Thursday, March 28, 2013

EDUCATION AND AUTISM - What matters most to me

As far as education for Limefreckle Jr. goes, there is really only ONE thing that I have cared about, since we received his diagnosis.  SOCIALIZATION!  I'm not much of an academic.  I did OK in school.  B's, C's, the occasional A.  In University I think I had around a 3 pt. average, that rings a bell (I went to school in Michigan - do they still calculate grades that way?).  I wasn't much into books.  Loved to read, but not so much study.  I remember in highschool my parents went to a parent/teacher interview, and the teacher told them that I wasn't applying myself, and I could do so much better.  They came home and my response was "If I can go out and see my friends, and get B's (which in my mind were perfectly acceptable grades) then why would I instead stay home and miss out on all the fun, just to get A's?"  My Dad said I had a point....Mom, wasn't so convinced.  But I made it through. I went to University,  I worked, I got married, I have a comfortable life.  My philosophy worked just fine for me.  And I didn't miss out on all the fun in my teenage years staying home studying.

My favourite saying of all is "The A students will teach the B students how to work for the C students".  Like I said, I'm not an academic -- that doesn't impress me so much. Hard work does.  Personality does. Not diplomas.

So when it comes to Limefreckle Jr. and school, I've never really focused on the school work.  To me the focus has always been, and probably always will be SOCIAL.  I can't see a bright future for him if he can't learn to be comfortable with, and socialize with other people.  I remember back in his preschool days, the particular school he went to focused a lot on teaching children to read  (sadly, he didn't do to well, being delayed and all!)  The worker that helped me with him always blew it all off, and said "they all pretty much figure it out by grade 3" but I remember so many parents so impressed with their 3 year old's reading.  And that's GREAT, if that's your focus for your child, but never really mattered much to me.  I was busy trying to get him to learn how to relinquish a toy to another child without having an epic meltdown -- reading wasn't really on my radar.  He did learn, is still learning it, at a delayed rate to his age appropriate peers - but who cares, he's learning it!  We wasted 2 years of school in the public system, where his day pretty much consisted of hanging out in the principal's office when he wouldn't do as he was told (or coming home with me, I got a lot of calls to pick him up) so I can't really expect him to be at his age related grade.  His school work is modified.  That's OK.  AND HE IS ONE OF THE MOST SOCIAL CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM I HAVE EVER MET.  Now THAT is something I'm very proud of!

I've met kids with autism that struggle to say hello to other people, and while they might turn out to be geniuses,  I worry about how a child like that will cope in the adult world.  So for me, I don't worry so much about the grades, as long as he's learning the skills he needs to navigate this big, bad world, I'm happy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday - Whomp, whomp, whoooomp!

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It's another weigh in Wednesday with Erin and Alex
 
I didn't have a very good week this week.  I would like to blame it on the fact that my periods are all messed up, I think my hormones are out of whack, but really, I blame it on March break and the week I ate everything in the house.  March break is catching up with me, and this week I GAINED 1.8 lbs. Weigh in this morning was 197.8
 
I'm disappointed, I can't imagine that I'm going to win Erin's dietbet, because there is only 1 week left and I have too much to realistically (for me) to lose in one week.  I'm going to be on vacation again, and that won't help!  But I'm not too down.....I cannot expect to go through this journey without having some setbacks, hell, I won't be going through LIFE never gaining again!  But what I hope I can do is get these small gains under control before they become another pant size - and if it takes me longer to reach my ultimate goal, then it takes me longer -- too bad, there is no alternative (well, there is, I could give up, but for me that would mean just continuing to grow larger, and I don't want to do that).
 
So today is another day, and all that crap, back to tracking, eating more fruit's and veggies, and laying off those tasty little weight watchers bars that I've been inhaling lately. Time to get back to eating cleanly, and paying closer attention to what goes into my mouth!
 
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I really wasn't expecting this, I'm so unprepared...


I've been nominated by the lovely Alicia at Brew Loving Mama, for a Liebster Award!  Thank you for nominating me!  I think this is a great way to get to know some new bloggers, and to get to know these bloggers better.

Here are the rules.
  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the question the nominator set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer.
  3. Choose 11 blogs with under 200 followers and link them in your post.
  4. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tags back!

Here are 11 random things about me:

  1. The Wizard of Oz still kind of freaks me out, all these years later.  Those monkeys and that wicked witch are SCARY!
  2. My nickname as a child was Susanna Banana.  Very original.  And still, at 48 years old, people sing "oh Susanna" to me, as if I've never heard it! 
  3. I would love to write a book about living with Autism.  Not a manual, just an honest, funny, "it's not as bad as one might think" light read.
  4. I have a hard time not finishing a book once I start it.  I HAVE to finish it, can't just say "oh, I don't like this".  Working on Part 3 of 50 Shades right now.
  5. I am Canadian, but went to University in Michigan.  Loved it.  Love Americans.
  6. I always wished that I had become a hair stylist.  Not that I've ever wielded a pair of scissors or cut any ones hair.  I think I just like the idea of having a job where it's not frowned upon to chit chat!
  7. I'm a makeup addict, LOVE Sephora, yet often go out with none on.  Sad....
  8. I'm married to a workaholic.  Spent a lot of years fighting it, but finally realized that everyone has their thing, and I've learned to live with it.  He's a good man, a GREAT Dad, and he loves his family -- things could be a whole lot worse!
  9. I love to sleep.  If I'm having a bad day, or I'm too stressed, sleep is where I turn, to escape.  But even when things are good, I love a good nap!
  10. I worry CONSTANTLY, about EVERYTHING!  It's exhausting...
  11. I am addicted to hot yoga.  I think it's helping me with #10.

Here are the answers to the 11 questions from Alicia 



  1. What is your dream vacation?  I think it would have to be a trip to Europe.  England, France and Italy for sure.  I would probably like to do a whirlwind kind of thing, as many places we could see crammed together....cause it would probably be a once in a lifetime trip.
  2. Your favorite childhood memory? Any Christmas - it's my favourite time of year, and it is magical!
  3. How you started blogging? I started blogging when I opened my Etsy shop, as a way for customers to know me a little better.  Then I decided that I had a lot to say about autism, so I started blogging about that.  Lately I've been connecting with so many bloggers travelling the same weight loss journey with me, so my blog is often about that.  I'm all over the map!
  4. Favorite color?  Purple.  At yoga the other day, as I was leaving, the instructor commented on all my purple.  I realized I had on a purple coat, was carrying 2 purple bags, and my mat and water bottle were purple.  It's the colour of royalty ya know!
  5. First thing you do in the morning? Make a cup of coffee and settle down to catch up with as many blogs as I can.  Preferably without having to talk to anyone in the house.  Not a morning talker.  I think I talk so much the rest of the time, it's my "quiet time".
  6. Night owl or morning person?  Morning.  Even though I don't like to talk, I do get up pretty easily.  Love to be in bed early....8 o'clock is not too early some nights!
  7. Favorite TV show?  Do I have to have just one?  I'm a TV addict.   How about Favorite TV show RIGHT NOW -- Breaking Bad.
  8. Ideal night out? Dinner with friends....no kids.
  9. Beer or wine? Wine, white and plenty of it.
  10. What's your job? I do some work from home for Mr. Limefreckle, run my Etsy jewelry business, and take care of Jr. 
  11. Favorite season? Fall.  Wish it lasted longer. 

I'm tagging 11 new (to me) blogs that I have discovered lately and am enjoying. In no particular order:

Mama Chrissy's Chaos
Sublurban Mama
Operation Skinny Jeans
Impulsive Addict
Nelesc Designs
Notions from Nonny
Keeping up with K
From Chunky to Funky
Life by Lex
Serrano Style

Ladies, if you accept your Liebster, here are your questions to post on your blog:


  1. Cats or Dogs?
  2. What is your favourite song right now?
  3. What book are you reading, and is it in book format, or kindle/ipad?
  4. What do you like most about blogging?
  5. What would be your dream job?
  6. Where did you last go on vacation?
  7. What kind of car do you drive?
  8. Favourite jewelry - earrings, bracelet or necklace?
  9. What is your favourite workout?
  10. Last movie you saw in a theatre?
  11. Do you know anyone on the Autism Spectrum?
linking up to Lisette and Impulsive Addict.


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Harlem Shake

Llinking up today with Molly and Sami with my weekend recap.

My weekend was absolutely jam packed with activity!  We had a craft show/bake sale at Limefreckle Jr's school on Saturday, to raise money for the classroom.  We had one at Christmas, our first one, and it was a huge success, so we thought we'd give it a try again, and have a Spring Sale.  We had a bake sale, 40 plus craft vendors, raffles, etc.  Unfortunately, although we advertised as much if not more this time around, we just didn't draw a big crowd like we did at Christmas.  I don't know why, perhaps because it's still so cold outside, perhaps spring sales just aren't as well attended as Christmas shows.  Our bake sale still did incredibly well, and we still raised the same amount of money as we did last time (we raise our money from table fees from the vendors, a raffle with prizes generously donated by the vendors, and the bake sale), but I felt so bad for all the vendors (including myself, I had a table to sell my jewelry) because sales weren't brisk for everyone.  WE had a wonderful group of people there, they were all very supportive of our school, and most of them expressed an interest in coming back at Christmas. I didn't take any pictures, but luckily I was able to swipe some from one of the teacher's instagram page:



I had a yummy lunch from this food truck, we invited them to come back again after our Christmas show.


The bake sale was even bigger than last year, so many people donated items for us!  My mother in law came to help out, baked so much herself and also has a group of friends that have been incredibly generous to us.  My Mother in law is a SUPERSTAR at fundraising, I knew that when we decided to have a bake sale with our craft sale, that she was the woman to hire to run it!


We had 2 great door prizes, gift baskets each filled with a dozen bottles of wine.....I could have used this last night after the show, sadly I didn't win.

It's a HECK of a lot of work to put something like this together, but it's fun, and the minute it was over, I started to think of ideas for our Christmas sale.  It truly is incredibly satisfying to be involved with a fundraiser, I haven't really been much of a volunteer in the past, but I do whatever I can for the school, I believe in it so much!   I do realize that it is important for us, as people, to serve in some way, and volunteering just feels good!

On Sunday we went to my brother in law and sister in law's house to celebrate my nephew's 12th birthday.  He is 10 days older than Limefreckle Jr. and they are very close -- LJ is close to all of his cousins -- he has 4.  They always enjoy each other's company, and I enjoy watching them together.  After lunch, we went to watch my oldest nephew play hockey, it was a sit on the edge of your seat game (they are in the playoffs) and they tied their game.  While we had hoped they would win, they aren't out yet, and have another game on Wednesday.  I've never been a hockey mom, haven't spent a lot of time at games, I'm not sure I could endure the early morning practices, and the commitment it takes when you are part of a team -- but it's certainly fun to go and cheer on my nephew.  Limefreckle Jr. was in the stands going crazy, encouraging me to chant and clap! 

I'll leave you with this video, the kids produced this while they were all playing in the basement today.....it pretty much sums up the fun they have together:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Autism Moms have stress similar to Combat Soldiers


I read this article quite a long time ago, a friend just emailed it to me, and I thought I would share it with you. 


AUTISM MOMS HAVE STRESS SIMILAR TO COMBAT SOLDIERS


you can read the whole article here

The bottom line to the study is that those of us raising children with Autism suffer chronic stress, comparable to the levels suffered by combat soldiers.  Now, while I am in NO WAY  trying to liken my situation to these brave men and women that put there LIFE ON THE LINE for us, I do sort of understand what this survey is getting at.  When you have a child with autism, ESPECIALLY a child that has behaviour issues, you are pretty much "on high alert" at all times (even when the child is NOT causing any trouble) It's hard to switch that on and off, I've found myself in plenty of situations over the years where I was worried that Limefreckle Jr. wasn't going to handle something well, and I've been "stressed" about it -- lately I find myself stressing and worrying and trying to "manage" a situation that I think is going to be a problem - only to find that it's not a problem at all.  I'm working hard to not let that "impulse to worry" go into automatic mode. 

I wrote about this before when I talked about our trip to Disney, I have come to the realization that the many years of managing my sons behaviour has really taken it's toll.  I will literally "tense up" and feel, deep down in my stomach, a sort of "fight or fight" reaction if you will, to something that is happening.   I used to joke around with my friends that my many years of fighting the school board has caused post traumatic stress, but I bet I wouldn't have to go far to find a doctor that would tell me that I am correct in that assumption.  Day in and day out stress, over a long period of time, takes it's toll on a body, and on a mind. 

There was something oddly comforting when I read this article, and I hope that if you haven't already read it, you might find some comfort in it too.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mean Girls

Before I launch into my tirade of the day, I must announce the winner of my PIN IT TO WIN IT
contest!  It was Alison B!  I will email you to get your address.  This is the item that she pinned


OK, on to my question of the day:  Does high school never end? 

I'm not that young anymore....I'm in my 40's.....closer to my 50's than 30's....(alright I'm 48!)
I have encountered a lot of mean girls in my life....but not in high school, I really don't recall that being a big problem back then.....most of the girls in my school were fine.  The mean girls I'm talking about are MOMS!  That's right, other MOMS!

I remember when Limefreckle Jr. was in a typical public school, the mean moms were there IN DROVES.  The parking lot was a veritable mine field, God forbid you parked in a manner that annoyed others -- fights would break out! (I always parked on a street away and walked to the school -- I could use the exercise!)  I remember being in the park, and 2 moms screaming at each other...women that I had assumed were friends!  With all the kids right there, playing on the swings.

Yesterday I had a run in with a mean girl.  Someone that says one thing, but then talks about you behind your back.  I had been told in the past that she had talked about me before, but I chose to just sweep it under the rug, but then I heard it again......fool me once, shame on you.....fool me twice....well, you know the rest.  This isn't someone particularly important to my life, someone that I will run into, but don't have to be friends with.  I think I can be "big" enough to be polite and chit chat with her.....but clearly our relationship isn't ever going to go any further than that.  She's much younger than me (I AM an older Mom I guess) so I'm going to just assume that she's immature, and maybe has had a hard time, and is just an angry person.  I'm trying hard not to take anything personally -- not everyone will like me, I have to accept that!  But that's hard, when you've invited someone into your life, into your home and been nothing but friendly......I guess some people like to have a lot of drama in their life, and will create it if it doesn't exist otherwise. 

So that's my rant for the day. Do you have any mean girls in your life?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday - Wow!

It's weigh in Wednesday again!

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This has been a really rough week for me.  I was home all week for March Break with Limefreckle Jr. the weather is CRAP (don't talk to me about the weather, pretty much everyone I know right now is completely on edge and TOTALLY OVER Winter already!) so there was a lot of lounging around the house, and not a lot of activity taking place (unless you count eating popcorn at the movies as activity).  Yesterday I finally got back to the gym, today I'm off to hot yoga, I finally feel normal again.
 
BUT, having said all that, I still lost 1.8lbs, I'm now 196.
 
I'm not entirely sure how that happened, given my poor eating habits over the past week (OK, they creeped into this week too) but I'll take it!  I want to pretend last week never happened, and get back on track because in a couple of weeks I'm going to be in Myrtle Beach, and I can see this whole scenario playing itself out all over again....except in warmer weather - with a drink in my hand. 
 
Isn't it weird how some weeks you work really, REALLY hard and the scale doesn't show it, and others you probably deserve to be up a bit, and the scale is down?  I guess that's why you shouldn't rely on the scales too much.
 
So, lesson learned, back to being a little more thoughtful about what goes into my mouth!
 
How did you do this week?
 
And, I know you are probably sick of hearing about it, but today is the last chance to enter my  

 PIN IT TO WIN IT CONTEST!

 
 
Visit my Etsy shop and pin your favourite piece of jewelry to Pinterest.  (sign up here if you don't have an account with Pinterest yet) Tomorrow morning I will draw one winner and that person will win the piece of jewelry that they pinned.  Be sure to leave a blog comment with the url of the pin, so that you will be entered in the contest.  If you like more than one item, go ahead and pin them, each separate pin earns an entry.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Speaking of my new couch...

Today is Just because Tuesday, and I'm once again linking up with Lisette and Catalyn





Monday morning I was packing Limefreckle Jr's backpack and lunch, and decided to read through his "What I did during March break" report that he prepared for school.  This is what he put down for the first Monday of the holiday -

In case you can't read his handwriting, it says:

On Monday I stayed home all day long.  Mom would eat everything in the house and lye on the couch all day and watch TV!

BUSTED!

And here's the picture he drew, look at me, just sitting there, watching tv, and him in the background looking all forlorn!


Well, to be fair, I didn't eat absolutely EVERYTHING in the house, I may have snacked "a bit".  And I don't know that I watched TV all day -- there may have been a nap thrown in there...

And of course, when I arrived at school that morning, 3 new co-op students had started, and my son had the pleasure of reading this aloud to everyone, during their normal Monday ritual of discover and discuss.  It's one thing that his teachers hear how lazy his mom is, did the co-op students need to know this too?

I actually have to say, I AM quite proud of the fact that he sat down to do this worksheet all on his own.  I know that this isn't exactly the work of most soon to be 12 year olds - but when Jr. started at his current school 4 years ago, he could barely write, and never drew ANYTHING.  In public school, they spent a lot of time trying to make him hold a pencil the "right" way, there was even an occupational therapist who would come in and consult with the teachers once a month, and try to make him do things the way they "ought" to be done.  He really barely did any school work in those days and certainly he woudn't sit down to do it by himself..  Now when I watch him write and draw, I could care less HOW he holds the pencil, as long as the words flow, it will eventually all sort itself out.  We are so lucky to have found such a fantastic school to help him unlock his potential and be all that he could be. 

Later in the day, I got this text picture from his teacher:




The grin on his face says it all.  I looked at it, laughed out loud, and realized how incredibly lucky we are that he is able to attend a one of a kind school with teachers that are really more like family than anything else! 

Now if you haven't already, don't forget to enter my giveway contest:

PIN IT TO WIN IT



Visit my Etsy shop and pin your favourite piece of jewelry to Pinterest.  (sign up here if you don't have an account with Pinterest yet)  On Thursday I will draw one winner and that person will win the piece of jewelry that they pinned.  Be sure to leave a blog comment with the url of the pin, so that you will be entered in the contest.  If you like more than one item, go ahead and pin them, each separate pin earns an entry.


Good luck! 




Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans - new furniture!

I'm linking up again with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans!


Our weekend was the finale of March Break.  On Friday, two of Limefreckle Jr's friends, and their mothers came over for a coffee/play date.  I love it when his friends come over, it makes him so happy (he must have asked me 15 times that morning what time everyone would arrive.  Then when the doorbell rang I had to call for him....I suppose he was waiting for an announcement to make his grand entrance! The kid is a MAJOR drama king!)

Our new couch arrived Friday afternoon -- this is what the room looked like before (from my Christmas tour blog post 2011  I loved the colour of this couch and chair, and the "largeness" of them, but they were really getting worn out, and uncomfortable.  I inherited them from my parents, and we certainly got our use out of them.  Free is always good!


This is about 3 minutes after the delivery guys left


The pillows it came with match our living room much better, plus they were not comfortable napping pillows AT ALL, way too hard, so I switched them out, and need to buy some red ones, to tie all the red in from the room.  It's a whole lot more comfortable than the old couch, but it takes a bit of getting used to the darker colour.  This set matches the rest of the house pretty well though, so I think they "go".  And I don't feel like I have to call someone to help hoist me out of the couch when I want to get up....so that's a good thing!

The rest of the weekend was spent doing pretty much nothing.  Took LJ to Superheroes on Saturday morning, stayed home on Sunday and cleaned my office, something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and then I watched "The Jane Austen book Club" on Netflix.  It was a nice chick flick, I enjoyed it, and now I have a desire to read all of Jane Austen's books - What's up with that?  And why haven't I read any before?

Oh, and I may or may not have gone the entire week without washing my hair.  10 days actually, a new record!  Is that gross?  I can't believe how good it looked all this time, (ok, truth be told, had to put it up in a clip for the past couple of days) My hair stylist is such a genius, I like to put off washing and styling it myself for as long as possible.  Back to reality on Monday.

I didn't do the best job of sticking to my Weight Watchers points this week and weekend, and am looking forward to taking Limefreckle Jr. to school tomorrow, and getting back into our regular routine.   Thankfully I have till Wednesday to get my act together, when I weigh in for the week.

If you haven't entered already, don't forget about my jewelry giveaway I'm hosting.  It's called:
 
PIN IT TO WIN IT!

 visit my Etsy shop and pin your favourite piece of jewelry to Pinterest.  (sign up here if you don't have an account with Pinterest yet)  On Thursday I will draw one winner and that person will win the piece of jewelry that they pinned.  Be sure to leave a blog comment with the url of the pin, so that you will be entered in the contest.  If you like more than one item, go ahead and pin them, each separate pin earns an entry.
 
Good luck! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who does she think she is, Princess Margaret?

I read on some blogs that there was an Instagram thing going around recently about celebrity dopplegangers.  I have an Instagram account, but have been fairly slow to jump on the bandwagon...it's all I can do to keep up with my blogging and check Facebook everyday, I'm just not sure if I can commit to Instagram (same for Twitter - just haven't gotten into it yet).  But I was intrigued to find out who my celebrity doppleganger was.  I did a Google search, unfortunately I can't remember which ones I used...but there are several.  I used two different sites, because I wanted to find as many celebrities that I looked like as possible.

Several were people I'd never heard of....that's no fun, I want to look like someone FAMOUS!!  These are the 3 that came up on both, so I suppose they are my closest matches.

First off, I was quite happy to see that I am associated with Jenna Fischer.....I could only hope to look like her!


I guess I see it a bit, but I don't really think we look that much alike.

Next up, ya, RIGHT, if I was 20 years younger, blonde, and with better teeth, is Jessica Simpson


Jessica is a stretch, I don't think anyone's going to be mistaking me for her anytime soon.

This last one is the one I think I do look most like.  While I'm not a ginger, I did rock some pretty awesome auburn hair in my younger years, before the premature grey started sneaking in and I had to start booking monthly visits with my stylist for colour touch ups.  Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (is she still the Duchess of York?  She always will be in my book!)


Yes, I think this is the winner!  Must be my British heritage, but slap some coloured contacts on me and lighten my hair, and I'm sipping tea and munching on crumpets with the Queen of England (reminds me of a story --back when I worked at a bank, I had to tell a woman that we wouldn't renew her mortgage -- she was less than pleased with me!  She went to my boss to complain, and said to him "Who does she think she is, Princess Margaret?"  We laughed about that for years.....not "The Queen of England, but her less famous sister, Princess Margaret!)

So who do YOU think I look most like?  And who is your celebrity doppleganger?

In other news, if you didn't know already, I'm having another giveway on the blog! it is a

PIN IT TO WIN IT CONTEST!
 


All you need to do to enter is to go to My Etsy shop and pin the item of your choice, THEN BE SURE TO COMMENT HERE WITH THE URL TO YOUR PIN.  If you aren't already a member of Pinterest, why not?  You can go here to join upFeel free to pin more than one item, you will receive an entry for each item that you pin.  The contest will run for one week, at the end I will draw one winner to win the item that they pinned!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Non Scale Victories - putting it out there!

I'm linking up with Katie and Lex for Non Scale Victories again this week.  

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 One thing I really struggle with is putting the REAL NUMBERS out there.  I am completely comfortable with complete strangers knowing how much I weigh.  If I was sure only complete strangers would read my blog, I'd be fine with it!

But on Tuesday I started a new giveaway on the blog, and wanted to post it to my Limefreckle facebook page.  Makes sense right?  If I'm going to have a facebook page for Limefreckle, it might be the prudent thing to do, to let people know about the contest.

But that's where I got stuck.  I realized that PEOPLE THAT I REALLY KNOW might visit my blog, and read my weight updates.
 
AND THAT SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!

I have no idea why -- do I think that when they see me, they don't recognize that I have a couple extra lbs. to lose?  Maybe those that don't see me that often think I look as great as I do in my carefully edited facebook pictures (come on, we all do it....only post the ones we like!)

But it actually took me a little while to decide to post about the blog -- and ultimately I did it.  I didn't direct them to the pages that talk about my weight journey, they'll have to dig around to find those, but I put it out there, for all the world to see "I HAVE A BLOG! COME AND LOOK!"

I have 3 main reasons for blogging -

#1 - I want to talk about my weight loss journey, and find others who are on one too

#2 - I want to talk about Autism, what it's like to live with autism, and hopefully, inspire people to learn about it and recognize the "quirky" side of some of these kids.  And Limefreckle Jr. is nothing if not quirky!

#3 - I want to talk about, and hopefully sell jewelry, on my Etsy shop.  My shop has been around for quite sometime, but I really only work at it part time, I haven't advertised for it, haven't put too much effort into it, it's something that I do for fun.  Lately, I've been more committed to listing more items, advertising it a bit, talking about it on my blog, and blogging more in general.

I realize that if I want to get a little more traffic to my shop, I need to talk about it on the blog, on my facebook page, and all these things need to be linked.  I'm probably the world's worst salesman, I would SO MUCH rather just create pieces, and not have to put any effort into selling them!  I'm more of a "here's what I have to offer, hope you like it" kind of person, and marketing myself quite frankly scares me.  But it's another thing that I'm working on.

So I think "putting it out there" is a definite NON SCALE VICTORY this week!

And if you are by chance interested in my giveway this week, here it is:


PIN IT TO WIN IT!
 
 
All you need to do is visit my Etsy shop and pin whichever item(s) you like best. Then come back here and leave me a comment with the URL of your pin.  You can pin more than one item, you will earn extra items, one for each pin.  At the end of the week, one winner will win the piece that they pinned!  If you AREN'T on Pinterest, go here to sign up.  Seriously, even if you don't partake in this contest - GET YOURSELF TO PINTEREST, YOU WON'T BE SORRY!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday - in it for the long haul!

 
It's Weigh in Wednesday and once again, I'm linking up with Erin and Alex
 
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I LOST 2 LBS!!


 
 
 
I've joined Erin's dietbet, and I'm afraid it's stressing me out a little bit!  I have to lose 2 lbs a week in order to win, and that's actually a bit more than I usually lose in 7 days, so I've been trying to ramp it up a bit, but instead I've found myself faltering.  Nothing too crazy, a couple of glasses of wine here, some extra pasta there.  Sometimes competition in weight loss doesn't really work for me.  I'd hoped that being part of a bigger community would kick my butt in gear, but I find myself constantly battling that inner deamon inside me that wants to give up. I'm not really a very competitive person.  I remember I used to do personal training with a friend, and the trainer would try to pit us against each other...."look at her, she's beating you!"  I would be all "Yay friend - way to go!" and it wouldn't inspire me to work harder at all!  Competition sometimes pushes me in the opposite direction...
 
BUT, I haven't given up, I haven't let the negative thinking take over -  and I lost what I needed to this week.  I DID weigh in at 196.4 last week, but it crept back on over the weekend, and that's where I start to stress a little.  I need to regroup, remember that the scale will fluctuate here and there, and I need to remind myself NOT to step on it constantly, hoping that it will be wrong.  I have to remember that I'm in this for the long haul, the numbers are going DOWN which is the right direction, and that's all that matters. 
 
In other news, I'm having another giveway on the blog!  This time I'm doing a
 
PIN IT TO WIN IT CONTEST!
 
 
 
 
 
All you need to do is visit my Etsy shop and pin your favourite item. Of course, you have to be a member of Pinerest, if you aren't, go here to sign yourself up. TO BE ENTERED IN THE CONTEST, YOU NEED TO COMMENT ON MY BLOG AND LEAVE ME THE URL OF YOUR PIN. That's it. The giveway will be up for one week, at the end one lucky winner will win their pinned item! You are welcome to pin more than one image if you like, as long as you comment with the url of each image, it will earn you extra entries.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Pinteresting!

 
As usual, linking up with Shawn and Impulsive Addict at Talk to us Tuesday and also Lisette a new blog hop I've joined!  I love doing blog hops, being a newish blogger ( I know I've had the blog for a long time, but I've really just recently started to really post with regularity)


I haven't done a pinterest post lately, here are some of my favourite pins lately:

 
Why didn't I think of this one when Limefreckle Jr. was little???  Whenever I see things like this, I'm pretty sure that the person that took this picture could be my friend....
 
find this here
 
This is from one of my favourite bloggers Karen.  She has some great decor ideas, this is fantastic way to change up your mantle.
 
find the original recipe here
My MIL makes a similar salad like this and I love it.  Going to substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream, because that's what I do these days - I think it's a healthier alternative, and you wouldn't notice the difference.
 
find it here

 I need to teach myself how to make this slide closure.  Mark that down for something else to do during this March break.  If I can peel myself off the couch and away from reading blogs all day....
 
find here
Also need to complete this on an old frame I've had forever and just haven't figured out what to do with.  I'm designing a wall in the kitchen to hold all my important stuff - this will be part of it.  Again, must stop reading blogs and get to work!
 
I just finished a giveaway on my blog, and decided that I don't want to wait till I get 100 followers to host another one!  So this time around, I'm doing something a little different.  I'm going to host a
 
PIN IT TO WIN IT CONTEST!
 
 
 
 
All you need to do is visit my Etsy Shop and pin your favourite item.  Of course, you have to be a member of Pinerest, if you aren't  go here to sign yourself up.   TO BE ENTERED IN THE CONTEST, YOU NEED TO COMMENT ON MY BLOG AND LEAVE ME THE URL OF YOUR PIN.  That's it.  The giveway will be up for one week, at the end one lucky winner will win their pinned item! You are welcome to pin more than one image if you like, as long as you comment with the url of each image, it will earn you extra entries.
 
 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Let the festivities commence!

Ah, spring break, is there anything finer?  Well, maybe spring break, with nothing to do AND STILL another week coming up around Easter for a vacation to Myrtle Beach - so I feel like I'm getting extra vacay this year!  We are just sticking around the house, relaxing, getting some jewelry made, movies watched, bikes rode (ridden?).  The weather is cooperating so far, Limefreckle Jr. broke out his bike today with much anticipation -- and is over at the park,  riding while I type.  I'm hoping the sun continues to shine, and the trails dry up.  We are really lucky, we have a TON of hiking and biking trails in our area, and I want to take full advantage of them this year.  Jr. loves to bike, and so do I, so this year I plan to do a lot more of it.

The weekend was quiet -- Superheroes program for Jr. on Saturday morning.  It's a program for kids with special needs at a nearby university.  The kids go into the gym and do different activities.  For Jr. and his friend, it's become an hour of fantasy play, they really don't participate in the official "exercises" outlined for the kids, instead they drag their helpers (university students that volunteer) all around on a fantasy journey, a story they make up as they go.  Limefreckle Jr. is OBSESSED with it, hates to miss a week.  I don't really think they are following the "curriculum" very well, his helper mentioned that to me, but I'm fresh out of ideas how to claw them back now!  I'm hoping that they won't take a hard line with him, that he needs to be "following the program" cause I don't see that going down well, and honestly, it's just a fun program for him to get out and get a little exercise, if it needs to become a battle of "do this cause I said so" I don't see that going well.  This is one part of raising a child on the spectrum that really exhausts me.  I get so tired of trying to make him "conform" that I just want to say "go and do what you want to do....have fun!". 

Sunday morning I joined the ranks of middle aged women all over North America, I did a Zumba class at a local church.  I don't belong to a gym anymore, I train at a private studio two times a week with a personal trainer, but this studio is really just set up for training and boot camps, no classes or anything like that.  The rest of the time I go to hot yoga -my absolute FAVOURITE thing to do.....if you haven't tried it, seriously, get yourself to a hot yoga studio ASAP because it feels ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!  I do kind of miss classes though, it's fun to go to a class, zone out for awhile, and just have fun.  I'm going to try and start attending Zumba every Sunday.

After I got home, we all went out to find us a new couch.  We have a family room off our kitchen, which is pretty much the room I live in.  I have a TV, the laptop, what more do I need? We currently have a couch and chair in there that I inherited from my parents....they are about 10 years old, and are starting to show their age.  The chair is torn, the couch is stained and has a "divet" in it where my ass rests most of the time....it's so uncomfortable.....time to upgrade.

I've been looking for something to replace the couch and chair for awhile. Last week I finally found something that I think will work, so I dragged Mr. Limefreckle to the store to see it, before he could  change his mind....


This, and the matching chair, (sans pillows) are being delivered on Friday.  Mr. Limefreckle isn't a big fan of the nail heads, but I don't mind them, I don't think they will be all that noticeable, behind the coffee table, and they go with the general style of the house.  I can't wait to have my first nap on it.  When you go to buy a sofa, do you stretch out on it to determine if it is nap worthy? I do.

After he broke out the checkbook for a new sofa and chair, we headed out to test drive a new car.


I already drive the Mazda CX-7 and I LOVE IT!!  I've never owned a foreign car before this one, I was always a big believer in buying North American, but these days these cars are often built here, and besides, I L0VE THIS CAR, so all my sensibilities and morals go out the window.  This time we are looking at the CX-9, because they don't make the CX-7 anymore.  Limefreckle Jr. was hilarious, he basically told the salesman WE ARE TAKING THIS CAR, but Mr. Limefreckle is an expert salesman too, he's not swayed by slick talkers, we did not leave with the car (Limefreckle Jr. asked us if we should start unloading the other car, he assumed we were going home in the new one!)  I understand my husband's point of view though, you don't just make snap decisions on these kinds of things.....I'll leave it to him to work out all the details!  I know that within a few weeks, I'll be in a new car, and I'm completely lucky and thankful that we are able to do that!  I commented to the salesman on our test drive that one thing I didn't like about the car, is there is no mute button for the stereo on the steering wheel.  TALK ABOUT A FIRST WORLD PROBLEM!  Um, sorry, but when I drive through Tim Horton's I'm forced to lean over and TURN OFF the stereo, instead of being able to mute it with a touch of my finger.  I'm pathetic!

So all in all it was a pretty awesome weekend!  I went a little over my comfort zone with my Weight Watchers points today (2 glasses of wine add up!) I ate about 57 points today, a tad over my 29 allowance.  But I had some extra points left over, and I DID earn some activity points with Zumba after all!  I do know with certainty however, that in my old life MANY of my days were probably 65 plus points -- now it's a rarity, and I'm good with that.  I KNOW this weight loss is going to be permanent for me, because I'm making better choices ALL AROUND, but allowing some splurges here and there. THAT'S what I think is needed for long term success.

And now I've settled in to watch the Celebrity apprentice....I love a good trainwreck, and with Omerosa back, it promises to be just that! I'm linking up with these blog hops!
stillbeingmolly


Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm so ready for Spring!

One blogger I love to read everyday is Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife. She has lovely taste, I like her daily Mom style posts, and find her blog a lot of fun to read.  Today I'm linking up with her, for Fashion Friday.


I've pretty much had it up to here with Winter for this season, please, oh please, can we PLEASE have some warmer weather! Next week is our March Break, I was reminded recently how warm it was here last year during March break. This year we still have snow! This little polyvore creation is my ode to Spring. I'm on the lookout for a Cobalt Blue top like this, and am definitely gonna get me some white jeans for sure this year!  This particular scarf is a bit above my budget, but I'm sure I can find something similar in my price range.    The accesssories here are courtesy of Limefreckle of course!  I'm going on vacation soon to South Carolina, I can't wait to hit the outlet malls with my mom, these items will be on my must have list for sure.  That and new underwear and socks.  I don't know why, but I can't pass by an outlet mall without purchasing underwear and socks!!

What are your must have items for this spring?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Non-Scale Victories!

First things first, my giveaway for a copy of Melanie Shankle's book "Sparkly Green Earrings" and a pair of sparkly green earrings courtesy of Limefreckle is over!  Congratulations to Allison Bahr!  I've sent you an email Allison, hope you love the book AND the earrings!

The next giveway will be when I reach 100 followers.  So if you aren't following me already, why not?  All the cool kids are doing it!

Today I'm joining Katie and Alexis for a great link up I've just discovered.

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Too often I judge my success by the number on the scale, but really I've had so many more "aha" moments in my journey as of late, so it's time to start celebrating them.
 
This week my non scale victory is going to be my conquering after school eating.  I've been an after school binge eater for quite some time.  Started way back in the late 70's, when I was a latchkey kid.  My brother and I would come home and pretty much gorge on whatever we could get our hands on, no mom was in the kitchen to keep us from making poor decisions.  Some of the concoctions we came up with over the years were wierd.  One of my brother's favourites was PB&J mixed into ice cream to almost shake like consistency.  I would pretty much just eat whatever carbs I could find.
 
Fast forward all these years, and I still have an after school binge....now I bring Limefreckle Jr. home from school, and my immediate instinct is to sit down and EAT!  Not a healthy dinner, but snack stuff, often WAYYYY to much.  I've been struggling with this for quite sometime.  In the early years, it was probably a way to combat the stress of dealing with autism, and all the lovely behaviours that can come with it.  Now those are fewer and further between, but the cravings and the desire to eat is still there.
 
For a few weeks now though that has been changing.  I'm feeling much less of a need to eat, and I'm able to just have a healthy snack and get on with the evening.  I think blogging about my weight loss journey has been very instrumental in that change.  I won't say I've beaten that monkey off my back, but I feel like I have really good control over it, I'm more aware of it, and mindless eating is just not something I want to engage in anymore. 
 
It's a non scale victory that in the long run means much more than any number on the scale could.
 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday ONEderland!

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I'm linking up for Weigh -In Wednesday once again with Erin and Alex.  So, may I have a drum roll please????????
I DID IT!  I'm under 200 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Applause, applause (and the crowd goes wild). (those are the noises going on in my head right now!)



I'm SOOOOOO HAPPY to be under 200!  I had really hoped I would have crashed through that number a little better, turns out I just squeeked by with 0.2 lbs to spare, but I'll take it.

Now, IN THE SPIRIT OF FULL DISCLOSURE.....I normally get weighed on Fridays.  This past friday, at my weigh in, I was 200 lbs. on the nose.  That WOULD have been my post.  But this week I'm doing something different.  I'm joining Erin  and a whole bunch of others in a Diet Bet, so I had to photograph myself on the scale to submit it.  So you betcha, I'm using this weight from now on.  I will still get weighed at my Weight Watcher meeting every Friday. I will start photographing myself every week, and posting my Tuesday weight on the blog, for Weigh in WEDNESDAY.    Confused yet?  And, to top it off, I notice that my scale says 3/3/ 2012.....better fix that. 

So, I'm excited about the diet bet, I'm really hoping that it encourages me to get the next 10 lbs. off.  WE have to lose 4% of our weight to win prize money, that would be 8 lbs, but I'm aiming for 10.    I just realized, after I submitted my pictures to dietbet.com, that I am going to be away when it is time to post the final weight!!  I'm going to have to bring my scales with me!  Good thing I'm not flying....imagine explain THAT to the grumpy attendant that rolls his eyes because I forgot to dump my water bottle at the security check in. 

I'm trying to think of ways to really clean up my diet.  I also need to add some extra activity in.  I think one of the things I'm going to do is entirely eliminate wine......it's only 1 month and it is for a good cause.  (can you hear me trying to talk myself into that?)

Any ideas on what I can do to really amp it up this week?

There is just one day left before my giveaway for Melanie Shankle's book "Sparkly Green Earrings" and a pair of Limefreckle "Sparkly Green Earrings", so if you haven't entered already, you can enter thru rafflecopter, right here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tantrum vs. Meltdown

this picture has made the rounds online.  It always reminds me of my son and the early days.  I wonder how the little girl in this picture feels about her picture floating around there in cyberspace!
I've talked before about Limefreckle Jr's meltdowns.  He used to have them almost EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  Back when he was 2, it was a lot easier to handle, because he was small, we could pick him up and remove him from situations.  It's not so easy anymore.

Of course, his meltdowns are not as severe as they used to be.  He used to get very aggressive, often towards other children. That is hard, when your child hits another, it's very hard to have to face that mother, and hope that she will understand. and not judge you, or your son.  Most people I've encountered have been wonderful, very understanding.  Occasionally I've run into mothers that aren't so wonderful, but that's life, you're going to encounter those women no matter what.  You learn to navigate, and find people who understand.

Limefreckle Jr. also can become very aggressive towards me.  For awhile it was constant, so much so that when I spoke to his doctor about it, we discovered it was probably his ADHD medication that was causing it.  So we took him off of everything, and he got MARKEDLY better.  It was such a relief.

But he still has episodes where he gets upset.  Not towards other children anymore, thank goodness, but towards me.  I've met many moms of kids on the spectrum that tell me their son does the same thing.  I guess it's their comfort zone, I'm not sure.  Part of me is relieved to know that he understands that he can't do that to just anyone.  Now I'm just waiting for the day the he realizes he can't do it to me anymore either.

One thing that helps me is to remember that there is a difference between a toddler tantrum and an Autistic meltdown.  One of the hardest parts of his public meltdowns was always the judgement and observations from strangers.  Why do we as Moms worry so much about what other Mom's think?  Furthermore, why do moms not support each other more, instead of judging?  IT TAKES A VILLAGE PEOPLE....


I found this chart courtesy of Autism Daddy, and I think it really sums things up.  It does a good job of outlining the differences between a tantrum and a meltdown, especially the part about "audience to perform".  Personally I think that is one of the biggest ways to tell the difference.  We are so conditioned to assume that a child misbehaving is doing it for our attention -- but sometimes they have no control over what they are doing.

 I wish I had read this when Limefreckle Jr. was younger, it really puts it into perspective for me.  I've had so many instances in my life when my son was misbehaving, where I was made to feel that he was a bad child, I was a bad mother, and really, we are all (Limefreckle Jr. included) just DOING OUR BEST!  It's hard to raise a child, let alone one with special needs, so if you are in the throws of the "difficult" behaviours, please remember that you are not alone, many have been there before you.  Work on helping your child cope with those stressors that are causing him trouble and try not to worry about the judgements (perceived or otherwise) sent your way by other people.  Have confidence that you are doing the best that you can.

If you haven't entered already,  I'm hosting a giveaway this week, a book by Big Mama, Melanie Shankle, one of my favourite bloggers, called "Sparkly Green Earrings".  And of course, being a jewelry designer, I couldn't pass up the chance to make a pair of "sparkly green earrings" to do with it!  You can enter the contest here, it closes Thursday March 7th, at midnight.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And today I'm linking up with these blog hops.  Go visit everyone!