Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Wonderland......

The snow finally fell from the sky.

A whole 2-3 inches - just enough to play in and keep us out of school a few more days.

We live in the south and don't travel north so our snow gear made from Target and consists of plastic bags over shoes and $5 target gloves, so needless to say, we didn't last long in it, but we did have fun.

And Owen did as I predicted. He had major fun with a few minor meltdowns while playing in it and he lost it when we got home. Although his brother lost it when we got home too because his hands were cold, so maybe it was a Fischer Boy Losing It Testosterone thing? EG lasted longer than anyone. You go, girl!

So without further adieu, I present


And now we're home and I'm debating making my kids actually take a shower and get dressed since they haven't done that since like 1992.

Peace out.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh Good Grief!

The kids are home from school today because we live in the south.
And it's supposed to snow.
You know, later today. Around 3:00. When they would be getting out of school...........


Anyway - we're still having fun crafting in our pj's and being lazy. We like lazy days.

And my mind is still in that deep place right now. It's getting better, but, as my sister said, "maybe it's good to be sad some; part of working through it."

I think you're dead on, Sister. Dead on.

And apparently this is a working through it kind of week.

And apparently working through it means allowing yourself to feel some of the things you felt at the beginning. Nothing as gut wrenching as the first time you heard your son's name and autism in the same sentence. That was a straight up sledgehammer to the heart and gut. This is more like an annoying itch that won't go away. A daily reminder with a neon sign that flashes across your brain....."he's different. he's different. he's different. he's different. he's different."

And some days you can face it with a "hell yeah he's different!"

And other days it's an "oh yeah. he's different."

This week has just been straight up tough. With our birthday fiasco followed by a Sunday morning class that he spent laying on the floor staring at the wall, followed by major tantruming yesterday during EVERY SINGLE transition.


And so while I try to be excited about impending snow, my thoughts are more like, do we bother taking him out in it? It's going to be cold. And wet. And even if he has fun while he's out there, we all know what will happen when we get home and he straight up realizes he's cold and wet. He's going to lose his shiznit and nobody is going to be having any fun.......

(last year's reaction to snow.)

And then I think about the other two. And how he will want to be a part of that even if he hates it. And I think about what a trooper he is. And what troopers they are. And how much this family sacrifices to try and make things right for our youngest. And how much I love him. And them. And how, even if it sucks, we'll still be making memories. And there's always wine later if needed. ;)

So hopefully we'll have more snowy 2014 pictures soon.

Hopefully my mind will stop running through all the what-ifs and go back to rocking it out one day at a time.

Hopefully you're not annoyed that my blog has been more sad than glad lately.

We'll get back to glad. I can feel it. Climbing out of dark places is always work, but there's growth there too. There's realization. There's understanding that life, like snow, is messy, but also, kind of awesome.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bring on the Notebooks

This post is simply me, venting. And probably even cussing.
I like to call it keeping it real. 

You've been warned so please just skip it if you want. No hard feelings.

But the real me today?

The real me is freaking sad.

And you want to know a secret?
This autism shit is hard.

And I tried to do my son's birthday in a low maintenance way that still celebrated him, and it was an epic fail. Epic. Fail.

What did he want to do?
He wanted to stay home and color in notebooks with his one friend, Leah Kate.

What did I push him to do?
1. Invite his cousin too.
2. Wear bluejeans
3. Go to a play area.
4. Make him play in the play area even though he told me it was too loud and crowded.
5. Watch a movie with his older cousins and siblings on the big screen at the church.

You see? Here's the thing. Autism is real, but the world is real too. And even though autistic children live inside their own heads 99.9% of the time, there are people around them who love them and care about them - and all these people - these cousins and friends? They include us in their birthdays and their lives so the "proper" person in me feels rude not to turn around and include them in his birthday and his life.

And he had fun for portions of it.
Real Fun.
Laugh out loud, watch me dance and blow out candles, fun.
Todd says we need to focus on that part.
I'm sure he's right. He usually is.

And yes, he's trying to secretly do what it looks like below......

I'll only post the fun pics because thankfully the camera was packed up for the end of the evening.

We'll call that the "scream your head off about your pants and ankles!" portion of the night. And I tried everything. I tried brushing and joints and counting and squeezing and wrapping and none of it was helping. He kept hitting me and screaming that he couldn't calm down. He was screaming as his friends trickled out without a goodbye or a thank you for coming. 

He calmed down for awhile and then woke up at 1:00 am screaming some more about his pants and ankles. Oh the ankles.

So today we're taking it easy. 

Todd took Isaac to basketball and the rest of us are home, trying to keep our ankles under control. I'm trying to recover from feeling like I ruined my son's birthday. Feeling like I took what he wanted and twisted it into something I thought he we might want, when really I should have just let him do what he wanted.

Next year?
There's going to be so much freaking coloring in notebooks that it's not even gonna be funny. I'm going to color the snot out of some notebooks. Hundreds, thousands of notebooks.

Bring on the notebooks, people.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bye Bye, Baby.

My baby turns five today.


There is absolutely no baby in five.

There's barely even a hint of toddler left in five.

It's all little boy.

Five year old boy.

And he's quite proud of this accomplishment of turning five.

We all are, actually.

This boy fights hard to grow.

And one of his presents today?

He didn't have to finish his breakfast......when he started to fight me on eating, I said "hop down and go play!" 

And he looked at me like, "are you for REAL?!"

Then he ran as quick as he could and got the hell out of dodge.

Happy Birthday, Owen!

You get the day off. You can eat or not eat whatever you want!
(I'll just slip some extra in your tube tonight.....)

For today, enjoy being You.

Because you are special and unique and crazy fun.

And this mom is sad to see her baby go.

And excited to see where God leads him.

And mourning the end of an era. The end of babies and toddlers and diapers and bottles (well, we do still have formula) and overalls and first words and first teeth and first steps and first days of pre-school and little chubby fingers and pacifiers and nap times and chaos, oh the chaos. And I can already tell I'm going to be that sentimental old lady that every young mother hates telling her to enjoy the time because it passes quickly.......But seriously. It passes quickly. And even though those days were exhausting, and I do mean EXHAUSTING, there is a small part of me that will miss them.

But today we celebrate a boy who has worked every day of his life to grow to be the five year old that he is. So happy birthday to my O-Dawg. May your fifth year be full of blessings and good health.

"I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living, my baby, you'll be."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Don't get too comfortable here.........

I was just about to unpack my bags and relax in the land of "WOW! Things are going Great Here."

And then this week happened.

Our lives did an abrupt U-Turn back to the land of "Screaming and Fevers and Full Body Rashes and Irritated Tube Sites and Tantrums and Complete Shut Downs."

And I'm reminded once again that chronic literally means chronic.

And I'm reminded once again that Autism literally means different.
Not bad. But definitely different.

And I watched Owen scream and scream yesterday because his friend who is younger than him knows how to tie her shoes and we're not even close. We're not even on the same planet. We're not even putting on our own shoes yet because the socks get bunched and then all holy hell breaks loose.

And I got slapped this week with a big dose of reality. Of difference. Of struggle. And even though I really try not to do this, I let an occasional "why him?" root itself in my brain. And once why him roots itself, his brother, why us, starts sprouting and nagging as well. And that just doesn't lead anywhere good. Trust me. So I usually call in the big guns and tell my brain to stop being a selfish douchebag because why not us? Ya know?

But enough about my messed up brain.......If we start unpacking my crazy, we'll be here all night......

 This week was hard because Owen's starting to realize.

He knew yesterday. He was focused on the fact that he was older than his friend and he can't do the things she does. He realized. And it made him angry. Just pure angry. And his anger lashed out at me. And I can take it; I'm a big girl. But I don't like watching him take it. And I didn't like watching her take it.

And this friend was just as sweet as she could be. Bless her! She sat with him and tried and tried to help him tie his shoes even though he was screaming at both of us. That's Jesus right there in her heart. Most 4 year old's would throw the shoe at his face because of the way he was acting. (Actually, I'm 36 and I kind of wanted to throw the shoe at his face.......) but not Leah Kate. She just sat there and never once raised her voice and tried over and over to show him how. 

And once we finally convinced him that it was okay if Mommy tied his shoes, they were outside running around and all was well for them.

But my heart was still aching........

Because its another hurdle for us to jump. Realization is dawning in his brain and how do you explain autism and illness to your child who can't process correctly because of autism and illness?! I have no answers for that one yet. Zilch. Zero. None. Nada. Niet. 

He knows he "should" want a birthday party, but he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn't want one. He knows he should be able to wear jeans without them bothering him and he even tries now, but they don't last long. He gets frustrated because he can't remember his letters. He's starting to realize his, for lack of a better word, setbacks. We know the huge blessings Owen has to offer so I guess we now learn the balancing act of helping him continue to work really hard to try to catch up to his peers while letting him know that he's also really great - just the way God created him. 
I guess that's really what we all do, right?
Try to achieve without comparison? Try to believe that we're enough just as we are.
Just as God created us?

That's a tall order for us.
It's a venti order for an almost five year old.

But today was a little bit better.

We're standing back up, dusting off our knees, and praying for a healthier and better week.

And maybe buying some shoes with velcro.... ;)