"I have Autism, but Autism doesn't have me."

I started this blog to share my thoughts on what is life as a stay-at-home mom. With changes that have developed and shaped our characters here on the homestead, this is now Tristan's blog (Captain's log?) about life with Autism. We will be sharing various topics, focused on Autism, ranging from the professional focus to being in the parent's seat and how every day is different from yesterday and may not come close to tomorrow. There is much to continue learning when it comes to Autism, and as a family, we are sharing our experiences along the way. Pull up a chair, learn, then go out into the world and make a difference with what you've gleaned. Knowledge is Power!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Now that would be dinner during the summer, and I can't keep my mind off of the hope for a good growing season this year! I love fresh veggies, especially if I know I've nurtured and helped grow into edible yummies!
Found this fantastic vegan chili recipe on Facebook this morning, and can't wait to try it out this Friday-the season of Lent is upon us, and although I'm not the perfect Catholic, I try to stay in tune with the observances throughout the year.
Dinner tonight? Check it out:
Albondigas Guisadas en Salsa
(Meatballs Cooked in Sauce)
-1 lb. ground beef (sub with 2 lbs. ground turkey)
-1 cup bread or cracker crumbs (2 cups for turkey)
-1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
-Salt and ground pepper to taste
-Vegetable oil for frying (sub olive oil or canola for healthy choice)
-1 cup tomato sauce (jar pasta sauce for added flavor)
-2 tbsp. sofrito (will have to post the recipe and what this is on a later date)
In a bowl, mix meat, bread and seasonings. Form into meatballs. Fry in oil until brown on all sides. Add sauce and sofrito. Mix well. Cover and simmer 15 mins. -Serves 4 (6).
Arroz Verde
(Green Rice)
-2 cups rice
-2 medium green bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped or 1 lb. fresh (frozen) spinach, washed and chopped
-1 cup chopped parsley (sub cilantro)
-1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
-3 Tbsp. olive oil
-2 Tbsp. sofrito
-1 chicken bouillon cube (chicken broth has less sodium)
-Salt and ground black pepper to taste
-Water to cover rice (forget this and forget the rice :( !)
Wash rice and drain (not needed if you use parboiled rice). Blend bell peppers (or spinach), parsley (cilantro) and onion in a food processor (blendor worlks just as well). Blend until it forms smooth puree. Heat oil in a heavy kettle or pot. Add sofrito and rice, and saute for 5 mins. Pour in the puree. Add water to cover contents in pot by 1/4 to 1/2 in. Add bouillon cube (chicken broth), salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to boil. Cover tightly and simmer on low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender (about 20 mins). Dot with 1 Tbsp. butter, fluff with a fork and serve. -Serves 6.
Now, those who are old school about how rice is made, you would have to have a caldero (cast aluminum pot, otherwise find a cast iron that will function just as efficiently). My husband and son are Puerto Rican, and I cook quite a bit of Spanish food in our home. I also make a point to go around the world with our cuisine, as it opens the palette to other tastes and brings an awareness of other communities through food. Eating Spanish food is one of my favorite gastronomic adventures, and learning to cook it was just as fun. I am German, grew up with that yummy artery clogging food, which I still love but find it priceless to reach out and find the joy in cooking foods from around the world.
Enjoy chowing down; its a great pleasure. ~Love, Mom

Thursday, February 18, 2010

These are the Days Which Become Rare

The ease of slumber, the rested soul.....
As I type this passage and listen to the one man slumber party going on in the other room, I wonder where the days go with naps. Yes, I wrote an entry about naps being like the dinosaurs but I can't help but see priceless moments like these and photograph. I've taken pictures of just about every moment that occurs, trying to not miss anything along the way. Some times I forego a frozen image to be posted and let it settle into the catalog in my mind to remain a moment for me alone.
We've had so much fun in the last couple of weeks since I've started researching into home schooling and what it entails for the state you live in. Vermont seems to be so relaxed about its approach to education at home, yet there's paperwork and then some to prepare for when the time comes to choose-home school or integrate into the education system that waxes and wanes on its policies, learning styles, hours invested, and content of important material for your children to learn? For now, I am diving into turning every possible moment into a learning experience. And of course, at Tristan's current age, making sure he has fun with learning and social activities we attend.
Books of various types and contents are stacked on the coffee table, stuffed under chairs, packed in boxes lined up like shelves, and we've whittled down to two educational shows that focus on reading and hands on learning. Creativity through hands on learning, games, imagination play, finger play, along with the Montessori method of learning life skills through hands on experience color our days. We attend a local playgroup and a story time for toddlers at the local library for socialization, and I'm looking forward to when its time to work in the gardens again here at home; with the hope for better weather and more time at home this year, along with his love for being outside and exploring his environment, I feel this is going to be a great time for his learning progress. He's very strong willed and very, very independent, so I know those two elements will color his progress. Let alone his two strong willed parents..
So, the days of naps dwindle, schedules and moving activities around have taken over with our method of teaching and learning. My little sponge.....a character indeed.
"Let each man exercise the art he knows." -Artistophanes, 450 BC-388 BC
If that statement doesn't ring true....now how did Kix get in my shoes with the Cheerios? Pass the milk and a spoon....~Mom

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creative Project Turned Functional

This should probably have been placed on my biz blog but something just seemed to fit for me to put it here instead. Not everything creative that I do pertains to my business, as this set was done for my son; I knit the cap and scarf, while my mother crocheted the mittens (I added a string to make sure he doesn't lose his "Grammie made gloves").
I love working with fiber, love the feel of the yarn slipping through my fingers as I work the needles or hook to manifest something useful out of nothing more than a ball or skein of fiber that could always substitute as a cat toy-no cats here. Tristan also seems to love to pick through my yarn basket that sits behind my rocker near the fireplace-he's perfecting his pitch with my yarn these days.
I am currently working on a few fiber projects at this time-yes, all at once but in stages. A sweater for myself, a couple of throw rugs for the kitchen, repairs to a hoodie I made for one of my buyers, and a "I need a moment" throw that I've completed and then tore out to restart-its hot pink. Busy? A little but it keeps me focused on the knowledge that each project will manifest into an end result and be something functional when completed.
Over the years, looking back at times, I've always done something creative; I've learned in more recent times that functional creative projects seem to be most satisfiying for me, and when I can share that with people who are looking for something locally tailored/made, it makes me feel like I'm doing my part in the cycle of working with natural materials to create something made by hand, something of quality and not mass produced to satisfy with low pricing and the idea of if it breaks, it can be easily replaced because there are a million more. I consider myself a one of a kind person, and I like to make one of a kind creations.
So, know that Aunt Sophie and Grammie were doing the right thing when knitting gifts for family, that their efforts were to be praised, not hidden in the closet and forgotten about. Although, the holiday motif and farm animal sweaters when you're a teen just didn't go over big in junior high, those lovely women were putting their love into those moments of creativity.
I'm still finding Cheerios in my shoes but now I want to know how they get stuck to my yarn. ~Mom

Friday, February 5, 2010

1st Friday in February

Ever have one of those days when slippers like these are what you want to put on your feet, grab a book, and sit in the bay window covered in blankets and just let the day slip away? Where did those days go? I still find some days when I want to do that, and have to double check with everything that's going on to see if I can fit at least five minutes of that "escape" into my day. Resistance to naps, cleaning not yet done, potty training nightmares, and wanting to lay face down on the carpet kind of throw a wrench in that possibility but hey, I'm talking about every day life and the chances that your precious timely schedule may not pan out, so why stress? Life is a learning opportunity, with lessons of all kinds along the way.
Today at the tail end of a potty training moment, Tristan had a meltdown. Ok, back up a little, let him vent his frustration, give him a hug, and fix him some lunch. Was that easy? No. I wanted to try one more time for a sit on the potty but he was having no part of it. The meltdown was hell, too. I wanted to pick him up, hug him and let him know he's ok. But sometimes, you just gotta let your toddler have a moment. He was aware I was there, knew he could come to me for a hug when he was ready, and I had to keep in mind that I could get up and move. Parenting is filled with opportunities to learn from your children. They learn from us-the parents-and we learn from them. Personalities/strong will is not formed after birth; each child comes into this world with their personality intact. They know more than we could ever imagine. And yes, I did get a hug-several squeezes-a request to read to him, most of his lunch eaten, and a sense of "it's ok Mom, not every day is perfect or need to be."
So, on this first Friday in February, as the sun shines on the snow outside, Tristan is resisting his nap, and I come to a close on my post, I realize that each day is priceless, even when the sun is shining somewhere else in the world. So put on those fuzzy slippers, take a moment for yourself, and savor each discovery you encounter that makes a mark on your life. ~Mom