and G offered to pick up the blog in person, but Elise politely declined. 🙂 We will extend this offer to our Hawaiian and Australian bloggers.


Take a Ride on My Helicopter

helicopter parenting

noun Informal .

a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life: In typical helicopter parenting, a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort.
1985–90;  so called because such a parent ‘hovers’ like a helicopter
You know them, the helicopter parents.  They cushion the falls or, whenever possible, prevent them; they make excuses for their children; they save the day when a child has been irresponsible.  They are also involved – on the PTA, as the team mom/dad, as the coach, certainly as the chauffer.  When I didn’t have kids, I thought it would be so easy to set the boundaries, follow through every time, dole out the discipline when necessary, and everything would play out exactly as I imagined.  I certainly never imagined that I would be a helicopter parent.
To read more of this and other blogs from Elise, click helicopter parent.
Blogger Elise and her Extra Special Kids


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Breaking News! Ms. Seattle Doesn’t Like Seattle or Know How to Lie

Had to laugh when we came across this post.  Apparently, the newly crowned Ms. Seattle does not like Seattle. All we can say is she must have aced the Swimsuit and Talent contests. Shortly after winning, she tweeted that she found the city “cold and the people annoying.” Clearly, her parents never educated her on “white lying” — something we’ve ingrained in our children. (“Mom, will my eyes really be stuck this way forever if I keep rolling them at you?”). Plus, the reason Seattle is cold is because she’s running around in a skimpy bathing suit. Duh!

Click here to read the details.

Personally, we think she’d make a much better “Ms. Imperfect Seattle.” What do you think? Should she be stripped of her crown?



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A Sign of Brotherly Love and Compassion

We found this gem on our Facebook page tonight. It was designed by 19-year-old Kyle Gibson who is big brother to Shane and Matthew who struggle with autism and mental health issues. Each side of the ribbon represents his brothers’ disabilities. Kyle hopes to someday have enough money to tattoo this design on his body.  It’s his tribute to his two brothers who have been blessed by his love and support. Thank you Kyle Gibson for your tremendous heart and compassion. You are rich in all the ways that matter.

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Meet Today’s Guest Blogger — MBA Mommy, Rebecca Callahan

Rebecca lives in Denver where she spends her days wrangling two kids (one with Asperger’s), a dog and a husband, working part time and enjoying Colorado as much as possible. She even manages to eek out some time to write in her blog, MBA Mommy <>  where she talks about, you guessed it, wrangling 2 kids (one with Asperger’s), a dog and a husband, working part-time and enjoying Colorado as much as possible! 

You can start reading her blog here and finish by clicking on the link. Be sure to tell her you were there.

You Want The Truth?

When you think of autism (and when I say you I literally mean you, not the collective you) what comes to mind?  Rainman?  Jenny McCarthy? Vaccines? Epidemic?

Those are the things that came to my mind before we started on this roller coaster journey with our Z.  We were sorely uninformed.  And why would we be anything else?  Autism….the big A….makes headlines only when it’s discussed in the most fantastic, terrifying, horrifying light.  Because….well….unfortunately, that’s what makes headlines.  The media throws it out there and we as consumers gobble it up.

And, once you’re required to become educated, you still wonder.  Even if you read all the scientific articles and listen to all the experts, you still wonder if all the hype is right and all the data is wrong.

But, here’s the truth…from me to you.  The hype?  The media?  It’s a load of crap.  Autism does not equate Rainman.  Jenny McCarthy is not a medical expert and she did not cure her son.  Vaccines do not cause autism.  Autism is not an epidemic.

Lemme break it down for you….piece by piece.

To read the rest of this wonderful blog, click  here.

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Not Sweating the Big Sweat by Gina

Since I’ve probably already  let the “cat out of the bag” that I’m not perfect (Note: that perfection ship sailed many years ago), I’m going to courageously share with you an imperfection that has plagued me for my entire adult life: I have a tendency to sweat during exercise.  A lot.  For visualization purposes, you might imagine  Old Faithful. I used to be self conscious about this, but I’ve repeatedly been informed by friends and exercise gurus that this is indeed a good, if not desirable thing. “Gina, I’m so jealous! You’re getting all that water weight out.”  One kind woman on my Facebook page offered an even more positive perspective; “Sweat is simply fat crying,” she told me.  It made “perfect” sense, since my fat has been blubbering for quite some time.

Despite my tendency to release more water than Niagara Falls during a workout, I have never let it stop me from working out at the gym in my 7 years of membership.  No one really seemed to notice.

Until today.

I had just  completed a grueling 60-minute session on the elliptical (an exercise machine, not a moon-related event) and was making my way over to retrieve spray to clean the machine (my gym hygiene is impeccable) when I noticed two, well-groomed middle-aged women staring, pointing, and laughing at me. What’s more, they were speaking in Spanish.  Though my grasp of the Spanish language is somewhat limited (I barely know  the words to Eres, Tu?”) my instincts told me what I knew to be true — they were laughing at me.

Sweaty, not so little, me.

It wasn’t a nice feeling; if I could have swam out of there, I would have. They were  staring and laughing so openly that I decided to give them a dirty look (a gesture that knows no language barriers.) “I thought to myself. How dare they blatantly make fun of me? We’re adults! Dios Mio!” It wasn’t like I was sweating on the floor or required mopping up after. My sweat was contained, and not to brag, my scent was garden fresh thanks to my new deodorant.

I can’t remember ever feeling more humiliated. On the way home,  I thought of my daughter Katie who has pretty much been stared at during her entire life  for her hand flapping. How many times have other children stared at her? And talked about her  behind her back? Amazingly,  she rarely seemed to let it bother her.

And what did I tell her on those rare occasions when it did bother her?  I repeatedly told her that if someone was making fun of you, it was probably because they were jealous or insecure. I liked that line of thinking. Maybe these women were retaining water, or were jealous that despite the three gallons of sweat in my hair, it was still holding up.

I decided that I would continue to do what I always do — to do the workouts that are so much a part of my sanity.  And to let my fat have a good cry any time it wanted to.

Have you ever felt like someone was making fun of you as an adult? How did you handle it?












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Announcing Special Guest Blogger — Denise Collins

Over the years, we’ve received so many emails of kindness from folks who have expressed gratitude for our book and our speaking engagements. While it’s always flattering to hear folks are actually listening to you (something that rarely happens at home), we believe we’ve been given far too much credit. Neither one of us signed up to raise children with disabilities; we got recruited.  We were fortunate that in the process of raising our special children, we truly learned the meaning of love and acceptance and saw the blessings special children bring to the world.  If you want to give us credit for that, we thank you.  But today, we were struck by the email we got from one amazing mother, Denise Collins, who truly deserves the praise.

Denise wrote: “We have an adopted 15 year old daughter with several diagnosed issues. We have to take life one day at a time and try hard to keep things humorous too. My husband and I wanted to become foster parents and also have been volunteering for an organization that brings orphans form Eastern Europe to the USA twice a year to live with families for about a month. The more we got involved in that organization and the further we got along in the process of becoming foster parents the more and more we became aware of the huge amount of orphans in the world, the appalling treatment they receive in non-western countries and the fact that older orphans and those with disabilities (large or small) just don’t get adopted. In Eastern Europe disabled children (any disability) typically are put in an adult mental institution at the age of 5 or 6. Most lose their will to live and die within a year or two.

So we started a blog to advocate for these kids, promote host programs and any ministries we could find that reach out and help these kids that have been forgotten by the rest of the world. In the meantime we ended up hosting a 14 year boy from Ukraine and are now in the process of adopting him.

I would love to share about what we have learned with your readers. I know many of them have their hands full already and would not be able to adopt. But who better to help advocate and pray for these kids than parents who already understand the needs of these children. What these kids need are people to make sure they are not forgotten and keep passing the word along that there are beautiful children suffering in institutions all over the world that need families and people willing to help them.”

Please take a moment to read Denise’s fabulous blog — and to like her FB page and to thank her for dedicating her life to help those in need. 

Denise and her husband Chris' little starfish. Boy do they look happy!

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Share Your Story — Be a Guest Shut Up Blogger

If you haven’t noticed lately, we’ve been a tad imperfect about updating this blog. We’ve also been a tad imperfect about cleaning our houses, parenting our children, cooking for our husbands, blah, blah, blah. While those of you out in the blogosphere can’t help us become better housecleaners (trust us our mother tried for decades), you can help us carry on the mission of this blog, which is to offer humor and support for caregivers of special needs children, by participating as guest bloggers. We know many caregivers of special needs children dabble in writing when they have time between fielding school calls, filing IEP paperwork, and making different meals for their picky eaters.  So, in order to give them a platform, we’re going to try and feature a special guest blogger a few times a week. If you’d like to participate, just zap us an email at with a brief bio and a link to the blog you’d like to feature. We’ll contact you to let you know when the blog will appear so that you can let your imperfect fans know. If you hope to write a book someday, it’s critical to have a “Platform” to attract readers. This could help draw traffic to your blog to build that platform. Keep in mind that wearing platform shoes, though stylish, will not get you published alone.  Once this is up and running and successful, we’ll invite some of you over to help us with other aspects of our imperfect lives – such as battling dust bunnies.  Thank you all for your tremendous support. Send us your work and help us spread The Movement of Imperfection.

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Cupcake Withdrawal

How may I help you today, cupcake?

Our mother warned us to be careful at ATM machines, but after reading about this ATM in California, we see no danger. It actually dispenses cupcakes. And you don’t even have to deposit the ingredients. Would you make a withdrawal?


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Blog of the Week – A Mother’s Perspective from Signapore

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for parents to raise special children in other parts of the world? We certainly have and were enlightened when we received this beautifully crafted article from Siti Zulaiha who lives in Singapore. Though she is located at the other end of the world, her feelings hit home with us, as she struggles to get her child the support he desperately needs.  Please take a moment to read it and leave a comment.

Maybe he’s late because he’s the youngest or maybe we pampered him too much or maybe he is just not ready to talk yet.  I wondered. Why doesn‚t my son talk when he was already 2? Why does he always find it hard to go to sleep no matter how sleepy he was?

I decided to do my own research on sleeping difficulties but I came across Autism instead. That was when my world came crumbling down. Everything suddenly fell into place. Every research I did was talking about my precious handsome boy. I told my husband first and I cried every day and night. Next I told my family. I do not see a point in keeping my son’s special need a secret. I need all the support I can get. I need more information. Others may be able to help me. Slowly, I gained strength. I switched my brain to focus on helping my son. I want him to not feel as if he‚s alone.

It was not easy and it is still not easy. My tears are welling even as I composed this article. Even after more than a year of his official diagnosis, my heart still breaks and my wound is still bleeding. I do believe that I have progressed a lot. I do not blame anyone anymore. I do not try to find the cause of it anymore. No time should be wasted. My readings shows that autism has a high chance of learning abilities if detected early. We have already enrolled our son to join EIPIC ˆ Early Intervention Program, run by MCYS ( Ministry). The waiting list is terrible. There are more autistic children than EIPIC centers. All research shows that autism is best tackled  before the age of 3. My son was almost 3 and nobody is giving him any places. I emailed Minister Vivian Balakrishnan for help. MCYS contacted me but told me they could not help me. I cried and begged them. I shouted at the officer who called me. Time is running out. They finally offered to put my son’s name in 2 EIPIC centers. But I still have to wait.

While waiting, I do what I can to learn more. I attended a few talks and courses to understand Autism. My colleagues shared with me lots of information. One of them was even a Special needs educator. She passed to me all her books and PECS – Picture exchange communication system, even before I knew about PECS. We practiced PECS even till now.

One seminar I attended was by Dr Wendy Lawson, a PhD in Psychology. She has autism and her husband and 2 sons are autistic as well. She opened my heart to understand autism in a different way. Autism is not a disease or a disability. It just meant they are humans with a different view in life. Problem arises when they do not understand our views and rules. Thus that‚s what therapies are for. She explained the pain of having to deal with Sensory issues. It’s as if their 5 senses are superpowers. All these information are embedded in my mind. Now I know why my son may not like to step on sand or why he flapped his arms.

When EIPIC still did not have any vacancies, I tried to put him in private EIPIC centers. The fees are exorbitant. The fees are literally unaffordable. It ranges from $2k-$3.6k per month. We are average income holders. Yes, we do live in a 5 room flat and are fortunate enough to afford a car and a maid. We are living a comfortable life, but there’s no way we can get an extra $2-3k a month for his therapies. We were unable to sell the car off yet. We couldn‚t downgrade our flat because we just moved in. EIPIC by MCYS was our only hope. Nobody is hearing our pleas.

Once my son has been given a placement in EIPIC, the world becomes brighter. He is so smart. He even starts to talk now. The sweetest word that came from his lips was “Mom.”

EIPIC, however effective, till now could not afford to give each child the recommended hours of therapy each child need. It is recommended that each child needs 33 hours of therapy per week. My son is currently receiving 10 hours per week. Because of the long waiting list, desperate parents went out all the way to try other things for their children. We tried methods which were not recognized such as craniosacral therapy and special diet. We make our children guinea pigs for their own good.

Society is cruel to those who are different. A society is made up of individuals. These individuals failed to realize that God never made anything the same. Even rainbows have different lengths. If they loved their children, we loved our children too. If they want proper and good education for their children, we want it too. If they couldn’t bear to see their children suffering when they were sick, we couldn‚t bear to see our children suffering their whole life too.
I wished I can be his eternal bodyguard….

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If You Commit The Library Crime, You’ve Gotta Do the Time?

When you’re a working parent of two special needs children, it’s not uncommon to be a bit forgetful. This forgetfulness might occur in the form of missed therapist appointments, unfilled prescriptions, or confusion with themed school events. (“Mommy, I told you, today was school picture day NOT crazy hair day!”) In the past year, due to her daughters’ growing maturity, Gina has been far less forgetful. “Mommy, you can’t go to the gym. I’ll miss my Saturday Social Group.”

There was, however, one thing that Gina was very forgetful with — returning library books. In fact, due to our mother’s illness and other events this summer, she completely forgot to return three of them — creating a hefty library fine of nearly two hundred dollars. Too embarrassed to return them, Gina held on to them longer into the fall. She was quite ashamed, and certainly wasn’t brought up to do this as both of our parents had stellar library records.  Fearful that she might be called out for her crime publicly, she avoided in-town stores and events. It wasn’t until a fellow resident informed her about fine-free Wednesdays that she was ready to face her crime. So, early one Wednesday morning, she trekked to the library in her trench coat and dark glasses and dropped them off, finally releasing herself of the burden and the humiliation.

Gina was one of the lucky ones, however, a cute little 5-year-old girl from from Charlton, MA,  didn’t get off so easy. She actually had a policeman come to her house to scare her straight for  her overdue library book, causing the poor little girl anxiety.Keep in mind, this is Massachusetts, the state where corruption runs rampant.

Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? Should Gina be allowed to walk free when this poor child is traumatized?




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She Ain’t Heavy; Her Butt’s Filled With Cement

Those who have known us for awhile or even met us in person know that we are big on being honest and admitting our imperfections. It’s why we openly share that we are “not that bright.”  We do, however, think we are much brighter than the woman in the article below. Apparently, she decided that her body wasn’t curvy enough and that she needed an enhanced behind. But she wasn’t looking for any behind — she wanted a bargain behind that would work with her limited butt-get. Since Wal-Mart does not offer “Everyday Low Prices” on cosmetic surgery, she turned to Oneal Ron Morris, a convict who posed as a cosmetic surgeon. Oneal helped her reach her curvier goal (see pictures in link below), however, he pumped up her behind with cement  mineral oil and flat tire sealant. There is also some unconfirmed speculation that he also used a school bus.

Clearly, the victim should have clued in when she saw the cement mixer outside.

What do you think?  Do you think she’s not bright or just the butt of a bad joke?


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A Mother of An Idea — New Imperfect Book in the Works


An imperfect book to honor the wisdom and love of mothers, including our beloved mother Vi.


P and G are pleased to announce that we’ve begun work on our next book. And we’re not just talking about our checkbook (we do plenty of work with that). In honor of our loving mother, Viola, who passed away in August, we are going to write a humorous heartwarming book that celebrates the gifts and love of our mothers. If you’ve lost a mother, mother figure, or grandmother and would like to contribute a reflection or humorous story, send an email to Also, we’re pleased to announce the launch of our new Facebook page, Mother Always Said... There, you can post pictures and share stories with others who want to celebrate the gifts of our mothers. As always, thank you for your tremendous support as we attempt to give thanks to the wonderful, loving and imperfect woman who gave us so much.

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Did you know… October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month


If you wouldn’t mind taking a break from your leaf peeping, pumpkin carving, or candy shopping, we’d like to tell you about an important event in October — Spina Bifida Awareness Month. We were shocked to learn that that every day in the United States, an average of 8 births are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

Here are some facts about Spina Bifida:

·        Spina Bifida remains the most commonly occurring complex birth defect in this country.

·        The root cause of Spina Bifida is unknown and the effects for each person are different.

·        Spina Bifida is a multitude of problems that affect the mind, the body and the spirit.

·        Advancements in treatment and prevention have opened new doors for those with Spina Bifida.

·        While it presents unique challenges, those affected by Spina Bifida are able to attend school, work, raise a family, and spend time with friends just like everyone else.


This year the Spina Bifida Association  hopes to bring to light through pictures the successes of those who live each day with this birth defect.  By launching “Celebrate SB,” a Facebook photo contest <> designed to acknowledge the accomplishments of the Spina Bifida community, people around the country can encourage each other to tell their story through a symbolic photo or favorite frame. These pictures aim to highlight how our community celebrates their lives.  Click  <>for “Celebrate SB” contest rules!

It would warm our imperfect hearts if you could celebrate awareness of Spina Bifida by joining  the Spina Bifida Association on Facebook <

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Doggie got issues?

Since we’ve been traveling the country speaking, we’ve become familiar with many different types of mental health conditions and disabilities. We’re thrilled to have gained this knowledge, though our husbands think we take things too far. “What do you mean you’ve diagnosed the Fed Ex man with OCD? He has to get  your signature.”  We’ve even applied this knowledge to our dogs, Max and Rocky. Patty is convinced Rocky has an eating disorder and Gina is convinced her dog Max has Asperger’s.

“Pat, do you ever notice Max doesn’t look you in the eye when you talk to him? I think he’s an Aspie.”

“Gene, don’t be ridiculous. He doesn’t have Asperger’s. He’s just stealing from you.”

We actually do believe  some dogs suffer from anxiety and depression, and were not at all surprised to learn that there are actually medicines to treat them. Check out the article below that discusses how Doggie Prozac has helped dogs with separation anxiety.

Have you diagnosed one of your pets with a mental health issue or disability? Tell us about it.


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Take It E.Z.– Life Goes On for Lightbulb Cookers

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, neither of us are fans of change. Specifically, the ones we’ve both been experiencing over the past few years. “Mommy, please turn off the air conditioning. It’s snowing outside.”  Our latest concern is regarding the 2007 legislation that will replace the incandescent  lightbulb. We have two pressing questions over the new lightbulb changes coming, including:

1) Will we still see incandescent lightbulbs over our heads when we have a good idea?

2) And most importantly, what will become of the Easy Bake Oven, which is powered by incandescent lightbulbs?

While our calls to the U.S. Government about the first question have remained unanswered, we do have clarification on the second question. It appears that Hasbro, makers of the Easy Bake Oven, have redesigned the oven to offer an alternate source of heat — a 100-watt space heater. That’s not all. While they were tinkering under the hood, they decided to re-vamp the outside and give it a fun, trendy new look. Clearly, this is “not your mother’s Easy Bank Oven,” though our mother never had one. We’re not sure if that’s why she never bought us one. Whatever her reason, she did us a disservice. Sometimes it’s hard not to be bitter and think about what our lives might have become had we possessed one.

“Pat, if I had one back then, I probably wouldn’t call the kids to dinner by telling them to get in the car.”

“I hear you Gina. And I’d probably be competing on Bravo’s Top Lightbulb Chef, too.”

Well, since our mother’s passing, we realized that we are adults (at least by age anyway), and decided that it’s time we flew on our own. As a result, we will be purchasing a new Easy Bake Oven. We were so excited, we even told our father.

“Dad, guess which two people are cooking Thanksgiving dinner?”

Sounds like a brilliant idea to us. And speaking of brilliant ideas, did you see a squiggly or incandescent lightbulb over our heads when we came up with it?

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Put on Your Pity Party Pants!

Let’s face it, we’re all human. Well most of us are, except for some the pets and imaginary friends that are on our Facebook page. And in being human, it’s not uncommon for us to feel sorry for ourselves when things don’t work out the way we planned for us or our children. On these occasions, it’s not uncommon for us to throw a pity party. Our most recent blog for Psychology Today discusses the pity party phenomenon. Check it out.  Be sure to leave a comment.

Do you frequently host/attend pity parties?

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Product of the Week — Forever Lazy

Step aside, Snuggie fans. There’s a new product to hit the lounge wear scene — the Forever Lazy. It looks like a Snuggie, but it’s actually an ultra-soft fleece pantsuit.  We have to admit, the Forever Lazy does address some of the design flaws of the Snuggie.  For example, the pant legs offer protection from Snuggie stair accidents. Imperfect studies have shown that 7 out of 10 Snuggie wearers end up tripping down the stairs when they wear their Snuggies to the football stadium (though it could be because someone pushed them).  In addition, the tapered sleeves will help eliminate stove burner accidents.

Rumor has it that the Forever Lazy even comes equipped with a pocket for Bon-Bons. Thus far, the reviews have been stellar. Even the monk community has broken its silence on the new product. “It’s not fair! We had to stay quiet to get our robes. Snuggie people can just pick them up at the store. It’s about time someone did something about that.”

Of course, the best feature is that there are no embarrassing “Snuggie moons,” since the back is fully closed up.

Watch the Forever Lazy video now.

What do you think? Will you purchase a Forever Lazy?

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Hurricane Irene: A Test of Parental Survival

Start the presses! We’ve got a new bumper sticker idea — I May Have Survived Hurricane Irene. It wasn’t the high winds, torrential downpours, or menacing sky that made the task so challenging. It was actually the loss of power, or more specifically, our children dealing with the loss of power.

“Oh My God Mom!” I can’t take it!” shouted my sixteen year old, Katie, on the verge of a full blown panic attack.

“I know, Honey, the wind is pretty scary, isn’t it?”

“It’s not the wind. It’s my laptop. There’s no Internet access!”

“Yeah Mom, and I can’t AIM or text. I won’t have any friends left. I’m doomed,” said my youngest.

“What do we do?” they asked, panicked.

“Well, we can play games or better yet, we can talk.”

“Talk! How can we talk? We have no Internet!”

“Ah, girls, I meant to your father and me”

“Oh God!” sobbed Katie.

“Girls, I’m sure it’s just temporary,” I said, reassuring them the best I could. “We’ll probably have our power back in a few hours.”

“A few hours? I can’t wait that long! We may as well just move because I won’t have any friends left.”

I don’t know what they were thinking. It certainly wasn’t easy on me, either. I’m as connected as the next dysfunctional, Facebook addicted person. Though, fortunately I had another way to stay occupied — a method that was quite foreign to them.

“Reading Mom, really? I hope you don’t expect us to do that.”

It seemed like a good plan, until their constant interruptions made concentrating impossiblet. “Mom, is the power back yet? Isn’t it, huh?”

“Why don’t you girls go upstairs and visit your father?” I asked.

“We can’t. He’s sound asleep.”

After his fitful sleep (about 8 hours), my husband came downstairs all nice and apologetic.

“Thanks for letting me sleep, Gene. By the way, you look really pretty.”

“Mike just so you know, you may want to tell me that when the house is not in a blackout.”

Fortunately, we managed to get the kids to sleep with the promise of a new, power-full day on a Monday. That is until 7:30 a.m. this morning when I was awakened by that painful shriek from Katie upon realizing that things had not changed.



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Cats, Dogs, and Asperger’s Syndrome by Anonymous

We received this wonderful article from a parent of a daughter with Asperger’s. If you have something you’d like us to share, contact us at

Imagine for a moment a person who has grown up in a family where they only ever had pet dogs.  Their friends and neighbours had pet dogs – all different breeds, colours and temperaments, but still, fundamentally, dogs.  They all went to the dog park together every afternoon and always had a raucously good time.  They had never, ever, ever seen a cat.  Not once.

Then one day they stumble upon an adorable looking creature that is cute, furry, has a black wet nose, four paws and whiskers and for all intents and purposes, looks exactly like the type of friendly, willing to please dog they had known and loved all their lives.  Its tail is waving to and fro in what is perceived to be a welcoming gesture so they go over, ruffle up its soft fur and attempt to roll it over to scratch its belly, anticipating their affectionate gesture will be delightfully received.  Only it’s not a dog, it’s a cat, and their interaction is interpreted very differently.  Lets just say, fur will fly and it will fly furiously.

Welcome to the world of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.  A solitary cat, surviving in a room full of boisterous dogs.  Its every move being analysed, interpreted and modified based on the framework of rules, behavioural patterns and ingrained habits of the canine species.  And as a result, being disastrously misunderstood.

Dogs wag their tails as a sign of happiness and anticipation of social interaction.  Cats swish their tails as a warning to back off and give them much needed space.  Dogs always welcome affection in whatever way it is offered to them.  Cats will also offer heartfelt affection but it needs to on their terms, at a time that suits them.  Sometimes they just need to be left alone. Dogs depend on your approval for their emotional wellbeing.  Cats depend on certain things being in place in a routine that they can depend on, and will then reward your reliability with their unwavering friendship.

Dogs are inherently social.  They are pack animals with deeply entrenched hierarchical rules of canine society and as a result are desperately eager to please, and occasionally challenge, the pack leader.  As puppies, they will romp and play delightedly with their littermates until they fall into an exhausted, but happy heap on top of each other at the end of the day.  They rarely turn down an offer of affection and will warmly greet their family with furry hugs and sloppy kisses when they get home.

On the surface, cats may seem more aloof, but cat lovers around the world will be quick to tell you they are always keenly observing every detail and will reward those who take the time to understand them with warmth, affection, loyalty and love.  Dogs are less discriminating in whom they shower with their boundless love, and this is part of their universal appeal, but it is a trait that cats simply don’t understand  or tolerate.  Their love needs to be earned.

Dogs enthusiastically learn new tricks and are keen to show them off to gain further approval.  Cats have extraordinary agility and mysterious extra-sensory skills, but will only display them when the circumstances dictate they are necessary.  They need to be coaxed out and encouraged or will remain hidden forever.

Cats may not always look you in the eye, but they can see straight into your soul and will quietly commune with you while you process the problems of your world.   Dogs will sense your unhappiness but may not fully understand it, so will entice you to capture some of their perpetual joy by grabbing their lead and making you take them for a walk to cheer you up.  Their destination may be the same, but their journey could not be more different.

If you whistle for a cat to come to you, try to wrangle a leash onto its collar, drag it outside for a walk and hope it will thank you for letting it romp around the dog park then you are both doomed to crumple in a heap of confused despair. Simply said, cats are wired differently to dogs.  They are not better or worse. Just different.

So if you want to understand my child with Asperger’s Syndrome, try to think of her as a cat in a room full of dogs, and you will be a lot closer to coaxing out her unique gifts, helping her understand social behavior that she may otherwise find bewildering, and maybe in time her gorgeous, eager to please peers will gain a greater appreciation of the grace, beauty and uniqueness that bestows her, just like her feline doppelgänger.

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Book Sales in Heaven Soar

Our special kids now have an angel in Heaven, our beautiful mother, Viola.

For those who are unaware, this past weekend, we lost our beautiful mother due to complications from routine heart surgery. Though we fight against perfection, our mother was the perfect mother for us. She was always there to support us and her grandchildren, including Jennifer, Katie, and Emily, her special grandchildren. Our mother was especially proud of our work with the book, and would often accompany us, along with our father, to our various talks throughout the state of Massachusetts. She loved to meet special parents, hear their stories, and offer them an ear and a warm embrace. Since our mother was such a big force in our lives and the lives of so many others, we wanted to honor her by posting her eulogy (see below). The eulogy was given by Patty’s oldest child, Julianne, who delivered it beautifully. We encourage you to read it and to take the time to tell us about the special parent or parent figure in your life.  Thank you all for your continued  support. If you wish to honor our mother or to support us, please spread The Movement of Imperfection by sharing with the world the many gifts of special children. Thank you.

Gina and Patty

Eulogy for Viola Terrasi given by Julianne Konjoian, her oldest grandchild.

A vibrant flower. A finely tuned instrument. A radiant and proud woman. That’s the definition of the name Viola, rare and elegant like my beloved grandmother who held it. My grandmother never liked her name; she wanted a name that was easily recognized like those of her sisters, Angie, Anne, Mary, and Nanci.

But her name was not common, nor was my grandmother.

To anyone who knew Viola, it’s hard to imagine this day would ever come. For to think of my grandmother was to think of life. Her beautiful smile, her sparkling blue eyes, her warm embraces, even her perfectly coifed head. She had always been the portrait of beauty, life, good health, and youth, something she was quite proud of. For example, it wasn’t uncommon for her to act like a giddy school when asked to show her ID to get the coveted senior discount.

But her pride went far beyond her youth and appearance. There was nothing that made her prouder than her family. If she wasn’t talking about Bob’s musical ability, she was bragging about Gina and Patty’s book. In fact, she made selling books her life’s work. She once sold two books to a telemarketer who called to sell her windows. And could usually be found lurking in bookstores secretly placing her daughter’s book in the Oprah’s Top Picks section.

From the time they were little until the time of her death, my grandmother was a vital part of her children’s lives. She was the only mother who attended her son Bob’s Men’s League Hockey game.  And once got into a fight in the stands with an opposing husband at one of Gina’s adult basketball games. She was beaming with pride about Patty’s videography skills and was most impressed when Patty filmed a torn seam in her carpeting to file a complaint with the rug company. If you were a friend of one of her children, she not only made it a point to meet you, but to embrace you, get to know you, and make you feel special.

Her love for her children extended to me and her six other grandchildren. Nana always made us feel special, greeting us with a warm smile and open arms and then grabbing our cheeks to tell us how cute we were. Her love for us was never shown more than when she experienced the challenges of learning two of her grandchildren, Jennifer and Katie, had disabilities. She, who grew up at a time when disabilities were not discussed, became not only their advocates but advocates for all children with special needs. At Gina and Patty’s talks, she could be found embracing parents of special needs children to offer them comfort, support,  and love.

It’s not surprising given my  grandmother’s tremendous heart.

When her sisters, in laws, nieces and nephews, friends, and neighbors were in need. or were celebrating a life milestone, Vi was the first one to pick up the phone or to mail a card. This rare thoughtfulness was shown the week before her surgery when we discovered a birthday card for her son-in-law Mike made out a week before his birthday. She underlined the words that described her love for him.

Anyone who came in contact with her could see that my grandmother embodied the definition of extrovert; she was a natural connector, bringing together people with each other and with God and her beloved St. Theresa. She said the St. Theresa novena for friends and family members in need and constantly told us of seeing roses that proved her prayers were heard often telling us, “You’ll never believe this, I turned on the TV and there on the table of the soap opera was a beautiful rose.”

There was no one this natural born connector connected better with than her husband Tony of 53 years. Whether they were gracefully waltzing on the dance floor at a wedding, walking the fairways of Twin Springs golf course, or spending time watching a grandchild perform, they were always the perfect match even when it came to their clothes.

My grandfather always told his children that marriage was about giving 110%. That was my grandmother, always giving of herself to make her husband happy. If she wasn’t cooking him delicious and healthy meals, she was picking out his clothes, and reminding him to take his vitamins.  When she found out she was going to have her operation, she was more concerned for his health. “Please watch out for your father. Make sure he goes for his walks and eats healthy. Don’t let him fry everything.”

My grandmother was the first to tell you that she wasn’t strong. Yet, in the weeks and final moments leading up to her surgery, she was a tower of strength. Her beautiful humor shined through even as she was preparing to be taken in for her surgery.  When the nurse went to place a surgical cap over her head, she joked,  “Don’t mess the hair!”

Though my grandmother’s death was shocking and seemed unfair, please do not be sad for her. Upon the sudden death of Gina’s mother-in-law, she said. “If I go suddenly like that, do not cry for me. That’s how I want to go. I don’t want to be sick and grow feeble.”

So grandmother, we’re happy that you have your wish. It’s ironic that you who loved so much, ultimately died from a heart that was too full.

And though you were taken too soon in our eyes, you will forever remain beautiful and youthful in our minds. And you will be reunited with your mother and father and brother and sister who you so beautifully honored in life.  And  of course, you will find  roses for all who still need you on earth in the greatest garden of all – the garden of heaven.

I would like to end by borrowing from my younger cousins who used to always spell her name on the birthday cards they made for her and choose an adjective for each letter.

V – is for vibrant

I –  is for illuminating

O – is original

L  – is for loving

A – is for, where you can purchase her daughters’ book.

Rest in peace sweet grandmother, Viola. Your light in our lives — and in this world – will live on forever.

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Who’s Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? Not Kat Von D. Apparently.

Kat Von D, of LA Ink, at the 2007 Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival held in the Calgary Roundup Centre, 1410 Olympic Way SE Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

Looks like America’s scary biker girl next door, Kat Von D., has a bit of a problem. Apparently, while engaged to Jesse James, she got a permanent ink tattoo of James as a fifth grader. Now that the two have broken up, she’s stuck with it, making her not smarter than a fifth grader.

We guess this is nothing compared to the woman who tattooed the name of all  her Facebook friends on her body. Hopefully, no one unfriended her.

Do you have tattoos and if so what do you have?  We don’t have tattoos, though we did dabble in those Cracker Jack ones as kids.

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Why Buttering Up a Roommate Doesn’t Work

Butter and a butter knife

Image via Wikipedia

Growing up as sisters, we shared a childhood bedroom. With our vast age difference (Patty is old enough to be Gina’s mother), we really had little in common except that we couldn’t stand each other. We were constantly fighting and looking for ways to make the other look bad. Gina, for example, used to hang Patty’s bra out the window and yell “My sister wears a bra.”  Though we threw our share of insults at each other, we never did what the lady in the article below did to her roommate. And it’s not just because we used margerine in our home.

What about you? Did you attempt to butter up a sibling growing up?

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When I grow up, I want to be…

Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Title: Views of the extravehicular activity during STS 41-B

Image via Wikipedia

Sad news for Buzz Aldrin fans. It appears that the profession of astronaut is no longer on the Top 10 list of things kids want to be when they grow up. We, however, would love to be astronauts.

“Pat, is it true, you weigh nothing in space?”

“I think it is Gene. And you can space out anytime without anyone noticing.”

The list is as follows for kids ages 6-12.

1.    Doctor
2.    Vet
3.    Athlete
4.    Pop Singer
5.    Firefighter
6.    Police Officer
7.    Pilot
8.    Actor
9.    Spy
10.    Model/Dietitian

Our list would look something like this.

  1. Pharmacist – Needs no explanation
  2. Bartender – Ditto
  3. Imperfect Reality TV star – There are no lines to memorize.
  4. Psychiatrist – We could write our own scripts.
  5. Neuropsychologist – We’d save about $5000 bucks.
  6. Hypnotist – We could make our children do what they want to do.
  7. Clown – We could act goofy and get paid.
  8. Monk – We could live in silence.
  9. Letter Turner – Seems pretty hard to mess up.
  10. Circus performer — we love to get out of the house.

What would be on your list?

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A Gift Full of Hot Air

FORT COLLINS, CO -  DECEMBER 23:  Richard Heene and Mayumi Heene walk out of Courtroom 3A after their sentencing hearing at the Larimer County Justice Center December 23, 2009 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Richard Heene was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 100 hours of community service and 4 years probation for his part in the 'Balloon Boy' hoax. Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days in jail and four years probation for her actions.

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Over the years, we’ve been amazed at the items people have been able to sell on eBay. We thought the Dorito chip that looked like the Pope was the most impressive, until we came across this item. It appears that the fame-whoring father of “Balloon Boy,” the creator of that scheme to let the world think his son was launched in a balloon, is now selling the balloon.  That’s right for the cool sum of $1 million, you could own this piece of latex history. Anyone interested?

BTW — if this ploy works, look for the Shut Up Sisters to launch their kids in a balloon.

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Snooki Need to Looki Where She’s Going

Nicole &quot;Snooki&quot; Polizzi at an appearance at James Madison University

Image via Wikipedia

Bad news for Snooki fans. It appears that the Jersey Shore star got herself into a fender bender in Italy, where they are filming the show. (Can you say International Incident?).  Not only did she send two people to the hospital, but two policemen. The good news is that she wasn’t drunk or on drugs. We do, however, suspect that her hair bun may have obstructed the view in the Fiat she was driving.

What’s your theory on how it happened?

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Before You Accept That Dinner Invitation…

Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs

Clarice, why don’t you come over for dinner?

Image by scriptingnews via Flickr

The next time you get invited out to a dinner party, don’t be so quick to say yes. Instead, take your time and ask a few key questions, such as:

  • What should I bring?
  • What are you serving?
  • What should I wear?
  • Do you cook with peanut oil?
  • Are you a cannibal?

Our point is, you really should know your dinner host before you accept any invitation. Just ask the man in the the following blog (see link below) who was frightened to learn that he was not invited to be a guest, but rather, the main course. AWKWARD!

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Kindergarten Career Day Study — No Hoarders.

Kindergarteners with their turkeys

Image by JoshBerglund19 via Flickr

What a relief! With all the crappy stuff that our children are exposed to, we were surprised to read this article and to review this chart on the results of a kindergarten career day survey at a school. You know that day when students announce what they want to be when they grow up? (FYI, we’re still waiting to grow up.) As you’ll see from the link below (click on the pie chart), the career choices really haven’t changed much since we were kids — teacher, firefighter,policeman, etc. This is quite remarkable considering the professions our children are exposed to on television. Below is how we imagined the list.

  • OctoMom
  • Real Housewife
  • Girl Next Door
  • Professional Letter Turner
  • Terrorist
  • Hoarder
  • The Bachelor
  • Papparazzi
  • Super Nanny
  • Imperfect author/blogger

What do your children want to be when they grow up?

Reference: Kindergarten Career Day Dares Us To Hope For The Future [Kids Today] by

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Attention Doomsday Promoters! We Special Parents Have Enough to Worry About with School Calls. Keep the Bad News to Yourself.

Will Patty (pictured here in Minneapolis with Mary Tyler Moore) make it past May 21 afterall?

Last week, we were in Minnesota speaking for the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM) when we decided to spend  time exploring the cultural sights (OK pubs) of downtown Minneapolis. We were amazed at the treasure trove of things we found. “Look Gene! The Mary Tyler Moore statue! Take a picture of me with her!” Once we realized the Minnesota natives were simply friendly and not out to harm us (“Why is that man in the elevator smiling at us, Pat? Dear God, he’s going to kill us right here!”) we felt right a home. Of course, the outside tequila bar we discovered helped put us at ease, especially decision-challenged Patty who couldn’t decide what type of tequila to have in her margarita.

“Here are your three margarita samplers without the margarita mix, Ma’am.”

“You know Gene. I like this City. I could really get used to it.”

We were so comfortable in the city, that we decided to forgo the Mall of America and walk the streets of downtown Minneapolis. We were skipping along when we came across a woman standing on top of a park bench and shouting from a megaphone. “Beware! The End of the World is Coming!” Then she handed us a pamphlet that explained it would be happening in just a few weeks. We were shocked. “May 21st! That’s too soon! I just paid $300 to get my hair straightened,” protested Patty.

Gina was completely disgusted, as well. “Look I just got my daughter back to school after two years. No way am I letting the world end and kill the free time I’ve been dying for.” She then took the pamphlet and threw it in the trash.

“Don’t do that!” shouted the woman on top of the park bench from her megaphone. “We’ll recycle it.” Patty, who was near a tequila-induced coma then asked, “Well if the world is going to end, why do we even bother recycling?”

The woman was at a loss for words. Yes, our not-so-bright Patty had managed to do something that the good people of Minnesota were too polite to do — to shut the woman up.

Sorry if this seems harsh, but as imperfect parents, we just don’t want to to be bothered with all this Doomsday talk, which seems to be everywhere. We face Doomsday every time we see the name of our childrens’ schools on caller ID.

What do you think? Are you tired of listening to the stories of plagues, financial ruin, and devastation? We face devastation all the time. “What! The Pharmacy ran out of Klonopin! What will we do?”

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Read our Latest Blog for Psychology Today

If you’re a parent who feels like you’re on the perfection treadmill with your children, you need to get off, pick up some Bon Bons and read our latest blog for Psychology Today. Check it out.

Be sure to leave a comment so we know you were there.

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Sit Down and Eat Your Peanuts!

A321 Door 3R

Image via Wikipedia

After safely returning from a flight from the Twin Cities, we were intrigued by this article about the common practice of loony people attempting to open airplane doors during flights. Thankfully, we have never encountered anyone who has attempted do to this, nor would we ever consider doing it (we can barely figure out how to open the bathroom doors on planes). We suspect the “blabby” flight attendants might have something to do with this, as they are always quick to point out where all the doors can be found.

We actually don’t like sitting anywhere near airplane doors,especially since we found out they usually come with  added responsibilities. “Look, I don’t want the responsibility of sitting in this wing seat. I’m a Libra and indecisive,” said Patty on our last flight after learning she would be responsible for opening the doors in a crisis.

Personally, neither of us enjoying flying; we just like to get it over with. Patty especially. “Alright, close the door. Let’s get this human petri dish in the air so we can get home.”

What do you hate most about flying?

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Bribe Your Kids to Bed

Nanny McPhee - Helen Clarke - cropped

The person you don’t need is Nanny McPhee.

Just give the kids some cash.

Image via Wikipedia

There are many struggles involved with parenting. One of the most frustrating ones in our homes is getting our children to go to bed at a reasonable time.  It appears to be a global problem, too. But as the attached article points out, some British parents have the ideal solution – bribery. The blog below reports that “the British company Munch Bunch recently released a study of 3,000 British parents, showing that more than one in five moms and dads resort to bribing their kids to go to bed.” Some of the bribery tactics include:

  • Letting kids stay up later on the weekend.
  • Letting them watch a bit more TV. (Hmmm, Letterman perhaps?)
  • Offering brownies and other sweets (unless they have Sominex in them, this is not a wise decision).
  • Signing the deed of their homes over to their children (Ok, we joke, but you get the point).

Have you ever bribed a kid to bed? Come on, be honest.

  • 17 percent of parents say they promised a later weekend bedtime
  • 28 percent let the kids watch TV “a bit more”
  • 6 percent bribed the little tykes with brownies, cookies and other sweets
  • 17 percent of parents say they promised a later weekend bedtime
  • 28 percent let the kids watch TV “a bit more”
  • 6 percent bribed the little tykes with brownies, cookies and other sweets

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We’re Keeping Up with the Kardashians in One Way

Kim Kardashian, taken at the unveiling of her Madame Tussard's wax figure. (You can see the figure's elbow at the far right)

Image via Wikipedia

We’ll admit it. We don’t really have much in common with the Kardashian family anymore. It’s one of the reasons why we no longer try to “keep up” with them. That and the fact their TV show was making us not keep up with other things in our lives, such as housework and food shopping. Today, however, our news alerts turned up a photo/blog that made us realize that we do in fact, have something in common with Kim, the most famous of the Kardashians. Apparently, we wear the same label. Click on the link below to see what it is.

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You can do anything you want to do.

When Gina’s daughter Katie was young, she told her mother that she (Katie) could “do anything she wanted to do if she put her mind to it.” Pretty amazing for a child who struggled greatly with disabilities, including  Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, and dyscalcula.

The article below about Dannel Malloy, the current  Governor of Connecticut who has dyslexia, proves her point.

By the way, Katie’s never expressed interest in holding a position such as this, though I’m sure she would put her unique spin on things. “I’d like to declare a state of Fashion Emergency. I have nothing to wear to my ball.”

Do you know a special child who has exceeded expectations? Tell us about it.

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Gina and Joe Biden are in the Zone.

Vice President Joe Biden L'68

Image via Wikipedia

“Gina’s sleep program works. I’ve never felt better or been less stressed.

Now what’s this I hear about Libya?”

In her ongoing effort to be healthy and manage stress, Gina has devised a new health program. Remarkably, it’s the only program she’s managed to adhere to. It’s called The Sleep Zone. Whenever things get stressful at home or Gina has an urge to eat something unhealthy, she takes a brief cat nap. The beauty of her program is its portability. She’s taken it to the library while waiting for her daughter to be tutored. (“Ewww Mommy, you drooled on your book.”) She’s taken it on airplanes with Patty.( “Gene, you missed the snack cart twice.”) And pretty much anywhere in the house. (“Look Katie, Mom’s cleaning the oven while she sleeps.”) And boy has she seen results. She’s lost 3 pounds and cut her monthly budget in half since she began the program. “Look, sleep is a powerful and healthy coping mechanism. I’m not eating or spending money or nagging my kids,” said Gina. She particularly loves the weight loss benefits. “Anyone ever see Rip Van Winkle at Dairy Queen?”

Apparently, Gina’s program is catching on. During the recent Presidential address, Joe Biden was in The Sleep Zone. Who could blame him? Talking about the country’s growing deficit is very stressful. (see video below)

What do you think? Could you sleep your way to good health?

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Sisters Write Next Psychology Today Blog — Housework Takes a Back Seat (again!)

If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to read our next blog for Psychology Today. Please feel free to make a comment and to pass the link along to others. The more people who see it, the more opportunity we have to educate others on our special children. Plus, it makes our mother happy when people read what we write.

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Feeling Good in the Neighborhood

An infant

Image via Wikipedia

“Like Woah! That Applebee’s juice has me on my $#@!’

We guess Applebee’s wasn’t kidding when they came up with their slogan, “Feeling Good in the Neighborhood,” though some of us  foolishly thought they meant the older members of the neighborhood. Apparently not, as a young 15-month-old baby was mistakenly given alcohol in his juice. The baby’s blood alcohol level was .10, which is over the legal driving limit. “This is the Police. Please pull over your Big Wheel now.”

The mishap has also caused quite a stir in homes across America as babies everywhere are standing up, “Wah! Wah! Me want birthday at Applebee’s not Chuck E. Cheese.”

What would you do if this happened to your family? Thankfully the child is alright, although one more trip to Applebee’s and he could be in rehab by 2.

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Two of These “Experts” Are Not Like the Others

Exciting news for P and G fans (that’s you Mom and Dad)! Last week, we were pleased to unveil our new blog, Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, for Psychology Today. Yes, you read right. Psychology Today. Now some of you may be wondering what would an esteemed publication such as PT want to do with two imperfect mothers with M Ed., IMPs (masters degrees in Imperfection).

Actually, they wanted to get a unique perspective on raising children with disabilities. And while we may not be the brightest bulbs in the shed (see we can’t even get that cliche straight), we do have a unique perspective — the imperfect one. It seems many parenting advice experts are always telling you the right things to do. We, on the other hand, usually do the wrong thing. But somehow (perhaps through all the rosaries our religious mother says for us and our kids), we’re managing pretty well. Our special kids are making it in the world in their own way. Yes, they are challenged. Yes, they have days when they think we’re “the worst mothers in the world.”  But they are managing their challenges quite well and more importantly, they are offering hope and support for so many special parents and children who feel alone and misunderstood.

While we’d love everyone to love our blog, there are folks who don’t understand us or our kids (“These sisters are looking for attention. Who else would wear Snuggies  in public?” ). A few have even left comments to that effect. We view this as a great opportunity to educate them on the lives of special parents and children. At least they’re not ignoring our kids, which so many people seem to do out of fear or lack of knowledge.  Perhaps we can even bring a few over to our side — the imperfect side.

In any case, we hope you’ll take a look at the blog, post a comment, and share it with your friends, neighbors, family members, milkman, butcher, garbage man, etc. If we can help educate the world about our kids and break stigma, we’re all winners.

Here’s the link.

Reference: Caution! | Psychology Today

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The Real Housewives of Imperfection (TRHI) by Geener

P and G with Sandie and Judy, two of "The Imperfect Housewives of Illinois"

I’ll admit it; I got sucked in again. Not as bad as last time when I literally got sucked into purchasing a $1,000 vacuum. The saleswoman had me at the dust mite demonstration on my bedsheets.

“I don’t know where they came from. I swear I wash my sheets every holiday season.”

Last night, I was taken in by another season of the “Real Housewives” on Bravo TV, where I was virtually transplanted  into New York high society.

I’m not sure what it is about these shows, which have virtually taken me to Beverly Hills, Atlanta, New Jersey, Miami, Washington, and Orange County, CA,  that continues to lure me in. It’s not because these women are real, because lets face it, many of them have more plastic in them than the Mattel factory.  And it’s definitely not because they are actual housewives. I think to qualify for that, you actually have to be in the house or be able to identify a mop in a police lineup. (“Ewwww! What’s that shaggy thing? Clearly, it needs a hairstylist). In fact, the show would be better referred to as the The Mean Never Home Girls  of New York City (TMNHGNYC). For the most part, all these ladies do is host fancy parties, jet off to exotic locations, drink wine (OK, that part I like), and rip each other apart. Note: My husband likes that part.

“Ooh Gene look. It’s a catfight! Sa-weet!”

While watching last night’s premiere of the The Real Housewives of New York City, I started thinking that these housewives of fortune would probably find the lives of special needs mothers foreign to them. Imagine (if you would) a Real Housewives series about our lives and having them watch us. Here are a few ideas for shows and what they might say if watching them:

  • The Real Housewives of Autism. The fashion critics in them would love that one. “Don’t these ladies own any colors other than blue? Come on!”
  • The Real Housewives of Tourette’s Syndrome. “Did her kid just say what I think he said? What kind of bad nanny lets a kid say that.”
  • The Real Housewives of  Anxiety Disorder. “Wow! And they thought we were bed hoppers. You never know which kid’s bed that mother is going to end up in.”
  • The Real Housewives of Non-Verbal Learning Disability. “Did you see the part when her kid got invited to a kiddie ball and brought a ball?”
  • The Real Housewives of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. “I can’t believe she picked that boarding school for her kid. They don’t even have any horses.”
  • The Real Housewives of Mental Illness. “I thought 9-1-1 was for fashion emergencies?”

What do you think? Would you like to star in one of these shows? What other ideas do you have for shows? I think we’re on to something.

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Who Says Life Has to Be the Pits?

Bowl of Cherries (pits only)

Image by eddie.welker via Flickr

After all these years, they’ve finally discovered a cure. Of course, we’re not referring to a cure for cancer or other life threatening illnesses. We’re talking about a cure for something that has plagued women for centuries — ugly underarms. Maybe we’ve been deluding ourselves, but  neither of us has been that bothered by our underarms. Instead, we’ve focused on other more visible body parts — our thighs, chins, skin, arms, noses, ears, collars, necks, ankles, shins, heels, hips, eyelashes, wrists, nostrils, eyebrows, big toes, knees, ribs, waists, stomachs, hair, heads, yada, yada, yada. Gina is particularly disturbed by her large hands, something she inherited from our father’s side of the family. Even her basketball friends have noticed. “Hey ManHands, you just fouled me.”

What do you think about this underarm breakthrough? Will it take your life out of the pits?

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Sammie the Snake and Klonopin

Snake charmer with cobra, India

Image by UW Digital Collections via Flickr

We’ve heard this story in a few places, so we’re starting to believe it’s true. According to Weekly World News, a huge three-foot Cobra snake escaped from the Bronx Zoo and is now slithering around the streets of the Bronx. We can’t even look at the photo without reaching for Klonopin (then again, we can’t look at ourselves without doing that). Could you imagine finding a three-foot Cobra in your apartment or home? We wouldn’t know what to do especially since we never learned the flute, nor are we particularly charming.

Gina has been especially terrified of snakes throughout her life. “Pat, I just can’t stand them. Give me a good spider or scorpion any day of the week and I’m fine.”

As a young girl, she couldn’t even watch Sesame Street. “Mommy turn it off! Turn it off! He’s on again!

“Gina Frances calm down, that’s just Sammie the Snake. He’s confessed he’s harmless; he just looks like the letter S.”

Truth be told, she gets a panic attack whenever she sees one on TV or in the woods (where she sometimes finds herself chasing her golf ball).

What kinds of things make you panic?

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I Promise to Love You, Honor You, and Run Away with You

Wooden Wedding Bands made out of Black Ebony and Maple wood.

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t let Ward and June Cleaver fool you; marriage is tough. It’s especially tough on couples who have the added stress of raising children with disabilities. The truth is, men and women handle that stress very differently. In Gina’s home for example, she likes to get everything out on the table, while her husband chooses to bring another method to the table. “Mike, could you please take off that iPod? I was complaining about the kids.”  One of the best ways to deal with stress is to make time for each other. Years ago, Gina and Mike’s  closest friends (both of whom who have been married before) shared one of the keys for their marital success.

“Marriage is hard. You have to constantly work at it,” they said.

“How do you do that?” Gina and Mike asked.

“We set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. every day  and have coffee in bed and talk about work and the kids, etc..”

Gina and Mike were amazed.

“But that’s when Sports Center is on,” protested Mike.

“And I need my beauty sleep. Have you ever seen me in the morning?” protested Gina.

While this method may not be the best choice for Mike and his narcoleptic wife, they have instituted their own solution — date night. Often this involves taking off for a few hours during the weekend alone without the kids, dogs, and carpenter ants. Sometimes, they’ll meet friends for dinner or drinks and sometimes they aimlessly roam the aisles at B.J.’s and revisit their younger days. “What do you say Gene? We’ll buy this pallet of Double Bubble and hide it from the kids.”  They’ve also been known to sneak out for coffee in the evenings when the stress gets really bad. “Mike go tell them you’re getting the mail. I’ll be waiting around the corner to pick you up.”

The important thing is that it’s allowed Gina and Mike to reconnect and talk without the kids, to remember why they liked each other in the first place, and to ensure they maintain a united front with their kids. “Gene, they’re being really disrespectful. Let’s gang up on them.”

What do you think? Are you able to spend any time with your spouse/partner/significant other?  How has it helped you?

The link to the article below provides some helpful insights on ways

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Finally a doll we can relate to (sort of)

We have to admit, we’ve never been huge fans of Barbie. We’d be lying if we didn’t admit that we secretly cheer when Gina’s imperfect dog Candy gets a hold of one. (“Mommy, Candy chewed off all Barbie’s hair!”) It’s just that we find it so hard to relate to a beautiful, thin doll with no body hair and a neck the size of the space needle. The worst part is, she doesn’t even have scars that indicate that she had lipo, tummy tucks, or breast implants.  That’s why we were so pleased to discover a new doll from Mattel — Clawdeen Wolf.  Sure, we can’t relate to her petite figure or flowing hair, but we can relate to the fact that this doll is hairy and requires constant waxing and plucking. Now that’s reality, particularly for those of us of Italian descent.

Of course, parenting experts say the doll sets a bad example for young girls. Who said anything about young girls having one? We’re both buying one for ourselves.

What do you think?

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