Category Archives: New Jersey

Hunter’s first wedding

On May 28th, friends of ours from church got married.

Back in February they told us that they were going to be married in May and they would like to ask Hunter to be the ring bearer.  My first thought was “what are you guys crazy” asking Hunter to be ring bearer had its share of risks and were they or even us, ready for them.  Hunter’s Aspergers has him look at the world in black or white, no gray area at all.  He is rigid in his ways and definitely resistant to any type of change, so when the day comes, he may perform or he might not, period.  Any type of change during the rehearsal or ceremony could absolutely have Hunter going off the deep end.  So after taking a deep breath I told them to go ahead and ask Hunter.

They did ask him and he was clueless to what a ring bearer was or a wedding for that matter.  They patiently explained everything to him, to which he asked “can I carry Pikachu? He was told he would be carrying a pillow with the rings on top and that he could have Pikachu at the reception.  Then he wanted to know if he could walk down the aisle like a penguin because he always wanted to be a penguin (you know, tuxedo = penguin). They said no he would have to walk normal but could be a penguin at the reception all he wanted.  After taking this all in he said yes he would be ring bearer.  I just kept thinking, they do not know what they are in for.

When the time came near, I brought him to be fitted for his tuxedo.  He did very well at the fitting but I was really leery about Hunter wearing all those clothes plus real shoes.  Boy, I thought, I am in for it.

The rehearsal came and Dave took Hunter as I had to stay home with Hayley because she was receiving therapy.  When Dave got home from the rehearsal, he immediately asked for a glass of wine and collapsed on the swing on the patio outside.  I asked Hunter how it went and he said ok.  Then I asked Dave.  He said it wasn’t horrible but it was as we thought, Hunter was not keen on all the changes that came and went.  The wedding party decided early on that Hunter would not be capable of standing with the wedding party up at the altar for the ceremony.  Hunter would walk down the aisle and sit with me in the front (although I really should be on the bride’s side of the church, I got to sit in the front row  next to the grooms immediate family.)  Anyway, Dave said Hunter accepted this pretty well, but then came the pillow…. Hunter for whatever reason got quickly attached to the pillow.  He was told that when the pastor says it is time for the exchange of rings, he would walk up to the best man and hand him the pillow so he could retrieve the rings.  Hunter flipped out! “I AM NOT GIVING UP THE PILLOW”!  The Pastor told him that he didn’t have to give up the pillow, just make-believe.  Then Hunter thought the rings would actually be on the pillow, when told no, that the best man will have the rings in his pocket and they would be making believe, Hunter yelled “ITS A FAKE!!!”  Dave got Hunter calmed down and said now was the time to practice the processional.  Hunter did extremely well walking down the aisle and sitting next to Dave.  When the Pastor said it was time to exchange the rings, Hunter marched up the steps, got in front of the best man and yelled “YOU ARE A PILLOW SNATCHER!!!”  Once again he sat next to Dave, who by this time was sweating profusely, and Hunter calmed down.  Dave said to me after he got home “tomorrow is anyone’s game.”

The next morning came and we dressed Hunter in his tuxedo.  He looked so adorable.  I was really surprised he didn’t complain too much.  The thing that was most uncomfortable for him were the shoes.  He has never worn dress shoes before.  I will say by the time we got to the reception that day, Hunter was sporting some mean blisters (yet he didn’t really complain), surprise, surprise.  He was a little tough when pictures were taken before the wedding, but he got through it.

The wedding started and the bridesmaids came down the aisle.  It looked as if Hunter was speed walking because he was right on top of the last bridesmaid and she had to keep looking back to be sure Hunter wasn’t going to step on her dress.  He sat down next to me and I praised him.  Hunter sat very quietly during the ceremony and I whispered what he needed to do when the ring exchange was announced.  Now like I said before, Hunter is not used to any type of dress clothes or shoes.  He had on tee-shirt, white shirt, tie, jacket, pants with clips on the side, socks and dress shoes.  Well what I didn’t realize was that little by little Hunter was becoming “Un tucked it”.  So as he walked up the stairs to the best man, his pants started to fall down!  He grabbed the back with one hand and handed the pillow to the best man with the other.  You could hear the chuckles in the crowd.  The lady sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said “there always needs to be a light moment in a wedding”.   Hunter came back to sit with me and said “I saved my pants in the nick of time”.  I was very, very proud of him and how her performed.

Once at the reception, Hunter took off the shoes, jacket and tie and danced the afternoon away………..holding Pikachu and making believe he was a penguin.

Dave helping Hunter get dressed

Hunter in his Tuxedo

Hunter and Daddy

Hunter and Hayley (she did excellent by the way)


Over the hump! Gym update :)

It has been difficult this past month. First, the pain in my foot was hindering my exercise to a point, not to mention my right knee that has arthritis and always hurts.  I finally went to the doctor after I hurt my left knee at a wedding.  Yup, arthritis in the left as well, but the doctor said the intense pain I was experiencing in that knee was caused by a broken bone spur.  The end result……I was given the all so painful cortisone shot in both knees.  WOW, I am really good with pain but this was way over the top.  I will say the knees are feeling a lot better.  If the excruciating pain comes again, the doctor will give me a gel shot medication in both knees.  Uhhhh, I get goose bumps thinking about it, I hope this doesn’t happen.

Anyway, last Tuesday I hobbled into the gym and was only able to do the upper body workouts while sitting down.  On Wednesday, I got the shots and because I didn’t listen to the doctor and go home right away and ice my knees,  the pain became twice as bad.  Dave had to put ice packs on both knees when I went to bed.  So, on Thursday and Friday I took better care and iced my knees on and off and didn’t run around as much.  Of course, this prohibited me from going to the gym on Thursday.

I felt my eating was going pretty well, yet I kept imagining that I was gaining each pound back that I lost.  Not being able to exercise was starting to depress me, I didn’t want to start over again.

Alas, today was the gym!  I knew by yesterday that I was feeling better and ready to go back.  I even signed up for another 12 weeks of personal training.  Jess had me do some light leg machines, then we worked on the upper body and abs.  It felt really good to be back and with a lot less pain.

After the workout, I asked Jess to weigh me because I had to know for good or for bad how I have done.  After a deep breath and closing my eyes, Jess said I could look……………………2 lbs.!!!!!!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was sooooo excited.  I guess I really did watch what I ate.  Now I feel pumped up again.  I even walked two miles on the indoor track after my workout.

I guess I learned to take it day by day and not to obsess over the weight or exercising.  You can still do it!!

Now I am ready to tackle my punching bag downstairs 🙂

Flip-Flops at a Wedding

Last Friday, Dave and I attended a wedding of  a teacher of Hayleys that she had in the past.  The service was beautiful, as was the bride and the groom looked handsome in his Military Dress Uniform.

The reception followed.  It was at a Yacht Club and the room the reception was in was beautifully decorated.  Before the bride, groom and wedding party arrived, the DJ called out that in the front of  his stand were bins of flip-flops for the women once their feet started to hurt from the heels they were wearing.  It was such a surprise, I had never seen this before.  All the girls were ooing and ahhing and running to the front.

The bride and her bridal party had bought flip-flops in various sizes and decorated them all with glitter, sparkles, foam, felt flowers and shapes, as well as ribbon.  Every pair was different.  At the top of the page is two of the girls from our table showing off their flip-flops.  The flip-flops were a delightful surprise.  Most of the women and girls who took a pair were already putting them on ready to dance the night away.

Once the music started, the dance floor was flooded with women and girls wearing their custom flip-flops.  All their feet were sparkling and shining underneath the lights.  I thought the flip-flops were a surprising and welcome addition to the reception.

I picked up a pair to show to two young women in the family to maybe give them ideas?????    😉


Every home has flashlights, some more than others.  I came across 6 today in the cabinet above my kitchen desk.  I needed one to look under the hutch in the kitchen to try and find a pill I had dropped.  First, I took out a small blue flashlight, didn’t work, then I took out a large red flashlight, didn’t work etc. etc.  All 4 flashlights had batteries in them but they wouldn’t go on.  Why does this always happen?  

 Next I went in search of batteries.  I was able to find many AA and AAA  but no C batteries.   I got to thinking about it and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I bought C batteries.  I am always stocked up on the A’s because heaven forbid a remote control stops working in this house.  Everyone would be foaming at the mouth if they couldn’t continue to channel surf.  Also, I think we have been guilty of buying a new flashlight any time one doesn’t work.

 I layed all the flashlights on the kitchen table and went in search of others.  I wanted to see how many flashlights do we actually have in the house and do they work.  I continued on in the kitchen with the search, green cabinet drawer – 1 flashlight and 2 small white plug ins, one by the sink and one on the center island, all non-working.  I looked through rooms I felt might have a flashlight or two.  I found 1 in my bedstand drawer, non-working and 2 in the garage, non-working.  When I opened one of the garage flashlights, the batteries had corroded, who knows how long they were in the flashlight.

I sat in the kitchen with my 10 flashlights splayed out on the table. Only 1 in the group when I played around with it, gave me a very feeble light.  I got rid of all the batteries plus the corroded flashlight immediately.  I wrote down C batteries on my shopping list so I could get all those flashlights up and working again.

I am still perplexed.  Why doesn’t flashlights work, why are the batteries always drained especially since the flashlights go mostly unused. Growing up it was the same thing.  My parents had all kinds of flashlights but none of them worked.  When a power outtage occured, my parents would first scramble for the flashlights, find them dead, then scrambled for those candles we are also supposed to have in case of an emergency.  Couldn’t find them.  Basically it resulted with all of us sitting in the dark.

I bought new batteries, replenished the flashlights and even gathered together some used candles and put them in a kitchen drawer.  We will be prepared the next time there is a power outtage or if we need to look for something in a dark place. 

I am sure over time we will accumulate more flashlights, when one doesn’t work, forget testing the batteries, just buy a new one!

Weekly Gym Update – 4/28/11


Weigh in day again.  I was a little nervous about the weigh in because of being in Florida last week.  I didn’t go crazy eating and I did exercise, yet anytime I am away, I usually gain weight.  Plus, I must admit there was a little indulgence on Katie’s and my part.

First, I weight trained for 30 minutes with my trainer. She really worked me.  I am still sore from my Tuesday weight training session so watch out tomorrow :).  Then the weigh in. My trainer set the scale to what I weighed two weeks ago.  I took a deep breath, stepped on the scale, and found out……. I lost 1 lb.!  I thought that was fabulous since I hadn’t been to the gym for two weeks and I vacationed some.

I was going to ride the recumbent bike for 15 minutes today after the weight training.  But, I was so happy and uplifted, I wound up riding for 40 minutes!  Boy, do I feel good about today.

The picture above was taken this Easter.  I am 32 lbs. lighter.  If you compare the picture above of me with the picture  (the WORST ever) on my blog “Another weekly weigh in at the gym 🙂 Lost 3 lbs. for total loss of 22 lbs.” you can see the difference.

I am marching forward and am not going to look back.  I am feeling much better then I did before and want to continue on.  My goal is to lose another 30 lbs.  I know I will achieve this, I have no doubts.

PS.    Did I tell anyone I asked for a punching bag for Mothers’s Day?

The Four Fs – Florida, Food, Fun and Fitness

View from 1st floor deck

View from 2nd floor deck, underneath Master Bedroom
View from my bedroom deck

Florida, Food, Fun and Fitness, the four things I encountered last week.  From April 19th to the morning (very, very early morning, I got up at 3:30 am to catch my flight) of April 23rd I was in Florida. It was a two-fold visit.  Visit Craig by day and Katie by night. We have a house on Amelia Island and I hadn’t been there since Christmas.  It was a really nice break for me, I had a great time.  When I first got there the afternoon of the 19th, I was greeted by my most favorite “white pets” in the world.  Little Nova was crying and jumping like crazy, while Bernie Mac kept rubbing around my legs.  Once I gave them kisses and hugs and got untangled from them, I brought my suitcase to my bedroom and immediately took my book, sat on the deck and while over looking the ocean, read.  It was quiet except for the waves hitting the shore, pure paradise.

Katie came home from work about an hour later, and of course I was happy to see her.  She got changed and we decided we were too tired for a walk.  I had asked Katie to keep me accountable as far as my exercise goes, but it had been a long day for both and decided to start the next day.  We relaxed and caught up on things.  We popped the cork on the wine and proceeded to have wine, cheese and crackers.  It is always great talking to her, we tend to talk over each other and often have to stop and say “you go”, ‘no, you go” 🙂  That night we looked at magazines, watched Biggest Loser Couples, Housewives of New York City and Bethany.  We pretty much talked through all the shows but we did throw our eye on the tv once in a while.

On Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, I went to visit Craig (he will be in Florida for a while) during the day.  Friday, Katie met Craig and I and we went to Craig’s favorite restaurant “The Olive Garden”

Wednesday afternoon was another reading time (I read The Pack by Jodi Picoult – excellent), I just love rocking in the rocking chair reading and looking at the ocean.  Nova loves it too, she always comes out and sits with me.  After Katie got home she said “that’s it, we are going for a walk”.  So we took Nova and we walked 2 miles on the beach, it felt good, plus the weather was gorgeous.  That night we ordered Chinese food from Lucky Wok for dinner.  We watched American Idol, Glee, Bethany and Harry Potter-Deadly Hollows while we ate and of course had wine.

Thursday went the same, after reading and then a 2 mile walk, Katie and I went to the Historic Town on the Island and we ate at an Italian Restaurant named Gennaros.  It was delicious!  Katie and I split fried calamari for appetizer and then we had salad with bread.  I had Lobster Ravioli which was wonderful and Katie had Maryland Crab Ravioli which was delicious as well.  Katie chose a nice Chianti to go with the meal. We were too stuffed for dessert.  We stopped at the Redbox and rented “Splice” it was about a scientist couple that used human DNA in their work of splicing animal genes.  Disturbing but good none the same.  After that we watched various tv shows.

Friday after Olive Garden, Katie, Nova and I once again took our 2 mile walk.  We rented two movies from Redbox for the night.  The first was “Rabbit Hole” which was about a couple and how they each differently handled the death of their child, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart were in it – excellent.  The second movie was “Grown-ups”  which was about 5 childhood friends who won a basketball championship in 1978 and how they came together thirty-two years later and rented a lake house with their families and had a rematch with the losing team.  Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider starred.  It was pretty funny.  I wouldn’t buy it or go to the movies to see it but for $1.00, it was good.

The next morning I flew home to David and the kids but I really, really enjoyed myself.  It is great seeing Craig doing so well and of course visiting Katie which always involves laughing.  We are both ridiculous and found out we both park our cars the same way – angled to the left…………………………………

Autism and it’s Oddities

There is never a dull moment in this house.  Having 2 children with Autism brings us lots of surprises, both good and bad.  I just have to share two things I found once Hunter and Hayley went to school today.

I was busy straightening up the house before I went to the gym, because the cleaning people were coming.  Once finished, I decided to have a fat-free english muffin with sugarless jam for breakfast.  When I opened the cabinet to get the english muffins, I jumped back startled because this is what I found………

Yes, headless Barbie bodies and their heads.  Except for Ken.  For whatever reason, Hayley had a problem with Ken on Sunday and threw his head into the dirt in the backyard and buried it.  Hayley has a tendency to set items up and hide them in various places in the house.  She often hides the Barbies to surprise me because she must know I had “issues” with dolls when I was little.  They were creepy and I felt they would move at night….(another blog).  Anyway,  I always find this disturbing when I find hidden Barbies and also the fact that Hayley enjoys playing with them in this condition.

Hunter doesn’t really hide things like Hayley, but he often has “set-ups”.  It is not uncommon to walk into a room and find a menagerie of stuffed animals, sitting on all the Dining Room chairs, set up on the fireplace mantle, on the second floor of the Library peeking through the spindles etc.   Last night we put Hunter to bed and went back downstairs to watch a little tv.  After a while we decided to go to bed.  Now, outside my bedroom is a floor to ceiling window that gives a nice view of the neighborhood.  Hunter loves to sit in front of this window when he is waiting for someone to come over.  He can see way down the street.  As I approached this window, this is what I found….

Yup, Pikachu and company.  Hunter must have gotten up after we went downstairs to set-up the Pokemon group.  I didn’t get to ask him about it this morning because we were in a rush for the bus, but I will when he gets home. I am sure he will have an unusual story to tell me like he always does.

I have to laugh at these things and enjoy them.  There are so many difficulties with Autism and I tend to get lost in them.  But, when Hunter and Hayley come up with some of these oddities, I embrace them and know not all is bad.

Now if someone could tell me why a child would prefer her Barbies headless, please let me know 🙂