My Shark Encounter

As a busy stay at home mom who really enjoys my regular household chores I noticed the only thing I wasn’t taking pride in were my floors. It seemed no matter how many times I would vacuum they always still felt and looked dirty to me. After reading a bunch of reviews on high priced vacuum cleaners I made the decision that it was time to quit buying a new cheap vacuum every year and instead invest more into a vacuum cleaner.

I went against all the reviews I read and purchased a Shark Rotator.

http://www.sharkclean.com/rotator/

Right away I noticed the difference and was very pleased with my choice. Being able to visually see the difference in not just my carpets but my bare floors as well I felt like I had made a great choice. It made me happy to grab the vacuum daily and clean. The rotator honestly made it much quicker to do than any previous vacuum I had ever owned.

Then one day I noticed that my vacuum wasn’t working as it previously had. Since I go out of my way to take great care of everything I own I naturally went over every inch of my Shark to figure out what exactly the problem was. Once I found it I knew it was not a problem that I created. I was aware that my store return window had ended and thought I should reach out to the company itself.

When I sent the first email I quickly got a response. I was able to work with someone from the company and found that they were very sympathetic about the issue. I was very happy to find that this company really stood behind their product and we began a return process. I was sent a new vacuum cleaner right away. They were so genuine that they wanted to know what was causing the issue and they took the original purchase back to find out why this happened and to prevent it from happening to future models.

I was sent a different model Shark Rotator and I was even more impressed with this vacuum cleaner than I was with my original purchasing of it. Before writing this I cleaned every inch of every room in my home and the furniture as well. This vacuum cleaner does not disappoint. I was able to quickly attach all the attachments and to use it on all my many different texture carpets and bare floors with very pleasant results well as so much ease.

I would highly recommend the Shark Rotator to all of my friends and family for their next vacuum purchase. I’ve been through many vacuum cleaners in my lifetime and to date Shark Rotator is the best one I’ve ever used.

Father’s Day 2015

We are quickly approaching Father’s Day 2015

I understand that not everyone has a Father in their life.

Yes there are many single mothers out there raising children and some are not by choice.

I can already forsee the posts that will be coming. Mother’s Day was last month and ladies that was your day.
Please don’t use this Father’s Day to congratulate each other, bash the fathers that you chose for your children, or just be an ugly person.

Whether you allow the Father of your children in their life or not is a choice some of you have made. Take into consideration this Father’s Day that many children will be waking up and mourning the loss of a father or missing one that is off serving our Country.

If you happen to be someone who’s child/children will not be having a Father around to celebrate then instead maybe take a step back and celebrate someone who is in the life of your child/children who shows a positive role as Father. This person can be a relative, a friend, or a neighbor.

I don’t think its so fair to put all the focus on a biological Father when we have so many others around us and in our lives that show our children and help mold our children into the adults that they will someday become.

Good men become good fathers. Celebrate all the good men in your lives and the lives of your children.

To my son’s friends father “Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for showing my son that dads are cool. Thanks for the attention you show my children when they are visiting in your home. I honestly enjoy listening to them mention you as they chat amongst each other.”

To my Uncle “Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for being that one man throughout my life who was and still is always there and for showing me as I grew up the family scenario I knew I wanted for myself.”

To my Uncle & Grandfather who have passed away “Thank you for showing me at an early age what defines a Father and exactly what and how important his role in a family really is.”

To my children’s Grandfather “Thank you for raising a son with morals and values and for raising him to be such a wonderful father he himself can be when given the opportunity. Thank you for all you continue to do in the lives of your son and our children.”

As far as the Father’s of my children go “Happy Father’s Day to my older daughter’s father. Thank you for being there for our daughter. Thank you for the huge part you have had in raising our wonderful daughter.”

Now the special thanks goes out to the father of my little ones “Thank you for being such a superhero dad to our kids. Thank you for every single thing you do for them. Thank you for the unconditional love and devotion that you have for them. Thank you for showing me that there are incredible men out there that are so dedicated to raising a family.”

Recovery Music

As I reached my 7th sober birthday in March I look back on everything that went into my recovery process and all that I still put into it daily. The one constant in my process is music.

Once I became sober I realized that I now had actual feelings. Real feelings. I used drugs to not have feelings. So even today 7yrs later they can sometimes become overwhelming.  Amazing by Aerosmith is definitely my life story wrapped up into about 4 minutes. 7yrs have passed since I last used and I still can’t listen to this song without it bringing tears to my eyes. Today its a song that empowers me and gives me inspiration.

I have recently learned about a drug rehab center that actually combines traditional and cognitive behavioral rehabilitation approaches by using music as a catalyst to help facilitate, motivate and inspire the change necessary for long term recovery and sobriety.

http://www.recoveryunplugged.com/

I feel a big personal connection with the cause Recovery Unplugged because of the huge part music has played in my recovery. I find so much inspiration in so many different songs on a daily basis. I’m positive other recovering addicts can relate.

Now as I continue on my journey in my sober life I know I will continue to sing loudly to songs like Let it Go along with Idina Menzel and my daughter and it empowers me to let go of beating myself up for my past and Katy Perry inspires me to let my voice be heard as I listen loudly to her hit Roar.

Find the music that is going to empower you and inspire you and even the music that is going to be that reminder of your past but not put you back there. I am so proud of my sobriety and all that I have achieved because of it.

It took me over 20yrs to realize that the light at the end of the tunnel actually is me!

Now for the legalities of this post. I received compensation from Recovery Unplugged for this sponsored post, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

I Trick My Kids Into Drinking Veggies

My son won’t eat anything green. I’m also not the mom who forces my kids to eat anything. However I still manage to get them to have a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables daily by just making them what they call a treat and I call Mom’s Secret Weapon Smoothie.

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I keep the Fruit frozen and find that its less likely to go bad and that I don’t need to add any ice. I start off with the frozen fruit on the bottom and start to layer up to the veggies. I give the carrots, apples, cucumbers (anything crunchy) a chop before I toss them in. I put my leafy greens such as Kale and Spinach on the top. I use a vast array of different liquid such as OJ one day and the following day I might use a Coconut Water. After the initial blending I can add more fruit to add a sweeter taste or a little more color.

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I put it in a cup with a lid and straw for the kids. Then try to pair it off with some Cheez its, Pretzels, or Popcorn. So at dinner or lunch if they don’t finish their plates or don’t have an adequate appetite for the day I don’t stress about them not getting the proper nutrition they need because they drank it at some point during their day.

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Even I enjoy them

Sour Cream

Moms : Did you ever read the series of books If you give a mouse a cookie? There are several others in it.

I swear I could write one about myself and call it : If you give me the debit card.

If you give me the debit card I just need some sour cream.

Then while I’m buying it I’ll notice I need some sausage to. That’s when I’m going to remember that they sell those frozen burritos our son likes here. Now I might as well stroll down the fruit and veggie aisle since we love those healthy smoothies now. Oh look there’s also snack the kids will enjoy & milk cause we can never have enough milk. Now darn it do I have eggs?

Now since I’m out I should stop at Wal-Mart and make a payment as it’s the last credit card I owe anything to. Since I need to go through a checkout as it’s faster I might as well grab a few paints since the canvas I ordered the kids arrived today. Now that I have the paints I am so close to my few favorite aisles in this store that are right there where I can see them and before I even know it  my cart just auto pilots to them. Now this candle holder just practically jumped right into my cart because it so perfectly matches a room in my house. Oh wow I’m one aisle away from the curtains I promised my daughter I would buy her and they are in stock. Well might as well walk down this rug aisle because I stepped on a cold spot starting my coffee this morning and ooh there’s a clearance. Coffee oh ya I need coffee creamer because let’s face it I’m standing in the only store that sells my favorite kind. Now if I just go up two aisles I could see if I find that perfect thing to help me be more organized for the one million mom things I do that all require me to read, sign, and fill something out. Great now what am I going to grab for when the kids ask “Did you get me anything?” Ok this cart is getting hard to push now and I’m getting frustrated and just remembered that there is sour cream in the car, my back door is frozen shut so that triggers my brain that it’s cold enough to just let me see if any of those kitchen containers I like are actually in because you can never have enough kitchen containers. Ok to the register we go after grabbing 3 containers because I couldn’t remember what size I needed and seriously who could have enough kitchen containers? Check out let’s just get through the checkout. Great Every aisle is full it’s now 3pm I’m the only one to carry all this stuff in the house and put it away before the kids burst through the door so full of energy both shoving papers that need to be signed at me. It’s then I remember I still have to cook the dinner I went to the store to get the sour cream for.

Hmmmm……. I wonder if this kid is gonna notice I put cream cheese on her tacos or can I make a mock sour cream?

Did You Really Win That Argument?

What I gave up for lent last year.

DaMomme Blogs

So as everyone was giving something up for Lent I thought long and hard and decided that as sheltered as my life can get being an Autistic household that I really wasn’t willing to part with anything I do enjoy and that I would give up something negative instead. So I gave up arguing. It turned out to be a bigger blessing than I ever imagined.
I have really sat back and analyzed certain situations that would previously cause me to entertain an argument and think about it a little more than I would have before giving it up. As I witness the invitations to arguments (trust me they still come) I cant help but think that most arguments are absolutely pointless. What is there to gain? Would harsh mean words or hurt feelings make me feel better at the end of the argument? Would all the negative energy from…

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Look How Beautiful It Is

“Look how beautiful it is outside” you say to your kids as you walk past the window and catch a glance of winter beauty.
Then it hits you and you remember you need to run to the store.
You think ‘its not gonna be that bad’ but as you take a longer look you start to realize that its 4 degrees with a frigid – whatever wind chill out there.
Next it hits you that there is at least an hours worth of shoveling and cleaning off then warming up the car.
Now you remember that you noticed the side door of your van is frozen shut three days ago and know it still is.
You will need to bundle your kids up in so many layers they will barely be able to move. Then those kids will have to monkey jump to the backseat leaving snow all over your seat. So by the time you even get to the store that snow will have melted leaving your ass wet for the walk around the store.
Now instead of just grabbing a few things you will stock up enough food to feed a small army as you surely wont want to do this again anytime soon. Don’t forget how fun it is to quickly pile all the groceries on the belt as your cashier starts to ring you up and your kids start to screw off and bicker between themselves. Next we get to find out how much you overspent. Giving you a giant feeling of regret and a short mini heart attack. Now it gets even more fun as you try to push that cart through a badly plowed slushy parking lot to your van to unload.
When you get back home the kids will have decided that they will need to play in the snow during the process of unloading the van. Then they will be absolutely seconds away from frostbite frozen which will quickly turn into a soaking wet ice cold mess as you get them in the house. They will most likely demand hot luxurious bubble baths and hot chocolate immediately.
Once you get that done you walk back to the million bags of groceries that now need separated and put away. Surely you are quite thrilled about digging around and playing a manual game of grocery Tetris in the freezer right?
Now you are near exhaustion, starving and the kids are yelling “when is dinner?” as you plop down to take your first sip of hot coffee and the feeling in your feet and fingers start to return. Its then that you realize that your ass is still soaking wet from the beautiful snow you sat on to and from the trip to the store.
But look how beautiful it is outside…….

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Family Meetings

Does your family have family meetings? We started doing it a few years ago and the kids really enjoy them. Our favorite meetings are usually held on my bed and anyone is allowed to call one at any given time. Everyone is allowed to speak freely during the meeting and we encourage that the children say exactly how they are feeling. It’s very important not to judge or discipline someone for something they may say during the meeting because it really is a great chance to hear and understand just how each family member is feeling on a regular basis. Use what is said to improve the dynamics of your family and how it works. Remind each other during the meetings that you are all on the same team and the goal is to reach a happy and healthy living environment. Parents prepare yourselves as you may be surprised by some of the things your child has to say. They have become so natural in our home that we look forward to someone shouting “Family Meeting” and we all quickly gather to see what’s going on. WE recently had one just a few nights ago as moving into our new home and all the holiday chaos that was going on I wanted to remind my kids that these meetings and there input are still an important part of our family. I was able to stress the fact that school would be starting back very soon and that I was expecting a better performance behaviorally from both of them. My son expressed that he is not so keen to hear me use a profanity on occasion and I myself will have to work on that. My daughter had us laughing as she took her turn. Her response to my question “What do you think I can do to be a better mom?” was “Well you are doing a really good job and I think that if you could let us celebrate Hanukkah that would make you a much better mom.” I proceeded to inform her about Hanukkah and let her know that we weren’t Jewish and it wouldn’t be right to celebrate a holiday that’s not actually ours. My guess was she was totally down for the daily gifts that would have been received. She is 6 and responded with “well my cousin is Jewish” I then had to explain that it still didn’t make us Jewish.
So think of a few questions and call a family meeting. These meetings should never only be focused on the things that others are doing wrong and I often start them with a few compliments of what improvements that each family member has made to set the tone as relaxed and then we ease into anything that may be bothering us about each other. Now obviously there are a few things that you may want to talk about privately with your spouse/significant other privately away from the children in order to keep your relationship on track. Remember to start off with a few things you enjoy about each other and ease into the things that might be bothering you or causing stress and ill will in your relationships.
At the end of the day we all need to be reminded that we are on the same team and relationships need constant work. If you forget to water your plants on a regular basis they die. Don’t kill your relationships with lack of communication.

Time For More Change

I’m the girl who makes New Year’s Resolutions and actually keeps them. I started this only 7yrs ago. Trust me I wasn’t always ‘that girl’
This year I have made several resolutions. I am going to be focusing my energies in different places this upcoming year. I have wasted an awful lot of time and energy in places it just didn’t belong.
My first resolution is to stop feeling so obligated to people who just don’t appreciate it. Along with that I am not going to allow myself to be upset that they get upset over it.
Next I have great family members that I have neglected for way to many years. Its time to get them back where they belong in my life. I finally feel like I’m someone they could be proud to call family.
We all know that I am probably one of the most honest people around. This year that honesty will reach a new level. I am tired of being uncomfortable in some of my life situations by not addressing issues that are ‘white elephants’ in the room.
I’m going to be a lot more frugal this year and am looking forward to teaching others to do the same. So all of you that tell me that you want to learn how to coupon here is your chance. Follow my blog. It will give you an email update to new posts and although I post it to Facebook and Twitter you just might be overlooking it or not have time at that moment to read it.
I’m quite organized but really want to take that to a new level and some of my fellow blogger friends I am watching and admiring your skills and will be taking lessons from you.
My tiny family will be my main focus as always and I will no longer feel beat up by those that think Autism is an excuse in my life. Its not an excuse its a lifestyle that I live in the best interest of my young children.
I’m very much looking forward to this year as I know it holds many Blessings for me and mine but I know these Blessings are things I have to work for. I don’t get to sit around and have them tossed down upon me.
Happy New Year I’m really hoping to share this year with so many of you and I wish nothing but the best for everyone. Now lets get it started!
My word and hashtag of 2015 is #Winning its about time I win this game of life and catch up to so many of you!

A Very Autism Christmas

Now that the holiday has passed I’m going to declare that its fine to rant about the not so finer points.
From the 22nd to the 26th I felt like I was walking around on broken glass trying my best not to offend or make anyone angry. I have hosted family events for years and I admit I’m so jealous of those of you that have these Christmas events with beautifully decorated tables and houses filled with people who truly are having fun and are kind and respectful to each other.
I walk around so stressed out worried that I got everyone a great gift that they will enjoy as much as I enjoyed choosing it for them. I also freak out because my Autistic child is the hardest person ever to buy for. Even some family members ask if they can just give me the money to order something for him.
I also wear myself out buying, prepping, cooking, and serving a meal that everyone will enjoy. All while maintaining a certain amount of normalcy for my household as having an Autistic child a keeping regular routine is very important. Its not ‘an excuse’ its our lifestyle.
So after all the work, effort, and hoopla of the holiday why am I sitting here wondering why people act like its so hard to just be kind and courteous of each other? Nobody really seems to remember and acknowledge the true reason for the season anymore. Its all just a big show and a bunch of obligations which I already have enough of.
Its not one person individually its just people in general and its not all people but it seems the bad ones sure outnumber the good ones anymore. I’ve seen so many despicable things go on as I see lots of ‘behind the scenes’ things that the average person doesn’t notice. I attribute it to always having to be on my toes from the Autism.
I am not the person that cries poor me as someone always has it worse than I do. I’m the one who gets up makes that pot of coffee and approaches my day with the attitude that I might not want to do something and I might not even be feeling well enough to do it but its gotta get done so lets just get it over with.
That being said I don’t feel the need to explain my current situations with everyone all the time. You may not know everything that’s going on in my life and if you do I sure don’t want your pity but let me go ahead and tell you a little about the person that just put forth so much effort to have a wonderful holiday with you and buy you a thoughtful gift or cook you a delicious meal.
Autism doesn’t take a winter break and either does my Diabetes. We didn’t get a break from therapists, routines, medication times or shots. We haven’t even established a complete routine in our home yet as we just moved less than 30 days before this holiday. I’m not even unpacked yet and haven’t even changed every bill, bank, credit card, etc over to the new address yet. I recently reconnected with family members that I treasure and lost along the way of my addiction and had one pass away just a few days before Christmas. Since Oct I have had a lot going on with my own health and now after months of medications, fights with hospitals my insurance company, and lots of stressful tests I a tumor that’s concerning to the doctors involved and we will see what happens as we start to travel this path. I have my Grandmother who sits day after day in the nursing home depending on others to care for her and each time I walk in the door of that room another piece of my heart breaks. I have the Grandfather of my babies unable to walk out of his front door to the car without the assistance of two adults. I have a daughter newly diagnosed who is having a very tough time adjusting in school while they are calling her ‘extremely gifted, genius, and very mentally ill’ all at the same time.
These aren’t excuses they are my life. I am an adult and I will deal with all of it and I will be kind and considerate of others at the same time. I think I have just learned that my kindness and consideration will have to be from a distance with some in my life.
In the next year I’m looking forward to making more memories with people who have the same goals and attitude that I do.
I’m looking forward to making my New Years Resolutions this year as since my first sober New Year I started making resolutions that I actually keep.