Monday, January 2, 2012

Eyes on the Prize

I realize it's been awhile. I started blogging way back when all three kids still napped and we haven't had a real nap around here since my youngest was 2 years old and now he is almost 5!  I promise to add more content to my blog this year.  As well as carving more time for working out and not eating like a pig. I have a wedding cruise to attend in May and I don't want to be all matronly looking. 

In the meantime I got myself a job. A once a month gig writing for a newsletter for an agency that offers services to kids with Autism. I will not name the agency here just in case anything I have written here pisses anyone off.  This is my kind of job too! Once a month effort and I get paid in beer. Below is my first endeavor, it's rated G but enjoy anyways. 

"First let me introduce myself. My name is Charlotte Gracer and I am a stay-at-home mother to 3 kids. My oldest son is 7 years old and was diagnosed at the age of 5 years old with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. My youngest son is 4 years old and was diagnosed with Autism before age 3, and just recently we added ADHD to make life more fun. I also have a 6 year old daughter who is typically developing, and very sassy. I'm also responsible for a 41 year old husband and a 6-toed cat.

I am in no way an expert on parenting, in any form, and I am not even being paid to write this. I am merely sharing my experiences, and if anything I share makes you feel less alone, or better about your choices, than my job here has purpose.

The experts in this newsletter will be educating you about establishing changes in behavior and the minimum amount of time that takes for a change to stick. An excruciating 6 weeks. If you want to learn, read her article, I am just here because misery enjoys company.

As I am writing this we are smack dab in the middle of Regression Time, or Winter Break. But this year I was much smarter than last, when I thought the Fall would be an excellent time to start potty-training. Wrong. Just when we would get the youngest using the potty, it would be time for Thanksgiving Break. Loads of laundry later, he would go back to school, and tons of success. Then Winter Break. Laundry, carpets cleaned, van detailed, then we are back in school and back on track. Well I guess you can see a pattern here. It wasn't until after MLK day, and Spring break where we finally had a nice, solid, chunk of time for him to get the routine down pat. Including wiping his own butt!!

This year I was smart enough to realize that if we can just maintain behaviors, expect some regression, and not launch into any new challenges then we are golden. The key, for our family, was to maintain as much of a normal, consistent schedule as we possibly could during the holidays. Which is hard, I know. We let them stay up 30 minutes later, but the bedtime routine was exactly the same. And if they had a late night then we would try our hardest to make the next day, or next evening mellow.

This habit of sticking to our routine has rewarded us with only minimal backsliding in behavior. My daughter has been whining a bit more, I can tell my oldest is a little anxious because he will ask me continually what we are doing that day, and my youngest has started his screaming again. But just a little screaming, and only twice in public. I will take what I can get.

Now it's back to school time. Back to established bedtimes, back to homework, back to not putting whipped cream in my coffee every morning. I have made a New Year's resolution to lose weight. So I am all too aware that I have 6 torturous weeks of changing my eating habits to look forward. Well after these wonderful holidays it's going to be more like detox. No more beer, bacon and cookies. But I have been down this road before, and I know if I can make it through the 6 weeks it takes to change my behavior, I will re-establish a habit of healthy eating. I need to keep my eyes on the prize. Just in time for the heart shaped boxes of chocolate of Valentine's Day to tempt me back into regression. "


kangucup said...

best article, and i like it!
so, keep it like this!

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sherri said...

nice work! I, too, have to shed some weight (20 lbs. - cough-) so I hear ya. Moderation is so irritating.