Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where is Your Hand?!?! Our Trip to the Dentist....

I have to tell you.....being an Autism mom is never dull. Some days I feel like a clown in the circus, juggling an armload of balls. Or, one of those plate spinners....

Finding balance for my son can be a challenge. A change of scenery usually does me a world of good, but it can reduce Eli to a stimmy, sensory over-loaded mess. A real hot mess. He needs routine and order in his life. When change comes, he needs to be prepared. (I often forget this!)

Most children with Autism also struggle with a lack of 'theory of mind' or mind-blindness. They only see things from their own perspective and cannot make the connection between another person's intentions and the effect their own actions have on others. It's confusing to me, so it has to be confusing for my little one!

All of this (and more) contributes to the sweet little hot mess who is my youngest son. He runs and spins, sings, hums, and grunts (vocal stimming), and shakes things in front of his eyes (visual stimming). Thankfully, we've learned several sensory therapy tricks that help restore his calm.


So, this week we had a little change of scenery, that neither of us were prepared for, that ended quite humorously. The little one and I took big sister to the dentist. Unfortunately, we had to wait. We waited (and waited) in a tiny, crowded waiting room. I must say, he did better than I expected. He had his ever-present 'boys'-an action figure for each hand-another sensory type issue. This time it was the hamster characters from the movie, G-Force. (I think they are hamsters. We just call them his rats. lol!)

Eventually, though, he sat the rats down in one of the empty chairs and I knew it was time for redirection. We went for a walk. I picked up the rats, crammed them into my bag, and off we went. We window shopped for about fifteen minutes.

When we returned to the waiting room, it had cleared out and one new family was there. It was a grandfather and his two grandchildren. I know this because the little boy was quite...uhhh...active, if you know what I mean. Active, as in, being a typical boy. The grandfather called him out several times. I took Eli in and sat him down in one of the empty chairs. He sat nicely. The boy was not a distraction. The walk did the trick!

Since he was sitting so nicely, I took the opportunity to approach the desk to make appointments for one of my other children. Eli followed, of course, and I began to try to do two things at once. Knowing that my attention was diverted, he began to explore. Then the stimming began. He began to do quite a bit of vocal stimming, which quickly turned into his frustrated sound.

Think very loud locust mixed with a whiny grunt. (!!)

The receptionist handed me the appointment card, and I turned around to find Eli, on his knees beside the grandfather's chair.....with his entire right arm and hand rooting around underneath the grandfather's behind!

I'm not sure who was more surprised-or mortified. Judging by the grandfather's expression, I might make a guess that he was.

This is where the lack of 'theory of mind' comes into play. This is exactly where that whole 'theory of mind' would come in handy!

Eli remembered leaving his rats in that chair, but failed to remember me picking them up and putting them in my bag, even though he pushed and shoved and zipped it himself. He was confident that Grandpa was sitting on his 'boys'! And was quite determined to dig around until he found them, I might add.....

After a bit of groveling and explaining on my part, I think the grandfather was okay. I think.

Big sister came out shortly after that and we were able to walk away from the grandfather with our heads held high.

I guarantee he had one heck of a story to tell at the dinner table last night!

And so did I!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friend or Foe???

Friend, definitely.

Okay, this is officially crazy on so many levels, but I've decided to share it anyway.

Many of you know that I am a huge Biggest Loser fan. I am so excited to see the finale tonight! This has been the best season due to the general compassion displayed by most every member of the group. I can't say that it matters to me who actually wins-they are all worthy.

(Except Melissa. I'll say no more about that....)

Many of you know that I recently began my own weight loss journey with the Perfect 10 Diet. I just completed week 4 with another weigh-in with 0 loss. 4 weeks and 8 pounds down. Many more to go....


I really can't complain-I've not given myself over to it completely. Until I do that, I can't expect to see results. I am doing better this week, so that makes me happy.

Anyway, on to the craziness.

I rarely dream. Or, I should say, I rarely remember dreaming. Occasionally, I wake up trying to remember what that dream was, but usually.....nothing. Just black, dreamless nights.

A couple of nights ago, however, I had a dream that I remembered in great detail. When I shared it with my son, he laughed out loud. Hard. When I shared it with my daughter, she exclaimed that it was the craziest thing she'd ever heard.

I was at a huge bar-b-que/cookout. It was quite fancy. People were everywhere.

By the way, this was the part my daughter said was crazy. Her exact words were, "Mom. That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. You would NEVER be at a cookout with a lot of people."

SIGH. (She's right.)

Anyway. I was at this cookout and the cook/chef/whoever he was, was handing me a big, juicy brat on a bun. Hot off the grill. And the bun was some sort of flat bread that had been grilled with butter and honey.

I know!

It's obvious here that my dieting is getting to me....

I take the brat sandwich from the chef as he dribbles it with globs of honey mustard. I take a bite. Yum. I chew and swallow and go in for a second bite. Suddenly, I feel a hand on my shoulder and someone says, "GIRL. You can NOT eat that! Put that down! There are so many other things you CAN eat. I am NOT going to let you do this!"


It was Ashley from The Biggest Loser. Not the Ashley in this photo, but the new, skinny Ashley. She was giving me the pep talk of a life time!

I know.

I think it's time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's My Story......

And I'm sticking to it!

I'm late with my Perfect 10 Diet update this week!

On the scale, I stayed the same.

Better than gaining...

But I wanted to lose!

The truth is, the 3 week induction plan, or Phase 1, is tough. No sugar, no caffeine, no snacks, no processed foods....

I was doing well and then....my lady hormones kicked in, if you know what I mean. Of course, I gave in to those callings and cravings, and I paid for it on the scale.

Not only that, but I totally lost control and I'm still struggling to get back on that wagon.

The good news is I am moving to Phase 2 of Perfect 10 which allows for whole grains. I think that will help. As much as I wanted to stay on task, I really got tired of eating my sandwiches on lettuce!

The truth is, I do feel better when I limit sugar, caffiene, and processed foods. I like eating fruits and other 'real' foods. I actually prefer natural peanut butter, and I even like it on toasted whole wheat/whole grain bread.

I took the Perfect 10 blogger challenge, 3 weeks in Phase 1. While I can't claim it a complete success, I did make several positive changes and discoveries. And I lost 8 pounds!

So, I'm climbing back on the wagon today.

Now, if I could just find the motivation to exercise.


I know exercise is a must if I want to find a successful balance.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday~Bloomin' Out!

I love flowers!

My favorites?



I love daisies....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stepping Out...

I hate cameras.

Well, I like cameras; I like that we can easily record the children and family happenings. I love being behind the camera.

I hate having my picture taken.

Did I say hate? I don't think that is a strong enough statment.

I avoid the camera. I'm not photogenic at all and it takes many (MANY!) tries to get one good photo.

So, when my friend Sheri called me out publicly in her comment on my makeover post....well....I knew I had to suck it up and take a photo.


I enlisted my daughter for the job of photographer (she's good at that kind of thing) and set out to take the best possible photo. It went something like this....

Me: I need to take a photo of my hair for Sheri.
Sam: Okay. Let's go outside.
Me: Let's just get this over with. (UGH!)
Sam: Okay....Why do you look so scared??
Me: Becaussseeeee... I am scared.
Sam: Stop doing that thing with your eyes.
Me: Here, take this one. Then Sheri will know how I really

I emailed this photo to Sheri and she promptly reported back that she would be making it her desktop photo. (GASP!) I guess I deserved that....

So, I decided to just go ahead and step out here and post a few of the photos from our little session.


Okay....here goes.....

TOO close (and cheesy).....

Too bright and squinty..... and WHERE did that double chin come from?? Yikes...

Okay! One good shot! Woo hoo!

Ohhhh boy...


It's a bird, it's a plane....


Well, this one is not too bad....

There you go. That's me. That's the REAL me.

I'm such a dork!

I wonder how other people see me.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Perfect 10 Update #2

Yesterday marked the end of my second week on the Perfect 10 diet. I am still chugging along and I'm happy to report an additional 2 pound weight loss for a two week total of 8 pounds!

Is it a little sad that I was disappointed with the 2 pound loss? Two pounds in one week is a perfectly respectable weight loss. Especially when you add in the fact that I have yet to begin an exercise program.

And the fact that I ate a 6 inch sub from Subway this week.

And a piece of pound cake.

Hey, a girl's gotta live, right?!?!?

So, considering those two cheats, I did well!

I have one more week in phase one and then I'll move to phase two, which allows for some whole grains. Since I have a real weakness for bread, this should be a huge help in the area of satisfaction.

For the most part, my food cravings are minimal and I am very satisfied with the foods I am eating. It's weird not to crave carbs constantly.

And I could really tell the difference in my cravings after I ate the Subway bread and the cake....

But the important thing is that I didn't cave in. I immediately put those cravings in check and managed them.


In other news, I had a wonderful Mother's Day. I got a new look from my 'Future Paul Mitchell Professional' daughter: a cut, highlights, and a little splash of color......PINK! Now you're dying to see a photo, I bet!



Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Just Can't Resist....

Posting this photo of my little one....

So serious, so handsome!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making Some Changes...(Being Real)


Did ya miss me???

My blogging is way too sporadic. I need to work on that.

I've spent the past week making some major lifestyle changes. It's something I've been thinking about and planning for several weeks. I didn't have much faith in myself, however, so I just kept putting it off.

You see, I'm not really happy with myself. I don't do well with mirrors or cameras. You'll notice that I very rarely post pictures of myself. I am so not photogenic. I do NOT photograph well. I'm self conscious because I'm, well, clutzy, and I have gained some weight.

I never lost the baby weight after my last three kids. And then I spent so much time and energy worrying about my youngest and his health issues. I blamed the extra weight on that. I just didn't have time to think about myself.

Then he had open heart surgery and did really well.

And I gained even more weight.

That's when I realized that I've never been successful at losing weight and keeping it off because I don't really place that much importance on me.

Eating healthy foods has not been a priority. Exercising has not been a priority.

As my 45th birthday is fast-approaching (later this summer), I realized that, yes, I want to look good for my age, but more than that, I want to feel good. If I keep sitting on my, uh, laurels, it will be too late.

As I was reaching all of these conclusions, I received an email from a representative of Source Books, offering me a shot at a 'blogger challenge'. The blogger challenge? A 3 week trial run of the Perfect 10 diet.

A diet book! *sigh* Three weeks blogging about a diet. In public. I'm. Not. Sure.

I read through the email and the last sentence grabbed me. "We hope you'll join us in starting a revolution against obesity-one person at a time."

I clicked on the links and looked at the information the rep had provided and realized that this program was solid, common sense. A clean way of eating. The timing of this challenge, well, it had to be a sign! (God cares about the details in your life, you know....)

I took the challenge.

This is where I tell you, in full disclosure, that Source Books sent me a free copy of the book, a folder filled with links to interviews and reviews, cheat sheets, grocery lists, etc., and Dr. Aziz's email address in case I had any questions. In return, I was asked to take the 3 week challenge, which is Phase One of the Perfect 10 diet, and to share with my readers about this program.

Phase one of the Perfect 10 diet is a very healthy, balanced plan of healthy carbs, protein, and good fats. You must eliminate sugar, grains, and caffeine, processed foods, and you must try to eliminate snacking-3 meals a day, with breakfast as your biggest meal. This is supposed to replenish your body's natural hormones that are negatively affected by the average American diet.

Can I just stop here and tell you that I have the worst diet on the planet?!?!

The Perfect 10 diet claims that you can lose as much as 14 pounds during Phase one. In Phase two, you add whole grains.

I started Phase one last Monday. I went cold turkey. No sugar, no processed foods, no grains, and cut my caffeine to one cup of coffee every morning. (I'm down to every other morning now!) I followed some of the recipes in the book and, surprisingly, have had very little problem staying with it. (I cheated one meal. *blush*)

Yesterday was one week and I had my first weigh-in yesterday.

Six pounds! I lost six pounds! In one week....

I am so excited!

And I realized today that I am really comfortable with this plan. Don't get me wrong. I will be really happy when week 4 gets here and I can have a little whole grain bread! lol!

But, today, I noticed that I feel better than I did a week ago.

That's what seals the deal.

So, no, there's no before photo posted on this blog and no, I'm not going to post my weight. (eek!)

I'm already stepping out of my comfort zone! I don't know, but I feel like this is something I'm supposed to do. (Such a time as this?? Esther 4:14??)

Maybe when I get a little further along, I'll go back and post pictures. But not now. Not yet. I've got major work to do on my self-image.

I'm feeling so good about this that I joined the Biggest Loser Pound for Pound challenge! I even place a link to the PFP challenge on my blog. It's on the top right corner. You can click it to learn more about pledging pounds for your local food bank.

Does this sound like something you have been searching for? I'll try to answer any questions you have.

You can read more about Dr. Aziz and the Perfect 10 diet here.

And you can buy a copy of his book here. (It's on sale!)

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