Tuesday, March 8, 2011

mission to Marty--week five

I've been hearing from Marty's teachers and therapists that he's been doing an amazing job lately--showing a lot of amazing progress.

So why is it so hard for me to see that progress? Probably because I'm with him day after day and get to experience all the autism-related setbacks he faces along with the successes.

This past week, I decided to look for a little bit of progress each day. Instead of choosing something to work on every day, I chose to find one new accomplishment and just spend the day celebrating it.

Of course, I began to worry about whole days possibly going by without seeing any improvement--what would I celebrate? God has called me to dream bigger for Marty, and so I did last week. Each morning, I prayed for at least one clear success for Marty, and those prayers were answered abundantly. Read on:

Monday, February 28th--One thing Marty has a hard time with is answering questions. I'll ask him how school was and he'll say, "How was school. Fun." Always fun. Even on days I KNOW it wasn't fun. But I've been continuing to ask in the hopes of him one day actually answering a question correctly and unprompted. Today was that day, and YES, I cried like a ban-shee. I don't even know what a ban-shee is, but I cried like one. I had a doctor's appointment today, so my mother-in-law was home during Marty's developmental therapy. After his therapist left, I asked Marty what he and Colleen did during his session with her. And he told me that they played with play-doh. I think his exact words were, "I-a play-a play-doh." I'll take it. The next day I confirmed with Colleen that yes, they did bust out the play-doh. This type of processing for Marty is a HUGE step in a GREAT direction, in that he's learning how to process a question and come up with an appropriate and accurate response. All the while thinking in terms of past activities, which is difficult for a concrete thinker like Marty. Today is a day I'll remember forever. Ban-shee tears and all.

Tuesday, March 1st--Anyone who knows Marty knows he's pretty obsessed with Thomas the train and his little train pals. And I've mentioned before that part of that obsession is due to Marty's tendency to stim on the trains--to roll them back and forth along a track and watch their wheels move for hours at a time in order to stimulate his senses and bring calm. Anyway, lately he's been asking every day where Edward is. Edward is a blue train, and Marty has more blue trains than I can count. I figured he was just overlooking Edward when he dug through his bucket of train-y goodness. I kept just telling him that Edward was probably there--that he had to keep looking for Edward and he'd find him. But I was cleaning out the car today and what/who did I find? Edward! I felt bad that he'd been missing for so long, but loved knowing that Marty was able to recognize that Edward was gone. Again, a pretty cool feat for a kid who's typically of the "out of sight, out of mind" thought process. Of course he was elated when I put Edward in his tiny little hands. Marty gasped and said, "Mama! You found Edward!" Yes, honey, I did. And found another little piece of YOU along the way.

Wednesday, March 2nd--It can be hard for Marty to be really in-tune with his environment. Yeah, he can recognize certain places that we visit often. As we drive up to his preschool he'll usually talk about seeing Teacher Becky (yes, his preschool teacher and I share the same name--it gets confusing). As we drive up to our friend Georgia's house, he'll excitedly exclaim that we're going to "Auntie Orange's" house. It's stinkin' cutie. But places that we don't see regularly, especially those that he doesn't enjoy visiting, are typically not acknowledged until we're right there in the thick of it. Not true today! I had to stop by Marty's pediatrician's office to pick up a prescription and without prompting of any kind, Marty said, "Mama? Are we-a go to the doctor?" All smiles. From all of us.

Thursday, March 3rd--As is true for most kids, it takes a while to recognize the whole cause and effect concept. For Marty, it's taken even longer, and we've been anxious to see breakthrough in that. And while we weren't there to actually witness that breakthrough, we heard all about it from the babysitter. Which is (almost) just as good. Marty and I (husband Marty, that is) go to a life group every Thursday night, so the kids get to stay home with a sitter. Usually it's Miss Shannon, but Miss Shannon was sick this week so we had someone different watch the boys. I didn't think it would be an issue for Marty, but he threw a huge tantrum when it came time to get his jammies on before bed. The sitter just let him scream and ignored his antics (which was PERFECT), and was slowly trying to get him dressed in the moments Marty would calm down for a couple seconds. At one point, Marty was screaming bloody murder with his pajama top around his neck because he refused to put his arms in the sleeves. Well after freaking out for a while, Marty started shivering, so the babysitter asked if he was cold. He said he was. And promptly put his arms in the sleeves, knowing it would help warm him up. Amazing. It warmed my heart.

Friday, March 4th--I've talked a lot about how Marty is a concrete thinker. Which comes into play in a lot of different ways--one being that he's very literal when it comes to names. Nicknames are a hard concept for Marty, and he'll often correct people if they get a name "wrong". Like people calling Lucas "Buddy"--he'll quickly say, "His name is LUCAS." Well today, our little concrete thinker called his brother Squishy all day. Yes, I know I know, it's from Finding Nemo. But I was thrilled that he assigned a name other than Lucas to his brother. So instead of finding Nemo, we found a Squishy, and by golly, I'm running with it.

Saturday, March 5th--I usually let Marty (and myself) have the weekends off, since all this mommy therapy is exhausting for both of us. But this week, with the focus being on the progress Marty's been making, I didn't want to stop looking for little breakthroughs. And he didn't let me down. Today I was studying some medical terminology for my new part-time job doing medical billing, and was sitting at the dining room table reading while the kids played in the living room. At one point the sun faded for a couple minutes and I found myself squinting, needing some extra light. Marty was over by the lightswitch, so I thought I'd see if he could figure out which switch needed to be turned on in order to light up just the area I was working in. I pointed to the light fixture above my head and said, "Marty, can you turn this light on for Mommy?" And just like that, he flipped the right switch and illuminated the table. First try. My kid is smarter than I give him credit for, and I love the moments that that shines through. Pun intended.

Sunday, March 6th--Marty survived a trip to Costco with ZERO meltdowns or whining. Can't that be progress in itself? He's beginning to realize that his behavior is a choice, and that we're ALL a lot happier when he chooses the right thing. On our way to a birthday party last weekend, Marty declared from the backseat, "I-a be a good boy to Malea's birthday." And you know what? HE WAS. I'm slowly crossing things off my list of "places I'm terrified to take my kid". Birthday party with ten or so other screaming kids? Done. Costco? Big fat check. Bring it on, world. My baby boy has GOT this.

How will YOU challenge your kids today? What accomplishments will you choose to celebrate?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

mission to Marty--weeks three and four

Sigh. I'm just so behind on my Marty updates. Dang it.
But I consider it a good thing that I've been too busy playing with my son to write about playing with my son. So during his daily "quiet time" in his room (since that stinker won't take his afternoon naps as regularly as he used to), I thought I'd have some "quiet time" of my own and reflect on the past few weeks.

The week of Valentine's Day, I decided to work on some pretty basic concepts, instead of always shooting for the stars with Marty's therapy. So while I usually focus on behavioral things, that week I focused more on concrete concepts. You'll get the idea:

Monday, February 14th--Today was our "counting" day. We talked a lot about numbers, from playing with the number magnets on the fridge to counting our fingers to see how many we each have. I can hereby report that Mom, Marty, and Lucas all have ten, though a couple times Marty had eleven. Hmmm. The highlight of the day was laying in bed with Marty during his "quiet time" and just counting together. Counting forwards, counting backwards. He loved it, and Mama loved the cuddles that went along with it.

Tuesday, February 15th--Today I had a friend over to help with the kids while I tackled a huge clothing-related project. Our boys grow out of their clothes so fast it's hard to keep on top of all the too-small cast-offs. So I spent most of the day sorting by size and type of clothing and blah blah blah. Shannon played with Marty most of the day, but once she left, I had Marty help me with the sorting process. We talked about shirts and pants and what we put our socks on. And he could identify which clothes were his and which were Lukey's based on the sizes and the big versus small concept. Awesome.

Wednesday, February 16th--Today we talked about mail. And what mail is--"mail is when we get letters from our friends". I hadn't gone through all of Marty's valentines from his classmates yet, so we busted those out and talked about the "mail" Marty got and who it was from. I held up each valentine and said, "Marty, is this mail?" Until he started to recognize what is and what isn't. We walked out to the mailbox and I showed him where the mailman puts our mail. Marty even got a letter or two! Little did I know that junk mail would start being so precious in out house--one of the things we got was an ad for different check designs, and Marty loved pointing out the different animals and Disney characters he saw. I think he really thought someone sent that just for him.

Thursday, February 17th--Today it snowed in Redding, so I ran with the theme and talked about snow all day. We played outside in it for hours and talked about how it's c-c-c-c-old in the snow (and that "cold" starts with "c"), talked about how it falls from the sky, etc. We threw snowballs at the fence and talked about what gloves are, as Marty wore them for the first time and responded, "That feels good. Is everybody okay in there? (looking at his fingers)". We built a snowman and had to discuss why he couldn't come back in the house with us. So fun. I wish it snowed more often.

Friday, February 18th--My parents came today to visit for the weekend, so today's discussions revolved around Oma and Opa. We talked about relationships and the concept of grandparents. A couple times my mom and I took Marty out to run an errand, and we talked about the fact that Opa (my dad) was at our house with Lucas and Oma was with us in the car. He's been loving tickling all of us lately, and was wanting us to tickle each other, saying, "Oma, tickle Mommy. Mommy tickle Opa." What a goofy kid.

This week I'd been feeling pretty sick, so I hadn't had much energy to plan something for each day. But I didn't want to give up on my little "mission", so we've been working on a couple key areas. Our main theme was what's called "joint attention". For kids on the autism spectrum, it can be difficult to consider other people's perceptions and viewpoints and even feelings. It's hard for them to step outside of themselves and try to understand a different take on the situation. Joint attention is merely the ability to consider more than just your own point of view. We've practiced having Marty read us books and have to show us each page, so that he understands that we can't see the pictures in his book if he has it turned toward himself.

Since my Crohn's disease has been acting up this week, we've talked a lot about how to act when other people don't feel good--that we need to be quiet and gentle even if we want to play rough. Marty caught on quickly. Monday afternoon I was doubled over in pain, and just laying on the living room floor while the kids played around me. Marty decided we were going to play "night night", and went upstairs to get me a pillow and his blankets from his bed so I'd be more comfortable. He even turned out the lights and told Lucas, "Shhh. Mama's sleeping." Awesome.

Another example of joint attention that we've worked on this past week is having Marty wait to talk to us until it's his turn to talk. Usually he'll just interject whenever he has something to say, and yes, we've let him because we've been so thrilled that he's actually talking. But this week we've been quick to say, "Marty, Mommy's talking to Dad. Please wait until it's Marty's turn to talk to Dad. First Mommy talk, then Marty." It's still a work in progress. That one's harder for him. But it's teaching him that other people are affected by his actions, and that he needs to be considerate of those around him.

So that's all for now, folks. I hope these updates have been encouraging you to pour into your kids more often. I know it's been a fun journey for us as a family to be more intentional about the time we spend together.

Happy playing! Here's to enough energy and new ideas to get us through next week!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

mission to Marty--week two

So here's week two of my "mission to Marty".
Yes, week two was a couple weeks ago. My nincompoop-self posted it on facebook but forgot to bloggy blog it as well for the non-facebook people in my life that still want to stay updated on our journey. Yes, Aunt Debbie, I'm talking about you (wink).

Anyway, our journey continues:

Monday, February 7th--Today we worked on the hand-over-hand technique, meaning that when I ask Marty to do something and he refuses to do it, I literally put my hand on top of his and make him follow through. It's important to show Marty what's expected of him, as kids with autism struggle with the unknown. But Mommy means it when she tells him to do something, no matter how much he freaks out about it. So, when it was time to clean up his toys in the living room and he just sat there crying about it, I walked over and without saying a word, I grabbed his hand and used it to pick up the toys one by one and put them away. I didn't get mad, I didn't discipline. I just showed him that I was serious and that he'd be picking up his toys regardless of how he felt about it. In our house, that's become his "warning". Because we don't want him thinking that if he freaks out enough, he'll get put on a time out and get out of cleaning up for those three minutes. And sure enough, after a couple seconds, he started cleaning up on his own, all smiles.

Tuesday, February 8th--Today's focus was on abstract thinking. For kids like Marty, it's difficult to think outside the realm of what's right in front of them. What's concrete. So today we talked a lot about people and things that were somewhere else, so that Marty had to picture those people and things in order to answer questions about them. For example, I asked what color Daddy's hair was, even though Daddy was at work all day. Marty's first answer was "blue". Oops. So I challenged him to really think about Daddy and what color his hair is. I had to prompt him to say brown, but he started to get the idea, and answered some of the questions right--mainly the ones about his favorite characters from his favorite movies. It's hard to think that he's more in tune with Thomas the train and Mr. Incredible than with the family members I asked him about, but I'll take whatever abstract thought I can get. We'll keep working on it. (Side note: Thinking back, I should have showed Marty a picture of his dad and prompted him to come up with Daddy's hair color on his own, to show him that he can actually picture Dad in his head. Oh well--guess this is just as much a learning process for me, too.)

Wednesday, February 9th--Today our challenge was working on facial recognition. Marty's pretty good at recognizing people, but a lot of autistic kids struggle in this area--recognizing not just specific faces, but the expressions those people are making as well. I figure if we work on these things now, we might avoid difficulties later. And since Marty just got his preschool class picture and needed to write Valentines to all his classmates, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to talk through his little buddies. I'd say a name, and Marty had to point to that person and decide which color Valentine to give them. So fun!

Thursday, February 10th--Today we worked on the yes/no concept. As in, "Marty, did you poop in your pants?" And making sure he understood that it's not okay to say "no" when the answer is "yes". Marty has what's called echolalia, which means that part of the way he processes things is by repeating words and phrases. But in doing so, he can tend to just memorize the appropriate answer without understanding what it means. So talking through how to use the words yes and no in the right way is important. Sometimes a little stinky.

Friday, February 11th--We talked through a couple social phrases today, and how to respond appropriately. So all day I've been asking Marty "how are you today", and talking about how to share how you're feeling. I did that by asking if he was happy. He said that yes, he was happy. I asked if he was mad, and he replied, "I not mad, I happy!" It's a small success, but progress none-the-less. I'll take it!

So that was our week--it's no wonder I'm exhausted! But every moment is so worth the progress we're already seeing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

getting Marty back

I posted a facebook status a couple days ago saying that I was a mommy on a mission. That I can see my little Marty retreating further and further into his world of autism, and that I'm not going to let ourselves lose him.

So how am I supposed to do that? By engaging his attention at every moment. Keeping him interested in the outside world. I can't let him "stim" for too long--a stim is a self-stimulatory behavior that many autistic children do in order to center themselves in a confusing and overwhelming environment. For Marty, it's running his trains back and forth on his train track. And though it looks cute, and he talks the whole time about which train is doing what, it's just not a great idea to let him fall into that too often. Which means keeping him busy. Which means Mama being busy trying to occupy every moment of the day with an activity that'll help Marty grow and learn.

Mind you, I've been working with him in little ways here and there since his autism diagnosis almost a year ago, but I'm on a mission to be more purposeful. To think through what he needs to work on, and what areas he's been struggling with, and try to come up with a teaching tool that addresses those deficits. It's kind of a full-time job. But one that will be SO rewarding in the years to come. A child's brain is most flexible and pliable before the age of five, so we're trying to cram in as much as we can in the next year and a half.

Will you join me in that journey? I thought that by documenting our activities, and sharing them with our friends and family, I'd be held accountable in a way. And be able to look back on Marty's progress and rejoice in how far he's come.

So here goes... Our first couple days of Mission to Marty:

Wednesday, February 2nd--I'm trying to work through balancing Marty's needs with the needs of our household, so today's activity was a game I like to call "laundry". Marty has a hard time adhering to other people's agendas, so I wanted him to practice participating in a non-preferred activity and understand that he couldn't bow out until I said he was done. That is HARD to do--he is a three-year-old after all, with the attention span of a small insect. I told him we were going to play a new game in the garage. He freaked out--he wanted to play with his trains instead. So I said he could bring ONE train to play the game with us. He chose four trains. I walked him back over to where his track was, and talked him through choosing only one. He had a meltdown, but I stuck to my guns, and we ended up bring Henry into the garage to help with the laundry. I stood behind Marty so that he couldn't run away, and asked him to put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer. He freaked out. I had Henry help Mommy, and Marty didn't like that I was using his toy, so I said, "Well, then why don't YOU help Mom?" Again, meltdown. So, despite his crying and screaming (our neighbors must think horribly of me), we shook out each piece of wet laundry and threw it into the dryer, saying, "Go in, red shirt! Your turn, blue socks! Bye bye, jeans!" Finally, once Marty began to realize that I meant business, he calmed down. I told him there were only five clothes left, giving him an end to look forward to. And sure enough, he started participating! He loved it! Success.

Thursday, February 3rd--Today we pretended to be animals everywhere we went, to work on Marty's ability to think outside of what's concrete and tangible. So when I took Marty to the big-boy potty, we were kangaroos hopping to the bathroom. I'd say things like, "Okay, baby kangaroo! Let's wash our kangaroo hands!" When we went up to bed, we climbed the stairs like lions, roaring all the way. Daddy even participated--we were a little family of monkeys as we prepared and ate dinner. It was SO FUN! Marty did a good job coming up with different animals for us to be, though I had a hard time figuring out how to be an elephant with four legs AND a trunk...

Friday, February 4th--We worked on sequencing today. "First, second, etc." One tool that helps Marty with his difficulty transitioning into new activities is to outline what we'll be doing. I say things like, "First, clean up, then have a snack." It gives him structure, and that structure is really comforting to him. But today I wanted to help him truly understand that concept, so I busted out some flashcards that his speech therapist gave us, that have pictures on them of kids doing different activities in sequence. So Marty has to figure out which comes first--the shoes that are untied or the picture of the girl tying the shoes. It was hard work, but he got most of them, and thought the word "second" was really funny. We'll work up to adding a third component to each sequence as he really starts to nail down the concept.

So that's it for now. I know, I know, it's a lot. And I know there are few people that will care to read through all the nitty-gritty details of our life with autism. But if I don't share my testimony in all this, and show the world that you really can rise above your circumstances and mold them into what you want them to look like, then Marty's autism will have no purpose.

I want to give my son a voice in this crazy chaotic world. And help him speak in the moments that he can't speak up for himself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

where I should have been this morning...

Last night I checked my calendar to see what today held for me. And my stomach dropped. Not because of what was on my calendar, but because of what was crossed off of it.

This morning was supposed to be my first prenatal appointment for baby number three. But after our miscarriage about a month ago, that appointment was no longer necessary--so instead of spending my morning talking to my doctor about due dates and ultrasounds, I've spent today thinking about our loss.

We weren't even supposed to be able to get pregnant again after my surgery last January. My surgeon declared us infertile, so we just assumed we'd adopt our next baby. But a couple days after Christmas, we found out that the impossible had happened--our positive pregnancy test couldn't have been more...well...positive. Of course we were shocked and a little scared, but mostly shocked.

But who was I to question God's plan and timing? We know full-well that our family has always been in the palm of His capable hand, and knew this wasn't a "mistake" or "accident". So despite my nervousness, I decided to be excited. I started looking forward to all the pregnancy-related things I thought I'd never get to experience again. Yes, even excessive heartburn and outdated maternity clothes sounded fun after spending a year believing we'd never have another baby of our own.

We told our families and a few friends, and were anticipating a big announcement after we got the chance to share the news with our life group the following week. But when I woke up the morning of January 5th, I knew something wasn't right. I knew the baby was gone.

After my doctor confirmed that we had indeed miscarried, we began our grieving process. It was hard--I kept finding little reminders around the house, like the coupons I had clipped for prenatal vitamins, the pregnancy journal I had bought and now had to return.

But there were friends and family that blessed us along the way. We had food brought over so we didn't have to cook. We had friends spend the following day with us so we could take a break from thinking about it--and have loving support in the moments that we did. We shared tearful hugs with people who were genuinely crying with us. We were prayed over and had our arms literally lifted as a representation of our friends' hope and strength for us during a time when we couldn't hope or be strong ourselves. I spent time with women who'd also miscarried, just to be near friends who knew that same pain--one of them just held me and said, "I'm not even going to say anything, because I know there's nothing to say."

I know that sense of loss will always be with me. I know that this is a wound that will eventually heal, but isn't something I can or should just "get over". But I've already come such a long way over the last couple weeks. I know now that God hasnt' forgotten about me--that He feels my pain and is so sorry. I know that this, too, wasn't a "mistake" or "accident"--that it's all part of a divine plan for our lives and our family. And that I need to be okay with not knowing what that plan is or why our miscarriage had to be a part of it.

So I'm choosing to move forward with love and joy. Love for all three of my babies, and the joy of seeing them for the little blessings that they are.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

my life with autism

People ask me all the time what it's like to have an autistic child. How it affects our daily life, and how I manage to juggle all of Marty's therapies and programs on top of the usual demands motherhood imposes.

Well, I could talk about it for hours. But in the interest of utilizing the few precious moments I have available while BOTH my babies are napping (I swear, that rarely happens), I thought I'd share a couple excerpts from Jodi Picoult's latest book, "House Rules", which revolves around an autistic teenager and the people his autism affects. Naturally, I related most to the chapters written from the mom's perspective, and marked the pages that meant enough to me to leave tear-stains on. I cried tears of joy in feeling like someone finally was able to put words to a lot of my emotions regarding my son's diagnosis, but also tears of sorrow when I realized that this journey is only going to get harder for him.

So read on, friends, knowing that by sharing these words written by someone else, I'm also sharing a piece of my heart for my precious baby boy:

"This is what you can't explain to a mother who doesn't have an autistic child: Of course I love my son. Of course I would never want a life without him. But that doesn't mean that I am not exhausted every minute of the day. That I don't worry about his future, and my lack of one. That sometimes, before I can catch myself, I imagine what my life would be like if he did not have autism. That--like Atlas--I think for just once it would be nice to have someone else bear the weight of my family's world on his shoulders, instead of mine."

"I have carved a life out of doing what needs to be done, because you can rail to the heavens, but in the end, when you're through, you will still be ankle-deep in the same situation. I am the one who's strong, so that my son doesn't have to be."

"Nobody looks into the face of a newborn son and imagines all the things that will go wrong in his life. Instead, you see nothing but possibility: his first smile, his first steps, his graduation, his wedding dance, his face when he is holding his own baby. With my son, I was constantly revising the milestones: when he willingly looks me in the eye, when he can accept a change in plans without falling apart, when he wears a shirt without meticulously cutting out the tag in the back. You don't love a child for what he does or doesn't do; you love him for who he is."

Sigh. That's all for now. I have days that are good and days that are not-so-good. But all in all, I love my son. He's perfect--maybe not according to the world's standards, but he is according to mine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What it means to be a good mom...

"When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes?

When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Luck Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end.

I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and PTA.

Here's a secret: Those mothers don't exist. Most of us--even if we'd never confess--are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring.

I look very good on paper. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost dinner, and plan to have "because I said so" engraved on my tombstone.

Real mothers wonder why experts who write for "Parents" and "Good Housekeeping" seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood.

Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's cart, and say, "Great. Maybe you can do a better job."

Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast.

Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed.

If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severly imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt.

Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal.

Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages.

Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one."

--Jodi Picoult, "House Rules"
(written from the perspective of the mother of an autistic son)

Friday, January 14, 2011

How in the HECK?!

I know, I know. I'm fired.

I promised new and exciting and interesting blogs, and haven't posted a blame thing. Sigh. It's just that every time I think about writing something, I get stuck trying to figure out what to write about. There are so many thoughts and feelings jumbled up in my giant noggin that it's hard to sort through them. To translate them into something the general public will be able to follow. Not because I'm smarter than the general public--but because I'm CRAZIER.

I guess it's just hard to know where to start. The last year of our lives has been the worst year of our lives. So much has happened that it seems really shallow to just start blogging one day about my kid's adorable new haircut and his brother's giant up-the-back poop explosion. REALLY shallow. But at the same time I don't want to feel like everything I post has to be profoundly amazing and eye-opening and life-changing either. Happy medium, anyone? It's more difficult to find than you'd think.

But here I go again overthinking something that's supposed to be fun and light and a form of release in the midst of my crazy hectic and chaotic existence.

So for now, here's my start. My three-year-old, Marty, is sporting a great new haircut compliments of yours truly. And yeah, it's choppy and not perfect, but he didn't freak out about the pieces of hair falling onto his skin. Success. I'll take it. And Lucas? He's had some gnarly poops lately. We're talking clear-the-room stenches and more loads of laundry in a day than I dare count. But he's happy and he's eating well and handling this whole teething nonsense like a champ. Success. I'll take it.

As I continue to ponder how to sum up these last twelve months without sounding like a totally depressed pessimist (which I only am when woken up prior to 7am), I'm going to try to focus on the little things each day that are making me smile in the midst of all the other crap.

Success. I'll take it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gosh, it's been FOREVER.

That OBVIOUSLY goes without saying, seeing as how my most "recent" post was a year and a half ago. Why on earth did we all fall off the blogging train? It's fun and theraputic and a lot less cryptic than the one-line facebook statuses that are supposed to sum up every given moment. So now that some of my peeps are starting to blog again, I thought I'd join in. I've been toying with the idea for--let's see--about a year and a half. I just have so much to SAY.

So visit often, friends, as my blog and I become buddies again. May this be the start of something really really awesomely spectacular.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I need, I need..."

My poor baby is stuck in that stage when he's old enough to know how to ask for something specific to eat, but not old enough to understand when Mommy says that we don't have any.

Guess I'll just have to grow a banana tree in the backyard, so we always have them available...