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Tired Mornings

You don’t know this yet, but I went back to work part time. I started Monday, and have worked the last three nights. I also have class tonight and I need to find some time to study for it.


I am tired. Not because anything is particularly difficult, just from a lack of sleep and relaxation.  I am literally meeting S at the door when he gets home from work so that I can walk out the door to go to work, and the same will be happening tonight for class. He and I will get to catch up on Saturday, sometime.


Tired mornings need coffee

I know I have mentioned to you a few times about getting up before my kids, and seriously, I need that. I am not an early bird. I am a total night owl. I have found that I am nicer, more relaxed, and better equipped to handle my kids when I get an hour without them in the morning.


Each morning that S and I have woken up early, our kids have too.  Actually, I think they are racing us, to see who can get up first. It is making me a crazy person.


I understand from their perspective that they are awake, and they have no concept of time, so they are ready to go. To them it is time to be awake and start the day. The problem is that previously we could put them back to bed and they would go back to sleep. Now, once they discover mommy and daddy are no longer in bed, their is no going back to sleep for them.


There have been two particularly fun mornings that have come from all of this.


One morning while mommy and daddy were downstairs getting ready to face the day, they worked together to empty all the contents of K1’s dresser, in addition to the shelves full of books, animals, and blankets.


A second morning mommy and daddy were still in bed trying to sleep. K1 decided to take down the gate so that she and her brother could go downstairs. Once there, they played a little Uno, and used pieces of gum to bet. I’m joking on the betting part. They did get my purse off of the counter and remove every piece of gum from both the pack, and it’s wrapper. After they realized that gum is not actually fun, they tried to smush them back into the gum package. At least they cleaned up, right?


I am at a loss right now. I need sleep, AND time to collect myself in the morning.


How do you keep your kids in bed until it’s “time” to get up?

Autism Awarness

Today’s post was written by another mama, the author of . She has been so kind as to offer a peek into her family’s beginning travels with Autism. I hope that some of you may find this either helpful or informative.

April is Autism Awareness Month April is Autism Awareness Month. In our home, Autism Awareness happens every day. So for the last day of April I share with you this tiny peek into how that initial discovery worked out for us. What we are doing now. How those efforts are panning out, and what we are still working on.

Shine a light on Autism.

An Autism Diagnosis is either a confirmation of a suspicion, or it’s an exposure of a truth most parents saw, but were characterizing as other behavioral needs.

After diagnosis there is a sense of loss and grief. The idea that your child is just going through a rough patch and will overcome this in a matter of months is over. What caused this? Is there a genetic component? Is it environmental? Is it diet? Is there anything more I can do to make this better? The questions build from there. The reach to understand what caused this thing is all consuming.

No one goes into parenthood planning for their child to struggle. No parent signs up for the laundry list of worry. Will he grow up and be an independent adult who goes to college, has a career that makes him happy, and will pay his bills? Will he have the social skills to find a loving spouse and someday make beautiful children that he can nurture? By then will he have gained the know-how to keep it all together? The dreams you automatically assume for your child at birth are replaced with questions.

Then there is the question of how to move forward. Here is what we did: We suspected from early on that something wasn’t quite right. Our son screamed a lot, wouldn’t sleep, was verbally behind and socially outmatched by his peers. For a while we wondered if he had a hearing problem and got him tested. The older he got, the further he fell socially behind his friends, even the ones much younger than him. In addition, we experienced delays in speech, social quirks such as lack of eye contact or inability to intuit others emotions. Compulsive things like shutting all doors, lining things up, and toys that only work ‘just so’. He experiences other manifestations like hand flapping, rocking, spinning, and head butting. In addition, we observed a limited diet stemming from an inability to tolerate sensation of certain foods. He quite often becomes overwhelmed by self care tasks such as dressing, potty, washing body, hands, and or face, and brushing teeth. He would cry from tummy aches and have digestive difficulties and even accidents. We also help him cope with emotional outbursts of aggression and an inability to self regulate. If everyone else is play fighting like a ninja, he is really fighting and hitting like a ninja. If kids are running and screaming, then stop; he has a hard time turning it off, and will often just continue screaming until we help him stop.

It was beyond obvious that something was seriously wrong when we began to tailor our life around what we felt our boy could tolerate. We believed our doctors suggestion to not worry until he was three years old. We ignored that inner nagging truth that something wasn’t quite right. We had allowed ourselves to be assuaged by the kind words of friends and family for too long. No one observes your child and tells you, ‘Girl, you need to get your boy some serious help.’ Instead we got plenty of, ‘My son does that too.’ or ‘It’s hard being three.’ Kind words from good, gentle people. It became clear once we realized our family had been avoiding functions and outings. We even prepared for ‘quick exits’ when we did venture out. We stopped eating at restaurants. The pattern we had begun to live was not normal or sustaining. We took our son to the doctor again.

We were assured that all boys are slow to talk; he will speak when he has something to say. You should spank him as we have not provided good enough discipline. We’ve spoiled and over indulged him. You are comparing him to older siblings- it is not helpful to compare children. In the end, it was suggested thatourson mayhaveOppositionalDefiantDisorder.

At that point we asked for a referral to the local children’s hospital to have him tested. We did not believe that he was oppositional defiant, but something else was going on. The waiting list was eight plus months for an appointment, and a year before he would get a full exam. That was too long a wait for us as we felt we had already spent so much time going in the wrong direction. We took our son to the local special needs branch of our school system which does a comprehensive screening of social, speech, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills, and hearing tests. Our boy was classified as Autism Spectrum and we were offered resources. However, we were also in the middle of a move to another state and could not accept services or the IEP that was offered. Knowing what I know now, and looking back on that decision, I should have gotten the IEP before leaving the state.

We told family and friends about our sons diagnosis as we needed to be surrounded in support and understanding. It immediately made a difference in how he was treated by some family members, who until then, were working under the assumption that our son was an oversensitive hand full who refused to sit still. Our son has been treated with care and compassion from that time on.

From there I began to read. I stayed up late every night staring at my computer, taking notes, comparing research, diet, varying cultures approach, opening my mind and widening my heart to Autism. I learned from those that went before me, and actively applied knowledge I felt confident I could fully implement correctly to achieve the desired results.

The main change we made was to switch to what is known as the ‘Autism Diet’. It is best described as Gluten Free, Casein Free. Gluten is the protein composite in foods processed from wheat. It gives breads rise and texture. Gluten is also found in soaps, lotions, and as filler in foods such as lunch meat. Casein is the protein in mammal milk. It is a main ingredient in cheese and is a food additive.

Each family begins this diet differently. I only wanted to eliminate those things that were a deficit to our son. I began with removing the Dairy and Casein. Basically because I knew the code words for it and felt I could do that successfully. We quickly saw improvement; less spinning and screaming. One Saturday morning my husband and I were sitting in our kitchen enjoying each other over coffee. He looked over at me and asked, “Do you hear that?” I look around; trying to catch what he was referring to. “No, what are you talking about?” He nods his head towards our son quietly playing. “It’s quiet. He’s not screaming.” We knew from that moment on that we were never going back to dairy. Hope grew that day.

Emboldened by our successful results, we removed Gluten. Our son began to sleep better and we started to get more words versus grunting, pointing and melt down. Over time he started to have more speech that we could easily understand. We could now brush his teeth and wash his face. He became potty trained during the day. He began to eat foods he never tried before. He could ask for what he wanted. He began to sing and hum on his own. One evening he crawled in bed for cuddles. He noticed the sparkles on our bedroom ceiling and began to sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in his sweet little voice. I know I had sung that song to him a hundred times; not really knowing if he was taking it all in. And here he was singing it to me. I gazed over at this wonderful boy in my arms memorizing his features as he formed the words, eyes dancing over the sparkles up above us. I could feel my heart fill with love, joy and gratefulness. In the middle of my mommy moment he looked over to me and said, “C’mon Mama, sing!” And so we did.

He still had horrid rashes. Red, raised dry patches that would bother him, they were weepy and would smell as he would not tolerate medical tape to apply a covering. He would itch all over and cry. So after reading, we cut out soy as well. His rashes are better and he only gets them when he inadvertently eats something he shouldn’t.

Our new doctor suggested we avoid food dye for our lil’ guy as she had read a study showing benefit. We eagerly followed through, welcome to have a doctor validating, versus telling us we were nuts for trying. Our doctor also fully agrees with our use of the Autism Diet and has commented on the improvements in our son over time with her exams during his well care visits.

In total we are Gluten Free, Dairy/Casein Free, Soy Free, and Food Dye Free- particularly red dye.

I have always been that mom who is nutritionally aware and made most of the snacks my children ate. Baking Gluten Free is quite similar to what I was doing before. Just differentingredientsheaded towardsthesamedelicious end goal. I bake our bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, pizza dough and every other yummy thing any kid would love to eat. I make his cheese and am a militant label reader.

Our pantry went through a much needed overhaul. Convenience items such as Goldfish crackers, wheat thins, and most every store bought cookie, pretzel or pastry had to go. It also meant giving up pre packaged foods in general. Standard macaroni and cheese, pre packaged soups, sauces, and pasta all found a scrumptious yet safe replacement. We now enjoy beautiful, delicious food made of unprocessed, basic ingredients without those between meal crackers or crisps.

We still have more work to do. Now I am restarting the process of getting our son evaluated in our new state to get an IEP in place so he can get the various therapies on board. I am still working on his sense of danger, i.e. He has none, so darting into the street is a common thing we are trying to help him with. We are helping him with transition away from his routine. He is learning patience, calming techniques, quiet voice, social skills, (most of our time is spent on social skills) and more.

But we have gained so much. Because of the Autism Diet he has gone from a frustrated, confused, screaming little person to a boy who can communicate, count, sing, draw a picture, and be happy. He has come so far and will continue to improve.

There is no quick fix or stepping in to save the day. It is the every day, all day, work, patience, diet, guidance and energy put out by dedicated parents that gets the job done. The effort and satisfaction in implementing the Autism Diet feels like a rescue mission for my child’s future. No surrender and no giving up until he can be successful on his own.

Thank you so much Christy for sharing I really got something knew from your story. If you found this story intriguing you can also follow along her facebook fan page This was a guest post from Christy who is the author owner of, loving wife, and mother.

This Is My Super Sad Face

Remember this beautiful piece of perfection?

I had it sized and got it back January 10. The past few days I have been discussing with S having it resized. It’s a little big. I was trying to wait it out because it’s cold and dry right now. I thought when it got warm it wouldn’t be an issue.

Well, this happened while putting blankets away tonight;


Insert sad face here.

Time to Re-evaluate My Goals

Already. I know.

With a dog attack 8 days into the month, one of those goals I set need to change. Already. I feel like it is so soon to be adjusting goals for the year. I guess it is better to adjust what needs changing now, then look back in May, and say something like “well I was never gonna do that anyway”.

Heading out for a family bike ride. 

I have not yet gotten pepper spray, or mace. Yes I need to. I do not want to go jogging alone without it. I really don’t want to go jogging alone early in the morning anyway. My dog was a great excuse to get me going. She is still on bed rest, and will likely be benched for some time.

That leaves my fitness goal in limbo. I still need to do something to ensure I can get myself in better shape, even if the kids are sick.

At home fitness videos and home work out plans are not the answer. I mean they work and they are great. They are just not for me. I will only do them like once or twice. Maybe even a week, but that’s it. I’m not sure if I loose interest, or drive. Either way they collect dust on a shelf, so not worth it for me.

That doesn’t really leave me a whole lot of options that I can think of.

I came up with a crazy idea a little over a week ago. I mean it was crazy enough that I didn’t even tell S about it. He has a way of making things happen, and I wasn’t sure I REALLY wanted to do this, or not.
I thought that we could require one of our weekly grocery store trips be by bike. Or walk I suppose. The bike trailer has more room for groceries than the stroller does. Then, I could go if the kids are sick without an issue, and I would get at least one day of cardio a week. I would also use a little less of gas. Every little bit helps right?

After yesterdays family bike ride, I feel like that is not an impossible goal that I will give up on tomorrow.Yesterday after we got home, I told S about it. He is on board. I decided I would let you all know  about it and make it official, and stuff.

I know that this alone will not get me in shape, but it is a plan, and a start. Which is better than no plan at all.

What are some ways you stay in shape when your kids are sick? What do you do to make time for your fitness each week?

(Super side note, but every time I hear the word fitness that Fergie song pop’s in my head. Weird. Oh, and 2006 wants their song back.)


Once upon a time I was a member of The Greater Holyoke YMCA. I took swim lessons there. Seriously though who didn’t? At least in my age group. That was the place to go. I also competed on their gymnastics team for nine wonderful years. Seriously. I was my own worst enemy at the time. Nothing was good enough. I felt I executed nothing perfectly. Little did I know that I would still look back at how much I truly loved gymnastics.

This being said, you would have thought that when it came time to take my DD for gymnastics this is where I would have gone first. Nope. Not so much. Wrong. I went to some other random gym nearby. They did not have a real mommy and me program. We saved our money and did not go.

For some reason when I decided it was time for swim lessons for her, the Y was the first place I looked. Weird, right? Somehow my almost 30 year old mind knew the place that I went to, for only 2-3 sessions of swim lessons was the first place to go to for my own daughter. Why not the gymnastics too? Who knows.

Anyway the whole reason that I decided to write this post is that we went and got a family membership today. It was only because of the Open Doors program that the East County YMCA offers. It is like financial aid for families who make less than $50,000 a year. I wish we knew about this two years ago, when we went into another one of the East County YMCA’s. We would have signed up then. No matter we did now. I really am so excited, if you can’t tell by the fact that I am blogging about it.

I can go to the gym again?

I can go to the gym again!

My babies go too. DD get’s to play. They hold DS. It is like they are at a play date, without me. Where do you think I will be when I need a break? Yup. What? I’ll see you there? Perfect. Lol …

Anyway they have a Healthy Family something event going on at what seems like all their locations. I have seen that some still have the event going on tomorrow. Check it out!

I just wanna say that the sign that made me decide to write this post was reading this Insta Friday blog post. So maybe someone else out there needs to know about this possibility near them.

FYI it goes without saying, but, this is not a sponsored post. They made the use of their facilities a reality to me and decided to share.

Sending Cheer

Have you ever stopped to think about what comes in your mail box? Like how wonderful it is to get something other than junk mail or a bill?

I really hadn’t until about 3 years ago when one of my great friends was deployed. I was also home having knee surgery. It was scary for lots of reasons. My first surgery, first stitches, first time under anesthesia, so yes, scary. While I was recovering I got a letter from Afghanistan that said nothing more than “I though it would be nice to get something other than a bill in the mail.” Even though we could email daily putting a stamp on something takes a little extra effort. He was right, it was nice.

I think of that letter every now and then and try to do the same. 

I also enjoy passing on my items I’ll no longer be using. Every now and then I mail books to friends, things like that. Well last week was a week of sending cheer.

We sent some construction paper with scribble to the desert, some video games that weren’t worth trading in, a knitted item, a thank you, and a handmade card for a friend going thru some stuff.
It seems simple, however sometimes we get caught up in what will be in the package and never send it. What am I going to do with all the art work my babies will create? Exactly, save some toss the rest. Why not share? It might make someone smile for a minute and then they can toss it if they so choose. No big deal, just a stamp.

Would you smile if someone sent you something simple? Do you do this already? Who, when, or what makes you send random cheer?

Sickness and a stroller

Yes, that’s right. Sickness is making it’s way through the house.

I started it. Running in the mildly cold weather. Now everyone except the baby is congested. So how to you have a humidifier in two rooms at the same time again? Oh yeah … you don’t.

This also means we did not climb a mountain on Sunday. Don’t worry mountain I am coming back for you. I know you defeated me and the wee one, once, but not twice. I mean really, I have never not climbed to the top before. Once I make it to the top I will start scheduling hiking meet ups again. Cause I mean how can I go and be the cause of everyone not making it?

Did anyone ever tell you that selecting a double stroller is way more complicated than selecting a regular one the first time? You would have though the task would be easier. You have experience and know what to expect. Yeah well you also know what you do and don’t want. You also want every thing in one stroller purchase. You know, remember buying one, or four strollers the first time? Yeah you don’t want to repeat that, so basically you want what doesn’t exist. Maybe it does and you can’t afford it. All of this means bigger headache.

Oh well, I am off to deliver tissues to daddy. Next year he is getting the flu shot.

What was important to you in selecting a stroller? Price? Size? Color? Functionality?

Image: Public Health Image Library via 

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