Monday, October 8, 2018

Stumped and Sad

That Autism.  My God, there are just some days, I can't get past what it has robbed my children of.  It's robbed them of being caring.  It's robbed them of compassion, it's robbed them of empathy, it's robbed them of being a part of community, because autism makes them self-centered.  To other children neuro typical children this makes them look like jerks and not good friends, so the isolation continues.    We have been in social skills for years, and they have come a long long way from where they were, and I do not forget that.  But there is an element missing, and it's caring.

My 9 year old, loves to be around people, loves to be the center of attention.  But that's just it, he wants to be the center and if you're not catering to him and his obsession, the amount of poops he could give about what your kid or you have to say is zero.  Well that's not relationship building, and kids don't like it.  Even other kids with autism don't like that, because the want to be the center of their own universe too,  AND I GET IT. 

I don't know how to teach that.  I can teach potty training to an 11 year old, I can feed a kid who will only eat 2 things, I can calm a tantrum down, I can not go to the bathroom for 2 hours because I'm trying to teach my son not to bang his head on the wall, I can teach him how to put on socks and shoes, I can teach him how to catch a ball, I can teach him math, I can teach him to ride a bike, flip on a trampoline, swim, body surf, I can teach him so many things, but I can't teach him how to care -  care about himself, me, his friends, his life.  The indifference is infuriating and frustrating, and confusing and my heart breaks for them.  Because you see as they grow up, their typical peers don't like that crap, they want to feel like they are valued in a relationship, and THEY SHOULD BE.

I guess I'm asking, because I don't know how to do it.  I'm not the perfect mom, I am an autism mom, and I like most of us in Autismville, have had to learn how to be a teacher, lawyer, cook, scientist, OT, PT, Speech Pathologist, Psychologist, Mario Kart Master, Ipad Repair extraordinaire, but I don't know how to teach him to care.  Yeah we can do that ABA train him like a dog, to ask 2 or 3 exchanges of questions, but when we aren't there to prompt the shit out of that, what happens?  Those are the questions that keep me up all night.

How do I...........(FILL IN THE BLANK)?  How do I make him care?  What am I missing?  Am I the Only One? What Actually Happens When I'm Not There? 

My heart hurt all day today, and I think that's why.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I did it! I ran, I actually ran

My FIRST Half Marathon 2012
I remember when I started running 8 years ago, and it was painful, and it took my time to get my wind up, my stamina, my stride well, and it took awhile before I actually felt like a runner and I ran some races.  I got through the awkward, the painful, and made myself an athlete at 42, after kids and cancer and 2 autism diagnosis.  Running I am pretty much saved my sanity.

2 years ago after my son was injured at school, I went dark, I stopped, just stopped.  I ran a half marathon 2 days after his injury and haven't run since.

In these 2 years, I gained weight, went a little crazy, had a little PTSD, and seriously injured kid to care for, and a lot of tears to shed.

Well we have all turned the corner, he is finally on a road to a better place, I am ready to get out of this sick mind, and chubby body and get my MOJO and my happy back. 

As an autism mom, I am the first to neglect myself, and care for everyone else and what they need and want until I'm exhausted enough to not do anything for myself.  Well I'm changing that today.  I realized that caring for my kids, especially as they get older, bigger, stronger.  I need to get healthier because I am all they have.  I learned a lot of lessons, there is not anyone that cares what happens to them.  We don't have anyone that would step up if something was to happen to them.  So my self-care will be guilt free (maybe) and not selfish.  It's just like if I needed to take a chemo infusion if I had cancer - I NEED IT, THEY NEED IT. My care is essential to their care.

So I am not sure where I'm running to if I'm going to train for a race, for now it's just more of a therapeutic thing.  I have to lose the awkward, get back in runners shape, lose the summer 20 I put on, and figure out if I'm going to do a race, or just I don't know, I just don't know. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

My Last Long Meaningful Run

My last long meaningful run was September 4, 2016, it was a Sunday, it was the Disneyland Half Marathon.  I was so excited training for it and doing it, and I had a Sparkle Athletic skirt that I got for it, I raised money for my favorite charity (Talk About Curing Autism).  It's always a thrill to do a RunDisney event, and get treated like cattle and put in our pens at 4 am.  All joking aside RunDisney events are magical and I've seen people that couldn't on a great day run 13 feet bust out 13 miles in a Chewbacca costume - for real!

Two Years Ago, two long, life changing, therapeutic growing years.  This race was sort of my runner come back, I had lost my mojo, and wasn't all that into it, but I trained and was ready felt strong, and couldn't wait to run. 

There is a a whole ritual to participating in a Run Disney event, and going to the Race Expo, and picking up your packet.  On this particular race, I was lucky enough to beat the crowds and go on the first day of the Expo, right after I dropped my kids at school, I was able to head over to the Disneyland Hotel and pick up my packet, and then I got this phone call hysterical phone call in the basement of the Disneyland Hotel. 

My son was injured at school and rushed to the ER via ambulance.  I was 30-45 minutes away from him, and felt like the shittiest mother on earth.  My sons life was forever changed, our lives were upside down, and I was struck with a horrible sadness, inadequacy, and feeling of failure and an incredible disappointment in myself and so many that I thought should have had his back.  The injury and incident, changed us, me as a mother, us as a family, and traumatically effected my son who is still recovering.  But this is something for another post.  He is on a good path now and almost fully recovered, so we are grateful for that.

But to race day.  It was 3 days post accident, the day after my son was released from the hospital, and I decided with consultations with my husband, that I could leave for 6 hours and run the race. 
13 - point - 1 friggin miles of tears. 13.1 miles of PTSD, 13.1 miles that I didn't want to run, I wanted to be with my little one.  I wanted to hold him and protect him and the mom guilt kicked my ass for even doing anything like that for myself.

I came home and basically hung up my Hoka One's and went on recovery mode for my kid.  I had to learn a whole new injury, syndrome and how to help it recover with an already challenged kid with severe autism.   I was just a journey I needed to take, and I don't really have a reason or excuse why I didn't really run anymore.  The few times I tried to take a run, my head went to a dark place, so I just went to the gym or my garage and worked out 1 mile from where my child was, and not 30 miles from him.  It was weird, I felt like I had a little control of his safety if I was close to him, I can't even explain my shattered feelings and reasons why. 

But anyway, my body needs it now, my mind needs it now, and I think my son and husband needs the me that used to run, and like to run, and felt empowered, independent and strong when I run.  I ran 10 half marathons.  I didn't win them, I didn't even come close, but I finished, and from the fat farm I came from it was quite the damn accomplishment.  So I'm gonna add running back into my repertoire.  I'm not sure I'm ready for a race, but I think I can see myself doing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and maybe a half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. 

My son is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, my chubby buns can get out and run.  Like I always said my $100 running shoes were the best therapy I ever had.  I'm back, I feel it, I need it, I am back.  Let's do this!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Back to School ---- With Hope

I am usually the mom doing the happy dance when kids go back to school.  As an Autism mom, summer is sometimes really really really long.  After many years of work, finding my kids "thing", and doing our best to set the kids up for success, I was a little sad to see this summer come to an end.

Being a special needs parent and starting a new school year is incredibly stressful, the uncertainty, the new teacher, new room, new kids, new schedule.   The district I live in is incredibly negligent and irresponsible where Special Education population is concerned, the anxiety goes on all year.  You never know what is going to happen at school, and frankly the schools are no longer about education.  I haven't figured out what the hell they're doing but they are not interested in educating special needs kids, they are more like a mediocre babysitter.  So we prep, prime the kid, and hope and pray for the best.  The jury is still out on the teacher and his aide, I'll give them time to get their feet wet with the kids, if I don't see progress by back to school night, then my charming but firm side will come out.

I make a very valiant effort to start the school with giving the administration, principal, and special education departments the benefit of the doubt, and try to swallow that they "have our kids best interests at heart".  I'm going to really try this year, I'm going to try to not yell, scream, and freak out when my kid is being marginalized, forgotten, and excluded from things because their classroom is at the back of the school, not encouraging inclusion.  When they leave a kid on a playground that can't talk, I won't let them have it.   When a kid gets out of school that can't talk, I won't call them incompetent.  When a kid goes home with a bruise, scrape, or bite mark and we are told we are not entitled to an incident, or "he fell".  None of this is over dramatic imagination, this stuff happens to special education children, especially non verbal ones, EVERY SINGLE DAY all over the country.

But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact.  But I'm going to try and plead to their common sense and decency, because the reactionary mom is just as bad as a reactionary school I am usually the mom doing the happy dance when kids go back to school.  As an Autism mom, summer is sometimes really really really long.  After many years of work, finding my kids "thing", and doing our best to set the kids up for success, I was a little sad to see this summer come to an end.

But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact.  But I'm going to try and plead to Administrators of school districts everywhere.

Please to Special Education Teachers,  and Staff.  

These are our children.  We love them, we worship them, they are tiny humans just like the neurotypical kids.  Please protect them, follow their IEP, work with the parents to make the kid as successful as you can.  Please assume competence and capability.  This is how you do it right.  

How you don't do it right, is lie to parents, deny or withhold services or knowledge of services to a kid that clearly needs them.  Treating our kids like they don't matter and that any hurt that happens isn't an enormous deal.  And Never Never Never tell a parent their child is unteachable.

We know who is doing it right, and we love who is doing it right.  And so do our kids, and we know who isn't doing it right.

Let's do it right together, forget what the Administrators want you to do, they're really just overpaid buffoons, that couldn't walk 5 feet in a teachers shoes.  Kick their rules and their control to the curb, our kids matter too.  You can do it, the parents will stand with you if we know you have our kids backs.  We can do this, we really can - I hope.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Last week my kids and I went up to Reno to meet my parents to take their new RV out on it's maiden voyage.  We haven't traveled to many hotels and resorts with my kids because the new environment and transitions is a bit of a challenge with autism, and I can not always guarantee success.  I thought going in an RV where everything is familiar and we have all our stuff, food choice ability to cater to the dietary needs of my kids without a huge hassle.

So we met up in at their home in Reno and went on about a 60 mile journey to Graeagle, CA at the Little Bear RV Park.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I was way more than pleasantly surprised.   The setting was stunning, the grounds were very well maintained and the staff was beyond helpful and polite. The other campers were very friendly and courteous, almost not like being in California.

The RV Spaces were big, large enough to put a 38' motor coach in there.  The park had WiFi, enormous pine trees and a river running through the park at the back side. It was a little climb to get down the river, but we drove about a mile and found an easy spot to get in the river.  The kids were ecstatic that swimming was on the table for activities.

My older son and I rented one of the small cabins in the park.  The cabins had electricity and a small TV,  bathrooms with showers were available, and located less than 30 feet from our cabin.  They were exceptionally clean and well maintained.  The Cabin had a set of bunk beds and a full bed, it was a good fit for us and allowed a great night of sleep for my son and myself.

The area Graeagle is gorgeous, there are cute shops in town, there is a lot of rivers to float down, I had no idea how many people floated down rivers and the bridges were such a great back drop.

The whole RV experience was absolutely ideal for traveling with children with autism, I was able to bring all their creature comforts from home, their special dietary needs as well as their particular picky foods that they like to eat.  Sometimes on vacation that just doesn't workout and my kids don't eat well or at all.  So being able to know they are getting good food, rather than vacation crud was so relieving.

I would and can't wait to do another RV trip, talking my husband into trying it out, and we were so successful at the Little Bear RV park, I would without hesitation go there again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

My Kid Did the Unthinkable....

Yesterday after a few errands and taking my 9 year old for a haircut, we stopped off to pick up a few things at the market.  Now he has autism,  I don't label kids as low functioning or high functioning, because there is no such term - it's something parents have made up to make themselves feel better and school districts use to enable their lack of services they will give your kids (but I digress). 

I manage with and adapt his "quirky" behavior as best as I can, and work on constantly, the kid rarely has a break from some kind of activity or therapy.  I expect certain things, statements, stims, behaviors and perseverance depending on our activity or location, and have the tools after years of observations and training on how to limit or redirect.  So I'm pretty much on guard and ready to ninja warrior autism at any second when we are out in public.

We did our shopping, our routine, or obsessions on certain items in the store, redirecting, moving forward and then as we are checking out, he asks the checker for some stickers "May I please have some stickers, please?"  - So I am cockily beaming at his politeness and manners.......then the little asshole (yes sometimes my kids are assholes, and it's okay) SPITS on the checker.  Yes, you read that right, he spat on her.   There was no rhyme, reason, or anything that a 25 year old behavior therapist could smugly lecture me on that would prepare me for this mortification.  I mean I'm an autism mom, I live with a pretty fair level of mortified everyday depending on how awful the "perfect OC mom" stares are on any given day.  But this level of mortification left me stunned, and amazed at my parenting skills that I didn't backhand him right in the store or in my car.  I just drove home crying.  That was all I could do.  I mean, I wasn't prepared for that, there is no parenting book or blog that tells you how to "embrace the spitting on store employees"...  there isn't.  I'm not the mom that just accepts "well it is autism, he isn't responsible for what he does".  Nope, my kid knows right from wrong, he does - I constantly drill him on what is the good choice vs. the bad choice. 

This is not the first time he has done this.  About 3 years ago, he used his birthday money to buy an extremely over priced Star Wars set.  As we checked out at Target, he spit on the cashier.  We apologized, and in my humiliated state I walked right over to the returns desk, and made him return the toy and give the money to me.  You would think that would have taught him, because he cried about the Star Wars crap and his money for about a month.

So today my walk of shame will be back to the store with my son to give her the note of apology from my child, and hopefully the manager will allow me the 2 minutes to take this learning experience for my son and for me as a parent.

Because autism isn't an excuse, if I want inclusion everywhere in school but don't expect appropriate behavior and use inappropriate behavior as teaching opportunities I'm not doing my job as a mom.

I will rally through this day of him crying that he doesn't have an Ipad or his "Cars", but he will learn, it may happen again in 3 years, but he will remember this consequence.  I don't have a trick but my work today will be to get him to understand WHAT he did, that it was WRONG, MEAN, and UNACCEPTABLE.   I'm doing my best at being real, there is not plastic surgery, medication, or ignorance that will hide autism, I just have to take it on a day at a time.  We are Autism Tough, and while Autism may have won this round, I intend on winning the fight.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Mighty Five - Day 1

We did it.  We took a 5 day trip without our kids.  We rode our Harley's from Orange County CA, to Utah through The Mighty 5 National Parks.  1886 miles in 5 days.  An incredible experience to say the least.  I hope you enjoy reading our experience as much as we enjoyed living it.  I expected it to be beautiful in Utah, and I'll just say this, it so surpassed my expections.

Day 1

We left our home in Mission Viejo at 6AM, and the worst part of long trips are usually the first day and the last day, because it is just straight highway driving trying to get to the destination.  So basically the 15 fwy is just straight and very fast especially once you get to Nevada.  But we can't go up the 15 fwy to Vegas without stopping at the Mad Greek in Baker.  it's been a 30 year tradition of stopping and getting a fantastic Gyro.

Today we weren't just going to Vegas, we had about another 5 hours to go until La Verken, UT the gateway of Zion National Park.  After a quick drop our bags at the hotel, we hopped back on the bikes and took the 20 mile trek up to the gates of Zion.

The Gates of Zion take you through Springdale, which has adorable shops, good restaurants and positive vibes.  Plenty of small business to support while coming in and out of Zion that will meet all of your needs.

You can't drive through Zion and make stops like other national parks, but the Tram system will take you to all points of interest and hikes and walks that you could desire.  We were able to conquer the Weeping Wall and The Narrows.   We got to the park at 4 and it closed at 10, we were able to do about 5 miles of hikes and all 9 stops on the tram system.  It really was a beautiful park, with may different terrains and plant life.  There were hikes for all abilities, many were wheelchair accessible, and some were not.  So plan accordingly.  Wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle for water, there are refill stations available.

We at at Porters Smokehouse and Grill on Zion Blvd.  I'm writing this after our trip, it was one of the best restaurants we ate at.  My husband had the bbq Sampler that had meat for days, the food was delish to say the least, the service was impeccable and relaxed, and the views were great. 

After a 20 mile ride back to our hotel
WITHOUT A HELMET - there are no helmet laws in Utah, so I tried it out with no helmet.  While liberating, it was loud, so I'll stick to my helmet. 

Can't wait to tell you all about Day 2.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Happy Warrior Day

Mothers Day, it's here, and I waited my whole life to be a mom for the perks of a holiday in my honor...  but after a decade of motherhood, and autism, and special needs, there are moms though that I want to thank and honor, and as I sit here and write this I am choked up because there are women that I have battled this labyrinth of special needs and made and build the path that has helped me be the mom I am today.  There are not enough ways to express my gratitude. 

The moms I am specifically referring to are my fellow Autism and Special Needs Moms. My TACA Tribe. You're so much more than just moms, you are fierce warriors who wear many hats.  I mean being a mom is hard enough, and rewarding (sometimes), and infuriating (sometimes), and for the most part we all as moms do a great job.

But the warrior moms, especially you pioneers that have walked, and trudged in front of me. 
Just thank you.

Thank you for showing me it is possible to get through the worst day of your life, diagnosis day.  Thank you for showing me how to put my big girl pants on and "handle it".
Thank you for being there when I need to cry.
Thank you for making me not feel like I am a lunatic.
Thank you for showing me how to communicate with my kids.
Thank you for showing me how to advocate for my kids.
Thank you for giving me hope.
Thank you for giving me a way to walk.
Thank you for showing me you're not perfect.
Thank you for losing your shit sometimes.
Thank you for making autism manageable.
Thank you for showing me that I don't have to let "them" put my kid in the "limited" box.
Thank you for showing me that there are endless possibilities.
Thank you for showing me the importance of consistency.
Thank you for reminding me setbacks aren't permanent
Thank you for accepting the flawed human I am, and helping me anyway
Thank you for putting me back together when I fall apart.
Thank you for calling me out when I was whining too much.
Thank you for being my instruction manual on this journey.

Despite all the challenges you women go through everyday, you are my rock, my teachers, my friends, my therapists, and every single day I'm grateful that I was put on your path.

I have learned that I had to become a teacher, speech pathologist, occupational therapist,  maid, lawyer, driver, nurse, cook, and trailblazer for helping my kids learn and thrive.

You have taught me to believe that HOPE is always possible, setback don't define my kids, my kids are human and deserve to be treated as such - and it's my job to make sure that the "professionals" do.  You have taught me coffee is life, and sleep is a luxury I will enjoy someday.

When I started this journey, I thought the "professionals" were on our side to help our kids.  I soon found out there is one box that they want to put all of autism in and either ignore it, or blame parents or autism for ANYTHING that may happen to them injury, sickness or behavior wise.  What I soon realized was the only side, or tribe I had were families like ours on a journey with no real map or directions but you were building roads, bridges and byways for the families to come behind you.  There isn't a way to measure this much gratitude.

I can't express enough that you women, moms, chicks like me, wanting the best for our children when most of our families, friends, and loved ones had written our kids off.  You people you moms, made me a mom, a warrior, a lawyer, doctor, teacher, therapist, advocate, insurance adjuster, and made our autism not a scary place, but a place of hope, when we were hopeless.  The lesson and phrase of "families helping families" that is on every shirt I own from "TALK ABOUT CURING AUTISM" @tacanow is the thing in my special needs parenting that is constant.  I can call on anyone of the moms I know from TACA and know I'm going to get off that phone with solution, or at least a direction to solution.  When I call most doctors or professionals I usually get off those calls in a heap of tears.

So to the warriors, thank you, for making me a warrior, thank you for helping me become this mom with all the moving parts that autism requires.  Happy Mothers Day, no not Mothers Day.  HAPPY WARRIOR DAY, you are warriors and I'm proud to be in your tribe.  I honor you and I love you all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Cachi Coffee

I have a 40 mile one way commute to take one of my kids to school, and sometimes because of the heinous Southern California traffic I stick around his school area for awhile, so as to save myself from having a stroke in traffic.

There is a lovely little coffee shop I have found and hang out in La Palma  Cachi Coffee  it makes great coffee, has reasonably priced breakfast and lunch menu, and the food is great and healthy. 

I had chorizo and eggs this morning with a cup of coffee and a side of egg to stay "Keto", and it was $7.00.  Totally doable.  There Wifi is free and fast, the music is awesome, the staff is friendly and helpful.  Lunch Specials are $5.95, and it gets busy at lunch it's a pretty industrial area. 

Every meal or drink I have had here has not disappointed, and it is a place I frequent regularly. 

The location is at 10 Centerpointe Dr., La Palma. 

If you're looking for a place in North County to hang your hat for awhile, meet a girlfriend, just do some self care.  This is the place that gives the stale old chain coffee establishments a kick in the teeth.  This is what a coffee shop should and will always be to me.  Great coffee, good food, and amazing music, with a comfortable atmosphere.  Thanks Cachi! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Self-Care has to be Real

Okay, so I did it. I got on the scale.  The scale for my whole life has been my nemesis. And it is a jackass.  Just sayin'.  But so am I.  

I am kicking my own ass for a little bit here.  Because this is just stupid.  I'm a special needs mom, and I don't have the luxury of being and choosing unhealthy for myself.  I just don't.  I am WIDE AWAKE and AWARE that there is no one in our life, NO ONE, that will take my kids on if I am no longer here to care for them.  So the fact that I choose to have ice cream at night, and not exercise for the last month, and FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF, and SAD for my kids.  Is no longer acceptable.  I have to make the new NORMAL, healthy, happy, strong, CONSISTENT, and get off the pitty potty of tiny aches and pains, and I'm tired, and I'm annoyed, and I deserve that 4500 calorie meal.....  NO I DON'T.  I deserve a life of health (I survived cancer for crying out loud), I am 50 years old now, and I'm not getting any younger.

So today, I'm making myself accountable. This health and happiness thing is attainable.  This strong boy is under neath all this chubby, and this pitty potty is getting remodeled and we are going to have a super standard of attainable room.  It's not about how I look, or that stupid number on the scale (it kinda is) But this is DOABLE. I can, you can.


I'm a fat girl, I know what to do, I know what to eat, I know how to eat, and when to eat, and I don't need to (or have the money to pay for stuff that I already know).  I mean for real, don't all fat people know EXACTLY what to do.  Now I just have to change my mind and my choices.

I have lost 70lbs before, I have RUN 10 Half Marathons, I have beat cancer, and I take on the beast of Autism every single day. Exercising for 30 minutes and eating right ARE THE EASY part.  Staying on the track in this labyrinth of special need momming is the hard part.  I plan on slipping and falling, and I plan on having a hard time, and I plan on probably bitching a lot, but I PLAN ON SUCCEEDING.  I mean really - if I put it this way.  What more important that bowl of ice cream, or me making sure I'm here when Franklin is an adult?  What is more important lying on the couch and watching some SERIOUSLY stupid TV, or walking around the block and making sure my heart is healthy for the adult autism life?

2 days ago I walked up 2 flights of stairs and was so winded I almost cried.  That is effing ridiculous.  Like I said I have run 10 half marathons.  What in the hell?  I let a huge setback in my sons life take over my life, I consumed crap to cover up the hurt feelings, and fear.  

While my story isn't as fun or exciting as the mommy bloggers that got free tummy tucks, and lost 40lbs in a day. My story will be full of laughs, tears and probably curse words.  But it will be full of health, change, and success - because my kids are counting on my
So I can be a special needs mom that gives into the stress and can't guarantee that I'm around for my kids later, or I can be a special needs mom that makes our life happy, healthy and strong.  Because when I am happy, healthy and strong, so is my family.

If you're a special needs mom.  Self care is important, really effing important.  Self care is also family care.  I took SUPER BITCH to a whole new level this week after not exercising for 3 weeks, it's my release, it take the steam and frustration and sadness out of me.   

I know there are a lot of special needs moms that find excuses (because it's easy too, I GET THAT), but man I can't look at not taking care of myself anymore, when I realized there really is no one to care for my kids when I die.   My health, strength and happiness is THEIR health, strength and happiness.

So the journey start - Follow along on Instagram @realmomofoc.

Healthy Trails to you!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The New Year - Same Me - but 50.


Lots of lessons learned in 2017, lots of tears shed, tons of laughter, many memories made.  Just like every single year of my last 50.

So this year this mom turns 50.  It's going to be at times AMAZEBALLS, it's going to be at times sad, it's going to be at times fun, it's going to be at times filled with questions, it's going to be at times filled with badassery, it's going to be at times filled with amazement.  I always want it to be filled with love, laughs and experiences that are unforgettable.

There are so many things about my life, family and mind that make me so different from the typical mommy blogger, and I finally understand that all of that is okay.  You can go read the same 15 blogs that say all the same stuff from all the same places.  All of those blogs are great, and are great advertisements for the local area.  I am able to do a lot of their recommendations, but they aren't really autism friendly places for the most part, so I have to consider what my kids can and can't do and what places truly welcome them, and all of that is okay.

I will have a post at least 2 times a month of autism friendly places that are safe and welcoming to our kiddos.

I will have a posts this year for what us caretaker moms need to CARE FOR OURSELVES.   We matter too.  It is important to care for the caretaker.  That's been a big lesson I've learned the last two years.  Of course my husband and kids are the most important and I give them almost all I have all the time, but there are times, days, minutes I need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and answer the screams of my body and mind.  Because there is no one that will care for the caretakers.  I had a surgery last week and seriously it was a shit show.  While most moms can at least get their children to bring them an apple out of the bowl or a bottle of water - with autism - that is a hit or miss.  I had no one here during the day.  There were 2 days of incredible pain, but it ended up being okay.  My house just looked like I lost a serious game of Jumanji.

I will have posts of keeping my body fit and healthy.  This will be my 8th year cancer free, and I'm ready to kick things up a notch.  Don't go crazy, I'm not going to go vegan or anything but I'm going to go less toxins, less processed, less junk, more whole, more outside, more care, more steps, and more healthy.  If I can't care for this body, I won't be able to care for the kids later.  I have really taken a loving to essential oils, I will share me experience strength and hope for what benefits they are bringing my boys and family.

We were fortunate enough to take some amazing trips on our Harley's this year, and I want to share that for moms.  It empowered me, it focused me, it helped my mind and my soul heal some deep wounds.  I read a sign somewhere "4 Wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul".  And I swear nothing couldn't be more true.  I think it was the only thing that kept me from punching people in the head this last year.

So while it will be a new different blog this year, it will be an experience, and I hope you're on board for the ride we're gonna take with it.