Soft Serve From The Blender?

Yes! And when you have vegetarian kids, you make Soy Soft Serve Ice Cream and you make it often.

It’s so easy, even I can do it. Here’s how.  But first, you will need a blender with an ice crusher mode.

Recipe Ingredients:
Ice, soy milk, frozen banana, frozen peaches, brown sugar, vanilla (optional)

Add 2 handfulls of ice
Half of a frozen banana
1 cup of frozen peaches
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp brown sugar
Pour vanilla milk in to half way up the ice.

Then blend on ice crusher mode,  gently assisting the blender by churning the top.

You will have everyone waiting in anticipation after dinner.

Sit Still, For Goodness Sake.

I just want to SCREAM THAT, sometimes. And I have! But it doesn’t work.

It does not work because he is autistic. And the frustrated tone used to get him to sit still only causes him to escalate, cover his ears or lose it! So I’ve had to developed some serious coping skills of my own, because the one thing that he does not do is sit … still.

The jumping, climbing, hand flapping, running, squealing, repetitive nonsensical chatter, eloping and love for sidewalk curb balancing is only a taste of my everyday.

Many have thoughtfully said, “Oh! but that’s great!” And I try not to think negatively, like “Why? Because he’s not normal?” But I can’t blame them and I don’t. Why should the commenters be attacked while the sceptical starers get away with their looks. After all, they are as clueless as I was before I became an autism mom. But, oh, the perpetual comments.

So I educate others by describing my day as follows: I love love love a song called Danza Kuduro. The first time that I heard it, my hips moved involuntarily. So of course it’s on my walking playlist and it fuels my exercise. But one day, my son heard it and fell in love with it too. And now it plays over and over and over and over and over …. in my house. It’s my favorite song but I want it to stop.

The nice thing about that frustration is that I have control over making it stop. I can press stop. I can then hide the electronics that I pressed stop on.

I am still, however, searching for his magical stop button and though it can be heart breaking, I have decided that we will not hide or isolate to avoid the helpful suggestions that we get from normal people who are under the impression that I am a perpetual new mom who needs unsolicited advice. That too, gets tiring and I don’t have a stop button there either. But, I will take a smile. A nod. Or a hang in there.

Although he is 5, my most repeated sentences on any given day are “Come here” followed by “Stop that” and “Put that down.” He will stim flip a twig, a pen, fork, an action figure, the sister’s barbie doll or his bare hands. Heck, he would stim flip the dog if he could. Sigh…

The funny thing is that I’ve been scolded by the good hearted for being too overbearing and by the disciplinarians for not being strict enough. And don’t let any one see him eat sugar because, mom, there’s your reason. But it’s just not worth saying that he is a lifelong vegetarian, with a love for fruits or that he’s food picky but well nourished in the 97th percentile for height and weight, because fault finders would find fault with that too.

And I’ve been in the homes of folks who sincerely welcomed us and wanted to show us that they are open to having his difference in their home. They have said, “It’s okay. Leave him alone. Let him do his thing” And I look around the room and roll my mental eyeballs while silently saying ” You’re gona eat those words.”

I know that they have a point though. He could use a little less of my favorite sentences, so my home is a haven. I sometimes tell myself that I’ve replaced the living room coffee table with a railed jumping trampoline because I’m such a good mom. Or that the treadmill in the kitchen is only for my fitness. Or the fenced back yard is for the dog. But I lie.

So, I feed his energies, in whatever phase he is in, as my way out. And then, when that doesn’t work, I take comfort in the words of my husband when he says “It can’t last forever.”

So, the ink markings on the leather of my new car and couch…eh, is that all you’ve got. The drum set banging in the living room … bring it! I bought it for you! Sneaking out the back door without your swim vest, pshhh! I got that. Pool is closed. Lessons for everybody!

I’ve have had to accept that it’s not natural for him to sit still. I’ve accepted that I will go broke trying to master “the next phase.” But, you know what, it was not natural for me to become a doctor either. It took someone to believe in me. To push me. To fuel my natural inclinations and train out the unacceptable behaviors. Thank you mom. You were persistent. Thank you Teacher Jon Sterngass. You didn’t care that I was different or not Jewish like you. You only saw potential and fueled it.

So, I will take note. And in my son’s case, since he learned to read by the age of 3 and knows the concept of ‘First this then that” and what it means to wait, his brilliance has given him away. So he will learn to sit still.

Till then, he will have outlets, at home and outdoors, to jump, climp, hand flap, run, squeal, repetitively chatter or try to elope because I’m watching and I have learned and changed my behaviors too.

I won’t worry. He will soon sit still during dinner and at church and I will sit by the curb and tell him when the car is coming.


Be Relentless


Has autism affected you? Here is the main thing to do when you haven’t got a clue? Be Relentless.

As a mom and autism mom, I know how frustrating it is that they don’t come with manuals. I was especially blind-sided by my son’s diagnosis. Autism? You mean like special needs? Like he will be looked at funny? Let me tell you. It hurt. It did. And I abnormally grieved for years.

But as with most traumas in my life, I recovered. As you will and have.

Despite recovery however, I still dreadfully fear one thing and that is … Am I enough of a warrior? Am I fighting hard enough on his behalf? Am I too overwhelmed or too lax about it it all?  Am I letting everyone else chart his path? Is there more that I should be doing?

Curiously, the answer to all those questions is yes.

Yes. Because this is such a journey. I know that his diagnosis is a great gift, after all, who reads fluently by age 3? My son! Yet, I wish this gift came with a receipt.

Each day we will answer those questions differently. Some days victoriosly while other times with tears in our eyes.

But the one thing that we do when we do not know what to do is to be relentless!

Relentless in educating ourselves on our new journey with autism.

Relentless in advocating without obstructing.

Relentless in staying active in our community when all we want to do sometimes is to hide, cry and eat cake.

But most of all relentless in pushing our loved one to his or her fullest potential.

So don’t wait for signs of success. Make the biggest assumption of all and believe that they can!

Then relentlessly stay on top of that belief and you will amaze yourself at the multiplicity of the baby step you took. 

In turn, your little one might just amaze you.


I love to read your comments and so many others can learn from an experience that you share. So please follow and leave a comment below.

If you have a question or would like a topic addressed, ask me! tell me!

It Bit You!

And you are pretty sure that it was a tick! Well, here are your top 5 reasons to phone a physician.

But first thing’s first. Remove the tick using a tweezer. This is where glamour meets medicine and “Eye Brow Plucking” can save a life.

Dr Nathanael Desire, a local Internist Physician and expert on Lyme Disease on Shelter Island, NY says “Everyone on Shelter Island should own a pair of tweezers. Use it. Grab a hold of the body of the tick and pull up.”

So, when DO you worry about infections and the dreaded Lyme Disease?

Well, you already know that not every tick bite equals Lyme Disease, akin to not every dog bite causes Rabies.  In fact, the majority of bites do not.

And you already know that only an infected deer tick will transfer the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

And you already know that just about any bug bite will leave a mark, a lump or a rash.

But is this THE rash?  And has THIS tick been hiding and presiding on your posterior for days?


Here are your top 5 reasons to phone a physician.

1)Your rash is growing or has circular patches. Your typical mosquito appearing rash after a bite that is less than 24 hours old is unlikely to be an issue. But if your rash has the size of currency and starts giving the quarter coin size competition, make an appointment.

2)You are unsure of when you were bitten or you know that it has been more than 24 hours or your new tick friend looks pretty fat compared to its legs. Just do like the doctor said, Squeal! Well, I’m sure he said “Pluck it Off.” However, bringing that little buggard in does not much for your diagnosis. Aside for speciating it and determining how yummy it thought you were, it tells us nothing about you and your status. And that is what we care about. We will only toss it for you as it is not recommended to determine the tick’s bacteria burden, only yours.

3)You spiked a fever or have flu-like symptoms. That is your first true cause for concern because something has triggered your immune response beyond local irritation and inflammation. And the most dreaded “something” among the many “somethings” is the bacteria called borrelia burgdorferi. So come in!

4) You begin experiencing GI distress such as nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. This is a pretty vague symptom and it does not pinpoint a cause but, as doctors, we like putting puzzles together and this new symptom along with a new tick bite may be the puzzle piece needed to raise a red flag.

5)Your develop achy joints or muscle pains. My, that could mean anything from strenuous exercise to arthritis but if you didn’t have it before, let us review your constellation of findings.

After all, Lyme Desease is not only preventable, it’s treatable and curable when caught prior to permanent damage.

So there it is. Your top 5!
Fortunately, our fears did not make the list.

There’s no mistaking that fears are real or that our fears have saved lives. But the one thing that is for certain is that our fears regarding tickbites are treated with education. 

So before you break out that co-pay and brace for the next bill from the lab, know this … education in a doctor’s office is just as costly as that prescription. So if you live in an area endemic to Lyme Disease, read up more on the topic and stay smart.

Image Credits
Healthwise, incorporated

Should I Take A Laxative?

You know that you’ve asked yourself that question before. I know that I’ve been asked that by many. I’ve written prescriptions to assist the poo and prescriptions to suppress the poo. But when does this question become a problem?

As a weight watcher, a pound of poo can mean the difference between a new bling and a bravo. That weekly weigh in can become a source of stress to many and the use of laxative for weight loss is, at times, entertained.

Or maybe you have the opposite problem and you just want to explore the world beyond the bowl.

Whichever team you are on, just remember, poo is toxic. It is waste matter. And if it wants to go, let it be free. 

But if you decide to assist in its freedom, just remember, it will steal your electrolytes and can make you ill. So, stay hydrated and consider having an electrolyte drink.

And if you go too little, walk more and increase your dietary intake of fiber and water.

Have more questions, just ask Dr. Ann. 

I Hate Running

I know that I hate running. Not the same hate as “kids hate vegetables” because unlike them, I’ve actually tried it.  I was young and fit and in college in a running for fitness class and almost failed it. So I can tell you from experience! I hate running.

So why is it that, 25 years later,  I am looking forward to running? Why am I signed-up for a Half Marathon ( at 45?

Why? I will tell you why… PERSISTENCE !

A year ago, I re-joined Weight Watchers. I was again uncomfortable in my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I was never skinny, #NeverWillBe, but 2 kids and daily fast foods later, I took up residence in Two-Terville. And boy, I still remember the day I re-joined … I went and ate my last supper at a nearby bistro.

I look back and smile sometimes because if you had told me that fast forward a year later, I would be running, my most definite reply would have been “If you see me running, you should probably run too, because it’s for my life.”

But I walked. And almost daily, I walked. Not for speed or exercise but for steps. Because, surprise, surprise, I also hated exercising.  So, I researched that I needed to do at least 10,000 steps a day and that became my goal. It wasn’t exercise, it was stepping. And I was willing to play whatever mind games needed to get me stepping.

I wish that I could say that I met my goal daily but I didn’t, however, I learned a lot in trying to reach this daily goal, especially that my lifestyle alone was not providing 10,000 steps. I was …gasp…sedentary.

But I had returned to Weight Watchers with a new way of thinking. And it was that “I want to be comfortable.” I wanted to eat comfortably and be active comfortably. So I set out to staying within my allotted eating points (chocolate and ice cream included) and walking…more. Whatever that more was.

Soon, I surrounded myself with a social media group that was all about mind full eating, non-scale victories and staying active. (Weight Watcher APP – Connect).  At first I was afraid of being a doctor on Weight Watchers? You know…”Physician, heal thyself,” but I got over that … and fast because it was keeping me isolated, eating and uncomfortable.

Now, I’m running short distances. Not because I love it. Remember, I hate running. But because I’m comfortable. Because persistence over the past year has reset my comfort zone. Because my body can now comfortably run a mile after walking a lot over the span of one year.

So, I still hate running . But I will comfortably push myself to run 13 more miles, at once, in 6 months.

#WishMeLuck #Persistence #DrAnnDesire #HalfMarathon #NowInOnederland