Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to Bring Sexy Back In Your Marriage!

Whoo hoo! I know you all were sitting on the edge of your seats barely able to contain your excitement over this post!!! Or something like that!

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up with our kids and always taking care of everyones needs and then the important things get a back seat. A marriage needs nourishment. Embarrassing, but I'll share the things we do and then just hide behind anonymity

1) Most important, that's why it's #1, GIVE YOUR KIDS A BED TIME!!!! My kids have had a bed time since 6 months of age when I started doing a bed time routine with them. I know people that let their toddlers stay up to like 12 at night. Not here in this house. After 7:30 pm it's Mommy and Daddy time =) Seriously though, this is really important and it's never too late to start =) Even though our son doesn't sleep in a crib anymore, we still do the whole bed time routine with him at 7:30. He has a night light in his room and yes, of course he gets out of bed as soon as we shut the door. He plays with his dinosaurs until he's tired and then he crawls into bed. I have yet to find him asleep on the floor of his room =)

2) Schedule Date Night: I'm sure most of you are probably asking yourself what the heck that is ;) You don't have to have money or even a sitter to do date night! I plan ahead for my husbands days off. Once we put our kids to bed I pull out a yummy snack that I made earlier that day or we'll pop a bag of popcorn and pull out some ice cream, grab a big blanket, cuddle up and watch a movie together. We honestly never get tired of doing a movie because we get to cuddle. Sometimes we will play a game.

3) Going Out to Eat As a Family: Is it possible? Yes, it is.

A) You just have to pick somewhere noisy. Pick somewhere that no one will notice your son eating packet after packet of fry sauce, or your daughter throwing her fries on the floor once she's done eating. My husband and I have this awesome burger place (JCW's) that we go to that is always noisy and no one notices our kids. Or go somewhere where they have outside seating.

B) OR CALL AHEAD. Sometimes I enjoy going to Golden Chinese place so what I do is I call ahead and speak to a manger. I tell them we are coming in with two Autistic kiddos and would like to be put somewhere semi remote away from everyone else. I bring their sippy cups, wipes, bibs, crayons, books and a few toys in case they finish eating before we do and that does it!

C) OR pick up food and do a picnic outside! We do that a lot in the summer time. We pick a park that is away from traffic, has no water near by and nothing my daughter can jump off of and we eat outside. Usually I just make sandwiches and cut up watermelon, grab capri suns and a bag of chips and that's what we take for our picnic.

4) I wouldn't generally talk about something like this but it's kind of a big deal and remember, anonymity ;) SCHEDULE "SNUGGLE" TIME. It's so easy to get lost in all the things we do for our kids and the time we spend on them. You would think that being 27 and having 3 kids I would be more mature than to laugh each time my husband and I sit down and pull out the Calendar to schedule in our "snuggle" time but no. No, I'm not =) If it happens before the scheduled time, GREAT. If not then you have a set date and time! I know it sounds funny but it's important to schedule that in once a week or once every two weeks...ladies don't let your man die!, at the very LEAST once a month. Actually write it on the calendar (and disguise label it like "ice cream for mom and dad" it could save you from a potentially embarrassing moment if company comes and sees your calendar =) and treat it as an un moveable commitment which means you can't say you're tired or have a headache! 1) It keeps you close to each other 2) Reminds you both how much you love one another and keeps that connection strong 3) It can very well be a stress reliever. If you have Teenagers with Autism-plan for that. Make sure they are in bed/door is closed, have a lock on your bedroom get it =)

5) Go on a drive together. My kids love to go on drives with the windows rolled down and we even take our chiweenie. It also gives my husband and I time to talk AND gets us all out of the house which is always nice.

6) There's no reason you can't stick to a healthy diet. After my kids go to bed my husband watches the baby for a bit while I prepare my meals and snacks for the next day. This way I can quickly grab healthy stuff that I put together the night before. I always have raw veggies and fresh fruits available for my grabbing instead of grabbing chips or a donut. I try to not bring those things into my home because they are so (yummy ;) easy to grab instead of something healthy. You eat healthy, you feel good =)

7) There's no reason you can't look cute while chasing your screaming kids around the house all day =) You don't need 2 hours to get ready. Look, here's a link for 7 no heat cute hair styles:
7 Cute No Heat Hair Styles
and below is the link that I use. I do this hair style on days my husband works and he's not home to watch the kids while I get ready.
Ashlie's Favorite, Cute, Easy, No Heat, Do-right-out-of the-shower-do! Thank you Pinterest! =)

8) Do you need a tan and don't want to get skin cancer or spend money? Well here's the solution! Malibu Hemp Self Tanning Lotion (@ Walmart) Ta Dah!! Insta Tan! I use this and love it. And no, it doesn't turn you Orange.

9) Victoria's Secret has AMAZING body lotion for $9 dollars a bottle. I always feel great when I smell good =) With your great smell, your tan and cute hair throw on a little lip gloss and mascara and you go rock those Yoga Pants girls! =)

10) Exercise. It's such a great thing. For me it's the ultimate stress reliever. When my husband is off, he will watch the kids for me for two hours while I go run my brains out. I do anywhere between 5 and 8 miles. But that's my enjoyment. For you it doesn't have to be running. Go for a walk around the block and get some fresh air =)

11) Take a few hours off. Is that possible? Yes. Yes it is. We sat down and on our calendar we EACH picked one day out of EVERY week where we get to leave the house (or hide in the bedroom) for 4 hours while the other stays home and holds the fort down =) This is a TREMENDOUS relief and something I look forward to every week because I KNOW I'm going to get that peaceful break. I use it to take a nap, or dye my hair and do my toenails. I'll make a project for the kids or whither away on Pinterest =) It doesn't matter, it's MY 4 hours.

When it comes down to it, if you feel cute and refreshed, you will feel better and happier.

For Those of You That Are LDS:

A few things to add to this list:

1) Always try to get a quick scripture in during the morning. I have the books with daily scriptures that I find quick and convenient. It can really make a long day better =)

2) Schedule in a Temple Day for you AND your husband once a month. Find someone from church or a member of your family. I have found that when people know your situation they are more than willing to help especially if it's only one day out of the month. This is probably the most important thing on this entire list =) It serves as a great reminder of the wonderful promises you made to each other when you married. Mark it on your Calendar and treat it like a commitment.

3) Take some time to read the Ensign Magazine with your husband. This is usually how we start off our date night. My husband and I will sit and read an article from it or we'll read a chapter from an LDS marriage/family book. We use to teach a marriage class at church so we have plenty of books on the subject with great stories from Church Leaders =)

To Everyone: I promise it's not impossible to do all of these things. It sounds like a lot but it's really not once you get into the habit.

How to Keep Your House and Sanity In Tact!

I receive anywhere between 15-25 emails a day from readers of my blog. Most asking the same questions so I decided to do a couple blog posts on these topics just for you.

First let me just clarify that I am an organized neat freak. Yes, that's right-I'm an organized neat freak and I have children [insert laugh here]. Even as a child my parents never had to tell me to clean my room =) As an additional note I'll remind you that I have two Autistic children ages 3 and 2 AND I have a newborn. Also add a crazy chi-weenie that I'm pretty sure has little dog syndrome ;) So hopefully my tips can help you out!

You Can Have Kids On The Spectrum AND A Clean House Too-no really, I'm serious =)

1) Kitchen and Dishes. Pick up as you go! Through out the day I will pick things up as I see them. If my kids want a snack I'll take things into the kitchen on my in. While I'm in there I will stick 2 or 3 things in the dishwasher. By the end of the day there's no dishes!

2) Set up a schedule/routine. I don't really have a set time for anything but I do have an "order" in which I do things. Don't sit there in awe over how amazing and easy this sounds. In between getting things done there are tantrums, toy throwing, melt downs, poopy blowouts, sitting on the dog, 2 year old streaking around the house, 3 year old shouting he wants to watch Barney get the picture? However when you have an order things will go much smoother than they could other wise. I started my kids on schedules when they were 6 mos. old so they are use to it. (My dad served in the Navy so schedules were what I was use to growing up. Plus Kids with ASD generally love routine.)

3) If your kids take a nap or have play time in their room use that time!!! I use that time to check my email, finish up laundry, do dishes, sweep or mop if I have to because they are in bed, I bake or relax and watch a movie or read a book =)

4) Laundry: Do it as you Go. Organize your Laundry room to make it easier and faster. We have separate laundry baskets for Lights, Whites and Darks so I rarely have to do any sorting. I just throw in the load. There is always laundry to be done in my house between bed sheets, towels, baby clothes, kid clothes so this tip helps me often. When I first wake up I let the dog out to go to the bathroom so I quickly go down stairs and throw in a load before I let him back in. It takes maybe 5 seconds. I do it during nap time as well.

5) Baby Gates: Use them =) When you have children on the spectrum baby gates will be your best friend! Keeps them in designated areas of the house and out of trouble for those few minutes you run down stairs to switch laundry loads or get them a snack from the kitchen or need a potty break. However my kids follow me to the bathroom so I have yet to know what it's like to enjoy going to bathroom alone without my kids watching my every move =)

6) Dinner: I hear SO MANY parents feel they have to eat out because they are just too busy with their child to make dinner. Are you ready for me to reveal my secret to frequent fabulous home cooked meals amongst a busy schedule?....




The CROCK POT!!!! Ta Dah!! =) Ladies, the crock pot can become your best friend!!! I even have a blog you can frequent. It's good to have 2 crock pots, one for the main dish and one for a side dish and to invest in a rice maker. I love her blog and use it all the time 365 Days of Crock Pot Meals, Desserts, Side Dishes and Drinks! Dinner dilemma solved! No more yucky, make-your-bum-jiggle, kill-your-wallet fast food! =)

7) Cleaning the Bathroom: How many times do you use the bathroom a day? Exactly =) Same thing applies. do it as you "go" no pun intended ;) Maybe wipe off the counter one visit, wipe down the mirror another visit.

8) Organization: This can make your life go so much smoother and it allows you to do things quickly if you know where everything is. Organize your pantry into sauces, pasta, veggies, canned meats, beans/rice, soups, kids snacks and so on so you can just grab and throw together. I also have cleaning supplies in each room. This way I'm not running around the house looking for supplies. I keep Sanitizing wipes in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room so I can just grab and wipe down counter tops quickly. Keep extra trash bags IN your garbage pails underneath the liner so you don't have to run around to get trash bags. And yes, ALWAYS make sure you put cleaning supplies UP and AWAY from the kiddos.

9) Take a Mommy (or daddy =) Time Out and Here's How: It's ok! My husband and I aren't fans of spanking. My parents did that to me as a kid and I hated them more and more each time. so my husband and I said we would never. Sometimes being a parent in the Autism situation can have it's moments of EXTREME frustration. All of us have been there. Well on one ocassion I was so frustrated with my son, he kept taking things from my daughter, he pushed her at one point, he was having melt down after melt down and I ALMOST gave him a pat on the bum. I recognized it first and later that evening my husband and I sat down to come up with a plan since I am the stay at home mom while my husband works and finishes up school. So what we do now is when I feel things are getting out of hand we let him play in his room for 15 -20 minutes, we make sure first that there is nothing is in there that he can swallow or hurt himself with and we put up the baby gate in his door way. He has a lot of toys in his room so he really enjoys being in there. This allows me a MUCH NEEDED time out so I can continue to be a good mom through out the day with out turning into the wicked witch of the west =) We only have to do this about once every 2 days.

10) Don't blame everything on their Autism. Remember they were kids before they were Autistic. So they come with all that implies. On any given day of the week my living room looks like Toys R' Us threw up in it as well as their bedrooms and the hallways and in the summer, my back yard too =) And sometimes they wake up in the middle of the night. My first thought isn't usually "it's their Autism." Sometimes it's because they had an accident or they want some water.

**Coming tonight on my Blog: How to maintain a sizzling hot marriage!** You know you're excited for it ;)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

And the Day Has Arrived...

I knew this day would come. I guess it's finally here! Now that my son and daughter are starting to get older people are starting to recognize something is different about them when we go out. Between my daughters spinning, clapping, flapping her hands and her noises that she makes and my sons random screaming episodes and banging his head on what ever he can find when he's frustrated people are starting to stare at them every where we go and then look to me like I'm a bad parent and my kids are brats because they don't know what Autism is.

We took our kids out for frozen yogurt yesterday and my son does ok at restaurants if I let him sit and play with silverware. He takes all of the forks and spoons from the table, puts them in a pile and starts to rummage his hands through them repeatedly. Stopping on occasion to grab a quick bite of food from his plate. Amidst all the "clinking" and "clattering" the silverware was making the woman at the table next to me would briefly look away from her family to throw us a dirty look as if our kids were ruining her lunch. It breaks my heart, I'm completely not used to this, to people acting like this towards me. And I live in Utah!!! Mormon land! Where everyone is sweet and smiles at each other (unless you are driving on I-15).

So I'm ordering them toddler t-shirts that will be strictly their "grocery store t's" or their "going out t's" if I know we're going to a sit down place. Here is what they say:

Shirt 1) "I'm not Naughty, I'm Autistic."
Shirt 2) "Discipline wont cure my Autism."
Shirt 3) "Spanking wont cure my Autism."
Shirt 4) "It's not bad Parenting, it's called Autism."
Shirt 5) "I'm not a spoiled brat, I'm Autistic"
Shirt 6) "Yes I'm Autistic. Stare if you must I'm not paying attention to you anyways"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Super Cool Way To Watch TV

She loves to be 2 inches from the TV with her legs up! She is such a little hoot =) Thankfully studies show that computer screens are bad for our eyes and not tv's! =)

Safety Products and Resources For Your Child

Here are a few great links with different products you can purchase for your child. I especially like how # 1 mentions getting your child's fingerprints and DNA on file. I never thought of that. So definitely something we will be doing!


Autism Safety Products: An abundance of different little safety products.

Little Keeper Sleepers
: Do you have a little "Poo-Casso" reeking havoc on your walls? Then this is a helpful site for that ;)

Temporary Toddler Tattoos: Do you have a little Explorer? These tatts can be customized to say "If I am lost, please call ***-***-****" Very reasonable priced as well.

Window/Door Alarms: I bought these from my local Walmart and LOVE them. You can set them to chime or set them to be a constant ring if the door/window is opened. They were $10 for a 2 pack. They are very loud too which is nice!

Child Handle Harness/Leash
: I know that sounds awful but I am unsure of what else to call these. They are fabulous for a little escape artist ;)

Child Tracking Device: This is a great link that has a different variety of inexpensive child tracking devices.

Safety ID Cuffs: These are super stylish! The best I have come across. They are $10 and have a $2 Shipping rate in the US. I have one for my son and will be buying another for my daughter!

Allergy Cuffs: Super duper cute and they even have a Gluten Free cuff! Also very reasonably priced.

 Step2 Kid Alert Safety Sign: This is great for your yard/street when your child is outside playing. Warns drivers in the area to slow down. 


Sensory Processing Disorder Website: I wanted to share this little gem of a website that I came across today. It's a gold mine! It has an abundance of information on Sensory Issues a child might have. It has sensory ideas, things you can try when your child becomes over stimulated.

 Also remember the
Top 3 Causes of Death Amongst Autistic Children:
1) Wandering
2) Drowning
3) Jumping/Falling from heights due to the symptom that many ASD children have of no real fear of heights/danger.

Do you have more than 1 Autistic Child?

This site is an extension of Autism Speaks but it's for parents that have 2 or more Autistic children. Studies are starting to show that when there is 2 or more children in a family with Autism that there is most likely a DNA factor playing a role versus the possibility of it being environmental. This is a great website.

AGRE For Families

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fun Sensory Bottles

Water Bottles of choice (I used Voss plastic water bottles that I got from HomeGoods $5.99 for 6)
Hot glue gun
Fun little items (I purchased all of mine from the dollar store)

From left to right:

1) Plastic beads
2) St.Patricks beaded necklace
3) Neon Aligator ties (also found at dollar store =)
4) I-Spy bottle has rice, pom poms, beads, buttons, googly eyes, little bell and foam hands and feet. No water.
5) Beaded Necklace
6) Fuzzy pom poms

Other Ides:
Plastic leaves/flowers
marbles...anything you can find

Put Items in bottle. Superglue the inside of bottle cap and quickly screw on the lid before the glue dries. This insures your child can't take off the lid and pull out what's inside. I loved the Voss bottles because 6 came in a package and it comes with a little carrier. My kiddos absolutely love to play with these!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fisher-Price Online Games

My kiddos LOVE this website! The games are divided into 3 categories. Infant, Toddler and Preschool. All the games are FREE to play! =)

Fisher-Price Online Games

Marble Letters

DO NOT EVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UN ATTENDED WITH MARBLES. CHOKING HAZARD (Despite their large size, I am not liable for someone elses lack of good judgment =)

Another fun activity! The possibilities are endless!

-1 bag of flat, clear marbles (dollar store or craft store, Walmarts aren't as clear)
-1 print out of bold Alphabet letters.
-glue stick

For my letters I tabbed twice between each letter and skipped two rows between the letters to give me room to draw a circle around each letter. The text size was 26 and I did capital letters =) Do what works best for your toddler.

Draw a circle around each letter and cut them out.

Rub your glue stick on the front of the letter and then stick it to the bottom of the marble.

-You can spell your toddlers name.
-Spell other words
-Ask them to find the first letter of their name.
-Jumble them up and ask your toddler to put them in order (I only used a few marbles for this one because my son is too young to organize the whole alphabet)

CD "Color" Cases

This is a great and fun way to work on colors with your toddler. Toddler's love different things and different textures!

-4 sheets construction paper-colors of your choice
-clear plastic CD cases (you can get these at the dollar store =)

Trace a square, cut it out, tape it inside and there you go! My son had so much fun with these!

-While your toddler is playing with them you can keep mentioning what color he is playing with
-You can ask your toddler to point out to you certain colors
-You can stack them and ask your toddler to find a certain color

Pom Pom Letters

This was pretty fun! And our son did really good with little help from me. After showing him what to do I would place a dot of glue down and then he would place down the pom pom. Something simple but he enjoyed himself =)

1 sheet card stock

pom pom's

Draw a letter on the paper as a guide for your toddler. Dot the letter with glue and let them place the pom pom's down =) Each time he would place one down we would talk about what color it was.

Whack An Egg

This was by far the best activity we've done yet! Our son LOVED this so much!

Shoe Box
Plastic Easter Eggs (3)
Scrap Paper
Modge Podge
box cutter

Real simple, take your shoe box and cute the scrap paper according to size of your shoe box.

Glue the back of the paper with modge podge. Place some decorative letters on top (if you want)

Then I just went over the whole thing with modge podge and it dries super fast.

Trace the holes on top with the smaller 1/2 of the egg. Cut out with box cutter.

Then have some fun!

Toddler Rain Stick

Need some ideas for what to do with those cardboard rolls from all your Christmas wrapping? Well don't throw them away because your toddler would love them! ;)

Cardboard roll
Modge Podge
scrap book paper
1/3 cup rice, uncooked
strips of card board (about an inch wide, you can cut these off of a cereal box, or any box. They don't need to be pretty because they wont be seen)

Pretty simple! If you are going to decorate your tube. Do that first. You can let your kiddo color it, you can put paper on it if you want. I put scrap book paper on mine and I modge podged it down. Then to sustain my little tornado on legs ;) I put laminating paper on the whole thing too.

Seal the bottom. MAKE SURE YOU SEAL IT WELL!! I cut out a 4 inch circle. Modge podged it to the end then I even put tape around the edge just to make sure. Dried rice CAN BE A CHOKING HAZARD if you have little ones.

Take your strips of card board and fold them up ACCORDION style, like a fan. stretch them out a tiny bit. These are going to go inside your tube and these are what the rice will be falling around on. so the more ripples in your strips, the more sound your kiddo will hear ;)

Put all your strips one by one inside the tube.

Put the rice in.

Seal the other end of the tube GOOD and let your toddler have some fun!!