A Modern Day Fairy Tale: October 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I got this wonderful idea from Beth Ann's blog, who linked up with Jamie @ this kind of love and decided I wanted to join in. With everything going on in our lives right now, I have made it a goal to stay positive, so when I saw this I thought it would be a great way to a) keep things looking on the bright side and b) get me posting more regularly. So this is what I'm loving this Wednesday:

I'm loving:

Halloween! I love all of the holidays so this comes as no surprise to those that know me! I think Shaun might actually *get* trick or treating this year as well, and I can't wait!

I'm loving:

Mocha Cappucino Hot Cocoa sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and Pumpkin Muffins! You can find the recipe for the muffins here, you will thank me for this! Nothing better on a cold (for California) afternoon than curling up with a good book and a warm and tasty treat.
And for those not on Facebook I will once again point out that this is actually a photo of my sister in law's drink. Mine would be in a Tinkerbell mug with MUCH more whipped cream.

I'm loving:

My new Gap sweater that I found at a yard sale for $1. It still had the tags and everything. I hate cold weather, but I love cold weather clothes! (See, always a bright side!)

I'm loving:

My new hobby- painting/crafts! I'm still learning, but I'm enjoying it anyway! I have never been a crafty person and have envied those that were, so when Shaun started school and I was left wondering what to do with this new found free time, I decided I was going to force it out!

I'm loving:

Having my sister in law, Bethany, stay with me during this year long deployment. While it obviously cannot make up for Matt being gone, it has definitely made it much more bearable! It has been so long since I had female company, it was much needed! We have shared some wonderful moments already- her 'I want to suck your blood' face cracks me up every time- and I look forward to the rest of this time!

I'm loving:

My boys, always. Even with their silly ways (both of them!), they still know how to win me over every time and I could not imagine my life without either of them, or love them any more than I do. I was very blessed to have been chosen to be Matt's wife and Shaun's mommy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

525,600 Minutes

Last week marked the one year anniversary of Shaun's diagnosis with autism, and what a year it has been. For me, the diagnosis brought on a roller coaster of emotions. Never once did I give up on Shaun, but that didn't stop the worry as a parent that he was going to have to work so much harder than most. Or the fear of the unknown future. Or the guilt and worry that there was something we could have done to prevent this, or something that had caused it, or that we missed the early signs and could have gotten him the help he needed sooner. Or even the anger towards the doctor who told us that there was no way possible that Shaun would ever be diagnosed with autism. For the most part I have moved on from the initial negative reactions and have accepted that this is the hand we have been dealt. As I have said many times before, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that Shaun has and will continue to touch many people.

Even though it's only been a year, it's hard to look back and remember life before autism. Shaun has come such a long way with his therapies! I have touched on this progress in past blogs and on Facebook as well, so I won't bore you with too many details, but a few major milestones cannot go without mentioning. Through ABA therapy and our own understanding of how to draw it out of him, Shaun's eye contact has improved greatly- though it's not always consistent. He has made great improvements in speech and has recently started appropriately using the phrase, "I want". This is huge for him and is a positive stepping stone on the way to actually communicating more with us! He has made a great friend in school whom he loves. And the list goes on. Of course he still has his weaknesses that we continue to work on, such as not responding to his name (9 times out of 10), but I am confident these things will come, slowly but surely, in the years ahead. I try not to focus on these shortcomings as much as the accomplishments anyway!

A few big things have happened in the past few months that are worth mentioning as well. The first and biggest thing is that Shaun started school. This was something I was not too excited about in the beginning, after all he's only 3 and had never been away from me, but it has turned out to be a great thing for him. It was through school that the 'I want' came along and he is thriving in the school environment. I have seen such a positive change in him. This is also where he met his best friend, and he loves going to school to play with him! As a parent of a child on the spectrum, having a great friend like this is something that you hope for for your child and I'm so happy that they have found this in each other.

The second big thing was our participation in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event. It was earlier this month and a great way to start the month that could very well have been very negative for me. While I know that not all agree with AS, for us it was about showing support and raising awareness and I truly believe we accomplished that. It also showed me what great friends we have and a great support system Shaun has as well.

Despite it all, we have been truly blessed this year and I continue to pray that these blessings continue on in the years to come. Thank you to all of the family and friends who have stuck with us and helped us through everything, and to the new friends whom I have met along the way!


I was tagged by my friend Beth Ann to answer these questions, so here goes nothing. You're supposed to tag others as well, but not having many blogging friends (and those that do blog, being tagged already) I'll just have to stick with answering the questions myself:)

{1}: If you could be in any tv show when you were a kid what would it be?

Hmm, I would probably have to go with Full House as well, we loved that show! Though I distinctly remember my sisters and I calling it 'Baby and Guys'...is that strange? Haha, regardless I still love Mary-Kate and Ashley to this day.

Another favorite show when I was a bit older would have been So Weird. (Disney Channel just isn't what it used to be!) It may or may not have to do with the huge crush on Erik Von Detten or Patrick Levis, but I'll never tell.

{2}: What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?

Strangely, the best gift I ever remember getting was a little sewing machine and all the essentials. Maybe I was a strange child, but I thought that was the best present in the world!
Also, while I might not have thought they were the BEST gift at the time, looking back now I am very thankful for all the homemade gifts from my great grandma. I have a hope chest full of more crocheted goodies than I could possibly ever use, but now that my grandma is no longer with us, it is great to have those pieces of her still.

{3}: What actress would you want to play you if your life was a movie?

Mary-Kate or Ashley. I'm always being told I look like them!

Sarah Michelle Gellar- I just love her!

Nicole Richie- Oh, I know she doesn't really act but I love her anyway!

{4}: What decade fad do you wish would come back?

I have to agree that most fads have made comebacks, but I have always had a fascination with the 50s, both the styles and just the way things were back then. I always joke that I'm sure the feminists hate me, but I truly find it very fulfilling to take care of my boys! Throw in some cute dresses/shirts, pearls and cardigans, what's not to love?

{5}:What song describes your life?
This can change on a day to day basis depending on my mood on that given day. Lately, it's been 'High of 75' by Relient K. But if I had to choose only once song, I would have to say 'Beauty from Pain' by Superchick. I am a firm believer that everything that happens to us is for a reason, there are no coincidences and the bad things that life throws at us were only intended to make us stronger or teach us something and in the end we will know that everything has been worth it. Without getting too personal, I have seen this to be true in my own life. Everything that has happened in my life has shaped me into who I am and brought me to this point, and I could not be happier with where I am.

{6}: What was your favorite subject in school?

English- I have always enjoyed reading and writing so it's really no surprise there. I only wish I was still able to write the way I used to!

{7}: If you could have a dream job for a day what would it be?

I am living my dream job as a stay at home wife and mother right now. Someday though, when Shaun's much older, I would love to own my own photography business. I would also love to be a photographer for a cooking/decorating magazine such as Taste of Home or Better Homes and Gardens, or even just taking photos for a cookbook.

{8}: If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I am not an animal person, really, so it would be hard to say.


Monday, October 25, 2010

By Request: Sweet Pepper Pitas

I had requests to post this recipe weeks ago when I first tried it, but being the blog slacker I am, I'm just now getting to it! Better late than never I suppose! This is a wonderful dish that I found in an old Taste of Home Cooking for 2 magazine, the recipe only makes 2 servings, but can easily be doubled to feed more. It's simple but delicious!

Sweet Pepper Pitas

-4 ounces cream cheese
-2 tablespoons salsa
-2 pita breads (6 inches), split
-1/2 each medium green, sweet red and yellow pepper
-1/2 medium onion, halved and sliced
-2 teaspoons olive oil
-1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
-1/8 teaspoon pepper
-dash salt

1. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in salsa. Spread inside pita halves and set aside. (I found that it's best not to be stingy with the sauce, it really makes this dish!)
2. In a nonstick skillet, saute peppers and onion in oil until tender. Add hot pepper sauce, pepper and salt. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each pita half.

This is great as a vegetarian dish as is, but for all you meat eaters, feel free to add steak or chicken into the mix as well. For my meat eating guests, I cooked up some steak strips seasoned with herb garden seasoning (by McCormick) and they seemed to love it.

The most amazing part of the meal is the sauce, and its very versatile. My favorite way to use it is on shrimp (or fish) tacos, spread the sauce on the tortilla and add cabbage, tomatoes and shrimp-I use the Gorton's shrimp poppers for a quick dinner!)- delicious! Enjoy!