Author Archives: Kasandra Ivers

Squishy Update

161.5 = 7.2 lbs. lost.

I kinda sorta fell off the wagon the Friday before Easter and then again on Saturday. All bets were off on Easter Sunday and I contemplated getting serious on Monday, BUT those two ginormous pieces of gluten free swiss roll cake laughed when I said I was going to freeze them for my next cheat day. The only way to shut them up was to eat them. BOTH.

Fast forward to today and I’m regaining focus…

 

Former me would have hated myself for cheating all week. Current me has no problem flipping her the finger because that chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream with the obscene amount of whipped cream last night was DELICIOUS…
Oh, and it was vacation week, so double flip off.

I’m Squishy, NOT Pregnant.

Yeah, so that conversation happened. At work. After several inquiries to co-worker friends.

I shrugged it off until I was 11 days late for my cycle.
Concerned, I went to my doctor for blood work only to get the, “You realize there is a .1% chance of you being pregnant?”.
“Yes, yes, yes, I know how effective the IUD is…I just need to know because if I am then changes need to be made to my meds, like 6 weeks ago”. That and I’ve allowed people outside of The Inner Circle get in, thank you so much for being so accommodating. Insert smile HERE.

Husband and I discussed the THE’S to if-I-am or if-I’m-not. It was mostly names and holy-F*#$-I’m-a-gonna-need-to-make-some-changes. Oh, and I’d like to go for my BCBA next Spring and want a baby in my arms shortly after graduation. (Can we insert one of those awkward smile emojis here? …it would fit perfectly.)

A phone call 18 hours later put us on TEAM SQUISHY and gave me the not-so-subtle push I needed to get just  tad bit healthier (awkward smile emoji).


THE DEAL
(slow carbing it up)

no carbs
no sugars
no anything except for vegetables and protein

1 CHEAT DAY (aka heaven)
engorge yourself with whatever you want
(I will be starting my Friday off with a plate of waffles slathered in butter and syrup with a side of strawberries and a plate of scrambled eggs and cheese. Chocolate will be eaten throughout all points in the day. Lunch will involve pizza and fresh mozzarella w/tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. Oooh, definitely fruit snacks…probably a box of the Triple Layer ones or maybe the Stop n Shop brand (those bring me back to the 90s) Dinner will be pizza. And I’d love to see a bowl of Fruity Cheerios…an apple with peanut butter would be lovely too.


DAY 1

I Thought He Was Being Nice

I recently tried to trade in my Highlander for an Odyssey.

Upon leaving the following interaction transpired…

Service Director (talking to Autumn): Bye honey!
Autumn (looking beyond annoyed): I’M NOT YOUR HONEY! (pushes through the door and walks outside)
Me: I don’t think she  appreciated your stereotypical, sexist goodbye.

 

You can look at this two different ways…
1. The Service Director was just being nice. Autumn was being rude.
2. Smash the patriarchy. Autumn called the Service Director out on sexism. Ignorant sexism, but sexism nonetheless.

 

My initial, internal, reaction to Autumn’s response was, “Oh my god! How could she be so rude?!”. I’m embarrassed to say I almost made her come back inside to apologize for yelling.

Thankfully, I didn’t.

Autumn doesn’t know that people outside her inner most circle freely throw those terms around, but only when talking to girls. She doesn’t know they use words like “sport” and “champ” when talking to boys because we don’t use them with our boys; All of my children are sugar-pie-honey-bun-love-dove or darlin’.

My spirited spitfire of an almost 5 year old knows, without us ever having told her, that words like “honey” and “sweetie” are reserved for the closest of the closest (Mommy and Daddy, Nana and Grandma Mo). And to everyone else she’s… “just Autumn”.

Nightmare Series – The Glitter Flies

Autumn has been having some pretty vivid nightmares. The kind that wake her up hysterically crying, gasping for air.
Because they have been so traumatizing for her, I suggested she draw them out. It provides her with an outlet to process the experience as well as the emotions the nightmare caused.
She jumped at the idea and it has helped, tremendously.


Glitter Flies by Autumn.

Glitter Flies Nightmare.
Narrated by Autumn.

There were 3 Glitter Flies and they came out of portals.

Three robots (in size order) came down and sucked the Glitter Flies’ bones out.

The Glitter Flies then floated in the swamp. Dead. Without their bones.

Glitter Flies by Autumn. With labeling.

January Endocrinologist Appointment

Previously, Aidan was on a sliding scale. He was to eat 55-65 grams of carbohydrates at every meal.
Blood glucose levels…
< 150 = 1 unit of insulin
151-250 = 2 units
251-300 = 3 units
> 351 = 4 units
The doctor was doing the correction for us in the event of an elevated glucose level.

January’s appointment brought us much happiness and so much more freedom with the okay from the doctor to start a insulin to carb ratio plan aka the boy can eat whatever he wants (within reason). We just need to subtract his Target Blood Glucose Level (150) from his actual BG and then divide that by 100. Unless he is within the normal range. Then we just give 1 unit per 60 g of carbs.
It’s VERY exciting!!!!! If not JUST as exciting as carb counting and food weighing, then  most definitely MORE.

 

AND if an insulin to carb ratio plan wasn’t enough, Aidan is making some bank for participating in a clinical research project.
He initially said no, but then changed is tune when he heard $20-. We made sure to discuss how $20- is awesome, but contributing to help find anything that will lead to a cure is just as awesome.

Turning lemons into lemonade…If you’re going to have diabetes, might as well get paid for it.

Happenings

There has been quite a bit going on with the Dragons and Peanut. I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed. Sob sessions have gone from rarely happening to happening often. So much so that posting it all on Facebook feels bleh… I try to keep my Facebook real. I post the big stuff and tid bits of the little stuff (mostly in pictures), but have found myself not wanting to inundate people with everything, both good and bad.
But thanks to my darling hub, I have an outlet…one I feel free to unleash it all. I am so happy and grateful to have Dragons & Peanuts back! Thank you Hubs.

 

I plan to devote at least an hour during the week to this (I’m not quite sure what word to use…processing, writing, blogging, venting, etc…so “this” it is). Happenings for the Lovies will be posted here and those having to do with my journey to redefining myself will be on here.

Stuff to come…
– Autumn’s Nightmare Series
– Diabetes happenings (home, school, appointments)
– Upcoming evaluations for Lincoln
– and just random happenings in daily life (hopefully mostly funny)

 

♥ to you all,
K

 

Halloween Adventures

Holy Crunch Bars and Butterfingers. I feel like I just ran a mommy marathon. I also feel like this happens every year…

I build the holiday (any holiday, not just Halloween) up for weeks, doing crafts and making costumes. Participating in whatever activity we can and watching whatever “spooky” movies we have.

The day comes and we start out strong.

We awoke to a foggy day…PERFECT for Halloween!

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We attended our Thursday morning Library Reading Program and got to do some Trick-or-Treating warm-up exercises…

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Autumn’s not a very good Trick-or-Treater. She looks at you like your nuts for giving stuff away. Once she takes whatever it is you give her, she gives back.

 

Lincoln was having a moment.

Lincoln was having a moment.

 

Once warm-ups were over, Autumn set out to do what is typically done in a library…

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By mid day, I start to putter. The kids start feeling it too, but they go down for naps. And if Aidan’s home (i.e. – it’s the weekend), he’s still going strong. That kids is like the Energizer Bunny.

Lincoln, Autumn, and I picked up some eggs from our local country store, The Country Trail, and came home for a quick bite to eat….Lincoln requested scramble egg sandwiches.

We made our way over to Aidan’s school for his class Halloween Party. We were all looking forward to it.

The kids all sat on the rug. Each child got a turn to stand up and pick on someone to guess what they were dressed as….

IMG_3875-2 copyAidan picked A2 (aka The Birthday Girl) to guess what he was.

Both Kindergarten classes then paraded to each classroom in the school. It was adorable! And I, of course, left my camera in the diaper bag. In the classroom.

And whenever there is a parade, there is usually a party to follow (I learned that from the Irish).

Lincoln and Autumn slid themselves right in with the other kids.

Lincoln and Autumn slid themselves right in with the other kids.

The party ended. It was time for Aidan to get back to his scholarly work and for Lincoln and Autumn to nap.

After school/evening time rolls around and I’m eh. And it’s raining.

Yes, eh. It’s an emotion. A legitimate emotion. Especially when rain is involved.

But the kids? It’s like they just woke up. Which Lincoln and Autumn just did. And they want to go Trick-or-Treating.

Um….waiter? Can I please have whatever it is they’re having?

I’m sorry, m’am (yes, people are starting to call me that) you’ll have to shoot myself up with illegal substances to match their energy level.

Right. I’ll stick with eh, thank you.

Anyhoo…I started to freak out a little. On the inside. Maybe slightly on the outside too?

It was 4 o’clock. Dinner wasn’t done yet. Trick-or-Treating was starting in an hour. It was raining. Like raining raining. Autumn was congested and I knew she shouldn’t be out in the rain. And I was cold and didn’t want to be out int the rain either.

Freaking out a little turned into a mommy meltdown. Complete with tears and all.

There was a serious conversation about not going Trick-or-Treating this year.

Since the kids can’t eat 3/4’s of what they get anyway, Nana offered to take them to the toy store. AWESOME!

We sat down. We ate.

I calmed down.

The rain stopped.

My brain reset and I realized Trick-or-Treating was a must.

The boys didn’t care about not being able to eat the candy they collected. They just wanted to wear their costumes and say “Trick-or-Treat”.

And… Nolan went through boxes in two different locations in search of the kids’ Trick-or-Treat bags.

He found them and had them sent to us the day before Halloween.

IMG_3851-2He did this because I said we HAD to have them. I made them 3 years ago. They have become a part of our holiday. And I couldn’t see us Trick-or-Treating without them.

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So, I took the boys to the center of town. Nana stayed home with Autumn, who got a delicious cupcake and a nice warm bath (much better than not-so-warm rain).

The boys were delighted! And I loved watching them love every moment of it.

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The Police Department handed out colored flash light necklaces so the kids could be seen by passing cars.

The Police Department handed out colored flash light necklaces so the kids could be seen by passing cars.

 

As I was taking this picture, Aidan informed me that I didn't have to take pictures of "everything". Um, yea I do Aidan.

As I was taking this picture, Aidan informed me that I didn’t have to take pictures of “everything”.
Um, yea I do Aidan.
Oh, and there is candy in that boot to the left of Lincoln.

 

My most FAVORITE picture for this Halloween!

My most FAVORITE picture for this Halloween!

 

We bumped into Aidan's soccer coach. One of Aidan's school friends was part of his T-o-T group, so we joined them.

We bumped into Aidan’s soccer coach. One of Aidan’s school friends was part of his T-o-T group, so we joined them.

 

It ended up raining most of time we were out, but I didn’t mind. The boys were having fun. They were listening and staying with the group (if you’re a parent, you know how much easier that makes things).

And Trick-or-Treating up here felt like something out of the movies. It’s something I’ve never experienced. Something I’m really happy I was able to experience with them.

Once we completed the Trick-or-Treating route, the boys and I headed home for some yummy cupcakes and Halloween books.

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It was a perfect ending to a busy day.

 

 

 

 

 

Conversation With My 5 Year Old – Rules for Marriage

Here’s the scene…

We’re driving home form the fabric store. The car is quiet.

 

Aidan: Mommy, can boys marry boys?

Me: Yes. They can.

Really?

Yup.

How?

Well, they get dressed up and have a ceremony and make promises to each other.

There’s a pause.

Aidan: So one of them wears a dress, right?

Me: giggles. No.

Well, what do they wear?

They both wear suits.

Another pause.

Aidan: I want to marry Lincoln!

Me: giggles. You can’t marry your brother.

Huh? Why?

contemplates whether or not to introduce the concept of incest. thinks better of it. Because it’s against the law. You can’t marry your brother or sister. Or your mommy or daddy.

 

A few days pass.

I’m giving Aidan a bath.

Aidan: Mommy, can you marry your cousin?

Me: Huh?

Your cousin. Can you marry your cousin.

I’m pretty sure you can’t.

Because it’s against the law?

I’m actually not sure.

pauses. So, you can only marry someone you don’t know?

chuckles. Well, yea. But you get to know them before you marry them.

 

And in the blink of an eye he was on to sinking ships. I’m curious if/when this conversation will resurface. I’m even more curious to see what new shape it takes.

It’s Like the Song That Never Ends – Dragons and Peanuts Halloween Costumes

Aidan has been singing one song on repeat since last Tuesday (aka Music special at school).

It goes like this….
What will you be?
What will you be?
What will you be on Halloween?

And then someone stands up and sings…
I will be a ____________!
I will be a ____________!
I will be a ____________ on Halloween!

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

He would break the silence of a car ride with the song.
I would hear him from 3 rooms away, while he was playing with the train set, singing.
He sang it every night, in the bath.

He sang the jack-o-lanterns out of that song.

Any moment of silence this house had was filled with that song. To the point that we have all been walking around singing it.

And now I get to share it and have it mean something (for me, in my world)….

 

AUTUMN!

I was originally going to make Autumn Amelia Earhart.

I wanted her to be a woman of strength and independence.

Instead…

Autumn will be Red Riding Hood.
Autumn will be Red Riding Hood.
Autumn will be Red Riding Hood for Halloween!

Yes, I made her a little damsel in distress who gets swallowed by a wolf… I had all the materials needed for the costume. Plus, turns out being a little damsel in distress looks adorable on her….

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LINCOLN!

Lincoln will be a BAT!
Lincoln will be a BAT!
Lincoln will be a BAT for Halloween!

This boy’s costume has changed sooooooo many times.

He was supposed to be Batman, but got his Batman costume fix at our costume party back in September. So he changed it a bunch and then settled on a Scary Monster Bird with Lion and Cheetah Powers.

AWESOME!

I mean it. I was so excited and knew exactly how I was going to make his vision come to life.

And then he changed it again. To a bat.

It was too easy of a costume to make for me to say no.

We went to the store, got him a black long sleeve shirt, sweat pants, and some really awesome bat wing-like fabric.

And then he changed it again to a wolf.

AHHHHH! It would go perfectly with Autumn’s Red Riding Hood.

But, I said no (although I was so ready to purchase some wolf ears and a nose from Amazon). I explained how we bought all the stuff we needed to make his super cool bat costume. And we couldn’t bring it back (truth).

He wasn’t too happy with my answer, but we made a really big deal about him being a bat. And once he put the costume on, he fell in love….

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Lincoln, the bat, with his bat pumpkin.

Last year was all about ghosts…this year it’s bats.

 

He's flying in for a hug.

He’s flying in for a hug.

 

 

AIDAN!

Aidan was dead set on being a Police Officer, which was fine. Except, he wanted one of those big ride on battery operated police cars.

UGH!

During a fun conversation regarding Halloween and costumes, Aunt Em told Aidan the secret to scoring the jackpot on candy.

“You need to be something original, creative. Something no one else is going to be. That’s how you get extra candy”

That’s all Aidan needed to hear.

We spent about 15 minutes thinking and rambling off costumes. Ones that made us think over flowing trick-or-treat bags.

Old man.
Balloon Man.
Washing machine.

Aidan liked the idea of the washing machine, but he wanted to incorporate underwear into the costume. And he wanted them on his head.

Soooo…..

Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head!
Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head!
Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head for Halloween!

BEST. COSTUME. EVER!

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A Little Reminder This Halloween…

This is the week Aidan and Lincoln have been asking about for over a month. Counting down the weeks. And now the days.

We’re very excited over here. And I’m almost done making costumes….I just need to make Lincoln’s ears.

Aidan is so excited that he’s been practicing how he will say “Trick-or-Treat” and is considering the abbreviation, “T-o-T” (funny story…I’ll share it another time). And I couldn’t be happier.

It hasn’t always been like this.

Aidan’s 1st Halloween was non-existent. He wore a Halloween shirt. I had a migraine…which meant I was in bed, under the covers, in a dark room.
Sorry hunny.

His 2nd Halloween… Aidan was a few months shy of 2 and wasn’t speaking.

He had a speech delay. But he knew exactly what to do…

2nd Halloween

Halloween 2009

…these were his exact words, “HI…MORE…PLEASE…BYE”

Those 4 words were HUGE for us at the time. So much so that I saved them with the above picture.

 

His 3rd Halloween I remember Aidan was a firefighter…

3rd Halloween

Halloween 2010

And, apparently this convo accompanied the above picture. But I honestly don’t remember it…so it musn’t have been one of our better days…

3rd Halloween Capture

 

Aidan’s 4th Halloween is one that will forever be engrained to my memory…
It was the day he was discharged from outpatient counseling services (we attended weekly sessions in the hopes it would provide an outlet for Aidan, in turn having a positive influence on his behavior).

Aidan went to school as Waldo…

4th Halloween

But he insisted on wearing his firefighter costume from the year before for Trick-or-Treating…

We met up with friends and family for Trick-or-Treating after Aidan’s last counseling session.

Circumstances weren’t working in our favor. Trick-or-Treating got delayed. It was past dinner time. And Aidan had been on edge since the morning.

It turned out that this…

4th Halloween 3

…the act of a group of kids rushing to one door was too much for Aidan to handle.

In previous years, we had gone Trick-or-Treating with one other family. And we went to the doors WITH Aidan. And HE rang the door bell.

The first hour of this fun activity involved Nolan walking behind the group with a screaming Aidan.

Nolan was eventually able to get Aidan to calm down. And the other kids were so great in adapting…they worked out who would ring the door bell in what order. This little bit of structure made a HUGE difference.

Aidan was able to keep track of when it was his turn, which was comforting for him.

Between that and his cousin, Aidan (and Nolan and I) were able to enjoy the rest of our time collecting candy from strangers Trick-or-Treating…

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Thank goodness for loving cousins….

The 5th year (last year) was a great success, despite the fact that we had been hit by Hurricane Sandy and Halloween had been canceled in NJ.

Aidan dressed as Turtle Man from Call of the Wild Man

Aidan dressed as Turtle Man from Call of the Wild Man

After however many days without power, we decided to wait out NJ’s black out in Massachusetts.

This meant new houses to visit and no large groups…it was just us…

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…which was more than enough and absolutely perfect…

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This year we are planning on Trick-or-Treating with our MA cousins. While I am a little nervous about how Aidan will do with a group of people, I am excited at the same time. Excited to see how he does. How he interacts. Adapts.

He has come so far. Progressed so much. Has a much better understanding of his feelings and how to effectively communicate them to me.

My mommy intuition tells me he’ll be just fine.

So, as you prepare for Trick-or-Treaters this week, I ask you to please keep this in mind….

Halloween reminder

…my oldest has SPD issues. All 3 of my kids are gluten and dairy free. Other children may have other issues. Issues far worse than ours.

Your response, your reaction, can make all the difference in a child’s (as well as a parent’s) evening.

Please don’t judge. Please be nice. And remember, it’s about the kids. Smile.