As I am sure you all know this very very important member of our Family.
Well if you don’t let me introduce you to Logan he is Jakers Autism Service Dog. We have been a family for right at 3 years. He has totally changed our lives. Jakers and Logan bonded instantly and within days he was already giving us alerts. Which is AMAZING. I was able to begin to sleep at night which I am not sure I slept a full night since Jakers was about 18months old because he didn’t sleep. I was always scared Jakers would escape lets just say I’ve ran through my neighbors yard more than once barely clothed chasing after a nekkid kid. But one day our lives changed… This day right here when he arrived.
Looking back at this collage makes me see how much they’ve all changed and grown. Well a couple of weeks ago Logan started limping on his hind leg. We took him off duty (Which meant the family went into hermit mode we only went to a few select places but mainly we stayed home). After a couple of days the limp didn’t go away so we headed to the Vet. We tried did a few days of Anti Inflammatory/Pain meds while we scheduled sedation XRays. Well we found out Logan has torn his Cranial Cruciate Ligament (Basically a Dog’s ACL). Unfortunately the only way to fix this painful issue for him is to do surgery. Its a very expensive surgery and he has to have this surgery sooner rather than later. The cost is about $3,000.00 which isn’t something that anyone has lying around. So we have a fundraising page and I have a paypal account set up that we are desperately seeking donations for this urgent surgery the longer it takes to raise the money the worst it gets. It kills me to see him in pain and not being the dog he should be. It will take him about 12 to heal after the surgery is complete so we have a long road ahead of us. Its going to be hard all around without having him home for a few months we have already began noticing issues with Jakers with Logan not being able to do his job.
Please Please Help us spread the word…. Any and All Donations are so greatly appreciated.
Eating at home is so much easier with our crew than going out… Between schedules and our issues its just a whole planning nightmare to do on a regular basis. We have to find a place that fits our Allergy issues, Our sensitivity issues. The environment of the restaurant is crucial due to having a Service Dog and the our sensory processing needs. Lets not mention we have to go when we can get in and out quick we are talking the Early Bird specials here. Now don’t get me wrong we enjoy going out to eat on special occasions but health wise its just easier to have meals at home…… But here’s the issue
WE SUCK AT PLANNING MEALS… I mean seriously Suck at it……
So I had an idea… We are a family of 5 and we typically feed 7 (We will send food next door for my inlaws most nights). Luckily with Autism we can be creatures of habit which could come in handy with my idea….
Each family member pick a Meal they want to eat that week. Which would knock off 5 days…. That would give me 1 day to try a new recipe and would give us a day for Leftovers or The boys favorite Scavenger Hunt Dinner (Find something in the pantry or fridge). We usually always have an alternative for the boys like Shrimp will always eat a PB&J, Pancakes or a bowl of Raisin Bran… Buttercup is the least finicky… Dooode will always eat Eggs…
So the plan is Saturday/Sunday we pick out the meals, make the list so I can shop while they are at school and I can plan out according to our week which meals will work and when. Of course on Game Nights or Meet Weekends things will change up but I am hoping this might get us on track with meal planning and not running to the store daily or having food that goes bad before we can cook it.
We are also still striving to go Gluten Free for our family so it will be interesting how that works in the next few weeks… I need to work on a bread and pancake recipe so any ideas would be great……
So do you all meal plan or just play it by ear daily?
Wowerz Its been almost 2 months since I’ve blogged. That is something I gotta work on! Its a brand new year so its a clean slate and a new beginning for most. I despise when people do the whole New Years Resolutions because seriously is one day really gonna make it happen? I mean just because a pickle, possum, acorn or ball drop down from a crane all of a sudden gonna change your outlook. Most of the time the resolutions aren’t even S.M.A.R.T (Small, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Timely). I mean quit smoking is a great goal but it would be smarter to break that BIG goal into little, Get Healthy or Lose Weight…. break it down…. How are you going to do it and the list continues….. So We’ve decided to do MONTHLY goals in our family. Some our sport related, some school, some health and fitness…. But we also made a few FAMILY goals for us.
- Begin the transition to remove wheat from our diet (which is harder for some)
- Atleast once a month find a new spot to go explore we have some awesome places and parks around here its time to go find them
- Try out atleast 1 new Class at the Plex
- Workout atleast 3 times per week
- 5lb loss this month
- Twice a week Posting
- Spend more in the moment time with each child
- Quit Smoking
- 3 times a week gym
- Spend more time with each boy
- Get a B Time in Swimming
- Swim a 500 Free
- Write my Homework Assignments down Daily
- Read More
- Put up more shots in my games
- Play more defensively
- Take my time in school, pick Just Right books and Finish them!
- Workout 3 times a week
- Compete in a Swim Meet
- Improve my Swim Strokes and Swim Practice
- Improve my Reading by 1 level
- Play with Logan more
So that is just a few of our goals for January…. We have lots of time and chances to accomplish our goals. We spent alot of time explaining how some goals may take months to complete and that is fine we are working towards Progression not Perfection!
So sit down, strap in hang on tight and enjoy the ride…..
It’s very rare for us to take a vacation…. Our minions are at the age where they have such busy lives. Between School, Swim Team, Basketball, Therapies its rare to find a period of time to just run away. But we found a weekend we could escape from town. Its interesting the things you learn while on vacation, especially when you don’t take one often…..
- Sleeping Arrangements *~* The boys are getting older and bigger our family of 5 and Logan don’t fit comfortably in 2 double beds…. So what do ya do? pay extra for a roll away bed? Nah you just get creative in your sleeping situation.. C & H get one bed then J & I sleep in the other while D lays at the foot of the bed like a golden retriever… and Logan is on the floor beside the bed. It will work for a few nights but next time we either A) need bigger beds B) remember an air mattress C)
leave the kids at home Okay Okay there’s only 2….
- Hotel Requirements *~* Because of our family needs it takes forever to find a hotel to stay at. We are kinda sorta picky about our places not because we are snoddy but because we have certain needs…. It’s really quite easy.
Here are our needs:
- Indoor Pool *Hot Tub Optional* ~ I have fish not children…. It’s in our best interest to have a pool to be able to throw the kids in to swim. That way at the end of the day to unwind
- Comforting Area ~ I need a place that I can feel safe to take our service dog out either Early in the AM or late at night
- Clean ~ There is nothing worse than checking in after a long drive and finding a icky hotel room….
- Fridge and Microwave ~ I don’t have to have a full kitchen if I am just staying a weekend. But I do at least need a Dorm Fridge and Microwave due to our food allergies and our personal preferences.
- Service Dog Friendly ~ This is so not the same as Pet Friendly. We travel with Logan our Autism Service Dog. A lot of hotels are NOT Pet Friendly and I TOTALLY respect that. But Logan isn’t a pet he works with us. So yes we can stay there with him regardless of the policy. But educating your staff on Service Dogs takes so much stress and drama off of our trip. Examples: No he doesn’t have to wear his vest 100% of the time, There are lots of types of service dogs NOT just seeing eye dogs, Yes I always clean up after him and trust me there is NO CHANCE of him messing up or having an accident in the room.
See it’s not a lot just a few necessities to keep our family functioning on a near normal for us level. We have a few requests depending on where we are staying like if we are at the beach Oceanfront is great and if we can have a little balcony all the better. I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg either. I am not buying the room just borrowing it for a few nights.
- Planning ~ When we plan a trip we don’t make a schedule. That would make us all crazy. But we do plan “Places to See Things to Do List” that has input from all family members of what they’d like out of the trip. Things like Build a Sandcastle on the beach, Aquarium, Lighthouse Viewing, Hiking, Swim in the pool that way we know what we want to do and we can in a controlled but relaxed way get some things accomplished. The downfall to scheduling everything out is things beyond our control and who wants a disappointed child or a huge meltdown because a huge storm hit and we cant get out on the beach.
- Meals and Snacks ~ You can not bring too much of this because trust me it will go one of two ways… Either the kids will want to snack CONSTANTLY or they will barely want to eat anything at all. But everything is going to be more expensive on vacation and if you have allergies or special diets nothing is worse than searching to find a store that carries things safe to eat.
- Turn off the electronics and put down the phone ~ This is a hard one for most anyone these days including kids. But you really need to be in the moment because this is a short time and its time you wont get back. Make memories, spend the time with the family in the moment. Use it sparingly we used it in the cars while driving or at night when we were winding down for the night or first thing in the morning while waiting.
- RELAX and HAVE FUN ~ Things aren’t always going to go as planned, things will be left at home but just roll with it the best you can. Its just a short period of time and you take a trip to unwind and recharge as a family. It won’t be perfect it never is… But its life, its family….
We had a blast on our little weekend adventure. We accomplished most of our list. We made memories, had a few bumps in the road, like a horrid dinner and a kid with an attitude but you know what…… over all the most important thing was we had fun and made a list of things we’d like to do differently next trip and other things we’d like to see….
So its been a little over a year since the last Fitcation. Which was an amazing event. So I was very excited with the chance to go and hang out again and learn some new things. Well that and I was extremely anxious for 2 reasons really. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since the last time some of the group has seen me and we opened the group to alot of bloggers who weren’t in Mamavation but were totally awesome girls! So now on to Fitcation.
I arrived at LAX and carpooled with Angela, Pamela, Kristin, Stephanie, Jeanie and April. We met up with Ana and Kia for lunch as we set off on our adventure… trust me with Angela driving it was totally an adventure too bad we didn’t have any SIP Wine in us yet. But we finally arrived at the hotel and checked in with Leah and Mark…. Well attempted I think Leah’s response was Its about time Skinny Bitch! *Which set my fears aside that people could see a difference* Then we loaded up to adventure around in downtown Paso Robles. We started with Wine of course and then off to have the BESTEST Brown Butter Sea Salt cookies Seriously gotta figure out how to recreate these… Then it was off to the studio for dinner and wine.
Up at the crack of dawn, grabbing breakfast then off to the park for a butt kicking workout with Erin…. Let me tell you I’ve never wanted to harm a pregnant woman but boy I could have kicked her butt after that work out she killed it! Then it was off to Castoro Cellars and their Dam Fine Wine I loved the beaver and the play off of that. With their Dam Fine Wine and their number 1888DamFine they had some of my favorite wines of the weekend. After lunch we had a lesson on how to Unlock Wine and we really learned the way to enjoy our Wine… Best lesson “Don’t Sniff the Cork!”
Next we set off for Pasolivo to learn about Olive Oil. They harvest all 45 acres by hand and begin the olive making process within 4 hours of picking. Then we sampled Oils, Salts and Spices…. OMG it was an amazing little area set up the Truffle Salt mmmmmm…. I always thought Olive Oil was Olive Oil… But boy did I learn that I was missing out on so much!
Our adventure for the day concluded with a Tour and Dinner at the beatiful http://www.halterranch.com the sites were beautiful and we hiked up the hill to the Ancient Tree, its one of the oldest trees in Ca. We learned more about SIP Wines and how Halter Ranch were becoming more Sustainable not only for now but for the future.
Summer of 2013 we dove into the world of competitive swimming. Short course (year long swimming) just kicked off practice this past week…. So I figured I would just let you know a few things I have learned while being on Deck.
- When you walk into the pool area of an indoor building and can tell if the pool is regularly chlorinated or not just by the smell in the air. You would be suprised when visiting hotel pools, apartment complex’s and amusment parks that the pools are rarely checked and properly chlorinated.
- When you no longer feel strange when you look at the guys in the brief speedos. I swear in the beginning I felt like it was dirty and people would think I was checking out their “package” but practice suits are really the only way you can express your self.
This is our Swim Coach when he swam for UNC
- When you can spot your swimmer by their graffiti and goggles straps.. Seriously when you have 10kids in the water swimming at one time and the teams wear matching caps and suits, you have to learn how to tell them apart. We should totally have stock in Sharpies.
- When you are washing more towels than underwear. We try to have Swim Towels and Bath towels but each kid uses 2 towels during swim, and 2 towels for bathing after swim. At swim meets we use up to 4 towels per kid. Its CRAZY!!!!
- When you yell for your kid when you know there is NO chance he can here you. OR the fact you sit at a swim meet for 4+ hours to watch your kid swim maybe 5 minutes.
Champs 2013 (Lane 6) (2nd place Heat) We were there from 6:30am to 6:30pm
- Swimmers support Swimmers No Matter the team! This was the first lesson I learned. The boys were at their very first swim meet EVER. They were in the last event 76 which was a 200 Free Relay. ( 4 swimmers each swim a 50 Freestyle) this was also the 15-18 age group so BOTH my boys were swimming up. Charles was scared to death and was in tears. I was being the “mean mom” because this was a moment he needed to suck it up and swim because his team needed him and Coach wouldn’t have placed him there if he didn’t think he could do it. Well a swimmer on the opposing team who was swimming the same leg of the race talked to Charlie the whole time and swam pace with him coaching and cheering him on the whole 50. This momma was in tears. Luckily we got to speak with him afterwards and we have a great relationship with their Swim Brother Matthew.
Shh… I totally stole this off his FB page lol
- But above all else I have learned that my eldest son is at peace in the water. He has changed so much in his short time as a swimmer. Watching his dedication and determination is awesome. He comes ALIVE in the water. It totally makes it worth it.
Welcome to his world
I am positive as time goes on I will learn much much more…. Im sure we will have bumps and bruises along the way… But you’ll find us at the pool daily no matter the season…. A few months out of the year you’ll find me in the bleachers at the basketball court but thats a different child and a different post…..
What Sports does your family do? What have you learned from them?