Friday, April 27, 2012


I read a great blog this morning by my friend You Know it Happens at your House Too. She pointed out how it's important to count our blessings. I have plenty to be thankful for as well. This is my list of top 10 things I'm thankful for.

1. My husband. We are married almost 20 years now, and I can honestly say I'm still so in love with him! He makes me feel beautiful and special. He likes to talk to me, and when we go out its like we're young all over again! He is the person I call when I'm down, or when the best thing happens. He truly is my best friend.
2. My children. The fact I have been blessed with 7 children still blows me away. Being a mom is the best thing I have done with my life. They make me a better person everyday. I now know what it means to love unconditionally, to share EVERYTHING!,  to live life, to not take anything for granted. They have shown me how strong I am, with dealing with all of their different personalities and learning styles. They have pushed me to be their voice, especially for my son. They are my joy. 
3. Being a stay at home mom. I couldn't even imagine how hard it must be for working moms. To be on call for your family, and hold a paying job!  I am so thankful we have made it work with me being home.
4. My mom. We havent always had the best relationship, but I have been blessed to make my peace with her. She had a six way bypass at 53, and her future is uncertain.  I am so thankful I can call when I feel at my wits end! She is like a best friend now.
5. Making peace with my dad. I went to visit him last year when his wife was real sick in the hospital. It took my whole life, but I finally got the truth from him and was able to say what I needed to. At least now, we keep in touch through email etc.
6. My sister ( my dad remarried and had 6 kids so they are half siblings) we are 10 years apart, I'm older. She always looked up to me, but to be honest I hated her for years. I felt she had my dad and my life. Now that we are grown women we are the best of friends. It's so nice to have someone who really knows me, and can be brutally honest with me when I need to hear it. She is visiting soon and I CANNOT wait!
7. School. Yes I complain, and make references to possibly homeschooling my boy and the twins. But to be honest, I enjoy the break, and I think they need the social aspect even when it sucks. Not to mention, there is so much on my plate I can't imagine adding their education to it!
8. My house. We have been blessed to be able to move into a house big enough for all of us!  We have luxuries that I never thought would be possible, like a pool, 3 bathrooms, and 5 bedrooms. It certainly makes day to day living easier, especially since my boy can have his own room set up how he needs.
9. My truck. Even with the price of gas, I am so thankful to be riding in a Suburban that fits all of us! We've been there, sharing one car, trying to figure out who needs to be where. 
10. My online friends. I've met some wonderful people through FB. It's so nice to have a place where we can say anything, and not be judged! Wonderful women who know what it's like, who encourage each other. Oh and the laughs! I love the good times we spend laughing at pictures, and sharing drinks! 

So even though you hear me rant, and complain don't ever get it twisted. I love my life, and count my blessings daily!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mommy guilt

I read a great blog this morning by my friend Homestyle Mama with a side of Autism about the words we say. This is not the first time she's spoken about this. I guess it really got me today because I just had one of those cranky mornings that I just blew it. The kids were driving me crazy and I finally just yelled SHUT UP! Just SHUT UP, don't talk, cut the crap. Yeah I know, not the nicest thing to hear while you are eating breakfast. 
In her blog she wrote about words she can still hear her mom saying. I paused, and immediately words came back to me. Not nice words. The worst was,  I love you, but I don't like you.  Do you know to this day, i still feel like no one likes me? I have the hardest time with women. I dont even know sometimes what someone could do to prove to me they like me. Followed by the comments about my weight. To this day, I am NEVER satisfied by my weight. I try and make sure my girls have a healthy body image, but i need to stop with the negative comments about myself that they hear me say. It made me wonder, what tapes have I started for my children? My 14 yr old I know remembers all the mean stuff I say, she says it back often enough.
 I spent the time a couple months ago to make index cards for my kids about all the nice things I think about them. As usual I didn't get the reaction I was hoping for, but that wasn't the point. My oldest moved out recently, and I am having the hardest time letting go of the mommy guilt. Was it me? Did I say too much? Too little? Where did it all go wrong? It wasn't the yay my daughters in college moving out. It was the my house my rules kind of move out. It was full rebellion that I couldn't subject the younger ones to. 
I have come to the realization that this mommy stuff is HARD!! There is no one way, right way, magic formula that we as moms can use.  There are times we are going to blow it. There are times where we will feel like we blew it. Guess what? Its ok. Relax, breathe. All we can do is the best we can do. When you blow it? Apologize.  I have had to overcome a lot over the years, between my childhood, or lack there of, and balancing a large family with all different types of personalities. As I said my oldest moved out. Guess what? She still loves me even though I can be mean, and she still thinks of my house as her home. She visits every week and calls me almost everyday.
There comes the time when we have to let the mommy guilt go. It's not healthy for anyone, especially us. So like Homestyle Mama said, let's choose our words more carefully, and make sure our kids have tapes of their moms praise in their heads,  for life!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights

Isn't it funny the things you start thinking about when you're not sleeping?
The first thing I think about is all the sleep I'm missing. Then I hear everyone else in in the house sleeping, and I'm jealous! My thoughts wandered to the beginning. Sleepless nights with newborns. How did I do it? The older I get this sleep or lack of sleep rather is starting to take a toll on me. I have a harder time functioning. I'm very cranky. The worst? It's aging me! I look in the mirror and I see a mom looking back at me! When did this happen? It's crazy when I think over my life, all I've done, accomplished, how far I've come. Then it's obvious I have to be old! I have 7 children for crying out loud! How did I think I would look at this stage of my life? It's a funny thing, in my mind I'm like 28 looking fabulous and I'm in shape of course.  Then I think, what difference does it make?  Why does it seem everywhere you go, everyone you talk to, everyone is obsessed with being young? And beautiful? And in shape? What happened to aging gracefully? Wrinkles, belly flab and all? I need to come to peace with this. My mom still is always losing weight, trying to lose weight, or is doing some new thing that has to do with food! I don't want to be stuck in this cycle the rest of my life. But I can't lie. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I don't like what I see. I need to focus on all this body has done for me. My boobs might be saggy, but they nursed 7 children! My stomach is um lets call it stretched out, but it had 7 babies in there! I mean seriously how would you look? Which brings me back around to the dark circles under my eyes, and how tired I am sometimes. But, comforting my babes? Making everything better? Yeah it's worth some sleepless nights.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



The teen years bring plenty of challenges. Actually that's the understatement of the century! They bring you to the brink of your sanity, make you question and doubt everything you have ever taught them, but there are some tender sweet moments that make you burst with pride, or just melt your heart. I was unprepared for what these years would be like. I thought I would share the worst and the best of it.

The worst things about teens

They need to be prompted on what to say, more than your toddlers do
They are a bad influence on the younger children in the home, from what they say to what they watch on TV
They think they are always right
It is never enough or fair to them no matter the situation
The drama has no end! From she's in my room, to a fight with a friend
It's always someone else's fault
They think they should be allowed to do whatever plan they come up with
The attitude and eye rolls are off the charts
Everyone else's parents let their kids do and have everything. They tell you this and expect you to care about it!!

The best thing about teens

They are independent. They don't need you to get them a drink, dress them etc
They don't need to be entertained by you
They do their own homework
They can cook, clean, and do laundry
You can leave them home alone
They can babysit the younger ones
You can have a real conversation with them
You can watch TV together
You can read the same books and discuss it
They take care of you when you are sick
You can plan a whole day of lunch, shopping etc and they don't want to be held and you don't need the stroller!
When they drive, they can help with errands and picking and dropping the younger ones off somewhere

The tender moments with teens might be far and few between, but when they come the memory lasts forever! I've been lucky enough to have some serious heart to hearts with my teen daughters. When they tell you they love you, or they tell you you're a good mom they mean it. My drama queen did her essay on me. It's about how I inspire her!  Even though my oldest moved out, I knew she wouldn't be right back home. She knows the value of a dollar and how to budget. I taught her well, maybe to well! LOL my Genius, seriously I always joke if they were all like her I'd probably have 12 kids! She is an awesome tennis player, is at the top of her class and has always known what's appropriate, when to talk and when to listen. I just worry she feels to much pressure to be the "good one". 

 So hang in there! Even on the most awful days, there is always something wonderful too! Even if it's just a simple unprompted I'm sorry, or hug that says I love you Mom.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A moment of my life.....

Don't you hate those moments when you don't follow your instinct? We have colds, virus, coughs going through the house. My twins got it and my one babe seems to just have a cold now. I knew my other babe just seemed sicker. I thought on Sunday I should probably take her to urgent care. Well as you can imagine with a full house and oldest stopping by, the day just got away from me. Then at bedtime she was really coughing. I had that, I'm the worst mom ever moment, why didn't I just take her to urgent care? I put her to sleep knowing it was going to be a long night. My girl was just having such a hard time I gave her a breathing treatment. At least she slept some after that. She was so restless I was up checking her all night. She hates her runny nose, and has been wiping it so hard it's beet red with cracked skin! I took her to the doctors this morning and she has bronchitis and an ear infection. :( I went to the pharmacy to get prescriptions, when they tell me something is wrong with my insurance. Are you kidding me? Do you not see this sick babe on my shoulder? I don't have time for this. She says call them and when it's straightened out we will put the prescriptions through again. Of course I go right to the car and try and call on my cell phone. Damn phone just blacked out one me! Are you kidding?! I drove home, called, blah blah the guy said yep it's straightened out. I go back to pharmacy, it's been an hour now, and she says no it still won't go through! GRRRRR! I almost freaked out, but instead I said how much is Zithromax? She gave me discount, and told me once it's straightened out which could take 3 days, she will reimburse me. Seriously? 3 days? My girl needed the medicine now. Thankfully it was only $21 . I still have some albuterol in the house. I gave her a treatment before the Zithromax. Holy cow! She got so wired, and weird. I hate that, but it was nice to see her smile. She took her medicine nice and finally settled down for a nap. Hopefully she will sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The older I get I realize how perspective is constantly changing. It depends on how old we are, what's happened to us, our parents, and our children.  It seems once I  have some new perspective i want to share it with others. I have hit a stage in my life where my perspective changes drastically every year.
The biggest shift has been when my oldest moved out. Someone pointed out, isn't that what we are doing anyway? Preparing them to leave and start their own lives? Of course the answer is yes! BUT, it didn't go how I thought it would at all.  Perspective point: I give my kids the life I never had. It's all they know, so why do I expect them to be so thankful? She had so many opportunities she's just thrown away. It's not my life, it's hers. Sooooo much easier said than done! I had to admit to myself I had all these dreams for her. Exactly, MY dreams not hers....I also have a 16 yr old and 14 yr old. I realize now how quickly these high school years go. I'm thankful for the time we have together. I've started talking to them about what THEY want to do with their lives. My 14yr old doesn't plan on college. You know what? It's ok. My relationship with her is more important than fighting with her about something that she has to live with.  Plus she does have plans for beauty school and she is really talented already. My 16 yr old is preparing me she wants to live on campus. I have to let her go. It's amazing! I will just enjoy this year with her that much more.
Having older kids in general make me appreciate the younger ones so much more. I realize how fast it all goes! I do often wonder though how these precious little beings become bratty teenagers!
My in laws are moving 5 minutes away. I'm uh, less than thrilled. Perspective point: my husband has already lost his father (he was only 56) his mom is all he has left. So yep, I have to deal with it. It's good for the kids to have relationships with grandparents.
My mom has had some health issues again. She had a six way bypass 5 years ago. When she calls, I answer the phone. When she wants to com e over or we are able to see her we do. Time is precious and we just never know. She has two surgeries coming up...
I feel Life is about relationships. For now, I'm called to my family and it consumes most of me and my time. Sometimes I wonder, is it worth it? Then I remember i have perspective, of course it is!

Perspective points are arrows to thankfulness
It's how we can find value in what seems a waste

Saturday, April 7, 2012

19 years.....

I started thinking about this all week. As I'm sure you can imagine its hard for me to get alone time to think and write everything out how I think about it. I try to write things down as they come to me but I'm always rushed.....there was so much more to this, but this still says it all.
19 years old......

It's so weird as I sit here today and think about bringing my first baby home from the hospital 19 years ago! My first thought is really? Where did the time go? Then I can't help but get emotional with the flood of memories........
 I was working at an HVAC company at the time and was just starting to realize wow,  I'm having a baby soon! Well my precious lil bundle came three weeks early weighing 6lbs 2 oz! She was the tiniest most perfect thing I ever laid my eyes on. I was home in 24 hours and let me tell you I was a bit unprepared! I was 20, so I was young and selfish and this little being needed something 24/7! How funny it is to me now thinking of the nights I was up, my husband is up, the baby is crying and then I start to cry! My poor husband was like um are you ok? I'm like uh no! Why won't she stop crying? I'm so tired! I just want to sleep!! Thankfully we fell into a routine quickly. She was such a good baby. Very happy, laughed and smiled all the time. She was such a joy! The hardest thing was she stopped napping at 9 months, but she went to sleep by 7pm and woke at 7am! She was very curious, outgoing, and was always asking a question! She used to talk for her sister. I would ask a question and oldest would tell me whether her sister wanted it or not. As she grew up she was very responsible and independent. She had a very sunny disposition. She was always a glass half full kind of girl with an infectious smile. Even her friends would say to her,  you sound like a walking Hallmark card! It seemed like overnight she went from my little girl to a young adult trying to find her own way. It's been rough since she graduated HS and moved out. I wasn't prepared for this stage. I guess I thought it would be different. But at the end of the day, she is still my baby girl and I love her.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Well thankfully my boy progresses more every year. I like to focus on how far he's come, than dwell on how far he still has to go. These are the latest updates.

His anxiety is so much better. I think a lot has to do with he's older, and he knows what's expected of him. We do the same thing everyday. He barely throws up, he just bites his finger nails. He does have a thing with biting the collar of his shirt. Sometimes he is allowed to suck on a peppermint, or chew a piece of gum to help.
We went shopping and have found socks he likes! I can't even tell you how many sheets this boy has slept on but we found ones he likes! And a comforter too! He likes them washed often because he likes the smell. He has the cleanest bed in the house! 
I let him have the nightlight and any other light he wants on. It makes him feel safe. I had to rearrange his room so his bed faced a certain way.
HE SLEEPS!!! That's all I care about! 
The cutest thing is he is really close to his older sister Genius. She is the only other one in the house who really gets him, and can comfort him. If he has a nightmare, she lets him sleep in her bed. I can't even think about when she goes away to college! I'm hoping he will be a little older and able to handle it. 
He loves being an older brother to the twins. It makes him feel smart and he likes to teach them things. Like coloring, or playing something together.
Since the twins he has grown so much with being able to understand emotions more. They will tell him I don't like it, so he knows to stop what he is doing.
It is kind of funny though when he accidentally knocks one of them down. He will leave her crying on the floor and I will ask him what do you think you should do? Then he will go over pick her up and give her a hug. So cute, it melts my heart.
He has even tried some new foods, and when I made pork chops different he had a small meltdown, took some deep breaths and ate the whole thing! Even the green beans he tried to hide in his napkin!
it complicated, you know? Some still think I let him get away with too much. Um no, I pick my battles with him. Some think he gets "it" since he is 11. Um no, he doesn't but whatever. Some think I baby him, or he's spoiled or it's because he's the only boy. Some even think Autism is a garbage diagnosis, and it's nothing like him from what they read online! Um really?! I don't know what you are reading but it describes him exactly! All I know is I love him and I don't think you can ever love too much!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My boy :)

I guess I will start at the beginning......I didn't really realize anything was wrong. 11 years ago Autism wasn't as public as it is now so I had no idea what any signs would be. I have 6 girls and 1 boy so most things I was just like I guess boys act  this way. Things didn't really get noticeable until school started. Again between moving, my husband not admitting something might be wrong and having twins I wasn't really worried. Until he turned 10. It just became so obvious, like a light bulb went off for me and my husband. Between how he played, the weird things he does, how random he is, how he has no filter and says things so matter of factly, how he always has a problem with socks, clothes, his bed sheets and comforter, needing a night light, his obsession with Legos, not understanding jokes or sarcasm, smells, anxiety, throwing up, biting his nails, sucking his fingers until he was 9, nightmares, not adjusting well to change, how selective he is with who he gives direct eye contact, how he has such a hard time expressing himself, the meltdowns, how he can watch the same thing over and over, how he scripts from movies and  remembers the little details that i didnt even notice, and on and on. 
So in 4th grade we agreed to testing through the school. Test, psychologist etc. my first IEP meeting I thought I might throw up. I finally said can we get past all these charts telling me how low my son is? I didn't say it but I was thinking the next person who says he is so low is going to get a punch in the face! So he's like 2yrs behind. Has a hard time retaining information. We all agreed there is no point in holding him back since he will either shut down completely or not retain anymore information anyway. He is high functioning and his focus is  in oral expression. We believe he understands  a lot more than he is able to verbalize. He started with OT, speech, help, accommodations etc.
I went through a really rough time. I was wracked with guilt for not noticing, for not getting him help sooner etc. then I was so myself, the school, my husband and God. He's my only boy, really God? Thanks a lot. 
Thankfully I got over it right away and started to focus on my boy, how amazing he is. How no one knows him like I do. That these people don't have his best interest like I do. I gotta get my act together and figure out how to help him.
The rest of 4th grade was not so great. I would get calls from the special Ed teacher saying he's not cooperating, or I lost him today etc. at first I was still so overwhelmed and didn't   know what to say or do. They were still so focused on behavior. He was pushing at recess, he talked during a fire drill, he was looking at someone else's desk etc. I was so thankful  for summer break! 
I really started to do some research, talk to some people, and find out my rights and my sons. When it was meet the teachers for 5 th grade I was on top of it. I told them exactly what I was expecting, what's in his IEP etc. this year has been so much better! No dumb phone calls, they keep me informed and I email often to check in. They know better now then to call and say something like I can't get him to work today! Now it's really what are YOU doing to keep my son motivated and on task? I am pleased with all his accommodations, they really seem to be helping. He is really progressing! He graduated from OT, and we already discussed what's in place for 6th grade.
I just take one day at a time...some days really great, and some not so yesterday...we just didnt do HW...oh well tomorrow is another day :)