Saturday, November 14, 2015

When The Wiggles Return

If you know me, my family, you know that we love to stay positive on what Andrew has achieved since his diagnosis in 2012. I don't like to talk about the hard days, but they are a harsh reality in autism, regardless of function level.

This year, Andrew is in kindergarten. Not a special education kindergarten room, a regular ed full day kindergarten. Not just a regular ed full day kindergarten either. A kindergarten - First grade split class, with 40 other children. This year, as in years past, Andrew is excelling in his academics. My child who was not talking or potty trained 2.5 years ago is doing end of 1st grade math and reading at a 3rd grade level. He is making *massive* gains socially, has friends that he seeks out and wants to have play dates with!

With all of that awesome, his autism still exists.  He holds it together, and holds it together at school all day though all of the sensory overload. Kids yelling, teachers redirecting, shuffles of paper, tapping of pencils, instructions being given out, noises in the hallway of other students. His own body fighting, almost as a betrayal, the movement he so desperately craves. He "fits in" We are told "you'd never know he has autism"

Then he comes home.

Our days at home are...hectic. That movement he resists all day is found at soon as his feet cross the threshold into our home. Shoes fly off, coats follow after, and the wiggles start. The running and crashing on to the couch, down the hallway in to his sister, now 2.5 years old, who has missed him all day. Tears from being overwhelmed. He has questions, "Who is coming to play with me today?" Referring to what therapist he has that day. Then comes the anxiety of what he will do in the evening with his therapists. Once one of  "his ladies" show up, either Kalee, Rachel, or Sami, depending on the day, they make a plan that almost always includes dinos at some point. Most of the time he holds it together for them too.

Then the doors shut as they leave our home.

The wiggles return, the fight of bedtime begins, along with the anxiety of the dark or being alone. At this point we almost always have to separate him and Emmalyn because everything she does irritates him. He stims off of her, rubbing her head with his hands, they tackle each other back and forth, him not realizing his own strength and her her own limits, so it almost always ends in tears. We have fights on bathing, brushing teeth and using toothpaste, what is for dinner, and changing his cloths that are finally feeling ok on his body.

One may say "He is a child, he should obey"
One may not understand autism.

There has to be give and take, an understanding that everything we ask of him has the potential to throw his body completely out of sync. To us seemingly neurotypical adults, changing clothes may be seen as a minor inconvenience at most. To Andrew, it is getting used to a new place a tag hits on his neck or side. Getting used to it being long sleeve when he has worn short sleeves the 2 days prior. Socks not sitting right on his feet, or jeans rubbing on his hipbones when he had been so comfortable in his sweats.

I raise my voice more than I care to admit. Some days I wish I could just scream at him to get him to understand that something won't kill him, but I don't. I take a step back, take a breath and come back to give my kid who is having a hard time a hug and let him know I understand he feels uncomfortable.

It is stressful, I won't ever lie and say it's not. There can be so many unknowns. Not knowing if one more stop while running errands will lead to an abandoned cart in the middle of the store because he can't take one more second.

There is worry, I won't ever lie and say there isn't. I sill worry about his future! I worry about regressions, I worry if we are parenting him right. I worry if we are neglectful to Emmalyn's needs because of our focus on him. Even though so far she is in the clear, I worry about Em and her future. Wondering if we will hear the words "We are worried about Autism" again.

I worry about this baby in my belly. I worry about the judgment I know is out there on parents of special needs kids, deciding to have more children. The thinking we are selfish.

At the end of the day, every. single. day. I go to bed thankful. Thankful for the hard days because it makes the good days even better. I am thankful that Andrew has chosen me to be his mother in this journey. Thankful for progress, Thankful for a supportive partner, Thankful for a daughter who is forgiving when Mama runs out of patience.

Most importantly I am thankful that I was given another day to wake up and help my kid when the wiggles return.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

LONG time no update

It has been such a long time since I've updated everyone on my bug man!

Well, he is doing GREAT! Better than we could ever have hoped for, especially since we've welcomed Ms. Emmalyn Kate, or as Andrew calls her Emmababy :) at the end of June. His adjustment to her has been amazing. Sure there are moments of jealousy, but he is SO good and loving to her, it makes my heart melt! <3

Over the summer he has just taken off! He is learning he has a place in social situations, He is making friends ( and oh how this makes my heart happy) He is doing simple math, reading sight words, and spelling. This child, who was once NON VERBAL is TALKING IN SENTENCES!!! Asking for things unprompted and turning in to an almost 4(!!!) year old.

We still have meltdowns, Andrew and my self. We still have our hard day and He still isn't potty trained, but it will all come. Though out this whole journey we have learned to take things day by day, and second by second even.

Most days now I am not scared to look in to the future, Sure some days I think he is going to be 15 and still in diapers while all of the other kids his age are getting ready to get their learners permit, but most days I am *excited* for what the future brings

I love this little booger more than words can express. He is a good kid and I am one LUCKY Mama.

One very lucky Mama indeed.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Andrew is having

a baby SISTER!

We are very excited :) Girls do now show up often in my husbands family.

Andrew will come up to my belly and say "sissy" and "baby" and when the babies at day care start to cry, he says "dat ok baby, dat ok" Haha He is adorable

I know last time a wrote Andrew was having a very hard time transitioning to school and day care, but now he is just doing FANTASTIC! The only thing we can think of that changed is when we drop off we leave right away, so he doesn't get the idea that we are going to be staying! I am  just SO proud of him and the progress he is making every day!

Coming up April 27th, we will be participating in our areas Walk for Autism under the team name "Just Keep Swimming" Many reasons behind the name, but mainly Andrew is obsessed with " Finding Nemo" and can literatly quote the whole movie. He and Erik are SO cute to watch together when they play "memo"

I just love my boys and I can not wait to add our princess!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Raw emotions

Trust me when I say that this is going to be all over the place, I am just completely overwhelmed.

When you become a parent, there is just such raw emotion that comes along with it. There is literally a piece of your heart and soul walking around out side of your body. When I got pregnant with Andrew, little did we know what our future would hold. I didn't realize that his struggles would be my struggles, I didn't realize that his triumphs would be my triumphs, I didn't realize that every little thing he would do could impact me so deeply and with such emotion. But it does, daily.

Andrew has been having a hard time since he went back to school after vacation. I mean REALLY hard. Tons of melt downs, anxiety, attachment issues with me and horrible sleeping. There hasn't been one day where I have dropped him off that I haven't left him screaming his head off. If you are a parent, you can understand how devastating that is.

Today, while at Ms. Stephanie's, The school psychologist just so happened to be there observing another child. She saw Andrew and witnessed his melt down. We dropped him off at 8:30 and I got a text at 10 saying he was still upset. :( :( :(. I guess Trisha ( the psych) said something to Stephanie, about how we need to figure something out because "obviously this isn't working" What I don't think she understands is that he is exactly like this at school too. That this high pitched scream she hears every Monday and Wednesday is coming from The blue bear room and out of the mouth of my son.

Tonight, Andrew did not want to fall asleep, he has been off the wall crazy all day, jumping off of everything and screaming for no reason that I can find. As I was laying in bed with him, I lost it... I got on the train to pitty town and just bawled my eyes out. WHY my son? Why does MY child have to struggle with things that would be so simple to you or I? Then I start thinking about his future and that is when I really lose it. I can't go there, Not with how new his diagnosis is or maybe even ever. My mind seems to think it's fun to assume my son will never talk, or have a job, or a spouse, kids, drive a car, Ect... That is not fair!!! It's not fair to assume those things of him and it's not fair to me to have that kind of worry. My mantra since this whole thing has started is "One day at a time" Because honestly, we don't know. All of those things could come true, or he could be the next Bill Gates!

But here I sit in pitty town, looking at my child, wondering, waiting, praying that his life will be everything he can ever dreams it will be. Tears streaming down my face as I think of how crewel people can be. Heart broken because my son will not have the life I dreamed for him.

I need to take a step back and really think, because I *know* Andrew is happy, I *know* Andrew is healthy, I *know* that he makes my heart full of love and other emotions that I just didn't think would ever be possible.

But I also *know* he has Autism. I know that there will be bad days, for him, for me, for Erik. I know people will be judgmental ass holes and judge my son and our parenting.

I guess such is life...

Sunday, January 13, 2013


For most of this pregnancy (all 16 weeks of it!) I've been pretty laid back, but recently I have been very anxious about having a second child. I really, REALLY can not imagine loving another child, especially as much as I love Bug. I am sure it will happen, it happens to all mothers! Haha, But that is the main thing I am anxious about. Recently, when Andrew has a melt down I wonder how on earth I am going to manage a second child, How on earth am I going to be able to nurse a baby and stop Andrew from jumping off of the furniture, especially in the early days. How on earth I am going to be able to do a lot of stuff?! I know that baby wearing will be a life savor, but then I go on to worry about Jealousy. I know it comes with all most all sibling sets, but Andrew is VERY attached to me. I guess we will see where this crazy life takes us in the next few months, Lord knows we can handle a lot!

Have a good week everyone! Sorry for the short blurbs!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This post has nothing to do with Autism

When Andrew was a baby all everyone would say was how much he looked like Erik. It's true, he really does, Especially when he was a baby. Now that he is getting older I see so much of my self in him. He has my ears(poor thing) my facial features, but still I get " WOW!!!, He REALLY looks like his Daddy" from random strangers and family. So here are some pictures. I don't have any pictures on my computer of me as a baby, but here are Andrew and Erik's hospital pictures and pictures at around 4 months old.

Andrew's hospital picture

Erik's Hospital picture

Andrew 3 months

Erik 3 months

Me - 2/3

Andrew - 2/3

He is my child, I promise!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

He is autistic right?

No, He is Andrew. He just so happens to have Autism thank you very much!!! - Sorry, that really irks us.

In other new, the last couple of days Andrew has been saying his ABC's backwards. Yes from Z to A, with ease. It's awesome.

I still can't believe he is 3!!!

Today I asked him what is in my belly and he SAID BABY!!! Now, he probably has no clue what that means, but he still said it!

School for him is going very well! Today when I picked him up the Autism specialist was there and she said that she is very impressed by him, but is still concerned with him language. He KNOWS how to talk and knows that he has to to get what he wants or get his needs met, but lacks severe motivation beyond that. She said that they are going to get in contact with Ms. (Soon to be MRS!) Stephanie and see what they can come up with

My kid is lucky to have such an amazing team of people who love him and want for him to have the easiest life possible