Stir-Fry with Spicy Almond Sauce
I can't seem to get a good nights sleep lately!!! Blah!!! Ok, sorry, I'm just feeling pooped and cranky. The End.
So, eating healthy food can start to feel boring because often times we get stuck in a rut of making the same things over and over. When this happens, I've found the best way to kick the food boredom in the butt is to inject some culturally diverse and intense flavours into my life! Seriously, it makes me look forward to dinner, it feels so satisfying, and it's rarely boring adding some Chinese, Thai, Curry dishes, or Mexican cuisine into a weekly meal plan.
And this recipe is really simple, and you can add other things you love or take-away things that may not quite appeal to you. You could add more heat with the additions of dried hot chilies, or swap out the almond butter for peanut butter. You could throw shrimp into it if you're not vegan, or spiralize some carrots or a handful of bean sprouts into it if you want some more veggies! I had mine with a big heap of kimchi (I use this recipe, but I omit the fish sauce), and a soft boiled egg. Perfection.
Stir-Fry with Spicy Almond Sauce
Ingredients for stir fry:
Ingredients for sauce:
Sometimes when it comes to a "closing" on a post, I have all sorts of things to say. Other times my brain is an empty shell, and I can't get any thoughts or quips together. Today is more of the latter.
Having shared this, I shall simply say goodbye, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!
Autism & Feelings
As a Mom of a young man with autism, I am always trying to understand how Caleb is feeling. It's a mystery a lot of the times - even things that may seem obvious (like a big angry outburst) may actually be less about feeling angry at something initially, and more about how he's not being understood. Sometimes I can tell what he's feeling (he's getting a lot better at sharing his feelings with us), and sometimes I just can't.
Recently there was a story from the National Autism Association (I saw it in The Mighty) about a 10-year-old boy named Benjamin, who’s on the autism spectrum.
This boy wrote a poem titled "I Am", and it opened my eyes and broke my heart to the feelings of kids with autism. I realize not every child will feel the same way as the child who wrote this poem, but getting a chance to peek into the mind and feelings of someone with autism is enlightening.
His mom sent the poem in saying “he was given the first 2 words of every sentence. This is what he wrote...…"
I am odd, I am new
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don’t, and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue
I am odd, I am new
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink
I am odd, I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I “feel like a castaway”
I dream of a day that that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd, I am new.
Lately I've been listening to the soundtrack for "Matilda The Musical". It's such a wonderful and funny soundtrack, but there is one song that when I heard it for the first time, I just started to cry.
In order to understand Caleb better I often try to put myself in his shoes. I imagine what colours & sights, sounds, lights, touch & taste must be like for a young man with sensory processing problems. I wonder how it feels to know you're about to unravel and have a "meltdown", and if it's possible to stop once you're heading down that track?
I feel like this one song, titled "Quiet" from Matilda The Musical, gathers up some random thoughts that I think could describe people with autism and what it feels like to become overwhelmed with what is going on around around them. But, more importantly, how it feels when they block it all out: whether by those characteristic, quiet, "zoned out" moments kids with autism have, or by covering the ears and shutting the eyes up tight. Or perhaps physically having a big fit, with kicking, screaming, etc.? I know that last one doesn't seem "quiet", but I imagine having all the things that can't be said trapped inside. All the things that pile onto a person with autism, who is trying to process this crazy world as best they can, and how maybe having this big, physical outburst is like draining all the noise, the smells, the sights, and the mountain of everyday stressors out of the body, and being left quiet, and feeling tired, but better?
I've included a video of one of the Matilda's singing this song because the emotion behind the acting and the music help to fully capture what a child with autism might be feeling.
**Disclaimer: this song (as far as I know) wasn't written with autism in mind, it's just what I've heard in the song that sounds like autism to me*
By: Tim Minchin
From Matilda The Musical
Have you ever wondered, well I have.
About how when I say, say red, for example.
There's no way of knowing if red
Means the same thing in your head
As red means in my head. When someone says red
It's as if we are traveling at, almost the speed of light
And we're holding a light
That light will still travel away from us
At the full speed of light, which seems right in a way
What I'm trying to say, I'm not sure
But I wonder if inside my head
I'm not just a bit different from some of my friends
These answers that come into my mind unbidden
These stories delivered to me fully written!
And when everyone shouts like they seem to like shouting
The noise in my head is incredibly loud!
And I just wish they'd stop, my Dad and my Mum.
And the telly and stories would stop just for once!
And I'm sorry, I'm not quite explaining it right.
But this noise becomes anger, and the anger is light
And its burning inside me would usually fade.
But it isn't today!
And the heat and the shouting.
And my heart is pounding.
And my eyes are burning
And suddenly everything, everything is.......
Like silence, but not really silent.
Just that still sort of quiet.
Like the sound of a page being turned in a book.
Or a pause in a walk in the woods.
Like silence, but not really silent.
Just that nice kind of quiet.
Like the sound when you lie upside down in your bed.
Just the sound of your heart in your head.
And though the people around me.
Their mouths are still moving.
The words they are forming,
Cannot reach me anymore!
And it is quiet.
And I am warm.
Like I've sailed.
Into the eye of the storm.
It can be hard to grasp what a person with autism may be feeling, but it's important to try to understand, and to help the individual with autism learn how to express those feelings in a way that helps them feel understood, accepted and loved.
Stop right now and imagine you are at an event. It's just really familiar people, so the conversation is easy, food is great, weather is perfect. How are you feeling? Could you express your feelings exactly and perfectly to someone else at the party? Would they fully understand? The answers to those questions may all be yes.
Now, you're at that same party, but you have autism. The faces here are all of friends, but they are all talking at once, and even though someone is speaking directly to you (which is stressful), you still hear every other conversation around you. The food is unfamiliar....it seems like everyone else is enjoying it, but you take a bite of something and it makes you want to gag. It doesn't taste bad, it just feels strange in your mouth. You see each colour around you 10x brighter now, maybe so bright they're blurring. Your nice party clothes feel like they have tiny little claws and they are digging into your skin to stay on. How are you feeling now? Could you express your feelings exactly to someone else at the party? Would they understand? Oh, I forgot to mention that your expressive language skills are extremely lacking.
How one must feel when the world appears completely different to them is beyond me. I try to understand, I try to have empathy, but can I ever really know?
Finding things like the poem or song mentioned above help me stop and re-consider what I know about how my son feels. It gives me more insight, more words to use to help him when he's lost for ways to express himself. It keeps my empathy warmed.
Feelings are so confusing in general, right? They are subjective, abstract, and complicated. So, add in some of the usual things people with autism are dealing with like trying to understand social cues, expressive language (saying what's in your head), and processing what you're physically feeling from the excessive sensory input, and trying to separate that from what your feelings are....? Geepers.
Show some extra grace to those who need it. Offer a word or two to help the person express the feelings that are present, and above all, remember that individuals on the autism spectrum have feelings, whether or not they appear as you'd expect them to.
Motivational Monday: High Five!
Today I bring to you a guy who makes me laugh (and laughing makes me feel better, and feeling better motivates me to get stuff done!!!), Zach Anner!
This guy is so hilarious, you'll just love him. I've shared another one of his videos before, but in case you don't know who he is, his YouTube description goes like this: "Hi! I'm Zach Anner and I make videos for your enjoyment and my embarrassment." You have to love someone who has such a great sense of humour!
On his official website you will be greeted with this :
"Comedian Zach Anner opens his frank and devilishly funny book, If at Birth You Don’t Succeed, with an admission: he botched his own birth, entering the world with cerebral palsy and an uncertain future. So how did a kid who almost failed kindergarten blossom into a viral internet sensation who’s hosted two travel shows, impressed Oprah, driven the Mars Rover, and inspired a John Mayer song? (It wasn’t “Your Body Is a Wonderland.”) If at Birth You Don’t Succeed is a hilariously irreverent and heartfelt memoir about finding your passion and your path—even when it’s paved with epic misadventure."
I'm sharing some of Zach's high fives today! Enjoy!
I've been married and cooking for myself for nearly 12 years, and until recently, I had never bought pork tenderloin. Except for bacon, I don't buy pork.
It's never been my favourite. Whenever I think of pork, I think of dried out pork chops. Bleh. No thanks! My brother once brought a tenderloin to my house (among many other groceries) because he used to stop by to visit and fancied himself to be Jamie Oliver and would whip up some of the most delicious meals I've ever had!!! But, in that instance he decided to prepare another meat he had brought, and the tenderloin got tossed into the freezer, only to be pulled out later and turned into pulled pork. Oh yeah, I'll eat pulled pork, but, c'mon, it's shredded meat covered in a yummy sauce and eaten with coleslaw! Tasty!
Anywhooooo, when scrimping and saving on groceries, beggars can't be choosers! Pork tenderloin was on sale, a sale so good I actually did a double take and went back to the cooler to investigate.
Per kg, pork tenderloin was cheaper that week than any of the other regular meats we would get. So, I thought, "well, I might as well see what I can do!", and grabbed a few. My husband thought I was having a stroke because I was buying pork. Ok, he didn't think that, but he was like, "huh....?"
Once home I Googled and pondered the potential of this meat. It seemed stuffing it was a must for a more guaranteed finished product. I had spinach which I knew would be nice, and having bacon inside seemed like a great way to keep the tenderloin moist from the inside out while roasting. Lemon and rosemary are a favourite flavour combo of mine, and knew that they'd taste great with bacon and spinach.
Lemme say that this roast was goo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ood (read that with a slight Southern drawl and it'll make sense) : )
Spinach & Bacon Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
(with lemon & rosemary)
What we had for dinner that night I sliced into approximately 1 inch pieces, and we ate it with a side of mashed cauliflower, and the rest I tried to cut thinner so my husband could use it in a sandwich to take to work. Best sandwich ever!
Happy Friday one and all. I'll meet you here again next week!
Autism & Gratitude
Too often (and I'm guilty of this) talking about autism can become a gripe-fest. And yes, I see the irony in me griping about it....
But really, if the people who care for and love people with autism want to see the world embrace these special individuals we need to quit playing our sad song everywhere we go!
Jem Lester’s debut novel Shtum, which draws on the author’s own experiences as the father of a profoundly autistic non-verbal son, said in an article in The Guardian that he believes it is important that people continue to challenge public conceptions of autistic children. “I didn’t actually set out to write a novel about autism because my whole experience was still very raw at that point and we’d had to really battle to get Noah into residential care. But I also knew how hilarious and joyful he is and how great he is to hang out with and I wanted something that reflected that. I didn’t want to write a misery memoir.”
A new BBC show, The A Word, revolves around a young boy with autism and his family and community. The writer of the show, Peter Bowker, said “It was incredibly important that it was funny,” “I didn’t want to beat people over the head with the story. I want viewers to relate to the family and what they’re going through. There’s an aspirational element – they’re building their own business – and on the surface life is not perfect but pretty damn good. Humour is part of that and also the idea that they are a smart, articulate group, but they can’t talk about this one thing.”
Our life with Caleb is a roller-coaster, but don't forget, roller coasters can be really freakin' fun!!! : ) You might feel sick, you might think "get me off of here!", but it can also be exhilarating, if you allow it to be.
I'm having a hard time articulating what I want to say....
I guess what I'm driving at is this: in the journey of autism, you can look at every set-back, every road block, every meltdown, every stink-eye from strangers who are ignorant to you and your life, every disappointing moment, and choose bitterness and misery.
Or you can choose joy. You can choose gratitude.
Back in March I wrote about Ezra, our daughter we lost to a late term miscarriage, and how in that we choose to have gratitude, because gratitude produces joy in our hearts.
The same applies to our lives with autism. Do I feel exhausted a lot of the times because of Caleb's troubling behaviours? Of course! Do I get sick of hearing about others peoples opinions about how I should be raising and taking care of Caleb? Duh. Can I grump around all day and cry the blues to everyone who would listen? Sure could. But I don't want to.
Caleb, even though he's delayed in many ways, even though this world must seem exhausting to him and his senses, even though he must feel how mis-understood he is, he is more often than not found with a big ol' smile on his face! He's often laughing about something (and a lot of times it's something that just popped into his head and he hasn't said out loud, but he's just laughing!). He's often "telling jokes" - he's actually only really got one (knock knock. Who's there? Owen. Owen who? Owen the saints, go marching in...). It's a doozie, and he actually finishes it with "owen the saints they march and march...", which really makes it funnier somehow! He's able to burp on demand, and can burp anything you want to hear! The alphabet, the Spider-Man theme song, anything! It's disgusting, but it makes him so happy.
Not all people with autism are geniuses. Not all people with autism are savants. Not all people with autism are mentally retarded.
All people with autism are beautiful though, as is each and every life.
Choose to see the beauty there, and choose to see the happiness and joy there.
Real life with autism is all sorts of things, but I want to choose gratitude that I have a son who is in excellent physical health, a son with a sense of humour, a son who loves deeply and has empathy for those around him. A son who eats his pasta one painstaking noodle at a time, and loves bagels with peanut butter and brown sugar (a favourite when I was a kid too!). I am grateful that Caleb is teaching his sisters through his life that people can be very different from yourself, but still loveable and worth loving. I'm grateful that no-one can ever accuse us of not cuddling our cat enough! : )
Choosing gratitude fills your heart with joy. This joy isn't associated with physical and social circumstances! It is an ever-present possibility, reachable by a simple decision. A decision to choose gratitude.
The novel, "The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time", by Mark Haddon, explores the life of one particular young man, Christopher, who is on the autism spectrum. (Read a review of the book here). Although Christopher does demonstrate some genius, I like that the book (& the award winning play) also show the struggles he faces. This story is fictional, but it is clear that the author has put much time and energy into trying to understand some of the aspects of autism that make it "what it is", and shows us this through the eyes of young Christopher.
Even if you're not "into" theatre, the video clip below that shows some of the background work that went into the play is very educational regarding the inner workings of a mind with autism.
The book, as well as the play, follow Christopher as he becomes an amateur detective of sorts, following the murder of his neighbours' dog. I found the book interesting on a personal level because Christopher, who is approached by a policeman investigating the dogs' murder, touches him, and Christopher reacts by hitting him. My son, Caleb, who has autism, struggles with this very same problem of not being able to process unsolicited or surprising touch, and has to touch back to relieve whatever it is his body is going through as a reaction to being touched. We're really struggling with breaking this habit, as he sometimes chases people down to touch them back, and can become very angry in the process.
Themes explored in the book and play include coping with loss, feelings of value and safety, understanding that chaos is naturally present in daily life (and trying to create order in that chaos), the importance of identity, as well as grasping at that illusive time in life between being a child and an adult where you want to be seen as independent, but also realize how much support you still need.
Those themes I touched on are topics that reach across the entire autism spectrum, whether the individual is high functioning, or lower functioning. Caleb is now 12, and is stepping into the last theme of wanting to be independent, but still needing so much support. Allowing him more freedoms is difficult because we want to keep him safe, we want to make life a little less complicated for him, and he still requires a lot of assistance.
I will talk about autism and independence next Thursday, but for now, I just wanted to share about this book and play, and invite you to watch the video to help gain a new, better, or different understanding of autism.
The purpose in sharing about this story is because autism is so broad, and can look like so many different things. So, the more you read and become educated about it, the more you understand, and can show love, compassion, grace, patience, and support.
Motivational Monday: Potatoes
Today on the Health & Fitness section of my site I talk about The Great Potato Debate! Are potatoes as bad as they are made to seem? Hop over there and have a read!
So, for today's "motivation" I want to share some funny potato memes. Who knew there even were such things! Haha!
I hope they give you a chuckle and brighten up your Monday!
This recipe is a wonderful concoction of brownie, caramel, and cookie!
The first time I made this it was because I had some leftover oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from a sale I had been a vendor at. The cookies had gotten too hard to be able to eat (well, unless you dipped them into tea or coffee, which was yummy!), so I needed to just get them used up in another way.
I thought if they were a crumb or crumble type thing for something else, it would be deee-lish! I found this recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron, and adapted it to suit me and what I had one hand.
I've made this with from-scratch brownies, boxed brownie mix, even a modified-to-brownies chocolate cake mix. I've used wrapped caramels, as well as caramel bits, and I used my leftover cookies, but also store-bought oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! So, I mean, you can make this treat in many ways! And you should!
Perfect, fudgy brownies topped with caramel and more chocolate, then topped with a crumble made from cookies? Yes, it is every bit as delicious as it sounds!
Caramel Brownie Cookie Crumb Bars
Adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
For the Brownie Base:
For the Caramel Layer:
For The Cookie Top:
Oh, yum. These bars are just the tops! For real, they are just too tasty to fully describe!
So, this weekend-any plans?
Saturday we go over to the neighbours for an annual pancake breakfast! My wonderful neighbour has a huge maple syrup shack (it's an enormous shop, really!) where he's been really, really, really busy, working away at turning the sap from our beloved maple trees into wonderful maple syrup! He doesn't even personally like maple syrup, but his father made it, and he wants to carry on in his tradition. So he hosts a wonderful pancake breakfast to share/get rid of some of the syrup he's made! : ) It's really so great, we always enjoy it a lot!
Have a good weekend!
Autism & Therapy Cats
Some of you may recall that back in December, we got a cat.
The scary truth is that we live in the country, in an old house, and we were having mouse and rat problems (yes, rats! Huge rats!!!). We'd been doing everything we could think of to rid ourselves of our unwanted house guests, but they are persistent little buggers, and I figured a cat could a least help a little, right?
Well, so far she doesn't seem to have caught anything...and we've even caught a rat in a trap since getting her, but that's beside the point because something else has happened. This little cat has stolen my son's heart away! I was going to say, "this little cat has trapped my son's heart", but that's too much cheesiness for anyone! Haha, I still shared it anyway!
My son Caleb has autism. Autism is a mental condition, generally present from early childhood, and is marked by difficulty in the areas of communicating, connecting to other people, using language, and abstract concepts. and engaging in repetitive, often unusual behaviours.
Caleb is 11, and still has trouble with communication. He talks, has many words, and can sometimes carry on something of a conversation (though usually it has to be about the subject of his choosing, and even then, the response you get may not be an appropriate response, it may just be some random echo from something else he knows). His language skills are good and bad. For instance, he will say when he's irritated with you, "you're creeping me angry", which of course makes no sense, but we're sort of used to it around here! And abstract concepts (like figures of speech) are still a struggle for him, especially when using simile, hyperbole, metaphors, & irony. Whenever I say something is like something else, for instance, "Your sister is like a cat!" he will quickly respond with, "Abby is not a cat, Abby will be a little girl?!?"
Caleb's relationships are different. He clearly has a desire to have friends. This is evident in that he will often keep hanging around certain students at school, whether they are being nice to him or not, or by him asking "where are the girls" when he realizes his sisters aren't in the house for whatever reason, and he is always clearly excited when we tell him we are going to certain peoples homes to visit.
But now we've got this cat. Bella.
Bella has scratched Caleb's face. He still loves her. Bella runs away from him. He still loves her. She hides from him in the drawers of his captains bed. He thinks that's the best, actually.
But, she is more often painfully patient with him. She will sit with him for long periods of time, letting him whisper in her ears, and tickle her back.
I didn't realize the power she had over him, or how much he thought of her, until one day when he was having a "meltdown" and was just so upset. Our usual practice now for Caleb when he is getting frustrated and angry is to send him to his room to let the feelings play out in a location where he feels safe, and won't be looked at or bothered by his sisters.
I can't remember what he was so upset about on this one particular day, but he just couldn't get a hold of himself after having been in his room for quite some time. So, I went to him and asked if he wanted to lay down in my bed (which he loves and thinks of as a special thing). He got into my bed, and started really crying. Through his tears he choked out "Caleb will need Bella the cat?". So I asked him to clarify, "you want Bella right now?". "Yes. Caleb will need Bella the cat" he answered.
I found the cat and brought her to him, and he took her in his arms, put her up to his face, and started sobbing! It was heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. He sat in my bed crying into the side of the cat, and then talking to her and saying, "Caleb will be so very upset", "Caleb will not like to feel so red (angry)". And then, after about 15 minutes, he got up (still holding the cat) and came back downstairs, happy and ready to go on with his day.
I was left thinking, "what just happened?"
Therapy cats, it turns out, although it sounds like a strange notion, are an actual thing!
After this incident with Caleb and Bella, I Googled "autism and therapy cats" and learned that this odd idea, is something that has been going on for a while!
I feel like most people know of therapy dogs, but there are also therapy horses, and even therapy dolphins!
When most people think of cats though, they generally think of aloof kind of creatures who are self-centred. And, well, that is true for a lot of cats, but not for all cats! That's the same as saying all dogs are loyal and loving, or all horses are the same (the saying "a horse is a horse!").
Our cat proved early on that she was very, very, very cuddly and social. Not so much to the children at first....because the girls mostly chased her around and held her up by her armpits to make her "walk" on her hind legs. Sheesh.
Caleb however wasn't ever interested in "playing" with her, he just wanted to hold her, press his face into her, whisper in her ear, and give her "tickle backs" (yes, he tickles the cats back)!
Just a month ago, we had been away for almost the whole day, and came home quite late. As soon as we walked in the door Bella was there, meowing a greeting. Caleb, (who when asked about how his day was at school says "good"), walked in and said, "Bella! I missed you! I will be in Bancroft all day to visit our friends!".
My husband and I were literally stunned! I turned to my husband and said, "I wish he would talk to us like that about his day!"
I knew our cat had moved in to be more than a rodent catcher.
Caleb is very protective and possessive of the cat. If his sisters are being too silly with her, he will shout, "HEY! You will not be mean to my friend Bella the cat!!!", or if she's outside and he doesn't know that, he will walk around saying (in a hilariously fake/copy-cat way), "Heeeeeere Bella, Bella, Bella! Heeeeeeere Bella the cat!".
As for Bella's thoughts on her new job, well, she lets him know when she's had enough! He's been scratched, and she runs away from him. But these things seem to be happening less and less often. I'm not going to get all cat-spiritual on you, but I will say that I think she's getting used to Caleb and understanding him better. I also think she's realizing that he isn't home all day and her excessive deep-pressure cuddling is only for a small amount of time every day so she's being more chill about it!!!
Recently, Caleb was sick and home from school. When I told him he'd need to stay in bed to rest, his first question was, "Bella the cat will stay with Caleb?".
So, in between running to the bathroom to be sick, or being sick in the Spiderman bucket provided, he would be holding the cat. I wondered at one point in the day, "how does he keep getting the cat when he's only getting up to be sick?".
Well, maybe an hour after wondering that, I went back up to Caleb's room to see how he was doing. He had fallen asleep, but at the end of his bed sat Bella. All on her own accord. She could have been in 10 different places of her choosing having been released from Caleb's grip on her, but she was still there with him.
Again....not gonna get cat-spiritual, but it was really an amazing thing.
Caleb often says of Bella, "Bella will be my friend", "Bella is Caleb's best friend" or "Bella will love Caleb", and I think he's right.
What seemed to be a really lop-sided relationship is starting to turn into something a little more mutual.
Bella is not trained to be a therapy cat, but Caleb doesn't seem to mind. Neither do we, for that matter!
How are we trying to harness the power of the cat for Caleb? Well, she helps my sleepy and grumpy pre-teen lad out of bed in the morning! I'll go in to wake him up with the cat in my arms, and he opens his eyes and smiles and says, "Good morning Bella the cat" (I'm invisible, btw!), and he gets 5 minutes to cuddle before he needs to get up and get ready for the day. Or when he's having a hard time with something and is edging on a meltdown, I'll tell him to go to his room to have alone time, and I'll bring him the cat. This has helped enormously as he used to become so severely upset that his whole face would be blood-shot (it looked like his face was covered in deep purple freckles), but he now cries and holds Bella until he's feeling better.
He is learning that to be a good friend to Bella he can't hold her with a death grip, and that he needs to see and understand what his friend is telling him with her tail, ears, and voice (ya'll know what an angry cat looks and sounds like!).
His favourite "joke" right now is, "Bella the cat will look like a funny lemur!", which is kind of true.
I am surprised by this friendship though. We've had a dog and horses for years, and although Caleb really loves them, he never seemed so focused on them, and they never seemed to "stick" as therapy animals.
So, in the regular cat-fashion of doing things their way, our cat does whatever she wants and reaches out and befriends someone who struggles with making real friends. Maybe it just figures, since cats have a lot of autistic tendencies; sensitive hearing, single-mindedness, particular eating habits, aversion to water, and running away when someone reaches out to touch them! Perhaps there is an understanding there! : )
I think for Caleb, spending time with Bella can be a break from dealing with humans who can be confusing with social cues, or who can tease and hurt feelings (which are so abstract and hard to understand, but still felt). And in recent years Caleb has actually become more and more cuddly himself, to the point where I'm standing working at the hot stove, and Caleb comes up behind me for some hugging time, and I'm like, "Uh....not right now, pal!". This sweet cat is giving him so much cuddle time, and, praise the Lord, it keeps Caleb from being right at my heels while I'm working in my small kitchen!
Whatever the reasons, whatever the connections, whatever is going on between Caleb and Bella....we are so grateful for her. We found her in an ad on Kijiji. She was free! But she is invaluable, especially to Caleb.
So, I'm not saying if you're struggling with a child with autism, rush out and get yourself a cat. But I am saying, why not consider it? If you know someone with a cat, see if you can go over for a little visit and cat-time! Or take your child to an animal shelter and see what kind of reaction you get out of showing them the cats!
Our Bella....loud & vocal (I'm talking meowing with all her might every morning at 5am!!!), crazy cuddly, so pretty, so sweet. She is Caleb's best friend, and we are so glad for our four legged, furry cat therapist!
Oh, and P.S. read HERE for a beautiful story about a little girl with autism and her feline friend!
Well, hello there. Sick days probably seems like a strange Motivational Monday idea....but I was up all night with my youngest who threw-up at 12:45am....and approximately every hour after that until 5:15. At one point my middle child said she had a head-ache, and I believed her once I felt her head an realized she was burning up! My eldest who has been fighting a cough and cold for well over a week woke up crying around 3am, but with no real reason why, so I (lovingly) assessed that he was low on the list of things to give a crap about, and sent him back to bed (with a kiss on the head, of course)! My husband realized the sick night was going to be a never ending event, and moved to the couch at that point, and so got a solid (tongue in cheek) 2 1/2 hours of sleep before his alarm went off at 5:30.
It were a looooooong night, I tells ya!!!
So, in my tired, coffee fuelled state I decided that a sick day motivation was in order!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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