Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sorry so long without a post - we have had lots going on and nothing going on at the same time. We all have our time off for the end of the summer, so we have been having fun, relaxing, taking care of some business, but nothing exciting enough to write about, lol. On Thursday G went to his "girlfriend" Taylor's house to play - they had their most fantastic playdate thus far. She has autism as well, and they met when they were 3 in their first year of school. They have been friends ever since, and although they are in different schools now, they love each other so much, and her mother and I get them together a few times a year. Usually, things are up and down for a while, and then one or both of them just get too overwhelmed and it is time to pack up. They started off a little rocky at times, and then they sat and had a talk that G initiated, and from that point on, they were fine - and we ended up staying for over 5 hours - her mother and I didn't even realize the way the time was flying until we were suddenly like OMG - its almost dinner time! It was GREAT - we were both SO proud of them! They took turns and shared and really considered each others feelings - apologized for out of line behavior - it was just fantastic - I couldn't be happier.

Then yesterday, we went to the mall for a Kidgits event - basically it's the mall kids club, and it is great, $5 for the year to join, several activities a month for the kids, prizes and games, free pictures every month from the picture people, and discounts at various stores and restaurants in and out of the mall. He had a blast - it was Grandparents day, so he and Grammy got to have their picture taken together at the Picture People, he got to roll a pretzel at Auntie Anne's, and he was just thrilled to learn that the ends of the pretzel dough (after it is rolled out into a long thin strip) are called toes. He did really well making his pretzel - I was very proud of him!

He followed the directions very well, and he is so funny because he always gets so nervous and doesn't want to try something new, then he takes the plunge at the last second, and he does great! Then there was a magic show, and he was the first kid that got pulled up on stage as an assistant - and lucky for him a little girl was called up with him, lol - and they did a cute little trick with him.

G was funny because he was afraid that the magician would either "disappear him", or try to saw him in half. (This fear I am really upset about - we were watching America's Got Talent, which he loves, and they had Penn & Teller on, and they did the saw someone in half trick, only being Penn & Teller, they had to pretend it went wrong, and actually saw the chick in half, blood flew everywhere, and it was like in slow mo as we realized what was about to happen and not being able to get to change the channel quick enough... so then we have to let him watch until the end even though the poor child is horrified just so he can see that it is fake and the girl is just fine... which he did, and he realized what they did and understood it to the best that a 5 year old can, and is not like terrified or anything, but he totally thought about it when he actually came face to face with a magician.) Anywhoo, the magician asked him if he would like to stay on stage to do the next trick to, and G said, "No thank you", and walked right off the stage! I was hysterical, and then the little girl took his cue and walked off as well - it was all good for the magician, and when I asked G at home why he did that, thinking that he was probably happy the trick he got was tame, and figured he would get out before things got crazy, and he said that all of the children should be able to have a turn, and so he only took one turn. I got all teary and proud and stuff... too cute.

Now for my smoking update... ok, I am doing fine with it - it has been just over 4 weeks now, and I feel fantastic. I can do so many more things that I didn't even realize like, how unhealthy I was as a smoker. Like, I can exercise now. Like for real. Like, an hour or two at a time, sometimes I do that more than once a day. It's kind of a novelty right now, because a month ago, I felt like my chest would explode and I would have a stroke after 20 mins of aerobic exercise. Now, I have to be going over 3mph with incline on the treadmill to really break a sweat. My skin feels fantastic, like seriously, even my feet aren't as dry like on the bottom where you usually get calluses and whatnot. It's crazy. Now for the bad part. The one thing I have actually been struggling with. I have had the cold type symptoms, and they are finally pretty much gone. What was really tough to deal with there was that I was having those symptoms from quitting as well as general summer allergies, but I have weathered through. Now I have the WORST headaches. Kind of like ice cream headaches - it's like that squeezing kind of headache that is a million times worse if you like cough or get up too quick etc... Turns out that these are due to the fact that when you smoke, you deprive your brain of a certain amount of blood and oxygen. So when you quit, you can get headaches from the rush of additional blood and oxygen going to the brain. This is largely due to the fact that smoking causes your veins and arteries to narrow, so it is much like with an ice cream headache where they constrict from the cold. This part sucks in plain English, and I can't wait for it to be done with. Especially since I am really doing well with losing weight. It stinks that exercising is actually making them worse as you breathe heavier and your blood circulates faster when you do so. I am dealing with it, and I figure I spent a little over 10 years smoking, the fact that this is the worst thing I am dealing with is not so bad, I just really can't wait for it to be done. That's about it for now... I will continue to update on the smoking, as well as the weight loss - I'm down a little over 10 lbs since quitting smoking which is a little strange, but whatever man - I'm diggin it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quitting Smoking

Ok, so I feel it has been long enough now, and I am SO over it, that I can share with you all what I've done. Brace yourselves... I've quit smoking. Over 10 years of smoking, wanting to quit at times, actually quitting at times, and always right back to it. I think it is because I didn't really want to quit - I just thought it was the right thing to do, or someone else was quitting and was trying to peer pressure me into doing it too. Well, I finally hit my point where I really wanted to, and I kept thinking "I need to set a day when I will quit", or "I can't quit cold turkey, but I have to make a plan for quitting". Of course these thoughts are no good if you don't act upon them. But then, on July 31, I was like you know what - I'm done with this. I went for like 24 hrs without a cig. Then I had 1. I had figured I would use this last pack to try to ween myself off of them slowly. Well, I had a little less than half of it, and I thought to myself, if I can go for a full day without, then why am I doing this now? It's only re-feeding the addiction and making the cravings stronger. So I stubbed it out and never looked back. It has been 2 weeks now, and I feel fan-fucking-tastic! I am so glad I stuck with it this time. I'm so not kidding - I smell better, my skin and hair feel better, I can breathe better, I can taste and smell better (which is kind of odd because it turns out there are some foods that I used to love, that I can't even deal with anymore. Like I had a salami and provolone sandwich the other day and was ready to heave 1/2 way through it from the extreme saltiness of the food.) The thing I wasn't expecting was that like, my muscles ache SO much less than they ever did before, its easier to fall asleep at night, it is easier to get up in the morning, I'm actually much calmer than I was before, and I get over the stress quicker and easier than when I used to use a cigarette to calm myself. It is really crazy.

Something I was expecting was to start eating a lot and gaining more weight. Quite the opposite. I find I am eating less, I am making much smarter choices about what I choose to eat, and not really consciously. I'm just doing it. Don't get me wrong - the ex-smokers hack is a bitch at times, and as a result, my ice cream/fudgecicle/juice pop intake has gone WAY up to help soothe the throat, but that's been my only vice, and it doesn't seem to be affecting things too badly b/c I've lost 10 lbs since quitting. It's like an oppressive fog was lifted from my body allowing me to think more clearly, my metabolism to speed up, my body to feel better, etc. Now, I'm not going to say it's been all peaches and roses either. I had some cravings the first week. After that, the cravings died down to almost zilch, and now, I have absolutely no desire to have one. I will say that the one thing that really helped that first week was cleaning. Obsessive cleaning. Like, scrubbing windows, floors, walls, re-organizing mine and G's rooms, cleaning out the laundry room - as time consuming and tedious as it could be I did it all, and not only did it help me get through the craving, but it also helped me to get rid of any lingering smoke smells, and my house is so damn clean, you could eat off of my bathroom floors - I'm so not kidding.

The hardest thing to get through I think is what they call junkie thinking. Sounds horrible, right? But until I did some research on the computer, I thought I was nuts because I was like ok, I have barely any cravings, I don't want a cigarette, yet I can't stop thinking about them. I mean can't stop. Not in a hey I should go smoke one kinda way. It was almost like my brain was reminiscing. Like hey, remember how good a cigarette after dinner is? Remember the time we were smoking a cig with so and so and blah happened? I'm not kidding. And I couldn't shut it off. I still can't, but it is SO much less severe than it was. I even made a joke to my bestie I was like omg, I need Cigarettes Anonymous. Then I did some research, and found out about junkie thinking, and letting it sabotage you. This happens when you quit doing anything that has been such a major part of your life. There are a few reasons why:
1) You have spent many years of your life attaching cigarettes to everything. Hungry? Have a butt. Tired? Have a butt. Stressed? Pissed? Upset? Have a butt. After dinner? Have a butt. Driving the car? Have a butt. Just had good sex? Have a butt. Just had bad sex? Have a butt. It takes 5-7 mins to smoke a cigarette, and if you smoke 15-20 in a day, that's roughly 75-140 mins a day you spent with your cigs. So your brain can't just shut that off. So even though you may not be having a craving at the time, your brain is basically saying like, Hey - there is something else we should be doing right now, or this is how we feel, shouldn't we be smoking?
2) Even though you maybe aren't having full on cravings, you are still a nicotine addict. It is the addicted part of your brain that is speaking. And every time you have a relapse, that addicted part of your brain is like, "Ha ha, made ya smoke. Now I'm going to yell louder until you feed me again." I picture it like that commercial for some weight loss thing where they're like don't let hunger get you, and "hunger" is a little fuzzy orange monster - I hope you know what I'm talking about.
3) Quitting smoking, because of all the time you used to spend doing it, and all the reasons you used to do it, is like losing a friend! They say you actually become a little depressed after quitting, because of that. It's like losing a close friend, and you are sad. Maybe not on a conscious level, but it still happens. (This also intensifies the cravings for food, and the mood swings that we all develop those first few days. You know, that ones that make you shoot fire out your eyes and ears just because someone idk, breathed too close to you? lol - it actually makes sense when you break it down and apply it to your life.)

So, I'm happy to say that after 2 weeks, the "junkie thinking" is dying down, and I'm really feeling good about my decision. And at $7.00 a pack now, so is my wallet! (Up until the very last pack that I bought, I was actually spending $6.75 - the last pack, which I only ended up smoking 5 cigs from, was $7.00 - grrr). Now - had you told me all these wonderful things that would happen, I can't say for sure how things would have gone, obviously. I do have to say though, that one of the reasons I decided to post this, and make it SO long winded (aside from the fact that it's my blog and I'll type how I want to - lol) is because I feel like everything that is out there trying to get you to quit smoking is gross and mean. They tell you the nasty things in cigarettes, they show you gross lungs, and tracheal rings, and that lady with the missing fingers and toes. And I myself as well as many many people I know will sit there and smoke right through the PSA's. Listen to people preach about it and (most often times people who never lit up in their lives) and then say something like, "Yeah well, my parents didn't raise me to be a quitter" or whatever. I feel like if there were ad's on TV and billboards that showed people saying, "Hey, I quit, and this is how I feel", or "I can do these things now" would have a bigger impact. If I heard someone say "I was a ball of stress, my whole body ached, and I took forever to get out of bed in the morning, and now, I don't have these problems, and this is how I feel, I may have listened to that. Because that is something I could relate to. I have these problems, I'd like them to go away too, you know what I mean?

Well, I hope this makes sense to some of you, I hope it helps others out there looking to quit, or looking for quit support - sometimes just reading what other people are going through is good for you (it is for me anyway). Good luck!!

Here is a link to a cool site that allows you to put in your info, and it tells you how much money and time you have saved, and what your health benefits are at this point in time, and how close you are to achieving things like reducing your risk for lung cancer, coronary heart disease, etc.

Click here to create your own

Friday, August 14, 2009

Giovanni's Luau

Today is Giovanni's last day of summer school, and the teachers have planned a great day for them! They are having a pancake breakfast, water fun (every Friday they go in the pool and run around in the sprinklers, play at a water table, etc), and then they are having a goodbye pizza party/luau. He is so excited! Here is what he looked like this am - we were running a little late, so he is making a weird face and there was no time for a re-take, but you get the idea:

He has a really cute Hawaiian print shirt on that we happened to have gotten a while back from my cousin Joanne. Her boys are a few years older than G, and everything she sends me is in such beautiful condition - G gets so excited to know he is in clothes that used to belong to his cousins!
I can't believe he is now officially done with Kindergarten. September 2nd he starts 1st GRADE! The summer FLEW by, but luckily, I did a lot of preparing for this, so we have everything we need to start school. Now we can just enjoy our last 2 weeks off. I have plans for some day trips and things to go do with G, so I will have lots of pics and posts to come. I can't wait until he gets home to hear how his day went!!
Well, I'm off to continue getting things done around the house here - I have to go out, but as I sit here typing, I am looking out the window at the PARKING LOT like traffic of people headed to the beach and I'm SO not looking forward to it. Maybe I'll just wait until the baby gets home from school and make a break for it, lol. I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Carly Fleischmann - autistic girl who is just amazing...

So, I don't know if any of you caught 20/20 on Friday night, but there was a girl named Carly, 14 yrs old, who is severely autistic. Her story is amazing, I am so impressed by her for all that she is doing for autistic children and their parents, advocacy, and education. I strongly suggest everyone check out her story, especially if you know anyone with autism or an autistic child. She has given me so much insight, and so many things to think about regarding my own child.

Here is some of the Q&A from her blog:

pamsfan1 asked: So many people don’t understand autism. We have been advocating for our son since he was diagnosed.

A lot of times its not that they don’t under stand its that know one has educated them. The only time an autistic person is on the news is when something bad happens. Or one day a year to raise awareness for autism. But autism day should be every day. People like Larry king Oprah and news stations around the world should publicize it every day. That’s the only way we will get people to learn.

jhannah asked: Am i the only person with a child who dips pizza in hummus? Danny’s autistic so i guess that makes it OK, LOL!

Its funny you should say that. A lot of times when autistic children and adults eat food, we have a hard time with textures and smells. It can be a little over barring some times. We block these things out buy adding dips to mask the problem. I like dipping my pizza in mustard and at camp I dip my food in ranch dressing.

Caringchildren asked: Whats it like being a silent observer of things going on around U? When you found your voice did it open the world to you?

Being able to hear things that people don’t know I hear or no I’m in the room but don’t think I hear it is cool some times. But some time you don’t want to hear things that you do. Spelling has helped open some of the world to me but has also cased some problems.
In a world of silence communication is everywhere. You just have to know how to look.

Momtoalltweets asked: What thing about being autistic do you like? What’s the worst thing about being autistic?

I like when I shock people because they think just because I’m autistic I am not smart. The worst thing is not being able to control my self even though I know what I am doing is wrong.

Healher, AlternaMom, Gfcf4autism, pddnosfamily asked: What is audio filitering? Can you explain audio filtering?

Audio filtering is what we do when we take in too much audio information. Its why so called experts say we cant process information. But we are processing the information but we are weeding out all the incoming sounds and it can takes a long time.
Think of a autistic person like a I-pod. We take in over a hundred sounds a minute. Lets call them songs for the ipod. you down load all your songs on to it and get put into different categories. In order for us to understand sometimes when we are overwhelmed we have to categorize all the sounds. We label the ipod. That is the run on sentence that we say over and over again. It could also just be a word or sound that we use. Audio filtering can take up to a week to weed through all the sounds and information we are processing.

A lot of the sounds I hear people tell me they cant hear them because they can focus on one sense at a time and it blocks out all the other incoming sounds.

My answer to that is:I was once told a blind man wanted to be deaf and a deaf man wanted to be blind. But its always better to be your self.

Link to her blog:

Link to CTV story (Canadian channel):

Friday, August 7, 2009

My crazy deals!

Ok - do you see this?

Wait - let's get a little closer:

Yes, this is my receipt from JC Pennys. They are having sales, and then on top of that Friday eve and Sat morning are doorbusters, and then on top of that there was a coupon for $10 off of a $50+ purchase, so, bottom line, I got G 8 shirts for school, a pair of flip flops, and a bookbag for next year, and yeah, Total before discounts: $146.63 I paid: $41.01 Yes, you are doing your math correct - I SAVED $105.62. SAVED. That is just sick. I can't believe it. So, bottom line, get your ass to Penny's tomorrow or next weekend regardless of what you need. They are having sales like that in every dept. OMG - I just can't take it.

Totally cool shoes, great prices, ijs...

Ok, I heard about this site a few months ago from DulceCandy on YouTube (I have to give props!), I ordered 2 pair of shoes (actually a pair of boots, and a pair of sandals), and they are fantastic. Comfortable, affordable, well made shoes. Anyways - here is the most recent email/promo code I received from them, and it was too good - I had to share - do you see these prices?? And their shipping is totally reasonable too -


Aquarium Pics - Finally! :)

Ok, so I am late with everything (as those of you who actually know me can vouch for), so I'm now really late getting these pics up, lol. G loves to learn, he loves fish, animals, birds, lizards - anything that's alive really, so these kinds of trips are great for him. Enjoy the pics!

Here is G at the touch pool - he is so brave! They had a giant starfish, some kind of coral thing that was really cool, and then a really large snail type thing in a beautiful shell - he loved them.

G as a seal!!

G loved the alligators - it started raining really really hard while we were there, and the thunder agitates them, so the alligators started roaring like dinosaurs - it was so cool!

Seals! They were a lot of fun. We watched them get fed, do tricks, and get their teeth brushed!

Of course they had penguins!

Just amazing and beautiful - it was a really good time. He has 2 more weeks off this summer before he goes back to school, and we have some really cool things planned, so more to come later!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So long with no updates...

Hey Everyone!

Sorry its been so long. I had told you before it was my allergies beating me up - well, they still are, but they decided to evolve into allergies/upper respiratory infection - yay! So needless to say I've been fairly miserable, taking meds, and trying not to infect the baby.

Today he is going on a class trip to Jenkinson's Aquarium, so I will have some pics to post later. We took him earlier in the summer, and he is so excited to go back! He has been doing really well. He is getting close to his next birthday, and he seems to be getting so mature. It's really amazing. And he tells me he loves me all the time. He is very thoughtful, so like if I were to make him dinner, and I made something he really liked, or did something interesting when plating the food like make it into a shape or something, he jumps up, big hugs and kisses, "Oh Mommy I love you so much. Thank you for being so thoughtful to do this for me." I'm like you're not even 6 - I know adults who aren't that polite and thoughtful, lmao.

We got together with Dylan and Julian the last 2 days since they are here on vacation. Everyone had a blast - the kids are SO grown up! Especially Julian - it's just amazing! I remember when Aunt Lorainne and Uncle Bruce had something to do, and we took the boys. Julian was a baby and was totally attached to his Mom - until they came to stay with us and I couldn't so much as go to the bathroom without him freaking out and crying HYSTERICALLY. And now here they are - driving and going out on their own. Amazing. And they are great with G - he has such a blast when they are here. We got some really good pics - I promise tonite I will post pics of Jenk's and of the boys all together. Have a great day!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Ok, so it turns out that Spike was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. yay.... Not much else to say, my allergies are beating the crap out of me today, but I will leave you with this:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

G's 1st class trip, etc

Ok, so today was Giovanni's first ever class trip without Mommy or Grammy attending. Let's discuss nervous. But, I checked out everything to make sure I was comfortable with it before agreeing to let him go, so I was just Mommy nervous, not so much like, Oh my god I hope my kid makes it home in 1 piece nervous. Anyway, they went to Insectropolis. It is exactly what it sounds like. His teacher is usually really good about taking pictures of the things the kids do, and then sending home copies, so hopefully, I will either get pics later this week or next, or I will get a little album with pics of all the summer stuff at the end of summer school in 3 weeks. Either way, as soon as I have pics, I will post them. So, he went and absolutely LOVED it. He was able to tell me about all the bugs he saw, and the bees, and how he saw bees in a bee hive that looked like a vase, and he got to see inside an ant hill. He told me how ants have their heart in their butt, and then, to my shock and horror, he got to PET the bugs. He got to pet a scorpion (aaah!), a SPIDER named Fuzzy (he thought it was just hysterical that I was so freaked out by this), and something named Spike. I can't understand exactly what it was, and he doesn't seem to know - he said at first that it was a fly, but I can't see how that could be possible, so I kept asking and Spike has been a fly, beetle, mosquito, and pretty much every other flying bug, so I'll have to send a note into the teacher. She said he did really fantastic on the trip, and had a blast, which was clear when he got home.

Oh, I forgot to tell you how the morning started off! So, Mom was helping him to brush his teeth, and I ran in to use my bathroom before taking him down to the bus. All of a sudden I hear a bit of commotion, something gets said about spitting, and then they are discussing his mouth bleeding, and holding a towel there to get it to stop. So I about kill myself getting off the toilet and bolting for the other bathroom, only to get there and find my son, happy as anything, huge grin, now minus one bottom tooth. LOL - so this is his 3rd lost tooth, and I'm almost ready to head in there now and slip a dollar under the pillow...

These pics are not from his trip, but I found some pics of Insectropolis just to show you what it is. Enjoy the buggy goodness!

Live display

Furry mud tunnels.

Insects on display.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Autism: Healthcare Reform Update

HEALTH CARE REFORM UPDATE: Things are moving VERY quickly in the House now with health care reform and we need you to be ready to act at a moment's notice and give it everything you've got!

Last night, The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed an autism amendment offered by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chairman of the Congressional Autism Caucus and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 - the House health care reform bill that is currently undergoing markup in the Energy and Commerce Committee. His amendment would set up national training initiatives on autism.

We anticipate that Congressman Doyle will introduce a very important amendment to the bill tomorrow that will seek to end autism insurance discrimination once and for all. When that happens, we will need you to be ready to call following our direction as fast and furiously as possible. We will need to make a loud statement that want this amendment to be attached to the bill.

Our children deserve appropriate healthcare that provides them with access to the medical treatments and therapies that can help them live more productive and fulfilling lives. Keep every one of them in mind as we make our way through this next stage in the process. They are counting on you!

Stay Tuned!

Elizabeth Emken
Vice President, Govenment Relations
Autism Speaks

E.L.F. cosmetics offer...

Ok, E.L.F. makeup can be hit or miss, but I saw some reviews on this, and it appears to be a hit. You can use all the colors swirled together as a multi-dimensional bronzer, or use them separately to create highlight, definition, blush, and bronzer. Here is the ad I received - enjoy!

e.l.f. e.l.f.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Post!!

Hi Everyone!!

Ok, so I guess I have a blog now. I still have been fighting the Facebook thing, although I have to admit that I saw all the people in my family alone that are on there when my mom signed up and I was quite shocked, and softened just a little toward the possibility of signing up. But only a little!

Well, since the first people I'm going to send invites to are friends and family, I guess the rest of this post will just be updates and pics. Giovanni is doing fantastic! He is in summer school right now which he loves, and when he officially goes back in September, he will be in the 1st grade. His progress is amazing! He has been reading on a first grade level for a while now. He loves to read almost as much as I do, and it is really good because reading definitely helps him to understand things better. Here are some pics of him from his first 2 week vacation of the summer - we took him to mini golf, and to the aquarium, bowling, the zoo... all kinds of fun stuff.

I've been up to the same old same old... looking for a job again - ugh. But I'm enjoying having some time to relax, and enjoy the summer with G! Talk to you all soon!