Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sometimes You Need A Reminder

With so much that goes on in my home on a daily basis I find myself forgetting sometimes how awesome life really is. Life with two kids on the spectrum isn't always Rainbows and Lollipops. There's a lot of crying, a lot of repeat and the always fun echolalia. Our schedule is so set in stone, I ride on auto all the time,  almost zombie-like at time. 
This pass weekend we had the pleasure of breaking from schedules and such and take a Cool Culture trip to the NY Hall of Science. Big Bea wanted to go there as part of her birthday present. I love the nerd in her. She totally get that from both her mom and dad. She never had a chance to be nothing but that. Big and Little Al remember this museum very well. The kids were the tour guides for this visit. 

Since we went to the musuem on a Sunday it was very full. I don't like going to museums when I know they are going to be full. Little Al has a difficult time dealing with large crowds and tends to have meltdowns. 

We spent over 2 hours at the Hall of Science. We had no meltdowns, no walking away and no unacceptable behaviors what as ever from my trio. AWESOME! We did see these behaviors in other kids. At one point there were two little kids fight in the middle of the exhibits on the two floor and my kids looked at them like they were crazy. At that moment I was very happy my kids are my kids. 

I couldn't have ask for a better trip. 

The Infinite Scarf

This Awesome is really into Scarves. I am not addicted to them like my bestie is but I do have a small collection. I have proudly added two more to my collection. I have added the Infinite Scarf. The web site claims that you are able to do twenty different styles with just one scarf. I put the scarf to the test. Being a top heavy plus sized mommy I never get too excited about things that are might of the upper part of my body. I have plenty going on up top, I didn't need more. I tried a few of the suggested.

The "Warmer" look is one of my favorites. 
The "Vest" is a NO!
The "Cape" keeps my shoulders warm. 
Little Al wanted to try too. She loves the way the fabric feels. 
The "Snood" is awesome. I've used it in the snow and it didn't mess my hair up. 
The "Evening Wear" looks.....hmmm...not for me. 
You can get Two Infinite Scarves for the special, One-Time Only Price of $19.95 when you use the Coupon Code "CODE132" on the site.
I like this scarf and I am totally rocking them this spring. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting It Right.

I have learned my lesson about proper training after running the Manhattan Half. Running, jogging and walking those 13.1 miles was the hardest physical challenge I ever did in my entire life and that's including child birth.

My BBB, Levonda, give me what I call now the bible of running. She give me The Runner's World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training just before the Manhattan Half. Of course I didn't have enough time to train like details in the book. I waited until after the race to start reading it. When I started to read it was like a light bulb went off in my head. That book flippin' makes sense. Of course it would make sense! They have proven results in the dang book.

Over the course of the last month and a half I have been focused on training for Brooklyn Half. I don't want a repeat of the Manhattan Half. I want to finish when an awesome time. I want to feel that Brooklyn Half medal in my hands. Everyone that I have done the Brooklyn Half said that it's a fun and exciting race. That makes me want to run it even more!

I have been running on the beginners training schedule that is detailed in the bible. According to the schedule I have to run four days a week over a 13 week period. Since I started training well over 13 week before the big race, I have been able to adjust my runs for my busy mommy life. I do my best to get 4 runs a week. If I can't I do at least 2 runs. Some days I just don't want to run but I do anyway. I have been post pictures of my run days on Instagram and my followers have been awesome with encouragement.

The push came after volunteering for the NYC Half. The joy and accomplish of all the runners that day helped with refocusing on my goal of awesomeness.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Volunteering for the NYC Half

When I signed up to be a member for NYRR that was the moment I decided that I was going to run the 2014 NYC Marathon using the 9+1 method. That means I have to run 9 qualifying races and volunteer for one.  On Sunday I completed my +1!

When I planned out all the races I wanted to run I never decided when I was going to do my +1. After e-meeting a bunch of runners and Weight Watchers members over on Instagram and learned that they all were going to run the NYC Half.  I looked into that being my +1. When I started looking I figured that all the spots were going to be filled or I was going to get a boring job or the spots available would be when I was working or in dance mom mode. After a little bit of clicking, I found that medals distribution still had openings. HOW AWESOME!?! Not only did I get to cheer I got to give out the best thing given at this event. 

I was very excited to announce that I was going to be giving out medals during the half. I really didn't know what to except since I never volunteer for a road race event before. When I got my email confirming my post I was even more excited. 

I knew that volunteering wasn't going to be an easy task for me. I had to travel from the Bronx to South Seaport (Fulton and Water) uber early in the morning on a Sunday. Because the event was so early and I had to travel some distance, I had to take public transportation. When my alarm went off at 5am I hit snooze and proclaimed that I didn't want to go. I wanted stay in the warm bed next to my hubby. I prepared for that....I set a second alarm at 5:45am. When that went off I peeled myself out of the bed, grabbed my pile of clothes I set out on the sofa the night before and bumped into everything on the way to the bathroom. As I got myself ready I was thinking to myself, "Thank God I am not running this one...I am so sleepy." I left my apartment a little 6am. I was suppose to left at 6am on the dot to make it to my post at 7am. I sprinted to the bus stop hoping that the bus driver will skip stops to that I can make it to the train station quickly. I was very lucky because that is what he did. I waited just a few minutes for the 2 train... Which was pretty awesome. I was making great time until the train was stopped in the tunnel for 20 mins. When I finally got to my stop it turned out that there was an apartment fire near where I needed to be. I smelled the smoke when I exited the train. When I got to the surface I saw the smoke. I thought to myself, "Oh great someone set the half on fire." Silly me. 

I quickly travelled to the volunteer booth to get my gear. I was late but I wasn't too late. I was escorted to the medals area by a sweet older man. He was joking around and he helped me tied my vest down. I was having major vest issues. My supervisor was very funny and serious at the same time. I can't remember his name one bit. He lost my printed name tag so he especially created one for me. I felt so special  (NOT!) 

It was time to get down to business and unpack over 15,000 medal with amount 40 volunteers. We all were focus and we had a great rhythm going. As soon as we unpacked everything we pooled together and was told that the front runners were 15 minutes away from the finish line. How exciting! When the front runner came through there was little excitement for me. Many of these runners killed themselves running 13.1 miles in about one hour. My mommy mode was kicking in and I wanted to help them feel better. That was not my job. I had to tell my mommy mode to be quiet and chill. 

After the 2 hour mark was when the crowds started coming in. Crowds of physically and emotionally exhausted runners. Old, young and in all shapes and sizes. I did my best to smile for them. I told everyone that they were awesome. I got many many MANY hugs from strangers happy that they finish. I took pictures with many runners. I was also picked out by many of the male runners to give them their medals. I didn't really understand that. Maybe they didn't want a man giving them their medals.  A few older men bowed down to one knee so that I can "crown" them with their medals. Many times tears came to my eyes because the pride of the runners. The everyday men and women who do this for themselves not for prize money or sponsorship. 

I got to meet two very special ladies that I e-met on Instagram, Kathy and Lucinda. Both of these ladies walked to me. I am so happy that they did. I am terrible at picking people out of a crowd that aren't my children. I screamed and gave them both a giant hugs. I am very proud of these ladies. I am so happy to have been apart of their finish line moment. I can't wait to see you at the Brooklyn Half Kathy. I can't wait to see you when you return to NYC, Lucinda. 

Picture taken by Sheryl 
As time ticked on I was looking for my inspiration  Sheryl. I hadn't seen her yet and the official time clock was well pass three hours. I check the NYC Half app to see her last check point. She had passed the 15k mark. I was looking for her pink compression sock. There were very few runner left coming in. It was going to be easy to spot her. Suddenly!!! I see pink socks! I started screaming and jumping around like a crazy woman! I saw her use her last bit of energy to run across the finish line. I hear the announcer say her name and I screamed even louder. I stood in the middle of the road waiting for her to come to me. She didn't realize it was me! We took our picture. I am so proud of you Sheryl. 

After 5 hours of standing and screaming in the cold,  I walked away from this experience motivated. I want to have an amazing run for the Brooklyn Half. This is the push that I needed to get my brain re-focused on my goal. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Turning Five with Little Al

The Turning Five IEP meeting has been completed. The meeting happened about two weeks ago. Our IEP team wanted Little Al's current teacher to has some voice so the meeting was held at Little Al's school.

The meeting went very smoothly. I got everything that Little Al needed including the Autism classification that I have been fight for. The last two years had been nothing. Be a battle with CPSE and I am so glad that the battle is over. I have to last until August without blowing my top with CPSE.

I want to say so many things about what happened in that meeting. I think it is best not to make that public.I will sure that I am very happy that I have a great IEP /Turning Five team on my side. They see what I see. They see what is and is not going on with my Little Al without sugar coating.

The "final" IEP was sent home in Big Al's back bag today. I was very happy to see the true identity if my child written correctly in the IEP. As I read on I couldn't help but to get sad and worried. My baby is functioning almost like a baby. She is functioning almost like 2 year old. She is 4.5 years old. She is considered non-verbal.

I wish I could rewind time and demanded more services. Turned that 3 hour meeting years ago into 5 hour meeting. Stomp my feet and got more for her. I have to remember that I have done a lot for her and I can't beat my self up for what life has handed her.

I have to keep fighting for the best for her, celebrate all her achievements big and small and remind her that Mommy will always protect her.