Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bits of January in Seattle

My dear friends 
I have taken to writing about once a month – but even though not as frequent as before, I am still glad that I am a regular writer because I love to read this blog.

I am also back to taking photos.


A blogger I used to read – wrote that she felt that by taking photos and writing – she had almost created a distance between herself and her life - as though she was seeing her life through a lens


But – this is not true for me. Taking a photo and writing a journal commemorates that this moment is precious and worth recording. Plus there is the pleasure of returning to it when the moment has passed


Here is what happened this month


Eat less, Exercise more


In the past 4.5 months, I have lost all the weight that I gained in the last 2 years i.e. 22 pounds


I never thought I would be the kind of person who would have 30 pounds to lose – but I became one


I still have this another 8 pounds to go to my "goal weight"


3 years ago was weight was my fat weight - now this is my thin weight and people give me compliments all the time because they are not used to it!


The program I am on comprises 4 parts – doctor, dietitian, trainer and psych.


The trainer is very helpful and the has made me the type of person that works out and goes to the gym and showers in the locker room without a qualm at all the women around who walk around unselfconscious in the nude


I have learned a lot about myself


My dietitian's - main use was in making sure I was accountable.


All my other observations around how I feel about food( don't care that much) why I overeat( reward rituals/habit/boredom), why dietitian bugs me so much ( because food and control are linked in my mind) came from my own reflections


Ultimately the diet is a very useful part of the program but I don't think I ever felt good about my dietitian. I always took my weight myself as well so I never had the thrill of the "Yayyy 2 pounds down" when I went to see her


The trainer and exercise was after a few weeks what felt trans formative (even though I am sure my outward appearance was more changed by diet)


I realized that that is because the diet is what not to do, about stopping and controlling and feeling bad about lack of control, feeling greedy and having low will power.


But exercise is about something to do: something active. It reduces my stress and gives me joy.


I try to walk a lot


I have a Fit bit 



I have bought the awesome TRX


Happiness Rituals on the weekends


After the Thanksgiving and Christmas break and realizing how much we all love slow time – we are all working extra hard during the week to ensure lazy weekends


DH shops on Thursday and Friday – we finish laundry on Friday and then each of us take turns to cook Saturday morning and Sunday Morning to cook for the week


DH is also on a health spree – he already works out daily at the gym but is adding diet as well- so we both have our special foods – I make a lot of Chicken Tortilla soup /DH makes a lots of Chinese stir fry.


Here is what a typical weekend looks like. As you will read through this – you will see its full of many of our simple happiness rituals


We all wake up in a tangle of arms and legs as usually R is in our bed in the morning and many kisses, cuddles and compliments are exchanged (lots of teasing from DH which is his love language) 



I go down to make either Darjeeling tea/Nespresso. If I turn on the coffee machine he will usually just stand in the kitchen


But when I pour the leaves out in the saucepan, he knows that I will wait at least 5/10 minutes for the leaves to soak.

So he will settle down on the couch with his iPAD and wait patiently for me to finish brewing and making this most delicious tea

I hand DH his tea and then I have to go sit in R's bed and we read our separate books together. I have negotiated to sit on "his side" as it's the one with the bed side table for my tea



He quickly swaps the pillows so that "my pillow" where I put my head on each night when we write his journal
He loves the smell of my hair and does not want to mix up the smells
People talk about the greatness of unselfish love - but I have always liked most to be loved selfishly
When someone wants you and your presence because of the joy it brings them.


DH calls R my "little psycho" – but how can I describe the deep gratitude I have for what R gives me?


When I am an old woman and look back on my life I think I will find that the best thing in my life might be that R loved me like this once.

On alternate Saturdays – R has social camp and in this time DH and I go to pictures. We are finding new happiness rituals- thing that we can do together that don't involve food. We have watched "The Imitation Game" and the "Lord of the Rings" – we literally had not been to the movies in almost all of R's life and we are enjoying this so much 


We jump on the new trampoline that DH has set up outside, go to the park when it does not rain and we always go swimming.


R LOVES The pro club – he is also a real dandy and loves to use ALL the products that there are there – deo, mouthwash, hair spray. You should see him matching his scarves and shoes and how he preens when he blow dries his hair


In the little bathroom downstairs he has arranged all his beauty products in the same order - so as to have the Proclub experience at home.



Sundays we usually take a long walk while his therapist is here and then finish off with movie night (the old Disney "Three little Pigs" have been a great success)


I am reading a LOT these days – thanks to my new Kindle Paperwhite and its been amazing.


Work is very stressful right now and my insomnia is back and so I am making a lot of effort to shut down( with almost no success) – but I have to say these rituals are make my waking hours quite joyful


A huge developmental leap


R has had a huge developmental leap and its killing us !!!


He is very very mischievous - interested in EVERYTHING.My nerves are completely shot.


Here is an example of a typical evening. The other day DH and I were trying to do some paperwork so DH could file taxes. In the 30 minutes or so that we were upstairs
1. R shut down a computer – in which DH had opened all his files
2. Emptied a frig and stuffed it full of Sprite bottles and
3. Called 911

I had to talk to the operator and she asked to talk to R on the phone and luckily he scripted out " I feel good" and that he felt safe ( when she asked him) .

Whatever he reads or hears he will try out – the other day I ruffled his hair and was shocked by how sticky and awful it felt – he told me proudly "R take care of hair – R put shampoo and conditioner in hair". I guess the back of the bottle left out the part about rinsing it with water .


Then he is obsessed with perfume – he has a little lair in the mudroom – a laundry basket in which he puts all his treasures – the other day I found all my super expensive perfumes and equally expensive pashmina shawls. He will also usually tell me virtuously that he will "not do .X" and then he will immediately sneak around and do it behind my back. 


He is very very sorry afterwards - here he has fallen asleep on the couch after being in trouble literally holding the little plastic heart that DH got him for Valentine's for comfort



Sometimes I laugh and sometimes we are exasperated – but always we remind ourselves to be grateful for this developmental leap (though it is much easier to parent that quiet child who ignored everything in the house)


He is also into the good things - like baking his cakes, makes his music lists  , 

Has set his piano in our study room ( never has a boy hated being alone more) - he tries to make sure he is always with us 


Thinks about traveling all the time , plotting the trips he will take on a new map we have got him 


He is also fully autistic – obsessed with elevators, department stores, Santa Claus etc – just continuing to blossom on develop on his own path.


And in conclusion


This February it's been 8 years in the world of Autism and 2 in the world of Crohn's.


Every February feels like a milestone of sorts to me as both diagnoses were around the same time and each of them has felt like an end of life as we know it


But we have recovered and have for the most part been very happy.


This, I think is the secret to happiness after diagnosis.


To accept that life just is.


That this right now, is it


No postponing joy for when you have more time, more money, less illness.


But making the most of what we have today 




 

Floortime Lite Mama

On my life as the mother of an adorable 5 year old with Autism and Apraxia