Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ID Meeting and the "Letting Go" Battles Within

It seems like it's been a while since I've posted in my blog. A lot has transpired over the past week that by the time 8 or 9pm rolls around, I'm ready to go to sleep. 

To catch up, we had Belle's ID meeting with the school district. Our service coordinator called me at 10:30 (time of our meeting) to say she couldn't make it. I was a little disappointed because it would've been nice to have someone else, aside my husband, validate my words. The child study team were all very pleasant. I stated right off the bat that I'm not interested in full days, even if she qualifies. It's not going to happen. Even the five days a week for two and a half hours seems like a lot and maybe it's because she's going to a real school, not a daycare or preschool, but school where other students will be in first and second grade. My little, just turned three year's a bit overwhelming when I think of it all. Plus, they are moving to a bigger school (right now it's pre-k and the kindergarten program, it will be the pre-k through second grade). I agreed that I would go through the referral process and get it out of the way, yet a part of me still has this feeling of uncertainty, like I should possibly wait to have her start when she's four. Maybe it's the momma bear in me that wants to "protect her" as long as possible or the laziness in me who doesn't want to have to deal with all things associated with school right now. Or is it that I am scared to let go, even if it's for two and a half hours. I am worried that some "big kid" will pick on her or hurt her, that she'll run away from her teachers, that they won't share the same amount of love and comfort that she receives with me, etc.

As of last week I was perfectly fine with starting her this September, yet now I have these feelings again. Ugh. I hate how my mind works. I suppose if they kept the preschool program in the same location I wouldn't be so reluctant. The only perk is that she will be at the same school for five years. That's a plus.

Okay so back to the meeting. I was very upfront with the CST and stated our concerns, etc.,. They asked if she had a diagnosis and I was reluctant to share but did anyway because I am not ashamed. Just based on her diagnosis alone, she is accepted into their program, but they still need to do the evals and then have the IEP to make sure a plan is set in place. The CST asked me questions as to how I knew that she had autism, what has been working, how far she's truly come, etc. I was glad to share and give them my suggestions. It felt good being able to educate and advocate for my daughter and because of my knowledge, the meeting went smoother than I had originally anticipated. My husband accompanied me to be there for moral support. Originally, we had plans to go down to the shore so when we saw our meeting was scheduled that day, it worked out perfectly because Matt had already put in for a vacation day. He was quiet and attended to Autumn while I did all of the talking. The school psychologist had made a comment about that to Autumns OT (who happens to be the OT at the school-another perk but she's expecting and won't be there when Autumn starts), thank goodness the OT came to our defense (dad isn't home with Autumn, so he's not going to do most of the talking, you're lucky he came to the meeting, most dads don't). Oh how I love her!! The school psychologist was the only one who seemed a bit indifferent. I am sure if she were a colleague we would work well together, but butt heads. Very analytical and straight forward. That's okay but for some parents, it may come across as being intimating.

Overall, it was a good meeting. Autumn was well behaved and she played with their toys. Her IEP is July 7th. Right before she turns three. I joked with the CST saying I never thought I'd be on this side of the table but I am glad I can be the best advocate for my daughter. I also realized that as much as Autumn has improved in so many areas, we still have to go through these things (meetings and evals) and part of me feels exhausted for her because to me, she's perfect. Yes, I say that now. I really have come a long way this month in just being grateful for her progression and what she "can do" rather than focus on what she "can't" and comparing her milestones to other kids. 

Speaking of the "cans", this past week has been huge! She said her first five syllable sentence, she's labeling everything, she's repeating words when I ask her to, she said clear as day: octopus, tiger, chocolate, Leah, and grandpa (more words can't think of them all) AND she spelled her name outloud!! Typical or not, I believe ANY parent would be proud of the above!

And maybe the accomplishments above are giving me my "second thoughts" about starting her with the school district this fall. That a part of me believes that I've done so much for her why bother, but then another part of me says, if I never try it, how will I know if it works or if it doesn't work. Worst case, I can always take her out of the program if it's too much for either of us. Nothing is saying I can't. Then again really what this is all about is she's my baby. Yes my soon-to-be three year old who looks more like four because she's so tall, yet she's not potty trained and still my little girl that even for three hours, I don't want to "leave her" just yet. It's more me (always has been). I blame attachment parenting (lol jk). I go back to the first three days after giving birth and I remember clear as day crying about Autumn growing up too fast and now, here we are talking about preschool!! When did this all happen?? I knew then how precious our time was together and I suppose I just don't like wasting my time or giving up time that I could've been with her, because I know it goes too fast and I will never get these years back. I know this, which is why I hold on so much. So that's the enigma behind this so-called riddle I dance around with everyday: I am not ready to let go because I am selfish and I don't want her to grow up just yet. Well that's wrong I know and deep down I have to learn to let her go and let her spread her own wings. I am going to be a blubbering mess when she starts school (either when she's 3, 4 or 5) because it is the beginning of her becoming her own person, of her weaving her own web, her own path in life. And THIS is the most difficult: it's the beginning of "mom won't be my entire world" anymore. Oh boy how that is going to hurt but then the spiritual/logical side of me says "I will be there", maybe not front and center but "I will always be there". It's going to be a beautiful, bittersweet change we both with experience together. Parenting: a joyous chaos of everlasting emotions. 

Gotta love it!



PS: This takes me back: 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Anniversary-Easter Weekend Among Others

Good morning all. I hope that everyone had a great weekend with the Easter and Passover holidays among us. Saturday was our wedding anniversary (previous blog post about it all) and we were blessed enough to have my mother in-law to take Belle for the evening Friday night so that we could enjoy some couple time, minus the child. We went to the Mexican restaurant (the same place we went for my birthday) and then came home and watched a few episodes of American Horror Story (getting caught up on season two now-we've already seen one and three). It was nice and relaxing but of course we missed our belle as the house was too quiet without her presence.

On Saturday, the hubby slept in until 10am, whereas I was up since 7:45 (that was sleeping in to me) and did some odds and ends around the house. Once the hubs got out of bed, we went to the local bagel place for breakfast (I really love their bagels) and then came home and enjoyed the sun and scenery on our upstairs deck. I seriously can't wait until the weather gets warmer and it's summer time. I am so looking forward to many more times sitting on the deck, drinking some coffee and enjoying the morning. We also have a house guest. A momma sparrow has decided to make a nest underneath the auning of our top deck for her babies and herself. I love watching her as she flies to an fro with little earth worms and sits in her home ever so quietly. Oh the simple things in life.

After enjoying some quiet time together reminiscing the last 11 plus years of our relationship, we got to work on the house, cleaning everything from top to bottom. There's nothing like spending your anniversary together cleaning. I loved it because I love a clean house. Anywho, Belle came home to us around 5pm and we both were eagerly awaiting her arrival. We missed our little sassy girl.

Once home and settled, she had her typical dinner of chicken tenders, applesauce and another side and then we ended the evening with a tv show before she fell asleep in my arms for the night. Oh how I will miss these moments as she grows older...

Easter, I thought, was a good day. Belle woke up to her Easter basket and was so giddy. She took all of her stuff out and lined them up, even the chocolate eggs! It was so adorable to watch. When family arrived, she was even more spoiled with more Easter baskets and items from her grandparents and uncle/aunt; this child is truly blessed.

During our cleanfest the day prior, I had filled up plastic eggs with candy for miss Autumn belle to "hunt" while outside on Easter when family arrived. Matt spread them all out and it was really nice to see him so into doing something for a holiday. Well, as expected, she wasn't interested in the egg hunt. She was more interested in her swing and throwing Leah's balls down by the rocks that surround the above ground pool. That's my girl. At least we tried right?? 

After the family left and we were settled in for the night, we got to talking and of course the "disappointment" and "comparison" came up but this time from the spouse. I totally understand why the hubby was feeling the way he was and that's well and good but to me, Sunday was a hit. Family got to see how far she's coming along. We also got to witness another "first": Autumn repeating and getting into a movie (frozen) by trying to say/sing along with the characters. I tried my best to hold back the tears because it wasn't that long ago where I questioned if she'd ever like Disney movies let alone try and sing along with them.  

Anyways, we talked about our feelings and maybe it was my so-called revelation a couple of weeks back, but lately I've been more accepting and relaxed about Autumn in general. I am trying to not let her autism define who she is and what she's capable of doing. I don't want to focus on what she's "not" doing, but rather her successes. I feel that were already inundated with the "nots" that a big part of me just wants to scream "stop it!!" to family, her therapists, my husband and even myself. Maybe it's also because I'm running on co-pilot most days that I am starting to feel burned out with her therapies and all that I have to do so that she "fits in" with regular society. Part of me wants to pretend that she's fine and there's no need for integration. I just want her to be a typical two year old (soon three) with no expectations attached. So yeah, I find myself not getting worked up over a easter egg hunt or a playground meltdown. To me, they've become insignificant for now. 

For instance, yesterday we decided to have one of her therapies at a playground. It was a welcomed change as her one therapist got to see her in a social setting, tantrum and all. I was very relaxed and honestly didn't give a crap if she got upset or annoyed that we were there. I really thought I heard her mutter "go away"! At first I was like, "did she really say that?". I laughed because that is what most kids who just want to play would say. They don't want mom or the therapist there trying to "help" them. They want to be around the other kids or just be free of expectations and demands. It was also in those moments shortly after that I realized, this is the beginning of her wanting independence socially and how proud I was of her because, this is typical. This is what we want our kids to be able to do. I smiled as she ran off and I looked on, but as always, she came right back to me. That's my job as a mom is to let her spread her wings and fly and I will be there for her when she needs my love and guidance. Such a proud mommy moment.

Friday is our ID meeting with the school district (eye roll). More "nots" and "others thoughts" can't wait! I am going to stay strong and proactive. The fact that they got us to even consider the referral process is a big deal. Well see what happens. Until then, happy Wednesday!



Doing what she loves to do, throw balls. She was just riding her quad, which is why she's wearing her helmet. Badass. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Story of Us

Tomorrow is my seven-year wedding anniversary (wow where did the time go) and I wanted to write something about the man I love and how we became us. It's funny because sometimes I forget that there was just us before her (belle). Those days seem so long ago, and almost like a blur to me now. 

The short version of the long story is we both met in college. Like most cliche love stories begin, ours involves one unprepared girl + test anxiety + knight in shining armor = happy, over the moon girl! If that doesn't make sense, we met in our anatomy class because this lady didn't have a pencil to take our first exam with. I was freaking out because NO ONE had one I needed to borrow after asking at least ten people, but then the eleventh person came through and it was him. I still can recall that feeling of relief and gratitude I has as I started taking the exam. I was so thankful for him that after I finished, I returned his pencil because we've all either borrowed a pencil and never returned it or loaned one out and it was never returned back to us (which is why I didn't have my own pencil to begin with-I loaned them out, that's my story). 

At the next class is when I saw my knight and we started to talk. I asked him how he did on his exam and irronically, we both scored the same so me being a pompous butt I asked if he copied my answers? OMG talk about self-defense hehe. I was totally joking but got his blood pressure up with that conversation and hence made my first impression. I guess he liked it. For the next few weeks we talked in class about life and things such as music taste and our majors. We never got each other's names until two weeks later when this happened: I came into class and my knight was dressed very nice. I figured he must of had a debate or something in one of his other classes, but it turned out he had another motive. I immediately complimented his outfit and with his shyness, awkward body language, he muttered under his breath, "I just wanted to show to you that I can wear more than just a hoodie and a beanie". So he got all dressed up for me!!! For me!! OMG what a feeling. He then proceeded to ask me out on a date after his lab that day. How could I say no to him? I loved his shyness and something so sweet and innocent about him in that moment that I wanted to learn more about my knight to see if the "what if" could be a reality. 

Well, we never got our date that day. It had to wait until the following week. I stood him up bc his lab ran late and I had no idea where he was. Plus, we never got each other's phone numbers. I was bummed. The next day, fate found us again. Coincidentally, our classes we're right next to one another and this time, we exchanged phone numbers and apologized for the previous day. I felt horrible by the way for leaving him shortchained the day prior. After my class, I was leaving to go to work and I hear him calling me down the hill (stalker much) bc he accidentally deleted my cellphone number in his phone. Ugh! Okay here it is again! I thought it was sweet that he chased me down cardiac hill to get my number again. 

He called me over the weekend and I was working doubles so I never called him back. I made him wait. I knew he liked me so I was going to play around with him too because, I liked him as well. Let the flirt chase begin! Fast forward to the next week and our first date. I had to verbally give him directions to my house as he didn't know how to get there via memory. He found me and as soon as my mom saw him, she gave me a thumbs up. Love that I still remember her expression. We went to the mall like any typical 18-19 year olds would do. Now this is when I was like okay...all he had in his pocket was five dollars. That's not enough for a date! I ended up paying for my own dinner that night (I had some pasta dish and he had a pizza). Oh well. There will be others right? 

We came back to my house and watched "The Wedding Singer" and had some lemonade (yes I remember bc I told him to check me out to see if my butt resembled JLo). That's when he tried to kiss me and missed. I thought, wow how cute but no, this is how it's done. So I kissed him back and that was that ladies and gentlemen. November 13, 2002 was the day we officially became more than "just friends". We dated throughout college, became engaged while in college to the dismay of many because they thought we were "too young" to make such an adult decision and because we hadn't dated others in the world to know exactly if we truly wanted to "settle" with one another. Now I get that those who felt this way wanted to protect us from failure or hurt. I get their thinking now because if Autumn were to get engaged at 21 I'd be worried as well, but if Autumn is anything like her parents, dating multiple people isn't want she wanted. She'll want a person who is her best friend and whom she'll grow old with and change with together through all of life's perils. She wouldn't want to "see the world" alone; she'll want to enjoy those experiences with that person, that one who, deep down, knew they were special when she first layed her eyes on them. Plus, her parents have "old souls". It made total sense. 

April 19, 2007 is the day we got married. Nearly four in a half years after we first met and fell in love. Throughout the past seven years of marriage we've been through it all and have come out stronger than ever before. When I look at the life we've created together over the course of 11 years, all I can say is that I feel eternally blessed to have been one of the "lucky ones"; to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate and best friend. Yes, life has been difficult at times, our love has been tested over and over again, but God takes good care of those who believe. As I sit here listening to a mix that Matthew has made for me to describe his love to me, I look around at our daughters (the kid and pup) and our beautiful home and this life. I feel overwhelmed with so much love and joy and it takes me right back to where we began and that love I still feel towards this perfect man, my knight, my guardian, my keeper, my everything. I love you so much dear. Thanks for giving me "the good". Seven year itch, I think not!!! Forever and for always, don't change. Happy Anniversary! 

Sweet love: 

And one of my favorites: right after we said "I do":



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Momma Cry

Why do I feel like some days are more exhausting than others? Sunday was a perfect day. We went to the zoo and out to a late lunch with my inlaws and Autumn did fabulous. It was such a blessed day. My husband didn't come with us because he had to work. Maybe it was the fact that I had extra help with her or she was in a better mood than usual, regardless, it was a great day overall. Yesterday was good up until 7pm when my sweet and most of the time, happy girl, couldn't stop crying for the life of her. Now this is the most frustrating part of the delayed speech: not knowing what was wrong with her and playing "the guessing game". This went on for hours. My "Velcro child" was back in full swing. She fell asleep on me in the rocking chair but as soon as I moved her in her room, awake and full bloody screams. I couldn't even put her down to pee without her screaming. I felt so bad for her because I know she wants to be able to express what she wants and what's wrong but she still struggles here. During the midst of this all and she finally layed down without screaming (next to me of course), I started to cry. And here we go again with another "poor me" moment.

I cried out of pure frustration. Frustration because I am 100% responsible for this sweet child of mine, her progression, the house, the things that revolve around the house, the dog,  and in the midst of it all, trying to find some time for me and looking for another counseling opportunity because we need the extra income. I've been feeling emotionally drained, which is why Sunday was so welcoming because I wasn't 100% the one doing everything to keep my daughter happy. I had help and this help, even though I am extremely stubborn and bring a lot of stress onto myself, was refreshing and welcomed. So why was I crying if the previous day was a perfect one? Tired as well. Getting up when the roosters wake up and going all day with barely any breaks has seriously worn me out. I love this beautiful weather we've been having but that equates to kiddo wanting to be outside for "hours". That's well and good, but I can't just let her play outside by herself. I have to be out there with her and I can't forget about Leah too. At least it's good exercise right? By the time 9pm rolls around, I'm falling asleep on the couch. That used to be my "me" time and now I can barely converse with my husband or watch a tv show without closing my eyes. Either I need to start drinking more coffee or eat some spicy foods to keep me awake. 

Another reason I cried because, and this is me going back to basics here, in those moments of pure meltdowns (from her and now from me), I realized something that so many people take for granted who don't have special needs children: my child will be three in less than three months from now and still, she can't tell me what's wrong. We still don't have back and forth conversation and most of all, and THIS IS WHY I CRIED, the loss of time that myself and many other special needs parents face, when we weren't able to experience the full effect of something such as the sweet sound of our child/children's voices at two. Okay I know what some may be thinking: "she's talking and saying words, she's made great progress, why be upset?". There's a difference between talking (back and forth conversation) and identifying things. It hit me like a ton of bricks that yes, my daughter is saying more words, but we haven't had a conversation together yet and as much as I can "pretend" that things like this doesn't bother me, that she is getting there, it still hurts at the pit of me because of that loss of experience we haven't had together as of yet. 

I am trying my best to stay positive with hope and I know there will come a time when we do have our conversations about life, love and everything in between. However, I can't help but long for some of this to start happening soon. It's just a harsh reality that "soon" takes lots of time, practice and work. Ugh why can't some things be easier than others? Then I think of a great movie line: "It's supposed to be hard...If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great." (Can you guess the movie?). Maybe Jimmy Dugan is right. Deep breaths, exhale, better now. I got this. Thanks for letting me vent. After I exhaled, we looked right at each other and in that moment I knew that she felt the same way too. Then I picked her up, said I was sorry, held her, and we both fell asleep right after that. Maybe all she needed was some love and cuddles from her momma? I know I needed them from her and thankfully she returned the favor.



Autumn wanting to put the deer food back into the machine lol she's something else!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


 This past week has been pretty busy with the usual errands, therapies, keeping busy and so forth (just another typical week). I had Belle's TPC (transition planning conference) with our coordinator this past week to submit the referral into the school district to start the process of getting her ready for Preschool Special Ed this fall. We will have four meetings total before she turns three. Of course I wonder how do working parents accommodate these meetings with their schedules. Hopefully we'll have less, but it is what it is.

Anyways, yesterday is three months to the day that Autumn will have her last EI session. It really made me upset thinking about it because her therapists have become more like family to us. It feels like she just started EI and yet she's been receiving services for a year and what an amazing year of growth it's been. I keep trying to think of unique gifts to give her therapists when EI is over and I have a few nice ideas so hopefully they come through. A huge part of me doesn't want EI to stop but the therapist in me says it will be a good change for Autumn that will "stir things up" for her so that she learns to adapt to new teachers. I am sure I will keep in touch with them after EI. It is going to be surreal once her services are over though. I am going to cry because like I said before, her therapists have been my teachers as well and will always be a part of our lives. Their training and help has helped my family grow immensely. I sit here finishing my French toast hearing Autumn rattle off so many new words and it's all because of their exposure (signing time too). So I did the math, she has 84 sessions total (sounds like a lot) that she'll have with her three therapists before it all comes to an end. Then she'll begin private speech and OT while I keep her busy this summer with many play dates, spending a lot of time outside and hopefully well get down the shore this summer as well. 

Off topic, but I'm seriously looking forward to the warmer weather and all of the time we'll spend outdoors this year. Belle absolutely LOVES being outside. Even yesterday we we were playing in the back yard for about 90 minutes and she was kicking and screaming when it was time to come inside. Even with being up since 5:45 and no nap, she ran and played and had a blast with Leah (the pup). The only thing I'm not looking forward to with the impending warm weather is hitting the pavement and trying to loose my "hibernation fat" before swimsuit season. Eating junk foods caused me to gain enough weight that my pants feel uncomfortable around the waist. I'm sure I will loose some weight with us being active outside and running around in the backyard plus making healthier choices. Thus, what I also love about spring/summer and the warmer weather is grilling again. When we owned our condo, they banned grills after the second year of living there and now that we have our grill back, it's back to grilling most nights (oh how I missed it) and for "lighter" meals. I wanted to grow a garden this year but I think it's going to have to wait. I just want some tomato plants bc I love tomatoes more than anything else. Plus the farmers market will be opening up around the corner again! Yay for warmth! 

I want to try my best to cherish this summer and spend as much time with belle as I can. I know her preschool will only be three hours a day (I am not going to start her full days yet, maybe at four if she needs it), but it will be school every day. I was very apprehensive to start her this fall because of the fears for her safety and still believing she's too young for school five days a week, but again, the therapist personality of mine knows that going to school will only improve her abilities and at this rate with all of this extra help, she will be integrated (with possibly an aide) when she starts kindergarten or first grade.  

From what I've learned, she'll be the only little girl in the special ed class but will be surrounded by other "moms" (teachers) who will adore her when I'm not in her presence. As a mom who also counsels children and adolescents, I also "nurture" my kid clients as well. It's like good moms everywhere, regardless of our differences, abide by the golden rule of being "guardians" towards our children. Whether we protect our own or another, we have their concerns in mind. For instance, I am sure that all of us, at one time or another, have helped a parent when their child was at risk for "danger". For instance, today a little boy was dangling from the jungle gym and would've really hurt himself if he fell and guess who was there to pull him up? This momma bird without a thought. I've seen children run into the street, with their parents right there, that I grabbed to save them from getting hit by a car, or kids running aimlessly away from their parents that I stopped so they wouldn't leave the store, or just being that mom who pushes the other kids on the swings and playing Legos with while their moms chit chat without worry with their other mom friends, and thanking me later. Either I have a friendly face or the kids feel my energy, regardless, I enjoy helping others (one of the many reasons why I became a counselor) and I don't mind as long as my daughter's needs are being met first (if she's with me/in my presence). 

Which brings me to this: As difficult as it is for me to let go of my own daughter into the care of someone else, I'm trusting that she will be safe at school with other "moms" who will do whatever it takes to protect her (as I would do the same for their children). Moms reading this, we're all "guardians" in this life. We battle on the forefront for society's children no matter what the cost (even if that means risking our lives to protect them). Knowing the above makes my insecurities a little more secure and my ability to really start learning to trust the good in others who will care for my daughter as she grows, approachable.

(Deep breaths) All in due time, all in due time...I'm getting's not going to be overnight but my bricks are starting to come down.



 P.S. She's obsessed with this tree...we've named it "Autumns tree" I am sure we will be spending a lot of time with her tree this spring and summer as long as the weather is nice outside. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Perfectly Flawed

Good Afternoon everybody I hope that you all are enjoying this beautiful weekend. Today we had Belle's easter egg hunt or should I say carrot hunt at the play place I take her to. As I predicted, she did not want to participate in trying to find carrots, she was more interested in playing with the Legos and trains as shown here:

In addition, she really wasn't interested in  petting the bunnies, but we got her to do that and of course it turn into picking up one of the bunnies by their ears. My cruel self laughed about it for a while once we got home because I'm a meanie but trying to shed some light on what seemed like a dull situation.

In addition, my husband came with us and this was the first real event that wasn't a relative birthday party that he's attended with us. For me, it was a typical day as I knew Autumn wasn't going to be interested in the kids, the games, the bunnies. It was more about introducing her to things and really, it was about proving a point. What point might you ask? The point is, why keep Autumn hidden from society and left out just because she may act/be "different" than some of the other children her age? Why not at least let her "try" without first giving up completely on the idea. I don't quit and I am never going to just not do something that could be fun for my daughter for the sake of potential judgment from ignorant people. 

So to the hubby if you're reading this, that's why I signed her up and why we went today. I am also glad that you got to witness Belle like I do within a typical social setting. That's why I appeared "numb" to it all and not giving a crap, even smiling when Autumn threw herself several times on the floor. I didn't bat an eye because this wasn't my first time at the "Bellaball rodeo". However, it did break my heart and made me very sad looking at you and how heartbroken you probably felt during this morning's escapade. I could see the pain in your eyes, the embarrassment that your child isn't "like the others", the longing for her to be more "normal" and the relief it would be if she was more "like them". I too feel that way at times. You kidding, most days I feel like you do. I felt it a little today too but I remembered something and here's my "therapist mind" speaking to us both here:

She isn't distorted. She shouldn't have to be "fixed". We're the ones that need the fixing. It's our distorted minds and these expectations that do. Like the movie "Frozen" and that song: "Let it Go", we need to just let go of these perfect expectations that distort our perceptions  we have regarding our daughter. Let's take away the autism for a moment. What do you see here? Tell me what do you see? 
I see me, I see you, but most importantly, I see herself. A sassy, I am going to show the world what I'm capable of, little girl who is extremely loving, sweet, and beautiful. She reminds me of my favorite Disney princess, princess Aurora from sleeping beauty: beautiful just like the sunshine, perfect little rosebud lips, loves music, loves animals and is just happy in her own little world. As a child, I always wanted to be Princess Aurora, so innocent and full of love and life yet God gave me a blessing, he gave me her...and this goes for you too sir.

I know that my posts lately have been negative, over worrying, frustrated, hurt and in pain over the diagnosis, the label, the "bad characteristics", yet when I sit here as my love naps and look at her beauty and how my heart fills with peace and pride, how could my self-pity and hurt yet love derive from the same place? How hypocritical of me to put some of the above onto my daughter who, if she could just tell her story, her "journey", she would probably say that this is the life she wants and is happy, just for momma to give her more chocolate/candy and to stop yelling/getting mad so much at her when she does something out of fun or curiousity. 

I realize this now and I know that my Pisces self will battle with my thoughts of embracing and wanting to change her into someone secretly I don't know if I want her to be. I go back to the princess part for a bit here. Aside from the tantrums and screaming that most children, who are we kidding, all kids her age do, seeing Autumn around other kids and her responses to when they say mean words or things doesn't phase her. She doesn't care (granted I don't think she understands) but what she has taught me is something I've struggled with all of my life: not caring and just keep fluttering regardless of what they say. Just like a true princess AND butterfly would be, Graceful and noble. Damn. Wow. Autumn Belle sweetheart, you just taught your mom a big lesson in life. Maybe instead of looking at your flaws, I need to learn from you to repair mine.



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Trying My Best to "Embrace the Amazing"

It's been a week since I last wrote a blogpost. It's been one crazy week to say the least. Mainly because we've been busy with play dates, outings, therapies and the like.

Wednesday, April 2nd, was National Autism Awareness Day and we wore our blue proudly:

I took Autumn out for breakfast and we talked to some of the diners and waiters who were curious about what our shirts stand for. I told them love and acceptance. However, I still find myself (despite saying I'm in a place of acceptance) having a difficult time dealing with things associated with her autism. I'm trying my best to focus on the good things that little Belle is accomplishing, but at times, that negative wave pulls me back in and I'm stuck waiting out the set before I'm able to move forward again. 

It's hard, really hard, to NOT get emotional or sadden when you see your friends children, including those younger than your child, able to understand expressive/receptive language (have that back and forth conversation even if words aren't clear), able to go to places like the zoo and play "typical" with the other children at the playground, show an interest in the animals, and not meltdown/scream every time a new person tries to communicate with them. 

This past week was full of the above. It was a challenge for me to say the least and of course I can't help but wonder how "easy" it would be to raise just one NT child right now and how friends of mine who have "normal developing children", are fortunate. They have no idea what it's like to go through what parents of special needs children go through on a daily basis. Maybe if every parent on earth could care for a special needs child for a day they will develop more acceptance and have an understanding that it can, indeed, be a challenge. Then maybe the judgments would stop. This goes for so many different areas too. I'll just leave it at that.

I am sure that my expectations seem too high right now. The rainbow is around the corner (I'm hoping). She's not even three yet and things will come in time. I know this, but I can't help but have my moments when her autism pulls me down. It's unfair that my daughter has to work through the motions just to "fit in" with society's standards. Heck, it's unfair for all. Who created this "society standards" textbook? I'd like to know this. For instance, I met with one of my old professors/mentor this past week from grad school and she got to meet Autumn in all of her moody, sensory overload glory. She noticed that Autumn, yes "different" by society's standards, is a happy child. Why focus so much on having her become this "social butterfly" sort to speak?? Why do we do this to our children? She said, so what if they aren't "social" meaning having a ton of friends. Why do we care so much about that? I get what she's saying but I think the reason why we want children to know the "social rules of life" is so they grow up to become self-reliant, helping, secure individuals who don't go around committing horrific crimes. I think it's safe to say that ALL good parents don't want to raise the next antichrist or a serial killer. Anyways, my old professor said she's happy (belle) because of me and how I've been there for her each step of the way. That's the MOST IMPORTANT ability that a parent can possess: raise your children and be there for them every step of the way no matter how exhausting or circumstantial life brings. I don't know if that's true for me, but that was nice to hear from someone other than my husband or some of my friends. Plus I am sure that my being home with her and raising her myself has attributed to the "happy Autumn" most see in pictures (also it takes me like ten times to take a good shot of her in a pic). 

I'm trying my best to "embrace the amazing", even though I have moments like the above that bring out my self-pity. 
Even though it all sounds so negative, I truly am proud of my little butterfly. Most of the time, I'm happy that she is who she is and I don't what her to be like the rest. She does bring sunshine into my life like no other but for those frustrating times, there's always coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, and chocolate all day. Thank goodness for the simple things in life.  

That's all I have for now. 

Happy weekend all!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy World Autism Awareness Day

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

"Embracing the Amazing"

And doing what she loves the best

My little butterfly!❤️



Ps I hope that everyone wore blue today!