Stay at Home Order

Stay at Home Order:

According to CNN one third of the world population is in one or other kind of isolation. I live in a state where my county has been asked to stay at home . But we are allowed to go out for essentials or for a walk while maintaining social disance.

Today after a week we had to leave the house for milk and groceries. It was around 4 pm Saturday afternoon. There were cars on the road but nothing compared to two weeks ago when it all began. The store was stocked up ,with few people shopping.There was milk fresh produce bread and even paper products. But hand sanitizers were still missing. Wet wipes were freshly being stocked and I was surprised icecream shelves were empty. Since we were out we decided to take a quick trip to the Indian store. As we passed the traffic was light snd so many complexes had empty parking lots. Having a kid with autism I used to think our social life is not much. But as we drove around I thought how many things have I taken for granted! We enjoyed early morning breakfast at Panera Bread or a dessert at self serve icecream shop or an evening coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Window shopping at malls and casual shopping at Walmart are the few things we enjoyed and took for granted. Any long weekend would be me searching for a weekend getaway drive with my boys staying at Marriot or Holiday Inn and enjoying their free breakfast. Lunch would be at a local temple of that particular city. Our last trip was to New Jersey Guruvayoorappan Temple and I had vowed to return back there again this summer. All these thoughts were halted when my husband came back to the car saying Indian store is closed and they are doing curbside delivery only. At that point I realized hey I miss picking up vegetables without the fear of getting sick.

At this point I have to thank internet that has still connected me to the outside world. I thank God that my husband is working at home. There are a lot of people who are working in the community helping us through this time. I pray for those people and positively hope the situation becomes better soon.

Going to the movies 🎥

My special one is not a TV person. He is an auditory kid and visual processing is very poor. Lot of money was spent on vision therapy and sensory integration to help him. Why am I talking about him when the blog is about me. He is anyway an integral part so had to give this detail.

Part of my work with my son is community integration and that involves going to the movies. All last summer I spent every Wednesday or Thursday going to the free movie offered by our local theater. It really gave an opportunity to make him sit for movies. These were attended by kids and other special needs people and wasn’t more than 90 minutes in length. This paved the way for my son to watch movies like Toy story and Frozen 2. By the time we saw Frozen 2 I started noticing he was starring at the scene more and I was feeling a bit of self accomplishment.

As Christmas time rolled I had to take a break from movies since I was engaged in so many other things. 2020 came and we hadn’t gone to the movies for a while. I was getting nervous and worried if we had lost touch of the process.

So yesterday I browsed for movies and decided to go to Jumanji. I was hoping for a theater with less audience so even if I have a tantrum I could manage. We reached the movie theater and the person handing out tickets said the entire theater is now luxury. Wow , this could be good or bad. Luxury seats are great but could also mean people sitting next to us wouldn’t want a special need person disturbing them. I took that risk. Bought our popcorn bucket (refills are cheap) and a cup of soda (free refills). As we entered the theater my son was a bit surprised and his eyes lit a bit. Sitting on the seat he became a completely different person. (luxury seating needs to be experienced 😊)I was nervous for the first 10 minutes and as the movie began I eased into the movie. I was so concentrated and relaxed I forgot about my son. Hour and half into the movie I saw my son enjoying his popcorn and there wasn’t a peep. It was just 15 minutes before the end that he started asking me to go home and I said you have to wait. As the movie ended I was surprised to see him pick up the trash and went to dispose them off at the nearest receptacle.

We both came out smiling hoping to return back again for another luxury movie theater experience.

Throwing Yourself a Pity Party.

Throwing Yourself a Pity Party.

Everyone likes to do this at one time or another. We term this as being depressed and we continue to gloat in it. I think this is one of the worst things human beings can do to themselves.

Being a special needs Mom I try to do this sometimes. But I have a very hyperactive son. Due to him I would come out of it fast. He is like a genie in Arabian Nights. A person who needs to be engaged all the time.

Today was one such kind of a day I decided to throw myself a pity party. I was a bit depressed all morning and decided not to cook. We had take out food and I had not taken a shower till noon. Then my second son came to me for homework help. At that point I couldn’t say no to him, so I started looking at his work and started discussing things with him. It was a great opportunity for me to talk to him about what was going in class, we were halfway through work I decided I should take a shower before our lunch arrived. Taking a shower made my body fresh. Fifteen minutes of prayer energized my brain. I then had lunch with my family. I tried to take a nap trying to go back into the original mood when I remembered I can see the homework again. I made myself a cup of coffee and a 20 minute time with my younger one. By that time I was all fresh. I just had 2900 steps for the day. I dragged my older one and my husband to the park. An hour later I crossed 10,000 steps.

We came home picked up our comforters to be washed at a laundromat. I write this waiting for my laundry to be done.

I am just pondering over the thought how much time I could have wasted just throwing a pity party. That is a party no one needs to attend.

Got to go now. See you again in another blog😊

Counting my steps.

3 years ago my friend introduced me into counting my steps. I found an app on my phone and got hooked up on it just like that. I found walking 10,000 steps or 5 miles a day is the norm for people in my age group. As I started counting my steps, my steps weren’t huge strides but tiny ones. I could just make 3.9 miles with 10,000 steps. Initially I accepted the challenge for just 10,000 steps. It was really huge for me since I was just making 6000 steps as a stay at home mom. Making 10,000 steps was going to the gym. Hey I went to the gym but to make my special one exercise I gave myself the excuse I was too tired from handling him and ignored to do any activity at the gym. I live in a cold place and the gym has an indoor walkway and I didn’t even care to use it myself . So the first day at the gym I remember making 3000 extra steps and the 10,000 steps mark, it was really an achievement for me. I really felt happy that I achieved something for myself. All these apps give out so many statistics and that got me understand my pattern of my movement . This was January of 2017, by summer of 2017 I could make 2 mile walk everyday and was almost averaging 12,000 steps everyday. That birthday I got myself a fitbit watch. I think that is the best birthday present I gave myself. I entered myself into virtual races and got myself medals for completing a said number of miles. In return I got myself some medals. This did cost me a bit but it gave me a commitment to workout more. The watch pushes me to move around the house if I am stationary or have not done 250 steps in that hour. The weekly emails showed me if I was doing okay. I also started averaging 13,000 steps a day. Some of my fun badges I received were I had done 5,000 miles that is an entire distance of the continent Africa and 14,000 life time floors. Some days were hard when you had to skip the gym but my mind had trained to catch up on it. It became a regular habit. End of 2019 I got myself into some back pain and starting coming down on my steps, I just averaged around 11,000 steps. I decided I needed something stronger to get myself moving.

January 12th I registered myself in a virtual race to complete 2020 miles by the end of December 2020. My fitbit is synced with the race app and I see statistics of how many miles I have finished. I have to average 5.7 miles a day to finish all my 2020 miles. So, it is almost two weeks , so how am I doing? . I think I am on the right track. I have done 69.4 miles of my 2020 miles. I have completed 3.4% of my race. So this piece would be completed by end of December 2020.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Every one complains about being on whatsapp and facebook. But I really enjoy that. It is really hard for me to socialize with my son’s disability. So thanks to social media I can now track any long lost friend or cousin on social media. Its that easy. Sometimes you can know what they are doing that time too at the comfort of my own home.

New Year Eve was so good with people exchanging New Year Wishes. The funny part is forwarding the same to another group. But hey you have to be careful since you may have common friends and you may be duplicating message for them. I was too careful and tried my best not to duplicate. But sometimes fate strikes. I forwarded a video of New Year wishes and the same group got the same video within couple if hours. HaHa. That is what whatsapp is all about 😄. But any way there is nothing wrong in getting duplicate messages. Its all about staying in touch.

Happy New Year and a New Decade.

About me

Hello

I am Ganga and I live in Pittsburgh USA with my husband and two boys. Its been exactly 22 years I have been in this country and technically I have lived equal number of years in India and USA.

I grew up in a very orthodox brahmin family in Chennai , married and moved to USA when my oldest son was 4 months old.

My oldest is severely autistic is now an young adult and my younger one is a teen soon to be a senior in High School!

Growing up I was a religious person and throwing autism in the equation has turned me into a spiritual person.

After being a homemaker for many years I became a part time worker to be a habitat aide for my son so he could attend many non traditional programs. I love this work and though it wasn’t my life goal I really love doing this.

My blog wouldn’t solely be about autism though it cannot be avoided since it is part of my life, it can be anything interesting that happens that day or a thought process that goes through my mind.

My pass time now is learning a bit of music and learning a lot of Hindu scriptures and the foundation of it the Sanskrit language. I also love to binge watch on Netflix, I would call that my stress reliever. I had no interest in cooking but I have 3 men in the house which has forced me to become a decent cook.So watch out I may throw in some good recipes once a while.

Here I go……

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.