Friday, January 31, 2014

TGIF | Friday Fragments {Ugly Crying & Challenges}

I am a HUGE How I Met Your Mother Fan. If you've never seen an episode of How I Met Your Mother or if you used to watch but got bored waiting for Ted to meet the "Mother" - Monday night's 200th episode was one of THE BEST of the entire series and one you should watch. Truly worth the wait, because they nailed it. And by the time we got to the First Song, I was ugly crying. You may want to grab some tissues before watching.  

Earlier this week I tweeted a comedian who used "autistic" to make fun of someone's dancing. You will NEVER believe the response I got! You can read all about it, HERE.


I've been participating in the #365FeministSelfie Challenge created by Veronica of Viva La Feminista. I love seeing what other women are sharing across social media. Don't feel pressured to do it every day - I certainly don't.  Below is the Instagram picture that I shared on Monday morning while on my way to work. But my pictures throughout the week tell a different story and by #365FeministSelfie is looking a wee bit different.    


And speaking of challenges...It's about time I start challenging myself. I gained a lot of weight in 2013 and I really need to get it under control. I began 2014 tipping the scale at 175lbs. I need to get motivated. I need to get back in the gym and working out at home and eating better. So starting tomorrow February 1st (ending March 2nd) I'm doing the Athleta 30 Day Squat Challenge. Will you join me?  

TGIFriday Fragments! 

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Monday, January 27, 2014

Thank You Tyler Gildin {Comedian Apologies for using "Autistic" as a Joke}

This morning, I quickly scrolled through my FB feed and saw a link to The Most Awkward Dance Moments of The 2014 Grammy Awards. I didn't watch the Grammy's so I was interested in seeing some of the write ups. And Tyler Gildin's article was pretty hilarious. 

Then I saw the caption: Autistic Bear Bounce. And I stopped laughing. 

Because the singer's (I'm old and have no idea who the woman is) dance movements looked like The Boy's stim - eyes half closed, arms moving up and down stiffly. And it pained me. The Boy cannot help his stim. He does it when he's excited or frustrated or scared. 

And lately, The Boy's been interested in dancing. He's always talking about having a "dance party." His dancing, is usually just jumping up and down or moving stiffly from side to side. Dancing doesn't come naturally to him. It's only in the last year that he's acquired the motor planning to dress himself. 

I took the joke of "Autistic Bear Bounce"personally. I couldn't just let it go. So I left a comment. And then I sent Tyler Gildin a tweet.

And you know what happened? He not only changed the caption but he apologized. 

Tyler Gildin could have been a jerk (ahem, DL Hughley). Gildin could have easily turned against me on Twitter and made me a target of his ridicule. And he didn't have to change his article. But he did. And I appreciate it. 

Someone replied to my comment, saying I should "chill out." But I just can't chill when it comes to autism or any other special need being the punchline to a joke. It's not okay to make fun of autism. Ever. I have written about use of the 'r-word' and I worry that autism will soon replace it as a derogatory term. I don't want to be the word police. But people must be held accountable. People need to understand why their words matter. I hope Gildin understands the power and impact of his words. And I hope that he'll think before using autism as the punchline.   

When I think of how hard The Boy has worked to do all the things that come so easily for other kids like point his finger, wave, jump or speak. I am so proud and I cherish every one of those milestones (they are often the things that keep me going). It’s incredibly painful when people use autism as a term of ridicule. 

The Boy is growing up. One day, he may like a girl or want to play basketball with the neighborhood kids or apply for a job. I don't want to think about him being left out or made fun of because he's different. All I want is for him to be given a chance and to be understood.

I'm just one mom. I can't change the world. But today, I changed one person's mind.  And it's a small victory.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

TGIF | Friday Fragments

Last night I made the mistake of staying up late to watch a movie and went to bed after midnight. By 3am, I was woken up by The Boy. I heard the pitter patter of his flat feet hitting the parquet floors and a door slam. I jumped out of bed and into The Boy's room and saw his blanket was missing. I felt his sheet. It was wet. We started nighttime potty training.

"Where's your blanket?" I asked The Boy.

"I put it in the laundry," The Boy replied. 

He actually put the blanket in the dryer. And he never went back to sleep. Which meant, I never went back to sleep. 


I checked my bank account and saw $30 spent on Apple iTunes. The Boy figured out the passcode and ordered $30 in Apps. YAY! for typical age appropriate sneaky kid behavior. BOO! for $30 in Apps that he'll probably serve no purpose.  

The Boy turned eight years old last Sunday. Eight! That's two years away from ten. And five years from being a teen… Okay, I'll stop now. 

Like most moms, I reflect and wonder where the time went. I wish I could will time to stand still. And I think about his future. Thinking about his future usually keeps me up at night. The Boy's birthday is celebrated but it brings about such complex emotions.

And last Friday night I was given a makeover. I don't get gussied up often, but when I do I need a team to make it happen. More details on that next week. 

TGIFriday Fragments! 

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Sunday, January 19, 2014

AW Sunday Review | 7 Steps to Nighttime Dryness

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of  Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness  and a Dry-Me Enuresis Alarm for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

The Boy will be eight years old tomorrow and he still wears a pull up at night. It took us a few years for him to be fully potty trained during the day. I've been holding off night time potty training.

When I was approached by Renee Mercer, MSN, CPNP, the author of Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness to review a copy of her book and to try the Dry Me Enuresis Alarm - I immediately said yes.

I just finished reading through the book and I think I'm really ready to start. Commitment and consistency are critical during daytime potty training and even more so for nighttime.

What I like about the Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness is that it helps explain bedwetting and possible factors (including constipation). The book also breaks down the different alarms so that you may pick the one that's best for your child. There's also a weekly progress chart to help keep track. 

While the "7 Steps" is written for "typical" kids, Mercer has a section that goes "Beyond Seven Steps" which addresses special cases including kids with special needs. Mercer assures that if a child has maintained dryness during the day that nighttime dryness is a strong possibility. She goes on to say that: If you have a child with special needs, it is important to understand your goal. And then proceeds to explain various options. 

My goal is to get The Boy to wake up to use the bathroom during the night. And the Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness has given me the tools and motivation to start the process. 

In the next few weeks, I'll share how we're preparing and our progress with the Dry-Me alarm. 

If you're considering daytime potty training your child, check out my Parents posts: 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of  7 Steps to Nighttime Dryness  and a Dry-Me Enuresis Alarm for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You Would Have Been Three

The May I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I was happy. It was the right time. We were ready. The due date was January 20th - The Boy's birthday.

That August - in my 16th week - I had a missed miscarriage

This is an open letter to my baby in heaven: 

I don't even know if you were a boy or a girl. In my mind, I imagine you as a girl. A little girl with bobbed curls, dimpled cheeks and bright eyes. You are the little sister, Norrin asks for. I would have named you Leia. 

You would have been three years old. 

There is not a day that passes that I do not think of you. But the days in August and January are the ones that make my heart ache the most. August is when I lost you and I mourn for my loss. And January, I mourn for you and all the things you could have been. 

As I shop and prepare for Norrin's 8th birthday. I think of you. And I have to stop to catch my breath and blink my tears away. I think about how fun three can be. And what party theme you would have wanted. 

I think about how unfair my grief is to Norrin. It's hard to celebrate another year of life, when I am reminded of loss. When he sees me crying, he sits besides me and asks if I've been watching a sad movie. And I envy his innocence. He is unaware I am crying for you. 

On the 20th, I hold my tears in. It is Norrin's day and I celebrate him. When we light his candles, I think about all the progress he's made over the course of the year.  And when he blows out the candles, I make a wish for Norrin and say a prayer for you. 

While I was pregnant, people asked me if I was scared of having another child with autism. But this week as I think of you at three years old. I don't think of autism or special education or more therapists in our home. 

All I think about is how much joy you would have brought us. I think about how I would have loved tucking you in and reading you bedtime stories. I think about what an awesome big brother Norrin would have made. I think about how wonderful it would have been for Norrin to have a sibling, to have someone else in this world, someone he could depend on after I am gone. I think about all the memories and milestones we have been denied.

I think how much I would have loved to hold you, even if just once.


Life is Like a Bicycle | #WordlessWednesday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stock Up On Healthy Essentials | #Moms4JNJConsumer #ad

DisclaimerThis post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

I have this little ritual around New Year's. I go into major clean mode. I start organizing, sorting and throwing things away. I like going into the New Year feeling like I have a completely fresh start. One of the areas I spent a lot of time was my linen closet. 

My linen closet - by the way - has no linen. It's pretty much a storage space for towels,  toiletries, first aid necessities and other healthy essentials. I toss anything that's expired and if it doesn't have an expiration date - if I can't remember when I bought it, then it goes too. Then I take stock of what I have and what I need. 

Turned out, I needed quite a few things. Luckily I received this beautiful box of Healthy Essentials…

And it's great to know that there's a way to save on other healthy essentials not found in my box of goodies. Guess what? You can too. 

Get Significant Savings from Healthy Essentials this Month

To help families usher in a healthy New Year, HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more. Here’s the deal: you can save over $45 by visiting in January and signing up for extra-special HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® coupons and offers.

Now is the perfect time for a fresh start to your healthcare routine and to create healthy resolutions. From pain & allergy relief to dietary & digestive health to products for kids & babies, there are significant savings on items for every member of the family! Visit to sign up!

I am excited to join Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies for a Twitter party to talk about HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® for the New Year, resolutions, family wellness and how to score great deals on health and hygiene products! Learn how HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® can help you reach health-related goals for 2014.

When: Tuesday, January 14, 1 p.m. ET

Hashtag: #Moms4JNJConsumer 

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @TheMotherhood25 

Prizes: We will randomly award 15 prizes throughout the party, from all eligible correct responses to trivia questions. Each prize includes an assortment of Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® products with an estimated retail value of $50.

Prize Eligibility: No purchase necessary. Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States + D.C. 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited.

Want to go to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™? Visit and see if your wish could come true. Plus, get tips and coupons to save on your favorite products for the New Year.

All you have to do is share a picture or story of a moment of caring in your life and you could scream “GOAL!” from Brazil.

Visit for more information on this amazing opportunity!

DisclaimerThis post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thank You LATINA Magazine | 37 Latina Bloggers You Must Know in 2014

LATINA | February 2014 
Autismwonderland began as a grad school course assignment in September 2010. When I first started writing only my professor and a handful of friends were reading. I never imagined that an obligatory assignment, my labor of love would have such a powerful impact on my life.

When I first started blogging, I had no idea that there were so many amazing Latina bloggers. And little did I know that many of them would become close friends. Many of my blogging friendships began on line. And over the years, I've had the pleasure to meet them in real life.

Earlier this week, I squealed out loud when I saw this tweet:

To be recognized by Latina magazine as 1 of the 37 Latina bloggers to follow in 2014 is such an honor. And I am so especially proud to be among so many talented women…may women I am proud to call amigas.    

To meet the other fabulous Latina Bloggers visit:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Max Loses His Only Friend | #Parenthood (Season 5, Episode 12) "Stay a Little Longer"

Parenthood: Season 5, Episode 12
Stay a Little Longer (Jan 9, 2014)

I've been watching Parenthood since it started. I don't know why I've never written about it before. I love the show. (It also sort of annoys me…but I don't want to get into that now.) The show tackles subjects that really hit close to home for me. Last night's episode - rather Max' story line - really moved me.

Adam's confused when Micah ignores Max at school. Micah is still Max's best friend, right? Max says they aren't friends anymore, but refuses to elaborate. Kristina wants to call Micah's parents, but Adam is determined to solve the issue directly with Max. After much probing, Max tells Adam that Micah's obsessed with basketball, which is stupid since he's in a wheelchair and can't play. Wheelchair basketball isn't basketball. Maybe that's what offended Micah... Per Adam's suggestion, Max apologizes to Micah and invites him to a Golden State Warriors game complete with hot dogs and nachos. Too busy with his new friends, Micah says no. Adam's heart breaks; Max has lost his only friend. Kristina and Adam rally, revving Max up for an awesome basketball game with his parents.

What I love about Adam and Christina (Max' parents) is how differently they feel when it comes to Max. It's honest and relatable. Over the years, I've seen them grow as a couple and evolve as special needs parents. And yet there is still so much they have yet to learn. I think they believed that because Max and Michah both have disabilities (for lack of a better word) - it would be the ideal friendship. However, Micah's rejection of Max reveals that having a disability doesn't automatically mean you can tolerate or understand someone else's.  

Adam tells Christina, "Max has lost his only friend at school and kids at school are starting to notice his differences and he's all alone." 

It's an experience I can see our family having. Maybe that's why last night's episode hurt my heart so much.

The Boy doesn't go to school with typical kids but he is getting older. The Boy will turn eight years old in two weeks. And the older he gets the more obvious his differences become. The Boy does not have the same interests as a 'typical' 8 year old boy. There are times when I wonder if The Boy experiences loneliness. Even if he doesn't, whenever we're at the playground and The Boy is playing alone - I feel it for him.

Breaking up with a friend is painful. When I walked away from a 20 year friendship it was a difficult decision but I knew it had to be done. And while I missed my friend, I took comfort in the fact that I had other valuable friendships. I could not imagine losing my one and only friend.     

I know Max is only a character in a television show, but that rejection is real. It's something so many kids with autism face. And it's damaging. I never want The Boy to go through that. If I could shield him from those experiences forever, I would. But I can't. 

The Boy doesn't need to be the most popular kid at school. All I want is for The Boy to have one kid, at least one person who gets him.  

While Max has lost his only friend at school, I'm grateful that he has Hank. Because Hank is someone who gets Max.

And I hope there's someone like Hank in The Boy's life.

And if you have no idea what I'm talking about...check out this clip from last week's Parenthood episode, "Promises." (I was a hot sloppy sobbing mess watching this.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

8 Social Media Goals for 2014

It's the first day of 2014. Every few months or so I contemplate the point of my blog. One of my New Year Resolutions is to scale back on my work load. But that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up blogging. While some things are better left behind in 2013, there is so much to look forward to in 2014. 

My 8 Social Media Goals

Get a professional headshot. Because my iPhone selfie can no longer cut it. This has to be at the top of my list. I'm going to make this a priority in the near future. After three years of blogging, I think it's time.

Create an About Me page. I honestly never thought about creating one until a friend suggested it's something all bloggers should do. And since my friend is pretty successful, I'll heed her advice.

Pin Like a Mad Woman. I don't spend much time on Pinterest but when I'm on it, I like it. And I like having all my favorite things in one place. Like today, I started a "1st Time Couponer" Pin Board. I am determined to learn how to coupon, I'm hoping my coupon blogger friends will have some advice for me. 

Update my Linked In Profile. More advice from another successful blogger. 

Read More. Last year I was so busy, I lost track of some of my favorite blogs. It's impossible to catch up but I want to make time to read the bloggers I love and discover some new ones.

Say No. I almost always say yes to things. Even to the things I don't have time to do. Last month I said no to a major opportunity. After I weighed the pros and cons, I realized it wasn't something that would make me or break me. As a mom who works full-time outside of the home (in a field completely unrelated to blogging) and being a niche blog - I have to be super selective to what I say yes to. Saying no felt good, I felt like I was in control. I only want to do things I truly want to do, otherwise - what's the point? 

Make dates to meet on line friends in real life. I have met so many wonderful women through blogging and many of them are in NYC. I shouldn't have to wait until a blog conference in another state to see them. I want to be more proactive in making dates to meet. 

Unplug. After a year of writing for Babble, I decided it was time to leave. I was working so much on blogging that it was hard to keep up with everything. I was tired of juggling. It feels good knowing I have lightened my work load but that doesn't mean I'm ready to quit altogether. I love writing and sharing our story. But I also know I want to spend less time on line and more time in real life

What are your social media goals for the new year?