Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thought Filled Thursday

Here is the new Thought Filled Thursday!  

First off, a giveaway!  Not mine, but one that I've come across!  This game sounds SO COOL!!!  I know that James would love to play it, possibly for hours!  She's talking about Time Engineers.  This is the facebook page for the software developer company, Software Kids.  Go to Notes From A Homeschooling Mom  to find out how you can enter.  She's only doing it for another couple of hours, so get in under the wire!  

I have been cleaning the office a lot lately.  It's amazing how calming and comfortable it is in here now!  The craft table is great in here!  Once I have it all of the way clean, I'll take pics to share!  

While I've been cleaning, I've been streaming How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.  I know there are some people who are dissatisfied with Netflix, but I love the service.  I pay just under $24 a month to get 3 dvd's at a time and unlimited streaming. The kids love it, I love it, Jason loves it, we all love it!  Considering that we don't have satellite or cable, it's a great way to watch t.v. and movies.  I love how I can control what the kids are watching.  

Sewing.  I really need to be doing more sewing.  The MERCS are going to be at the Detroit Institute of Arts on January 20, 21, and 22 performing!  If you are in the area, come check us out!  Jason and I are trying to make arrangements for the kids so he and I can go out for the weekend with them!  Back to the sewing, I'm working on the gambesons for the fighters.  

So I am hoping that this post will work for you guys for the Thought Filled Thursday!  I know there are a lot of links to follow, but they are worth it, I swear!  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thought Filled Thursday

Now I'm not saying these will be deep and amazing thoughts, but I'm hoping that by starting a weekly post I'll get back into the habit of posting and maybe do even more of it.  I know many bloggers that have a random thought day post.  I think Thursdays fit for me.
The Beatles. They're great. The group itself is no longer. The music lives on for an eternity. Yellow Submarine is a fav around here. Jason has the action figures that were made based on the cartoon. One of Izzy's most favorite movies is Yellow Submarine. All of the kids love the album.
Abbey Road in LEGOs. Now that's cool. Almost as cool as my kid named Abbey after this very album.
More Beatles in LEGO. Still can't get much cooler than that. This looks a lot like the sets from "Help" and "Ed Sullivan Show".
Photobucket My man Johnny, looking suave and relaxed and oh so sexy. Yummy. And all kinds of other adjectives, most of them related to food or eating.
Almost nothing sexier than a man laughing. Have a pic of him laughing with his kids, that'll trump it. When it's Johnny, all bets are off.
Miss Piggy. Loved her as a kid. She has a new movie out, along with all the other Muppets. Took the kids to see it on Thanksgiving. It's just as good as it sounds. 

There's my thoughts for this Thursday. If you don't hear from me before then, I'll see you all at the same bat time on the same bat channel next Thursday. Have a great weekend and beginning of next week.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Win a Kindle!

I'm not giving it away, sorry I just don't have those kind of resources. However, Freely Educate is! Head on over to their page at and enter to win! I really don't think I'll win, but it's worth a try, right? I love this site, they always offer some amazing resources and ideas. Check them out, it's free to browse and they try to find free or low cost materials for homeschoolers, or those who supplement their kids' educations. What more could you ask for?

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Need of a New Title Photo

Yeah, that one is a bit dated, don't you think?  I am thinking a new layout too.  I wonder if I can remember how to adjust the width of the text box to allow for my photos.  I want something brighter, maybe a little easier to read.  

Jason has been blogging a lot lately and it got me to thinking, why the hell don't I?  I used to do it all the time but now it seems like I can't be bothered with the effort of it.  

My brother set it up so the laptop and the tower can "talk" to each other.  I wonder if I could use photoshop on my laptop without needing to install it by simply accessing it on the tower and opening it that way?  That would be kick ass if that were the case.  

This summer has been crazy weird and fun.  I joined up with a bunch of rennie sword fighting odd balls and it has been a great time.  I've done a bit of photography with them and I started another blog for some of those photos.  Unfortunately, the tower died before I could edit the photos and do the first post!  Now it's back up and running so I'm hoping that in this next week I'll get them up there for everyone to take a look at.  Sadly the laptop is in the shop, the hard drive took a nose dive.  Thankfully, it's covered by my kick ass warranty!  I have to order the reboot discs from Dell, but that shouldn't cost more than $50 (I'm hoping it's less than that) and Best Buy will do all of the reinstalling.  I'm going to give them the disc for the printer and have them do that as well just so I don't have to go through all of that again.  Jack tells me he can set it up so I can I can use the laptop to tell the tower to print something for me.  When I have him come set the network back up I'm going to ask him to set that up too.

We bought our house!  We've lived here 4 years and I am SOOOO happy we are never going to have to move again!  Jason's parents helped us out with the financing part, and we are VERY grateful for that!  We couldn't have become homeowners if it wasn't for them.  I wanted to mail Jason's mom some scones when we signed the papers, but Jason told me that they probably wouldn't ship well and to just wait to make them until we see them again.

Izzy is back in school for the year.  His IEP went pretty well.  Stacey, our family case worker, rocks the fucking kazbah!  She was there for the IEP, along with Mary Beth, who is another person who works closely with our family.  It made me feel better to not walk into the room by myself.  It always feels so overwhelming when doing that.  Thankfully his teachers are familiar with me and they know that I know my kid and I don't back down when it comes to doing what I feel is best for him, what living with him for the past 5 years has taught me is best for him.

James is doing pretty well.  His medications have helped him find some stability, and he has a great therapist.  Jayda - we are in the beginning process for her.  She sees the psych on the 26th.  I have a really good idea of what is going on with her, and thankfully, this guy (the same guy James sees) knows me and listens to me and honestly and actually considers what I'm saying and recognizes the value that my words and input have.  It can be hard to find a professional, especially a psychiatric one, that does that.

The twins are 2.  Yeah, that drives home the point of the title picture being outdated, doesn't it?  I have some photos from this past spring when Kati was here visiting.  I could use those I think.  

Well, I suppose that is all for right now.  I'll try to get back and blog some more within the week.  Maybe even post some recent-ish pictures.  Prayers and blessings everyone.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Oh, as an afterthought, I've just started using this new blogger interface, so if things get a little wonky, that's why!

Monday, June 13, 2011

You Ever Look Around

and realize that what your child has accomplished is HUGE even though other children his/her age accomplished that YEARS ago? Yeah? Then you have a special needs child and you know exactly where I'm coming from. No? Then you have no clue as to what the hell I'm talking about.

Being that I am raising SN and NT (neurotypical) kids, I see the differences every day. The twins are doing things that Izzy never did (and honestly STILL doesn't do).

Today was one of those accomplishment kind of days. Well, for one thing at least. Izzy let me cut his hair. Yep, that's it. Cut his hair. Well, more accurately, trimmed it. He didn't scream. He didn't shove me away. Admittedly, it didn't take very long, all of 2 minutes. I made sure of that. And I talked to him, asked him if I could do it. He had his iPad to help distract himself. He brushed at the fallen hair, probably because it itched.

This is HUGE. Now I will be able to trim his hair as it gets longer and keep him from getting a mullet as the top grows out. And for all of you that think "What's so big about a hair cut?" You have NT kids and have NO idea. That's what's so big about it.

I belong to this board, it's one of those message boards. It's private. We share, a lot. All of us have kids that were born around the same time as Izzy. There are many days where I don't share a thing. Most of them just don't get it. They have children who are going into a regular kindergarten class next year. Their kids can talk. Their kids are toilet trained. Their kids don't need special services or receive disability payments. None of them are learning sign language just they can hope to be able to talk and understand their child. Honestly, there are many days where I feel like I should leave the board. I feel like the outsider, looking in on all of these "perfect" children and it reminds me daily of where Izzy "should" be, where he "could" be.

I joke about how he'll end up with a really talkative wife because he won't try to get a word in. Or what kind of job he'll get as an adult. The true reality of it is that those things may not happen, in fact it is far more likely that they won't instead of thinking they'll be part of his life process.

I see this bright good looking kid who is burried in his own head. Where his 2 year old siblings can speak more than he can, where they can make themselves understood better than he can. Where they'll be toilet trained and on to learning "typical" stuff long before he seems to.

Izzy loves his puzzles. He's learning to count with them. He has one that requires him to put the pieces in by numerical order and he can do it through 10. He has another that requires him to do it alphabetically, and it doesn't always start with A, and he can do that too. He knows quite a few more signs than any of us do. I find I have to look up what he's doing just so I know what he's talking about.

All of this to simply say, today is a haircut. Tomorrow is...well I don't know, I'll have to wait and see. However I'm sure it's going to be HUGE, even if someone else's kid did it years ago.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's April...

That means that it's now World Autism Awareness month. Obviously this means a lot to me. These boys make life interesting and chaotic and worth living every day. Watching them grow and learn and change, and being there to help them do that, is, well, honestly indescribable.

I know a lot of mom bloggers with Autistic children are starting the month off with posts about what Autism looks like. After all, it doesn't have a look. It's not like some disorders where you look at a child and say "That child is Autistic" or "That child has Asperger's".

On a side note, why is it a child IS autistic and a child HAS Asperger's. Why isn't it one or the other? They are both on the same spectrum, have some of the same things going for them. Afterall, if Asperger's weren't called that, these Aspie kids would be considered high functioning autistic. Then they'd go from HAVING to BEING.

Anyway.....what does Autism look like to us? A whole mix of things, that's for sure. You have all of those "classic" autism things with Izzy. You get all of those social oddities and speech repetitions and "little genius" speak from James. But that's not how it looks, that's how they ARE.

I took Izzy to the store with me this afternoon. I needed to pick up some basics for the week and to get some specific stuff for dinner tonight. I don't usually take Izzy with me, he can be hard to manage, but he's getting better. He loves to sit in the cart, but he's too big to do that now, so I made sure to get a cart he couldn't sit in, that removed the issue right there. I put his hands on the handle, which was low enough for him (thankfully he's a bit big for his age) and I guided the cart, while staying close by him.

We walked through the store to where the dairy is. We've been learning signs, thanks to our extensive collection of Signing Time videos. Izzy doesn't speak. Well, that's not quite true. He speaks very little, and what he does say comes across as though he has a mouth full of marbles. Cheese is one of his favorite foods, so we signed cheese as we were picking out shredded mozerella for home made pizza later this week. A little further down, we needed some cottage cheese. Again the cheese sign, and he put the containers in the cart. We needed a gallon of milk (we go through at least 2 a week) so I signed milk and held the door open to the cooler by our kind. Izzy grabbed the gallon and put it in the cart.

Next on the list was chips (Pringles) and Chicago style popcorn. Down the snack aisle we went. I signed chips, and handed Izzy the containers to put in the cart. We found our popcorn, signing it of coarse, and put that in. Next was Daddy's soda. I don't know the sign for soda, so I used juice. I put that in because it's heavy.

We needed hamburger buns for the pulled pork and a loaf of bread (something else we go through quite a bit of each week). I signed bread for both because I don't know the sign for buns. And apples, everyone loves apples (we easily go through 2 3lb bags of them a week).

All through the store Izzy kept his hands on the handle of the cart, only letting go to put food in the cart and to try to sign what we were getting. Looking at him, you couldn't tell that he was autistic. Maybe deaf because of the signs and the fact that he was speaking. While in the check out lane, he let go of the cart to put the groceries on the belt. Then he did his jumping/arm flapping/squealing thing. THEN you *might* have seen him as autistic, if you were familiar with autism.

My point is that the entire trip to the store was a simple task to pretty much anyone, but to Izzy it's not. It's a time full of extreme stimulation where any one thing *could* be the final thing that adds up to being too much for him to handle any more.

Admittedly, Izzy is pretty adaptable. He was upset to begin with when he couldn't ride IN the cart, but he was content with holding onto it. While we walked by the other customers (and it was BUSY because it's Sunday) no one would have seen the autism, they would have seen a mommy and a little boy at the store on a Sunday buying groceries.

That's very true, that's what we were. A mommy and a boy at the store on a Sunday buying groceries. But we were SO much more. My autistic child was able to walk through the store and was learning and not overwhelemed to the point he couldn't handle it. This little boy was trying to communicate with me, and he was watching everyone else too. He was OK with walking down the different aisles and looking at all the foods.

I will say that I made sure to avoid foods that he would REALLY want (like candy, cookies, and cereal). I kept the trip as short as possible. I talked to/with him the entire time. Telling him what I was looking for, what we were getting next. In my way, I was trying to keep him informed so he wouldn't get to feeling lost or overwhelmed with all that was going on. I wanted him to stay focused on what we were doing, why we were there. By doing that, I was hoping that it help him feel secure, even with so much going on around us. I'm happy to report that this time it worked. Maybe next time it won't, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Autism doesn't look like anything, unless you are familiar with it. Another mom of an autie may have recognized what I was doing. I know I do. I was in Barnes and Noble one evening with Jenn. There was a mom who was working with her teenage/adult autistic son about picking out the item he wanted. He was having a very hard time narrowing it down, he kept telling her he wanted to get his thing and also that he wanted to go home. She was in line in front of us and ended up stepping out of line so her son could, once again, go back and look at what he had in mind. Some people may have seen a mentally challenged boy. The way he spoke sounded vaguely familiar to Forrest Gump. However, I KNEW. I saw more than the way he spoke. I saw the arm flapping. The frustration that was so clear on his face. I smiled at the woman. I wanted to say something else, but I wasn't sure what. I've had those same evenings with James. Taking him to pick something out and sitting there for 20 minutes while he made up his mind and changed it and made it up again and all the time getting more and more frustrated because it's HARD to take it all in. James is better able to speak than this young man was, but that doesn't make it any easier for him.

I often wonder what autism will look like as these boys get older. How will puberty go for them? What about dating? College? Jobs? These are all so unknown. I know more and more people are dx'd as autistic (or on the spectrum somewhere) every day. It seems like it's almost an epidemic.

I think part of it has to do with how many different things are classified as autism. I think it also has to do with how people are more willing to ask for help with their children and figuring out what is going on with them. I also think it has to do with how our society has moved from being a hard physcial labor all day to one of leisure and sitting and wasted energy. A child like James, about 100 years ago, growing up on a farm would have worked hard from sun up to sun down. He would have been too tired to get too worked up over much of anything. And if he had gotten worked up, more work would have been given to him. As for Izzy, he would have been placed in an institution as being a dumb mute and left to rot. He wouldn't have been given a dx and therapies and help. Neither would have James.

As I sit and look at our society and how it is now, I see the improvments for those with any kind of difficulty. And I see how so many people are still ignorant and unwilling to accept those that are different in any way. I know every person that drives by my house at night wonders why I have blue lights out front instead of the white ones like everyone else on the block. I know that people wonder why I homeschool my kids instead of putting them in the one size fits all institution that's "normal".

My family is different. In more ways than can be seen. I'm OK with this (usually, even I have my days, as does everyone) and I feel like everyone else should be too. Sadly, they often aren't.

We are told that we should accept everyone for all of their differences. The focus of years past has been skin color. In more recent years it's been sexual orientation and even more recently it's been religion. I want to see people get up in arms about acceptance of people are different mentally. Who are challenged by every day things in some way or another. I want to see the parades for their rights. I want to see the issues talked about on daytime shows and on the evening news. I want to see headlines about the fight to ensure that my children have the same rights, the same chances that everyone else gets.

Sadly, they are pushed to the back, beause it makes so many uncomfortable that it's "easier" to do it that way. Sure, we have laws that say we have to do it, but so many people just DON'T do it. Why is that? Why should I have to explain when my child has a tantrum (or runs away as James did once) in the middle of the store that he's autistic. Why shouldn't it be assumed that something MORE than just bad parenting is going on there?

Stop and ask yourself that. Do you hear a child screaming/crying/carrying on in the store/restaraunt/library and automatically think "If that were my kid he wouldn't behave like that"? Did you ever stop to think that no matter what I have done has NOT helped this child calm down and they are now throwing themselves on the floor/running away beause it's just too much for them to handle? Next time, alter what you think. Put yourself in that person's place (admittedly it's usually a woman, a very tired frustrated sad looking woman) and think how YOU would feel if everyone were staring at you and thinking EXACTLY what you are even though there is NOTHING that can be done.

Today was a success with Izzy at the store. Next time might not be or it might be James, who is "too old" to be throwing a tantrum like that. I don't feel that I should have to wear a sign or explain to everyone that he is autistic and can't handle what is going on that day.

All of this to say this....Autism doesn't look like what you think it should. Autism looks like what it is and for every child who is on that spectrum, it looks different. Don't close your mind, or your heart, to what autism is. It affects so many more than you know, the numbers should prove it if nothing else does.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Own Space

This past weekend was bittersweet. A couple (technically 3 because the twins are 2 people, meaning 2 milestones wrapped into one event) of milestones were hit.

Firstly, Izzy is now riding in a backed booster seat with JUST the seat belt!!! He'll be 5 at end of March. He's been in the 5 point straps up til now. He's a bit big for them but we were worried he'd try to get out of his seat if he just had the seat belt.

While riding the bus home, he would also be in a 5 point harness (special ed busses have restraints for the kids). His foot kept falling asleep because of the way he was sitting in it. His driver asked if it would be all right to put in him the seat belt (all seat belts that are being used with him have should straps). I said sure, we shouls give it a try, and that's when I decided to try Izzy in a seat belt.

On the trip down to SIL's he did GREAT!! He loved being able to look out the window. Our van doesn't have shoulder straps all the way across (it's a 99, it also doesn't have the latch hook system) so James went to sitting in the middle and Izzy and Jayda are at each side. He sat well in the seat and didn't mess with at all.

The 2nd (and 3rd) milestone was that the twins are now sleeping upstairs in a big kid room in a big kid bed!!! Jack almost pushed Abbey out of the crib on Friday and I knew it was time to send them upstairs. While the kids were gone this weekend, Jason patched a hole in the wall and we made the beds and put up a gate in the doorway. That way the won't accidentally fall down the stairs or wander into the play room and eat toys they shouldn't have. They are still sleeping together, and I figured that until they ask to sleep seperately, they will continue to do so. There is a 2nd bed in that room, that Kati will be using when she comes to visit. They do have some of their toys upstairs (Yay for some of the toys from my living room disappearing!) and their blankets and lovies. They sleep pretty well in the big bed, I think they are enjoying having more space!

That brings me to My Own Space. Yeah, it DOES deserve to be capitalized! As I'm cleaning up the office, I'm noticing a big empty space. Originally I thought that I might put a papa san in there, a quiet reading space that I or one of the kids could go to. However, the more I'm thinking on it, I'm thinking that maybe a craft table would be a better option. Right now, the pack n play is in there for Jack's tanturms. It'll stay there until he gets big enough to go to his room for them (standard house rule, all tanturms go upstairs). Then I'll have space to play with.

Which leads me to what to put in that empty space in the corner. I have a bunch of containers of fabric that really should go in there, to help declutter the living room. It'd be nice to have a place to work on crafts that I don't need to tear down each time I'm done with it, like I do with the living room table. Having the pc in there is handy, so I can look up things I might need to know, or even to play music.

If you had a space of your own, what would you put in it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ever Feel Like...

The worst parent of the year? That's me today. It's not because of something I've actually done. It's how I feel. It's how a realization has made me feel.

I went to therapy today. I almost feel like that sentence should always be taken as a negative sign. Kind of like when your partner looks at you and says "We need to talk". You know something not so pleasant is coming your way.

I thought today was going to be a good therapy day. I suppose in the true context of therapy, it was a great day. However the aftermath has left me disoriented and wrung out. I feel lost and confused. Therapy is supposed to get at the inner stuff and really make you think and figure things out, to help you grow and become someone better, for yourself, for your loved ones. No one ever tells you that process can leave you feeling like shit. Yeah, it's one of those swearing kind of days.

Today my therapist did as all therapists do, she got me thinking and self analysing and bringing the crap to the forefront to be confronted so it can be dealt with in whatever manner it needs to be. Today, my therapist was a bitch for what she poked and prodded to the front. Maybe after some time I won't see it that way, but right now that's how it is.

I've talked a little bit about Jayda here. About her difficulties. I will be completely honest. I've never fully accepted what her report said about her. I put up a block that said "That can't REALLY be the case, let's go see a specialist, they'll tell me something different". I've always felt a wrenching pain in my heart when I think of that report, or what that report says.

Here's some self analysis for you, kindly directed by my therapist. Growing up as I did, being told the things that I was, I associate "being smart" with "being good" and "being pretty" with "being bad". Them's the fucked up facts. For me, it was all important to BE SMART. After all, that is what I got recognition for. Screw being pretty, that was for DUMB girls. I didn't need to be pretty, I had a "God Damned Good Brain In My Head" and I shouldn't take 2nd fiddle to anyone or anything because I had the brains to do EVERYTHING.

Yeah. Fucked up, right?

Well here's where it carries over to my kids in a nice fucked up manner. We've all got to do it, we'll fuck them up as we were fucked. Vicious bitchy crappy cycle, but someone's got to do it, right?

To me, smart is good. With my kids, they can have any manner of difficulties as long as they are smart. Smart is something to work with. Smart is potential and possibility. With being smart, we can figure out how to work around the difficulties and teach them something useful, that they are quite capable of.

Pretty gets you nowhere, ESPECIALLY the girls. It gets a guy looking at your ass or trying to look down your top. It gets you groped. It gets you oggled and mistreated. Pretty goes away. Very few women, as they age, are still considered beautiful. With most, you say "She was really beautiful when she was younger". Ouch.

Jayda is a beautiful girl, but she isn't smart. She will never be smart. Her possibilities have become the Atlantic Ocean and there isn't any swimming across it.

That was, I think, the hardest thing I've ever had to say about one of my kids. James is bi-polar and has Asperger's. Kati is a bit OCD. Izzy is a non-verbal autistic. However, they are all extremely smart. To me, the smart is the most important. Everything else is just dressing.

For Jayda, she doesn't have that creamy center. Where smart should be is nothing. If she is lucky, she'll be able to read at a 6th grade level, even as an adult. She will have to always use a calculator (or have something physical to use) even to do the most basic of math.

Jayda has never been one to ask why or how something works. She's always taken it at face value. She doesn't want to learn new things, to explore things she isn't familiar with. While the rest of the world goes on around her, she is perfectly happy sitting at home playing her dolls or playing tag with her friends.

So I'm left trying to figure out how to parent her. I admit that I don't know how. The thought of even trying is so overwhelming to me it's shutting me down. I am having a very hard time envisioning any kind of future for her, what are her options? She could be a....stripper? Or a...cheerleader? She could be the perfect 1950's house wife. Oh wait. We don't live in the 1950's. And she'd have to be able to thing logically in order to keep a home running and organized enough to keep things going smoothly. Well, crap, where the fuck does that leave her?

I know, she can be a trophy wife! Won't have to think, just needs to look pretty. And in about 5 years, her husband will dump her, leaving her nothing (because she didn't think to make sure she was taken care of) and marrying some new girl. Obviously, that is every mother's dream for her baby girl. *snort*

What do I teach the child who doesn't have the desire to learn? How do I guide her to become the most that she can be when that most is so little that even she sees it as depressing?

Part of the problem is that while Jayda isn't smart, she is smart enough to realize that she is different, that she isn't like her brothers and sisters or her friends. That she is being left behind in their jokes and conversations.

For all of this, I feel like the worst parent in the world. First when she came from me, when she was born, I didn't make her (literally make her) as smart as she could be. I left her short in that area, so short that her future is empty. Second, because I see her future as empty. I can't get my head wrapped around her possibility, her potential. I'm getting sucked in to seeing only an empty vastness that will never be filled and that is doing Jayda an injustice. And yet, I don't know how to begin to change it. I don't know what it is that she COULD learn to fill that space so she can grow into an adult and BECOME as we all do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sickness and Healing

I thought of this post a couple of days ago, but I am just now getting the time to sit down and write it out. Izzy came home a couple of days ago from school, laid down on the floor, and fell asleep. He slept pretty much until this afternoon. I'm still on Thursday, even though the post technically says it's Friday.

He didn't throw up. No diarrea or anything like that. He had a mild fever, but with his history of seizures, we gave him tyelnol just to be safe. We gave it to him twice. In those two days. He would get up every so often. Enough to point to a movie that was being held in front of him, or drink from a juice box or 7 up can. Then he would pass back out for another few hours. We'd change his diaper every few hours. He was still wetting, so that was fine.

Izzy barely ate anything, which always worries every parent and it did us. He didn't speak or use any real form of communication. My abilities to observe and understand without language were really put to the test.

We knew that today he'd be feeling better because he actually ate some of his breakfast, drank 2 juice boxes (before he'd barely get down 1/2), and got in the tub. He was also trying to use some kind of words. The other kids and I went on a field trip and Izzy was crying and upset when we left without him.

Tonight, he ate dinner and again drank more juice. Yesterday he felt cool to the touch so I knew then that he was on the mend.

What does all of this have to do with anything?

Izzy's body takes over when he is sick. It stops doing all extraneous functions. It pees, poops, breathes, sleeps, and rarely wakes and moves. He will drink and barely eat. He doesn't sit up much at all, but stays in a somewhat commical position of folded over his legs, which are indian style. He doesn't talk. He doesn't run and jump and play.

He also doesn't try to clean the house because it *must* be done. He doesn't go into work because it's what he *must* do. His body heals itself quickly and efficiently. Why? Because it is allowed to do as our bodies have been doing for eons.

There are so many times where we, as adults, find ourselves fighting those very urges and needs so that we can accomplish what we *must* simply because it's "what is done". Never mind that it takes us a week or longer to fully heal. Never mind that we are dead miserable for that week, and make those around us as miserable.

Why do we do that to ourselves? Are we truly helping anyone by going and doing what *must* be done while we are miserably ill?

I'm rather certain that most of the people that read this blog are parents. Aren't we supposed to be setting good examples for our children by doing things that take care of ourselves?

What is pushing yourself through your illness teaching them? That they must sacrifice their well being for those around them? If they aren't healthy, how can they be the best at whatever it is that they are doing? Doesn't the same go for ourselves.

Those of you with children that aren't autistic, how many of them do you send to bed to rest while they are sick? How many naturally lay in bed and feel miserable all on their own? Do you force them to do things that they don't want to while they are in that state? Why do you do it to yourself?

To be the best people that we can be (I'm on a tangent lately apparently) we need to pay attention to our bodies, to how they have been programmed to care for themselves. If it hurts, don't do it. That's a lesson that harkens back to our childhoods. If it hurts and is miserable to get out of bed and keep going as though we are well, why do we do it? What is it that honestly can't wait to be done?

I'm saying this, pay attention to what is going on with your body. It tries to shut down when you are ill so it can heal. The more you allow it to do what needs to be done, the sooner you will feel better.

As a side note, I'm not speaking of life altering illnesses here, but things like the flu and diarrea and severe head and chest colds, and sinus infections to name a few.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rose Colored Glasses

Any free thinking person realizes that Love Beats Hate. Sounds simple, right? You just look at it and go "Well, DUH". Sadly that isn't quite the case.

Now those of you who read here regularly know me. You know I stand up and say what I feel and think and I don't come across at it sideways, it's all straight forward. I feel that's the best way about it. You even know that my last post was one about unity.

I've always felt a bit like a dreamer. (Yes, "Imagine" just popped into my head, as I'm sure it did yours). Maybe it's naievete or looking at the world through rose colored glasses. You'd think that with all the difficulties I've had in my life that I would be a cynic. I can't do it. It literally makes me ill to be like that. It's against my nature. I have a feeling that it really is against everyone's nature.

Huh? What the hell am I talking about?

Think about it. When something really upsets you, how do you feel physically? At the least you get that frown on your face and your brow furrows. Right? If it keeps going, your stomach begins to get messed up. Your muscles tighten up. You feel aches and pains that really have no cause. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe it's all that anger and frustration you're feeling? Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling that way, the whole world is a piece of shit? That nothing ever goes right? Everyone and everything is out to get you?

Let me tell you how it goes with these rose colored glasses. I feel good. Really honestly good. I smile. I'm happy. I try hard to share that goodness with others. Those things in life that make everyone angry, used to piss me off beyond belief, I take them for what they actually are, happenings in a life.

Your life is built of moments. Good ones, bad ones, scary ones, happy ones, sad one, enlightening ones. Allowing yourself to be brought down by few, or even one, of those moments short changes you in your ability to experience the rest of those moments.

How many times have you been angry about something, and your child or other loved tells you "I love you" and you totally missed out on it and gave them a simple "yeah yeah, I love you too, now go away"? Cut a little close to home?

I do not stand here unaffected by those moments. I am not a purist preaching to those that have strayed. I too, am in there, allowing myself to be affected in ways I shouldn't be. But heres the difference, I am trying, I am learning, to let them go. There is nothing I can do to change them once they have happened. It's that simple. Carrying that hurt, that anger, that mistrust, doesn't help anyone. It doesn't fix anything. It just festers and grows and affects everything and everyone in your life in a way I know you don't want. Why would anyone actually WANT to spread that around?

I know this is a post about sharing love and marginalized populations. Stop and think, are you putting yourself, and your life in with that? Are you marginalizing your own life, not living it to the fullest you can because you can't let go, you can't love and care and be happy? Maybe you feel you can't allow it, or maybe you can't heal from a past hurt, whatever it is, it's an excuse, it's a way to hide away, it's not being absolutely the best person you can be. And you are hurting yourself and those around you as you were once hurt. To deny yourself, to deny your loved ones the love, attention, and caring that you and they deserve, you are continuing that hurt. And when you break it down, it always originates with some kind of hurt.

So here's my statement to you. Let go of the hurt. It's not doing you any good, or anyone around you. Allow yourself the pleasure, the joy, the love that you and they deserve.

They may be rose colored glasses, but the view is amazing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In The Name of Unity

You'd think that being a parent of a large family there'd be unity in numbers? That other parents would be able to cross boundries of religion and livlihood and come together for the simple sake that with this many kids finding others with that in common would be great. It'd be supportive. It'd let you know that you aren't alone in this craziness of kids and households and all of that.

Apparently, I'm wrong. I guess I see the world through rose colored glasses. I guess I don't understand. Wait, I know I don't understand. I was told that because I don't fit in their box, that I cannot play.

I am tempted to post the email that I received. It's from one of the mom bloggers of the "All In A Day" blog post. I think I won't. I do have lots to say though

I would think that exposing yourself and your children to ALL of the people of the world would teach and encourage them, and yourselves, to be the best and the brightest that you could be. That you would want your children to understand and ACCEPT that there are so many different people in the world and they are all amazing for who they are.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case. Apparently because I think differently, because I see the world from different eyes, from a different perspective makes it so I'm not qualified enough to play along. Or maybe it's those very differences that scare the hell out of them. I was told that the ladies of the list want to make sure that their readers, who are young impressionable moms, read only "wholesome" blogs. It give the understanding, without coming out and saying it, that I might "corrupt" those young and impressionable minds.

It leaves with the feeling of How Dare I Be Different and Want To Join Their Club? Why would I believe that would be allowable? Maybe they should make clear when they say "Come Join In The Fun" that it says "Only As Long As You Believe As We Do Because We Must Keep it Pure".

Personally, I want my children to go out and be active members of our world's societies as a whole, not just little sects of it. I want them to KNOW that they are only one small part of what makes up a pretty amazing place. I don't want them to be deterred by the thought that someone isn't ok simply because of how they look, how they speak, or what they believe. I would think that every parent would want that for their child. But I've been corrected of that notion. I think that to do that to your children, keep them in that secluded box, is to do them a great disservice. When they become adults, and honestly even before then, they will realize that who they were taught to be isn't all in the world, that in fact that very belief is in the minority in most of the world. Living such a close minded life is detrimental. It doesn't matter what the beliefs underneath are, it boils down to the same problem.

Our world is rapidly changing. And it is going to continue doing so. We need to raise our children, whether we have 1 or 20, to go out and be members of the WORLD, not some small knit close minded community. Those types of communities is how atrocities and terrorists come about.

For people to be so close minded that they are only willing to accept their own is how this world ends up with things like apartheid and slavery and terrorism and genocide. These concepts go across the board in their inability to accept anyone else for who and what they are. Sadly, they are also often backed by religion. I don't want to be the part of any religion where concepts like these are acceptable. Where I'd be considered "saving" someone else for not believing as I do. What exactly am I saving them from? It's their soul, it's their life, who the hell am I to tell them how to live it?

Moreso, who am I to tell another what they can and can't read? Who am I to tell them who they can or can't love or marry? Who am I to dictate to someone else anything of the sort? I'm no different than anyone else and if I'm not in the position to do those things, who the hell are THEY who can do it to me?

I pity these women, I pity their children. They will never understand, nor experience, what life truly has to offer because they will not be able to open their minds, or their hearts, enough to allow someone who is different in. They are so afraid of the influence that person may have that they can't allow it to begin with. Which leads me thinking if their way of life is so great, why the fear of someone else? Could it be their own self doubt? How would it be possible that ONE person who is different, who sees the world differently, who lives their life differently, has the potential to cause so much havoc? That I can't be allowed on a list because I might not offer the "right" kind of guidance to young mothers? Makes ya think, don't it?

Anyway, I'm done with my tirade. I don't know what I'll do in place of that post. I thought it was nice in concept at least. Ah well, to each their own. At the end of the day, they have to lay in their beds and I have to lay in mine. I can't do anything about the fact that they see the world in black and white and I see the full spectrum of colors.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I really hope that your eyes are open to the world as a whole and not stuck behind the guise of being "right".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not So Much All In A Day

This was an introduction to a post joining with a bunch of other bloggers about being parents of large families. Apparently, I'm not "good enough" to be part of that because my views are different and I "take the lord's name in vain". So I was pulled from the list. Lovely, right? I'm still leaving a majority of this post up. I like the idea of doing something like this each week. I'll figure out a different name for it. If anyone wants to join along, go ahead. If not, that's ok too.


I'm Jamie. I'm married to Jason. I have 6 kids total. Jason and I share 3 of them, and it will soon be 5 of them. He's adopting James and Jayda this year (YAY FINALLY!!).


James, Jayda, and Izzy are all special needs. I talk on this blog about that, A LOT. It's definately a fixture in our lives. There are many many MANY ups and downs with having so many specific needs. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do what is best for one without short cutting another. James has Asperger's Syndrome and is Bi-Polar. Jayda is still in the discovery phase. She will be seeing a pediatric neurologist at the end of April to see if maybe there is something going on that way. Izzy is Autistic and almost completely non-verbal.


My mornings and early afternoons each week are BUSY. Between OT, Tutoring, therapy, classes, and regular doctor appointments we spend quite a bit out and about. Thankfully with Jason working 3rd shift, he stays home with the non-appointment kids and gets Izzy onto his school bus. Afternoons when the appointments are done are spent doing schoolwork.


James and Jayda are homeschooled. We don't follow a specific curriculum, which makes it easy to tailor to their needs and interests. I've started blogging about already and I will be doing that more and more. Izzy attends a school with a specialized autism program.


Kati, my oldest, doesn't live with us. We see her as often as possible, but with her being a teenager, she has a busy schedule of her own and we feel it's not often enough. She plays the violin and flute. She's in drama club, plays basketball, and recently joined the wrestling team. She's in 8th grade this year and is amazingly brilliant. She loves to read and write poetry and draw.


James is 12. He's funny with a sarcastic whit. He is learning to love reading, I'm teaching him to bring a book to every appointment and class because you just never know when you may end up sitting there and be waiting. James loves legos, right now his focuses are the Bionacles. He is a great artist and loves to draw in pencil. Video games are a favorite way to pass his time, and he feels he doesn't get to play enough.


Jayda is bright light in our day. She always seems to be happy, unless of coarse she is being thwarted by her brothers. She is the girliest girl I've ever met and I'm trying to figure out how she came from me. She loves her skirts and pink shirts. If it glitters or has feathers it becomes a daily part of her wardrobe. The outfits she comes up with always make me laugh. I often wonder if she'll have a future designing clothes. She's just beginnging to learn to sew and cross stitch. She also wants to learn to play guitar and piano.


Izzy is short for Issac. He is mischief packaged in a 5 year old boy. While he doesn't talk much, he is sharp as a tack. He loves all things with wheels, and the movie Cars. Jumping and bouncing are great fun to him, especially now that he has his own mini trampoline. Izzy is very much a rough and tumble boy who loves mud puddles and digging in the dirt.


Finishing out the kids are our 18 month old twins, Jack and Abbey. They were our last "baby". They keep us entertained and in stitches from their cuteness and antics. They are learning new things every day and are very very happy. I'm pretty sure they know how cute they are and use it to their extreme advantage.


Jason is my rock and co-conspirator in this crazy game of life. We're both in our mid 30's (already? When did we become grown ups?). We've been together for 8 1/2 years and married for 5 1/2 (almost 6) of those. He is the opposite side of my coin. Our cores are the same but how we look at things is completely different and it works out. He collects coins and his interests change with the seasons it seems. He's an amazing artist and plays the guitar beautifully. He works at WalMart. His plan is to work his way into management.


I'm honest and frank and prone to swear. I'm working on the swearing thing, at least curbing it a bit. It's crazy and chaotic and I couldn't imagine having it any other way. I am crafty to a fault. I have about a bajillion projects of all sorts going on at once, knit, crochet, scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, and beading. I play the clarinet, tenor saxaphone, and bassoon passably well. I'm teaching myself piano (along with the kids, I'm about 2 steps ahead of them thankfully) and Jason is teaching me guitar. I love to cook and bake. The best thing I've ever bought for my kitchen was my Kitchen Aid mixer. And no, my hair isn't blue anymore. That was a temporary dye.

We all live in a big old house (over 110 years old) in a moderately sized city. Our goal is in a few years to move much further north where it stays colder longer and there are fewer people. Our only limitation is that there has to be a WalMart somewhat close by so Jason can work. I garden when it's warm, both flowers and food. We do a lot of work on our old house and when we move, I know I'll miss it, and all the trees, bushes, and perennial plants I've put in.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope you enjoy checking out all the blogs that are playing along!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good News

He agreed. He called me a few days ago and said that he'll do it. I don't know what changed his mind, but he said he'll do it.

James has joined facebook. When I signed him up, I used my name. A couple of reasons. I want him to get used to seeing it and spelling it. If he were to become friends with some of my friends, as I figured he might so he could have more neighbors in his games, they would know he was my kid.

My ex friended him. He made a completely seperate profile just for the friendship. I'm not sure why on that one. I got some 1/2 ass answer about how he wanted to protect his privacy and he didn't want me seeing what was going on on his page. Um, OK.

Jayda has never really known him. He and I seperated when I was 6 months pregnant with her. Jason and I have been together since she was a month and a 1/2 old. Jason IS her dad.

Jason and I have decided that once we receive the refund from my ex's income tax, we'll file the paperwork with that money. It's not budgeted or anticipated for anything else, so it's perfect. He owes quite a bit in arrears so his income tax return has a lien on it to pay that down. That money comes to me. When the adoption is finalized I'll be requesting that the reamaining amount of arrears is dismissed so he will no longer owe it.

I have always hated James' middle name. Out of my three choices, I picked the most "normal" one, but it still isn't one I would have gone with under any other circumstances. As it turns out, a lot of us in the family has the same initials. I suggested to James to consider a new middle name, one that starts with the same letter as most everyone else's. He said that would be fine and we started looking through baby names. One of the first ones that was suggested is what he liked and it fits him well so we are going with that.

For Jayda, we are changing her name from Jayden to Jayda. Honestly, I didn't want to name her Jayden to begin with. That was a conflict with my mother. When she was about a year old I realized that I had heard the name Jayden quite a bit, but always in reference to a boy. Wait, every once in a rare rare while Jayden would be a girl. There were even boys with the y in the name. Having grown up with a "boy" name, I didn't want to do that to my daughters. Jayda has also not liked that her name was a "boy" name. We tried calling her Jayd. That didn't go well. She didn't like it. So I suggested Jayda. I don't want to change her name too much from what it is now. She was OK with it. I told her that I could show her a Jada in real life. I found pics of Jada Pinkett-Smith. When Jayda realized that Jada was a girl, she was married to Will Smith (who she ADORES) and that their son is Jaden, she was completly on board. Now it's a matter of training all of us with the new name. We are doing it now before the adoption so that once it takes place it's old hat. I've talked with her therapist and tutor about it and they are going to use Jayda as well. I need to call her OT and talk to them. OT was cancelled this week for a seminar the OT's went to.

Anyway, we are very happy with the news that things are moving in a good direction around here. Hopefully by the end of this year, or the beginning of next at the latest the paperwork will finalized.

Prayers and blessings everyone, I hope you have a good weekend and get some good news yourselves.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Answering Tough Questions.

I've recently come upon an occasion (or 12, I do see a therapist after all) where I have to ask some really difficult questions. Self inventory kind of questions. Questions that really have no right or wrong answer, but leaving them unanswered just isn't an option.

What I've done in the past is just avoid those questions. It's easier that way. Leaving those questions unanswered means that I don't have to look at myself, into myself, to find out what it is that makes me tick.

What I've come to realize is that I'm at the point where I can't avoid them anymore. Let me tell you, that sucks ass.

These kinds of things make me feel vulnerable and scared, and that always rises the hackles and puts me on the defensive and usually leads me to being pissed off. I know I'm getting pissed when I start swearing more (yes, I swear when talking with my therapist). I get loud too. My loudness has taken a long long long time to get to any semblance of control, and when I'm angry, that control slips and slides away.

I've discovered that being the parent of these kids, these very special kids who need so much from everyone around them, is that I really don't know shit. That sounds funny doesn't it? It's true. I don't know a God Damned Thing About Anything. Everything that I've needed to know as an adult I've been learning from these kids. Well, and my husband too.

It's a process. This parenting thing. It takes so much time and effort to be a parent.

I know of many parents who look at me and say "I don't know how you do it all, I can barely handle my *insert any number* kids." This is normal for me. Trust me when I tell you that I don't know how I do it either. I wake up in the morning, do what needs to be done and then go to bed each night. That's how I do it. I know that if someone else were in my situation, they'd do the same thing, or at least I'd hope so. After all, being a parent is doing what needs to be done, no matter how much you want to, or don't want to, do it.

I was talking with Deb today about crisis and what IS a crisis. I've had many family workers who have said "I'm sorry, I can't come today, I've got a crisis" which is ALWAYS ok. It leads me to wonder, what exactly IS a crisis. In my mind, it's a kid ending up in jail or in the hospital. He/she has seriously hurt themselves or someone or are about to. That's crisis to me. Apparently, I live in a state of crisis and didn't know it. To an outside observer at least it looks that way.

I worry about what the future holds for my kids. It's not more one than the other, they each have their own very unique challenges ahead of them. I worry about how James will function in the working world. Authority and he don't mix well at all. I worry about Jayda and how she'll manage with such difficulties with comprehension. I worry about whether Izzy will even be able to communicate in a manner which can be understood by his family, let alone everyone else around him. How will these children hold jobs, have meaningful relationships, build families of their own?

I'm the kind of person who is loathe to ask for outside help unless THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. I've exhausted all of my options, all of my knowledge and I'm left staring at the wall going "Fuck, I need help NOW". I guess that's why the crisis thing to me is so extreme. Anything up to that point can/should be handled "in house". Screaming temper tantrums with or without throwing things and statements/proclamations of anger/frustration/anxiety/distrust/hatred/violence? Check, I can handle that. Needing to be held down in order to administer medication or keep from doing harm to self or others? Check, got that one covered too. Standing for an hour to hold a bedroom door closed to keep the child and keep him safe from himself and others? Yep, got that taken care. Sadly these are instances that happen frequently here. And I don't call for "backup".

There are so many kids out there that are throwing themselves off of roofs (I will admit that when James threatened to do that, I did call for backup, which was NO help and I took care of it myself) and shooting/stabbing/attacking people and running away and so many other horrible things that needing to restrain my child until he can regain his control seems so, well...minor. Deb tells me that I need to stop comparing it to what the other kids are doing. I need to look at it as an outsider would. Which is damn hard considering I'm living here every day.

How did this post go from self inventory questions to defining a crisis? It's simple really. When do I declare the State of Emergency and let loose with the tornado siren? Is my definition of crisis really the best guide? Would it be better to use the guide of someone else? And if I do, what exactly can they do for me? Trust me when I say talking to me/him on the phone won't cut it. If the person responding can't come here, then don't bother wasting my time. I'm too busy handling the situation and he's too busy causing it to be bothered with the phone.

So that's that. We'll see how it goes. I'm working with our family worker, Stacey, now about this. To see what we can come up with.

Monday, January 10, 2011

How do you...

How do you convince a man that it's only a name? If a rose were called a thorn flower, it'd still BE a rose, right? This is the dilema (as a quick side note, according to Blogger's spell check, dilema is spelled *dilemma* Huh.) I'm coming across with Homer and James.

Homer has agreed to Jason adopting the kids, on ONE condition, that James keep his last name. HUH??? He doesn't want to pay child support, as it is he only pays 1/2 of what he's ordered to. I get the impression he feels he's paying for James. Homer has never wanted to claim Jayden as his. I don't know if he's pissed he has to pay support for her, but I do know he doesn't like it.

As far as Jason is concerned, James and Jayden are HIS kids. He's raised them for the last 8 1/2 years. He has done so with little input from Homer, aside from Homer's begrudgingly and unpredictably paid child support. It isn't unusual for the kids to go 2 or more years without seeing him and months without talking to him on the phone.

James has anxiety about his family relations as it is, I can only begin to imagine what it would be like for him to have everyone else in the family to have a different name. I think it would make him feel like he weren't as much a part of our family as everyone else.

Explaining that to Homer doesn't work. He doesn't care about that, he doesn't want to hear about that (or anything else that is ACTUALLY going on with James in any way that makes "his boy" seem less than "perfect" *snort*). All he cares is that James is "his boy" and "his namesake" (not keeping in mind that Homer's father has another son with the same last name) and that James should keep the name because that's what Homer wants.

I admit that I wish Homer would just stop paying support and disappear off the face of the Earth for at least 18 months straight. Then I could get the adoption done because of "abandonment". But he pays support 1/2 ass each month and calls every so often. Damn.

So how do I convince a man that is so self focused that what is best for his child isn't what he wants?

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope your week is filled with less perplexing things than what I'm trying to figure out.