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Hearts and Hands Walk for Autism

Sunday, September 21, 2014

This past Saturday, the kid and I did a walk-a-thon for a local group called Community Autism Resources. It was the 11th annual Hearts and Hands Walk for Autism. It's a great agency that does all sorts of things to help families with someone in the Autism spectrum. I mean, truly a family program. They have events for grandparents, siblings, of course the parents and the children who have autism as well. They have lending libraries, family friendly events, advocates, help when dealing with schools. They just are a wonderful group.

I wasn't sure when I started to do the walk. I don't always get the t-shirt. Sometimes in error, sometimes because I only raised enough money to get 1 incentive and I let my son get it. But I stumbled across two things. First, was a photo my youngest taken 6 years ago to the day at the Hearts and Hands Walk. The other, was a t-shirt that I was putting away. It was for the 2003 walk. I guess I was part of the first one since that was 11 years ago.

Anyway, I'm attaching 2 photos of the kid. One from yesterday and the other from 6 years ago.

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BRAINBENTT 9/21/2014 8:26PM


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Life is good

Sunday, September 07, 2014

It has been a good, oddly calm feeling weekend for the most part, which I really needed. Work really has sucked of late. Short version is there have been a lot of things that are , if not illegal, certainly immoral. Nothing like putting people at risk for dying or anything grand like that, but things that a normal company, the HR department would've cracked down on someone for, so Fridays take on a new level of relief.

Saturday, the city my husband and I work in, had a celebration for 100 years since it became a city. Had been the town of Attleborough, changed to the City of Attleboro on September 6, 1914. There was a parade and a ton of other events going on, ending with a fireworks show. We just did the parade and had some birthday cake.

See, the 9 year old invented a holiday called celebration day and this was the first year we're celebrating it. The tradition is to put a kitchen chair in the living room with a sheet covering it. Then we all sit around in on mats (or in this case folded blankets) and he hands out gifts. His oldest brother got a piece of butterscotch and a butterscotch lollipop (were past of this parade candy he caught in the morning), I got handmade jewelry (picture to follow) made from paper and 2 rocks he picked up when we were camping last weekend in Vermont. The headpiece was representing the sun and the bracelet the moon. My husband got Raisinettes. He bought those with his own money. My husband isn't a big junk food guy, but those, he likes.

Today has been filled with doing the grocery shopping, dishes and laundry, but for some reason, has just felt calm and not stressful.

It's football (American) day now. The husband is watching "our" team. We'll make dinner after the game. I'm just going to keep going with the flow and try not to stress about work tomorrow.

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JANET552 9/9/2014 8:08AM

    I hope you were successful with not stressing on Sunday about work on Monday. Sorry work is not good. We spend so much of our lives at work that it's hard when it isn't good for our souls.

Your son sounds wonderful!! I think his idea was very creative and loving. Fabulous gifts!!

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The surgery sage...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Before I agreed to this fixing of my jaw (my jaw is longer on one side than the other and because of that, my teeth don't match as they should and I've started to do "catastrophic" damage merely in the act of eating), I was told 9-12 months in braces, surgery and recovery, another 9-12 months in braces. I've had the braces now for 17 months. No changes in the orthodontic works since the end of March when the orthodontist felt I was ready for surgery. The surgeon, when I met with him, disagreed. I was close, but not enough.

There have been communication issues, vacations (DR's not mine), and still the two haven't met. They were supposed to meet last week. Prior to that appointment being made, I was calling someone's office every day. I needed to take a break because quite frankly, I was losing it. I had an appointment with the orthodontist today, so I figured good news would be the two talked and we could start messing with my teeth again, or bad news would be they hadn't and I wouldn't leave until a call had been made to set another one up.

Turns out the two didn't meet. My surgeon got called out for emergency at Boston's Children's Hospital. In a way, I'm glad to know this. He's good enough they called him AND he's dealt with children and the surgical process because if I'm perfectly honest about this whole surgery thing... I want my mommy. I'm afraid and scared and a lot afraid. I am as rational about this as a four year old. Actually, I'm probably much worse. ;)

The good news is I'm not in pain because no adjustments were made and they've already got their meeting rescheduled for next week. The orthodontist has me coming back on September 18th and with any luck, they'll be doing some adjustments.

I'm a planner both in my job and just part of my nature and things have been on hold in terms of planning Halloween. My family, as in from whence I came from, is really big into Halloween. I haven't been able to plan my costume for the party because I didn't know what my status would be. If it was going to be close to surgery (post), and I was going to be swollen and gross looking, it would be a different costume than if I look like my normal. So now at least I'm certain it won't be before then. I'm set.

I'm going with an Irish themed costume, so if you've got some ideas, feel free to let me know. emoticon

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JANET552 8/21/2014 5:29PM

    Not being Irish, in the least, I can only suggest green but I suspect that already crossed your mind. Well, I certainly understand how life can be held in limbo until surgery but your life is there waiting to find out about surgery. I hope the next appointment for these two professionals occurs without a problem and you can get a handle on what is going to happen in the near future. I hope you are at peace with whatever the two of them decide. Good luck!!

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Body images and teachable moments

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I won't lie. For whatever reason, probably multiple, I have a lousy self image of my appearance. I don't ever remember feeling good about how I looked for days at a time. I was picked on in school for being fat, ugly, weird. I coped by embracing my weird and maybe even exaggerating it. I figured I couldn't do anything about ugly. Ah, but my weight... now there is something I could control. I've been overweight as an adult, but never as a kid. If anything, I was probably skinny. After looking through photos, I can see in hindsight, that I wasn't ugly either. It doesn't mean I see myself in a better light now though. What I see and what other people tell me they see, are two entirely different things. The difference though, is I let my picture get taken. I even have done some selfies with the kid. Thirty years ago, I looked like the Vidal Sassoon commercial for shampoo products - all pictures of me were of my turning my head letting my hair be the only thing seen.

While we aren't supposed to let the scale be the make or break of how we are doing on our journey of weight loss and maintenance, I have to. Again, I don't see what others see, but a number, or a range of numbers, is concrete. I know dropping below 116.4lbs is bad for me. I know I'm not happy or comfortable if I go much past 125lbs. So I watch that scale closely.

More back ground. All the women in my family, my grandmother, my mom and aunts, my cousin and sister, have all had weight issues. My grandmother could tell me I was too thin. I could gain a few pounds and she'd give me dire warnings about getting fat. My mother sort of fed the same thing. I don't think I ever heard I was too thin or too fat, but there would be comments about the space between my thighs or the flabby stomach.

My 9 year old had an unbelievable amount of food allergies as an infant through about age 3. He's still allergic to peanut, but back in his infancy, it was milk, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. We didn't know until his weight started to drop. At one point, he wasn't even on the weight chart anymore. Failure to thrive. He finally got up to average, but his most recent appointment, his weight was on the high side. The DR wasn't worried because to him, it seemed like he was due for a growth spurt.

My mother and my husband, oddly enough on the same day, both commented that he was getting chubby. I didn't know until the kid told me. Neither did it as a warning or anything like that, but in surprise. He's really never had a belly before. He took it hard.

I found out because he swore off snacks for the following day. I thought it was because we'd eaten a lot of junk that day (birthday party pot luck). He said that was part of it, but it was because he was getting chubby. Two people he loved and trusted (my words) had both told him so.

We sat and talked about being healthy vs. thin, etc. We looked at choices we get to make for things like dessert. It was good. But it bothered me. I told my husband and he did his best to smooth out his comments using his weight history as a baby and the DRs comments about impending growth. I think it helped.

Last night my mom told me she wanted to take the kid out for his birthday lunch and a big giant sundae for dessert. I told her he wouldn't eat one and gave her the reasons why. She felt bad and immediately wanted to talk to him about it. I put her off because she has a tendency to make things worse when she hasn't had time to think about it first.

I hate to see him dealing with this at all, but certainly so young. I've tried very hard over the years, not to spill my issues over to the next generation. I might say I feel fat, but I'm generally quick to add something to offset it, like I think I didn't get quite enough fiber the day before or something like that. Mostly though, I try not to say anything about my body - good or bad. It's the vessel that contains my being, nothing more. Must maintain the vessel or it won't be able to contain my spirit as long.

We aren't done with this lesson by a long shot. He and I are going to do more meal planning. We already planned snacks together, so I'm simply expanding on it. At the same time, I'm teaching him about balance, or at least trying to. I'm going to have to do a little research on specific recommendations for his age group, but for the most part, I feel well armed for this battle. I'll be honest, I kind of thought with boys, this wouldn't be an issue I would ever contend with. I guess that was rather narrow minded of me.

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JANET552 8/22/2014 7:03AM

    Words can do so much damage. I love how you are handling this together with your son. Just keep following your instincts!!

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ALIHIKES 8/20/2014 5:55PM

    Very thought provoking blog. I can definitely remember the impact of negative comments from my dad. And it is really hard to avoid negative self talk.

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RAWCOOKIE 8/20/2014 8:54AM

    This was very interesting, and heart-wrenching, to read. Sounds like you're doing the best you can. If he takes an interest in meal planning and healthy eating, that'll be a good outcome. I think boys are more at risk than girls (but I could SO be wrong!) of getting into over-exercising - so watch out for that one. Might be helpful to see who he look to as a male role-model too.

I can so relate to your story too - I'm about the same weight as you actually - and have similar stuff in my past. But this is OUR journey now - and you're doing really well.


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HSAPIEN13 8/20/2014 8:32AM

  Maybe you could try helping him find a sport or physical activity that he enjoys doing? That way he thinks he's just having fun instead of exercising to manage his weight.

My stepmother obsessed on my weight when I was a kid, and it was very, very, very damaging in the long run.

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ELRIDDICK 8/20/2014 7:23AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Not so much a blog

Monday, August 18, 2014

This was my ALS ice bucket challenge that my friend nominated me to do. The kid wanted to be nominated as did my mother. My 3rd nomination went to Graham Norton of The Graham Norton Show (BBC). I'm sure he will never see it, and even if he did, I certainly wouldn't expect him to accept, but it would be rather cool if he did.

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RAWCOOKIE 8/20/2014 8:43AM

    not a fail - I can see it!

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KAREN-IS-HERE 8/19/2014 10:31AM


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CDCSMITH2013 8/18/2014 7:33PM

    Not seeing the video, so I guess we'll call this attempt a fail. emoticon

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