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Take it In

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Kids are running from ride to ride with sticky fingers anxiously handing the Gillian's  employee their tickets as they jump into seats with sun kissed cheeks and bright smiles. I sit watching, taking it all in, breathing in the joy they feel as their sun screened bodies glisten in the sun. I listen to the laughter, the horns sounding, the bells ringing and try to take it all in.



I am taking it all in for you moms. I see you, tired, lugging bags, counting your change and dolling out tickets to open hands. I see you trying to smile as you add up the cost in your head looking for the nearest ATM. I hear you saying "just one more ride" as your little one prances about begging for more rides on the Frogs or perhaps another spin on the Carousel. You say "yes". I hear an emphatic "yay"  little hands clasped with excitement against your sweet little ones chest.

While I take it all in, I think back to what I didn't notice with my own kids. I realize I didn…

Given Permission to be Ordinary

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I just got my oldest child's login for middle school. I won't lie, I am at a loss as to how we got to middle school so quickly. I still remember carrying her home on the frigid January day in 2005. I remember the first few weeks of raising that colicky baby and the many firsts my firstborn had. I had visions. I had dreams. I had expectations.

Expectations are something that fail me time and time again, yet as a human I fall into the trap of expecting things to happen. In my life, in my husbands life and my children's lives.

When Simone was 6 months old, I eagerly enrolled her in swim lessons. She had long arms and legs and her feet rivaled Michael Phelps. I was certain by kindergarten we would be clocking her times in the pool at swim meets but after the second lesson where my baby squealed and screamed as if she was in pain I was offered my money back--not to come. This could have been foreshadowing of what was to come but instead of being swayed, I continued to have exp…

I Wish I Hadn't Judged, Now I Understand

I wish before my youngest child was born that I knew what parents of children with disabilites were going through, not because I could take away your pain, frustration or sadness but because I could be there like my own village was today.

You see, years ago, I thought I got parenting. I had a child with sensory issues. I thought I knew it all. In reality, I knew nothing. In reality, I still don't. I know the reality of my daughters disabilities and her struggles. I can tell you when she is going to melt down and why. Sometimes I can even prevent her meltdowns or struggles in life. I don't pretend to know the struggle it is to walk in your shoes, because I put on a different pair. We all do as parents. We all have shoes that are filled with struggles. Is it our child's physical, mental, spiritual growth? Does our child not fit in? Is our child the child the school bully? We all wear shoes that have the opportunity to allow us to be more understanding, more open, more lovin…

Bio Medi What?????

This past year has been a whirlwind of emotions that have gotten me to new highs and lows I never dreamed of and in doing so its allowed me to be more understanding, more aware and more open. We all know I am pretty transparent but when I say "open" I mean it in terms of making choices to learn more about alternatives in parenting and medicine.

For years I have been a borderline crunchy mama. I call it crispy or toasty. We use a lot of natural products including essential oils and natural cleaning supplies, but having a husband who is a toxicologist, I am also very aware of the necessary medicines and chemicals that all begin as natural products from our environment that can be detrimental or beneficial depending on how they are used.

As the school year came to a close I was wiped out and exhausted. I felt like our sweet Serrie was at a plateau and though she was moving forward academically, behaviorally I was at a loss. I was at such a loss that I had even told one of her i…

Learning to Let Go

I am a Type A person.

I like control.

I like to be in control. Its one reason I don't fly. I am obviously better equipped (and safer) to fly a plane than a highly trained pilot. Right?

Wrong.

I also don't really want to let others "do my job".

I chose to have all these kids. I dreamed of being a parent but that dream never had clips of a child with a disability. It also never had clips of 5 kids. Sure, growing up I had diaries with baby names. They all began with the letter "K" and I knew I would marry and stay in quaint Ridgefield. None of that came true...except the dream of being a parent sans the disability.

I don't have any "K" names and I don't live in quaint Ridgefield married to my best friend whom I had a pact with if we both didn't find another soul mate (he found a great girl, I found an amazing man).

When we came to New Jersey, that Type A Chick checked in and turned away so many. I was good enough at setting up some crazy …

Its the Little Things

This week has been exhausting. Outside of the normal end of the year stuff; teacher gifts, parties, graduation prep, recycling, organizing, cleaning and prepping for the summer I had tried to reach out and help someone in need. I am the first to admit I LIKE to help others. I live to help others and I feel good helping others but what happens when your can't help anymore and you feel like a failure? You feel guilt. That guilt paired with the fact that our third born was struggling to find her place in the family and causing a disruption at every curve, I was exhausted. When you add in the prep for the upcoming ESY, summer programs, therapies, summer camps, VBS, Swim Lessons and the fact that you wonder how you will maintain the house, maintain a marriage and focus a little on keeping yourself sane, I was overwhelmed.

Lucky for me, I had planned a massage the Friday before school ended. I made the appointment weeks ago and literally was counting down. Monday I was exhausted but kne…

Rocking 4th Quarter Parenting

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This year has brought all kinds of change for the Nutty North's. There was that pesky diagnosis last year of autism and a host of other co-diagnosis'. We spent the summer last year preparing our then 2 year old to attend school and tried to manage the other four and keep them on track beginning school at the school they finished last summer.


It worked. Until it didn't and it seemed we had to change our plan. 

While the oldest began school where they left off, our tiny tot shuttled off to her first day of her school career. She was not yet 3. I bawled my eyes out and realized life as we knew it had changed. I had no idea how much it would change in the coming months. 
While I tried to keep up the 30 minute drive, sometimes 4 times a day, I grew weary. With therapies in and out of school as well as the kids extracurricular sports, I couldn't do it and we made a switch cautiously to public school. I was anxious and afraid. I wondered how it would go? I knew we had already…