Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Lists, lists, and more lists

While I do my best to stay on top of everything

I keep a wall calendar,

a “purse sized” calendar

and then I make lists sometimes daily/sometimes weekly

lists to do

lists for groceries, I use “buy me a pie” simple easy and if I add something this week it will still pop up as a possibility next week

and post it notes….lots of post it notes

I especially like the 4×6 sized \lined post it notes I put several in my planner for things I think of through out the day that need to be done.

With 3 kids, a dog, a husband, extended family that sometimes needs my help, taking a class,  plus several parttimeish jobs I find  it is the only way to stay on top of the most important stuff.

I also find as I’m getting older my brain does not automatically hold or recall short term stuff as fast….

so the lists are important on multiple fronts

can’t sleep?

(add it to the list to think about for tomorrow and then let it go tonight)

constant interruptions?

Image result for constant interruptions

if it’s on the list you’ll get back to what you were doing faster

what are your priorities?

Spending quality time with kids should trump washing dishes at least once in  a while

Make your list in pencil

and don’t be afraid to rearrange or erase unnecessary things

and now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to erase “blog post”

off my list for today


Try a fruit slushy but not a frozen one

2 cups of diced watermelon

1/2 cup of coconut water(not milk)

5 cherries(I like the mount rainier)

5 medium strawberries

1 tsp ground flaxseed

using a blender or blender wand

puree it up and drink it down


a little thicker than juice but not as cold as a smoothie ….perfect refreshing drink

to change it up add some frozen spinach

or add a splash of lime juice

even the kids liked it (except the one who knew I put coconut water in and swore she could taste strands of coconut water!?!)

A 5 is against the Law

I just started reading this workbook

and have not yet worked with my son with it

While this workbook may not change your life

it could help change the life of a child you know

that is struggling to behave appropriately in the world around

I do not know enough yet to delve into the inner workings of how to use the scale of 1-5

it can be used to reflect on  behaviors


also used to refer to how ones inner feeling are(think anxiety, fear, agitation, etc)

even for someone not on the “spectrum” it is good to self evaluate and know and acknowledge  what/how you are feeling

there is a website

the autism program

that can help get you started

but I strongly recommend getting the book yourself.

the autism program also has a great resource page 

and the autism society of Wisconsin also has some great information, and if you are in Wisconsin you can visit a local chapter for support and information.

you can find more at Kari’s website 5 is against the law


back to reading

the best way to advocate

is to educate

Fears of daily living


it’s a fact

life is full of things that can


do happen

you know:

“Why do bad things happen to good people”

no…autism/aspergers is not bad but it is  a huge change

a change in how you think about actions and reactions

an everyday, uphill battle at times not just for the one diagnosed but for the whole family

I digress….

When bad things happen to good people

 you buck up

you learn to deal

Image result for learn to deal with aspergers

and you go on with the daily task at hand


but once that diagnosis comes through the door

on top of multiple other medical problems and issues for that child.

and you need to start researching

and then doing

and following through

and constant checking and rechecking

there is an unending indescribable level of anxiety

am I doing enough

am I teaching enough

Image result for constant anxiety

will my actions lead to my child being able to live on his own???

only time will tell.

until then…

Image result for carry on quotes

carry on.

Autism and life

So my sons diagnosis came late in life….for a kid.  He was 15.

Thought we’ve suspected for years he that he was on the spectrum.

So I did what you do, when someone you love gets a diagnosis

I read. and read, and read till I can’t read anymore.

Then I realize we’ve been doing it right.

My son is high functioning the degree of autism varies so greatly from aspergers/high functioning Doctorate earning Temple Grandin down to people who are non verbal and severely mentally/physically disabled

But some of the things I’ve noticed from all the books I read is that the children who have more success …have more structure

1.  set expectations then…follow through(they’ll get there but it’s going to take A Lot of repetition 

2.  practice, practice, practice

3.  Teach (as much as possible) skills of daily living…every day.

4.  from folding laundry(more simple) to balancing checkbooks(perhaps higher functioning autistics) as many skills that we can teach our children the more successful they’ll be in the future

5.  understand and notice their melt down points, do they need noise reduction headphones, do they need special glasses to filter out fluorescent lighting

6.  Give a safe place to melt down and then stick to it,  …You may tantrum on your bed…not in the living room….better yet get them there before the melt down happens

7.  Pay attention, learn their triggers, teach them how to avoid their triggers or deal with them…

Obviously the success of the above depends on the degree of disability of the autistic person.

Many days it’s baby steps…the same baby steps every day

find an outlet for yourself

if you don’t take care of you

you won’t be able to take care of them.

Light it up BLUE for autism awareness

Autism is becoming more and more common
more boys than girls….does that mean it’s a recessive thing??
when girls “get it” it seems to be more severe

is there something in our food source affecting people
our often overuse of medications
medications getting into the water supply from “toilet dumping”
something that happened in the womb???

science doesn’t know though they are examining many theories

we may never know the cause

but what is important is that those of us with loved ones with autism

that we keep reaching out to them, to make connections, on their level and that we try to have understanding that

even though they may not reciprocate in the way we would like

that they know they are important to us and that we love them

as a parent

we must do everything possible to get them ready to function in a world that is not often “autism friendly”

they must learn how to act/adapt/behave in a world that does not always make sense to them
autism is (for my son) a diagnosis, finally a reason for his behaviors, thoughts, actions….not an excuse….

so for that reason…..for awareness……

thank you to all who light it up blue!

from autism speaks :

check out this blog from Dallas news


On April Fools Day

I woke up this morning

unsure what I’d find

I have 3 kids

with quirky minds

I turned on the lights

and what was found

the living room furniture

was all turned around

the pictures

I’d carefully

placed on the walls

were now upside down

well…almost all

the specialty paper

in the bathroom was gone


I didn’t turn the shower on

for low and behold

what did I find

on a towel in the tub

the paper for behinds

I love my children

each and every day

but to them it’s a month

not just a day

and so I sigh

and try not to fray

as I patiently wait

for the start of MAY !

My Gray Stone

I am taking a MOOC through ed.x on spirituality and sensuality, how objects enhance beliefs/feelings through the 5 senses the course is led by S. Brent Plate

Ella Surreau is my online”persona” so if perchance Brent makes it to this page he’ll be like  who???  but I wanted to share this story with all of you so …here goes…


the following was an assignment about stones we could choose the stone be it a gravestone, an altar or something less specific the following is what I wrote:

I considered writing about the altar stone in church, but my desire to be creative led me to the stone sitting in the unused bird feeder in our yard.
It comes from my husbands grandparents yard, the last one had died and when we came I saw that each fence post had a stone on it, this one spoke to me and I asked if I could have it…with a resounding “of course” it came home with us.

….that said I often imagined why each fence post had a stone on top and this is MY STORY of this stone came to me…

My Gray Stone.
His hands were younger then, as he worked the ground, starting a garden for his not long in coming family of 7. This was before the arthritis set in before he hairline started receding and many years before cancer would take him from this earth. He worked the shovel back and forth and further down, removing cold sod with his hands. Working faster still, it was the end of the day the setting sun was painting the sky in a vibrant fuchsia, “Just one more hole and tomorrow we can set the fence posts” that’s when in a final thrust he stomped on the shovel in an attempt to dig a little deeper and that’s when he hit the stone. It made him shake, he would say that’s what caused his sciatica. Unable to dislodge the stone, he dug deeper, wider trying to remove what was keeping him from his destination. Then in a final pry attempt the stone was pulled forth.
Dirty, muddy, set aside, it would wait in the pile for several weeks till the neighbors came by to help set the fence. Then one by one, the stones were chosen, set on top of the 6 inch wide diameter logs that made up the fence.
This rock was on the second from the left. He put it there because he did not want it knocked down by someone carelessly walking around the corner of the garden.
This of course all happened before I walked on this earth. It happened in a different place, a different time. A time when man valued simple things, simple life, a simple beauty in the nature of the rock.
As the old man aged, he would walk with his dog along the garden fence. Reflecting on the family he raised, the crops he grew, and the generations yet to come. He would stall on his way to the stream to fish, and run gnarled fingers over the stone now smoother after years of nature, he admired the sparkles of quartz that would change with the clouds and the wind. In awe he wondered how he had the strength to do what he did when he did.
He would never meet his great grandchildren.
But one day, when this writer is closer to the end of her story, she will tell her children once again where the stone came from originally, the house, by the cemetery, where great-grandfather lived and worked and took pleasure in working the earth, providing for his family, and simply living, while living simply.

Sink or Swim, you’re on your own

This post is venting my frustration with the system

The system we call “school”

My teen, recently diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/Aspergers

is in that “system”

except I don’t think he’ll qualify for special ed so then we will need to set up a 504 which I think he does need and should qualify for….

but this is taking so much time

this is the point I’ve been at since diagnosis….which was 3 months post requesting an evaluation by the school and we are still sitting two (nearly 5 months total since first request for evaluation)months later with nothing in stone


I could go to the DPI

Image result for dpi grievance

but that isn’t going to get things moving faster for this year


I take into my own hands

as most parents probably do or should do

and I research…

what can I do to improve his fine motor skills at home

like ideas from this site

and from searching on pinterest

borrow/rent/buy every book on High functioning autism I can find


move on and realize a couple books by Temple Grandin is enough for now.

and move on to reading up on IEP’s and 504’s

in an attempt to maintain sanity and know as much possible before the meeting occurs

It seems in this current culture

if a child is getting halfway decent grades and is not a problem in class

they are are not a concern for the school

the focus is on disruptive kids

and while they do need help

so do the high functioning kids

I don’t know the solution


how to change the system

but I do know

I’m going to teach my child how to “swim” in this world

If you love someone on the “Spectrum” you must read this!

if you love someone on the spectrum you need to read this book!

Book Reviews

Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships

Decoding Social Mysteries

Through the Unique

Perspectives of

by Dr. Temple Grandin and Sean Barron

Edited by Veronica Zysk

If you are reading this blog entry

you probably know and love someone on the spectrum.

Regardless of where on the spectrum your loved one is “Unwritten Rules…” will help you understand the thoughts behind the behaviors  of people on the spectrum.)

I am only on page 158 of 380

It would be a disservice to not encourage you to get your own copy either from your local library (even if your library doesn’t own it they can often borrow it from another library) or purchase it….you’ll want to highlight -underline- and star various parts of this book.

I have at least 3 sentences underlined on every page so far that way when I go back and read again I can skim for what I found…

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