Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hard Times:

This post is very personal and actually really hard to write, but I kind of wanted to let people know what was going on with me so they could understand.

About 4 months ago, things at Mitch's work were not going well (not any fault of his own) and it started looking like things weren't going to last. Now most people who know me know that I can roll with the punches pretty good, but for some reason I was not bouncing back from this one. I started to have a lot of headaches and crying spells. I had been having a lot of problems with my sinuses so I went to an ENT who diagnosed me with an enlarged turbinate and eustacian tube dysfunction. Yay. It was easy to deal with although having a constant stuffy ear is never any fun. They did a CT of my sinuses and all was clear.

A few days later I started having a pain in the back of my head that wasn't going away, and the crying spells were getting worse. As in, I couldn't get off the couch and could barely take care of the kids worse. So I made an appointment with one of the local doctors who told me I had an anxiety disorder and put me on 20 mg of Prozac. The first night I was on that drug I was walking the house until 3 a.m. crying, scratching my skin until it was bleeding and not sleeping. So Mitch sat up with me and helped me to try and calm down.

I was on that drug for three weeks until it got way worse. I had lost 7 pounds, was very shaky and had even more anxiety than before. Then the "itch" started. It felt like an itch in my brain and it was driving me crazy. I couldn't function. The "itch" was basically consuming me. There was a day when Mitch had to come home and take care of the kids so that I could lock myself in my room and sleep it off in a Xanax induced coma. I called my doctor and he told me to just stop the medication cold turkey. Not smart. Less than a week later it happened again, this time I was on the verge of taking a knife to my head so that I could get the "itch". It scared Mitch enough that he ended up taking me to the emergency department. They did a full check of my blood and a CT scan of my brain. All normal. I was going through Prozac withdrawl AND on top of it all I am "allergic" to it.

I finally had had enough of this, so I made an appointment with a doctor in SLC who had done a lot of research on SSRI's and the like. He spent an hour with me. Read my CT reports said I did not have MS or a brain tumor (thank heavens!) and told me that I needed to get on something else. He also had me do a type of test that showed that I had a very high suicide risk and needed help. So he tapered me off Prozac while putting me on Lexapro and then gave me Klonopin to help with the constant anxiety I was feeling.

At this point things at Mitch's work had basically ended and he was able to stay home with me and help me with the kids. He was such a huge help during this time. He was just letting me sleep as much as I needed and was very understanding. Unfortunately, the Lexapro made me act like a zombie. I showed no emotion, I felt no emotion and I just sat there on my couch not doing much of anything. So back to the doc we went. Luckily, with the Prozac out of my system and the Lexapro doing it's job, I was no longer a high suicide risk although it's always there. He diagnosed me with "situational depression". He took me off the Lexapro and put me on Celexa which seems to work very well. Now if any of you know my life, you know we have moved...a lot. I guess it had finally taken it's toll. It's hard to admit this, and it's hard for me to "see" myself like this, but I'm glad that I'm getting "better". Situational depression can last anywhere from 3 months to a year. He told me I'm probably going to be on this medication for a year.

I've received many blessings and have been on my knees a lot and I know that I'm not alone during this trial of my life. I'm so thankful for my husband (who at this moment is mooning me and dancing around) who stepped up to the plate and played Mom and Dad for a good two months all while trying to keep his own emotions in check and trying to find a new job. I'm also thankful for my Zumba class and all my students and boss who were there to support me and helped me forget about my problems three times a week. I'm thankful for the Pilates classes that helped to get me out of bed every morning and get going on my day. I'm thankful for supportive friends who stood by me and offered a listening ear and would take my kids any time I needed them to. Most of all I'm so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who helped keep me going even in my most darkest moments. I know this trial will just make me stronger and more sensitive towards those that are going through something like this. Lastly, I'm thankful towards both my moms, my dad and step-dad who all called me daily to check on me just to see how I'm doing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Last Supper:

A few days before we moved some of our friends threw us a good-bye dinner. It wasn't very long (I had Zumba to teach), but that 2 hours that we spent together was so much fun. I miss all of them so much. I miss Lisa and Doug and our Hand and Foot nights and dinners we would always get together for. She usually hosted since we have no table. My kids loved playing over there and we always had fun.

Here is my Lisa:

My friend Ginger and her husband Kevin are such a crack-up. It's great when you can be yourself around someone and they don't judge you. For some unknown reason (I'm thinking it's because Ginger finds me unbearably HAWT) we were always grabbing each others butts or doing something off the wall. I also loved to give Kevin, her husband a hard time....Can I get a little WHAT WHAT???

We had just started hanging out with the Hilton's, but man...they are a funny couple. Mitch home taught them and they both would come to my Zumba class. I loved to give Brent a hard time at class and Mindy would just sit there and laugh. Again, it was just awesome to get together with them because we would do nothing but laugh. They had such awesome personalities. I'm going to miss all of our friends, but not to worry we are planning some fun vacations this summer and the laughter will start again.

The Group:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday/Baptism Peyton!!

I'm really late in posting this. Life has been crazy, but I wanted to say a big Happy Birthday/Baptism to my boy Peyton!!

Peyton turned 8 on September 23rd. Eight years since that little boy entered our lives. He was such a cute baby, but definitely hard. I'm happy to say that he has turned into the most sensitive, cute, funny little guy ever.

We had a party for him that Saturday. He wanted to have a Star Wars themed party. I want to thank the following vendors for having what I needed to make this a galactic, wet day. Walmart: For having Star Wars EVERYTHING so I could decorate our backyard. Dollar General: For still having water noodles!!! We cut them in half and made them look like light sabers. They also had water guns that were pretty stars wars-ish looking and water balls for "bombs. Then finally to Family Dollar: For still having water balloons!! Thanks to my friends for the slip n slides and pool. Mitch and I filled and tied over 300 water balloons. They were gone in 15 minutes. We had 5 little boys and 2 girls over here and water was flying everywhere. They had a blast. Then a lunch of hot dogs (*gag*), chips, grapes and of course his favorite drink of root beer. We then did presents and of course he was stoked about everything he got. Then of course we dug into the Star Wars cake that took me 9 hours to make and was devoured in 30 minutes. Oh well. It is how it is. Then of course they trashed my basement (oh well) and home they went. I think he had a fun day. I'm actually positive he had a fun day because he couldn't stop talking about it.

We gave him a Nintendo DSi for his birthday. Boy, was he ever excited. He also got 4 new games to go with it from family members. Thanks! Those games are expensive.

On October 9th Peyton got baptized. He was the ONLY one in our stake getting baptized that day, so we had to arrange EVERYTHING! It was insane, and to be honest I wasn't too thrilled about it. As if I haven't been going through enough stress as it is, but I'm happy to say that it went really well. I want to thank my friends for bringing food and helping me out with prayers and standing in the circle. My grandpa said a talk on the Holy Ghost and I gave one on Baptism. Then came the dunking. It was such a beautiful experience and I'm so proud of him. He was baptized and confirmed by Mitch. What a great day. He looked like such a stud in his suit. I wish I had pictures of it, but of course I still can't find my disc.

Here is one of Peyton from when we got our family pics taken. So handsome.

We love you Peyton and are so proud of you and your decision to get baptized. You are such a wonderful boy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Never Again:

Price doesn't have much to do. Seriously. So when we moved here, we had a lot of people tell us a bunch of free things that could be done around here. One was heading over to the local museum and watching them feed the snapping turtle, alligator and big lizards. So a few weeks ago, I asked the kids if they would be up to it. I will admit, I was a bit hesitant because...well...I know what they feed them.

So off we went. I felt pretty lucky in that there was only one other set of people there waiting to see the action. I did explain to the kids how they fed the animals and they seemed intrigued. What came next will forever haunt....all of us. Except for maybe Cohen. He thought it was cool. Weird kid.

First on the menu: A hamster. Apparently the pet store couldn't sell this particular hamster because it kept biting people. Fitting end for said hamster? I'll let you decide. Anyway, he tossed that sucker in and my kids literally gasped. The snapping turtle came right up and snatched it and took it way down into the murky depths of the tank. All you saw was sand billowing out everywhere. Next were a couple of mice. I don't think I have ever seen Peyton more terrified. He sat there with his hands over his mouth, trying not to scream as the alligator attacked each little mouse. The last mouse took a bit to get eaten and we watched the poor thing climb onto a rock...trying to live. Needless to say, my kids were quite well traumatized by the time they started feeding the lizards.

Here are a few of the lines from Peyton that echoed throughout the museum during this display of...nature:

"PLEASE!! We will take the mice home and take care of them if you don't want them!"


"Mom. This is horrible. Will you please take us home?"

Me: So...uh..What did you think?
Peyton: I think I never want to see that again!
Me: Agreed.

So thanks to all of you who recommended this "activity" and said that it was actually pretty "cool". My kids have not forgotten it...and neither have I.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Age Old Question:

The battle has been going on for many years. Man vs. Woman. He-Man vs. She-Ra. Superman vs. WonderWoman. Batman vs. Catwoman.


I don't know when it happened. I don't know how it happened. But lately Cohen has been very aware of his gender. Not only have I gotten a line like this: "I will do it the MAN way!" but I've gotten a line like this "I want a burrito from a man!".


Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm still here!

It has been a really busy month! First of all my computer died SO SAD! but my awesome hubby surprised me with a new laptop! SWEET! So when I find my little disc to post pictures...I will.

Anessa has started Level 5 of swimming lessons and she's doing really good at it! She's going to be trying out for the swim team here in a few weeks. She has been working hard on her multiplication facts, reading and writing. I can't believe she's going to be in 5th grade!!

Peyton will be starting gymnastics here in a few weeks. The adventures in our house have not ended. Him and Cohen are constantly making up a new story line to entertain us with. He has also been reading up a storm. He reads so well. I'm one proud mom.

Cohen of course has been making us laugh with his quick wit and funny personality. We have been working on sight words this summer and he's catching on quick. He has been helping his dad out with the garden, and when I say that I mean he's been eating the peas out of the garden as quick as we can pick them. I can't get him to eat veggies that I make, but whatever works I guess!! Right?

Aja is doing really good. She's a little actress. She sings songs, dances and bowls us over with those pleading eyes every day. We. Are. Suckers. She's been having fun running around outside trying to keep up with her brothers. The poor girl recently had a run in with a spider or something, but she woke up with bites all over her face. She looks rough. I'm hoping they disappear soon. For now, she's sleeping in our room while we deep clean and hopefully kill whatever has gotten to her.

Mitch and I are doing really good. Just busy with work and raising our kids. I recently had the opportunity to do a Zumba demo here in Price. It was a lot of fun and hopefully will get more people interested in it. Mitch has been really busy at work, but he's managed to keep up on our garden and I'm happy to say that we have some fine pumpkin and squash plants growing and an endless amount of peas. Hopefully we get some tomatoes before it gets too cold. I was excited to hopefully get some raspberries, but the stinkin birds keep getting to them! I curse the birds! Life is good. Price is a great/interesting city. We are trying to learn to sleep through the hours of 2-5 in the morning when it seems that people like to come home or go to work. It's really weird. Price is a whole other world I tell ya!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Born on the 4th of July! No..Seriously.

My Grandma Moore was born on the 4th of July. Sweet. So we decided to pack up our bags and head to SLC for the weekend. Man. It was busy. We got into SLC on Friday and OF COURSE had to hit up our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Puente. Seriously. When you live in a teeny-tiny microscopic town and you head to the "Big City" you need to plan where you are going to eat because in your teeny-tiny microscopic town...there is NOWHERE to eat. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Saturday morning we managed to get my Pop out of the house and see the Last Airbender with us. Great movie! The kids loved it! Then off it was to my grandmas for swimming and birthday celebrations. Didn't get any pictures of kids swimming as I was in the pool too, but trust me..they had fun. After getting sufficiently wet, we went to the SugarHouse fireworks show. We hadn't gone for a long time and they had actually stopped doing it, but had managed to get funding to do it this year, so we decided to go. The kids had so much fun. I just love watching them because it makes me feel as if I'm getting some high parenting points.

Daddy and Aja waiting for the magic to begin. Hey..Nice garments, babe!

My mom and step-dad, Jim. He thought I wouldn't be able to get him on camera. Did I mention that I've got 4 kids? Yeah...I've got the picture taking skillz down by now buddy!

Peyton and my cousin, Chase, hanging out. Yep. I said cousin.

Ness with my cousin (far right) and a friend. They had fun and most DEFINITELY acted like girls. Aja kept trying to keep up with them. She would sit by them and gossip in her little toddler voice. So cute!

The birthday girl herself. She's having FUN! Whee!

We rarely ever get pictures of us together and I thought this one was cute.

So Aja was with the girls being girly, and Cohen was with the boys doing what boys do best, fighting with swords, but when the fireworks started it was a HOLY CRAP! DUCK AND COVER! moment and they dived into mine and Mitch's laps. Pretty funny. Aja wouldn't let Mitch un-plug her ears and she wouldn't do it herself. So this is how Mitch spent his time watching fireworks.

Cohen has the cutest profile. We make the best looking kids ever!

Sunday we headed off to Grandma and Grandpa Bennett's house. It was pretty chilly up there and my kids didn't want to be outside too much. So we played inside, looked at the garden and OF COURSE no trip to Idaho would be complete without Mitch burning stuff down. We had fun visiting and catching up with Grandma, and she got herself some laughs from my kids shenanigans. Unfortunately grandpa was sleeping when this picture was taken, but my kids sure do love him and grandma. They talked about them all the way home.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Supreme Dislike of Autism.

This week has been tough. I won't lie. I won't sugar coat it. I've escaped into the recesses of my room more than once this week to find some peace. Ugh. Regression. BIG TIME regression. I've been noticing it more and more the last couple of weeks, but what do I do? Cohen seems to be having some sort of reaction to some type of food, but can I figure out what it is? Nope. I don't even know where to begin.

It's heart breaking. It's so hard to hear his swimming teacher say "Cohen...Cohen...COHEN". I can't even get his attention. She's had to save him more than once because he just jumps right in the pool all because he's gotten away from me and I couldn't catch him in time. Even getting his attention at home is impossible. Lately we will be walking, and he will all of a sudden stop, contort his body and scream "LOOLOOLOO!" at the top of his lungs. The constant repeating of the same phrases from SpongeBob over and over again. It's as if he can't talk about anything else. His life and experiences are all compared to what he sees on the TV. Then of course there is the flexing. I have tried so many things to get him to stop. My last resort now is a weighted vest. That is the only thing I can think of that will help him.

I've been reading a book called "Tilt" by Elizabeth Burns. There are some really good passages in here that really explain what I'm feeling lately. My first one is found on the cover actually. It says:

"every family spins on its own axis"

There is so much truth in those words.

"Listen. We're wrestling with a God who asked us to step onto the mat. We're bargaining with a deity who's pulled aside the curtain and peered right into our souls. There are no secrets left. We're just here, breathing or gasping. We have no Doctor Spock for the Disabled. We have specialized hand-books depending on the syndrome; we have grief manuals; we have missives of inspiration. But nothing sticks, nothing solves, nothing answers the big questions."

I cried when I read that part because it is SO TRUE.

"And then when I was leaving she said to me, 'I think those of us whose children develop normally never know what it's like to love the way you do. Your heart has to stretch.' Mother, I just cried and told her she made my day."


I know we will get over this little bump in our road of life eventually, but as of right now, I'm worn out, but there is a peace in knowing that through all this Cohen and I will emerge just that much stronger to face the next hurdle.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Years:

Two years ago yesterday, Aja received her VP shunt. I am so thankful for modern technology and that Aja was able to be born during this time so that she could have a chance at life! I'm so thankful that I followed my "mom radar" and did not accept what her previous pediatrician was telling me (who I promptly fired after hearing her diagnosis). I'm also thankful that Little Miss has not had any major set backs from her condition. We have been lucky.

So as we have entered her two year mark, there were some things that we had to get arranged. First time shunts don't normally last more than two years, and hers was actually recalled last summer. Yeah. That was a lovely letter to receive. You should seriously NEVER have faulty hardware for A) The Heart B) The Brain. Luckily, after a CAT scan, hers remains intact. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Since Price is more rural than Logan, I felt really compelled to get Life Flight completely arranged so that in the event of her malfunction we are prepared. Man..Was that the hardest call EVER. I don't get to ride with her in the helicopter. I have to hand my baby over to complete strangers and trust that they don't crash and then she goes into surgery without me. All while I'm racing through the canyon which has...guess what?? NO cell reception. Nadda. ZIP! I cried. The poor gentleman on the phone tried really hard to calm me down, but it was no use. I don't know how people who frequent Life Flight do it. Seriously. It scares the dickens out of me! It's a 30 minute ride from here to Primary Children's. We take her in and they dispatch Life Flight, they immediately get her in to get her CAT scan, by the time that is done the helicopter should be there and they whisk her away. Terrifying. It will seriously be a test of faith not only in God, but in the people who take care of her. I'm lucky to have family that is willing to meet her at the hospital when she gets there and keep me updated. And luckily that person is my dad who Aja ADORES. The reason why she has to take Life Flight is because she no longer has soft spots to give her brain room to expand. The bones have now fused and any amount of pressure can cause problems. Even surgery is a risk. I could have my baby going in functioning at a "normal" level and have her come out with a mental handicap.

Anyway, enough about the scaries. Did I mention that this little girl LOVES Zumba? That is her new thing. She says "Momma! I do Doomba!" (she can't say her Z's yet) and then she puts her hands on her hips and rocks back and forth. Cutest. Thing. Ever. She also dances with the ladies when she comes to class with me. They think she's adorable...Uhh..Who DOESN'T?! She has the cutest little personality and the sweetest voice you will ever hear. I'm so thankful that she is here with us and that we were chosen to raise this little girl!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Little Miss turns 2!

WOW! Time has just flown by since Aja was born. I can't believe she is already two. My baby is growing up. How sad!

This past weekend we got to celebrate her birthday with not just one but THREE parties. I will admit, I'm one tired mom. But we had a lot of fun! Here are some highlights:

Aja in her cute little party dress. It was of course still too big for her (everything is) but she looked like the princess that she is anyway.

Here is Aja's cake. It was a white chocolate cherry almond cake. I think it matched her girly personality really well. She kept saying "Tute!!" when she saw it.

Funny story about this little stuffed dog. Remember how I've told you Aja doesn't like animals? Well that is true about stuffed animals as well. When she opened the present, as soon as she saw the fur, she bolted. She would not come near that present for a good 20 minutes! It was so funny! I'm happy to say that she loves that dog now and won't put it down. Except for when it barks..then she doesn't like it again.

Each of my kids has burned their little nose on the candles at their second birthday party..Except Aja. Make a wish!!

After a long day of partying..Aja is tuckered out. She fell asleep in my grandpa's lap. It was super sweet.

Aja definitely completes our family. She has done so much this past year!

* Aja started walking at 14 months old*
* She has been potty training for a bit now and is getting better*
* Aja loves babies (the fake ones)! She will hold them, carry then around in her little pretend car seat (can't leave home without them. It gets a bit hectic but we make it work for her), cuddle them and rock them to sleep. It's so cute. She will make a good momma one day*
* She has started talking consistently and has the sweetest little voice ever*
* DEFINITELY our little fashionista!*
* She is so polite. She says "please" and "thank you" all the time*
* She can shoot a Nerf gun as good as any little boy. The bonus of having two older brothers*
* Cutest bum wiggle when she walks. Definite attitude in her step*
* Aja LOVES to dance and can't resist a good beat. Her fave song to dance to is Low*
* She's a little mommas girl. I call her my hip leech because that is where you can usually find her*
* Most beautiful eyes ever*


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Little Goblins:

For Memorial Day we decided to pack up the kids and head to Goblin Valley. I'm not quite sure, but I think they had fun. There were endless rocks to climb on, sand to play in and lizards to try and catch. Also, there was the joy of keeping track of Cohen, who not only thinks he's Jay-Z, but thinks that he can climb anything that his brother can and scared the living crap out of me...many times. Also, everyone we walked by Cohen would say "Hey! What's your name? My name is Cohen!" I think six different people told us how cute he was. I'll have to agree with that one.
Aja was super brave, and after a little coaxing from me, was walking around on her own and getting dirty just like the rest of them (which my back was eternally grateful for).

Cohen keeps pulling all these funny moves whenever we try to get a pic of him, so he has been dubbed Jay-Z.

Mama with her kids. I'm so proud of them.

Mitch and the boys managed to climb this really slick rock..without killing themselves.

Ness and Aja looking for rocks. Ness had been studying rocks all during her 4th grade year so she was fascinated by what she could find.

Aja wanted to wear that hat (don't ask me why) and she kept adjusting it into all these funny positions. She was a riot to watch!

And a little view of the scenery. It was a beautiful day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fun Times!

Last weekend the boys got to go to the Father Son's camp-out with our church. I wonder if they had fun??

Mitch with his two little boys and their pocket knives. He's such a proud daddy and loves his boys more than anything.

Who knows what Peyton is scared of, but his face cracks me up. My boys are just like their father. They love being outdoors and they love sleeping in tents. It was a bit chilly that night, but I don't think they could have been happier.

The next morning. I don't know why Cohen felt the need to flash his pimp
signs, but I guess he slept good??

Climbing is fun! Peyton and Cohen are always climbing something.

I'm so glad that they were able to go. Mitch was lucky enough to NOT have to sit up all night long with a fever-ish baby. As he was walking out the door, he hugged Aja and said "she feels a bit warm" and then left. Later that night, she decided to break out with a 103.5 fever. Scared the living TA-WAPP (crapp in Cohen language) out of me. I had a lot of fun things that I wanted to do with Ness, BUT this is how I spent my day:

Apparently Mitch got a kick out of how Aja and I were sleeping. If I moved she moved and she would move into the same position as me.

On another note. Cohen recently had his last day at pre-school! They had a cute little program. I will admit though..It made me cry. Cohen's autistic behaviors really come out when he's in front of people. So while kids were singing songs this is what Cohen was doing:

He did, however, get an award for being the "Letter Guru" since he knows almost all of his letters and sounds:

Four Year Old Euphoria:

Cohen turned FOUR on May 1st! It was such a fun and special day for our little guy! More than anything in the WORLD..he wanted to go to Chuck-E-Cheese. Seriously?? I would have rather taken him to DISNEYLAND than there, but he chose the Chuck. So We headed off to Salt Lake on Friday for a weekend of fun. First stop was the toy store to pick up a new BIKE and some other toys that he got to open the next day. On Saturday, I made him his favorite breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon. Then we got ready and headed off to the Chuck. We met up with some friends from Logan and Salt Lake there and had fun for FOUR hours. FOUR hours at Chuck-E-Cheese. I wanted to die. Every parent there had the same pained look on their face. The look that says, I would rather be getting a colonoscopy than doing this, but I love my kid so I'm..doing this. I don't think the Chuck lived up to his expectations because he hasn't asked to go back. That night we went to Cohen's favorite restaurant..APPLEBEE'S! I don't know what his fascination is with this place...we've eaten there with him like what..five times? After dinner it was time for cake and presents!

Don't hate. My cake was hard to transport and started leaning. Oh well. Plus, it's super hard to make a fabulous looking cake when you aren't at your house and your fondant just doesn't want to work. Lame. However, Cohen was so excited for his Toy Story cake. He loved it and it was super yummy. The waiter told me that it was the most "kick A$$" cakes he ever tasted. Why..Thank You!

It was so much fun to celebrate this special guys birthday with family. We are so thankful for Cohen and love him so much. Here are some highlights of Cohen:

~He was potty trained a week after he turned 3! I was so happy.

~He says some of the FUNNIEST things out there. A few of our favorites are "Mom..You are annoying the TA-WAPP (crapp) out of me!" and a wonderful little gem busted out during sacrament: Me(whispering): Cohen, get your hands out of your pants. Cohen(yelling at the top of his lungs): MOM! I HAVE TO FIX MY WIENER! Congregation: *snicker snicker*

~Cohen stepping out on the back porch many times to...take a pee.

~Kisses on my arms and face and whispering over and over again.."I weawwy (really) wuff (love) you Mom"...melt.

~The funny positions he pulls while sleeping.

~Many mornings we are lucky to see Cohen eat his breakfast completely nude. The boy isn't shy!

~Big blue eyes.

We love you Cohen! Hope you had a wonderful day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clean Eating:

I wanted to tell a little bit about what I've been doing lately. I'm pretty excited about it and SO happy with the results that I had to share. A couple of months ago I noticed that my weight was "stuck". I had lost a lot of my baby weight, but there was 10 pounds that just didn't want to leave, and I was getting really frustrated. Also, my family has a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol (thanks Hispanic genes! HAHA!)

Now I know I'm not ever going to be what I was in high school because I've had four kids and bodies change over the years, but I at least wanted to be less than where I was at. So I started reading, evaluating my diet and talking to one of my friends (who has been one of my best friends since 7th grade) and she kept mentioning "clean eating". So I looked it up online. Basically what you do is you eat 6 small meals a day, but you make sure to eat a COMPLEX carb (oatmeal, REAL whole grain/wheat bread, quinoa, couscous..something along those lines) WITH a lean protein (tofu, chicken breast, tuna, salmon) and then of course your fruits and veggies. Also, you drink 2 cups of water (8 oz) before breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a cup of water before your snacks. HOLY CRAPP! The first week (and I wasn't exercising yet because I had a lame-o head cold) I lost 4 pounds! I was pretty excited. Also, I felt really, really good and I had a lot of energy. I've been keeping up with it for a little over a month now and eating like this and doing Zumba has helped me lose 6 pounds AND 2 inches! Also, I didn't feel hungry and more importantly I wasn't craving sweets like I used to.

Clean eating isn't a diet. It's a lifestyle. It's eating natural foods using natural spices. So a day for me looks like this:

Breakfast: 2 glasses of water, piece of whole wheat bread (I make it myself) with almond butter and honey on top, two egg whites and half a banana. Then I sneak in a cup of milk for my calcium.

Snack: Apple with almond butter or I just eat it plain and water.

Lunch: Usually tuna or chicken in a wrap with tomatoes and lettuce and avocado. Water of course and the rest of my banana.

Snack: Handful of nuts.

Dinner: Chicken. I either throw it on the BBQ, crock pot, or bake it and eat it with sweet potato and salad and of course...water.

I'm not usually hungry after dinner, but if you are you can have an apple or some nuts to tide you over. I just keep drinking water or I have a glass of green tea.

Seriously not hard, nor do I feel like I'm lacking in anything. I also add a lot of flax seed to my diet because it's like super healthy for your body and heart. Up the fiber! It helps! You should also make sure you drink at least 8 cups of water a day to keep your body hydrated. It also helps your skin look a lot better!

I've been teaching Zumba for 3 weeks now and I seriously LOVE IT! It's so much fun, and I have a lot of regulars. I really miss my group from Logan that I used to go with, but it has been fun getting to know people around here and teaching them to shake it! It's funny. The other day I was subbing for the other Zumba teacher, and one of the ladies said to me "I've heard about you. You're the one that can really shake her butt". HAHA! I've actually had a lot of people say something like that to me. Yes, you shake your hips in a lot in Zumba. It's how Latin people dance! Seriously, if there is a Zumba class that is offered by you, go try it out! I promise you will have a lot of fun!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Do you ever have those times when you are just so proud of your kids that you want to shout it out to the world? Yeah. I'm totally feeling that right now. Aja has made SO MUCH progress lately that it completely blows my mind. We usually never go to the park. We always play around the yard at home (and even that is tricky at times with Aja). Reason being is that Aja HATES the park with a passion. She usually will just sit there and scream and cry and cling to me (wait she does that already. Hence her nickname Hip Leech). I think it's because the kids are moving around so fast, it's loud and she's terrified of the big toys. Makes going to the park no fun. I don't know why she is like that. I don't know if she's overly cautious or if her perception of things is off because of her condition. Either way, we take things slow around this household.

With limited things to do around here in Price, UT, we decided that going to the park is something we HAVE to do not only for our sanity, but for the sanity of the older kids who actually love the park. So we went. Of course, we get there and Aja immediately starts screaming. So I told Mitch to go off with the older kids and keep an eye on them and I would work with Little Miss. We went to a "quiet" part of the park and just sat on the bench and talked. Then Aja climbed off the bench and played in the wood chips for awhile. I took this opportunity to just talk quietly to her and kind of scooted my way backward so she would have to walk towards me. She followed (always keeping a hand on me I might add). I then went and sat on a step in the big toy and she again followed. We played there for about 15 minutes and then she said she wanted to "walk". So she held my hand and we walked to the toddler side of the park. There she walked across the little bridge they had there, she crawled through the tunnels AND even tried the balance beam! Seriously. I was so happy I was jumping up and down hooting and crying at the same time. I'm sure other parents thought I was nuts, but who cares! We both got dirty (because I had to do it first to show her that it was okay) and we both had a lot of fun! Also, Aja has been super brave and has been running around in the grass here at the house! She used to just sit on the sidewalk and scream.

Now this might not seem like a big deal to many of you, but when you have a child with special needs EVERY accomplishment is a big deal! I try not to read into everything that Cohen and Aja do/say because I know every kid is going to have their off days, but Aja does have something going on in her little head and we can't figure out what it is (we know it's not autism), but I'm SO HAPPY that I was able to break her out of her shell and get her to act like the almost 2-year-old she is!

So give a big WHOOT! WHOOT! for Aja!

Love this girl!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Easter is seriously one of my most favorite holidays because everything is starting to get green, it's semi-warm and the beautiful sun is out. Every year I try to do something fun for the kids to teach them that Easter isn't about the Easter Bunny at all but about the Resurrection of Christ. We do this all on Saturday since I think it's torture to kids to sit there with basket in hand while you try to tell them about the Resurrection on Sunday.

This year we made "cave Cupcakes". The chocolate cupcake represent the cave that Jesus was placed in and to represent Jesus we used a marshmallow. Then I decorated them with "grass and flowers". The kids had a lot of fun, and I'm happy to say that all (except for Aja) when asked Easter morning remembered what our lesson was about. Parent points to me!!

Then came the decorating fun!

I'm proud to say that Anessa no longer thinks that eggs will explode when dropped into the cup o' dye!

Mitch, who recently found out that a future stunt-man position is not in his future, has a lot of fun decorating eggs with his kids. I always find interesting messages written on my"Mommy is HAWT" and "You have a nice bum". This year I asked him to not write suggestive messages on my eggs so he wrote "Mommy is SMART" which is a joke to me complaining one day that he never told me that I was smart or something like that he just always told me I was sexy. So now whenever he wants to say I'm sexy..he says I'm so smart. Nice.

Peyton, who is obsessed with Link right now, drew Link "symbols" all over his eggs. He cracks me up. *no pun intended*

Cohen, who is a PRO at writing his name and is ultra proud of it, wrote his name all over his eggs.

Poor kids. Aja barreled into the front room and totally pillaged everyones basket prior to going to her own. Then she wouldn't hunt eggs UNLESS she had an open box of nerds in her hand. Such. A. Stink.

Cohen was proud of the eggs that he found, but he was more interested in the Sea Monkeys the Easter Bunny left in his basket. I'm proud to say that we are now the proud owners of Sea Monkeys which are now hatched and swimming around. *full body shiver*

Then of course..Easter outfits. My boys..are not cooperative when it comes to getting pictures taken. Peyton does okay, Cohen likes to make things "interesting"and I say that in the most loving way. Not in the "I'm kind of ticked off because I couldn't get a decent picture of you" way...not at all. HAHA!
This is as good as it gets.

My girls do a bit better although Aja is getting to be a bit difficult. Proof here. Looking at the camera and NOT poking and pinching Anessa in the face so she can look decent proved to be a challenge for Aja.

And the proud parents of it all...Us. Excuse the wind. The wind is never ending in Price.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shine a Light...

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Today you will see the Bennett Family wearing blue in support of our little guy Cohen (I should say BIG guy. He hates it when I call him my little guy) and other children and adults affected by this life altering condition.

While Cohen is making HUGE strides, we have our struggles every day. I just don't write about them. During the day Cohen feels so overwhelmed by things that he will sit there and flex. This happens every day. I have to put him on my lap and squeeze him for about 5 minutes every couple of hours so that he gets that input that he needs. If I didn't do that, then he would probably flex all day long. I don't know why he needs/does it, but after our "session" he seems to feel better and will run off and find something to do.

There are still times when Cohen would rather trace the same path over and over again in a room than go and play with the other kids. Also, he will get some thought or idea stuck in his head and repeat the phrase or action over and over until he freaks out because what he wants is not possible. BUT I can say that this is a completely different kid than the one you saw almost 2 years ago. We have words. We have smiles. We have laughter. And we have sparkly blue eyes that really LOOK at us instead of staring through us like they used to. And it's all because of the hard work of therapists, us and Cohen. And I'm so thankful. Cohen being diagnosed autistic was hard. Mitch and I cried. We cried because we had just been through hell with Aja, and we cried because we didn't know what Cohen's future held. But now we laugh. We praise. We get excited for what his future holds. We know that it could have been much, much worse.

Don't diminish...Be aware. That is the best thing you could do for a family going through something like this. You have no idea what happens behind closed doors. Be accepting. Listen. Because life with an autistic child is hard..and it's consuming.

Shine a light...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Cutest Criminal on the Block:

We have done time-out with all of our children. With some kids it works and with some it doesn't. I have NEVER had a child stand there (quietly I might add), think things through and come out having learned their lesson and not repeat the infraction for an extended period of time. Until Aja. We have started to do time-outs with Aja since moving to Price, and I have to say...It works wonders. Not only does she stand their quietly, she also stands there like I'm about to throw her over a police cruiser and cuff her for finding something in her pocket.

And when she comes out she gets a huge hug and a snuggle because...well..Who could resist someone as cute as this!