Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Our Kids Have Caught the Travel Bug

TravelOur kids are becoming seasoned traveling pros! In the Spring we took them to the UK to visit the Anderson Clan and see a few sights.

 

 

 

 

 

Andersons 2We took them all the way from the Scottish Highlands to West Yorkshire, down to London before we left.

 

 

 

 

PlayThey had a great time visiting family, making new friends and seeing some of their Grandfather’s artworks.

 

 

 

Tallulah and BabyAnd Carebear finally got her own Pet Passport which should make international travel with a service dog much much easier from now on.

 

 

 

 

 

Boyracer PopfestThis summer the kids went with us to San Francisco so we could play in the San Francisco Popfest. This was a great trip as well. They both look forward to plane rides knowing that the planes take us to fun places with hotel rooms.

 

 

 

 

Lu on Shoulders

Stew had two new Boyracer Singles ready to take to Popfest and as usual for festivals he played in 4 different bands; Boyracer, Hard Left, The How, and Lunchbox. Luckily one of them was a day show so the kids got to see him doing his Keith Moon thing on the drums for The How.

 

 

 

SleepingThe kids had a great time, but rocked out so hard that they fell asleep before the show was over.

 

 

 

 

Since getting back home for the summer the kids keep asking every week or so to go on the airplane up in the air and go to a hotel room. They have caught the travel bug!

 

boxsetWe have sold out of the fantastic Box of Tricks 5/7″ box set, but individual copies of the records are still available as well as the 2 new Boyracer singles. Get the new releases here.

My Big 5 Year Old Girl!

A lot has been going on around the Turrell/Anderson house lately. We got the results back from Lu’s last endoscopy and while she did have a few eos (1 in one screen, 2 in another and 4 in another) our GI doc says that anything under 15 per screen is considered to be within normal limits so Lu has been cleared to continue eating eggs and move on to a new test food. We decided to go for one of the big guns: dairy. I was pretty excited to be able to give her back dairy for her birthday. Of course the doctor warned us that if she has a strong reaction it could ruin her birthday, so we eased into it by starting with chocolate pediasure (which includes a modified version of cow’s milk for the lactose intolerant). This used to be about half Lu’s daily diet back before her diagnosis, and if she is able to drink this by mouth again it could take us a long ways towards getting her off of the tube eventually. Was she happy to have her choc-milk back? Oh my goodness was she! And she seems to suddenly be a little bit more interested in eating other foods too. Here she is eating the miso soup with tofu that she used to eat a lot but hasn’t wanted in ages. She requested it while she was already doing a feed and ate quite a lot.


Here she is at her Birthday Party drinking chocolate pediasure while taking a break from the pool and the trampoline.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m so glad that it is finally warm enough for the kids to be able to go in the pool in the back yard. Both kids absolutely love it and would stay in there all day and all night if we would let them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the most exciting things about Lu’s 5th Birthday party is that for the very first time since before her regression and diagnosis she spent an entire party out with the gang and never once retreated to the bedroom to give herself a break. She greeted people as they came when we prompted and said good bye as each guest left, she seemed happy to have other kids in the pool with her, eating with her at her table and jumping on the trampoline with her. It was fantastic! I really hope that being 5 is going to usher in a new era of Lu’s heightened sociability.
 
 
 
 
When she got tired and needed to rest for a bit she just curled up in her little lounger and watched everyone for awhile. We didn’t even have to use a tv or iPad to convince her to stay in the same area as everyone else, which we usually have to do if we want her to sit down and hang out with a group of people. She just seemed so casual and so comfortable. I don’t think she got upset even once.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tallulah’s cousin Danica has always been one of her favorite people on the planet. Even through Lu’s most anti-social times she has almost always had at least one hug for Danica when they saw each other, and usually a lot more than that. On this day she couldn’t seem to get enough Danica time in.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For a moment I was a little sad that she didn’t want anything to do with any of the amazing allergen adjusted cake and ice cream that we were able to get from the bakery at our local health food store, but hey, you can’t have everything. And the truth was that she was too busy jumping and hanging out in the pool that she didn’t want to take a break even for cake and ice cream. Whatever. She had fun. And that’s all that counts. And right around 6:30pm the awesome day was rounded out by a solar eclipse. Awesome! 
We didn’t go crazy with gifts this year, mainly because in a few short weeks, on June 8th, Lu will be getting her Autism Service Dog. Thank you so much again to all of the wonderful people who donated and helped pass on the word about our fundraising project. We raised the money faster than we could ever have hoped and Lu and her dog will definitely be ready to go to school together in the fall. This is the best Birthday present we could ever have hoped for her and it’s all thanks to our wonderful family and friends. 
Stew and I have finally decided to join the 21st century by making a real honest to goodness mailing list through Mail Chimp instead of always trawling through our hotmail and yahoo contacts list trying to remember, was this someone who bought a cd once? Or someone we met at that autism conference? Most of you will probably be getting a first mailing from us very soon if we have your email address from dog donations or music and etsy mail orders. If you want to make sure that you are on the mailing list you can subscribe below and expect periodic updates on Boot Camp with the dog, any new music projects in the future, and whatever else we get up to. Don’t worry, we won’t be filling your inbox with emails every day or anything. We mainly just want to make sure that everyone who donated $25 or more gets the Thank You cd Stew made and that we can update you on progress. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting us and the kids.
 

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Getting Tallulah an Autism Service Dog

We are getting Tallulah an Autism Service Dog!!! The down payment has been paid and we have met the dog we hope will be hers. This gorgeous, huge, black German Shepherd is Booth. He is 10 months in these pictures and will weigh about 30 pounds more before he is fully grown. Az Goldens can’t guarantee we will get Booth until the placement has been made, it’s a matter of when he is ready in his training and when we finish fundraising. He is from a litter of 6, so hopefuly Lu could be matched with a sibling if we can’t get Booth. (But I really hope we get him!) It’s hard to express the sense of calm reassurance, security and strength that I felt when he was in our home working with Lu. Even Stew was won over in moments and finally admitted that maybe there is a dog who could make enough of a difference in Lu’s life to be worth the extraordinary price.

I want to explain a little more of the thinking behind this decision with the dog. I’ve debated for several days whether or not to open up about this. It is quite personal but I find that since Lu’s diagnosis the more I can be open and honest about my fears and feelings, the better we are able to connect with others, get the help for the girls that they need and find the support that has helped get us through this all. So here goes:

A lot of people who know me probably don’t know that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It’s not something I talk about much. It affected me greatly at the time, both the abuse itself and the psychological trauma of going through three years of trail to put my abuser in jail, but at this point it all just seems so far in the past. At least it did until I had children of my own. Two beautiful and extremely vulnerable little girls. As they approach the age when my own abuse began, (Lu turns 5 in May) I can feel the tremblings of an old anxiety stir within me. I was a typically developing child– not to say I don’t have a few autism-ish quirks of my own which Stew happily points out to me from time to time, but fully capable of speech both physically and cognitively. Yet for years I felt powerless to alter the terrible situation I was in. When my few feeble attempts to get help were misunderstood I descended into silence. Lu with her limited communication ability would not have even that smallest of choices- whether or not to attempt to get help if someone hurt her. According to current statistics (http://nctsn.org/nctsn_assets/pdfs/caring/ChildSexualAbuseFactSheet.pdf) sexual abuse now affects 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys. When developmental disabilities and communication delays are thrown into the mix that number doubles. (http://www.atvp.org/Material/Brochures/PDF_Brochures/SA_-_SA_in_the_Disabled_Community.pdf). Particularly for the non-verbal who are physically and cognitively incapable of understanding and explaining what happened and positively identifying their abusers. And even more so for disabled people who require assistance in the bathroom.

The chance of Tallulah being abused at some point in her life is so statistically high that I just can’t sit back and do nothing to try to mitigate it. At the moment I do my best to be with her or near her for as close to every minute of the day as I possibly can. We personally select and vet every person who works with her. When she goes to school she is accompanied by a one-on-one aide hand selected by me and trained by our BCBA so that she is always with someone we know and trust. But I know that I cannot always rely on my own physical presence to keep her safe. Most parents think that they are keeping their children safe. I know better than most the ways predators can insert themselves into children’s lives so that parents will not suspect. And I’m also terrified of the random stranger who could snatch her one day when she does finally manage to really and truly escape from me or another caregiver even just enough to get out of sight for a moment– something that would be so horrible and possibly fatal given all of her medical complexities.

This is one of the main reasons I want to buy her a Wonder Dog (here is a great NYTimes article on service dogs titled Wonder Dog: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/magazine/wonder-dog.html?_r=1&hp). I want a dog who’s attention is always on her, who can protect her and alert responsible adults whenever she might be in danger. I want a dog who will stick right by her side no matter what happens, through natural disasters or car crash or if something happened to me and I was rendered unconscious or even killed while we were out in public together. I want a dog who can be trained to a ‘safe list’ of people who are allowed to take Lu’s hand and lead her somewhere and who will let no one off of that list take her anywhere. I want this anchor, this measure of security, this creature who’s entire world completely revolves around Tallulah, to whom her wellbeing means everything. I want this for her safety and I want this for my sanity. Just the physical presence of this huge, lovely, potentially ferocious dog will tell any evil doers, this child is protected. Don’t even think about it.

There are a lot of other benefits that come with the service dog and I want all of those for her as well. But the safety aspect is what sold me.

Several people have questioned the very high cost of buying this dog and couldn’t we find one that is less expensive for her. I have looked around, but for this level of training the answer is no. The dogs from Arizona Goldens are all given the same basic training and then get individual specialized training depending on whether they will become seeing eye dogs, wheelchair assistance dogs or autism service dogs. They are all elite. The best of the best. Like the Navy Seals of trained dogs. Which is exactly what I want for Lu. This is why we have committed to spending $15,000 for a dog that will be with her for the next 10-12 years or so, and over $3,000 for the boot camp where they train us and the people who work with her how to become handlers for the dog. However our own personal finances are already so overstretched from 2 years of Autism and EE related medical and therapy costs that we really have no choice but to turn to family, friends and the kindness of strangers to help fundraise for this cause. If you are interested in helping us get an Autism Service Dog for Tallulah, please donate here:

HERE.

All donations over $25 will receive a thank you gift CD from us which will be ready in March (for the 555 fans among you it has a song from the 30(!) bands Stew has played in during the past 2 decades. A selection of his personal favorites and many unearthed exclusive and never-before-released songs!).
More info and track listing here: http://milkandalcoholrecords.com/stewart-retrospective-cd

All moneys from the sales of our music both physical and digital will also go towards the dog. This includes all 555, Red Square and Milk and Alcohol releases on iTunes and those located on our band camp sites:

http://boyracer.bandcamp.com/
http://555recs.bandcamp.com/
http://milkandalcohol.bandcamp.com/

For physical mailorder: http://indiepages.com/boyracer/mailorder.html

Last but not least, I have just reopened my etsy store at www.babyracer.etsy.com and am attempting to upcycle all of the coolest clothes my kids have grown out of to raise money for the dog as well. I have really missed being crafty during the last couple of years and now I’m getting crafty for a cause. And I’m trying to use up every bit of craft raw material I have in the house so I don’t have to buy anything new to make the inventory for the store. All upcycled items have been thoroughly laundered and I am only using the clothes that are still in great shape. Some of their nicer dresses have only been worn once or twice on a special occasion before they grew out of them so a lot are pretty much like new!

Please buy or donate what you can. Every dollar helps and we so appreciate the support.