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Showing posts from February, 2017

There's Something About Felicity

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I have always said, there is something about Felicity. Not sure what it is. Perhaps she's an old soul who when arriving on this planet fussed to no end because she wasn't content in just being a baby. Perhaps she is pure. Simple and unaware. Felicity always surprises me...sometimes in ways that try my patience.

Last week Felicity turned 8 and without the loss of her sister, she wouldn't be here. My life as I know it would be different and I know I wouldn't be as lucky as I am for having her and raising her. I have shared how Felicity started out struggling. I shared how neighbors would check to see if I was okay because her colic had her crying from dawn til dusk and I shared how she's truly the meaning of her name, happiness.

Today, as I rushed around trying to get dinner cooked, homework complete and make sure that we had all we needed for the next day she appeared. She stood before me and asked to create. You see, Felicity also creates...a lot...and often leaves…

What If?

Tonight I went out. It wasn't my typical Moms Night out with my safe girls Amy or Kim, I was out, in new territory with moms like me, moms with children who have special needs. Strangely enough I came down with a wicked cold just a couple days before attending and I wondered if that was my signal to stay put. See, honestly, I am a home body. I am capable of getting out but getting into real feelings for me is scary but still, I went. For the first time, I didn't have trepidation (except for the massage and maincure--which I participated in). It was good to be out. Out with moms who got it. They were moms of special needs. The ones who listened as doctors told us about diagnosis we wished we never encountered and the stories where we had to laugh about vacations gone wrong or well, just encountering life in a way we never imagined.

I shared.

I listened.

I thought.

Before I went in, I made a video blog about how I truly believe people are here to support us, to care for our chil…

Here is a Secret...SHHHH.....

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Today our third turned 8 years old...for those who didn't know Felicity as a baby, she was probably one of the most challenging babies ever...she would cry until she vomited. She screamed so loud that my neighbors even wondered how I made it through the day....what I didn't know is she was preparing me. She was preparing me for a journey that was climbing more than a molehill. It was scaling a mountain and instead of free climbing experience with her allowed me to have the proper equipment to welcome a child with autism and other disabilities into our home with strength.

The other secret is that autism has changed each of my children. The other day I was blessed to enter into an insurance agency and share Seraphina's story as well as the gift of Reach. As I did, I proudly shared so much about Seraphina and her journey. I stood strong as I talked about knowing and hearing the diagnosis from the lips of the doctor and knowing that when those words came out they were just a s…

Expectations

In this world today, it seems we all have some sort of behavioral expectation based on our own ideals, values or understanding of where children should be when age appropriate, but as I have learned just like any spectrum or curve, children also experience this in their own growth and development.

Those who knew me when I had one, knew that our precious little bundle could sit through meals at nice restaurants by 9 months. She could recite her ABC's, walk and run before 10 months old. This little one sang gleefully by 11 months old and had me convinced that I was the mom of all moms. Then I had two. I still seemed to manage that with grace but when my third came around I learned quickly that the expectations I had for children were not for every child but for the two children I currently had. I also realized then and there I could not judge a parent on a running toddler or a screaming preschooler. Children are small humans developing at their own pace with their own personality an…

First Things First

I can admit it now. I am no Supermom. Its not who God intended me to be and I am okay with that. Again today someone said "I don't know how you do it and keep it together". Newsflash, I don't.

Yesterday I tearfully cried as I told my oldest kids I couldn't give them anymore. I was spent. Nine loads of laundry, four puke buckets and a house that was bleached from top to bottom and I needed them to step up. I needed them to take care of their laundry and help me out.

This wasn't a punishment for them but a realization that I can't do it all. I am blessed. I have it all. I have a wonderful husband (I really do). I have an amazing set of children- they are learning and make mistakes but overall they are wonderful kids and not because of me but because who they were created to be. I have an amazing family in my parents, cousins, aunts and uncles and I have grown to have friends in the community and the community at large that support my family that is not alwa…

The Earth Angels

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Never in a million years did I imagine the exhaustion that goes along with a special needs diagnosis and for me, I am lucky because my child has autism and minimal additional diagnosis to go along with the main diagnosis itself.

Still, its exhausting.

There are days filled with paperwork. Numerous piles that you fill out until your hand cramps up and you notice your handwriting get worse and worse as you go along.

There are days filled with anxiety and anticipation when you visit the doctors to see where your child is in comparison to where they were just a few months prior. Sometimes in those appointments you are surprised by additional diagnosis. Those days are tough.

There are days filled with therapies. So many therapies that you watch your other children stand and witness their summer days flying by without their own wants and needs being met and you as a mom realize, you cannot do it all. You want to but you can't.  Those days are filled with exhaustion and guilt.

There are …

Therapy, Undone.

While at therapy a little over a week ago, I was given homework. I was supposed to stop being the therapist and start being the mom. For me, the mom who became the "therapist" before the formal diagnosis was even made, I promised I would try but had some trouble getting it into my thick head. I am stubborn. I want what I want. I am impatient (much less than I used to be though). The first week I tried. I really did but I didn't get it.

Yesterday it clicked.

I was supposed to go home and start our ABA therapy in her little room while we worked to follow commands, link commands and move forward on our learning journey. I wanted to go home and do it. I did but I didn't have it in me and that was okay because we had therapy. Undone.

We didn't sit at a table moving tokens from the top to the bottom of the clipboard. We didn't struggle hand over hand to write, match and categorize. I like those moments. I do. I like seeing her grow and her get new concepts but I ju…

Why I am not posting about Betsy DeVos

I have been getting a number of texts and phone calls from loving friends asking about Betsy DeVos, my feelings and how I need to make sure she's not in charge of education. Its a great thing that my friends are so concerned not just for their own children but for my children as well but right now, I just can't take something like that on.

For starters, I never expected to attend an IEP meeting nonetheless call 4 in the first half of the year. When I entered the classroom last spring to visit I could barely keep myself contained because admitting I had a child with autism and other disabilities was beyond who I was right then. Since then I have learned to accept, to announce and to support disabilities in any way I can but right now? I can't do it on a political front.

Second, I don't know enough. Honestly. I have been so wrapped up in trying to get things moving in my house from wash (due to markers on the couch) to the dishes, shopping and mothering that I really don…

Dear Special Needs Mom,

Dear Special Needs Mom,

I get it. I live it. I understand.

I understand the low point of hearing that formal diagnosis of your child. I hear your cries and feel your pain as your heart shattered with the thoughts of what you expected your child would be.

I see you. I see you standing at the playground watching like a hawk wanting to intervene when your child is shunned. I understand how "normal" you want to make your child's life so you head out into the world trying to let your little one experience all that any typical child has.

I feel you when you get mad. When you want what is best for your child, giving them all they need to be successful in life. I feel you when you know that others don't understand because they are not there when you hold your child writing in pain because they are wearing pants or because they can't tell you what they want to eat and everything you offer isn't the right thing.

I know you, when you pull yourself up by your bootstraps …