Friday, May 29, 2009

I have about 10 books to review. Yup. I've been really busy reading since my grad classes have ended 4 weeks ago. But I've also had extra time to read. Adam has been home for the last 2 weeks. And a few days missed 2 weeks before that too

Reviews and the story of why he's missed so much school will be coming shortly.

Until then, I'll leave you with this (from the lovely lady who provides me with books to read) as a preview of one of the books I'll be reviewing real soon:

HELP! I've Been Working Out Like Crazy, Eating Right and STILL Can't Lose Weight
A Do-Now, 4-Step Guide to Kick Starting Summer Weight Loss
By Wendy Chant,
Author of Conquer the Fat-Loss Code

Few things in this life are as frustrating as working hard to look better, firm up or slim down and, after a few weeks -- or a few months -- of eating right and exercising STILL having nothing to show for it! But take heart; often it's just the few, simple things we do to "kick start" our program that can make all the difference.
And let's not forget: progress shows up on the inside first and the outside second! All that hard work and effort is creating a healthier, heartier, stronger you, even if you can't see it right away. With spring nearly over and beach weather almost here, sometimes we just need a pre-summer "booster shot" to make sure that our outside catches up in time for bikini season.
The following 4-Step Guide will help you find the hidden saboteurs in your current diet and fitness plan and help you overcome the spring plateau to find you facing summer with a brand new you -- inside AND out:
  • Step 1 – Hit the "Reset" Button: When something isn't working, it's insanity to keep doing what isn't paying off. If the scale isn't budging, if your pants still feel the same around the middle, if you know you've been trying your hardest and nothing is simply working, stop beating your head against the same brick wall and start all over again. That's right; hit the "reset" button. Treat tomorrow like the first day -- not the 101st -- and use this time to reexamine how you're approaching whatever system you've been using. Don't see it as a failure but as a new opportunity to reinvigorate and reexamine your current plan for cracks and leaks to see what might be going wrong.
  • Step 2 – Write it Down: The best way to start from scratch is to go back and start writing down everything you put in your mouth for a few days. You may or may not have done this at the beginning of your program but, if so, do it again. Oftentimes we work so hard at the basics -- setting the alarm, exercising, cutting out one food group, etc. -- that we let other bad habits slip in, forgetting that our after-work out smoothie has more fat grams, sugar and calories than breakfast and lunch combined. It is often these systematic saboteurs that can derail an otherwise healthy fitness plan and the only way to properly identify them is to see them, in black and white, in a Food Diary.
  • Step 3 – Give it Up: If, thanks to Step 2, you notice that those granola bars you've been nibbling on for breakfast are packing a whopping 340-calories and 16 grams of fat, not to mention 23 grams of sugar, try something else for a week and see if you notice a difference in either your weight or the fit of your pants. If you do everything the same and, one-by-one eliminate or replace one item at a time, like a sugary-sweet "healthy" granola bar or a calorie and fat-packed "health" smoothie, you have probably just identified your plateau culprit and by eliminating or replacing it you will see more and more progress as the weeks go by.
  • Step 4 – Switch It Around: Lastly, the body doesn't respond well to routine. By that I mean the Law of Adaptation states that if you do the same thing, at the same pace, at the same time, for the same length of time every single day, even if it's something absolutely great for you like walking around the block six times or riding your bike for 35-minutes, your body WILL adapt and the exercise won't be as effective. It's always good to keep your body, and the Law of Adaptation, on their toes by switching up your workouts, your pace, your duration, even your mealtimes to keep the body active, your metabolism perky and your diet and fitness goals on track.

As you can see, as hard as you work, if you're not paying attention to those little details they can easily sneak up and derail all your hard work and effort. But fear not; now you have the tools -- four of them to be exact -- to be alert and vigilant for these fitness foes and diet disasters to look and feel great anytime of the year.

©2009 Wendy Chant, author of Conquer the Fat-Loss Code

Author Bio
Wendy Chant, author of Conquer the Fat-Loss Code, is a certified personal trainer and a specialist in performance nutrition. She holds a bachelor of science degree in medical science and nutrition science. A champion bodybuilder, she opened her own training center, ForeverFit® , in 1998.

For more information please visit

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Thursday, May 7, 2009


Tuesday Adam went home sick from school. It wasn't too much of a surprise. He woke up with a runny nose, but I made him go because he had a science quiz. I told him he had to take it and could go to the nurse afterwards if he wasn't feeling better. So, he took his quiz and went to the nurses office.

Tuesday night he started a low grade fever, so I kept him home Wednesday. Wednesday he woke up with a low grade fever, but it was gone by lunch and hasn't returned. But I kept him home today in case it did. Cuz I'm an awesome Mom that listens to the 24-hour-free-fever-rule.

Well, that and tonight my last project is due and it's also my final. So I really didn't mind missing work. Gives me some time to study more, and spend time with Adam more (since he has definitely been neglected some this semester).

I thought he was feeling better today. But then he went and cleaned out his backpack ON HIS OWN. He threw out tons of papers, and sorted those that were left into their proper notebooks.

THEN he took a paperbag from the grocery store and made a mask out of it. An art project. My son does not do art projects. At all. And all the while telling me how much better paper is than plastic. Not just for the environment, but for mask making. Because, you know Mom, it's really not easy or a good idea to make masks out of plastic bags.

He has no fever. His runny nose is just about gone. He's not really sick anymore. But I can't say he's acting normal either!

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Moms and Food

Thanks to Devra and Sarah, the DC Metro Moms enjoyed a lovely night out at The Good Stuff Eatery. Eating. Talking. Meeting Spike from Top Chef.

This blogging thing brought us all together. We are all moms. We all come from different walks of life, have different opinions, are parenting children of many different ages and needs, yet this doesn't put up dividers in our ability to be friends. Because we are all Moms. The sisterhood of moms.

And as we approach Mother's Day, what a better way to celebrate than to recognize the sisterhood of moms.

Quaker kindly sponsored our evening, But more importantly also made a donation to the Capital Area Food Bank (which Devra, Sarah, and Spike are also involved in). The Food Bank is always in need of donations. With the economy in the state it is, people are turning to community services and public assistance and more than ever.

I remember as an elementary and middle school child going with my Mom into New Haven to help serve dinners to homeless Moms and their children. My Mom always reminded me that it wouldn't take much for us to be on the other side of the serving table. I could easily be that child never knowing where my next meal would be.

That message that it doesn't take much to be on the other side has always stayed with me. And despite having a job and some money saved up, I know that it wouldn't take too many series of unfortunate events to end up there. And as a mother, struggling to feed her child, I would be grateful to companies like Quaker who are taking a role in helping those in need.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why we're looking into social skills groups now

Adam doesn't have an IEP. He does have a 504 Plan. And for the most part, it really is all he needs. Because he's in the GT program, it's hard to show where the educational impact of Aspergers comes in. Because, for him, academics are not the issue.

For him, his area of weakness is social skills and organization. He can greet and have conversations, and in several settings appear typical to an untrained eye. But he definitely has his moments.

One of them was this week. He came home very upset. As in got his stuffed animal and rocked (I've never seen this reaction before). Seems at the end of lunch while his class was waiting for the teacher to pick them up from the cafeteria he went over to a peer and the peer pinched and pushed him away. Adam left, but then returned and was once again pushed. He left and returned for a third time to which the peer told him to go away.

I asked him why he kept going back if he was getting pushed. Adam told me it was because he wanted to talk with some of the kids that were congregated. He told me after the 2nd time it occurred to him that maybe if he stopped singing the others wouldn't mind him being there.

"Wait, you were singing Adam?"


"What were you singing?"

"The National Anthem"

"Ummm, why?"

"I just wanted to see if I still remembered all the words. Then I thought that was why they didn't want me there. Because maybe they didn't want to hear that song."

Adam's been having more interactions with peers this year that start off OK (well, OK, this one was doomed from the start), but after the initial conversation Adam has difficulty reading others cues, or when there is more than 2 kids with Adam in the conversation.

We alsy happened to have a doctor's appointment this week. For the first time his pediatrician recommended social skills groups, and I'm thinking he might be right.

But here is my concern with social skills groups: you stick a bunch of atypical kids in a room to learn and practice contrived situations. And then you send them home. There is no one to monitor the child practicing to give corrective feedback or praise in the natural setting. Which is why we've never signed him up for them before. And because there is no educational impact he doesn't get special services in school (and honestly, to work on this particular skill, in a natural setting without a teacher making it look obvious to the peers would be VERY difficult).

I've always worked on the skills with Adam 1:1 with a rationale, model, and practice; and then worked on them with him with play dates. And it's worked. But he's getting older. He doesn't always want me with his play dates. And he hangs outside more with the neighborhood kids. It's getting harder for me to do this.

It just may be time to try a social skills group.

*the student pushing him did have a consequence of having to eat in the principals office the next day.

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Then Came Thursday. Again.

I started the week off great - losing only 1 pound, but noticing I was CONSTANTLY pulling my pants up because they were too loose in the waist!

This week I stuck with:
- Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones
-bike riding for 45 minutes and Shred Level 1

I REALLY wanted to get some running in, but it was either way to hot or raining. It needs to stop raining (for about a week now, with about 4 more days forecasted) so I can start the 5K in 6 weeks program. I can already run for 30 min straight, but I have no idea if I'm running 1 mile or 5. I need to track it and then set a goal to raise it.

But back to this week, I was doing great with one of the options Sun - Wed then came Thursday (I have grad class) and Friday (I'm wiped from the week) and Saturday (busy with errands and stuff). My final is this Thursday and my goal is to somehow come up with a plan to keep exercising at the end of the week. I'm great at sticking to it Sun - Wed, but fall apart Thurs - Sat. I see results Sun - Wed, and plateau Thurs - Sat. You'd think it'd be motivation to workout Thurs - Sat, but it's not yet.

Ideas fellow shredders?

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