Friday, December 28, 2012

Oral-B Professional Precision 5000

If you know me, you know I hate the dentist.  I hate going, in the last 2 years between cancer treatments and pregnancies etc. my mouth took a proverbial beating.  I just spent thousands of dollars getting my mouth back in order.  I needed to find something that made my mouth get and feel dentist clean and fresh everyday.

The Oral-B Professional Precision 5000 rechargeable toothbrush is the amazing tool that made my mouth feel like I had just come from a cleaning at the dentist every day and night.  It was great. 

I had never used an "electric" toothbrush before.  I had always just used a regular toothbrush.  My gums would bleed, I'd have cavities, loose teeth, and gum infections.  All of this changed with the use of my new Oral-B Professional Precision 5000.  My mouth felt dentist office cleaning clean everyday!  Who doesn't love that feeling?!

I absolutely fell in love with the Oral-B Professional Precision 5000 rechargeable toothbrush.  It made it impossible to not take care of your teeth.  It came with a handy clock/timer.  That in addition to telling how late you're running in the morning, it syncs up with your toothbrush, times your brushing, and and alarm goes off if you're applying too much pressure with the toothbrush.  The oscillating, rotating and pulsating movements of the toothbrush were epic in getting my teeth clean like the dentist everyday.  I loved running my tongue along my teeth morning and night.

I am so happy with the Oral-B Professional Precision 5000  that I would recommend it to everyone.  It was a great find, and a healthy mouth, is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Oral-B is offering a $20 mail-in rebate on select power toothbrushes November 18  through December 31, 2012 (Please visit for details)

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Modern Mom on behalf of Oral-B and received a product sample to facilitate my review

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ringing in 2013 Knott's Berry Farm Style

After a great 2012, and my toddlers starting school, and entering KIDHOOD, and spending a lot of our fun time at Knott's Berry Farm for Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July at Soak City, Camp Spooky, and Knott's Merry Farm.  There is no other way I can think to usher in 2013 than with a Family Fun New Years Eve at Knott's.  The fun starts at 10am and will go all the way until 1am on January 1st!

This will be our first time taking the kids out on New Years Eve.  But I'm sure, as Knott's they always do my kids will have nothing but a good time.  We are going to watch "Happy New Year Charlie Brown" at the Camp Snoopy theater, we can still catch "It's Christmas Snoopy" skating show if we want too.  What I can not wait to see is "Snoopy's Magical Night of Lights" until 1am.

The grown up fun will continue up until 1am with Salsa and Country Line Dancing.  There will be instructors for those of us with two left feet!   There will be live performances from a popular band. 

Of course there will be a countdown and aerial fireworks display to welcome in 2013.  You can't have a New Years Eve without a little sparkle and fun.  I know after this year of our annual passes that Knott's never disappoints in the fun department. 

So join us and the Camp Snoopy folks, and those of us old enough to stay up until 1am and ring in what promises to be a great 2013.

Happy New Year.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Media Malpractice and Autism

Sandy Hook Elementary School saw the most unspeakable evil and tragedy at the hands of a madman on Friday, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all effected by it.

As I heard the news on Friday I ran to get my kids from school, I just couldn't NOT pick them up, I had to be with them. I was full of anxiety and just wanted to love all over them.

I had to turn the news off at the first mention from ABC News, "Shooter was autistic - with personality disorder". The same thing happened the day after the Aurora, CO shooting. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC said "These shooters are young, white, men, possibly autistic, loners". Well Joe, you're a jerk.

 On top of an overwhelming sadness for these poor babies, teachers, and school officials taken from their families, I'm so pissed off at the media for their blatant malpractice and lack of research on Autism.
Piers Morgon on CNN had a psychologist who stars on a BRAVO reality show listening to millionaire cocktail queen Bethenney Frankel whine about her poor pathetic life GAWD, blathering misinformation about Autism. Yeah, that's a great source to give you information about Autism, my GAWD. Piers Morgan then goes on to say how autistics are missing something in the brain. WELL THANK YOU PIERS. You and your over weaning ego have solved the mystery of autism. He also stated they are unemotional and unaware of right and wrong. That expert opinion of his is just mind blowing! I wanted to reach through the TV and punch his arrogant pompous English accent right in the throat. Him and his arrogant smug look on his face set back autism acceptance by years.
So as other reports are stating Autism is a mental illness, personality disorder and behavior disorder. Over and over to the point of nausea. The whole thing was sickening at how lame most of the media now is at their jobs.

As the parent of 2 small children with autism, I am pissed that the entire media has set back autism acceptance and awareness years. These children have so much social stigma on them already, so much to fight through just to do what typical children do. It was all shoved to the back of the bus by the large sweeping statements made by many bloating windbags who did nothing but damage an entire community of people by their false misleading, misguided and uninformed reports. My son does have public temper tantrums and outbursts, and can at times be aggressive. I get the stares, I have had friends stop bringing their children here to play, what we really need to do is throw psycho killer on top of the stigma they have to carry on their tiny little shoulders. Thanks a lot media. I thought your job was to tell a story of what happened? Clearly not your practice anymore. They literally set back the acceptance and understanding of autism years.

As I lost most hope for those in the media CNN's Dr Sanjay Gupta proved to be the voice of reason via social media. On his twitter feed "Something needs to be clarified, there is no evidence of a link between autism and planned violent behavior". Then Anderson Cooper took to the airwaves to debunk the myths being reported about autism. So to Anderson thank you, to Megyn Kelly thank you, to Dr Gupta, we appreciate your truth, support and common sense in your reporting.

And I think as the talking egos got the picture via social media that they lit a fire that they were not going to control the rage they brought out in autism parents, the phony "clarification" starts coming in. Fox News today had a panel of parents of children with Autism on Megyn Kelly's show "America's Newsroom". Megyn Kelly "Autism is not a mental illness but a neurological disorder." And believe it or not that is not very hard to research. That exact definition is on the CDC website, the Autism Society, Autism Speaks. So clearly our media and the so called journalists and anchor people no longer like to work they just want to report something first.

My heart hurt for my kids and then I was just overwhelmed with the thought of if a shooter came into my kids class. My son cognitively would not know what was going on, he would not receptively understand instructions from the person trying to hurt him or help him. The sensory overload of his nervous system would probably cause him to do something that would end up costing him his life. THAT IS THE REALITY OF AUTISM that the media is missing. These kids are more likely to be the victim, the helpless, silent victim of a crime than the perpetrator.

The pain that I feel for these children with autism that now have a new battle to overcome. They now have to fight their way out of the reports of idiots that know not what they speak. There are too many people that take the media seriously and will now be afraid of people with autism, will make more of a stigma on the kids than they already have. I have a friend that always tells me "Your kids don't play with mine" "They don't share", "They don't want to be friends with my kid". I have to constantly fight that kind of ignorance, and now I have to be an advocate for all the kids and families with autism that our kids aren't going to turn Psycho Killer. Thanks for that Piers, you're a GEM!

This is a tragic event for so many and we should not lose focus on that. However, the media has a responsibility to use their platform to inform the public. It does not have the right or invitation to fill minds of masses with information that is incorrect, especially when it has the capacity to hurt many more.

I will always pray for Newton.


I Will

As I have wiped tears from my eyes all weekend thinking of the parents of the children who were murdered on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT because of the feeling of powerlessness over evil.

But I can not send my kids off to school today feeling powerless, I need to put in my head the things that I can do to help keep mine and other kids loved and safe.

I will empower my children
I will be kind to people
I will do my best to help those struggling
I will hug my children and love them everyday
I will be aware of the surroundings
I will make myself a known figure on campus
I will do my part to teach kindness
I will look for children and adults in pain and try to be a means to help them
I will not live with my head buried in the sand
I will point out those that are suffering or seem to be in pain or anger to those that can help

I may not be able to prevent a psychotic madman from doing unspeakable things, but I can if make the community aware, that is doing something.

I want to make the world a place that I want my kids to live in, and it isn't that place right now.  The parents and families of those 20 little souls that are in Heaven, were just walking through life doing their normal routine and in 1 minute their lives were crushed.  Why? Why? Why?  What did someone not do?  Where did a life go wrong?  What was missed?  Why? Why? Why?  The only true right answer is that Evil will always find away.  Evil is powerful and evil is baffling, and shocking and unexplainable to most.

I can't live being a part of the why, I have to be part of an answer, a solution, or what is the point of living in a community? What did this teach me?  Be kind and aware of those around you and love your kids even when he shredded all my Christmas cards that I addressed and stamped last night.  LOVE THEM, make sure they know you love them all the time no matter what. 

I don't know why, I just know that there are those out there hurting and crushed and maybe love and kindness is at a shortage and we need to more hugs and less dirty looks and fist a cuffs. 

God Bless Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown, CT.  I pray in all this there is comfort somewhere for you and peace in your hearts and a relief of your pain.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Athlete In Me

I was really moving along and kicking ass, and was inspired to find this inner athlete in me.  Earlier this year I participated in the Barry's Bootcamp 30 day challenge.  It was an amazing opportunity and an incredible workout.  Kara Perez the manager at the Irvine, CA location was key to helping me find the athlete that had been buried under years of inactivity.  In the 30 day challenge I found my wind, I found speed, and I found strength that I never thought I had.  I was able to train and successfully complete 2 half marathons, a couple of mud runs, and put some miles on the road in Mission Viejo. 

During the challenge I lost 16lbs, and really was able to do more than I ever thought my middle aged, cancer stricken, overweight body could have ever done.  But I did it.  I did it with this tiny little girl Kara yelling "Yes, it's going to hurt, so what, keep going!!!!",   "It hurts, it sucks, but the hurt brings the body you want",  "DON'T STOP"!  She would tell me what to eat, and when to eat, and how to move, and what to do.  I felt the best and strongest that I have ever felt in my life.

Over the summer, I continued working out and running and completed my 2nd half marathon.  I did get a little complacent about my fitness.  My son spent a week in the hospital, autism was running rampant, and I put myself last on the list, and didn't properly plan to take care of myself.  My eating went to hell and my fitness fell apart - I'm not where I started, but I gave into the chaos of the house for awhile.  But I'm over it. 

Sweaty mommy is a happy mommy
I feel like Kara Perez is that little Angel on my shoulder and she is screaming at me to "KEEP GOING".  So to do that I have to incorporate everyone.  I'm turning these two little autistic boys into runners, and hikers.  They like to be outside, and they like to be with me so we are hitting the trails.  Who says that they can't be athletic?  I mean really fitness is a family deal.  If I'm fit, I can share it with everyone.  The boys go with me, we walk, we trot we run we play.  Part of autism is that theymay have low muscle tone, well not if I can help it!! I am making them do the things with me that I didn't want to do with Kara at first.  But they are participating and now asking to go out to the greenbelts and run, and play, not just sit and watch TV.

I really am a runner and an athlete no matter what my head says.
So I thank you Kara Perez and all your training because your voice stuck in my head these past few months, and Barry's Bootcamp for drilling that inner athlete into me, and not letting her die.  I will be back,  things are getting better, and I'm learning that if I fail to plan for myself, then I am planning to fail.  So this middle aged mommy athlete is getting back on the treadmill and getting her game back on, so I can teach these kids and keep them healthy.  This is a family, and we will all be together in fitness rather than on the couch.

So as we slide into the holidays, I won't be pigging out, I'll be running, lifting and repeating with a tiny little girl yelling at me.  Because truthfully, isn't the best gift I could give everyone in my family a healthy me???


Friday, November 16, 2012

Grateful today and everyday - even when I forget

I have been trolling around on Facebook and seeing everyone's daily item of thankfulness or gratitude, and somedays I'm not feeling particularly thankful.  Even though, I have an abundance of things to be thankful for.

Today is one of those days where I feel like my cup runs over, and while I have the ability and the memory of this moment where I'm looking at everything in front of me with immeasurable gratitude, I want y'all to know what I am thankful for.

My family - That husband that drives me batty some days, he is a gem sometimes too, and a work horse and a good dad and provider.  My amazing kiddos, they taught me a love and drive that I never thought I was capable of.  My parents are amazing, they would do anything I ask and love my kids with all their hearts.  My brother, sisters in laws and all the nieces and nephews we feel blessed to have all of you in our lives.  There is a wonderful lesson of socials skills and friendship that is taught with cousins first, and our family does it up right.

Autism - Yes, you read it correctly,  I am grateful today for autism.  While I do hate it with a passion, it allowed me to find a strength, conviction, and a drive to do for my kids that I did not think was humanly possible.  I think autism gave me the patience, tolerance and love for my kids that fills every gap on earth.

My home - It's cozy, chaotic, and pretty, and I love it.  It was the first place I brought my kids home to and I just love it, and am excited this year to cook our first Thanksgiving 8 years after moving in :)

My grandfather - He's been gone for many many years.  But those words that he said to me when I was a little girl "I work this hard so you won't have to and can be happy" - Well Nanu - you have given a gift to my little boy that I will NEVER be able to express the gratitude for helping us crack that shell of autism.

My running shoes - they gave me my sanity, every pounding step took some pain and made me a stronger woman, wife, and mom.  Still the cheapest form of therapy I could have ever found.  The miles and races I have run have kept me from the brink of insanity more than you can ever know.

My friends - to my new friends, and my old friends, who have stuck by my side through autism, cancer, fat, thin, rich, poor, crazy and through the laughter and the tears.  Even if we only chat on facebook, I'm so grateful for the outlet and insight into your lives.  

For Brain Treatment Center, Coyne and Associates, Regional Center, Surfers Healing, and Social Kiddos Playdates, and all the moms groups and friends that we have made through this autism journey.  I respect you and am grateful you have trudged this road before me and taught me how to be a warrior mom.  And for all the fun and "normal" things you make possible for my kids and others to experience.  This would be a lonely ride trying to do this alone, so I applaud all of you and your efforts and hard work to make our family included.

 Happy Thanksgiving!  And don't forget to Give some Thanks!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knott's Can I count the ways I love you?!!!

We live in the land of theme parks and Hollywood.  In this crazy economy, the world of toddlers and special needs, I have found the place that my boys love, and when they don't the staff and park is INCREDIBLY accommodating to my family.  Knott's Berry Farm I love you.  You have given so much to my kids by way of fun, family, and a normalcy that we don't get in all places.

I love your Mother's Day Brunch, your Easter Egg Hunt in Camp Snoopy, I love Camp Spooky, and my favorite time of year Knott's Merry Farm for Christmas time.  I am not leaving out the spectacular Halloween Haunt that they superbly execute every year, but 4 and 6 year olds are not too keen on that yet, but I am hopeful in several years it will be a family outing we all look forward too.

If you go to special events such as Camp Spooky at Halloween time, your kids get such extra special treatment, and have a blast.  There is trick or treating, cookie decorating, story telling and (a quiet place to go to when the kiddos are on overload), hay mazes, and of course all the Peanuts Characters.  Camp Spooky has age appropriate rides that give the little ones a thrill without putting fear into them, and gave my kids laughter that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear.

They do it up right for the holidays.  The Marketplace is decorated to the nines and if you an not get festive after a visit, then you may be hopeless.

But in Southern California there is not by any means a better value, a more fun and family oriented place than Knott's Berry Farm.  I'm so looking forward to Knott's Merry Farm and getting our Season Passes to give to the kids for Christmas.

#campspooky he loved Snoopy

He really liked it until the big hill

We got a lot of laugher and vocals here!

The BEST Mother's Day Brunch EVER

Amazing Christmas for #MerryFarm

Thank you again Knott's for treating kids with Autism with dignity and respect and being patient when they need it.  This is a place we go where they get to do the things typical children get to do, and they enjoy and love going there, and for that, and that alone I will be eternally grateful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Punching Autism in the face

I'm not sure if today I'm the happiest mother on earth, but I could be close to it.  Autism is a way of life in our home.  I have two kids with it, and one is severe, and one is functioning with it, and has a lot of sensory issues.  My older son is non verbal and has many issues that make it hard for him to communicate, and very hard for me/us/anyone to pull him out of his world. 

We made a huge decision to try a new experimental therapy on our oldest son Franklin.  It is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.  In the last couple weeks he has gotten EEG's and TMS on his brain 7 times, and things are starting to happen, they first showed up on EEG, and now behavior and he is changing so much for the better.  It is not Large Enormous changes like him all of a sudden speaking in sentences.  But it's getting a TON more eye contact, he is seeking me out to play with him, not just take him potty, get him food, or open a door.  He is getting my attention to play with him,  he drags me out to the swing set, he asks for more of me to give him piggy back rides, he wanted my husband to lie down on his bed with him as he chattered away until he fell asleep.  THAT NEVER HAPPENS, he has always wanted to be alone  when it was bedtime.  My husband was nearly speechless that Franklin wanted to have all that alone time with him.  He nearly didn't know how to respond.  Amazing.

My little guy is just responding to his ABA therapy in life changing ways.  His language has just recently exploded with new vocabulary.  He is getting less echoic and more reciprocal in his conversation.  He is parallel playing with kids, he loves going to school.  And tonight the hugest of huge things happened, after 8 months of consistently and daily working on potty training, the little bastard FINALLY went on the toilet.   We nearly threw a parade in his honor.

So this week, we in our home, were busy, making strides, and fighting with all our might and punching autism in the face.

I have fought so hard this last month with behaviors, meds, changes in my kids, and have let myself go.  I have irregularly been running or doing anything good for myself,  my kids doing so well is a consolation.  However, I will make this commitment to you to get back on the fitness track and take care of myself FOR MY CHILDREN.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Which Disney Princess Are You?

A month ago I participated and finished the Disneyland Half Marathon.  It was my second half marathon and I improved on my time and it was an INCREDIBLE race.  Disney does it up right for sure.  The first 3 miles of the course were running through the Happiest Place on Earth and Disney's California Adventure.  I haven't been to Disneyland since my kids were born so the new Cars Land was absolutely AWESOME.  In my home we watch Cars EVERY DAY, so it was more than great to run through Radiator Springs.

As I ran through Disneyland and came through the castle I was thinking of what Disney Princess I actually am.  I was pretty emotional running this race.  I was running a strong race, faster than my first half marathon, and I was in a place that I truly love.

When I think of where i was a little over 18 months ago, I couldn't run 13 feet let alone 13 miles, I was severely overweight, and was just a hot mess in so many areas.

Cinderella kept popping in my mind, and not because of my ability to rock a ball gown like she did, but because of her life before the ball and prince.  She was stuck in this castle basement with her evil Stepmother and horrid Stepsisters.  3 years ago when my son had been diagnosed with autism at s old, we literally became prisoners in our house 30 hours a week of therapy in our home. I had a 2 year old and a brand new baby, and I was literally stuck here in the house, and Autism was the step sister that was just plain mean to me, my kid, and our family.  Then 1 year after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that was the 2nd horrible step sister.  Breast cancer was mean and abusive to my body and soul, and tried to crush me.  After 1 year of surgeries and recovery, I had to take control of something autism and cancer had done some damage to my psyche.

My fairy Godmother was the treadmill in our garage.  Rather than taking an anti-depressant, or hiding in my house forever, I just made a decision that NO MATTER WHAT I would sweat for at least 20 minutes everyday.  So I cleaned off the treadmill, and got on it, walking, jogging, running.  Yes, me that fat lady was RUNNING. 

That treadmill (the GodMother) transformed me and my body into a strong mom, a lean mom, and beautiful on the inside and out mom.  It helped me conquer the hurt and damage of autism and cancer and all the chaos that they brought to our home. 

I did more than run the treadmill, I became healthy, fit, and fun. I became a FitTastic Mom. I found an online group of 8  women and followed their example and their blogs, and was transformed into "Cinderella" and the ball was the Disneyland Half Marathon.

So as RunDisney is my Prince Charming and my ball is the Disney Princess Half Marathon on my 45th birthday is the ball so I can meet my "friends" and in real life, and hold hands as we run through the castle together as the closets thing there is to running royalty.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Track It Tuesday - No Movement

The scale didn't move, and I did nothing but move all week.  I worked out, I ate well, probably drank a few too many glasses of wine.  But basically was on great track, so I am expecting big things next week for the end of the Gunnar Challenge, and I want to start getting back into my clothes.

You see, I threw out ALL of my fat clothes,  I have nothing, but a pair of shorts and my workout gear to wear right now.  So frustrating, but I feel things happening.  I feel good and confident that I will get out of my workout clothes and into a size 8 by the end of the year.  Or else, running capri's is all I will be wearing forever, because I reFUSE to buy a larger size.

I took an amazing cycle class yesterday at Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo.  What a crazy cardio workout, a little oxygen deprivation is good for everyone, right?   I thought I was very conditioned, but this class gave me room for pause, reflection and where I can improve. 

I need to get back onto the weight training and toning my flab!  So look out, I will be in the weight room!  YIKES!

The summer 15 and the funk that I have been in is going to be lifted.  I will lose this weight, the amazing woman that I dream of is here and I am ready to move forward, for life, for health and for my family.

Why does learning have to be so friggin' difficult?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Track it Tuesday (The Summer 15)

Alright, so this summer has been an incredible journey, and as I went through a variety of life situations, I failed miserably at trying to get the last 20 lbs. off of my weight loss.  And when I say I failed miserably I mean I actually gained 15 lbs. and it seems to have all happened in the last 6 weeks.

213.4  UGGG
So now I have to get 35 lbs off to be at my goal weight. And I went back over 200, where I said I would never go again! 

This is friggin' frustrating,  I'm beyond annoyed with myself.  Completely disappointed to the poiont where I have no other choice but to get off my ass and work hard to get to that goal.  I worked so hard to get 80 lbs off of me.  I excercised, I ate right, I took care of myself, and changed my life. I just need to be back on track, the same track that got me to health.

I'm a cancer survivor for goodness sakes, and I fought hard to beat that.   I think the number one way to no longer be a cancer survivor is to stop caring for my health.  Seriously, could you have any idea what a ungrateful dumbass I feel like now?

What caused the set back in my attitude and actions and a myriad of bad choices?  Autism, toddlers, depression, and just summer business.  My sons have autism, and the set backs and regression that he had, took a lot of time to deal with, in addition to being exhausting it was sad and depressing.  I unfortunately chose chips over running on a lot of days to deal with it.  We spent a week in the hospital, we went on vacation.  The difficulties that I was having with my kids this summer were more than I prepared for and I found myself more days just saying "F*CK IT", and having the cocktail, or the guac and chips or pint of Haagen Dazs.  Well the scale finally reflected that. But enough with excuses, I chose poorly OFTEN. 

Believe it or not.  I still did train and finished a 2nd half marathon.  I competed in the Disneyland Half Marathon.  It was an amazing race, and I had a blast doing it.  I knew before I ran the race that I had put on some pounds and I finally weighed myself 2 days after the race, and almost cried.

So for the last week I have really struggled to stay focused, exercise, eat clean and good, and I will be the crazy athlete mom that I want to be, that I know is in me.  I want to be healthy, I want to be that FIT mom that can keep up with her kids.  I don't want to be the fat frump sitting in the corner, and not doing anything.

I want to be the mom that walks into Renaissance ClubSport and everyone knows because I come in, am positive, and all the help that was given to me there by Chris, Alley, and Chuck shows. I have a couple weeks left of the Amazing Gunnar Challenge, that provides me the best workouts for the gym and home.  I WANT TO BE THE EXAMPLE OF WHAT TO DO,  that others who struggle with their weight want to follow.  I want to lead this pathway of health and sanity.  I don't want to be that scared woman that one year ago could barely run a mile. 

Son of a gun.  Between all the work I've done,  the great training I've gotten from so many in Orange County this shouldn't be that hard.  I am my own worst critic, enemy, and saboteur.   So now that kids, are gone during the day, husband is starting a new job.  My workouts will be back on track, and I'm already prepared with food for the week, and have planned and put effort forth for myself.  I will get this weight off.  So if you're struggling.  You are not alone. If you have been afraid to do anything, come follow.  If you are doing it consistently and winning the battle of the bulge, share how you stay on track. 

I have set a goal and I will have this now 35lbs off by the end of the year. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Track It Tuesday

Whooo Hooo!  After a crazy busy month, a vacation, and hospital stay.  I have put/forced myself back on track, and after this week.  I can happily say I am down 3 lbs, eating well, and exercising and an excellent and exciting level.

I have put my workouts first, and left everything on the gym floor.  I have walked out of Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo with nothing left the last couple of weeks.  I have had to kick my running up a notch because the Disneyland Half Marathon is this weekend on September 2nd.  I have been lax in my training and let my social schedule, my family vacation, and being the crazy autism advocate that I have to be, and having both my kids home from school was incredibly challenging to stay on track.  And occassionally, I fell off of that track. 

I have improved because I don't stay of track very long anymore.  I have a bad meal or a couple of bad snacks and I eat a healthy meal, not because of guilt, but I truly don't feel good when I eat too much processed crap.

I also took an amazing cycling class at Renaissance this week.  What an amazing workout,  I was sucking wind and burned like 850 calories in an hour.  I could get hooked on that.

My hope for this week is to finish the marathon before they close the course, to take what I learned from the last half marathon and practice it.  Run, run for my kids, run to finish, and feel good, and enjoy my time with my thoughts and the road, push people on the course that are struggling, and enjoy the experience.  I am running a half marathon, are you kidding.  2 years ago at this time I was in the middle of fighting cancer, over weight, out of shape, and scared - and now I'm running 13.1 friggin miles.

My hope for next week is to take some running breaks and really put all the weight training that I have been taught by the amazing trainer Allie at Renaissance ClubSport to use, and start to change the body.

What I have learned over the last couple of weeks for myself, is that no matter how guilty certain people want to make me feel for taking care of myself, it is IMPORTANT.   I matter and I do have to put myself first sometimes because my health is important, without it I can't care for the most important things to me.

So see ya later 4 lbs., hopefully next week I'll have the same to report :) 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Life Lessons of the week

  • Ronald Reagan was an amazing President (Go visit his Presidential Library very cool experience and see for yourself).
  • My kids are a lot of work, yet every quirk, and deficit autism gave them, gives me a Ton more love for them
  • I hate hospitals
  • The medical profession needs to learn how to work better with children with Autism
  • There are some "friends" that could really care less if you have something going on, but you better be there when they have a crisis or self induced drama
  • The laundry you have to do after a vacation is almost enough to make me not go on vacation
  • Unless you live with or work with on a daily basis someone with autism you don't know much about it
  • Show compassion
  • Go with your gut
  • The more grateful I am the more I get to be grateful for
  • I love spending time with my family
  • When you sign up for a half marathon - TRAIN for it. -  I have a feeling the Disneyland half marathon is going to be a disaster!
  • Hug and kiss your kids at least 5 times a day.  It makes you and them feel good.
  • Eating good and exercise is the best medicine and stress relief that there is
  • The person that invented Reese's Ice Cream sandwiches is Satan


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Track It Tuesday

Well after a week on vacation, I gained 1 lb. and when we came back I worked out like a dog, got some good runs in under my belt, for my half marathon, that I have been way too laxed on in the training area. 

So just as I get back on track, and took a couple of amazing classes at Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo.  I took Cycling and Kick Boxing again, I was feeling all motivated and pumped up, and ready to kill it, my 5 year old who has autism was admitted to CHOC hospital for an EEG to monitor seizure activity.

So this is a crazy lesson on how to LIVE HEALTHY.  I am doing my best to eat right.  However the comfort friggin' food is everywhere.  I am stuck in a room trying to out flak a hyperactive autistic 5 year old that is tied to about 100 wires coming out of a turban with probes glued to his head.  AHHHH!  A cookie just makes it easier than a carrot does, if you know what I mean, since they don't allow margaritas on the pediatric floor.  But since I am a work in progress I am eating the comfort food, but I am getting good stuff in too.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to run to the Renaissance while my husband takes a shift here at the hospital.

So as soon as I get sprung, I am kicking it into high gear to get the Disneyland Half Marathon under my belt, and then the Long Beach Half Marathon in October and I will have 3 half marathons done this year!  

You do realize that 2 years ago I couldn't run 1 mile right?!  Thanks to all the help I have gotten online from The Unnatural Mother, @roninoone, and my many other sources and the amazing facilities and staff at Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo I will get these last 20 maybe it will be 25 after this hospital stay off of my ass.

How do you stay on track when your life is in your way?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Life Lessons of the Week

  • I love my house and am glad to be home
  • Going on a vacation in the middle of half marathon training is probably going to be be paid for at the race!
  • I am a much nicer person when I run regularly (My husband agrees)
  • I love sleeping in (Those days are over)
  • I absolutely got a kick out of shocking the crap out of someone and seeing their jaw on the floor (I love bugging meanies)
  • The more I'm grateful the more I have to be grateful for
  • My kids are amazing and bring me so much joy
  • There are some people in life that will never be happy because they chose to look for the flaws in EVERYTHING when they themselves are far from perfect
  • Worrying does absolutely NOTHING to change a situation
  • It is not nice to criticize and whine when someone is doing you a favor, makes them not want to do favors for you
  • I remembered why I fell in love with my husband
  • I'd rather be happy than be right.
  • I will miss having a campfire and s'more every night
  • There are so many people on the road that do not deserve a drivers license
  • I love my new Canon Rebel camera the thing takes ridiculous pictures
  • I loved going to the gym today and really leaving everything on the gym floor and giving it my all
  • Reality TV has killed some brain cells 
  • I love air conditioning


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Elated Exhaustion

Well we did it, the two middle aged immature parents of autistic toddlers took them on vacation, and everyone came home alive!!!!

We fretted, and debated, and worried, and stressed, about
Where to go
What to do
How will they react
How will they behave
How much will it cost
Fly or Drive
Hotel or Condo
Close or Far

To the point of absurdity we worried. However, we finally got it together and booked a vacation in the High Sierras.  We went to a place my husband had been to before in his childhood, and it was HIT!!!!  I could not recommend enough if you are in for a rustic type of vacation with hiking, fishing, horses, and the most beautiful mountain country imaginable go to Cardinal Village Resort.  Our cabin was quaint and cozy.  I cooked most of our meals, and they had a great breakfast out on their deck.  Owned by an incredible family who were beyond accommodating to my family, and they had a beautiful worship service at the facility the night we arrived.  Franklin made it through half of the service and then was getting a little too loud so we had to make an early exit.

The kids had a great time, they were so good, the change of routine and surroundings was a little bit of an issue but once they got used to it, the fun was incredible.  Since we were given the diagnosis of Autism, we had not taken our kids on vacation, and had taken them anywhere other than my parents house.  Because we have been submerged in therapies, and school, and Dr. appointments and diets and behaviors and the whole bucket of shit that comes with Autism.

My kids experienced something this week that everyone gets to experience, they fished, they hiked, they played, rode a horse, rode a gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain, had lunch at 11,053 ft.

I learned that I have conditioned myself to have very low expectations of my kids, and that made me really sad.  Because they did amazing.  They had fun, they were good in the car both 5 hour drives were long and they behaved perfectly.  They didn't eat great, and didn't sleep much, but the trip was still a complete positive.  There was so much that they learned, and saw, and experienced, and a whole world opened up to them.  While I didn't sleep much and did a lot, I am exhausted but really am just elated at the experience that we all just went through together.  It was fricking amazing. 

This was a great week for our family, we upped the expectation of the kids, our marriage had a big reconnect, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like we were working as a team.  So we conquered Autism on vacation, it did not ruin a trip, it did not hijack my kids while were in the middle of nowhere, and our family became a stronger unit.

So Cardinal Village look out this motley crew will be back next year!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Track It Tuesday

I was so excited to go in and see Chuck Rudolph this week the Nutrition Specialist at Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo.  I was really making an effort to stick to the food plan that he gave me eating mainly protein, fat, a ton of veggies spaced out through the day.  I really never felt hungry, but I did and would forget to eat every three hours.  That is just a behavior of putting myself last that I rarely prepare food for myself to take with me if I'm going to be out of the house for more than a couple hours.  However, the handy dandy texts I get from Chuck a few times a day that just say EAT - say it all.  If I'm out, I'll stop and get something that is 2-300 calories mostly protein and move on to my next activity.

When I was getting ready to go see Chuck, my shorts felt a teeny bit looser, and that thrilled me.  So I get to his office in the gym and step on the scale, and it's UP - SERIOUSLY?  I've been working my fingers to the bone, and working out and running and training for this stupid Disneyland half marathon and I was PISSED.  Chuck didn't seemed phased by the number at all.  Then he whipped out his tape measure and pincher machine.  I lost an inch in my arms, also in my legs and 3 around my belly area.  I lost 3% of my body fat and gained 5lbs of muscle.  So that was something, he was happy. 

Apparently I am going to have to learn yet ANOTHER new behavior and not focus so much on the number on the scale but pay attention to shrinking my size.  I may not lose the 20 - 30lbs that I wanted to get rid of but Chuck says we'll have me in a size 8, currently I am a 12.   I guess every week when I see him, I'm going to do like I used to do at the docs office when I was pregnant and turn my back to the scale.  YIKES!!!  I'm taking a leap of faith here, and just going to continue the amazing workouts that Allie Meisch Nie my trainer laid out of me and follow the meals plan and hopefully continue to shrink.  But of course I always have to remember that this meal plan and workouts on paper are all fine and dandy but I MUST DO THE WORK.  Just because I have these nifty notebooks, they do no good sitting in the back of my Suburban.

I did try something new at Renaissance ClubSport this week, I took a Kick Boxing class and the AB express class.  Completely AWESOME!  High energy, great cardio I burned 700 calories according to my Garmin and I was sore the next couple of days.  I look forward to more.  There was nothing more satisfying than pretending I was kicking someones ass.

I can not say enough about the facilities.  If you are looking for a fantastic resource to help you get and stay healthy and feel like a princess also, consider taking a guest pass and letting them know the Real Mom sent you.  It is such an experience, the facilities are so incredible it makes me want to go to the gym and workout even when I do not want to go.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Congratulations and Thank you

I have been a golf fan since I was younger, my dad always watched the PGA on television as I was growing up and I've continued to follow it my whole life. 

Today, I watched something on a golf course in another continent bring me to my knees with tears.  Ernie Els won the British Open, it was an exciting ending but not as nearly as exciting as why I was thrilled for him.

Ernie and his wife Liezl Els have two children and daughter Samantha, and a son Ben, and Ben is 9 and was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3, and watching Ben is much like watching my Franklin, he's severely effected by his autism. After watching this video shortly after we received Franklin's diagnosis of autism, I have silently rooted for this family to succeed.

I think I will silently always root for any autism family to do well.  Because you have to know that once your life is rocked by this diagnosis and you are forced into a life that there is no preparation for and you are thrown for this big loop that you were never expecting, I think that it is hard to come out of that unscathed and successful.  I have been chronically distracted since autism that sometimes I don't feel like I can carry a conversation because I literally feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants trying and doing (and failing) to make my kid better.

So as I sat there and watched this man get a win, a big win, who hasn't gotten a big win in years, I did cry.   Because, you see autism has this way of taking over every thought, and the grief sometimes that you feel is too painful to participate in the fellowship of life.  Sometimes you want to put yourself in a cocoon because your kid is different, and the looks, the stares, the pointing and general ignorance is beyond annoying and sometimes unbearable. To pull it together and win a tournament, not just a little tournament but the British Open, that's just unfathomable!

This is a man with the resources, and his wife that is just like me, emotional and driven to do anything for her children.  They have the resources and they are making something happen to better their kids lives and other kids who are effected with autism.  They have put up a HUGE amount of their own money to build the Center for Excellence to help children with autism.  How incredibly awesome is that?  Crushed by a diagnosis, emerging from the rubble and moving forward to do good.  That is what champions do!!!!  That is what Autism parents do everyday.  WE ROCK!

I think its amazing that he was able to focus and make this happen, and I'm happy and proud for him.  I love to see wonderful things happen to families that are touched by autism, nothing makes me happier.

Congratulations to the Els family and thank you for sharing your story and helping others.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Autism How I hate you, Let me count the ways

I hate that you stole my child's voice.
I hate that you make me doubt myself as a mother
I hate that you put a shell that's so,hard to crack around my kid.
I hate that some days you hijack my child and relentlessly torture him
I hate when you turn whining into a meltdown because you won't let him communicate with us effectively.
I hate that you make it nearly impossible for my son to be aware for his own safety.
I hate that you want to put him in harms way.
I hate that you don't like, him to sleep and ruin every one's night
I hate that you have made him so picky and rigid that he could ruin his health
I hate that you're taking a horrible toll on our family and marriage.
I hate that you have taken the gift of friendship away from him.
I hate that you make other kids not want to include him.
I hate that you have robbed our family of some amazing experiences.
I hate that you have made the most inappropriate things comforting to him.
You are basically a terrorist to my child and I am now NAVY SEAL TEAM 6.  Look out!

You are the enemy, you made my cry today, you hurt my kid,and made me feel like a shit mom. So he's, you may have won this little battle, but I am regrouping, re-strategizing and am bringing a new fight to you. 

I will get stronger, I will go to any lengths to protect and help this kid, I will find what works for our family.  I will use the warriors that have fought this battle before me, and we will rise up and beat you.  My kids have autism,  but autism WILL NOT have them.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Track It Tuesday!

It has been 4 days since I met with the Nutrition Counselor at Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo.  Chuck Rudolph created a Lifestyle Meal Plan, and I had to sign a contract Acceptance of Expectations and Daily Calorie Needs.  Well after our first meetings I was weighed, measured, pinched and got a BMI and he put together a plan for me to get me lean and mean.  This is like no plan or diet I have ever seen.  He asked me all the foods I would and wouldn't eat, what and how much I drank, and when I got up in the morning, my kids schedule and what size I wanted to be.  I am currently a size 12, and would like to be an 8.

Easch meal provides a number of services from various categories. Calulagted with my caloric totals, the formula provides me with total calories for Daily lifestyle needs based on my activity factor.  He designed different food plans for workout days and non-workout days.  Also, every 14-15 days I get a CHEAT MEAL - not a CHEAT DAY - a MEAL.  So it is clearly different than anything I have ever done before.  Which is awesome because it will keep me from getting bored.  That plan that was designed to increase my lean body mass not just scale loss.  If we have more lean body mass we will burn more fat efficiently! WHOOO HOOOO - Who isn't for that.  Also, I get unlimited communication with him, so if I have questions I can text, email or call him, and he texts me everyday and lets me know when I need to eat.  It's pretty amazing.

In Progress
So the science part is out of it, now it's my behavior and using all the tools that Renaissance ClubSport has.  I just have to get out of my head, and continue to do the work.  These last 20 - 30 lbs are getting left on the gym floor of Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo for a Real Housewife to trip over :)

The Before
Speaking of workouts.  I met with my trainer Allie today at RCSAV and I told her when we first met a couple of weeks ago, don't be afraid to train me until I throw up.  Well she took me seriously today.  I almost puked.  It was an incredible experience.  She took me to a level of a workout that I have not reached before.  It is a full body experience, and she is incorporating the weight training with the running training I'm doing for the Disneyland Half Marathon in about 49 days! 

Today pumped me up so much.  I wore shorts today during my workout, so the cottage cheese on the back of my legs absolutely motivated me to not stop even though I was exhausted.  I took it to a whole new level.  I know I can do it, I know I can, I've done it, she witnessed it.  I am pretty sure I felt fat melting off of my body today.  I even used the fantastic steam room and sauna to relax after my workout.  It's amazing I feel like my skin is even glowing.

So next week I meet again with Chuck Rudolph, and will have measurements and a weigh in to share with you. 

If you would like to Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo.  Plus use the link and print out a guest pass, let them know you heard about it from the Real Mom of OC, and get a special offer for my readers.