Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 2: Running schedule

After my partying like a rock star (not) wine post on Saturday, I am now posting my running schedule.

A little background ~ I have been into fitness for 20 years; and now at age 40 I decided to run a 10K marathon. The most running I have done was 5K on trails or baseball/soccer fields (and it's a struggling 5K). Friday was the first time I have run 4 miles and I was quite proud of myself.

I decided to push the envelope and register for this 10K mermaid run in San Francisco. I am nervous but I know I can do it.

Anyway, I modified a training schedule that I found online to suit my schedule and I have under 4 weeks left. Today I am taking a flexibility class at my gym for the over-exerciser and plan to do that every Sunday. I can't do my long runs on Saturday so I do them on Fridays.

For cross/strength I do mix in a lot of heavy weight training because I love weight training, but I will and I throw in some fun cardio machines and classes at the gym.

My mother gave me some advice and she asked me 'how do I picture my life ~ what makes me happy', so that is what I am doing and actually the point of this blog.

I picture myself as an athlete and that is what I am going to start doing. I have a lot more living spree things planned so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Red red wineeee

Red Red Wine
I caught up with an old friend last night and drank 1 glasses 'o wine too many... ugh! My aching head.

I'm in the process of training for a 10K on November 12, and this was not in my running diet.

On top of that, I need to work out later today.... sigh

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello World!

Hi there blog world!

DS and I are still here. I have been going in warp speed and have been doing a piss poor job at managing my time and hence no blogging or reading blogs.

I hope to be back in the saddle. I miss it. I will spend the next few days getting caught up with my blog reading.

Everything is good with DS and I'm not doing too shabby either.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting Organized!

For the rest of this month, I need to get organized and fast.

This includes:
~personal paperwork and files
~professional (invoices, receipts for deductions, DS medical expense tracking for taxes)
~computer clean up
~password organization
~my time! DS' time

So many things coming up, and just adding this new job is an adjustment.

The good thing is I'm on top of things so it shouldn't be too much work.

But organization is my theme for the next quarter!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Menu Plan Aug 14-20

I'm starting to meal plan again, it's helpful for my budget. It's somewhat tough to come up with ideas that both my son and I like. The things I like, he does not like and I don't usually eat carbs at dinner (part of my new "diet"). The menu is just an overall foundation some things may change like side veggies and I may substitute the carbs for myself.

Sunday~Steak and eggs
Monday~GF breaded chicken breasts with asparagus
Tuesday~Bangers and Mash and peas
Wednesday~Burgers and homemade fries
Thursday~Meatball Marinara
Friday~Salmon, spinach and wild rice
Saturday~Veggie pasta toss

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Latest Updates

My darling little DS is back and my life feels so much better. He's been home for a couple of weeks now. No matter how hard I tried, I just did not feel good without him here. Sure I had fun, etc... but having him back, I feel twice the person I was before.

DS has started a new medication to help regulate his body and increase his attention. There is a huge difference, which I'm excited, so we are keeping him on it and we are going to increase the dose. The doctor started him on a low dosage but wants to see better focus; I agree.

His language has improved but it still needs more attention. We are rounding a corner with DS and I just really want to focus more on him this fall. For that fact, I will not be taking on any new clients and also winding down my current client.

Here are more updates, since I haven't been around the blogosphere as much as I like.

DS' updates and targets: I feel good about the future of DS. This fall, he is taking speech therapy and he will also do an Integrated Playgroup; which is facilitated play therapy by an expert between him and two typical peers. He is also taking swim lessons and I may enroll him in an art class. Then he has his standing playdate once a week with his non typical friend; so we will be busy! Yikes!

I have some targets for him that I need to work on at home; these include: reading comprehension, language pragmatic skills and social skills.

Relocation (?): My landlord informed me that he is thinking about selling the building; but I found out, the building is actually on the market. So I'm not sure what that will mean with new owners. Of course you think, they may raise the rent or ask you to leave; since my lease is up and I'm on a month to month basis. Not sure, we'll see what the potential new owners want. I want to move anyway. This school district doesn't embrace inclusion like I would like and living in an apartment has been a challenge with my son. We are outdoor people and I would love to have a yard. I just hope we can stay put through the holidays and figure out something after the first of the year.

Career/Education/Money: So as I mentioned, I'm not going to work with kids anymore and take a break. I just need to focus on my son's development and I find, working so much with children on the spectrum and coming home and working with my son just leaves me spent. I am taking a sabbatical for a little while. I love working with children, but I just really want to be there for my son, he needs me big time right now.

I still want a career in Special Needs and because of that, I am looking into PhD programs. I found two that I'm interested in and want to research them both further. I plan to apply next year. In the meantime, I'm studying for the GREs. I'm doing pretty well but I am going to start looking for a study partner. I have some fliers I am going to hang in some local cafes and I also posted a listing on craigslist.

I plan on working part-time as a Research Assistant this year. I need to do this, so that I can get recent research experience and it will look good for my application process. I hope to get paid but if I have to volunteer I will do that as well.

As for money ~ I still have one client and I did look for dd jobs to do over summer and it was tough to find something. I did finally find something and it's part-time and works out great for my schedule, so I'm excited. It's nothing in the Education world, it's more of basic office duties, database management and PowerPoint slides for a training company. I'm happy because of the hours and the nature of the work allow me to focus on my son and my application process for school.

Dating: I tried the online dating and it just does not work for me. I know it works for some people, but I just couldn't take it. Besides that, I seem to be doing better offline. A lot of people approach me and ask me for my number and not sure what it is about this one grocery store, but every time I go in there, I get so much attention from guys shopping. Nothing has panned out yet, but when something serious happens, I will let you know ;)

Oh and I have a small crush on this guy in my neighborhood. I think it's so much fun to have a crush. He rides his bike up and down these hills and I don't know how it rides up these mountains, because this is the Bay Area and this particular area has some tough hills. But he does it. He is CUTE!!!!! And his body is H.O.T. hot!!!! I see him when I'm running/walking the hills, which isn't often. So far all he has done has smiled and said hello. Bicycle man is cute!

Speaking of Fitness: I have achieved my goal and I can run 5K! I haven't done an official race, but I can do it around the tracks near my house; so I am happy! I also have recently cut down my carbs and try and take in 150 carbs per day. Yes, I count carbs; I was telling the cashier about it at the grocery store and the bagger thought we were nuts, but whatever! it works for me. I have a cheat day that I use if and when I feel like it, but I don't go crazy.

I have managed to get running in 2-3x per week and I work on weights 2x per week. So working out 4-5 times has paid off. My body is pretty much where I want it to be; with the exception of losing maybe 2 inches in my waist. But I got a compliment from a lady while I was stretching at the track. She told me my body was amazing and my legs and arms looked great. I was like 'WOW!', thanks. It just made me feel good to have all this hard work pay off.

I will list my workout routine and a few menu ideas in case anyone is interested later in the week :)

Solo Social Life: Is solo social and oxymoron? LOL. I have really started to do things alone. Not because I wanted to, but I noticed as you get older and everyone else does, your schedules rarely, if ever sync up.

Don't get me wrong, my social calendar was hoping for a good part of the summer. I have done a lot of activities with friends and met a lot of new great people and it's been so much fun, but it's not always easy to have the time match.

I have a movie buddy and we get together every few months and catch a flick, but I also go solo and have fun; been doing that for a few years. I plan to see Sarah's Key next.

I also started hanging out at my favorite cafes solo and it's great atmosphere and people watching. I also get a lot of studying done as well.

My next big solo adventure is this place in San Fran. It's a restaurant but at 10pm, they move the tables away and bring in a DJ and they play dancehall Caribbean music and the crowd is just awesome. I have gone with friends several times and I stay on the dance floor all night, but this time I'm just going alone. This DJ is there once a month only, so I have to wait til September :(

I think that is it for now, sorry it's soooo long!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Long time no blog!

Wow, it feels like a long time since I have stopped by my blog or anyone else's blog.

I just got caught up with so many things in July. And most importantly, I got my little man back! I feel so much better when he is around. Yay!

I will be more active after the weekend and looking forward to catching up.

Have a sensational Saturday!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

They grow up so fast!

Today, I saw my mentee (a girl I mentored since she was 14 years old). She is now 24. I kept in touch with her over the years but we haven't seen each other in about 4 years. She is all grown up! I remember when I saw her at age 20, and she was asking me about sex and I told her, just give me a second... because just the other day you were 14!!! She just grew up so fast, that I couldn't believe she was asking me about sex. After I processed the fact that time moves on, I remember telling her any and everything she wanted to know.

Now at 24, she lives with her boyfriend, works and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She is very put together, considering her upbringing (that's another story).

We strolled down University Ave in Palo Alto, ate Pizza at Pizza My Heart, followed by Coffee outside at Borders. And we just talked and laughed. We discussed sex and there was no more nostalgia for me, wishing she was only 14, I told her about my divorce (she asked) we talked about sex (of course) and I encouraged her to not rush into having children, weight and diets, her family drama and discussed more sex. LOL. It was such a good day.

She is so funny and glad that I can be there for her and she confides in me. I love that girl!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My social calendar is filling up

I am so not use to having a social calendar. Typically, my socialization included talking to other parents int he waiting room of a therapist office.

I don't want to get too comfortable because I know this is temporary. But I have to say, I'm at a place now, 2 weeks before picking up DS, that I am totally feeling good about my independence. I wouldn't trade DS for the world, but I dare I say, I'm having.... FUN? LOL.

So, I had two offers for tonight, Friday. Both with girlfriends who wanted to hang out. One was at an UPSCALE lounge where all the venture capitalist hang out. The other, at my favorite Cafe while my friend pours her heart out about her ex-boyfriend marrying another woman. Guess which one I chose?

I chose my friend crying her heart out. Yes, the swanky upscale place, full of eligible bachelors and beautiful people, where champagne flowed with laughter in the air, and plush chairs and the right lighting... is preferred. I know what it is to want to purge and bitch and moan about your ex.

I honestly am happy to be there for a friend. Friendship means a lot to me and friends have always been around for me and when I needed to man bash! LOL.

Besides, that swanky place is not going anywhere! I will go another time.

I just can't believe my calendar for the rest of July... A Picasso exhibit, Concerts in the park, Girls only champagne brunch, weekend BBQ, cute guys at the running club, and much more.

I am enjoying, because next month, it will be school days, therapy, play dates, and violin lessons. Thank goodness, the play dates out here include wine! LOL.

Hope you all are having a Jolly July.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Showing the love... link love

I had to show the love... There are some blogs that are like my morning coffee; I just have to have them. Here are some of my favorites.... in no particular order.

Big Little Wolf @ Daily Plate of Crazy, always has such thoughtful and well-written posts. I think her intelligence attracts me the most and she is able write about a subject and just give you all angles. From sex and relationships to politics to healthcare! I am happy to have stumbled across her blog.

I have to work out and I can't stand the music at the gym. I turn to this blog, when I need to find some good music. I don't even know 90% of these songs, but over at inthegym.net you get to hear the song and playlist are sorted by your workout; cycling, running, weights. I love it.

I love my single mamas! But this mama is no longer single. I followed her in the past and it's just so wonderful to see that she has found love again. She is a great blogger and glad to see she still posts. Please check out Single Mom Seeking.

Motherhood in NYC is great. I use to live in NYC, so I have an affinity. She writes great post and she is funny.

And last but not least... I have to shout out my Autism parents. Being a parent to a child with Autism and teaching children with Autism, it's such a full part of my life. I definitely have my favorite Autism blogs as you can see on my blogroll. And when I found dad's writing blogs, I had to read. I love it. And Lost and Tired is DS times three! Please stop over and see what is going on when you can.

Those are just a few of my favorites!

Keep blogging everyone!!!

In the news... NYC boy's killing

This story makes me so sick to my stomach.
http://news.yahoo.com/nyc-boys-gruesome-killing-shocks-community-120852641.html

An 8 year old boy was walking from summer camp to meet his mother, who was waiting 7 blocks away on a street corner. Apparently, he missed a turn and asked a man for help and the man abducted him and then dismembered him.

I am speechless and just so sad. I feel for this family and makes me want to hold my son close.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekly Update

So what is going on in my life...

DS: I had a moment of weakness and I almost left my house to go get my son, when I heard him tell me he was sad and wanted me and started crying. I started crying and my heart just broke. I called a friend who talked me off the ledge and told me, he needs to learn to be away from me sometimes and this is good for him. I pulled out of it and luckily he did too. I think he is just having a hard time adjusting. But a new video game and a promise to see some shark exhibit at a local casino on the strip and he's all better. LOL. And so am I. When he is doing good, I'm doing good.

Oh and it's so funny how my heart melts, when they send me a picture of him on the phone. Such a cutie pie!!! My little muffin man.

Work: I am still working part-time with one student and I have some potential side-hustles going on. We'll see what happens.

Gym: I took a Killer Cross Training class today and I was nervous but it ended up being ok! I did pretty good and my body is coming along nicely. I just want to loose about 2 inches in my waist. I have been focusing on lower body because my upper body develops fast and I don't like how it looks. I am also doing so much better with my running and look forward to my running group on Saturday.

Dating: The HOT topic. I went out the other night and got two phone numbers. I wasn't really interested though. And no, not being picky. One was a married man who was separated and I do not do separated, plus he seemed to bounce from one female to the next. And the other was out of my age range. Way out. I did sign up with a paid dating site and at least the people responding to my ad have a bit more to say and seem a bit more serious than the free site. We'll see. Oh and a very nice man helped me grocery shopping today! It was too funny. I'm telling you, when you turn that cablight on, plenty of people try and hail your cab! Tomorrow, I'm off to a single's mixer, I don't really like going to those, but I figure what the heck.

Food: I haven't posted a menu because I'm just eating whatever I can whip up at a moment's notice. No meal plan til August. I did make some GF crab cakes today and they were pretty tasty.

Reunion: I use to be a mentor for troubled teens and my mentee and I still keep in touch. She recently contacted me, she is now 21!!! How time flies and we are going out on Saturday. She is such a sweetie, I miss her and look forward to seeing her and seeing how she is doing. She cracks me up and just loves to make fun of me. When I use to pick her up, she would say, you drive slow like my mom! LOL. I think we'll take the BART train and head to the city and walk around.

That's about it, I look forward to reading other blogs and finding out what is going on in your neck of the woods ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TV Show: Teen Wolf

(picture from imdb.com)


I have to admit, I am a TV junkie. I love TV, it's my late night obsession. Thank goodness for my DVR, it allows me to just record everything and watch back at my leisure.

My latest favorite show, Teen Wolf on MTV. I remember watching the original with Michael J. Fox and I looked forward to the remake. It didn't disappoint and Monday's episode was full of thrills and chills!

Anyone else watching this? What's your favorite guilty pleasure TV program?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Horrible Bosses

After a busy weekend with friends, I decided to do my time honored tradition of checking out a matinee alone. I couldn't wait to see Horrible Bosses! This movie stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman and Colin Farrell.

I will not give too much away but the story... 3 guys have horrible bosses! The oversexed Jennifer Aniston who sexually harasses her employee. Kevin Spacey, who uses his power to taunt and abuse his employees. And Colin Farrell, who just cares about money and coke. They conspire to kill their bosses. A lot of people are comparing this movie to a male version of 9 to 5 and I can definitely see that.

The movie does deliver steady laughs, the guys are hilarious. I can only imagine how much fun they had making this movie. But it did fall flat for me toward the middle and picked up a bit after that.

I would say, in terms of funny, the Hangover still ranks the most recent funny comedy I've seen in a while, followed by Bridesmaids. This comes in after those 2.

BTW... Jennifer looks GREAT!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who wears short shorts?

This has always been on my mind and a topic between friends sometimes. Who can wear "short shorts"? Is there an unspoken fashion rule? Is it reserved for a certain age group or body type? I wear them around the house and feel I look pretty darn good. I'm 5'4", 125 pounds, decent legs and my behind is not bad--ha ha. I can get away with it. But I never wear them in public.

I was in the gym today and I usually wear stretchy capri length pants, but it's getting so hot that I want to wear my stretchy short shorts instead. A part of me says, "you are about to be 40! those are for the younger girls!". But then another part of me says, "girl... who cares! wear them while you can!". I have heard different arguments from different friends and still...

~sigh~

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dating update

I've been on this free dating site for 3 weeks. I have gotten a lot of emails, did several "pre screens" via phone only two pre screens led to two dates. Which were a bust~Date 1, possessive and weird, Date 2 big time liar/gamer.

For the most part, I've been single for about 2.5 years now. I did date in the past and had two kinda/sorta boyfriends for a short term. Over the past 1.5 years I've been totally single and have dedicated myself to work, my son, friends, family, activities, etc... But now I find I desire a level of companionship and intimacy that I cannot get from my friends and it would be nice to have a partner.

I don't have a "list" that I'm necessary looking for. Of course there are the basics/standards that goes without saying. But overall, I feel there are two important factors for me in a relationship.... common interests (which bonds you) and a similar value system (sort of like your code of conduct that dictates how you live life and treat family).

My observation with the free dating site is that there are a lot of jokers on there and the few that are serious have serious issues (stalker types).

I will be moving to a paid site. I think my chances are slightly better because the jokers may stay on the free site. Then I can at least deal with people with serious intent.

I am not putting all my stock into online dating because there are men, EVERYWHERE. When I run through my neighborhood... men. At the grocery store... men. When you stop to pump gas... men. Hanging out with friends... men. At my new running club... men. They are everywhere ladies. One man asked for my number last week while I was waiting for my women's group.

I'm making another change. I think Demi Moore, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey are onto something. I'll be 40 in October and decided to date men who are my age and above. In the past, I did date a lot younger, but I didn't take them seriously. I am now prepared to take the younger men serious. I won't go too low, but my next husband may be younger ;)

So that's the dating news. Today I'm staying in, I've been out and about all week. I need to do some paperwork, work on my budget and do a couple loads of laundry. Later in the evening I may do a quick run around the park.

This weekend, I plan to meet up with a friend Friday, Saturday I have my running club followed by a concert in the park in San Francisco with some friends and Sunday I'm going to go see Horrible Bosses, it looks hilarious!

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DS adventures in Vegas

Even though DS is with his grandparents, I thought I would share some DS-isms.

My parents retired to Nevada; they live in Henderson which is about 30 minutes from the Vegas strip. They often get perks (wine, tequila, toaster ovens, etc...) from the casinos. When they go to pick up their perks DS goes with them. Of course you have to walk through the casino floor where children are not allowed to stop and of course gamble. DS sees all of the lights from the slot machines and he wants to play. My parents have told him, that's for adults.

So when I asked him what he did today, he told me, we went to the Rio Hotel with all the adults, kids can't touch mommy, only adults! My mother said he did squirm away and hit one of the buttons on the machine! Nothing happened of course. I wonder what on earth is going through his head with these forbidden adult machines; where seemingly to him, it's catered to a child with the lights and animation.

Then they walked through Caesars Palace and there was a replica of the statue of David and DS exclaimed, Look a PENIS!!!

LOL.

My mother said she does not want to bring DS in the casinos anymore. It's too adult.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Get your sexy on... work out!


I am so proud of myself. So yesterday I ran with my running club (I feel so official now!.. lol) and today I went to the gym and worked it out!!!! Here's what I did (Upper and Lower 3 reps of every exercise--I also so supersets).

~10 minute warm up on step mill (great for the booty)
~Smith Machine Squat (another good butt exercise)
~Barbell dead lifts (can there ever be too many butt exercises?? I don't think so!)
~Barbell bicep curls
~Seated Military Press
~ Tricep dips
~ Sumo squats with dumbbell (ladies, your rear end will be amazing, I promise!)
~ 3 position curtsy squats with middle squat
~ plank for 1 minute

I feel so strong! And the running is helping with the endurance. I also purchased Designer Whey and made a protein smoothie.

1/2 cup of Zero Vitamin Water
1/2 cup of cold water
1 banana
4 strawberries
2 tablespoons of blueberries
1 scoop of strawberry flavored designer whey

It was pretty good!

Tomorrow morning, gonna try and run 5K without walking! in 30 minutes. Then off to celebrate the 4th with friends.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Found a great running club


I joined a running club this morning and today was my first day. I have to admit, I was intimidated! These were some die hard runners and I consider myself a beginner. They introduced me to everyone and they were all so very nice! I declared myself the baby of the group and was hoping someone would help me out and one guy ran with me, he is good with beginner runners.

I got some fantastic tips and I was able to improve. I'm happy to have found this club, it's much easier when you have support. I know I will be able to do my 5K now.

PS: Was not expecting so many good looking guys! That is motivation for me to keep coming back... ha ha. But seriously, everyone was nice, it wasn't like that at all. People just helping people out.

I'm also going to look for a good detox/cleanse and get back into eating healthy. My systems is so off and I feel miserable. I need to stop all the cheating! Bleckk!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Workin' on my fitness!

As pop diva Fergie says, "I be up in the gym, just workin' on my fitness".

So now that the pity party is over, I decided to have a productive day.

I worked out at the gym (upper and lower)
~ 10 min warm up on step mill (moves incld standing on toes, crossovers and skipping steps)
~ military press with squat using dumbbells (3 sets)
~ tricep dips using bench (3 sets)
~ concentration curls using dumbbells (3 sets)
~ dumbbell one arm row (3 sets)
~ sumo squats with dumbbell (3 sets)
~ rear curtsy lunges with middle squat using dumbbells (3 sets)

Tomorrow I will resume running and will do 3 miles.

After going home and showering, I met a friend for lunch at Thai restaurant (if you are ever in Redwood City, check out Bangkok Bay Thai Cuisine on El Camino... delicious!). We had such a productive chat.

I continued the productivity theme and went home and worked on a few projects. I got everything crossed off my to do list and now about to meet a women's group for happy hour cocktails to network.

Hope your Thursday was good!

Pity party, table for one!

Last night, I broke down and just cried. My heart ached so much, I missed DS so much. And then, I started to do some extreme worrying about DS' future etc... then I started to worry if it was too much trouble for my parents to have DS there, because he is such a handful, then I started feeling guilty.

It was painful!

So I gave myself permission to cry, worry, stress, hurt, etc... but in the morning, I had to pull my socks up.

Before I drifted off to sleep I told myself: DS will be fine just focus on the moment, not the future. Your parents will fine and be able to take care of DS. And as far as guilt, he is with family and you are doing this to earn money and save money. So it's okay!

This morning, I felt much better. Still a subtle dullness but more optimistic.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Basic instinct

My girlfriend and I were talking about instincts and how as women, we need to trust, rather doubt them. I'm a huge fan of trusting my instincts they have never steered me wrong.

The other night, I was driving home, enjoying music, I turned off of a main street and headed up the hill to my apartment. Out of nowhere, there was this car behind me and it seemed like they were trying to run me off the road they were going so fast. They were riding my bumper and had the high beams on; the lights lit up the inside of my car. I immediately pulled over to let the speed demon past me. Then they immediately pulled over in front of me and turned off the lights. I figured hmmmm.... do they live there? No one got out of the car. I got that "can't describe feeling" but it would be equivalent to the hairs standing on the back of your neck. I proceeded to drive off and kept my eyes in my rear view mirror. They pulled off 2 seconds after me with their regular lights on and drove slower.

I was like "What!? Is this SUV seriously following me?"

I was close to home but my instincts told me not to go home. I drove past my street up the hill. The car was still behind me, I suddenly turned off to the left, I had to know if they were in fact following me. Sure enough they turned left... it was official, they were following me.

Who the heck would be following me and why? It's not a car that I recognize, no one knows where I live, so who is this? This is such a safe neighborhood.

I pulled over at a random spot alongside the street, they did the same thing. I was shaking, I grabbed my phone and called a friend and turned around and headed towards the police station. I figured let them follow me there.

I think they saw me grab my phone and they just laid low. I checked my rearview and didn't see any sign of them anymore. I decided it was okay to go home, I turned off my lights a few blocks form my house and kept my friend on the phone until I was safe in my house.

It was just so scary. Someone once told me, when you get that "feeling" that is your natural ability to detect danger and to listen to it. I'm glad I did!

I have on other example of trusting your instincts. So the 2nd guy I went out on a date with has been calling and texting every day since our date, which is nice. But when I listen to his conversations (I like to just listen to people, you can learn a lot just by listening--no need for a stack of interview questions or interrogations, just let a person talk and you will see who they are).

After each conversation, my eyebrow raises more and more. I get a very shady feeling about him and some things he says are a turn off. I then go back to our first phone call (the prescreen) and our date and replay some things that don't add up. I immediately get that "feeling"; which told me, this guy is just running lines from an amateur play book. I talked with a few friends who said, give him the benefit of the doubt; see how you feel after the second date. When I relayed things to my male cousin, he confirmed that the guy was full of BS and I was wading in it if I continued to talk to him. He said, men rely on women giving guys the benefit of the doubt and he told me not to be stupid. My cousin is a very blunt guy sometimes. He confirmed, doubt means no! My instincts told me this, I just wanted to get a male perspective. I cancelled our date for Friday. Instead I'm going to meet up with a women's group for tapas and sangria!


"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out" Burke

Weekly Menu June 29th

Short week....

Wednesday
Bleu's signature burger

Thursday
~dinner with friends~

Friday
~dinner with friends~

Saturday
Pasta

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm back!

It's been a week since my last post, so here are some updates.

Trip to Nevada: We left last Thursday early in the morning. The drive was LONG from NorCal to Henderson but DS did great. He had no interest of video games or movies on the drive and he mostly slept. It was very nice to be with my family and bond. We did errands, I did laundry (yes I actually brought laundry to my parents house from California LOL. I have a coin op laundry on the premises, so why not save a little. They didn't mind) I spent a lot of time in the back (in the shade) with a glass of white wine and catching up on magazines while DS played--briefly played I might add, it was too hot. I did go to the M casino twice, lost 15 dollars the first time and gained 20 the second time, so it was a wash...lol. When it was time to go Sunday, I hugged my boo boo bear and kissed him up. I kept reminding him about my trip back and how he was going to stay with his grandparents. At shove off, everyone came outside, including DS and waved good bye. It was hard kissing them all good bye and I wanted to tear up, but I stayed strong.

The social story really helped DS understand what was going on and he knows I'll be back. He says, "Mommy is in California, she'll be back soon. Mommy has to work".

I have a subtle dullness in my heart without DS here, that I know will not go away until we are united. Honestly it's a bit weird without him and I think it's going to take me sometime to adjust. He's there for a good cause--so that I can work and save up money for all his needs. I'm able to work, get some projects done and I guess I never realized it, but I guess I need a break. And he is with family and they get to spend time, while they are still capable and able. He's doing good and happy which makes my heartache a little less. He did say he missed me and that HURT but when my mother said, that's normal and there would be something wrong if he didn't. I told myself, that is true and that is okay, he misses me and he'll be fine. I think by the end of the week, we'll both be better.

Work: So now without DS here the plan is to work and work and work. I didn't feel so well today but I am going to start my job search. I did register with a few temp agencies and I have a few leads will see if they pan out. If not, I may work with kids over the summer. Originally I wanted to take a break from teaching to replenish myself, but we will see.

Divorce amendment: Not sure I blogged much about this, but we finally updated the court's order and changed child support, so it's nice to have official amounts and that is one less project I have to worry about this summer.

IEP: I did hear back from the school district and we reached an agreement. They will allow DS to be mainstreamed for a few courses in the fall and see how he does. I'm still disappointed that this school isn't set up for mainstreaming/inclusion in general. It seems so antiquated for such a progressive state. Meanwhile there are plenty of schools in New York that have a mainstreaming/inclusion model in place for children who can make that work. Anyway... at least they agreed and I don't have to get legal counsel. Then I also asked for behavior support over the summer in his IEP when my son gets back and goes to camp. Originally they said no because it wasn't on school premises. I came back with a plea and they had to go back and discuss and then they came back and said yes, so that was great! I wanted a certain amount of hours and they came back with a little less, but that's fine. It really pays to stand up for something you believe in and you don't always have to take no for an answer if it's something worthwhile.

Dating: Been online for 2 weeks now. I had lots of emails, numerous phone calls and 2 dates! Woo hoo! The first guy I went out with didn't work out. He wanted me to remove my personal ad after our first meeting, which I thought was strange. I felt like I didn't even know this guy or his true intentions so why would I remove my ad after 1 hour of tea... get a life! He also talked about his dramatic ex-girlfriends and he really showed a lot of signs of possessiveness and violence. He asked for a second date but I politely decline. NEXT! The 2nd guy I went out with was nice and the date was decent, we started with coffee (my suggestion and preference) but he insisted on dinner after. I thought he was cool so we had dinner. Our date was like 3 hours long and it was nice, we had a lot of things in common. He walked me to my car and I hugged him, he asked for a kiss, but I declined. Nothing personal and I'm not a prude, but I just can't see swirling tongues around yet. He told me he had a great time and that I looked so much better than my picture (really? I though my picture was super cute LOL!) He asked for a second date for this coming Friday and I agreed. So we will see.

The other men, I spoke to on the phone had some sort of psycho trait that I just couldn't see giving any benefit of the doubt to meet.

I do feel like I'm ready for adult male companionship and I turned "my cablight on". A phrase I read somewhere, which means, just be available. It actually works, I got hit up in the car rental, the grocery store twice and the gym! LOL. But seriously, I have a 6 year old son and like I told the second guy I went on a date with, before I get close, I need to make sure of a man's intentions and what he wants. I feel I can only see that by his actions and that takes time, not just sweet nothings whispered in my ear.

Fitness: I'm back on track with working out. I went to the gym yesterday and did a few machines before hitting the weights. My weight routine combines lower and upper. I'll have to post my workout another time, but it's killer. I like to really work on core, legs and butt. I also will start running again, I pretty much stopped for a couple of weeks due to my schedule. I am registering for a 5K at the end of July and hopefully will not chicken out!

On other news, I'm a big foodie and I love to cook and I'm watching Master Chef. I decided to create my own signature burgers! The first is a poultry burger (chicken and turkey with turkey bacon and avocado). Since my stomach is super sensitive to dairy, I'm trying a mild sheep's cheese on top and since I have a gluten intolerance I found a flourless sprouted wheat english muffin, that I will use as the bun. The second is a buffalo burger (not buffalo meet, but buffalo seasoning) and this is still in development. So depending on how it goes, I will share the recipe.

Phew... this was long, sorry.

Now I need to spend some time catching up on blogs! It's been a while. Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A few methods I use in teaching ASD

As a parent of a child with ASD and a teacher of children on the spectrum, I have a couple of trusty favorites and methods that I use that I wanted to share for anyone who is just starting this journey. I have worked with severe Autism as well as High Functioning Autism.

Jed Baker, has some great ideas in "The Social Skills Picture Book". This is especially helpful for children who are going into social situation and not recognizing cues. I find a lot of children I work with, really respond well to the layout. I use my own camera and create scenarios based on real live social situations we encounter and we go back and discuss.

ABA has always been at the core of our learning and while I have some issues with ABA, I do appreciate how things are broken down and follow a perfect sequence to learning. I've had "Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism" for about 4 years now and we still refer to it at times; it has been a bible for me.


My son is a very visual hands on learner, this is how I taught him math, he responded immediately to cube stacking. We also play, high card/low card with uno cards and he uses this visual to check who wins the hand.


My son learned phonics from Sesame Street and Starfall.com. When starfall came out with books, I had to get them, they are similar to the "Bob books".


I also write a lot of social stories and they are directed from an incident that occurred; for instance when my son tried to take off his seat belt once, we wrote a social story about safety, why it's important and we also went over the outcomes of not being safe.


We are going on a road trip to see his grandparents as I pointed out in a previous post, my parents will take care of DS for a few weeks while I work. I had to write the entire scenario out in a social story. Complete with drawings of California to Nevada and I was very clear on timeframes and what he would be doing and what I would be doing in his story. He totally gets it and is okay with it. He wants to read this story all the time now.


Other great tools that have worked for me:

iPad apps (they have a ton of great apps)

Flashcards (basic but tried and true)

Teach2Talk Videos (it's how my son learned to Share)

Baby Bumble bee series (in the early intervention stage this was great!)

Positive Reinforcement in the form of a token system


One last thing that has helped me out with social situations was constantly being out and gathering real live situations so that we can practice.


With any challenging situation... naturally you would want to avoid it, but I had to face it and face it and face it, until my students (including my son) were comfortable.


For instance, if you like to dine out but your child presents a challenge, then you target this and work on. One of my students had severe behavior problems but she loved to eat. How I helped Julie (not real name) with dining out was to pick a restaurant she liked, and talk to the owner. I explained the situation and asked if he did not mind that we come here during an off time and get her use to it. He was totally happy to help out and said to bring here in. This student was 15 years old, had issues with waiting and 3x my size, so I always needed one other person to go on field trips because her tantrums were violent. Before leaving the house, I showed her pictures of the car, the restaurant and then a picture of home and explained the situation. We would go and yes there were many times where we had to physically restrain her, but with practice she got it and her behavior in the restaurant improved to the point where she had no more aggression. We were able to move to different locations. I just want to add this took a lot of time and dedication, it was not an overnight success and it involved lots of patience and great restaurant owners and understanding patrons. It wasn't easy but we did make progress with this.


I started restaurant training when my son was 2. We started off small, like off times at a fast food restaurant, then we worked our way up. I was sure to give positive support like with Julie. Now DS can sit and behave in a restaurant for the duration of the meal and loves to dine out.


My current student has a problem initiating play on the park. This started with him just circling the parameter of the park and not going in to play. Then he moved on to just playing by himself on the swing or monkey bars. This is where I was hired. I started off with some "clinical" teaching of initiating play at home. We discussed fears, anxieties, etc... After that we did role playing in the house using family members. Then we took it to the park... we go to playgrounds and I "coach' him on how to play. I don't want him to stick out with the other kids, so I know how to do it. It started off rocky of course, but as the weeks went on and we practiced he started to get the hang of it. Last Saturday, John (not his real name) made 3 friends on the park. He was soo proud of himself, it was GREAT!!!


I really love what I do and seeing the progress and satisfaction on the students face and seeing their own pride is too much to put into words. I'm lucky to do what I love for my occupation. Since I was 5 years old I wanted to be a teacher.


I have a Masters's in Education and I plan on pursuing a PhD in Special Education and I want to focus on social skill building for children, teens and adults.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 19

Sunday
Curry lentils and rice (was delicious!)

Monday
Chicken Etouffee

Tuesday
Southwestern pasta


I will not be cooking after Tuesday because we are going out of town to visit the grandparents. I can't believe I'm even cooking now, it's too hot! LOL

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's Day to all your wonderful dad's out there! My dad played such an important role in my life. He was such an involved father and taught me, standards and values on how a father is suppose to be, work ethic, the importance of an education, the importance of fitness and good health, and how a man is suppose to treat me (he also taught me about money, but I missed the mark on that one-lol) he also has such an incredible sense of humor and always told corny jokes at the dinner table. He taught me how to drive a stick shift and we played sports every Saturday morning. He was always there to support me whether it was a school function or my first heartbreak ~ and he is still there to support me.


I love my dad and I love good dads that take time to be a part of their children's development and upbringing! Enjoy your day fellas, you're the best!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Positive Reinforcement ~ Treasure chest

I have quite a few targets for DS; by targets I mean, new skills that I'm encouraging him to use, or new or challenging behaviors that I need him to master to be more effective at school or certain social venues.

DS responds more to positive reinforcement. One method that works well for us is a token system. I keep it basic by rewarding positive behaviors with a token. If we are going to be in a store for a while, I give DS the rules before we get into the store and remind him of what's at stake. It typically works.

I tried to get a little creative and added onto this method. DS has been into pirates and treasures lately, so I found a container that can pass for a treasure chest and told DS when he gets 6 tokens, he gets a map to find a hidden treasure chest.

In the chest I have faux diamonds, rubies, sapphires, money, etc... It's still a work in progress, so I'm adding other treasures as I find them. I then add a surprise in the chest (something he normally doesn't get; candy or a special toy). The map is a hand drawn map of our house and I mark an X to where the treasure is hidden. This is great skill building too, because he has to use the map to find the treasure.

It's a hit because the prize is always different and so is the location. Eventually the token system will turn into money when he gets a bit older, but for now it works.

The token chart is hanging on his wall in his room. Tokens are pictures of things he's into, instruments, trains, etc...



Arrghhh... treasure!

Posted a personal ad!

I've been online for under 48 hours and narrowed down a few categories of men that have responded to my ad.

Youngbucks: These are boys who are 15 plus years younger than me, who send me emails explaining how they are going to show me what a real man is. Really...?? While I don't doubt their... ahem... skills, I'm just not interested in the cubs, I'm looking for a man! LOL.

Mr. Senior: Yes, I'm looking for a man, but not looking to get an AARP discount. Some of these guys are probably getting social security retirement. I'm 39, really??

Hot boys: Ok ladies. These are some seriously dangerously devilishly handsome men. They are usually posed with rock hard abs, beautiful eyes and smiles, in terms of looks they are like a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10 and they are in my age range. But damn, they just seem too dangerous.

Average Joes: In my age range, regular guys, with regular to handsome good looks, nothing extreme going on, which is a good thing. Just need to establish their intent.

Desperate Dan: This is the guy who reaches out to you and you respond once and they hit reply before you even hit send and you wake up to 10 emails from them daily. Look, I love attention just like the next girl, but there is a line. Reign it in a little fellas.

For where I am right now, I'm interested in the average joe category and so far I have one potential coffee date and still talking with another guy via email.

It's fun though. I also plan to meet guys the "old fashion" way, but for my schedule right now and for where I live, online is a viable option.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fisherman Wharf outing with DS


We took the street car to Fisherman's Wharf and had a great lunch

Alcatraz ~ It was a sunny day, high 60s in the city

The sea lions hang out here, but there weren't that many; I think they disappear for food

The famous cannery, built in 1907, use to be the largest peach cannery

Historic ships at Hyde Pier

DS had so much fun on board this 1886 square-rigged ship


From the ferryboat, Eureka... just reminds me of some movie

A little dingy



DS trying to check out the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance



Famous Buena Vista... Irish Coffee anyone?



Lovely day... we had SO much fun



Our last stop was the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge. We then walked along Market street and headed home.

Man... I feel like a woman!

Yesterday morning I had an appointment and I needed to dress up. Since my job is very casual, I usually don't dress up. The only time, I get jazzy is if I'm meeting friends for dinner or something. My uniform consists of shorts and a tank top or sweats and a tank top or jeans and a tank top.

I came out of my room yesterday wearing high heels, a pencil skirt, nice blouse and my hair flowing and my son was like.... 'WOW MOMMY!!!!" I did feel kinda wow, myself.

Then he was like,

"You look like a girl!"

LOL! I thought that was too funny; I was like, Thanks? Question mark, because what the heck did I look like before.

I guess I need to bring out the dressy side of mom more often.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heading south??

Just a quick history... I'm originally from Connecticut, born and raised. At age 20, I moved to NYC for about 6 years before I decided to move to Northern California in January 2000. I fell in love with the San Francisco, it felt right. I also met my then husband shortly after arriving in the Bay Area. My dad jokes and asks if Luke was at the airport with a sign or something, because we met so fast.

Back in the late 90s, I always knew sitting in my apartment in NYC, that California was my destiny. I've been here 11 1/2 years now and never looked back.

Now, sitting in my Bay Area apartment, I've been getting that nagging feeling for a few weeks now. The desire to move. Back then, I knew New York had run it's course and Connecticut was never for me. Although I appreciate Connecticut, it just doesn't feel like home.

I'm wondering if, Northern California is the place for me and I think our place is Southern California. Because I do truly love this state.

As I sit at home budgeting life, I realize with the high cost of living, I'm unable to enjoy life the way I want to enjoy it. So tired of being on a friggin' budget!!! Budgeting just to pay bills, we can never get ahead here and never enjoy the country club, I refer to as The Bay Area. There is sooo much to do here, but if you are just paying bills, paying for therapy, very hard to utilize and see everything there is to see and do.

We live in an apartment on the top floor and DS is super hyper and is not allowed to do things before 9am or after 10pm. Even during normal hours, his activity level is too high for the neighbors. I get that, but at the same time, I hate living in an apartment, he is so restricted. I'm restricted too!

Then there is the issue of no backyard. DS wants to rump and stomp and ruckus and roar! Like the Wild Things.

I just find myself being a police officer to him and I'm tired of it.... it's so stressful.

Yes, I can find a house to rent here in the Bay Area, but that is going to be a whole lot more money. A 2bdrm one bath would run me $2300.

I'm also getting tired of the finicky weather of the Bay. One week is 90s and my little apt with no air conditioning is unbearable. Then it's friggin' cold and I have to wear a jacket in the month of June. Make up your mind weather.

The school districts aren't that great. Yes, there are some "good ones", but I'm just over fighting day and night for my son to just be a part of the school. Give me a break!!! What year is it and where are we? He is as high functioning as you can get with Autism, but yet, he has to stay in the special day class when his intelligence is through the roof, he writes better than me, reads beyond his typical peers, is socially motivated.... geesh! Mainstreaming and Inclusion was designed for this type of kid. He is bored in his SDC and he has friends in the typical class that he wants to be with. I have to literally fight for him to sit in a class or for them to find an appropriate classroom. So whack!

There aren't many private school options that offer an inclusion model. I can only think of one school and they have a waiting list and we're on it.

Then there is the men of the Bay Area. People in my age range are either married, married and trying to cheat (yes, I cannot tell you how many married men, are online trying to date or come up to me and want to date... excuse me, what about your WIFE!), or single and just looking for a FWB. I'm 40 in a few months and ready to settle down again.

The point of my bitchin' and moanin'... I can't see what is keeping me here.

I'm thinking of Southern California; specifically the Mission Viejo area. I love that area.

The weather is more consistent.

I can actually rent a house for pretty much what I pay here and we can live without as many limitations.

It seems to be a lot more efforts for inclusion and special needs advocacy.

More private special education options.

And the best part, it's 4 hour drive to my parents in Nevada. I need the SUPPORT, it's not easy to be a single parent to a child with special needs and I truly could use a hand.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud or thinking and typing. I'm not sure what will happen. But if I am to move, I want to do it within 6 months. I can't see staying here, unless DS gets into that school I like. I need to do a lot more research over the next few weeks and make some appointments to go down there.

Oh and as far as his dad goes, he can still see his son on the same time schedule. We can just meet halfway or something. We'll only be 4 hours away from him. He has a great work schedule and his home is his office, so that will not be a problem. He was actually thinking of moving to Washington State.

I will keep you posted. My bitch fest is over. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random updates June 14, 2011

Money: managed to put $425 dollars into savings. $25 in a Christmas Fund, $25 towards Paris/Italy tix (I know I'll need way more than that), $25 DS educational fund, $350 Emergency fund. I need to upload one of those meters to keep track on my blog.

IEP/District: Ball is now in my court, they came back... can't say I'm thrilled. I threw it back in their court and trying to organize a phone meeting. I will not even go into the details.... sigh

Summer fun: Poor DS... this is the first official week of no school and we've only been to the park a couple of times. I've been swamped with appointments. Thursday I'm planning a trip to the city, we'll go to Fisherman's Wharf. We are doing our road trip to Nevada later next week, so that should be fun. DS loves a road trip.

Fitness: I have not worked out in a week! Very hard with DS to run. I am officially on a break and will resume when he is with his grandparents.

Dating: I have spring fever or summer fever... ready to date again ~ meow! I'm thinking about doing online dating... we'll see.

Off to cook... pork fried rice, tonight! DS hated the tacos. Booo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Skimming through: The Courage to be Rich

by Suze Orman. I'm not a huge, Suze fan, but I do have this book and it's been collecting dust. And I definitely have the courage, so I'm striving for some financial freedom.

To be candid, my finances are NOT in the best shape and I'm ready to work them out. I am skimming through Suze's book to see if I can get any more helpful tips. I'm already on a budget, I don't use credit cards (because I don't have any) and I try and do conscience spending.

One thing she said first off was to create some goals. I try to always have goals, but don't really work on achieving them. I created some short term goals which I'm posting on my blog on the sidebar to hold myself accountable. I tried to make them realistic.. we'll see.

Ok, off to the playground/park with DS, round two. We already went this morning--PS... keeping my eyes out for some single dads!

Milestone--asking "where" questions

I know some of you parents out there may be like "huh, why is she happy he is asking questions, our kids ask questions non-stop!"

Well, DS has this "language disorder" added to his Autism label, and he has only been talking for about 2 plus years now and he runs his mouth constantly! But questions aren't his strong point. He will ask "What's that?", but no "why" or "where".

Today, I told him, finish your breakfast, we gotta go. And he said...

"Where we going?"

He has never ever asked a "Where" question. I quickly helped model the proper sentence "Where are we going?" And he repeated it perfectly, then I told him, to the courthouse to fill out some forms. He had no idea what the heck that was. Then praised him for asking questions! BTW... they have child care at the courthouse! I didn't know.

Yay! My baby's language is getting better every single day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 12

Man, a week flew by! Here's my menu for this week:

Sunday
Clams in marinara sauce over linguine (will have to remove clams from DS plate, he doesn't like them)

Monday
Chicken tacos

Tuesday
Pork fried rice (I love making this)

Wednesday
BBQ Hamburgers and fries

Thursday
GF fried chicken and salad

Friday
Beef stir fry

Saturday
Grilled Salmon

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer fun and summer learning!


Summer is here! I'm planning a lot of fun for DS including the beach, playground, fairs and festivals, grilling outside, a visit to Grandma in Nevada that is going to include the pool, playing Wii, sleeping in late and later in the summer he will be going to summer camp.

But for DS, it will not just be fun and games, he will also have a lot of "work" to do before entering 1st grade. Of course it will not be grueling work, and we will keep it as fun as we can, but he is behind in his therapy.

I won't go into a long story, but when he was 3, we enrolled him in at ABA center, that we trusted (they had been around for a long time, they had a PhD on staff) but they really did not perform at all; they did nothing and whenever they did do something, it seemed borderline shady. We complained throughout the 1.5 years he was there and had plenty of meetings but finally decided to pull him out. Since then a lot of people have made similar complaints and now they really aren't doing well. But for us, we regret having him there, we just weren't aware of many other options. We now are just trying to move past it all and forgive ourselves as parents.

Over the past year, we've been picking up their slack. But that means, a lot of parent involvement and a lot of extra work.

DS is doing very well despite the past decisions, and ready to mainstream but we really need to help him out in the following areas this summer to make sure he transitions well: 1st grade math concepts, more language concepts, peer play, behavior modification and also trying to help DS regulate his body, he is extremely hyper. I did a quick eval/assessment and mapped out goals for him.

I have some great materials that I will post another time that have proved extremely helpful, if any parents out there are interested.

I'm ready for a great summer, DS is already started having a great summer: his dad lives right on the coast and on the beach, so he gets to play on the beach all the time. I live 25 minutes inland from the coast.

PS: Heard back from the school district; they sent the IEP to me for my review and revisions. I did have some revisions and sent it back, so now the ball is back in their court... aye caramba!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Has anyone seen this movie? I just saw it tonight and let's just say, I feel like booking a trip to Paris! I did have plans to go this summer, but had to push them back to maybe fall or next summer.

It was a good movie. I won't give too much away, but it was creative (artists and literary greats come to life), funny, it showcased Paris wonderfully and it had a good message.

I enjoyed it! Au Revoir.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting for IEP final report




The IEP went pretty well, the director was open to my suggestions. They aren't exactly what I'd thought, but they are willing to give some things a try. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from them on utilizing their services over the summer and to read the final IEP, I don't think they added in my social goals and behavior goals. I'm hoping to get the report by the end of the week.


Now off to the divorce lawyer, we have to modify child support and add ons... always fun! NOT!

Monday, June 6, 2011

IEP tomorrow


This is how I feel. Please wish us luck and that our son get what he needs.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Dinner Menu June 5

Being a single parent, in the SF Bay Area of a child who requires outside therapy, I'm on a budget!

One of the things that helps me save money is meal planning. I give myself a grocery budget, then I take stock of what is in my pantry, then create a menu, then shop for the things I don't have. It usually works.

Here is my weekly dinner menu for the week of June 5

Sunday
Sirloin roast with roasted potatoes and asparagus

Monday
Thai curry chicken, rice and peas

Tuesday
Homemade salmon cakes with homemade french fries

Wednesday
Green salad with tri tip beef

Thursday
Spanish style chicken and rice

Friday
Spaghetti with homemade sauce (I made the sauce last week; freezes nicely)

Saturday
Cajun salmon and spinach

I try to make things simple, tasty and quick (and gluten free)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

You put what where?

Last night, I was working on the computer and DS walks in and says,
"Mommy, I have a pencil stuck in my ear".

Rapidly, I jump up and on initial inspection, he has nothing sticking out of his ears. As I'm firing questions at him... "OMG... Are you okay.... What happened.... How did a pencil get in your ear... Why did you put a pencil in your ear...." I'm grabbing the tweezers and the flashlight and peering inside. I see nothing. I ask him to tell me what he did. Remember, he has Autism and his communication skills can be limited.

I conclude that while he was drawing with his colored pencils, he just decided it would be interesting to put a pencil in his ear; I'm thinking the point was loose and fell inside.

I attempt to flush it out. Nothing.

It's about 6:45pm and I'm trying to make a quick decision. Go to the emergency room (on a Friday night and endure a 2 hour visit) or find a doctor to see him in the morning. I didn't want to wait. Due to his language, I was wondering, was it in fact still in there, or was he just in pain and just telling me what happened.

Immediately, I google after hour care clinics and find a pediatric after hour care clinic not far from my house. We get in the car and go. The whole time DS is happy and fine and just saying his ear hurts.

No one is in the clinic... yay! (Very nice place too~I must yelp about it) I tell them what happened and the doctor exclaims, with a chuckle... "What?! A Pencil!?" We go into the exam room and he checks his ear and yes, she sees something green. We all kinda laugh, like wow, DS... a pencil is really stuck in your ear.

I'm shocked. In 6 years, this little boy has never stuck anything anywhere, not even a sandwich in a DVD player.

So they try to take it out with tweezers, but it was too far in. They then flush it out and it comes right out.

We were all so happy. He's fine. We will go over a social story that I'm going to write about 'Keeping our Body Safe and Healthy'.

Here it is; yes I asked to save it. I want to remind DS when he gets older. LOL.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life without a microwave

My microwave conked out a few weeks ago. I thought it was going to be a hardship, but it's really been great. The only problem I encountered was popcorn!

Then my mother reminded me of the days before microwaves. She suggested popping kernels in a pot. I was like, why not!










1/2 cup of kernels, 3 tablespoons of oil and we have wonderful popcorn. My pot has a clear lid, so DS got a kick out of watching the kernels pop into popcorn. It was DEE---LICIOUS!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Almost Friday....

I need to plan our weekend.

I think Friday we will take in a movie, Kung Fu Panda 2. Then Saturday I need to work with my student and DS will spend the day and evening with his dad. I'm not sure what I will do that night, I may go meet a friend at my favorite cafe. Sunday, is bridge day!!! I need to check the weather forecast, because it's been raining. But we'll walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and then head to Sausalito and sit in the park and watch the sailboats.

Today I have to organize myself, which includes making my to do list (live by it) and planning our menu (saves time and money) and running a couple of errands (Costco and the dollar store for some toiletries).

Have a Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Email in Kindergarten

I just got an email from my son's classmate--addressed to my son, but sent to me (all parent's emails are listed in school directory, so that is where he found it). I opened it up and his friend John wanted to know if he got his yearbook.

Sometimes I can be behind the times, but do 6 year olds have email accounts now?

Took off 4 minutes on my walk/run

I didn't work out outside yesterday due to rain. I did run/walk on the same trail today and I got my time down. Tomorrow, I'm going to do a flat trail around a soccer field. I also changed my eating drastically, not cheating as much ~ dropped 3 pounds! I'm at my ideal weight, just need to loose 2 inches off my waist.







Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fitting in Fitness: Registering for a 5K

I wanted to fit in fitness this morning while DS is with his father. I did the same trail I did a couple of weeks ago; here are the results:



Sorry my camera is out of focus. The trail is 3 miles and unlike the last time, I did add in some running; not a lot. It took me 41 min and 49 sec and it says I burned 618 calories??? Not sure that is correct, something may be off with the heart rate monitor.

I plan to do this again on Tuesday, with a goal of 40 minutes; so got to bump up running. I want to register for a 5K this week.

Added note: This trail has hills and quite a few of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My mother made me an offer... not sure I should refuse

My mother has offered that she take DS over the summer for roughly 4-6 weeks so that I can get ahead financially.

Right now, I have a very part-time job and it's not enough money to survive and pay for therapies. DS' father is doing his share as far as support goes, but I still need a new job.

I was working for about 2 years teaching a girl on the spectrum, but that job ended this spring. I now teach one boy, once per week.

The problem I'm having is paying childcare. Childcare costs about $13-$18 per hour on the low end. With DS being out of school in 2 weeks, he would need all day care; so that would cost me a couple of thousand dollars per month... that is crazy!

I could look for a daycare option, which could run me about $750-$1000 per month, but not sure the daycare could provide the attention he requires due to some needs.

Which brings me back to my mother; she offered to watch him for 4-6 weeks so that I can work work work work work, catch up on my bills and save. She lives 1 hour away by plane and about 8 hours drive.

I'm pondering this and as a single parent, I feel like that would be a tremendous gift and gives me a jump on my savings, pay off some bills and allow me to more money to take care of DS, without giving it to a childcare provider.

I just don't want to feel like a bad parent for leaving him for so long; we've never been apart for that long. But wouldn't I be a good parent, by working and saving more money for his basic and therapeutic needs? I don't want him to feel abandoned either. But we would talk every day, and he would understand I was coming back; he can mark off days on the calendar.

Some parents fight a war and leave their babies behind. I surely can leave my child for 4-6 weeks while I go work.

If I were to do this, it would truly have to be worthwhile. I would set a goal of saving $5,000 in those 4-6 weeks. So I would need to hustle!!! I have a few ideas.
a) Get two jobs. Temp agency by day, bartender by night, and also my student on the weekends
b) Sell stuff! I would try and sell up to $250 worth of stuff. I would take donations, whatever I can do to sell things. With $250, I can give my son 2 speech therapy lessons.
c) Summer sublet a room. I have 2 bdrms and 2 baths. IF, I decide that DS can stay with his grandparents, then why not capitalize on that space? I can get at least $750. That's 5 and half speech therapy sessions!

So I'm leaning towards doing this, but I need to feel 100% sure about it. I don't want to do this and then regret it or feel bad about my decision. But he's with his grandmother and if all else fails, I can get him earlier.

Just seems like a good offer for everyone. But still a hard decision for me to come to grips with. Logically, it sounds great. I just am not sure how I will do emotionally.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Confession: I cried at the end of Oprah

Yes, I tuned in, I wanted to see it. I admit, I will catch an Oprah show now and then if the topic is interesting.

And on the farewell walk, I did get choked up and shed a few tears.

But come on... she has been on the air 25 years, it was touching and I'm sensitive! LOL

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"I get by with a little help from my friends"

I am going through something right now with DS' school and some potential financial concerns that have really taken a toll on me.

I have to say, if it weren't for my friends, who are actually going through some hardships and major decisions themselves, I'm not sure where I would be. I believe and will always take time out to help my friends, no matter what and they do the same.

I'm so lucky to have them in my life and cherish them. And yes, I tell them all the time, how much I love them.

Post title credit: lyrics from lennon and mccartney

Monday, May 23, 2011

My sword hand is never free

Words cannot describe the nonsense that I'm currently going through with DS' IEP team. It's so convoluted that I don't even have the strength to type it all out. Bottom line is, we want our son to be mainstreamed in reading. He can read at a first grade level and he loves to read. He is socially motivated and wants to reach out to his typical peers, so why restrict him? There are also a few over the top issues, we have with the district, but I will spare you, for now.

I fight and will continue to be an advocate for my son's needs but it still blows my mind, how things are handled. I will turn into warrior mom and I will charge on my horse with my samurai sword drawn the entire time. I plan to cut off the heads of district members in the way of my son's education. I will do it gracefully though, they won't even see the blade coming.

I act in the best interest of my child and I want him to live to his potential, whatever that ends up being. I have no idea what is driving/motivating his current IEP team to make the decisions they are making; I can only imagine.

Now we have to create a task team to prove DS can be mainstreamed into the general education reading class... complete with Legal Advocates, Clinical Psychologists, Reading Assessments, etc... And that's fine with me, I have no problem doing it.

Having received my Master's degree in Education back in 1997 and studying about the future of mainstreaming and inclusion being collaborated in general education; I would have never guessed that in 2011 in the state of California, that I would be fighting for a socially driven, highly intelligent happy little boy to be mainstreamed in one class.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Early riser

Not sure why DS is waking up at 6am; it's out of his character. During the week, I cannot do anything to wake him up .

He did it again today. He came into my room at 6am, crawled in bed, but this time he didn't bother me and let me sleep.

We ended up getting up at 8:30am.

Just wondering why he is waking up so early. Not sure, but we'll see how the week goes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It was a good day, considering...

I was up at 6am.

Today, my darling son, woke me up at the ass crack of dawn! by tipping into my room and getting under the covers; I allowed it of course. I figured, as long as he turns over and goes to sleep, not a problem. But that wasn't the case. Instead, he played with my hair, tossed and turned and then started singing... wtf??

On a school day, I can't pry him out of bed, but on Saturday you want to wake up at 6am and harass me? And was it just me or did I start to smell old urine?

After 20 minutes, I had enough. I was so tired from staying up all night catching up on my TV shows; I made him go to the bathroom and then back to his own bed.

I heard peeing but it sounded so close, almost like he was in my bathroom. (Which, is a no no; he has his own bathroom and my toilet is free from urine and smells great and I like to keep it that way. Thank goodness for cleaning wipes, that's the only way to stay on top of cleaning his toilet).

I try to listen for the faucet indicating he was washing hands; it felt like 10 minutes went by and I hear nothing. What the heck is he doing!!??

I sit up, look at the clock (6:30am) and I say calmly..."Wash, your hands and go back to sleep". btw... he is in my bathroom, but I'm too tired to care.

He washes his hands, walks past my bed to his room starring at me, like I just stole his bike!

I lay back down, find my stuffed dog under the covers and cuddle up (yes, I sleep with a stuffed animal, I am single)

I drift back into sleep only to hear... 'Mommy!! about 10 minutes later.

R U Serious!? I look at the clock... really?? I answer him and he asked to come back in my bed. I tell him, no go back to sleep.

I end up getting up at 7:45am and I go into his room and he's fast asleep, snoring and all. Thanks a lot DS! You get me up and then go back to sleep? Oh well.

He doesn't get up til 9:50am, I let him sleep in because I had emails to catch up on and love that free time in the mornings to myself.

So we begin our day. It's Saturday and it's beautiful out. I planned on going to a festival, but it was too late to find parking. I needed to do something free. I decided to take DS to Clocksmith, a clock shop that specializes in vintage/antique clocks. DS has had a clock obsession since he was 2 years old.


(this is the website photo, I forgot my camera and it was too bad, they had some awesome clocks)

Of course, he loved the clock shop and the cuckoo clocks were his favorite. We got there at 12:30 and hung around til 1pm to hear all the clocks go off. That was actually cool; the dings, the gongs, the dongs and the melody's all at one time; it was great. The owner said to come next time a few minutes before 11am or 12noon, the place is really jumping then with plenty of sound.

DS wanted me to buy a clock; but these clocks average $1k, so that was not an option today; especially on free day!

Next stop was Crystal Springs to ride scooters.

(website photo... there is a paved trail along the reservoir)

That was fun too. I packed a snack that included leftover cupcakes. How obnoxious when everyone else was running, jogging, roller blading, walking... but I just had to get rid of them.

Then back home. I made a nice snack of shrimp salad and a glass of white wine. So delicious.


(My camera is so bad, it just will not capture the true beauty of things)

Savings Alert: Safeway has red leaf lettuce on sale for .99cents per head; it usually retails for $2.69.

My shrimp salad recipe is very simple and easy and it taste pretty good. I do it all by sight, so I don't have actual measurements down.

Get fresh or frozen salad shrimp, miracle whip (I start with a tablespoon and then add as needed) and about 2 stalks of green onion, diced. I also do a squirt of French's mustard. Mix and chill and top on whatever you like.

DS hates shrimp, so I made him some GF pasta and sauce.

I really had a great day and we had a lot of fun.

Tonight, it's DVD night, we are watching The Incredibles and having turkey burgers with homemade fries.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reading Blogs


courtesy of spreadshirt.com



Ever since I started blogging again, I have found myself saying, 'not now, Mommy is blogging :)' or rather, reading blogs.


I find myself going from one blogroll to the next and discovering new people, all over the world. From a Japan housewife to a world traveler in France. There is a blog for everything and everyone! I love it.


Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reigniting Fitness

My camera is, let's just say, limited and could not truly capture the beauty of the day.


View from my front door


I thought today would be a great day to reignite my health and fitness. As I mentioned in a previous post, I gained a few extra pounds, since going on a fitness hiatus. I started to get lazy, but happy to report that I'm back on track.


Here's my day...


Today's Menu



Breakfast included coffee (3 sugars), a large grapefruit, gluten free toast with almond butter and water. For lunch I had shrimp salad and water (I only drink water, and of course the occasional glass of wine). Dinner will include a BLT (GF bread, beef bacon, lettuce and tomato and a very small amount of cheese-I usually can't handle cheese but we will see).


My exercise included a 50 minute 3 mile walk. I usually run, but let's just say, I didn't have the proper gear. It took me a while because my neighborhood is very hilly--going uphill is like climbing a mountain, I almost laid out on someone's lawn on the return.


It's amazing how sunshine, good ole Vitamin D, can just change your entire mood. I felt so happy and so great. I had my iPod on I really almost started to break out into dance at one point.


Great great day :) Now I'm off to shower, pick up my little one from school and then run an errand.


PS ~ We will be making cupcakes later, and I know I will not be able to resist; tomorrow I'll take matters into the gym.