So in my last blog, I talked about my personal struggles about possibly being autistic along with my son. Self-awareness is beautiful and so I wanted to talk about what it has been like discovering this part of my identity.
First– I have found people like me. (lol I can now sing the sound of my people–ARROOO! ARROOO!) They have sensory food issues (i was not kidding how horribly i hate avocados/mushrooms and mustard), qerky fun things about their personalities, dye their hair or do their makeup in the most amazing colors ON PURPOSE (not for style but stimming) and have similar struggles like when I watch movies where I get stuck in the movie world and it’s hard to transitions out without acting like the movie. And other autistics don’t mind if you emotionally need a break or if you’re going through a burnout — they get it. No explanation needed. And no one is “putting on face.” or “playing a game.” We really don’t know how. Neurologically speaking. Most of wear our hearts on our sleeve or if we do hide, we get really good at it. And even if by some review of sorts I’m NOT at least neurodivergent (not sure how I feel if that were to happen…considering things) — everyone should have an autistic friend in their life. Support and love them and learn to see a little of their world. As Agony Autie says (WATCH HER VIDEOS!) — it’s a privilege.
Identifying as autistic has also helped me understand some very major aspects about myself as a child as to why I just never felt like I ever fit in. Oh, wait, not fitting in, that’s a qualifier without me even realizing it. I am general an extroverted social person. But I can only slightly read people and NEVER know the right response. Or don’t have the time to process things. Check more on the autistic list.
Item Two: my friend count was low. Not bad. I had really great friends that many I am still friends with today. But no true one BEST FRIEND. When my mom got sick and I had to find a friend to take care of me because my dad would probably not be able to–I was scared because I had no 1 person (you got two choices anyways, but still.) And frankly– a lot of them I rarely hung out with outside of the environment I knew them in.Band Geeks (loud and proud) but never got along with band people. Was in honors but did not mesh with the popular crowd. I did girl scouts which I know struggled with keeping friends there because some girls used me (don’t worry I have a friend I live near I am grateful–but she’s half church half scouts so I don’t count that lol.)
Three (which will lead into the next part): I analyze and process SEVERAL THINGS A DAY. I am the truest sense of the word Curious. I like learning, reading or getting into the details. There were many times i thought to myself or my own mother said “people don’t think about this all the time, do they?” As an adult I have said this WAY more often about the simplest of things in which I revealed to my therapist who noted her head with that expression “Oh, NOW I see what you mean…” They usually get kicked into gear because of something I see or hear.
Lastly I am so excited to travel thru adulthood knowing my qerkiness was not just a phase. Remember me mentioning about having eye contact trouble? And expressive language issues? — I STILL struggle with those. I could never figure out why. A neurotypical person should be able to practice & get better as they work through something. But I didn’t. And i know friends & co-workers hardly have noticed. I just thought they were bad habits or me with just bad grammar. But then i realized I communicate better using things other than language. (I felt like music filled up your whole body vs. speech and therefore auditory because the things that mattered..oh wait, sensory stuff again…sorry 😛 .) I excelled at being in school. Task-oriented functions are my speciality. I’m probably an expert on data entry (patterns). Hey-I even tried telling a guy I like him by saying ” you have to listen to this song-because it will tell you how we should feel about each other…” Yep. That was me. And I wasn’t 8. I was 18.
So i hope i haven’t bored anyone. Or scared (definitely something you do not need to be. ) Just trying to be honest. I have a habit of being too honest before. Oops..
So i know lately i have been spending a lot of my time writing on the books I’m reading. Its a goal of mine to not only keep up on the reading challenge I set my mind to but to have a way to remember it in addition to making sure I write on some regular basis.
However, I realized it is time for a non- book challenge post *ish*. And I think I will go back to my old trusty topic: theology.
So one of the new “books” I started is a daily devotional called 100 days to brave by Annie F Downs. And while I am sure I will have a post about the devotional and all its lovely qualities– I wanted to talk about the importance having a daily devotional. Or at least the intention of having one.
I have never been an intentional practicing Christian. At least not after college while trying to have a working job & more so after trying to keep a family and household together. I do believe the Spirit “blows where it wills” and that sometimes as humans we need to try and catch on before it flitters away too fast because life keeps moving (forget the fact that life comes from the Spirit but anyways…) So whenever things like “read this daily for spiritual growth” come along, I usually get annoyed, bitter and judgmental. How dare someone tell me how to connect to my faith!
Well, I should remember this post when I say things like that. For it is the gentle little focusing that helps me digest the world. It is the fact I am intentionally taking time for thought that helps me get past the sullen sulking self that leads to self-loathing, sickness and separation. Three things that can take away life if you’re not careful. And don’t get me wrong, its rough at first. Especially if you’re trying it for the first time. Sometimes you have to read sections you don’t like, follow a train of thought you can’t handle, but trust me, in the end those little devotional or practices to set time away save you greater time in the long run.
So next time you think that little devotional is not for you–think maybe the coffee you’re drinking isn’t the kind of “jolt” you need to keep yourself going. It will for sure last longer than the caffeine rush.
So I don’t know how many of you out there in internet/blog land do this–but its kind of my “quirk” every year to make a book list reading goal. I never complete it. But at least I know I try to focus myself into reading–an important tastk. Let me tell you–watching my son go grab ANY book (let alone “Star Wars: I am a Droid”) and bring it to me to read during a TV shows is a huge parenting win in my book. Especially for a boy who can hardly sit still.
So to recap– this year i set a goal of 20 books. Its a little under 2 books a month. I thought “well, I’ll go to book group and work back towards reading.” HA! Have kid-having hard time keeping up on reading adult books. Realistically i have read probably 20 more bookx than expected. But the actual goal of completed adult books is 6. Reading “Night Night Groot” every night for a good 3 months doesn’t expand my mind or grow my vocabulary (it does my son’s though 🙂 )
So I’m trying to figure out how to take seriously reading. I know I can reflect my love for reading to my son. And trust me–I LOVE THAT! But its tiring. And sometimes he only wants me to read the book. Or sometime my husband. And that’s not healthy reading for an adult.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Should I go for 20 again? Set a goal of 12 (1 book a month) or even less than 6? Any special books you can remmend?
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019.
As the New Year begins–I thought I would “muse” about the to come. I know, it probably will consider better eating, being more present with my child and family and trying to become more focused on my priorities and values.
But I do that every year. Just like everyone else, I try to better myself, to focus on things that more me up the “human later” (if you can say there is one.) I’ve decided that 2019 needs to be different. It needs to take out the expected and pull in the fun, silly, happy go lucky feeling that we all wish upon our children. Or ourselves.
So instead of focusing so hard on a diet that is near impossible without planning and thinking–I am going to work at remembering why i enjoy eating the healthier foods. Trust me–not eating bread and things that way my gut down helps me feel better. Getting a big bag of cooked veggies is tasty and flavorful. And the colors i try to eat, the more excited I get about “eating the tainbow” (as I like to call it.)
So instead of stressing about always being there for my family–I am going to enjoy the moments I do have. Play tent with my son more. Smile with him as he drags me off the couch. Walk hand in ahnd with my husband through Disneyland feeling nastalic and yet parent proud about our son gradually growing up int he imagination we once (and continued) to explore in.
And instaed of worrying what others will say when I or whether or not i’m portraying the right image–I’m just going to worry less about the image and things that don’t exist and put my mental and emotional effort into the things that do exist. To the heart-felt missions I want to stand behind. Remember the blessings from those around me (at church, home or elsewhere) and how each person I know can truly have an impact.
What’s your plans for 2019? Do you have any? Is it worth making more? Let’s try to focus on what matters this year on a deeper level. Instead of living through the fake images that surround us.
Written before Christmas:
This year has been hard on me. We had so much happen all at once in the last few months that I felt like emotionally it’s just starting to catch up. We haven’t been to church in months despite my deep desires to attend. And of course, in 2 days it’s Christmas. I felt like the twice holiday Christian. It was a little disheartening for someone with a Masters in Theology from a seminary. Especially at Advent and Christmas.
So today, Sunday, I made it to church. Gratefully really. And today the advent candles is that of love. Now- there are several places my christian faith goes when discussing love “coming down” at Christmas. But the main message today was the light coming into the world. And I needed that image today.
Despite all the chaos, the dark, the bad: a child cane into the world to bring light and hope to broken people. Now I don’t get focused on what time of year (while making it winter in the Northern hemisphere does provide an excellent example for contrast) or historical specifics… but the idea of a child with the power of God in Him is something to celebrate.
So from the light, I got back to my favorite Christmas verse: Isaiah 9. Mostly because it is from the little light it all grows into greatness. And is this little child symbolized as a light that holds the glory and strength our world needs. Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. Light!
So I pray as the year closes, This message lasts longer than the dark winter season. For our world needs it much longer than one night of the year.
Moving on…this week should provide for an exciting mix of songs. Not only is Chanukah starting this week… but I may start looking at a few more non traditional songs.
For today though, here is the last of good ol’ Christmas songs.
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
I personally like the Nat King Cole version of this song. And occasionally the parody versions are ridiculous and silly. But I think it just gives you that warming feeling of snuggling up with a cup of coco and smelling Christmas from the tree. After all, it’s official name is “The Christmas Song”
The wiki has a ton of information about the many renditions and singers so I’m just going to leave this here:
…and have a merry Christmas!
This weeks theme is peace. At least the way I remember it growing up.
Sadly enough, there are not enough songs specifically about Peace on earth. Grant it my favorite Disney movie talks about peace in the opening credits it’s a layover for silent night.
So I decided to look at another trans siberian orchestra song.
Prince of Peace.
This is one of their solo peices that adds in Hark the Herald Angels sing. But it’s the story of the nativity from the eyes of a mom. At least that’s how I see it. “A mother lays her newborn”… and it’s the soft beginnings of the one day prince who will bring peace to the world. Here at the lyrics and hopefully on this second Sunday of advent we can remember a little something that we all need.
“The Prince Of Peace”
In the middle of a forest
There’s a clearing by a stream
Where a mother holds her newborn
And the child begins to dream
And he dreams of hopes unspoken
When the tears of man will cease
And his mother holds him closer
For he is the Prince of peace
Let the bells ring out these tidings
Let it echo across the land
That a king is born in Bethlehem
And his kingdom is at hand
Let the world rejoice together
As it looks upon the stars
Knowing every man’s our brother
And that every child is ours
Hark, the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Glory all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the heavenly host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark, the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
In the middle of a forest
There’s a clearing by a stream
Where a mother holds her newborn
And the child begins to dream
The last full day on our cruise was another full day of sea. We started practicing our crawl-a-thon that in the end being apart from mommie was more powering than crawling
Thursday we also went swimming. Well-splashing. But Austin had an awesome time playing in the water.
We also met the captain and went shopping-including Austin who picked out his first Disney shirt. And you think I’m lying–I tell you he went back many times to the same shirt, shaking it and giggling.
Disney is always fun and it was great to get back on a cruise near to home!
Till next time!
So here we are. Day one of my ketogenic diet. I actually am excited to start this. And that’s why I’m glad I waited until today versus last Wednesday. I was able to cook and bake some items so I am prepared to keep this diet going. It also kicked in my curiosity because several of the recipes have unique flavors and twists on things I know and love. I thought I would give a low-down on what’s going to happen:
My goal: to keep this diet up for 90 days. Or at least until my blood work for my doctor (3 months from now.) my doctor wants to see me keep this diet for 3 months and see how it affects my levels. I know personally I just want to be able to keep it up and get my body working for me Instead of against me.
Here is what my daily schedule is going to look like:
1) Limit WHEN I eat.
So on the Keto diet, it is suggested that one work on a schedule of intermittent fasting. This means you only eat for a restricted amount of hours, at least 3 hours before bed and only consume water or tea otherwise. It has many benefits like boosting your metabolism and keeping away the issue of eating on the couch right before bed. Both of these I have problems with…along with chips (which I’ll get to later.). So I have figured during the week and most Saturdays I can do this then on Sundays I can enjoy a nice breakfast or relax. Also it’s the one day Shawn and I spend as a family so the likelihood of me doing it is low. Better to make attainable small goals, right?
I’ll mostly be eating at noon, 2p, 5p and 8p as that is the time my schedule fits. Let’s see how it sticks.
2) limit WHAT I eat.
Since the 1st–I have been making a conscience effort to be aware of what I eat. On a ketogenic diet you can only have up to 20 net carbs (carbs minus fiber) a day. To give you an idea of how hard this can be, 20 could be one chip or price of candy or even 2 tortillas, small size. So I will not be eating bread (don’t anyways cause I’m gluten free), fries, potatoes in general, corn anything or any fruit. Almost like a dog “grain free” diet. Best news? Whey chocolate protein shakes are on the menu! With my coconut unsweetened milk and seasoning for “Mexican got chocolate.” See what I mean by creative menu items?!
Speaking of which–that is what I had for breakfast. It was tasty and filling all at the same time. For lunch I had pizza egg bits, only equating to maybe 9 carbs total (considering the light spoonful of tomato sauce) adding up to only 11net carbs so far. I have a broccoli cheese snack for later and tonight it’s either chicken and peppers on lettuce or walnut crusted pork chops.
I really don’t see any major down side to this diet…other than having to prepare and cook almost all I eat. It’s a huge change for Shawn and I but at least he’s supporting me on this (HUGE KEY FACTOR) and willing to eat what I eat at home. In fact I made key lime popsicles with key lime cues and he had a few bits.
Well Keto, here goes nothing!(ignore the peppers and such…it’s only high carb veggies :-P)
So here it is…November 1st.
Today was the day I had planned to move to my ketogenic diet which incorporates high fat, moderate protein and low carb. This meant no chips, fries, rice or tortillas.
However–I couldn’t have picked a worse day to start
Not only is it in the middle of the week but it is also a day I have a morning meeting with my MOPS group, haven’t prepared anything cause last night was Halloween and I had to take a second shower since we had a fire pit going. Work has also offered me some prizes that I can have now not later (like a Jamba Juice drink) and Shawn and I also talked a little bit about what this diet means and how much he is participating (he will eat what I eat at home, not drink soda, etc. but not so gluten free and be responsible for his own not safe snacks.)
So instead…I will be starting this new lifestyle Monday, November 6th.