Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest Post: The Gum in My Purse

I want to take a moment to introduce you to a lovely mommy blogger friend. Not only is Cari a nice gal, she is beyond hilarious! I regularly bust out in laughter while reading her blog. She is a single mom with 2 kiddos. Her daughter is the sweet drama queen and her son is a funny kid who also happens to have autism.

Cari is very special because she is the first guest blogger I have ever featured here at Caffeinated Autism Mom. I knew she would be perfect for such an honor. It is an honor, right?   
Anyway, I can already tell you that I like her so much that I am going to beg her to write more stuff for me in the future. I hope she’s cool with that! And, no, I’m not going to stalk her…well maybe only a little bit if I ever fly out to Minnesota. (Fair warning, Cari.)
When you are done reading her guest post, please take a moment to head over to her blog at Bubble Gum on My Shoe and show her some caffeinated love.
Without further adieu, I’d like to welcome our first guest blogger, Cari! {applause}
Let me just get the important stuff out of the way here.  I am beyond honored that Angela has asked me to guest post on her blog.  Stunned, in fact.  I mean she’s brilliant, and smart and brilliant and uses big words and stuff.  I imagine she must have reached sheer exhaustion, or is weaning herself off the caffeine and will henceforth be named, Uncaffeinated Autism Mom.  At any rate, I’m honored, and I call her friend.
The Gum in My Purse
I usually have gum in my purse in one of two places:  Neatly zipped away in the side pocket or, in the crusty crumb graveyard that is the bottom of my Mom purse.  Once anything hits the bottomless pit, it is deemed inedible and trash-worthy to all…except the boy.
GFCFSF-ABCDEFGF.  Gluten free, casein free, soy free; that is the boy’s regimen.  The point today is not how the GFCF diet has been nothing less than a God send for my Autistic son, but how Soy makes him a temperamental nightmare.  Come closer, I’d like you to meet my arch enemy, Soy Lecithin.  I encourage you to pull out any random package of food and I bet 80% of the time it includes Soy Lecithin.  It is in everything.  If I didn’t have to deal with that, my life would be glorious.  The boy’s life would be glorious, and much tastier I can imagine.
Unusual quietness had fallen in the household; naturally I had to seek out the unsuspecting culprits.  I round the corner to my bedroom and find the boy rifling through my purse, eating the unwrapped pieces of gum which had fallen to the depths of the crusty Mom purse. 
From the empty wrapper evidence littered on the bed, it seemed he had consumed a good half a pack of varying flavors.  Mostly swallowed, I’m sure.  As he sat there innocently grinning at me, chewing his gum with his cute brown puppy dog eyes, the words, “go spit it out” failed to come.  Besides, the damage is done right?
He then said, “Look Mommy, I bowing bubbles, you want to bow bubbles?”  Of course I do!  Not every day this kind of excitement happens!
I hopped onto the bed and popped a crumb-laden piece of Trident in my mouth.  It’s such a small thing a piece of gum.  Although I know this piece of gum probably gave him more sensory satisfaction than the Starbursts I offer as a substitute.
So we laid there together on the bed, smacking gum and practicing blowing bubbles.  Him being a 4 year old kid and me his Mom, and it seemed if only for an instant Autism had left the room, and everything was as it should be in that moment.  As a parent of a child on the Spectrum, I am constantly scripting, prompting, repairing, preventing and scheduling; and that’s how it must be, I know.  It just makes those little stick of gum moments all the more special.
{Fifteen minutes later, the beast reared its ugly head; but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Carrot 911

The first carrots harvested from my garden look, um, interesting. They are all looking like this! You should have seen the look on my hubby's face when he saw them! This is the 3rd year that I've grown carrots that are funky and I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I started all of my seeds inside my house, sowing them individually in peat. I transplanted them outside after they got to be several inches tall. The garden is in a raised bed with uncompacted, organic soil. I need help from all of my gardener friends for ideas on how to grow normal carrots!  Your input and comments are requested! Thanks for your help! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A lazy summer tradition

You may remember me telling you how I dread summer vacation because my boys need routine. For the first time ever, I am happy to report a new summer tradition that stemmed out of my exhaustion and general laziness. I know…it’s hard to believe that I could possibly be lazy, especially considering my caffeine consumption levels! Well, I’ve been struggling a little bit with insomnia recently and so the thought of sleeping in holds a great deal of appeal to me (even more than usual).

Let me warn you: I’m going to jump around a little bit, but stick with me. It will all make sense. First, let me set the background.

We don’t have traditional TV at our house, per se. Let me explain. Our main living area has a TV that is connected to our computer and we stream video online instead of pay the cable company their blood money. We were forced to make some drastic cuts in our budget when my husband lost his job 2 years ago and our cable bill was one of the first things on the chopping block.

Do I miss high-def? You better believe it! Do I miss some shows that I cannot access online reliably? Yeah, it can be frustrating. Do I sometimes complain about how streaming online can be a pain in the backside? All the time. Do I like free TV? Of course! Helloooooo…I am the Queen of Clearance, so free is a price I like to pay. Now, if I could only convince the cable company to drop our high-speed internet prices, I’d be set.

With that being said, I have a confession to make. And, to all of my local friends and neighbors who might be reading this, PLEASE do not tattle on me.
When we first moved into this house we set up cable to only one jack since we only had one TV. When we upgraded our TV to an HDTV prior to the digital TV conversion that affected everyone in the US, we didn’t know what to do with our old TV. We remembered that we had a cable jack in our bedroom but we never had an opportunity to try it to see if it worked or not. We thought that we could use our old TV for DVD’s so we put it in our bedroom and, on a whim, we plugged in the coax cable to see if anything happened. We had cable! All those years and we had no idea! Talk about a pleasant surprise. Free TV felt awesome knowing how many thousands of dollars we had sunk into our cable bills over the years. Our old TV has since gone away, but we got a small new TV to take its place since we continued to have cable to our bedroom.

So, now we come to the main part of our story. We left off with me telling you about how lazy I am. Are you up to speed? Good.
Since we are now on summer break I no longer need to use an alarm clock. My kids serve as their own alarm clocks. No matter how late they go to sleep they are always awake early in the morning. I wish they would sleep in, but no such luck. So, in the interest of attempting to sleep in a few minutes longer I told the boys to crawl into bed with me and I would turn on the TV so they could watch cartoons on PBS.

Here’s where it gets good. They listened to me. They have never been much for cuddling, but I was amazed when they crawled into bed, got under the covers and quietly watched cartoons. It has been a long time since they last watched cartoons like that, so they knew they had a good thing going.
I actually fell back asleep and woke up 2 hours later. They were still watching cartoons. It was a miracle. I was so happy that I showered them with hugs and decided to forego our regular breakfast routine and offer them a special treat for such good behavior. They were thrilled and we had a fabulous morning.

The next day the boys crawled into bed with me hoping to once again watch cartoons in bed while I slept in. I quickly fell back asleep and woke up to Prince Charming telling me to be quiet. Apparently I was snoring and it was interrupting their cartoons.
Since that time we have done our morning cartoon routine many times and it has become a summer tradition. I love it! Sometimes one of the boys will lay their head on me or let me wrap my arm around them as I fall back asleep. I am in a sleepy state of bliss when this happens and it’s nice to get some cuddles in with my boys.

I look forward to fall because school starts back up and the boys can get back into their routine, but I assure you that I will sorely miss our morning cartoon time. I’m going to get as many of those mornings in as I can while I still have some summer left.        

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Half-versary!

I’m a sucker for an anniversary. I’m a girl, after all. I’m celebrating a blog half-versary. Caffeinated Autism Mom is now officially 6 months old! I can hardly believe it. Where has the time gone?
I thought I would take a moment to reminisce and see how far the blog has come since January.
I started this whole crazy idea of a blog with a post entitled, “Special Needs and Gifted.” I told you about how I was applying for Monkey to test for the highly capable program in our school district and what it meant to possibly have a twice exceptional child. The update to that story is that we got back his testing results and he did not qualify for the program. So, we continue on as usual. This does not change the fact that Monkey is wicked smart and we’ll continue challenging him the best we can at home.   
A few days after that initial post I described my intentions for the blog in, “Me, me, me, Monday!” I introduced you to my family, told you about how I hoped things would work around here, and how often I would post new content. I gotta tell ya, I think I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain. What do you think?
I’ve done a lot more in 6 months than I thought I could even do in the first year. Off the top of my head, I’ve guest posted, I gave the page a facelift from its original look (and trust me, I’m NO artist), had a radio interview, made lots of great blogger friends, and even won a mommy award. And, I am actually surprised that coming up with stuff to write about day after day has not been that hard. Apparently I have a lot to talk about. I get that from my mom (and as much as he disagrees with me, my dad, too). :-)

I have a feeling that the next 6 months will be full of more great surprises, too. Only time will tell.  
For now, I’m redefining my intentions for the rest of the summer. It’s a bit more difficult to write when my kids are always with me and we are staying up later because of the longer days. I don’t get as much time to myself as I would like, and I’m thinking that I should cut myself down to 2 to 3 blog posts a week until the boys start school again in September. I think my brain will thank me. And, you never know, I may find the time to write more. It’s possible.
So, I hope you will join me in my more relaxed schedule for the summer. I don’t think I even know the meaning of the word “relax” anymore. Yikes. I need a nap. Is it fall yet?
Oh, and one more thing…a very important detail I don’t want to forget. I am so very happy you have joined me for this ride. I am thankful for all of my fabulous readers! Each one of you.
Now, get out there and share my blog with your friends! See the Like, Tweet, and Share buttons at the bottom of this post? Click on them! Let’s get more people on the caffeinated bandwagon. Don’t forget to “Like” Caffeinated Autism Mom on Facebook. Thanks for the love, people.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The juice and yogurt fiasco

Last week I told you about how I took out my juicer from its dusty hibernation. Since I have been known to be a really big wimp when it comes to eating vegetables, it’s easier for me to introduce veggies into my diet when they are juiced along with some beautiful, seasonal fruit. This is something healthy that I like to do for the whole family.  

The beginning of the fiasco...

Recently Monkey had a big issue with the juice du jour I made, which included organic nectarines, organic carrots, and lots of organic kale. The color of the juice was more green than not and I could just tell that getting him to drink it would be difficult that day. I opted to make a quick deal as I served the juice, hoping that I could circumvent any problems before they began.
So Delicious Creamy Cultured Coconut Milk, Vanill (Pack of 3)We love So Delicious coconut milk yogurt. It’s way too expensive, but it’s a wonderful treat every once in a while. I happened to have some in the fridge and I thought it would be an excellent proverbial “carrot on the end of the stick” to entice my boys to drink their juice. After I made the promise that whoever finished their juice first would get to choose their yogurt first, it clicked in my brain that I might have a problem. There was only one container left. How did I forget that before I opened my big mouth?
You see, Monkey did one of his famous little tricks the day before. You may remember that we had to lock up our food because of his antics. I had forgotten that he had grabbed one of the containers of yogurt and opened it without my permission. I walked into the kitchen and he was standing there with the open cup in his hand, and he quickly asked, “Can I have this?” Um, it’s a little late for asking my permission, dude. Ugh. He ended up eating the yogurt that afternoon, but much to his dismay, I made him share it with his brother since he neglected to ask my permission beforehand.
Prince Charming powering down his juice and loving it.

So, no sooner than the bribe incentive of yogurt to the “winner” had left my mouth, I remembered the incident from the previous day and I knew I had just royally messed myself up. There was only 1 container left of the yogurt, which meant no choice at all and 1 kid (the second place juice drinker) would be without. I knew that with my promise, it would be worse if I asked them to split the single container. I double-checked the situation in the fridge and verified that I was about to have a really big problem.
I calmly told the boys the situation, gently reminding Monkey that the reason there was only 1 container left was because he had opened the other one without my permission the day before. The news did not go over well when Monkey looked over at Prince Charming’s cup and realized that he had already sucked down almost all of his juice while Monkey had barely touched his. He figured out his fate as the “loser” of the challenge and he didn’t like it one bit.  
That’s when the tears started. Those tears turned into a raised voice spiked with angst about how it was unfair that he wouldn’t get yogurt when he was done with his juice. He was mad that Prince Charming would earn the yogurt and he would have none. I reminded him about the day before and that I truly wasn’t punishing him. That was just the way things happened and there was no way for me to give him his own container when there simply was none left.

Monkey is trying to drink his juice through the tears.
After about a half-hour of crying and attempts at negotiating with me, Monkey finally asked to talk with his dad on the phone. I knew this moment was coming, so I agreed to let him call only if I had a chance to talk first and explain the situation to Titan. Frankly, with Monkey’s sobbing state I knew it would take him a very long time to get out a string of coherent thoughts that would make any sort of sense to Titan, and I certainly didn’t want to take that kind of time when he was in the middle of a busy work day.
We called Titan at work and I took my turn first and then Monkey had his turn. When things escalate at our house and I’m having trouble reasoning with the children, Titan has a way of getting through to them when they are distraught. He is like the kid-whisperer. It can be quite remarkable.
Sometimes I want to sock him in the arm through the phone when he gets them to settle down so quickly. Really? I’ve been negotiating, talking, cajoling, bribing, threatening, hugging, rocking, and everything else I can think of and we get on the phone with you and they are fine in about a minute? Really? Can I switch jobs with you for a day? Perhaps a week? Please?
Before they hung up, I got a quick run-down from Titan on what transpired and then Monkey and I chatted about the call afterward. Monkey listened to what his dad said, quickly became calm and finished his juice. We went on with our lunch routine, which was now stretching much later into the afternoon than usual. As we wrapped up and began talking about having quiet time, Monkey asked to call Titan again. I told him that it wasn’t a good idea since he was still at work and we had just talked with him, so I offered him the chance to send an email instead.
He was really excited to type his own email! He’s getting pretty good at using the keyboard and this was his first ever email to anyone, so it was a big deal for him. Other than changing the names, here is the email exactly as he wrote it:
I finally did it, I finished my nectarine juice in 41 minutes and 23 seconds and so on.
I also tried to be a big boy and be like a superhero third grader
I also played sonic slam with Prince Charming too and we had a fun time together. Did you know that corn on the cob and chicken is what's for dinner?
My favorite food is Corn on the cob rather than juice.


I think he did a great job! Don’t you? Now I think I need to brush up on my kid-whispering skills for the next fiasco.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Car trouble

My husband and boys came to my rescue when my car died while I was out running errands. They waited with me while we waited to get a new battery installed and ultimately called a tow truck. Aren't my boys cute? 
The boys waited in my hubby's car when it rained, and that's when I captured this gem. Somehow they maintained a good attitude while we spent hours trying to deal with my dead car.
While we waited for the tow truck the boys found a way to play and climbed all over a nearby lamp post.
My poor car being towed after 5 hours of putzing with it and waiting impatiently in the rain. Repairs were crazy expensive. Thank God we purchased an extended warranty!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cars are cool

You know how kids with autism often have a thing they perseverate on? We’ve certainly run the gamut around here. Some of the things my boys have obsessed about become experts in have included: license plates, geography, numbers/calculators/clocks, trains, cartoons, States, Presidents, and more. Now, Monkey’s favorite topic of interest is cars.
Kia Soul in Alien green.

To the best of my recollection, I think this started when he got to accompany Titan by himself (no little brother!) for the emissions test on my husband’s car. While sitting in line at the testing station, Titan talked with Monkey about the cars in front of them and in the lanes next to them. I am not really sure that Monkey had ever taken much notice in the different symbols and words on the back of cars before. That day I remember him coming back home and telling me that he saw a Toyota and it was very exciting.  
He absolutely loves to point out every car that is the same make and model as ours. He has been so enthusiastic about it that Prince Charming has joined in and they both hunt for the cars whenever we are out and about. If he happens to see one from his “list” he gets super excited and I have to acknowledge that I, too, have seen it driving on the road or I won’t hear the end of it.
His "list" includes all of his current favorite cars that he wants to buy. The favorites are subject to change at any moment! He is practically a computer expert at the tender age of 8, and in the past couple of weeks he’s asked to go online to the various car manufacturer websites to look at the different makes and models of cars. For each of his favorite cars, he goes online when Titan is home to help, and he works to create a custom car using the manufacturer’s online personalization tool. He spends lots of time talking about all of the various add-on options for the cars and asking what each thing is for. Nine times out of ten, he wants any and all available options to be added to “his” car.
Although, I kind of found it funny when he checked off every option on one particular car, and when it came time to select an iPod dock, he said no because, “Well, we don’t have an iPod so I don’t need that in my car.” This made me chuckle since an iPod is a drop in the bucket in terms of cost as compared with the price of a car. Too funny.
When the custom car has been built online, he wants a color printout of it so that he can file it (and read it over and over and over again) and then keep it in a special spot in his room. He’s actually creating a little stack of them! If I don’t have time to print it out right away for him, he hounds me until I do. Then, as soon as he gets a new spec sheet in his hands, he wants to go back online to another website and start the process all over again. I’ve had to rein him back in a bit so that I don’t use up all of our printer ink for his latest car kick!
So far, in order, he has selected the following cars that he wants to buy:
·         Subaru Outback in Cypress Green Pearl with options totaling $30,185
·         Kia Soul in Alien with options totaling $19,585
·         Nissan Sentra in Blue Onyx with options totaling $19,669
·         Ford Focus in Yellow Blaze Metallic with options totaling $23,665
·         Subaru Legacy in Caramel Bronze Pearl with options totaling $26,587
·         Chevrolet Aveo in Summer Yellow with options totaling $12,875
Let me tell you how thrilling it is for him to see a car driving down the road that is on his list! And now, as if it couldn’t get any better, he has a new love in this grand topic: the Audi brand. I went on a road trip with the boys and their Grandpa (my dad) last week and over those days he counted all the Audi cars he saw. By the time we got home he ran into the house and told Titan that he had seen 13 Audi’s on our trip. He was so happy to share that information with his dad! You should have seen the smile on his face.
Oh yeah, mama like.

I think we can all agree that Audi does not make a cheap ride. We’ve talked extensively about how expensive cars are and that he will have to save a lot of money if he wants to have one when he is old enough to drive. We have even talked about how long it would take him to save up his birthday and Christmas money in order to buy a car. Last week he was fishing around for some possible help in that department and all of a sudden asked me if I could stop by the bank and withdraw $200,000. Not sure where he came up with that figure, but I almost fell over when he asked the question! He was so earnest in his request! I tried to stifle my laughter (I think I succeeded...sort of) as I talked with him about how I would just love to have that much money but, sadly, I do not. Just yesterday he was asking Titan if he had $20,000 in the bank that he could withdraw. I gotta love his tenacity in trying to find a way to get his own car despite the fact that he’s not old enough to drive it.  
The good thing is that Monkey is learning about the value of money. With his latest obsession interest my husband and I have been making a point to be more vocal with him about how much things cost. We want him to understand the value of money and that things are not cheap, and it takes hard work to get even the little things like gas for the car and food to eat. And, let’s face it… This mommy needs to pay off her bills before anyone in the family gets a new car, for cyring out loud!
Now, Monkey is one smart cookie. I wonder if there is a way to engage that amazing brain of his into an endeavor to earn money to save for his future car? Hmmm…that is worth some consideration, don’t you think? And yes, I have already thought about counting cards in Vegas. That idea has been brought up by our friends about a dozen times already! Somehow, I think I’d rather stick to something that he enjoys that also happens to be legal. Minor detail. J  
I wonder how long he’ll be in love with cars and what his eventual next interest will be…?
Does your child have a special interest or perseverate on one thing? What do they obsess about? Do you find it cute, potentially educational, or it is just plain annoying? Share your comments below!  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Environment is a top suspect in autism

Finally! And perfect timing, too. The National Institute of Mental Health dropped a bomb about autism on a national holiday. How convenient. When most of us were having picnics and spending time with family in preparation for Independence Day fireworks, the NIMH decided to quietly “surprise” the public with the fact that the environment is now considered a main causation of autism, more than genetics.

I think the Managing Editor of Age of Autism said it best:
Autism affects upward of 1% of American kids today. There "is no cure." There is no test. There is precious little hope for treatment in mainstream medicine. It's a crisis for America the likes of which we have never seen. And so the NIMH puts out a press release ON A NATIONAL HOLIDAY. Meanwhile, how many of our kids are cowering under a bed right now instead of reveling in the fireworks and family celebrations because of their autism? And what does THEIR independence look like tomorrow?

From The New York Times: The new study marked an important shift in thinking about the causes of autism, which is now thought to affect at least 1 percent of the population in the developed world. “This is a very significant study because it confirms that genetic factors are involved in the cause of the disorder,” said Dr. Peter Szatmari, a leading autism researcher. There has been growing acceptance that genes do not tell the whole story, in part because autism rates appear to have increased far faster than our genes can evolve.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Environmental factors play a more important role in causing autism than previously assumed and, surprisingly, an even larger role than genetics, according to a new study out of UCSF and Stanford that could force a dramatic swing in the focus of research into the developmental disorder.

Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Heck, no! Apparently the scientists were surprised. ((insert sarcastic “DUH!” here))

Parents like me have been saying the environment is a problem for years. I can’t think of a single parent of a child with autism (and trust me, I know a lot of them!) that believes their child’s autism is purely genetic. Most believe that the environment is the culprit. If it was not the reason, than it was one of the top reasons. I believe this to be true in my own family with both of my sons.

My own personal opinion is shared by many others: genetics loads the gun and the environment pulls the trigger. I definitely think there is something to be said about genetic susceptibility and environmental assaults adding to toxic load, ultimately leading to an autism diagnosis. I wrote about this and other things when I reviewed Jenny McCarthy’s book, Mother Warriors. Here’s a little snippet from that post:

The way I like to think about autism is that our kids each have a row of dominoes stacked just so, with each one a possible trigger or tipping point. There are many dominoes, and each domino on their own is seemingly insignificant, such as: allergies, reflux, eczema, ear infections, diarrhea, food intolerances, asthma, chemicals in the home, pesticides on our food, heavy metals exposure, fluoride and chlorine in our water, candida overgrowth, the vaccine schedule, genetic predisposition, etc. The list seems to be endless and I have by no means included everything that could ultimately be involved. When one or more of these dominoes gets bumped and the dominoes are close enough together for the bump to make an impact, I believe it triggers the cascading fall into autism. The sum of all of the parts equates to a life-changing diagnosis.

As a parent, studies like this have 2 sides. First, they are extremely gratifying. They prove that the hardcore parents who research endlessly for ways to treat and help their children with autism are not the crazed lunatics they are made out to be. In most cases, the medical system has failed them. The parents keep vigil on behalf of their children, paving new roads for their care because no one else will, and yet they’re made out to be a villain for doing so because it goes against the grain. We are justified. Our choices are sound. In fact, we were right all along!

Second, the other side is that studies like this are extremely frustrating. Sometimes they feel like a huge waste of time and money, often proving what most of us already knew to be true just by living our lives with our children. It doesn’t help us get through today or tomorrow any better.

I understand the need for scientific study, especially since my original choice of study and intended career were in Biology. I get it. We need the scientific process. But, I am now a bit disillusioned by the whole thing. Frankly, I don’t really care all that much if there is a higher incidence of autism in families who live near the freeway or that autism and birth order might be related. I care about helping the generation of children with autism and their struggling families TODAY.

As Jenny McCarthy said in her book, People can say there is no science to support our beliefs about the causes of autism and ways to treat it, but there is plenty of evidence. Just walk into the homes of families who have children with autism. They’ll be happy to introduce you to their science.”

I will say that I am happy that they are starting to figure it out. Keep coming our direction, highly-paid executives, doctors and scientists. We’re waiting for you! In the meantime, all of us parent warriors will continue blazing our own trails and hope that eventually the mainstream medical and scientific community will catch up to us someday. They’ll finally figure out that we were right all along. Gee, won’t they be surprised?   

P.S. I found some additional content at the 11th hour after I'd already completed this post. Rather than re-write it to cleverly include the new stuff, I'm just going to place it here at the end and save myself the time.

I stumbled upon another great read about this issue and highly recommend you check it out! Lisa Ackerman, the founder of TACA, did a great job summarizing this study and how we can move forward with this "new" information. She quoted a physician who recently gave a lecture she attended and I love what he said. “If an adult stopped talking or regressed in their skills, physicians would order a myriad of tests including an MRI.  When a child regresses or stops talking we just call it autism.”

This is the very attitude that is pervasive among pediatricians today and it needs to stop. That's my 2 cents. Or maybe we're up to a full dime by now! Anyway, please feel free to leave your comments below and add to this rant discussion.     

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Monkey's Top 10

This was created in May courtesy of Monkey and I love it. He's a cool kid.

In case you can't read the words, it says:

1.   I'm smart because I get good grades.
2.   I am a good writer and artist.
3.   I love my teacher.
4.   I like to bike ride and race.
5.   I like games, video games too.
6.   I like wrestleing (sic).
7.   I like books like a bookworm.
8.   I like to do art at home.
9.   I dream at bedtime.
10. I love to practice Geo Jump.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mom of the Month: What? I won? Seriously?

The lovely Brittany over at Changing Diapers and Taking Names gave me the Mom of the Month award for July! Talk about a pleasant surprise! I'm not typically a big winner of anything, so this is very exciting for me!

She did a little interview with me, so I'd love it if you would take a moment to hop over to her blog and read her post. I mean, you gotta show some love to this gal! She was willing to bestow this honor on me after all... So, my dear caffeinated readers, let's show her how much it's appreciated by reading all about it!

Mom of the Month is checking out now. Oh boy, I think it may be going to my head…AND causing me to talk in the third person. ;-) 

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Seeing the green flash" on SPD Blogger Network

Happy Independence Day, everyone!
My post ran over at SPD Blogger Network today, so I wanted to share it with you. I wrote this one back in February, and it talked about how I was going through our nightly routine and a simple request from me turned into a full-tilt Grumpy Badger meltdown.
I hope you take a moment to hop over to SPD Blogger Network to check out my post.
Have a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dusting off the juicer

I love this time of year for 1 big reason, and no, it’s not that the kids are out of school. Does that make me a bad mom? No way! Any autism mom would likely agree that summer is the most stressful time of year because our kids crave routine. For me, the best part about summer is the fact that lots of fabulous produce becomes available.
Here is one of my bowls of harvested spinach.
Many of the leaves are larger than a slice of bread!
I love watching beautiful, organic veggies grow in my garden. In fact, I’ve already harvested several huge bowls of spinach in the past couple of weeks! It’s so much fun to plan the garden and plant my seeds in the spring, knowing that there will be some great things to eat in the coming months.
And, I adore going to our local organic farms and also perusing the wonderful farmers markets to buy gorgeous fruits and vegetables that are far superior to anything I could get at the grocery store. The visual variety alone makes it worth each trip. I fill up my reusable bags with goodies each time I go.
I try to engage my children fully in the process of picking out things to buy at the farmers market. I know that by doing so, they are more likely to at least try a bite of something new because they picked it out themselves. Sometimes they even help me pay and carry the bag while we continue shopping. If they are particularly proud of their efforts, they may also carry the items on their lap as we travel back home in the car.
Even if after all of their participation they somehow take issue with eating the vegetable, they still "eat" it. Oh yes, I see to that! I’m a mean sneaky mom that way.
This is where the magic of the juicer comes in. You may recall that I wrote a post back in January about how to hide vitamins by doing things like juicing. The juicer is a wonderful tool for any parent! In that post I talk about how I make juices like “Silly Strawberry,” which is comprised of kale (or spinach) and strawberries. In fact, I have some organic Italian kale and organic strawberries in my fridge right now that I plan to use for this very juice. Kale is chock full of essential nutrients like: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium, just to name a few.
As long as there is a strong berry or fruit flavor, the “yucky” veggie is effectively masked. You might have to be sly and make the green portion of the juice when your kid is not watching and then serve it in a colored or ceramic cup (with a sippy-style lid or opaque straw). You can add in a reward system to help them drink the new concoctions, too. It worked great for us!
It makes me happy to know that my boys will be getting fresh and organic juice, full of absorbable vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This stuff is a far cry from the dead sugar water (a.k.a. pasteurized juice) that we buy in the store! It’s time to dust off the juicer and put it in position for heavy use this summer!
Do you juice? What is your favorite juice to give to your children?    
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...