Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stair Climb

With less than 24 hours to go till my stair climb event I've shifted into my nervous obsessive phase. I'm searching the internet for tips and tricks and stories of folks experiences with the climb.

I'm getting myself super excited and don't think I haven't noticed that there is a distinct lack of fear or uneasiness as there was with the twin lights bike ride. Remember how worried I was about that? As it turned out, my fears were well founded because that ride had the most insane hills I've ever ridden.

Having said that EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE in my family is supremely concerned about me and has told me so over and over. They are all sure I'm going to have a heart attack on the course. I promise you family, that is in no way my intention. I'll have my heart rate monitor and the first rest stop is on the 28th floor. I'll rest and drink and if I'm up to it and ONLY if I'm up to it, I'll keep climbing. I'm not one of those crazy insane athletes that pushes to the point of injury. I'm a fat mommy who is trying to push past my own limits but not at the expense of my heath. I PROMISE.

My plan for tomorrow is to set my alarm for about 5am get up, shower, get dressed, take the dog for a nice long walk and head into the city at about 6:30am.

It's important to me that I enter the building from the 5th Avenue promenade so depending on the time, I'm either going to walk up (I love the city at that time. It's almost empty and has a calmness to it that you can't find at any other time) or if I'm running late, I'll take the F train up and walk down 5th.

I'm not allowed to take photos on the stairs but if you think I'm leaving my camera home, you are on serious amounts of crack. I want photos from the top!!

I'm excited and I think I'm ready!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My goodness! I have a brand spanking new appreciation for you folks who write for a living and have editors and deadlines!
Today has been my day to be a faux author and see what it's all about.
We submitted my blog to the major news outlet and they wrote me back telling me it wasn't quite what they were looking for.
I rewrote it as more of a how to fly guide with kids on the spectrum. Nope, that wasn't it either.  They wanted a first person account of what it was like the first time Brian tantrumed on a plane.

This is what I sent them:

My 5 1/2 year old son Brian is on the Autism Spectrum. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when he was just 2 1/2 years old. Last week I got a phone call from Autism Speaks asking me if I wanted to be a part of a program called "Autism Explores" at Newark Airport. I didn't even hesitate. Just tell me where and when!

Brian's no stranger to flying and while he's really good now that wasn't always the case.
On his second flight he was over 2 and he had to sit in his own seat.
We were fine till I tried to put him in his car seat on the seat next to me.
He literally exploded with anger throwing the most amazing, intense desperate tantrum to get back into my lap and snuggle with me.

My heart was hammering out of my chest as I tried every single trick in the book to soothe this savage creature who was at this point holding the plane at the gate beacuse they couldn't push back without him being in his seat.

Between my husband and I we somehow got him into his seat and strapped in where he railed and thrashed like a fish out of water. Howling, screaming, throwing everything he could reach at me.

I was confused and crushed. Where had my great flier gone? What on EARTH was all that about?!

I couldn't even look at my fellow passengers or flight crew. I knew they all hated my family and while they didn't say anything I could feel the judgements and the anger and stress all around me. I didn't want to apologize for him beacuse it truly wasn't his fault. He was over stimulated and non verbal. I didn't think explaining it to them would help because we were seriously beyond anyone caring why it happened.

When we finally touched down in Orlando, I went to the bathroom and cried.

My husband and I discussed it and we decided that we (and those around us) were going to have to just suck it up and deal because comfort for Brian could only be found in repetition and in being familiar with the routine.

It took us about 30 flights of pure torture before one day out of the clear blue and for no rhyme or reason that I could see, Brian decided this was the flight he was to behave on and that was it. No looking back. It's to the point now where he doesn't even have to sit with me. He sits with his father and brother and I'm always in another aisle.

I'm a cautious optimistic and I still travel with my emergency bag of tricks (chips, goldfish, M&M's a favorite book and a new toy from the dollar store) because I know that we aren't so far removed from the tantrum flights and I know that they can return at any time and for no reason.

I was excited to be part of the program yesterday because we can't ever practice boarding a plane enough.

Getting through the airport with such a large group was very different and Brian showed signs of being close to a meltdown a couple of times, the biggest one when I disrupted his airport traditional routine of McDonald's after Security.  The promise of Chicken McNuggets and Fries is often the only thing that gets us through without drama.

He was mad at me as we waited for the plane grumbling about "Airports, and Nuggets and Fries" and I was afraid we were going to be taking a step backwards. I messed with his routine. Not only were we not traveling with his big brother and father, we had all these strange faces and police and TSA with us and then I went and took away his nuggets and fries!!!.

I held my breath as we boarded the plane and found our seats as I do with each flight. I  cheered him on as he found and buckled his seat belt himself. In return he shot me a look like I was off my rocker for being worried.

Yesterday's mock run was great for Brian who just keeps showing me how he's growing and maturing.  When we got home he ran to his big brother and told him proudly "I put on my seatbelt all by myself"

I'm so glad we got a chance to take part in such a very special and important program and I can't wait for our trip in 6 weeks to Disney World!!!


So a major news network asked if I would write a blog about what we experienced yesterday.
I'd already written the beast you see below and sent the link to the media relations man.

He did some very cool editing and came up with this:

Autism Explores Program

My son Brian is on the Autism Spectrum. He was diagnosed when he was just 2 1/2 years old. Last week I got a phone call from Autism Speaks asking me if I wanted to be a part of a program called "Autism Explores" at Newark Airport. I didn't even hesitate. Just tell me where and when!

Later that day I got a call from one of the doctors at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. These are the folks who developed and run this genius program. She explained to me that we were going to take a mock plane ride, from start to finish. That Brian and I should pack a bag and be prepared to go through the airport just as we would if we were taking a real flight. We would be checking in, checking our bag, getting a ticket and a boarding pass, going through security, actually boarding a plane and going to baggage claim.

While Brian has gotten MUCH better at flying, he used to be a total terror and has on more than one occasion kept a plane on the ground much longer than it was supposed to be.

Since birth he's had the nickname "Brian the Lion" because of his legendary tantrums and the ones he would throw on the plane were horrific. I would board the plane fully expecting to have this flight be the one where I made the news as the mom who got kicked off the flight because of her kid.

On Wednesday, Brian was the youngest participant and to those who didn’t know him, he appeared to have no issues with the process of flying but I as his mother know that the past behaviors are not so far in the past and can, at any time show up unannounced and unprovoked.

To have the opportunity to show people the different shade of the Spectrum is one I was all too flattered to be a part of. I was not, however, so prepared for the craziness of the day. The media and the security and the folks from Einstein and Autism Speaks, we were like a huge caravan that moved about as fast as primordial ooze.

I found myself feeling a little anxious for Brian wondering if he was going to continue to tolerate the shutters and the bright light of the TV camera and all the new strange faces. He was a total champ though. He took the whole thing in total stride and never ever let them see him sweat. He was charming and friendly and very well behaved only having a very slight meltdown when I denied him his beloved routine of McDonald’s.

I of course got all proud mother hen on him, giving him high fives and telling him how proud I was. He in turn acted as though it was this way all the time and I was completely insane to act otherwise.

While we were on the plane, I found myself hoping that he behaves this well on our upcoming Disney trip (6 weeks!).

The day was fantastic and he and I both felt as though we had been a part of something super important.

I'm beyond flattered that they asked me to do this and cannot wait to see when it runs!

Autism Explorers Program

Yesterday Brian the Lion & I got a chance to be a part of a super cool program for families with kids on the spectrum.

We were going to take a mock flight to help our children and other children get comfortable with the chaos that one can experience at an airport.

We packed a bag, made sure we had on clean socks (important since they make you take off your shoes at security!) and off we went.

We met the team from Autism Speaks & the Albert Einsten Medical Center at a hotel near the airport. Filled out some papers and boarded a bus (as Brian pointed out it was just like the Disney Express but without Mickey Mouse) to head for the airport.

Brian is a Newark Airport veteran having gone to Disney World 4 times a year since he was a year old. (yup, we are one of those crazy families!)

I was a little concerned beacuse we were traveling with a huge group that included TSA agents and police officers and it took just about forever to get from point A to point B. Since our family travels so much, we have the whole airport process streamlined to be as efficient and quick as possible, including never checking bags and printing our tickets online.

We had a small meltdown after he and I were one of the first to check in and get our boarding passe and then had to wait about 15 mins for the rest of the cast and crew to check in and join us. He only wanted to go through security and didn't want to wait for everyone.

He made sure we were some of the first through the security checkpoint, helping me put his stuff in the X-Ray machine bins and moving me along when he felt I was going too slow.

As we put shoes back on and waited for everyone else to catch up, we had another mini meltdown. This time about McDonalds.

We always bribe Brian was a treat or a snack to make the flight as smooth as can be and he knows that going to the airport means he gets Chicken Nuggets and Fries. An almost never treat. When we didn't leave security right away he howled and lay prone on the bench demanding his nuggets and fries.

I was not going to make the detour to get him McDonalds, seperate ourselves from the group and come back with food you can smell a mile away that I'm not sure if the other kids participating were allowed to have or not. (I've had the "She has ice cream and I don't" tantrum and I don't wish it on any other parents)

I promised him he would get it but not at that moment, wishing that our caravan would hitch up the horses and get the show on the road again to distract him.

Finally we did get moving and made it to our gate. (have you ever had police and TSA guarding your family while cameras click and TV cameras roll? It's freakin WEIRD!) We waited (complete with grumblings about the lack of Nuggets and how we ALWAYS have nuggets before we fly.)

We finally boarded the plane and though we were supposed to take our assigned seats they had me in row 22 and Brian in row 11. Yeah, not so much folks. So I let Brian choose our seats.

Here is where I held my breath. Would he put on his seatbelt? I messed with our routine of treat or snack before the flight and he was already mad at me for it.

While Brian has gotten MUCH better at flying, he used to be a total terror and has on more than one occasion kept a plane on the ground much longer than it was supposed to be thanks to his anti seat belt stance.

Brian hates to be restrained in any fashion. Seat belts are his enemy and the airplane lap belt enraged him every single time. He always wanted to take it off and snuggle on my lap.

Since birth he's had the nickname "Brian the Lion" because of his legendary tantrums and the ones he would throw on the plane were horrific. I would board the plane fully expecting to have this flight be the one where I made the news as the mom who got kicked off the flight because of her kid.

I’m not kidding even a little tiny bit. I literally never put anything in the overhead because I had to be ready to deplane if they decided Brian was a “threat”.

Kicking, biting me, and pulling my hair, screaming at the top of his lungs, punching, throwing toys. Think of the worst tantrum you have ever seen a kid throw and now make it twice as long, three times as intense and add in the no way to reason with them factor and you have the average plane ride with Brian.

The last few trips though, he's been a total angel. No tantrums, no anger, no trouble at all. A model passenger.

Where would the coin fall for me today? Please, please, please I begged internally. Be good. Put that seatbelt on for me!

He slowly reached for the two parts and snapped them together as if he had never ever had an issue with flying.

HUGE sigh of relief from mommy...

The captain came on and made all the routine announcements and they closed the cabin door and we "took off" The stewardi came around with drinks and a bag full of snacks.

M&M's (snarfed down before I coudl blink) bottle of water, a banana (that went right into my bag as Brian doesn't do fruit) a vanilla pudding (also made it's way to my bag) and a package of gluten free chocoalte chip cookies (which made Brian very happy)

He sat there, seatbelt on, watching the movie "BOLT" (and as a total aside, airlines are you reading this? Those in flight TV's are a GODSEND and need to be on every single plane!) then it was time to get off the plane and go and get our bags.

Our circus made it's way down to the lower level where we would get our bags. Brian didn't even give me a chance to pick mine up. He grabbed it and hoisted it up and off the carousel and tried to carry it for me but didn't get too far.

We once again had to wait around for everyone and Brian was frustrated that we weren't going to be walking out the door we ALWAYS walk out to get to a cab.

Over all though, it was a really special experience and we got to meet and spend time with some very lovely people.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My Realtor has found out who owns the space I want for my bakery/cafe and now he and his assistant are trying to get in touch with the owner.
Fingers crossed he is willing to lease out the space and doesn't want a zillion dollars.
It's coming together quickly now. I found the very first draft of my business plan that I drafted back in 2007 and I'm working on updating it and finishing it.
This could actually happen for me this year!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The real me

So help me GOD when I finally get this 80 pounds off my frame,  I'm going for hair extensions and I'm doing my hair this color


Local Weather Alert

Winter Weather Advisory for Hoboken, New Jersey

From 12:00 AM EST, Mon., Feb 21, 2011 until 2:00 PM EST, Mon., Feb 21, 2011

Issued by The National Weather Service
New York City, NY

Sun, Feb 20, 2011, 12:00 AM EST


More Information



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Strange Universe

While surfing YouTube I recently found a very old video of a band Chrissy & I were friends with.
I reached out to Acey and sent him the video and told him I was reminded of him and her and good times.
He said he was just talking about Chrissy & I to a mutual friend!
We got chatting and it turns out that he's now licensed to cut hair.
Half joking I said that I'd be the envy of little goth gals all over the universe if I were to have him cut my hair.
Long story short, he's going to cut my hair! Next week sometime we are still working out the schedule and the details but it's going to cost next to nothing and I get to see an old friend who has gone on to do really good stuff with his life.
Acey is one of the sweetest guys and I'm excited to see him again.

His band

and the cutie himself

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This week has been a total comedy of errors.
Tomorrow is my 38th birthday. I've been with Mike for 13 years and not ONCE has he EVER taken the day off to surprise me.
This year, he did just that. Unfortunately for him, I'd invited some of my gal pals to celebrate with me over Tea at a restaurant in NYC.
He was disappointed but rallied and changed the day off to Friday. Turns out Friday the kids are off of school.
I decided to try to make the best of it and asked my mother and sister to do an overnight so we can get in a little mommy daddy time.
I have a fund raising bake sale I'm running from 7 to 10pm but after that...
My sister has been dog siting all this week but the owners were due home on Friday which worked out perfectly because she would be there to help my mother who has never watched the kids alone ever.
Today she got an email from the dogs owners asking if she can extend her stay till Monday as they want to extend their vacation.
Our overnight is looking very grim. We haven't had any time alone since October and he's not going to be home at all this weekend. Going to get a new tattoo on Saturday (an all day thing) and then Sunday into Monday he's going to Atlantic City with his best friend.
Next weekend he's going to Washington DC for the week for work so that's out too.

Someone please tell me why the universe is messing with me like this?

Friday, February 11, 2011

M3 again

So Mike has cautiously agreed to the M3 tour.
He's so concerned something is going to happen to me. The thing is, I'm not a young pup, nor am I a spring chicken. I've been going to shows and clubs alone since I was 13 years old. I'm an old hat at taking care of myself and telling friendly guys to go fuck themselves.
When we initially discussed it he'd mentioned the Warped Tour. I just now went to take a look at video of the Warped Tour concert goers
uh yeah. No. No thanks very much. No WONDER he was worried!

Small side story: My friend from high school wanted to go and see Megadeth at the Roseland Ballroom. She purchased GA tickets for us and I pulled some strings to get us upper balcony seats. She couldn't understand WHY I wouldn't want to be as close to the stage as possible. Once the show started and a huge mosh pit broke out, she understood why.
I'm 4'11" tall and have never been in a fight in my life. I don't do mosh pits.

Nope, none of that will occur at this event.  Rock fans are very different than punk fans and thrash fans.  We do stupid shit like throw devil horns and bang our head (I do NOT bang my head thank you very much) but we don't mosh and in my experience if a mosh pit should break out and attempt to gain life, it's squashed quickly.
The worst thing we do is yell "WOOHOO" and "FUCKIN A" and "METAL RULES DUDE" a lot. (No, I do NOT  yell any of these things thank you very much)

I'm not saying people don't get hurt at rock events (I was almost trampled and crushed at a Motley Crue show. If Chrissy hadn't blocked me with her tall self I would have been killed when the crowd rushed the stage) but it's a rare thing.

Here look. Wanna see how much better behaved our fans are? Check it out.

See? None of that thrashy crap.

I can tell you what you (I) WILL see there.
1. Drunk middle aged men
2. Drunk middle aged men who for some reason have decided to attempt to keep their long hair and now have an intentional mullet because of that balding pattern in the front.
3. Biker dudes who all of a sudden don't seem so big and bad since they are rockin out to men in makeup
4. Women who do not realize that time has passed and no one wears that much hairspray anymore
5. Women who still think they should be wearing Spandex
6. People who think it a good idea to bring their tiny toddlers to an event like this. (It is not a good idea)
7. Groupie girls. These are 20 somethings who were in diapers when I saw all these bands play first time around.
8. Fat chicks who think guys dig them.

The most harmful creature there will be the party fools. These are the doofus who drink double fisted the entire time and wind up passing out, throwing up or picking fights.

Our songs have lyrics about partying and having a good time and sex and rock and roll.
Since I'm a monogamous gal who doesn't drink I plan on avoiding any and all drama and just going to see the bands I like and going back to my room to go to sleep.

Nothin but a good time...


For me, a bra is not a choice. Without one...well no. We don't want to go there or picture that.
I'd purchased a sports bra that quickly became my favorite bra and has lost much of it's holding power.
I went and purchased a minimizer bra and a new sports bra.  The minimizer bra is corset like. It's so insanely restricting and really feels like I'm wearing a boned corset.
I'm no stranger to suffering for beauty (in the 80's on a bloated or fat day I could be found donning 3 spanx like garments one on top of another plus control top stockings to keep the fat flat) but at almost 38 years of age with no one but myself left to impress I'm not going to be uncomfortable if I don't have to be.

To my eyes all the minimizer did was push the gals together and up forming some killer diller clevage but not much else. (NOT that killer clevage is to be sniffed at. Accentuate the positive I say!) but as I said, I'm not into suffering for beauty anymore so I did a little test.

The first pictures are with the minimizer and the second two are without.

What do you think?