Adventures In Extreme Parenthood

By extremeparenthoodadmin / On

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of Tattoos and Ampersands

For over a year I have been itching to get a new tattoo.  I wanted to get my boys’ names but I couldn’t decide where on my body to do it and picking a font I loved seemed nearly impossible.

And then I saw this picture on Pinterest and I knew I had answered both questions at once.

So on Friday night I picked up my friend Nic and we made the trek into the District to visit the awesome Jinx Proof tattoo studio.

I paid my money, proofed the artwork the artist had done freehand and before I knew it I was laying down on the table and giving my left arm over to the names of the two people who have shaped the woman and the mother I am today.

The artist asked me why I had chosen such a prominent place to put my tattoo and so I told him the story of my boys and I.   I explained to him about how my boys are such a profoundly huge part of who I am, about their shared diagnosis of autism, and how I feel like we’re the three musketeers taking on the world one day at a time.  I remember saying that Sam and Noah are two halves of my heart walking around outside my body and for the rest of my life they will be one with me.

And then he told me he wanted to shake my hand.

And so he did.

It wasn’t until I got home that night and took the bandage off my arm that I realized their was a wee bit of a problem with my new ink.

Can you see it?

Wanna hint?

The ampersand that should have been between Samuel and Noah’s names was backwards.  Instead it looks like a cursive “S”.

And then it hit me.

He didn’t mess it up.  Arguably I messed up by proofing it and not catching the error before it was tattooed onto my arm.

But deep down I don’t think it was an error on anyone’s part.

I do believe that cursive “S” is there because it was meant to be there.  Fate intervened and duped both the tattoo artist and me into never noticing it.

My first name, as most of you know, is Sunday.  So if you look at it from this point of view it makes a lot of sense.

I will always and forever be linked with both Samuel & Noah.  Truly I cannot see a day when I will not be standing between the two of them, holding their hands, and leading them through the years to come.

So, its rather fitting that my first initial is seated firmly, and permanently between the two of them.

And I rather like it that way.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If we are what we eat I should be dead.

On Sunday night I watched the documentary Food Inc. for the first time.  To say it was enlightening would be an understatement.

I have always been the type of consumer who has blind faith in my government and its agencies.  I believed that if a product is sold, whether it is a medicine or a food item, it has been tested and proven to be safe for consumption.

I could not be more wrong.

Instead it seems the only people the government is looking out for is the large corporations and their interest in making more money faster, easier, and at the expense of our health.

Don’t believe me?  Watch Food, Inc. for yourself and make your own decision.

I know I have.

Its not going to be easy….or cheap.  But, from here on our when my family eats meat its going to come from a certified organic farm with free-range, forage-only, animals for our beef, pork, and poultry.  If this means we eat 1/4 of the meat we used to then so be it.

Our fruits and vegetables?  Those are going to come from local organic farms and I’ll travel a bit further to shop at local farmers’ markets.

Eggs, milk, and cheese?  Same story.

I can’t help but think that this way of eating is the best choice for our family.  Many years ago I used to bake my own bread from scratch every week and while labor intensive I was sure of exactly what went into it and most importantly…what did not.

These choices are not altogether radical to me.  For quite some time I have held this dream of someday living more simply.  Ideally someday I would love to have a home “off the grid”.  While it is somewhat out of the ordinary here in Maryland it is quite commonplace in the Northeast and also in Colorado where I lived for seven years when I was younger.

Solar is sexy!

Living off the grid consists of living self-sufficient thanks to solar, wind, or hydro-power which allows you to remove your home from one or all public utilities.  Imagine the power going out due to a thunderstorm or a blizzard?  You’d still be toasty warm and with electricity power thanks to your solar panels, wind turbine, or a water wheel.

Right now its something of a pipe dream.  Its not cheap to build an ecological house and its nearly impossible to do so where I am living right now.  Still, its something I want for myself, my children, and my planet and so I’ll hold tight to it and take baby steps to making it happen.

But starting today I can make a real difference in my life and that of my family by changing the things I put on our dinner table….and I plan to do just that.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I’m losing weight but not my mind

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who left comments on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter last week after I wrote this post. I wasn’t in a very good place and I was overwhelmed, lonely, and stressed. Your words of support and validation really made me feel less alone in this crazy world of raising children with special needs.

Thankfully, today I have some good news to share with all of you to balance things out a bit.

A little over 2 weeks ago I reached an impasse with myself.  I had hit an all time low punctuated by a vicious pattern of self loathing that I just couldn’t live with anymore.  I was self-medicating with food and alcohol and together those two vices had landed me a good forty pounds overweight.  Every day I would wake up promising myself I wouldn’t eat & drink my feelings and my loneliness away.  And every night I would go to bed a failure hating myself.

For those of you wondering I am 5’9″ and have a larger frame than most women.  
A healthy weight for me is 160 pounds.

That look I am making?  That would be called disgust.
Also, clean your damn mirror woman!

Then I read my friend Veronica’s blog and heard about a not-so radical eating plan she had researched and had found success in.  Its called the 17 Day Diet and when I first read the title I was not impressed.  I really thought it was just another “fad” diet that required you to eat six grapefruits and drink 120 oz. of cabbage water per day for six months.  Been there, done that, not doing it again.

I did some research on my own and found that the diet had been endorsed by quite a few professionals, including the doctors on the show by the same name.  But, I still wasn’t sold.  So, I bought the 17 day diet book from Amazon for my Kindle and figured I’d give it a couple hours of time and see what it said.

And that is when I knew it wasn’t just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

The plan is pretty damn simple.  There are 3 stages and each stage is split up by 17 days.  The first stage is the most regimented and requires you to cut out  carbs, processed sugar, alcohol, soft drinks and many of the overly sweet fruits.  It is very rich in low proteins (such as chicken and turkey breast, pork tenderloin, and fish/ seafood) and lots of vegetables (but not those heavy in starch, such as potatoes, peas, lima beans, etc).  Its important that each day you eat at least one serving of  yogurt high in beneficial bacteria and two servings of low sugar fruit (such as berries, apples, or peaches).  To some this may sound extreme but to me it just sounded healthy.  It sounded like the way we are supposed to be eating, but in my case, seldom did.

In the first 7 days I lost 9.7 pounds!  And lest you think that was all water weight I know for a fact it wasn’t because I was drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day and I wasn’t living in the bathroom.

Today, is my last day in Phase 1 and I have lost 15 pounds.

15!

This is including the dinner I had on Father’s Day at Bonefish Grill which was in no way whatsoever friendly to any of the rules of the 17 day diet.  I totally blew that day out of the water but the very next day I was back on track.

I already feel more confident and positive.  Last week I took more pictures of myself then I think I have taken in the past two years combined.

Here are a couple:

I really like these pictures.  In each of them I look hopeful.  I look patient.

I think that is because I am.  Because I know I’m worth it.

I still have at least 30 pounds to go and 2 more phases to complete but I am confident that the positive vibes I have been getting from stepping on the scale and watching the numbers fall and the clothing I couldn’t wear one month ago that is now starting to sag with keep me on track towards reaching my goal.

And what is my goal you may ask?

I can tell quite matter of factly that it is not a specific number on the scale.  It is a dream I have held for a very long time.  Its a state of mind and a presence of person that will tell me when I have finally made it where I want to be.

And this is it:

I want to be able to walk into my favorite store and buy an article of clothing and have it FIT!  I adore Anthropologie and their clothing is whimsical, romantic, and entirely too damn small for a gal my size.

But I aim to fix that and I have never been one to back down on something I am passionate committed to finishing.

So, I’ll keep you all posted on how I am doing and hopefully by Christmas this Mama will be rockin a sweet little cocktail dress from her favorite store.