How to have your Mac-n-Cheese and eat it, too!


Yesterday, as I was making Wil’s lunch, I¬†asked him to wash his hands. He looked at me, and in defiance, yelled, “NO WASH HANDS!”

His beloved Annie’s Mac n Cheese was on the menu, so asking him to leave the room to wash his hands was out of the question.

I calmly replied, “Then no lunch.”

He immediately turned that defiant attitude around, and sweetly said, “Wash my hands” and off he went.

“Thank you, Wil.”

Big smile, “You are welcome, Mommy.”

Little charmer, that one ūüôā

Since Wil’s vocabulary has increased, and he is realizing the power of it, these types of conversations are more frequent. He will get angry if things aren’t going his way, but can just as easily make a change in attitude if he can see the outcome will not be in his favor.

Somewhere along the way, this quick change in attitude kids are able to make becomes very difficult for us adults. We easily stay stuck on who is right or wrong, and are really good at holding grudges. We lose focus on finding solutions to the problem that brought us the anger in the first place.

Its much easier to get angry and stay angry, even though looking for alternatives to achieve our desired outcome will benefit us in the long run.

Sure, the triggers to our anger surround much bigger issues than getting our Mac n Cheese for lunch, but the base concept is still the same. If things aren’t going in our favor, the immediate reaction is typically anger.

How many times have you gotten angry and it changed things for the better? Probably not many.

Anger is a natural emotion, and it spurs us to action. But, once we feel the burn of anger, as difficult as it is when we are fuming with it, it greatly benefits us to take a moment to step back from the situation and see what it is we are really wanting.

We need to remember, no matter how wronged we may have been, we do not have the ability to change others. What we do have, is the ability to change and refocus our attitudes.

There are typically many solutions to a problem. Anger keeps our focus on what we aren’t getting, rather than using our creative ability to see alternative options.

Wil could have¬†gotten stuck on who was right or wrong. He could¬†argue that he’d be eating with a spoon, not with his hands. Besides, a few germs will help build his immunity. Geez, mom, lighten up!

He could have angrily stomped off to wash his hands, and then not enjoyed his lunch as he fumed in anger over the unfairness of it all. He could have submissively gone off to wash his hands, feeling controlled and defeated. He could have planted himself on the floor and sat unmoving in anger not eating his lunch to get back at me.

Rather, he stepped out of his anger and thought about what he really wanted, made a complete change in attitude, and received what he wanted with positive results.

Even though this is an oversimplified example of larger issues we adults face, the basic premise is still the same.

Staying in anger, and focusing on who is right or wrong, rarely ends receiving our desired outcome.  A change in attitude gives us the ability to focus on what we really want, and remain open to finding alternative ways to achieve our goals with positive results.


Breaking Through


I don’t know if its a mid-life thing, but I have been breaking through many of my comfort zones¬†lately. As painful as it can be, it is extremely gratifying on the other side.

With every step outside of the zone, I find out more about my personal strengths, my true friends and the endeavors that bring me the most joy and inner gratification.

One literal example I have of¬†a painful comfort¬†zone breakthrough is with¬†running. I enjoy long, easy runs, but have always wanted to be faster. I had resigned myself to the thought that I am just a “slow runner.”

I do circuit style workouts regularly, so cardiovascularly I can run¬†6 to 8¬†miles without much trouble. I only ran 1-2 times a week, and I never ran hard, but at a nice, comfy pace. Long, easy runs only¬†1-2x/week¬†does not add up to being a¬†faster runner.¬†I was comfortable in that place, so that’s where I stayed for quite some time.

It was time to take a step out of my comfy place if I really wanted to be faster. So, I registered for a 1/2 marathon*.

As I am endurance-oriented, the 1/2 is¬†a motivating goal for me, but, I also needed to incorporate speedwork to break out of my “slow runner” mindset.

I¬†hate speedwork. It makes me very uncomfortable. It hurts and I feel like I’m going to throw up. Waaaa!

But, I wanted to be faster, so I found a 1/2 marathon plan that incorporated speedwork as well as endurance runs, pulled up my big girl panties, and got started.

I am now a few weeks into my plan, and I AM faster! I can not tell you how good it feels to glance down at my watch¬†during a 6 mile run¬†and see I am maintaining an 8:30 or better¬†pace(the last mile I maintained in the high 7’s!)¬†where only a few weeks ago running at 9:00 was pushing it.¬†I have speedwork to thank for that.

I still don’t like speedwork,¬†and I probably never will, but I actually¬†look forward to it, because I can’t wait to see what I’m capable of.¬† I don’t know that I’ll ever be a 7 minute mile runner, but every day I’m stepping out of my zone and I know I’m improving myself in more than just running speed.

Keep on keeping on!

*My 1/2 marathon is on October 5th, and I’ll be running for Down syndrome awareness in the National Down Syndrome Society Your Way Campaign. You can check out my page at:

Join us for the annual Buddy Walk!!
Click on the link below to visit Wil’s Buddy Walk page.
Many thanks & hugs from Mr. Wil! ūüôā311986_287884221221921_100000010370940_1298934_1621644385_n


High-five? Heck no, not when you can high-ten! Go all in or go home



Another adorable Wil moment….


Wil has taken quite a liking to the show Dora the Explorer.¬† Just the other day, I asked him if he wanted macaroni & cheese for lunch, and he answered, “Si!”


Special Needs High-Low Chart

Hands up

The high of the birth of a beautiful baby boy

the low of the unexpected diagnosis

The high of the realization of endless possibilities

the low of the realization of closed minds

The high of every milestone, no matter how big or small

the low of feeling time stand still when there is no sign of progress

The high of finding and achieving acceptance, awareness and support, especially from those you least expected

the low of finding lack of acceptance, awareness and support, especially from those you least expected

The high of being exposed to a whole new community, a¬†“coming together” for the benefit of the cause

the low of being exposed to those who have their own agenda under the guise of the cause

The high of a love so deep, that the lows are recognized as learning experiences that create stronger and more enduring highs.

The Aisle Runner Incident


Sunday afternoon, the kids and I went to Meijer. If you’ve been there on a Sunday, you know it’s a busy place.

Wil was insisting on walking, instead of riding in the cart.

But he didn’t walk.

He ran.

Down every aisle.

Bear in mind I had my 8-year-old twins with me in this busy store, so off we would go, weaving between people, to catch up with him.

Once we caught up with him, I’d have a discussion with him about not only walking, but walking WITH us.

That lasted about 30 seconds until he was off again.

So, I gave him some jobs. Please get that off the shelf for mommy, great thanks, now that over there, please.

That worked for a few items, then he felt the need for speed again.

Once we caught up with him, another discussion about walking WITH us or he’d have to go in the cart.

Walk, walk, walk, RUN!

So, consequences being what they are, in the cart he went.

Now, lifting up an almost 60 pound child and putting¬†him in the seat of the cart is not an easy task, especially when he doesn’t want to be put there.

Naturally, we attracted some attention.

Funny, even though no one said a word, you can feel what they are thinking. Some are sympathetic, some just want to see what is going on, and some are judging.

So, under their watchful eyes,¬†I did what needed doing, threw a tired smile at the onlookers conveying show’s over, everything is A-Ok, and my crew and I went on our merry way(well, except Wil, who wasn’t very merry at the moment).

It can be hard to shake off all of those looks, but, truth be told, most of those onlookers probably forgot about us the minute they ran into the person handing out free samples.



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