Monthly Archives: June 2013

Following what was I thinking…

Remember I said I would find 10 minutes and signed up for a 5k. If not you can read here to catch up. Okay if you are done laughing we can continue…

The other day I decided I had to start training for that 5k. Two weeks should be enough, right? Since the Bruins kept me up to oh-dark-thirty in triple overtime it wasn’t happening before work. I decided to take an hour personal time before the Boo pick-up and take a practice run.

A 2.2 mile run/walk. What could go wrong?

It started out fine, there I was rocking jogging to Lady Antebellum when I hit my first obstacle. The fire department. Who drives by? Husband and fellow brothers in the big ass fire truck. Why are they just roaming the streets, shouldn’t they be at the station or saving lives? (Later husband tells me they were on their way back to the station, not just roaming the streets)>

The second obstacle, the hill. Why the hell are there so many hills. Okay driveways that are at an incline, but still it was an incline.

Then the third obstacle, elderly tourists. They get off the tour bus and right onto the sidewalk. You just know you can not run around their walkers. I veer around them trying to ask the gentleman for a hit off his oxygen bottle and continue on. I finish almost mile one (yes, ALMOST mile one) and…

Eat a freaking bug.

In the name of all that is Holy why the Hell are there bugs!!! But I didn’t vomit so point for me. As I am choking I decide to walk. Except I am almost to the fire station. I cannot embarrass myself. Or him. Okay not so much him….So I start running again.

Then I see Mecca, a liquor store. Hello wine…are they doing a tasting? Crap I am supposed to be jogging not drinking. Damn I knew I should have brought wine cab fare. Carrying on I almost get hit by a car.

Yes a car that obviously never heard of the rule to STOP before turning RIGHT on red. I am pretty sure they were tourists. Mass drivers know the stop, not quite stop but roll, then go. Out of towners? They don’t have the roll down.

But we all survived. Of course I was thinking hey if he hits me the EMT’s will bring something stronger than wine, right? But then the second thought of, well crap I can just imagine the ribbing I will take from my husband and his friends if they have to respond. Okay….

I give up and begin walking. For half of an Adele song, why do I have slow songs on my MP3? And to boot a song that makes me feel like a weak woman rather than a strong one. I finally figure out how to fast forward on an MP3 to Miranda Lambert. Now that is kick-ass jogging music.

I start up again and I make it just before mile two. When Levon by Elton John comes on. Yes, he called his child Jesus. I think that was my reprieve and I started walking again. Jesus walked on water, I can walk on the sidewalk, right?

This is what I learned in my first jog of the year in my hope to go from couch to 5k (without following their program) instead of 5k to couch:

Our town has way too many elderly tourists.
Dunkin donuts is right next door to the police and fire station. Yet my husband never brings home donuts… Coincidence?
There were four liquor stores on my short 2.2 (yes I am counting the .2) mile jog/walk.
I did not stop at one of them so I am either an idiot, a runner or just some one who didn’t bring cash on my run.
Bugs are gross.
I really shouldn’t sing out loud to the MP3 player.

But I did it. I ran 2.2 miles (okay I walked maybe more than the .2), ate a bug and didn’t vomit.

I am on my way to the 5k.
 

Thanks for the week that was…


Two of my best-blogging buddies , Kristi and Joy, are co-hosting a hop this weekend thought up by the Considerings. It is probably the easiest one you will participate in all week. Being thankful. Come up with 10, just 10, things you are thankful for this week.
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1. I am thankful for cupcakes. Just the picture of a cupcake can make Boo squeal with delight!

2. I am thankful for Boo’s aides and teachers who took her on a field trip where they got to see her dance to the Toe Jam Puppet band.

3. I am thankful for everyone’s openness to learning about Zachary and spreading the word for his safety.

4. I am thankful for the kind words of encouragement on this blog when I have a bad day and appreciate when you laugh at my wine aerobics.

5. I am thankful that Rich Rumple is back and making me wonder about God on a toilet. I just hope he doesn’t end up in hell for it.

6. I am thankful for girls night out with my PTA friends.

7. I am thankful for the joy Allie brings me with her view on life, even if it is at my expense.

8. I am thankful that I read so many posts this week about body image. It made me realize the negative dialogue going on in my own head and out of my mouth. More importantly they made it stop.

9. I am thankful that last night was Allie’s ice cream social so I didn’t have to cook dinner.

10. I am thankful that my husband finally gave the dog a bath so he no longer smells. The dog that is. No I did not just accuse my husband of smelling. It’s Father’s Day after all.


What are you thankful for this week? Hop on over to 10 Things I am Thankful and share away!


Ten Things of Thankful

Listen

On Fridays for 5-minutes I hop on the Lisa Jo Bandwagon and just write. Unedited, unrehearsed, just mind spewing to the keyboard.

Five Minute Friday

Today’s prompt: Listen


Listen to your gut. I hear so many parents of children who have special needs that do not follow their instincts. Do not believe just because some one has MD after their name it means they are smarter than you. You know your child from the moment you first feel them move inside you. You know when they first look at you. You know when they first hold your hand. You know when something is wrong before the doctors do. Listen and follow your mother’s instinct to protect their young.




Listen to your soul as it expands to include a love never imagined. When you first conceive friends will tell you that there is an automatic feeling of love. This isn’t always true. With Allie I was too nervous, it took a while to feel that connection. It was there, I just didn’t listen to my heart because I was too worried I was doing something wrong. Then one day I realized that my soul had grown from the love she gave to me. Then Boo came on and it grew again. Kind of like the Grinch who stole Christmas whose heart grew three times too big.

Listen to yourself. This week there has been a lot of blog posts about how woman perceive themselves. Those who think they are fat, those who think they are too skinny, those who worry about the message we are sending our daughters on what a woman should look like. But we should worry also about our sons. They too suffer from body image issues. So listen to how you describe yourself, and stop. Because your child is listening to you and transferring those thoughts to themselves

Listen to the moments of opportunity. Let yourself forget your own struggles and help some one who needs it. It may be as simple as educating a cashier at a grocery store that the word retard is not an adjective. It may be just stopping in an elevator and hugging a stranger who is having a hard day.

Listen to your children. Yes, it is so hard when they talk non-freaking-stop. But once in a while you may discover that they know more than you do. Listen how they stop and spy a spider web that is home to a fairy. Don’t you wish you could hear what they hear?

Listen to yourself, you might be amazed at how awesome you are.

Stop. Okay enough preaching. Go and enjoy the weekend!!!

The Hardest Part of My Day

There are some days when all I want to do is give in to Boo. When I want to just give her a cupcake, okay a third cupcake. I know, in my heart, that the ABA therapies are working. That Boo is better with all the work her therapists do with her on a daily basis. Sometimes the work gets the best of me.

At workshop when Boo gets stubborn they wait her out. They make her do her work (I wish they could make Allie do her homework). But at home I struggle. If I ask Boo what sound a monkey makes and she doesn’t answer we move on. After all there are dishes and laundry to do, hugs to be given and Allie’s homework to be done. Concerts to be tortured enjoy. Oh and dinner to be made.

At school she HAS to answer. Now I know what you are thinking. Does it really matter if Boo answers OO AA for a monkey sound. Probably not. But if some one asks Boo her name she HAS to answer. Especially if she goes missing. Since she refuses to say her name that is an issue. And it all starts with OO AA.




Actually it starts with her name. She will say it, sometimes quietly, when asked. But on her terms, her oh so stubborn terms. She digs in on the most surreal things. Okay surreal to me. Why doesn’t she want to say OO AA? I mean she said it the whole way to Niagara Falls. Over and over again. I wish I could have an inkling into how her mind works.

I spoke to her speech therapist about it. She feels that sometimes Boo has a difficult time finding the word in her brain. Like there is a detour or misfire. She will consistently say cow but then the third try she says cat. Almost as if the repetition is tiring on her brain. She encourages us to continue fighting for those moments when Boo is in the moment and can say the word or perform the action we are demanding.

Her SPT reminded me to be the mom and not the therapist. That it is a hard, difficult balance between the two hats we have to wear.

And that’s the hardest part of my day, when I have to be the therapist and not the mom. So we went home and had cupcakes for dinner.


 

This extremely non-funny  post for the Finish that Sentence Friday is to be blamed on the hosts. Usually I can go light but well it has been that type of week. What with falling down and all…

Finish the Sentence Friday
Let’s hope next week’s sentence is something like….Believe it or not I let my husband live after he…. 

Meet Boo’s friend Zachary!

I’d like to introduce you to Boo’s friend, Zachary. Zach is a fabulous boy in Boo’s class who happens to have autism. Zachary was the first boy to hold Boo’s hand. It was so awesome, watching them walk into school together.

Like Boo, Zach is a frequent eloper. If your child has never eloped count yourself lucky. Boo has tried to escape us many times. Not on purpose or intent. She is just not aware that she is no longer with our group. We can be in the yard playing, blink for just a moment and she is gone.

It is a scary moment for any parent. But for a parent like Zachary’s mom, Laura, it is beyond terrifying. You see, at fiveryears old Zachary is considered non-verbal. He would probably not respond to calls of his name, nor would he be able to tell a stranger his own.  Zachary is always in motion. Like Boo, unless he is contained in a stroller he is off. He has no awareness of the danger. At home doors must be securely locked (even in the heat of summer) and windows must have a no-escape feature. He sleeps in a secure tent to limit the chance of him wandering while his parents try to sleep. Yes, I said try. Any of us with a child who has the need to wander sleep with one ear open.


Zach’s awesome parents are turning to 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization that places certified service dogs with children of various disabilities. In Zachary’s case, his dog would be trained to provide sensory input, interrupt dangerous behaviors, calm meltdowns and most importantly the dog would keep Zachary safe. The dog would be trained, in the event that Zachary did elope to find him. The dogs are trained to follow his scent and locate him within minutes.

What more could a parent ask for? Well, the money to provide their child with the security he deserves. A certified and trained dog costs $13,000. Parents of children with special needs do not have discretionary income. Our children cost more than the typical child. Our incomes are lower than before as we need to take more time off of work for therapies, doctor’s appointments and other activities to assist our children. Our free money gets spent on sleeping tents, door alarms and adaptive equipment.

To have $13,000 to spend on anything would be huge. To have the money needed to provide safety for our child would be a miracle.

I asked Laura if I could share her story to spread awareness. Last month two families lost their child to autism. Yes, I went there. Autism was the culprit in their death. A child who eloped for less than 20 minutes from her grandmother’s house and was not found alive. This is a tragedy.  If it only takes a dog that can locate a child within minutes and save a child I am all for spreading the word.

I am also hoping to help Zachary in his fundraising efforts. They have currently raised $2,400 towards security. If everyone who reads this blog donates $13 then forwards this post to 20 of their friends who donates another $13 it would only take a thousand readers to provide Zachary with a safety friend.

And allow his mom and dad to sleep a little more soundly.

To donate please visit http://www.razoo.com/story/4-Paws-For-Zacharyor you may mail a check with his name on the memo line to: 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Zachary Fiorillo, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, Ohio 45385. (If you do send a check, please remember to add Zachary’s name!).

To learn more about Boo’s amazing friend, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/4PawsForZachary

How not to get the mom of the year award.

No, this is not a post a poor me post. There are days when I know I am not being superwoman.  There are only so many balls I can juggle. Between mom, therapist, doctor, worker and wife.

There are days when I forget to put a sandwich in the lunchbox. Yes, I did, not this morning but recently. I have sent Allie to school three days in a row without bathing her. No she didn’t stink. At least I hope not. I have tried to convince Allie not to attend her school social events and forgot to feed them lunch on the weekend. Unless cookies and yogurt count.

On Monday I seriously took the cake of so-not-mom of the year. Okay, I ate the cake that I had hidden from the girls. In the closet. But I digress.

Boo had a field trip. After the last field trip there was no way I wanted to go and work provided a handy excuse. Since I was already taking time off this week for another of Boo’s appointments I could not justify being out of the office. Of course as so often happens, husband was also working.

I sent Boo on a field trip by herself. Okay, not herself, she was with her aide. I did have her tag pinned to her back letting anyone who may find her, if she wandered, what to do. I was a nervous wreck. But I left her anyway. She may have been the only preschooler without a parent there and she couldn’t care less. From what I am told she had a fabulous time. I still worry that I have scarred her by not being there.

As we got ready for the day my husband and I were talking about how we couldn’t go with Boo and how nervous we were. As I dropped Allie off at the bus stop she said:

Why are you so upset about not going on Boo’s field trip? It’s not like you have ever gone to any of mine.

Yup, not only is Allie the master of the understatement she is also the master of Mommy Guilt. Her revenge?

The Spring Concert. Tonight we are attending the grades 1-4 Spring Music Concert. As Allie is in 3rd grade that means we have to sit thru two grades singing two songs each and then the intermission. Did I mention the Bruins first Stanley Cup game is tonight?

The one upside to not winning mom of the year is that I won’t have to dust the mantle for display purposes.


Filing under what the heck was I thinking?

Attention: Anyone in your 20’s this might not be the post for you. See, right now you have a rockin’ bod. A bod to die for that you don’t have to do any real work to maintain. Oh you also have time for the gym. 

Anyway, I am  22 years past the prime of the 20-year old. And I put on a bathing suit for the first time this year. It was not pretty. I am sure that the pasty white skin didn’t help the image. And yes, I could use a little self-empathy.

I asked the always reliable husband: Do I look fat? Ladies, especially, those in your 20’s do not in your 40’s ask a man you have been with for too long to remember for his “honest” opinion. He will give it to you.

“Well,” he said without a moment’s hesitation, “If you are asking me if you have put on weight in the past 3 or 4 years, yes. But you are not fat you just have a pouch and flabby legs”.

Yes he lived. Because, well, he was right. I haven’t run in over a year and the only aerobic activity I have done since Boo’s birth look like this:


Now friends, in the interest of honesty, I know I am not fat. I do not really have a weight issue. Things just aren’t where they used to be. I am in no way trying to be dismissive of those who struggle with their weight on a daily basis. But I am not happy with the “pouch”. So I did two things…

I signed up for a 5K with only 2 weeks to train. I’m an idiot like that. I outted myself on Facebook for accountability and I asked my nephews if they thought that was time enough to train. One replied, of course. The other one said: sure if you put down the wine. Guess which one is my new favorite?

Next, I contacted the always reliable and exercise-aholic Tia. She agreed that the 40’s have not been kind to our bodies. She then recommended the on-demand videos that are 10 minute work-outs. Surely I can find 10 minutes, right?

Well, the last time I tried a video workout I ended up watching it on the couch with some Gelato and a glass of wine. But this time I was going to do it. I could find 10 minutes,  I will, I will.

The other night I picked Allie up from school, ran errands and made it home before Boo and hubs (he had therapy duty, yay him). Started dinner and said, hey wait I have 10 minutes now.

Choose the cardiac dance video and proved once again why Allie thinks I cannot dance. Marching, I did that step perfect. The slide, yup got that down. Then they moved onto something and I, well, mis-stepped. I have no idea what move I was trying to make but I landed on the floor. Then with perfect timing, Allie comes in…

Allie: Mom what are you doing?

Me: I am exercising

Allie: I don’t think that is what exercising is supposed to look like.


Yes, she lived. Because she was right. But I got up and finished the last 7 minutes of the workout. Yes, friends, I fell in minute 3. As soon as you stop snorting wine you can finish reading….

Oh you are back!

This morning I got up and found another 10 minutes. So I did the Thin-in-10 core work out. Twelve years ago I did Pilates and Yoga 3 times a week. This should be a breeze. Let’s forget that the last Pilates/Yoga work out was 12 years ago.

I could not do a sit-up. Not one without heaving my legs off the floor for momentum. I did manage to some of the other torture moves. Thankfully there were no witnesses.

But I am determined to carry on. I will find 10 minutes every morning/evening and find time to train for the 5k.

Because I will wear a bathing suit this summer and I want to tan my pasty white skin.

And if you haven’t had a chance yet and feel bad for me and my pouch please take a moment to “like” me! I am nominated for the Best of the Blogs. Just visit this link and “like” with Facebook.

http://www.babble.com/mom/a-letter-to-new-special-moms/

You can only like me once, though. So thanks to everyone who already likes me!

 

A moment to say WOW

I know that Boo is so incredibly lucky. Yes, she struggles. However she struggles so much less than other children. And here is why:






Boo you see has the best, ultimate best, village. Not everyone of her village is shown in this photo. The people above dedicated Sunday to walk with Boo in the NSTAR Walk for Children’s Hospital. We formed our Brigade 5 years ago to show how much our family was indebted to the Saviors who saved Boo’s life and our sanity.

Five years later, CHB continues to care for the best hugger in the world. However we do not owe Boo’s advances to just CHB. She owes her growth to the friends, family, therapists and teachers who interact with her on a daily basis.

I read so many blogs where I am saddened that they do not have a village. So many moms feel isolated, alone and afraid. Too many parents of children with special needs become loners. Their lives are centered around their child, leaving them little choice.

Maintaining a village is not easy for a lot of us. We are pretty out there with Boo and have been since her birth. I know the present is the easy period. As she gets older life may become harder. I think that is why our family is so grateful for our village. 

Boo’s teachers, aides and therapists have become extended family. Our friends have become watchful guardians when they see Boo in school or at a party. Everyone we know have invested themselves into our beloved child.  Recently I was at the Supermarket and a teenager came up and said hi to Boo. I had no idea who she was, but her friendliness touched me.

So I am taking a moment (or two) of your day to express my gratitude to Boo’s village. Those who walked 7-miles on Sunday and those who cheer her on every minute of the day. Those who read my blog and cheer us on. Those who I work and live along side. The countless people who reach out and hold our hands through this unsuspected life.

Thank you to all of you who share our heartache and joy.

From the bottom of my soul, thank you.

 

Thankful

Two of my best-blogging buddies , Kristi and Joy, are co-hosting a hop this weekend thought up by the Considerings. It is probably the easiest one you will participate in all week. Being thankful. Come up with 10, just 10, things you are thankful for this week.

1. My husband. I know, corny. But this week not only did he work overtime he made sure the house was stocked with wine. Oh he also stayed up until 12:20 AM with me to watch the Bruins game after my nephews and brother-in-laws went to bed and left me all alone to watch the game.

2. Everyone who is walking and/or donated to Boo’s Brigade. We are walking this Sunday in the NSTAR Walk for Children’s Hospital. So far we have raised almost $4,500 for the Hospital that saved Boo’s life. All of my friends and family will be glad when the weekend is over and I stop asking them to participate.

3. Dana for agreeing to take Abby in during her teenage years where she will learn not to dress like a hooker. Oh and she will serve us beautiful drinks in her new kitchen. If you haven’t checked out her blog you are missing a great part of your day. She has awards to prove it.

4. The Boston Bruins. I cannot believe how well they are playing, but they bring me such joy. And not because this is the only time of year my nephews text me 100 times a day. I hope they bring me joy tonight. I would be even more thankful.

5. The Our Land Series. A world where empathy and wonder reign. I just wish I had empathy for the jerk who made my friend Kerry sad.

6. That Boo has a fantastic aide that will be chaperoning her on a field trip next week. I just wish it didn’t make me feel like the most horrible mom in the world for not taking the time off of work.

7. The friend’s daughter who stopped by this week to pick something up and spent a half hour doing Allie’s homework with her so I wouldn’t be tortured,  have to make her cry do it for her.

8. Gelato. Yes, gelato. I hide it is the freezer from the children and husband. I was going to say wine but you already knew that, right?

9. My crafty sister-in-law who did not trust me with the T-shirts for this weekend’s walk. I didn’t even have to beg that hard for her to take over.

10. All of you who read this blog and leave such heartwarming, supportive and positive comments. I know, sappy again. But if I am really being thankful I have to thank those who make this life easier.





Fall

It is Friday and that means I take 5 minutes to write, just write, with a one word prompt from Lisa Jo Baker. Ready, set and start.

Fall

I fall in love a little more each day. First love is easy, but to stay in love is tough. There is laundry, diapers and life getting in the way of love. There is work, stress and a million things that I put over falling in love with my family.

I love them all quite differently.

I love my husband for his sense of humor, his steadfastness and even the things that drive me crazy. Like when he thinks he knows it all. Eighteen years later I still don’t know what trick he might pull on me. I love my husband for the security he provides and for the love he shows our daughters. The hunter who expected to be taking his sons fishing and target shooting has been seen (not photographed) playing Barbies and tea parties.

I love my Allie for her take on life. Her utter honesty, the way she sees the fairies in the yard. The fact that I love her in spite of her ability to make my ears bleed with her never-ending stories. I love Allie for her imagination. When she takes two hours setting up the scenario before she starts playing with her dolls and horses.

I love my Boo for the way she hugs. This morning she woke up at the butt crack of dawn. As we laid back in bed, her arm snuck around my neck as she settled in. My heart broke and I fell a little more in love with this child of joy. I love Boo’s belly laugh, how she puts her entire body into the expression of happiness. I love how Boo’s hug can make some one’s day. How she screeches her joy. I love how Boo says AYAAAYYYYYAAAAA as she calms herself to sleep.


Falling in love is simple. Staying in love is work. Being able to fall in love a little more each day with my family makes staying in love easier.

END.

Five Minute Friday