Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm Doing Something Right!

Being a parent is hard, being a special parent is so much harder than I ever imagined.  There isn't a "how to" handbook, trust me I went looking...and even to this day, I stop in every cute little book store hoping to hit the jackpot.

During a time in my life, when I question EVERY parenting decision that I make, very rarely do I get validation that I am doing something right.....BUT last night I had the most heart warming experience and a cue that I am on the right path as a parent.

Every night before bed, we go through our night time ritual.  Since my two little ones share a room, some times things can get crazy...last night was one of those nights.  I tucked everyone in, read our story (a really cool mystery) and attempted to leave the room.  Experience shows that I must re-enter and leave about 10 more times before my day is done.....I NEVER get to just walk out and call it good.   Last night my 3yr old wanted water, then the night light reset (because it is on a timer) and then.....well you get my point. Every time he "needs" something else before he settles down to go to sleep, he doesn't realize he is confusing Maddy.  My Madster is always on a ticking clock though.  It is in her best interest, to stay on schedule and minimize the stimulation, because every time she gets off track she has a harder time regaining focus.  Boundaries are very important for her.

Back to last night....

I finally did my 9th "you better got to sleep".  The first few were because my little one had his nightly requests, but the last 6 were because Maddy wouldn't stop blowing raspberries.  She was blowing raspberries on her legs, arms, hands...anything that would create the loudest raspberries possible.  Meanwhile, my little guy started out saying "be quiet Maddy" and by trip 9 he was screaming "BBBEEEEEEE QQUUUIIIIIEEEEETTTTTT  MAAAAADDDDDDDDDDYYYYYY!"  Not a pleasant way to try to end the day.  So, after taking a deep breath and counting to 10, I grabbed my book and book light and headed into the room for what may be a LONG visit. My job at this point is to calm down the toddler, so that the overstimulation and reinforcing that was happening to my Maddy could be diverted to something calmer. 

As I crawl into his bed (much to his approval) I give him a hug and tell him that his job is to be a good role model.  He has to try to remain calm and try to ignore the raspberries.  At this point the sound is so irritating that it has the same feeling as nails on the chalk has reached a "hysteria" kinda level.  I give him another hug and speak in soft whispers about how big he is and how he is a wonderful little brother.  After about 10 minutes the volume level has softened and Maddy is now trying to listen to our conversation.

At this point Franky said "I Love Maddy" but he was so caught up in the emotion that he was feeling that he was almost stuttering trying to find the words.  "I.....I......Love, I Love....M, I Love Maddy Mom".   He then said "I Love her, I miss her when she is at school".  I was rubbing his back as he tried his best to express how much love he has for his sister.

In a family where it would be easy to be lost in the shadows, or feel resentment.....My little guy expressed his most overwhelming love for his life.

THIS is what my Mothering has done.....I have nurtured love, even within frustration. 

I feel blessed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good Day and Optimism

Yesterday was an amazing day, especially after the week(end) that we had.  It was refreshing to have my kiddos wake up smiling and ready for the day.  Maddy even woke up ready to go...and not her typical "pull the covers back over her head scream session" that we typically get.  Most of the time when it starts out nice, it ends with a bang....isn't there an old saying "in like a lamb out like a lion"? our house it is more like, in like a lion out like a roaring

ALL of my kids were happy all day long.  The laughter and smiles were so welcome, that I sat basking in the happiness, trying to soak up every ounce because I never know when the tides will change.

We had a track meet yesterday.  Usually, when planning for a sports outing I have to cover EVERY possible base, just in case things turn bad and I need back up plan A, B or C.  Yesterday I planned for the worst and it worked out for the best :).  Those are rare moments around here.  Someone must have answered my prayers.

I am happy about things today, and these good times give me the energy to see past the recent gray skies, at the ray of sunshine poking its head out.

Being a parent of a special needs child can seem like a long and winding road.  Today though, I am only looking at my feet, taking one step at a time.  It is so much more manageable that way.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Madness

It is Monday morning THANK GOODNESS!

I am coming off of a weekend of utter exhaustion.  Maddy literally did not want to do ANYTHING except play in our front yard on her bike.....that means EVERYTHING else was not wanted.  She didn't want to come inside to eat, go to the bathroom, wash her face, relax, go to bed....NOTHING else was acceptable.  When ever I tried to redirect her onto a task that was necessary she would scream and have a meltdown.  It was exhausting....because that meant either fight with her to do what I felt needed to get done, or give in for the sake of argument. 

She won.....I didn't have the strength to argue this weekend.

I even did my laundry in the garage.....I washed, folded and piled high the 25 loads of laundry (not really, but it felt like 25 loads :).  I am not at all embarrassed that I had to fold my underwear out in the open....

I am sure my neighbors love us.....between the screaming sessions and me flashing my skivvies....whats not to love?  I can honestly say that we add excitement and drama to our neighborhood.  All they need is a chair and some popcorn to be entertained.

The one time I had to bring my girl into the house so that I could go to the bathroom (because she must be supervised at all times...and what was I thinking stopping the playtime to go pee).....she had a huge meltdown in her room that consisted of making herself throw up, which she only does to prove to me that SHE is the boss.....(and my boss says no more potty breaks while on duty, should I report her to the labor board?) 

I know you are probably thinking that I should put my foot down and take control of my house, but the cold hard truth is that sometimes.....I must pick my battles and this weekend wasn't one of them. 

So, now it is Monday.  I will pick up the pieces and start the week with hope for a great week and gratitude that everyone woke up happy.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What challenge did I overcome this week?

So, here we are the beginning of Week 2 on my low glycemic/low carb healthy eating exercise.....and my coach, Kara, put out on Facebook "what was my biggest challenge this week?"  I haven't posted my answer there yet, but to be honest my biggest challenge this past week was, NOT QUITTING!  I have realized that I can eat much better during the week, Monday through Friday (Friday is questionable), but on Saturday and Sunday, I thought I was gonna die. 

On Saturday morning it started out with donuts for all of the kids, because we had a sleep over and it is a treat for them to have donuts....but for was excruciating!  I over came though....Then it was lunch time and my husband decided to take me to a movie, which as you are very aware, I am a special needs mom....and movie "dates" are few and far between, so he decided to treat the kids to Taco Bell, since we were leaving them for the afternoon.  I felt my drool run down my cheek, sitting in the drive thru....because I have been a Taco Bell fan since I was a kid, and there really isn't any other fast food joint that does it for me, quite the way that a "run for the border" does.  Then we were off to the movies.  The smell of freshly popped popcorn, soda machines, candy in the display case....JUST about knocked me off my rocker, but I prepared myself before I left.  I drank 20 oz of water so that I wasn't thirsty and brought my food with me....I survived, only by the good gracious of pure inner strength....then there was dinner....I was going to figure out a good meal to make, but since we got home from the movies a little late, everyone was ready for dinner.  So, out we go again, but this time I was more prepared.  I had already researched which places had food that was ok for me to eat...El Pollo Loco won.  I survived the day......

Sunday wasn't any easier.  We started out ok, I was proud that I survived the previous day and didn't come off my plan at all, but it went down from there.  We had to go grocery shopping and needed a bunch of bulk things, so we went to Sam's.  I love Sam's.  We navigated the isles great and made it through the check out line, but then our tradition has always been to stop at the snack counter and grab something to eat.  So that is what we did.  I of course stared up at the menu and salivated at the big pictures of the hot dog, pretzel, soda, icee, ice cream with fruit.......UGH.  Then a nice lady (obviously having no idea of the inner turmoil that I was currently in walked up to my children and offered them (and myself) a yogurt parfait sampler....ANOTHER one of my favorites.  I smiled and thanked her for her generosity and sat there feeding my 2yr old the wonderful smelling yogurt with fruit and granola..mmmmm.....I of course passed, but not before contemplating what in the world was I doing?  Why the heck am I torturing myself?  I am a healthy person, right?  I don't eat a bunch of candy.  I am active.  Everyone else in the world, eats what they want, why can't I?  UGH!  It ended up being a moment by moment struggle on Sunday.  I arrived home and gave my children their fruit for a snack...and contemplated calling my Coach and telling her, forget it!

But, then I thought about my commitment to myself for the next 28 days.  My commitment to my team, the Waist Management Team, my ultimate goal of living a more healthy lifestyle.....and I put one foot in front of the other and kept going.  It wasn't over until I actually quit and I hadn't quit yet.  Moment by moment, I survived the rest of the day. 

I managed to survive my weekend struggle and today has been easy again.  My note-to-self on this one was to plan next weekend better!  Two things to know are, we do not typically eat-out so much and I will not ALWAYS be eating THIS way.  I am only cutting out carbs and sugar for the near future and then I can eat what I want....but when I go back to eating what I want, I will be better educated on what my decisions will result in, and how to eat the bad things in moderation (if I decide to at all). 

SO, where am I today?  Well, today is the day that I check in and weight myself to see how things are going....AND......drum roll please, I am down 6 lbs. from last Monday!  I haven't taken my measurements yet, but unless I am being delusional, my clothes are fitting me a little less snug :)...In  the contest, I made 37 points, but dropped the ball in the exercise area.  So my goal this week is to kick it up a notch.  I am not supposed to exercise hard yet, but I can definitely walk more. 

Wish me luck.  "No one ever said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it"


Friday, January 10, 2014


Alright, I am 5 days into my new eating habits and I have realized a few things.  I LOVE my coffee, but I don't love the taste of coffee without a ton of sugar and cream....two things that I am not eating right now.  I have had to find alternative ways of drinking my coffee and I am not sure if I am liking the alternatives.  I don't drink much, don't smoke, don't do most bad habits....but I LOVE my morning coffee....and now I may give it up.  Not quite at that decision yet, but it may be in my near future. 

I also figured out that I really don't eat a lot of sugar (like candy), but I LOVE my starchy foods.  I made mashed potatoes and gravy the other day and I was actually starting to  Not a pretty sight.  AND, can you say HELLO HEADACHE!!  I had a headache so bad that I thought that my head might actually explode, even though I kept telling my inner self that it wouldn't...I guess I'm not very convincing. Today seems a lot better though.

I have never paid very close attention to what I eat, so watching every little thing is really hard. I have also noticed that by watching what I eat so closely, I can't stop thinking about food!  I even dream about it, is that normal?  I'm not hungry, in fact I am eating so much food that I am not hungry at all throughout the day.  I am on a strict schedule to eat every 2-3 hours. 

I am so excited to see where this goes, it is simple.  The Take Shape for Life plan is really easy...will actually work? We will see.....

Until next time.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

I'm special too!

So, in my time away from my blog, I have come to know one very important thing...I AM A SPECIAL PERSON TOO!  Most of my life, since having my special needs daughter, has revolved around her.  Every minute of every day, plays out in a very planned out and scripted way, that has been thought out and planned by me.  I need to think of every little thing, from who will be with us, how many potty locations there will be, how many potty breaks will be needed, what are the safety concerns (and in most cases that is EVERYTHING), how many escape routes are there....because I have a runner, is it a public location, will there be lots of walking, are there other children to worry about, planned "melt down" locations....ect...  There are actually so many things to think about, that most ordinary outings, become big events in our family. 

Most people don't actually GET what I am saying, and that is ok with me.  I have grown to accept my life as it is and I have grown to cherish how special our family is.  One thing that often goes over me.  I am so busy taking care of everyone around me that I put me on the back burner.....but NOT THIS YEAR!  For the last 5 years I have had a personal "goal" of running a marathon or half marathon before I am 40....and well, let's just say that this is my last year of opportunity....No, I am not telling you how old I am...LOL.  In the last 5 years, I have over come some family challenges, had a baby, gone back to work full time for a company other than myself, been through behavioral classes, behavioral studies, therapies, PTA President....and well the list could actually go on and on, but I am sure you get my point.  NOW, I am taking back MY life and doing something for me. 

Tomorrow starts phase 1 of a 2-3 phase plan that I have.  First phase is to start eating healthy, because without eating healthy, the rest of my goals will not be obtainable.  I have a friend of my that has taken back her life from Cancer, and I have been following her story for many years now...pre-cancer, newly diagnosed Cancer patient, Chemotherapy, to CANCER SURVIVOR!  About a year ago I started following her success for eating healthy.  I was impressed with how much weight that she had lost by simply eating right.  Another friend of mine recently did a "Tough Mudder" race and about a month before she ran the race I told her how great she looked and she simply said that she changed the way she ate.....SO, I have decided to do it for myself....change the way I eat.  To be honest, it is probably the scariest thing that I have ever decided to do!  I am a meat and potatoes kinda girl....with a BIG tall frozen mug of WHOLE MILK...mmmmmmm.....makes my mouth water just saying it.....BUT it is time for me to give these things up, with the goal of living longer in mind.  I decided a couple of weeks ago to do a 28 day fat burn, which will lead to forming healthy habits.  It comes in the form of a challenge....and if you know anything about me, it is that I LOVE a good challenge.  I signed up, joined a team and will have a coach to help me through it.  YEP, you guessed it, my friend the Mighty Warrior, Kara, is helping me along the way.  I am following the same healthy eating habits that she started, when she needed to lose all of the Chemo weight that she put on.  What better person to guide me right?  My challenge starts tomorrow, January 6th.  I am excited and nervous and ultimately scared, because I know how hard it is going to be for me to give up all of the unhealthy things, that have become part of my everyday life.  I know I can do it though.  Part of the challenge requires me to journal the progress over the entire 28 days.  The good news, is that I will be posting my journey here.  I kinda figured that since I am as special as the rest of my family, I can use this blog as my scribe and share my journey.

So I mentioned above that I have a 2-3 phase plan....the other two phases are fitness related.  Phase 2 is for me to become more fit.  Since having my children, I haven't had much time for fitness.  This is my time.  Phase 3 is running.  I plan on running this year.  I am going to start with a 5K, then I will move up to a 10K and by the end of the year my ultimate goal is to run a Half-Marathon.  Writing about my journey here, will help me stay committed.  I have never done anything like this before, so this should be an exciting adventure.  This is MY year of health. 

Here is where I am starting.....feeling a little vulnerable...January 6, 2014, 151 lbs.

Here's to a healthy year!

Right where I should be

Well, here it is - proof that the life of a mother of three is overwhelming, time consuming, ever changing....and quite simply....fantastic! Although I haven't had a bubble bath in what feels like ages, and look at pictures of friends drinking wine in beautifully elegant places, RIGHT AFTER changing diapers....I believe I am right where I am supposed to be. Being a mommy to my beautiful babies.  

I can't help but smile at the crazy shanagins that go on in our house EVERYDAY.  Like today for instance, my 2 yr old decided that he didn't want to wear his PJ's any longer and got himself dressed. He went into his room, pulled his clothes from yesterday out of the hamper (The Incredible Hulk is a big deal around here), and put them on. His pants were on backwards, but he was so very delighted with himself that he came to me with his big beautiful Cheshire grin clapping and I couldn't help but applaud with him.  Or when my little Mad-Mad, who loves the show Rediculousness, saw a funny scooter crash and asked us to replay it 10 times...laughing like she was watching it for the first time each time.  Or when my tween got mad at me for not inviting her to go with me to see The Circque Du Soleil show tomorrow...which I would have but I didn't think she would feel like hanging with a bunch of "old" people all  She really was mad at me, I'm honored.

I love my little people and although I am living in the trenches, I wouldn't change a thing....