Friday, May 31, 2013

What is free time?

  It's often hard to think back to my pre mama years. Not that 7 years ago is that far back, but more like my brain doesn't compute that time. Though I do often find myself nostalgic as to  what I did in my free time, and what it was like. Free time nowadays is few and far between for me. I often envy the mothers that get the 8 hour school day break from their kiddos. But then I look at my boy and  I am truly grateful I get to be his teacher.

  As I lay here "relaxing" in the tub I find myself thinking. (yes, I have free time right now because Liam is at my friend's house for half an hour.) You know the normal mama stuff like, "shit, I left the clothes in the washer again. Now I have to waste more money on detergent and fabric softener, not to mention electricity to wash them again. What did Liam eat today? (This is where I rack my brain trying to remember what I gave him and what he helped himself to.) How much did he drink? Did he have a bm? Was it too hard? Wait..... why isn't he knocking on the door????? Oh that's right. He is at my friend's house so I can have 30 minutes to myself...." Back to thinking..... I guess that's why I don't remember my pre mama years. My mind is too busy worrying about being a mama to remember what it was like before I was a mama.

 So you see, even my "free" time isn't free time. I would love nothing more than to sit down and focus on my writing. To write for you all, some eloquent piece on our life with autism and what it means to us. But I can't. Instead I give you boring, slice of life shit because to be honest, that's all I got. Some days I am far too tired and far too irritated to even relive the days events and be able to blog  about it for release. It's often just easier to let sleep come and worry about a new day tomorrow.

  So, how did I spend my 30 minutes of freedom? Well I spent 15 mins doing dishes. By the time I finished that, I got around and drew a bubble bath. Pita had express instructions from me to get Liam in 30 minutes. (It's been a long day and I was afraid any longer than that and he would act out and then my friend wouldn't want him to come visit. I doubt that would happen, but it's one of my fears.) I didn't even finish this post and I heard, knock knock knock, "mama!" ( he always Sheldon knocks.) and so, once I again I was interrupted mid thought. So, you now see why when I do write it's most always SOL shit???? Don't hate on me for my glamorous life.... JK I know many, if not all of us are in similar boats....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just Because He Speaks....

  Just because he speaks, that doesn't mean our life is an easier. It doesn't always make our life a cake walk. Just because he can speak to me, doesn't mean he can verbalize what he feels. Anger, sadness, and sometimes even happiness can't be verbally expressed by my son. Yeah, of course I can see it on his face, with a smile, or a frown. But if I ask him why he is sad or mad, he can't always express to me why. He can't seem to find the words.

  When he is sick, he can't tell me what's wrong. As a mother, I can look at him and tell when he is sick. I can see it as he is coming down with it. It's a mix of a foggy look in his eyes, to extreme behaviors that he displays. But ask him what hurts, or what feels gross and he can't tell you. His ear drums have perforated and blood has run out of his ears before and he told me he felt fine. It really makes you feel like a POS parent when you take your child  to his ped with blood and pus running out of his ear. Thank God he knows Liam has ASD, and he also knows I am a worry wart mother, so he knows it's not neglect.

  When someone upsets him, not anger wise, but sadness wise, and you ask him why he is sad, he can't tell you. All he will say is, "I'm sad, but my brain can't say why." It's as if it's that word on the tip of your tongue, that you just can't get out. My son suffered a near nervous breakdown almost 3 years ago because of a situation with another child. A situation that happened in a matter of a few moments. A situation I knew nothing about. It took Liam over a year to find those words, and they didn't even come out as words at first. He started crying uncontrollably, a blank, empty stare on his gorgeous, cherub like face. Rocking and head banging non stop and moaning. It took us days to get him to say what had happened. Needless to say it was heartbreaking. The situation was worsened by his Dr. trying him on Tenex at that time, which sent him into even more of a downward spiral. To see your 4 year old on the verge on being admitted to a mental hospital is the scariest thing in the world!

  So you see, just because my son is verbal, just because he has a high vocabulary and understanding of large words, doesn't mean he can express himself any better than a child who hasn't found their words yet.....

 Yet, there are some parents out there that assume that because our children are verbal, that our struggles are not hard. ASD presents itself differently in every child. What comes easy to one, is a struggle for another. The severity of our child's behaviors shouldn't be up for judgement. They should all be accepted and equally embraced. Isn't that what all of us are fighting for? Together, as a united force we are unstoppable. Please don't let the severity of ASD's separate us all. Let ASD bring us together!

Don't let this separate us....we're all in this together <3

                                                                        ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sexism in the 21st century....

  So this post isn't autism related. I know, SHOCKER!!! Anyway, here goes.....

  Yesterday after my neuro appointment, I had to use the potty. I was walking down the hall, and first passed the men's room, then  the ladies room. As I put my hand on the door, I saw this:

I know what you're probably thinking. It's a baby changing station sign, so what. Well, it pissed me off. My initial thought was, "oh sure, put the changing table in the ladies room because you know, we should be the ones to always have to change diapers! " My second thought was, "how sexist! Why can't this be in the men's room? We are in the 21st century. Wiping kiddos arses isn't solely the woman's job anymore!" Then it dawned on me. This sign was a sign of sexism in the 21st century, but maybe not so much in the way I was thinking......

What about the dads? The guys that do change the diapers? The stay at home dad's. The single dads. What about when they are out with their baby and need to change a diaper??? If there isn't a changing station in the men's room, then what? They can't just go in the ladies room because they need to change a diaper. 

Why the hell aren't these stations in EACH bathroom? I know I have seen the signs on men's room doors before, but not often. WHY? Are we still so stuck in our old fashioned ways that this isn't thought of? Are most places too cheap to spend the money on extra changing tables?

So now that I am done bitching about that, let me just say, I hate the damn things. I only used one, one time when Liam had a nasty explosive poop as a baby and of course we were in a store. When I do look at these things, all I can think is that they are seething with germs, and yuck, just yuck! But there are people who use them, and it is sexist to not have them in both bathrooms in a public place.

Props to the SAHD's, the single daddy-o's and the daddy-o's that share in changing the diapers. Now, would you mind telling me what you do when you're out in public and need to change a diaper? (I used to do it in the car. Not fun, but not as germy as those things)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday, May 17, 2013

So much for being supportive.....

  I was under the assumption that a support group was to support? I mean, am I wrong in that thinking? I won't name names, because even though I want too, I am an adult, and throwing people under a bus isn't so cool to me. (damn being a grown up anyway!) However, I will say it was a local autism support group. It has been together for a little over a year....

  When the founder asked if anyone had anything to say, or wanted to make any points, and stressed it was "our group," she got all over sensitive about your input. Well, don't ask for my opinion if you don't really want to hear it. When we would be at a meeting, and some people would be venting for support, some of those mothers' sat there and rolled their eyes! I know we may not always agree with one another, but it's a SUPPORT group!!! How supportive is this caddy eye rolling?

  It was more of a clique than a support group, but I kept this to myself. More and more people in this area were contacting me. Asking me if I had thought of starting my own. Truth be told, I had. But growing up in a small town, I knew how it would go, and damn if I didn't call it.

  So, I finally decided to give it a go after some final pushes from people I greatly admire. I took the time and wrote the other group's founder a PRIVATE email. I told her I was starting one. I told her I didn't want any hard feelings. I told her it would be great if we could do group outings as a whole. She said it was fine. It was "cool." She understood. She then turned around and behind my back, put me down, and tried to make me look bad in their "private" group page. You see, this group is so cliquey, they have one page for all in the group, and then a SECRET one, for those in their clique. Well, she didn't realize that she left one of my friend's in that secret group. All that she and another mother said was emailed to me. Mind you, her and the other mother went on to MOCK my CHILD for feeling that Autism is his superpower. Yep, the caddy hens stooped that low! If I weren't the person I am, I would post it all here, for all to read..... (bigger person, bigger person.....)

    Now, I took the time, as a FRIEND to email her personally. That was her chance as an adult,  (that mind you is more than 10 years my senior) to tell me she had an issue with it. She didn't. Instead, she chose to take that low road.

  If this isn't enough, she (the founder) then asked to join the support group I created. I waited, I took a deep breath and I sent her a very nice email. I asked her why she wanted to join my group after the way she wrote about me in the secret group. She then got all defensive and started copying and pasting comments into the email. Oddly enough, she LEFT OUT all the nasty, snide things her and the other mother wrote about me, and only pasted the not so incriminating ones. When I emailed her the ENTIRE conversation, she got very nasty to me, un-friended me, and removed me from the group.

  If that isn't bad enough, she then KICKED my FRIEND'S out of her support group!!!!! How's that for supportive???? Way to go cliquey mothers' of the valley...... You set such a wonderful example (ahem, insert snarky smile here~oh and add an eye roll for good measure.) Sadly one of the mother's that was taken out is not from around here. Her family came from out west and as she said, "you know, so much for making me feel welcome in this state!" I hope she doesn't let these few hens ruin her POV about the rest of us here in NEPA......

  So, this is what support looks like in a small town I guess. It's so sad! This won't happen in my support group. All are welcome. We may not all agree, but we won't roll our eyes at you. We won't condemn you for your views on Autism. We won't act like your ideas are useless. We will welcome you, support you and hopefully become friends!

Sorry, I am only human.....

                                                                        ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What I WANT for Mother's open letter to my son.

    TRIGGER WARNING: If you have no sense of humor, STOP.READING.NOW....otherwise, carry on....

   I have thought long and hard what I want for "my big day." Now, I am an honest person. I speak what and how I feel when I feel it. So I'm writing this like it is.

   I love my son as much as any mother. He is my miracle. He is the child I was NEVER supposed to have. I cherish EVERYTHING he makes. Everything he draws. I save it ALL. I take pics of it all. I am a bit anal about it. That being said, I do NOT need anything craft wise from you Liam for Mother's Day. (not that I wouldn't cherish it (because I would) but I don't NEED it) Here is a list of what I NEED and what I WANT:

   ♥ I want someone to do the dishes. I don't dirty them all, and I am tired of washing them all.

   ♥ I want you to do the laundry. You dirty more laundry than anyone I know, therefore I think you could take some time, and learn how. You also throw a lot around the house, so while you're at it, pick it up.

   ♥ I want you to clean/feed/water Hudson. It's YOUR rat. Yet I always take care of him.

   ♥ I want you to change the litter box. It's YOUR cat, yet I care for her all the time.

   ♥ I want you to clean the bathroom. Your aim is horrible and I am tired of cleaning up pee. While you're at it, clean the bathroom mirror. You can't seem to brush your teeth without splattering it all over the mirror.

   ♥ Clean the living room. I have never seen someone be able to trash a room so quickly. I am tired of it looking like a hurricane hit. PLEASE clean up your mess, and KEEP it that way. (I know, I am dreaming.)

   ♥ I do NOT want breakfast in bed. I love you sweetie, but I have seen how you make "bed meals."  I don't like salt and pepper on my pb sandwiches. A cup of coffee and quiet time when I get up will be just fine.

   ♥ I want to take a nap. I want to be left alone when I do. Kiss me, close the door and walk away. If you need something, ask your father.

   ♥ For ONE day, I want to take a pee by myself. I don't want you pushing your way in because you forgot you had to pee until I had too. I don't want you banging on the door because you forgot you had to pee until I did. LEAVE. ME. ALONE......Peeing is private, let's leave it that way.

   ♥ I want to take a nice hot bath in peace and quiet. I don't want you banging on the door for me to close the curtain so you can come in to poop. I don't want you coming in with some tragedy that only I can solve. I don't want you deciding you need to have an important conversation with me. LEAVE. ME. ALONE.

  ♥ I would LOVE to lay in bed all day, and watch old Dr. Who episodes. I know you can't do all of the above. So I would be happy if your daddy would do all of that, and you and I can lay in bed and enjoy the Dr. together. ♥

  Bottom line buddy, YOU are my mother's day present. You were born the weekend of Mother's day, and every year, every day, I thank God for you. Mama loves you more than life itself. I know you can't give me or do all of these things, and that's ok. It never hurts to hope..... I love you Liam ♥

                                                                           ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Resting before I become a mama ♥ (date is wrong. 5/11/06)

I will never in all my life, forget how this moment felt ♥

I love you with all of my ♥

You're all that I dreamed and all that I hoped ♥

Saturday, May 11, 2013

7 years ago....

   7 years ago, my whole life changed. 7 years ago my prayers were answered. My dreams came true. I met you. At 1:10 in the afternoon, I became your mama. I will never forget the way I felt when they laid your on my chest. When I heard your first cries. When I cried with you.

   They told me I would never have you. They told me it couldn't be. I knew better. And that day, we proved them wrong. You were a fighter from the time you were conceived. You  are my fighter. Together we fight Autism, everyday. We fight the stereotypes. We fight the negative attitudes. We fight the obsessions, the aggressions, the anxieties. We revel in the quirks. We take pride in your intelligence. We love you for YOU.

   You are everything I hoped for. You are wise beyond your years. You see the world in a whole new light, and in turn have changed the way I see the world.  You are kind. You are loving. You are sweet. You are forgiving. You are a better person than I am. You have taught me to be a better person.

   You have accomplished so much in 7 years, I can't imagine what you will do in 7 more. You are an advocate. You are a voice. You speak for those that can't, and so many people are enlightened by your ways.

  You sir, you are my heart. When you sleep I gaze upon your sweet face and thank God for you. All of you. You are everything I hoped for, dreamed for, wished for. You are my Liam John and I wouldn't trade you, or our life for the world.

  I look forward to everyday we spend together, and I look forward to watching you grow into a man. I know you will do me proud because I am already proud of the boy you have become.

  Happy 7th Birthday Miracle Man. Mama loves you with all that I am. ♥

Just moments old ♥

Minutes old ♥

My baby now ♥

I made this video for my parents. An Ode to my baby. Enjoy. 

   ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, May 9, 2013

To eradicate or not to eradicate....

 TRIGGER WARNING~ talk of cure/not to cure as it relates to local autism group and their mission statement. If this may offend you, don't read any further....

 So, I know the topic of to cure or not to cure is always a heated discussion. I used to seethe with rage when people would even suggest the topic to me. However, I have learned that I am not always right. Wait, I said that??? :)

  Some kids are severely autistic. They are not only non verbal, but also super aggressive and need constant care. So for their parents, it's their right to choose cure/no cure. Who am I to say what is right for that family, or that child/adult.

  I try to always put myself in someone else's shoes. To not live life in my little bubble. To realize that my opinion isn't always the only one. To always take someone else's feelings into consideration.

  That being said, it was brought to my attention that a local autism group had a controversial mission statement. It reads like this: "It is our vision to see the condition of Autism eradicated in our lifetime." SAY WHAT???? You want to see my son eradicated? Autism is a part of who he is. It is why he is quirky. I love those quirks!

  You are an autism group. The only one in this small area. How can you have a mission statement like that? Shouldn't you be in the happy medium? To me, that statement has no business being on your home page, for all to see..... Our family will not be participating in their walk this year because of this statement.  Our family raised almost $600 for this group last year. Had I known they wanted autism eradicated, I wouldn't have wasted our time.

  Granted, they did give our son a grant so we could get him some therapy items last year. That was AUSOME and we were totally grateful for that. (that too was before I saw what their mission statement was.) But it burns me to my core to read their statement. As I said, I know we all feel differently, but as a group, they need to take the middle ground.....Am I right or wrong?

  Liam has asked why we aren't participating. I told him why. I don't lie to my son. He wrinkled his nose. He asked me what eradicate meant. I told him. He said, "but it's my super power!" I told him I know this. He had a funny look on his face. One of hurt. It hurt my son that YOU (unnamed group) want his Autism eradicated. Doesn't that bother you? Hasn't it occurred to you that you may be excluding all the people that embrace autism, from your cliquey little group? We don't all feel the same way, and everyone has a right to their feelings, but by making such a statement, you are in fact alienating those that feel differently. And as a "group" it is my understanding that you should take the feelings of ALL into consideration.

  A great example of this is another semi local autism group. This one out of Wilkes Barre Pa. Their mission statement reads as follows: S.A.F.E., Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting families affected by 

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our membership is comprised of individuals with ASD and those who love them. We 

provide members, families, caretakers and professionals with support and information pertaining to the latest interventions and 

educational practices, therapies, and available programs for individuals with ASD. We also provide opportunities for those 

living with ASD to overcome social barriers, enjoying group and leisure activities in the community. Our goal is to help people 

with autism live full and independent lives.


  Now to me, that is a mission statement. Do you see how they left their personal feelings out of it? Am I right or 

wrong when I say that is how a support group should be? I know it bothered others on my personal page when I 

first posted about not taking part in the walk and why. So I know this will probably bother them too. For that I am 

sorry. I don't like to bother people or hurt their feelings. With that being said, I can't stand behind a group that   

disregards others feelings. (not just mine, Pita's or my son's, but others in the same community we are to be 

supporting.) If this is wrong, then I don't want to be right.....


Monday, May 6, 2013

Hey Soccer Moms.....Get a sense of humor!

  I mean seriously! If you all read my last blog post, (the one on BlogHer, not the one on here) you will know what I am talking about it. If not, check it out HERE.

  I was attacked by the goody goody soccer moms. They ganged up on me, tore me down, and made me feel like an ass....but only for a bit. It wasn't long before I thought about it, talked to other special needs moms, and realized those other mothers were out of line. They need to take a moment and remove the stick from their arses.

   They need to take a moment and realize that post was a vent. It was my way of getting out my frustrations. Nothing more, nothing less. However, these mothers felt the need to judge me. To attack me. To make me feel like less of a person for the way I felt. Lexi, from Mostly True Stuff  also wrote a great piece on judging others. Now, my piece may have seemed judgmental to those not in our shoes, but I swear it wasn't. It was my way of telling people to appreciate what they have.

 I am a smart ass. I am sarcastic. I have an odd sense of humor as well. That being said, I have a huge heart, and it takes a lot to upset me and set me off. Once you do however, look out because it then takes a lot to calm me down.

This quote adorns my fridge ;)

  YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. Neither am friend over at Deciphering Morgan wrote a great post pertaining to that. (click on her blog name to check it out. It's worth it!) None of us are. Don't judge what you don't know. I know your life may be hard in a different way than mine. I get it. Just do me a favor. Appreciate it. When you don't, stop and think that there are always others who don't have it so good. There are always others who want what you have, and may never have it.

  So, now that the "drama" has died down, I find myself a tad amused by the barrage of comments on my last post. I don't go out of my way to offend people. That being said, I say how I feel, when I feel it. If that offends you, I am terribly sorry. However, I am 34, and I am who I am. I will not change for anyone.......