Autism: A Strange Mysterious Thief

When my twins were born in August 1996 autism was distant thunder on the horizon. I’d heard about it vaguely, but it seemed so mysterious and rare I couldn’t imagine it would ever affect me. Since then, diagnoses of autism increased tenfold and it has definitely shaped my family’s life. People often ask me when I first noticed that my son, Fraser, was different. I struggle with what I knew then and what I’ve come to understand. On a beautiful autumn day, I took my two-year-olds for a walk in the fields at the Ontario horse farm where we lived. Suddenly, in mid-stride, Fraser froze. His head was at an odd angle, his hands suspended in the air as he stared into a distance I couldn’t see. I tried rousing him, snapping my fingers and gently shaking his shoulder. He didn’t move for nearly five minutes and then he startled as though waking. That was the moment. Something wasn’t right.

Looking back now, I recognize the thief that was stealing my son, but then I didn’t know what I was seeing. As a newborn, Fraser frequently went stiff as a board, his limbs so rigid that I could balance him in the palm of my hand. He startled violently at noises and seemed overwhelmed by light, sound, smells, and touch, screaming in response. He also failed to breastfeed productively and had terrible digestive issues. At the twins’ first birthday, Fraser lagged behind his sister, Hallee, in his developmental markers. I worried about that, but our kind country doctor reassured me that boys develop slower than girls and said to give him time. During floor play, Fraser lined his toys up like a train, preferring to play alone. What language he had disappeared. Instead of using words like his sister to request, he often used my hand to point to something that he wanted.

After the staring spell, which recurred several times, we took Fraser back to the doctor feeling concerned that he might be having seizures. We put him through an overnight EEG in hospital, saw two neurologists, and were nearly torn apart by a misdiagnosis and the suggestion that we institutionalize him. Finally, one day when I picked the twins up from daycare, our caregiver told me that a friend who had experience with developmentally disabled children observed Fraser for the day. “That little boy has autism,” the friend said. We saw our doctor and he sent us to a children’s center for developmental disabilities where Fraser was finally diagnosed at age three. Now, we know that early diagnosis with intervention therapies as soon as possible can dramatically improve the futures of autistic children. Educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of autism, and if you recognize them in your child, be brave enough to seek a diagnosis immediately. Autism is, indeed, strange and mysterious, an amazing journey in many respects, but with love and intervention, it isn’t always a tragedy.

Shannon Wray is a writer and television producer with credits in both Canada and the U.S. Raised in a Hollywood show business family, her aunt is Fay Wray, Canadian actress, and star of the classic film King Kong. Ms. Wray has enjoyed careers in music, book and magazine publishing, television and film. Currently, her family is the subject of the upcoming CBC POV documentary film, Love, Hope & Autism airing on March 18, 2018, and she is at work on a companion book to the film entitled A Different World. Shannon lives in a small mountain village in Southern California with the love of her life and her son, who has autism. Her daughter is graduating from film school this Spring.

Joining Gym In Tucson To Lose Weight

Weight Loss Goals For 2018

getting ready for the gymI didn’t want to blog about this in January because I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of the new year and honestly I still don’t. A happy home, healthy kids, and success in whatever we pursue sounds like enough to make me happy. But all that aside, there is something that would not only make me happier, it would make me healthier and that is weight loss. I got down on seconds over the holiday season and didn’t shy away from anything that was edible through November and December, but now I am truly ready for a change. I have looked into some weight loss programs but an a firm believer that I need a change of lifestyle more than anything. I want this to be a lifelong transformation, not just a few months of eating healthy and exercising and them back to the snack shack for some chips and soda. Arizona is beautiful most of the year and I have no excuse not to be outside in the sun most of the time. I just need a little motivation. My husband is awesome, but we just don’t seem to motivate each other like we used to. We can both just as easily plop down on the couch with a bottle of Pinot and binge watch Game of Thrones, getting out of the house to work out has never been our thing and with all the kids around it’s become even less of an option. I called a Gym in Tucson to ask their personal trainers a few questions about diet and exercise to see how they might manage me as a customer. I spend a few days a week down in Tucson and am usually without the kids so it just made sense for me to start there where my schedule is most free. The girl I spoke with was super cool and and answered most of my questions the best she could, but ultimately suggested that I stop in for a visit, check out the Gym and get some face time with her to see if getting a Gym membership and hiring a personal trainer was the route for me. I’ll be heading in there at the end of the month to evaluate the Gym and see what kind of environment it has. I definitely need some entry level classes to get me started, and have no desire to be thrown in with the wolves.

crossfit gym in Tucson

I have seen the shape some of these girls are in competing in crossfit competitions in Tucson and I could only dream of achieving those kind of results. I need to trim down about 20 pounds so I can fit back into my favorite bathing suit before summer hits. Since the last baby, I just haven’t had the time or motivation to trim this extra weight, but I am hoping that 2018 brings a year of change for me and my family so we can enjoy the pool once again looking happy and healthy.

Look, if the 60+ crowd can get busy like this then I can definitely do this! Stay tuned for progress reports and more blog posts about my journey to be more fit in 2018.

5 Tricks to Get Kids to CLEAN UP!

5 Tricks to Get Kids to CLEAN UP!

If your kids don’t volunteer to clean up their toys (ahem, Ford!), here are some tricks to get ’em going! Subscribe for new vids every M-W-F Watch Mom Hacks | Toy Organization:

Sand Timer
Mini Dustpan & Broom
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Waste Management Open 2018

Fun At The Waste Management Open

phoenix golf tournament

Quick update on the open, we aren’t the biggest golf fans but when there is a party as big as this around a sport  we typically find time to become fans! We got a group together for the 2018 Waste Management Open and we were not disappointed. We took a Lyft there and cute golf skirtsback and started with some drinks in the AM to get the party started. My girlfriends and I bought some cute golf outfits that included these cute little golf tops and skirts. We were ready to party at one of Arizona’s biggest sporting events. With spring training just a month away, this is when the spring season really kicks off. The weather is to die for, and the people that turn out for this event show up in droves and ready to party their arses off! The actual game was cool to watch in person, although I don’t know all the rules I do understand the basic concept behind golf. The gotta hit the golf ball all the way down the grass lane and eventually land it in the hole. Driving a ball down the lane and landing it in a hole… ok, that sounds like something I can be a fan of. There was a drunk guy there though before the event really kicked off that ended up streaking out onto the course. There was some much fun to be had, but unfortunately there was also a very tragic moment that I want to mention. There was a Tempe firefighter killed by a young man with a gun late in the evening on the streets of Scottsdale.

tempe fire fighter killed

Apparently the firefighter was a passenger in a Golf Cart that was driving around Old Town Scottsdale and a vehicle was getting dangerously close to them, driving close to the bumper and swerving near them. The cart came to a store and the firefighter exited the golf cart to approach the car and a young man fired a gun shot into the firefighters face killing him. It’s an extremely sad story, my best friends husband was in the Marines with this guy and they came out from San Diego to attend the funeral this past week. So, with all the fun and excitement that surrounded the event, there was also that tragic event that unfolded. All said and done it was an absolute blast and I will be doing it again in 2019.

Off Road Adventure in Sedona

Off Roading In Sedona For Spring Break

Arizona Travel Adventures

Spring break is already approaching at the speed of life. I can’t believe that shortly after that we will be entering the summer months and the kids will be home again for 3 months. Whatever though, I can’t slow down time, but I can sure manage it. I have rented an off road Jeep for a fun 3 day excursion in Sedona with my husband and kids. My husband and our 10 year old son really enjoy hunting, and they spend a lot of time in our old hunting Jeep driving through the Arizona desert where they hunt quail during the season and other varmints. But this spring break I have planned an off road adventure that the girls can ride along for.

Jeep Tours In Sedona

I had read a lot about the Jeep tours in Arizona offered by Pink Jeep tours and some of the other local excursion companies. The problem I have is that we don’t want to be confined to a vehicle with someone else at the wheel. The Jeep tours have good reviews and seem to be great for the family that wants a mellow journey through Sedona. That is NOT US! My husband would go stir crazy sitting in a Pink Jeep while some uninterested driver earned his hourly wage navigating the desert carefully to avoid injury and excitement. We will be off roading Sedona this spring break, but not in the back of a Pink Jeep… hell no!

Sedona 4×4 Rentals

Ok, so the tour thing would be cool for my mom or my grandmothermye jeep off road rentals but the adventure resides in renting your own Jeep for a few days, hitting the trails that you want to hit, stopping when you want to stop, and spending the night where you want to spend it. I ended up renting a 4 door Jeep for us. We can pack the entire crew in it with room in the far back for packing an ice chest and our bags. We reserved our Jeep through this Sedona off road rental company and are extremely excited to hit the trail heads with our family. There is a built in navigation system with pre-programmed trails for us to travel, but knowing my husband the GPS system will be turned off and he will be driving up the hills that we probably shouldn’t be driving up. These off road rentals in Sedona are perfect for family excursions. We checked the Jeeps out before I booked the rental. the Jeeps were well maintained and reliable, so packing my kids into them isn’t going to be an issue for me.

Trails To Explore in Sedona

There are amazing trails out in Sedona and the surrounding areas. If you have never visited Sedona and the beautiful Red Rock formations that exist you will be pleasantly surprised.

Schnebly Hill Road –

Outlaw Trail –

Oak Creek Trail

Diamondback Gulch –

Van Deren Cabin Trail –

Soldiers Pass –

Broken Arrow Trail –

House Mountain Trail –

Other Places To Explore in Sedona

slide rock in Sedona

Ok, so after the fun has come and from exploring Sedona, we will be winding down for a few days around the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Not so much a place for the kids, but we will have to make that work. I have heard that there are a few amazing restaurants in the area that offer great steaks. There are also some very cool local adventures you can check out like the cowboy adventures offered by a local adventure company. Also while we are there we will be dining out for some good eats at the best steak house in Sedona. There is nothing I would rather do then enjoy all these excursions with my husband and kids, but if we end up eating there we might find ourselves a babysitter so we can sit down and enjoy a meal without the distractions of the kiddos. If the weather is warm enough we will visit Slide Rock for some fun in the river and the natural rock water slides.

Parenting Hacks, and a Big Break for Mom

Parenting Hacks, and a Big Break for Mom

Ellen shared some unique parenting hacks with her audience, and announced a contest for moms who just need a break!

Mens Barber For Valentines

Groom Your Man For Valentines Day

straight edge razor shave

Valentine’s day is approaching! Ladies, if you are searching for a perfect present for the men on your gift list, consider the gift that is unconventional, but appreciated by men of all ages:  a trip to the barber shop! Men, regardless of their ages, love to feel pampered and a barber shop appointment is an ideal solution—something he wouldn’t usually get for himself, but an indulgence; a special treatment for a king!

Men won’t come right out and say it, but deep down, they like to look good and feel good. Most barber shops offer individual services or packages geared just for men because being pampered isn’t just for women! Offer the man in your life a unique opportunity to unwind and relax or to partake of some aesthetic services to make him feel brand new again. He will appreciate your thoughtfulness and he’ll emerge feeling rejuvenated and pampered—just like he deserves! He can take advantage of some traditional beauty services and feel great about how he looks. From teens to granddads, a barbershop treatment is the ultimate gift.

Each barber shop varies its services, so make sure you are either buying a particular service, package, or they offer gift certificates to be used on a treatment of his choice. Many men enjoy traditional services, like an attentive shave. To truly impress your man, invest in a spa shave—one that includes a hot towel service, a pre-shave oil, an old-fashioned, close shave with a straight edge razor and hot lather, and wraps up with an aftershave balm to hydrate the skin. He may shave daily, but he’s never had a treatment like this! His skin will be silky smooth, and he will love the relaxation he feels while in the chair!

Another great option for men: a spa manicure and pedicure. This is a simple, yet comfortable way for your man to feel pampered, and you may even enjoy the experience together! He’ll really love the hand massage and paraffin treatment and the way his hands look after his nails are filed, clipped and buffed. And if he has never had a pedicure, he will completely appreciate the whirlpool spa, the leg massage and hot towel wraps, and the meticulous attention to his feet. It’s a great way to unwind after a tough week at work and no, he doesn’t have to have his nails painted!

In addition to stylized hair treatments, including haircuts, highlights, and scalp massages, many barber shops also offer waxing services for men. If your man is embarrassed by the hair on his back, shoulders or other body parts, waxing is an excellent answer to that problem. Hair removal by hot wax is a quick, effective way to leave him smooth and sleek while in a private, soothing environment. Barber shop waxing rooms offer calming music, aromatherapy and skilled, trained professionals to ensure the comfort of the client. He may be apprehensive at first, especially if he’s seen “The 40-Year Old Virgin”, but once he experiences a true waxing treatment, he’ll crave the maintenance of his newly soft, smooth skin!

5 MOM HACKS (4) | mamiblock – Der Mami Blog

5 MOM HACKS (4) | mamiblock – Der Mami Blog

Life Hacks sind total simple, aber effektive Dinge, die einem den Alltag erleichtern. Ich habe hier mal 5 life hacks for moms zusammengestellt und ausprobiert, also 5 Dinge, die den Familienalltag erleichtern und die ihr deshalb unbedingt kennen solltet.

Schreibt mir doch eure Lieblings – Life Hacks in die Kommentare. Vielleicht kennt ihr ja sogar auch noch gut life hacks. Ich freu mich, wenn ihr mir schreibt.

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Meine Titelmusik ist von Roger Subirana Mata und heißt “Tales Of Trees”.

What Is MCT Oil

What’s MCT Oil

MCT Oils for energyMCTs are a kind of fat which may be easily used for energy from your own body and don’t need to be broken down prior to usage. They’re precursors to ketones and help your body burn fat rather than burning carbohydrates. Ketones are among their brain’s two main fuel resources, in addition to a very important supply of ATP energy to the body. ATP energy is what enables each and every muscle in your body to maneuver. While ketones from fat, instead of glycogen from carbs, are the principal source of fuel for people on a ketogenic diet, however, you do not need to totally go keto to gain out of MCT oil and ketones.

** MCTs get their name due to the period of the chemical structure. All sorts of fatty acids comprise of strings of associated hydrogen and carbon. **

•• Othere using MCT Oils for appetite control have also found success with CBD Oils. **

Most fats absorbed are taken into your body then needs to be blended with bile discharged in the gut and acted by pancreatic enzymes to break it down into your digestive tract. Medium-chain fats are digested easily and as soon as they reach your gut they’re sent through the blood directly to a liver, in which they have a thermogenic effect and also the capability to positively change your metabolism. MCTs even pass the adrenal barrier to provide your mind with an immediate increase of energy. MCTs are absorbed faster than longer chain fats, since there is less work for your entire body to perform, in breaking the carbon bonds, meaning that they may be used faster as fuel, instead of being stored as fat. MCT oils can be broken into four subcategories.

MCT oil is dispersed and derived from coconut oil (but some also come from palm oil), so while olive oil includes MCTs, it isn’t 100 percent MCT oil; coconut oil includes a high percentage of lauric acid, which functions similar to a naturally-occurring fatty acid (instead of medium-chain). Coconut oil, since it comprises MCTs conveys these very same advantages, but not as powerful and focused as pure MCT oil. As a result of this, coconut oil doesn’t convert quite as economically into ketones and consequently doesn’t contribute just as much of a power increase as the right MCT. Nor does it suppress appetite or assist feed your mind how C8 and C10 do.

Coconut oil is about 50 percent linoleic acid. edible coconut oil with mctLauric acid (or C12) takes a pit stop from the liver for processing instead of becoming immediately converted to energy such as another MCT’s (C8 and C10).

** While technically tagged an MCT by scientists, C12, lauric acid, acts longer, biologically speaking, such as an LCT (long chain triglyceride), which means that you do not get the speedy ketone power to fuel your mind and body which you do away from other MCTs. If it’s own right, malic acid does have lots of its own advantages, such as with antimicrobial advantages, which can be successful in combating a variety of infections. **

The two MCT and coconut oil also offer anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and may also offer you anti-microbial aid, to help rid the intestine of harmful pathogenic germs, parasites, parasites, etc..

How to Pick a Quality MCT Oil?

For fluid MCT Oil, I usually opt for Brain Octane Oil that is 100 percent C8, which will be ideal for brain functionality. C8 is 18 times more powerful than coconut oil. Bulletproof’s XCT petroleum that is equally C8 and C10, is 6 times more capable of providing medium chain triglycerides compared to ordinary coconut oil. C10 is much slower to become energy compared to C8, but is less expensive. Prevent C6s since they may cause gastrointestinal distress. Furthermore, if your MCT oil manufacturer of selection makes your neck burn off or has a bizarre flavor, 1 reason could be that the distillation didn’t eliminate enough of the C6. Coconut oil is greatest in C12 (Lauric Acid) MCTs, therefore in case an MCT oil is C12 derived, I advise you to save your cash and only opt for coconut oil, then you’ll find exactly the very same advantages. There are loads of manufacturers of MCT oils available on the marketplace, therefore it is ideal to do your homework on where they’re derived from, how they’re expressed and which kind of MCTs they feature.

When purchasing MCT oil, constantly search for powder or oil that’s been expressed or processed without using solvents. Many liquid MCT oils are produced through chemical/solvent optimizing, which may mean that they need using compounds like hexane and distinct enzymes and combustion compounds. Not great, safe or clean. Furthermore, lots of MCT Oil Powders have additives, thickeners and compounds added, therefore best to make certain you’re selecting an MCT Oil Powder which is clean and free from any crap, such as Perfect Ketone’s MCT Powder.

How to Eat MCT Oil?

how to consume mct oilThough some people suggest using in salad dressings, homemade mayo, etc, I’d caution against having a lot of, a little goes a very long way using MCT oil plus a few too many tablespoons of dressing or mayo slathered in your sandwich could result in an upset stomach, depending on how sensitive you’re.

Cosmetic Cautions:

It’s crucial to begin using MCT oil gradually. As it’s so easily and quickly employed by your system, it may result in gastrointestinal distress in case you jump in too fast (however less using all the MCT oil powder compared to the liquid). For many, the outcomes from a lot of MCT oil too fast can result in what’s commonly known as “tragedy pants” — use your creativity with this one. It’s usually considered smart and safe to begin using 1/2 to 1 tsp and operate around 1 to 3 tbsp each day, as your digestion and stomach allow.

That said, however, as a direct fat it may nevertheless be taxing on your system, being with no gallbladder, perhaps more than the typical individual, so please proceed slow, start small and I’d strongly consider consulting with the opinion of your medical care provider or like bile or digestive tract supplementation (which I would strongly suggest, together with gallbladder removal, no matter swallowing MCT oil).

As with any other food or supplements, it’s wholly possible to get too much of a fantastic thing and also to take your ingestion of MCTs and even coconut oil too much better. Furthermore, bio-individuality has to be taken into consideration. Always. We’re all distinct. Some research indicates excessive quantities of MCT or coconut oil can trigger inflammatory or immune problems within the entire body. I find the MCT Oil Powder for a much more tender and simpler option compared to liquid oil.

Read The PDF: The Use Of Medium Chain Triglycerides In Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Readers Also Enjoyed: Everyday Essentials

Everyday Essentials

When you first become a parent you go a little overboard with the ‘essentials.’ The bouncers, the bottles, the bumbos, the ‘stuff!’

As your kids grow, the stuff that you thought was so important dwindles … there’s still ‘stuff’ but now it’s THEIR stuff, the stuff they can’t live without … the dolls, the toys, the crafts, the crayons.

But you also learn about the ‘stuff’ that makes a big difference for you as a parent. The day to day stuff that make a difference in your life, that actually makes your life a little easier.

For us we have a small but crucial list:

  • the crib rail: we’re not sure when we are ever going to get rid of these. Maybe when they’re 15. The peace of mind knowing that we likely won’t hear a ‘thud’ from them falling out of bed in the middle of the night is enough reason for us to keep them up.
  • their blankies: I know I had one when I was a kid and the girls have had theirs since they were born. It’s a comfort that they use at nighttime and when upset and we don’t have plans of getting rid of them anytime soon.
  • their little ‘magic’ unicorn stuffed animals. These are essential (because of their magical powers) for getting rid of bad dreams.
  • air purifier: we crack these out at the start of cold and flu season. We use a Germ-guardian that plugs into the wall. It somehow uses UV light to zap germs in the air to help combat cold and flu season.
  • Quality essential oils: this is something that I’m new to, but whenever the girls have sniffles or snuffy noses, I just drop the oils on their feet and in their humidifier and it helps with their symptoms.
  • Humidifier: even with a built-in humidifier in our home it is extremely dry. We have a humidifier in our room and the girls room and we use them year round.
  • Blackout blinds: we will NEVER be getting rid of these! In fact, we even have them in our room too! Totally worth the money to help us all get a few extra zzzz’s.
  • Flashlights: the girls don’t like having a nightlight, but they do like their flashlights. We hang them on their bedposts and when they need them (if they’re afraid or want to read/play in bed for a few extra minutes).

And last, but not least …

  • Sammy the sleep sheep: what is this? This is probably the best $80 I ever spent! At about 4-years old our girls started going through a phase where they would wake up, not know what time it was, stay in their beds and scream at the top of their lungs to us in the other room “IS IT MORNING TIME YET???” They wouldn’t get out of bed, instead, they would just lay there screaming until we answered them.
  • I found a bunch of toddler clock options, but which one to choose? We actually purchased another one and returned it because the nightlight was way too bright even on the lowest setting.
  • We then found Sammy! He’s a little clock shaped like a sheep who closes his eyes at bedtime and opens them when it’s time to wake up (you set this time). His clock face dims or turns off entirely during the nighttime and turns green 30 minutes before it’s ‘morning time.’ Since getting Sammy the girls know exactly when it’s morning time and just play in their beds until Sammy says it’s time to get up.



*note: I have not been paid by any of the companies/products above, these are just things that work for us.*