Brief Intermission

I have been on a journey to get healthy since February 2013, when I was at my heaviest weight (aside from pregnancy). I weighed 293 pounds, and knew I had to do something to become healthier, and be the mom my children deserved.

Last summer, I developed tendonitis in my shoulder, and my rotator cuff hurt with any movement. The pain, and physical therapy were the excuse I used to stop exercising. Soon after I began stress eating, and my journey hit a roadblock.

In January 2014, weighing 269 pounds, I recommitted to my healthy journey, because I was tired of being in pain and exhausted all the time. Up until a few weeks ago, I was very conscientious of my food choices, using MyFitnessPal to track everything that went into my system. I was also working out for 30 -70 minutes a day, five days a week, doing both cardio and strength training. I was down to 226 pounds, which was 21 pounds from my third goal, and half-way to my fifth (and final) weight loss goal.

Last week, I was back up to 230 pounds, due to my lack of workouts and overindulgence in comfort foods. Aside from weighing-in weekly, I also do monthly measurements. As of July 28,2014 I had lost a total of 32.5 inches (neck, arms, mid-section, waist, hips and thighs). Every month I do my measurements and take photos for my journal. Tomorrow is measurement/picture day, but I am considering skipping it this month, to reduce some of my self-abuse, which I know will come when I see the numbers have gone up.

I can tell by the way clothes are fitting, that some inches have come back, with the few pounds I have found again. The pain in my back and knees make me aware that this exercise hiatus has done some real damage, and set me back physically. I am considering this very stressful month a brief intermission, and will be starting the third act of my journey on September 2nd. I lost focus, made excuses, and could not find my motivation to get back on track; however, as I sit here bonding with my heating pad, because my back is locking up and I am in horrible pain, God has helped me find my motivation again.

On September 2nd, our first day of homeschool, I will begin teaching my girls about the importance of physical fitness. The best way for me to teach them, is to show them, and have them join me. Fortunately they love Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds dvds, and like to exercise with mommy. So every day we will have our exercise time; then I will also be working out with my weights in the morning or evening, when they are fast asleep. Time to start showing my girls how much happier mommy is when she eats right and exercises. Our brief intermission will be coming to an end shortly.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥



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Clothing Optional

Our house has been a “clothing optional” house (diaper and underwear are required) since our children were old enough to take their clothes off  This is something that has always bothered Henry, but he is slowly coming to accept that it is what it is. Beth’s OT told us long ago that she needs somewhere to be completely comfortable (sensory-wise especially) and home should be that place.

There are some who may think “naked-time” is an Autism thing, but it is not; I know many people with neurotypical children who also partake in “naked-time.” Although, I do know that while some do it out of comfort, many times my kids do it out need. This became evident, when I realized that my husband has to strip down to his boxers as soon as he gets in the house, because he is simply too warm; just like I have to take off my shoes/socks as soon as I get home because my feet are boiling. We ALL have sensory needs, and embracing them does make for a better day (most times).

Fun fact… I shared a room with my extremely prudish grandmother most of my younger life, and was taught to always keep my body covered. It is a good thing she doesn’t come over, because she would have a conniption at how often my girls are just in underwear/diapers. This weekend when my silly girls demanded I be “naked-baby” like them and daddy, all I could do was laugh as I heard gram’s appalled voice in my head. We closed all the blinds and eventually they convinced me to strip down to my bra and underwear, and I have to admit, it felt kind of nice; however, after 20 minutes I had my pajamas back on. Baby Steps. 🙂

Monday the storms in our area broke our air-conditioner; so yesterday was an extremely hot and sticky day in our apartment. It was a very good reminder of why “clothing optional” is the rule in our home. Beth’s system cannot handle heat, and she was miserable to the point that everything, even things she would normally enjoy, bothered her. She had an extremely “off” day due to not being able to regulate the temperature in her body. Even though we hid in our bedroom most of the day, with the small a/c unit, it was not enough because every time we ventured elsewhere in the house she was overwhelmed with heat again.

The girls slept in our room with daddy, so they could be cool and comfy; as I was laying in Beth’s bed, reflecting on our day as I always do. I had to add “naked-time” to my list of blessings, not only for the day, but for our new homeschool journey. Both girls are much happier in their underwear/diapers, and this year they will be able to enjoy a “clothing optional” school, which in my book is pretty cool. 😉 Imagine the possibilities for what the mind can achieve, when the body is completely comfortable…

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥



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Rock Star

Last night our family had the honor of being the “featured family” for our local Special Reaction Association’s annual golf fundraiser.  The girls’ pictures were everywhere, which was pretty cool. We mingled with guests before dinner, enjoyed a wonderful meal, and then spoke about what the association means to us.

I was worried going to the event, because we had several meltdowns throughout the day from the anticipation, as Beth says: “Waiting is hard.”

Beth was a Rock Star! Anne did well too, but she was a little less engaged and was much more interested in running laps in the hallway. Beth was a social butterfly from the moment we walked in the door. She talked to people about homeschool, her missing teeth, the tooth fairy, our cats, soccer, dance, etc… Although we needed to take a few walks in the hallway, so she could recoup, she did extremely well with the large group.

After dinner we were introduced and handed the microphone. Beth spoke first and told the guests her name, age and favorite activity before burying her head in my skirt. Anne told them her name and age before squealing and running off. Henry said a few humorous words, then chased after the girls. I then spoke about our life, the wonderful organization and all the blessings we have received in their programs. When I was done, Beth and Anne each took the microphone again and thanked everyone.  I was a beaming with pride, and admiration at how well my girls did.

It was a magical evening, but with big events come big meltdowns. Even the happiest of events have the potential for massive meltdowns,  because it is simply too much for Beth’s sensory system to process. There is always much time needed to recover and regulate, which means today will be a rough day. There was a time we would have avoided such situations to protect her from the aftermath, but that does not help her. We help her by standing by her as she ventures out of her comfort zone, acknowledging her struggle, and then supporting her in any way possible as she regulates her system again. She was a Rock Star last night, and today we will let her lead us in relaxing or play, as she finds her way back to her happy place. With that, I am off to join the band (consisting of kitchen items) and sing our ABC’s and Old MacDonald.

Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥



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Hello, my name is Dorothy.

There are two important things you should know about me…

I am a proud and thankful member of Al-Anon.

I am grateful to be a stay-at-home-mom to my two amazing girls.

Beth, my five-year old, is Autistic; Anne, my three-year old, is considered neurotypical, but loves to act just like her big sister. My girls each have their own unique abilities and perspectives, which often make their worlds magical places to be. Serenity Spectrum is a colorful combination of Al-Anon and Autism, which creates an extraordinary setting for homeschooling.


This will be my first year homeschooling; as with every new path in our journey, there is a mixture of apprehension and excitement. My eldest daughter attended public school for 2.5 years; whereas my youngest was only there a few months. Several factors contributed to our decision to homeschool; although I was beyond stressed in the beginning, I now have a peaceful calm about it, and cannot wait to start our school year.

Some of you may be long-time homeschoolers, others may be brand new (like me), and many of you may have children in public/private schools; regardless of the differences in our situations, I hope you will travel on this new path with us. I pray that together, by sharing our stories and experiences, we can help our children reach their God-given potential in a way that best suits them.



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Serenity Spectrum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.