Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 18-Don't Tell Me He Can't

Things like "he wont" and "he can't" are things that we hear way too often as parents of children with special needs. These are also things we convince ourselves of when our children aren't doing things as fast as we think they should.

Just remember to be patient and know that letting go of what you think they should do and when will allow your child to be themselves. Hard work is still important but…

“Failure is not the worst thing in the world. The very worst is not to try.” ~ Anonymous

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I have done this over and over and every time I do Zak proves me wrong! What are some of the ways your kiddos prove you wrong?

Don't tell me he won't roll over...

Don't tell me he won't sit...

Don't tell me he won't talk...

Don't tell me he's not smart...

Don't tell me he can't be potty trained...

Day 17-Is it Ever Enough?

On day 17 of my diet and I have lost a lot of weight and feel amazingly healthy! At least that’s a good thing; but, Nathan and I had a rough night last night. Lots of emotion came out and here it is…

“I never know what to play with Zak, because he can’t tell me what he wants to do. I don’t know if I spend enough one-on-one time with him. I don’t know if I ‘work’ with him enough. I think Zak thinks I’m boring; Dads always get to be the ‘fun’ ones. I just want to protect him, but I don’t want to keep him from anything because I’m being too protective. I’m so scared about the pain he is going to be in after his hip surgery. Zak is so picky I feel like I don’t feed him enough “nutritious” food. I’m afraid to push him too hard because I might cause him pain. Do I ‘teach’ him enough? Do I help him to really explore the world? …”

WHY, WHY, WHY do we do this to ourselves?

So, I think the thing on my mind today is: as parents do we ever feel like we are doing enough? Do you ever sit back at the end of the day and think, “Wow, I did everything I wanted to do today!”? Is there some magical balance as a parent I just haven’t figured out yet?

All I know, as people in general, we are WAY too hard on ourselves a majority of the time. We really need to stop this and know we do the best we can, in the moment we are in. We are going to have good days and bad days. We are going to have days where we know we could have done more, but those are the moments we need to learn from and move forward. We need to learn to take a step back at the end of the day and really reflect on what we have done. Most of the time, it will end up being a lot more than you thought.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 14&15 - No Writing Just Videos of Zak!!

I'm being lazy for a couple of days on my writing so here are a few cute videos of Zak :) Laughter is good for all of us so our family tries to do it as much as possible. The 3rd video is kind of long but if you watch the whole thing Zak will show you how he says "Luv Momma"!!

"You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same" ~Unknown

"If every word I said could make you laugh, I'd talk forever" ~Tv Show-Full House

"An optimist laughs to forget, a pessimist forgets to laugh" ~Unknown

"Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life" ~Unknown

I can't get the 3rd video to load so if you would like to see it just follow the link below.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 10,11,12&13-Content with Who They Are?

If, as parents of children with special needs, we sit around and complain about the things that make our lives different from those around us, how will we ever teach our children to be content with the way they are?

This thought has come to my mind a lot lately after realizing I think a lot about how heavy Zak is, how I wish he could walk, how I wish he could at least get himself into sitting, wish he could talk, wish he was potty trained… Really, why do I do this? There is no use for it - NONE.

When I hear others complain about their child it makes me so sad, and yet I do it myself. Our lives may be different, but that’s all it is - different. Everyone has challenges. If Zak could walk then I would have to chase him around everywhere and I would probably complain about that. Zak also fights me to the death to do any of his homework (I know homework in pre-school is silly, but it’s so they can learn responsibility), kind of a scary thing to think about as he gets older. If he’s fighting me now, what is going to happen in the future?!?!

If I want the world to see and respect the good things about my son, then I need to try my best to only see those things. If I want my son to grow up with confidence in who he is no matter what, then I need to show him that I, too, believe in him no matter what. I want to teach him that he is loved unconditionally not only by his parents, but by God, the One who knit him together in my womb, the One who makes no mistakes.

Tomorrow I will write about how are we to do this when we, ourselves, have so many insecurities?

Enjoy the video of Zak doing his homework, for all you homeschooling moms, God Bless You!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 9-Zak’s Date Night.

Day 9

Today has been crazy busy so this will be a short one. Diet is still going really well and we feel great!! I am so excited to actually make this a lifestyle and have a healthy family once again.

Nathan and I got to go on a date the other night and while we were out we got to talking and came up with the idea of date nights for Zak. Our new plan is that Zak gets a mommy date and a daddy date both once a month. It will be a day/evening where we will spend time individually with him doing things that he or we enjoy. It will be a time for him to have fun but also to get to know his parents as individuals. A time for him to learn about what makes his mom the way she is and his dad the way he is. To learn that we all have interests and should care about what makes others "tick" and what makes them smile. A time for him to learn about “guy” time and how to treat a lady.

We are so excited to start this and can’t wait to learn more about our son and allow his personality to flourish. Another added bonus to this will be that during the time one of us is out with Zak the other will get a few hours of alone time to do whatever they want!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 8-What is in a Voice?

Language is a remarkably complex system, one we continue to learn throughout our lives. It is also essential to many aspects of learning and socialization. Researchers have identified three broad and different aspects of language:

• Receptive language: How we understand the language of others.

• Expressive language: How we communicate to others through increasingly sophisticated speech and expanded vocabulary.

• Pragmatic language: All the subtle facets of language — facial expressions, body movements, tone, volume, inflection, ideas about when to speak and for how long. These additions are the amplifiers and fine-tuners of communication. They help all of us to better express what we mean, and to understand what others are telling us.

What is in a Voice?

Without a voice to show people your intelligence it seems the first assumption will always be that you are “stupid”; you must have nothing to say; there is nothing going on in “there”. Why do you think this is? I believe it is because speech is something that comes so easy and natural to most people. We don’t have to think about speech; it just becomes second nature.

Something as simple as an accent can cause people to make assumptions about you: to think you are smart, to think you are stupid, to think you are snotty or even think you are ignorant. Our voices have the ability to calm and also to create anxiety and stress. So when a person cannot talk, or struggles to talk, we have a hard time wrapping our minds around the intelligence of that person. When there is damage to one part of the brain, it does not mean that all the other parts don’t work just fine. The person you are assuming is not intelligent wants to tell you that you are the “stupid” one for not seeing past a voice.

If you just take a moment to get to know a person, your mind may be changed. When you meet someone without a “voice”, sit with them and pretend you are sitting with someone that speaks another language. Spend time with them and figure out “their” language. They want to communicate with you; you just have to be open to a different, a new, way to communicate. We all must adapt. If you break your leg you will have to use crutches; if you get injured you may need to be in a wheelchair; if you were wealthy and become poor you will have to adapt to a new lifestyle.

I wish all people could understand that without a voice a person can still make you laugh, make you cry, give you the time of your life, be a brilliant musician, or maybe, just maybe end up being the one who cures cancer, AIDS or even learns how to “fix” damage in the brain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 7-Inspiration sitting right in front of me!

Day 7

Today is day 7 of my diet and I’ve been feeling a bit disappointed with my losses the past couple days. With the diet I am doing you lose a half a pound to a pound a day. I know it seems kind of crazy, but totally worth it in the end! I’ll get over it, because I know I will start losing again, but doing this has really made me think.

Going through a time like this, where I feel I am working so hard to do something and having days where all my work seems to not matter, makes me think of my son and all the work he does. It makes me think how his entire life he will have to work harder and longer than most other people. And even with all that work, he may not end up reaching his goals - that no matter what he does he can not get his body to do what his brain is telling it to do; and I sit here and complain in my own head about not losing weight as fast as I had hoped.

How many times do we say that our kiddos have changed our lives, and how they made us realize we have nothing to complain about? But in the next moment we are complaining about something that is hard for us, something they may never even be able to try? How does this keep happening? Why do we always come back to ourselves and what we want, what we need, what we think we deserve? Oh yeah, it’s because we are ALL selfish beings no matter how “selfless” we are in some areas of our life - to our core we are selfish. Whether you believe it’s because we all have an instinct to survive and protect ourselves, or if you believe it is because we live in a fallen world, the fact is we always come back to a ME mentality.

I am amazed at all the things my little guy can do. More than many of the doctors thought he would do by his age. Just looking at all his hard work just to do simple everyday tasks inspires me to do more and be more. I have to try my best to stop thinking about how things are hard for me and realize I have an inspiration sitting right in front of me!

It’s pretty cool how just allowing myself to be open for change can send thoughts and inspiration flooding in. How something as simple as a diet to get healthy again has allowed me time to really focus and see what is really important.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 6-COOKING! Recipes Please.

Day 6
Cooking, Cooking, Cooking! It seems like it’s all I’ve been doing the past few days but I’ve been loving it because I know what I’m doing is good for my family and myself. This will be a simple blog day. I have been asked for some of my recipes so here they are. I would love to hear any of your healthy ideas!


Cabbage Curry Soup

2-4 cups of cabbage (I use red cabbage and cut it into strips)
8-12 cups of water (depends on how soupy you want it to be)
4-6 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon (or 4-6 Bouillon cubes)
3-6 cloves of garlic (crushed)
Curry, season salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, basil and tarragon all to taste.

Add Bouillon to water and let begin to boil, add the garlic and spices and let boil while
you cut the cabbage into strips. Add cabbage and let boil for 40-90 minutes. Add all
spices to taste and let boil until the cabbage is the texture you want.
You can also add canned tomatoes to this recipe for a Tomato Cabbage Curry Soup

Tomato Soup
2-4 cans of Fire Roasted tomatoes
2-4 cups of water
1/2 can of tomato paste
4-5 gloves of garlic
Season salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, basil and tarragon
(curry, if you want this added flavor) add all to taste.

Add all ingredients into a large pot and let boil for about 20 minutes then let simmer for
60-90 minutes.

Ground meat (whatever you prefer)
1-2 Red peppers or onion whichever you prefer (on our diet we can only have one veggie
at once so I pick just one you can use both if you want)
1/2 or full can of tomato paste
water (just used to add if the meat needs more moisture)
spices- season salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika and cumin.

Brown meat then add peppers or onion and spices. Cook for 5 minutes or so then add
tomato paste and a little bit of water. Mix and serve. No cheese on our diet but it’s really
good with cheese on top.

Curry Chicken
Spices- Curry, season salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, onion powder and paprika.

I like to marinate for about an hour 1st in the same seasoning mixture but you can just add
to cooked meat if you don’t have the time. I put water, garlic and spices in a bowl and let
chicken marinate. Then add meat and half the marinade to a pan and let cook. Serve.

Diet Lemonade
3 lemons
6-8 cups of water
2-3 tbsp. of Stevia

Mix all together!

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
Pour lemonade into molds and add mashed up strawberries and let freeze.

Strawberry Smoothie
10 frozen strawberries
2 droppers full of liquid Stevia
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of heavy cream or a spray of whipped cream
1/4 cup of water

Defrost berries 1/2 way then add to magic bullet or blender. Add Stevia, vanilla and
cream and blend. Pour into a bowl and place in freezer for 20 minutes or so.

Day 5-Being Content With Your Body, Is It Possible?

Is being content with our bodies, no matter where we are at, possible?

This is a funny thought to me because the times in my life when I have been thin have also been the times that I have been the least content with the way I looked. Why do you think this is? I think it has to do with how we feel about ourselves overall. Are we happy in our relationships? Are we proud of ourselves and what we are doing? Do we feel we are being productive? I think all these things factor in when we are looking at ourselves in the mirror.

I was always told that “being skinny is not what will make you happy” but this was something I had a hard time with. I always felt like if I could just feel good about the way I looked I would feel better about the rest of my life/myself.

The past few years have really changed the way I look at things and I have found that this statement is so very true. It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you can or can’t do, those are not the things that will bring happiness or make others like you more.

I think I will always want to feel like I look good and want to be happy and content in my skin but I now know that this is not the thing that matters most. If I want to be happy I need to be happy with myself and who I am as a whole, to know that I need to be an example for my child and be a strong and confident person that doesn’t let my little insecurities or other people ever determine weather I am going to be happy or not.

That no matter what my body looks like or what my body can or can’t do I am loved and I should stand strong as the woman, wife and mother that God wants me to be.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Being Content

Day 4

How do you feel when you see other families getting the things you feel your family/child needs?

We just got done watching Extreme Home Makeover and it could be so easy to slip into a negative thought process and think about how our family could really use everything the family we just watched got.  It could be so easy to feel bitter in situations like these, but I have found that being content with who you are and what you have is the fastest way to happiness. Know that nothing about your life is a mistake and try to figure out what it is you are supposed to be doing in the moment you are in.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu

I have found being happy for and doing things for others is what really brings joy and happiness to your life.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” ~Albert Einstein

More time thinking about others = less time to think about yourself. I do not believe that thinking about yourself is a bad thing; I just think when you are thinking about others it helps you to not focus on the negatives in your life.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” ~C.S. Lewis

Tomorrow I will talk about being content with our bodies. Is this possible?

Friday, January 14, 2011


Day 3


“Motivation is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals. According to various theories, motivation may be rooted in a basic need to minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure.” (Wikipedia definition)

We all need motivation to do certain things, but should we need extra motivation to be and stay healthy? I’m not sure why, but it seems like we do.

My motivation started out being these silly pair of jeans and they still are…just a little. It really is amazing that in just three days my motivation has shifted from something so superficial to something so much more. In just three days my body and mind have shown me that they needed this and that I had not been taking care of myself.

How often do we forget about ourselves? How often do things like this seem like so much work. They seem to be daunting to even begin to think about - thinking we don't have the time or the energy to even start. But if we don't take care of ourselves, I believe we are being just as selfish as if we spent hours in the gym every day. I believe we need to think about ourselves so we can think about others. As a wife, mother and friend you need to take care of yourself so that you have the strength, energy and motivation to take care of others.

It’s amazing how fast our body, mind and spirit will respond and thank us!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Can a Diet Create Change?? Guess we will see!

I know I have been really bad about blogging and updates. I have decided I will do something totally different for awhile.

I am going to journal through the next 6 weeks of dieting, exercise and life.

Today is day 2 of a 30 day diet I am doing and tomorrow I will start a new workout! I thought I would be feeling like crap with my body detoxing from all the sugar I have been eating but I really feel good so far.

I thought about posting my before photos but I think I need to wait till I’ve lost a bit before I will show you why I wanted to lose a bit.

I am really excited about doing this diet (again) and getting healthy. Last time I did it I lost a lot of weight and felt wonderful! It’s not just a quick fix diet, I kept my weight off for almost a year. The weight came back when I got pregnant, had a miscarriage, had surgery and all around the holidays.

Stress, Stress, Stress! This is all something I’m sure I will journal about at some point.

I am hoping that during this process I can get all the “junk” out of my body and get some energy, confidence and focus back.

See you back here tomorrow!