Saturday, December 7, 2013


I pretty much got sideswiped by November. We lost 3 cars in 4 weeks, I learned I have multiple disks bulging into my spinal cord, I got a severe breast infection complete with cellulitis and abscess, and we got hit with some financial crappiness. Seriously November was terrible!

But it's December now. It's Christmas time and while huge part of me want to cry in my cornflakes and pout about all the crap that I have been handed, I refuse to.

I am so blessed. I am so loved. My life is awesome because I woke up today.I may be home bound right now and I may have to rely on other people right now. But, I am blessed to have those people.

The person who stole our van also wrote themselves a check. Our mortgage was refused due to ISF. That all got fixed right away and for that I am grateful.

The person who stole our van took our children's car seats including a beautiful britax seat. That was all fixed right away as well and Evie doesn't hate her new seat as much. I am grateful.

The person who stole our van also took my 6 wrap, my ergo, and my meitai wrap- my three favorites for out of the house baby wearing. A stranger to me sent us a beautiful 6 wrap in colors that make me feel happy and safe and comforted. A complete stranger sent me a beautiful Tula in the same print I had been drooling over forever. I am grateful.

The person who stole our van also stole Grace's stroller. A friend made time to send her DH up with one for us. I got to visit with a delicious little two year old with the best cheeks ever. I am grateful.

My church, my friends, strangers, and even people in our family have pulled together to fix this. For the first time in a long time I feel loved by some people I really thought didn't care and I am reminded how loved we are by these people who are in our lives. People that just made an effort to let me know they are thinking about us, praying for us, loving us, even from afar. I am grateful.

It made me think again about God.
Time and time again I have been questioned about faith. "how can your God make this happen"
I do not believe that God placed me here, but it was allowed to happen for a reason. Those reason may be about me, my kids, my husband, or anyone in our circle. I don't know why. But I do know this...

It is all for his Glory. It is through his fire I am refined. That thought and the support of a few really amazing people I get p and I keep focused. It is that thought that keeps me from delving into an OCD nightmare. I can feel it looming one false step it will take me down. I do not doubt it.

But I have faith.
He gave his only son for me. I got this. Because compared to that , what I got isn't even close,
My kids weren't in the van. My kids are healthy. My MMIL is also healthy (praise God). I have an amazing husband, parish, and God. Everything is under control.

To the person who took our van and cashed that check.
I don't know what you are feeling or thinking. I don't know if you still have our van. Please know that I am asking everyone to say a prayer for you too. That you see how much you are worth in God's eyes. That you know the kind of outpouring of love I have seen since you took our van. I pray for you every time I pray for me. Because you can strip me of my possessions, my money, my sense of safety, and my sense of peace for a moment. But nothing you can do can make me stop loving and praying for you. Because God loves me even when I screw up ( and trust me have I ever screwed up) and he loves you too. You don't have to believe the wind exists to feel it and even when you can't see it, it is still there.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

3 days

Our van was stolen Early Sunday morning. Change is hard for those of us that aren't on the spectrum. Add to that the rigid thinking and you have disaster. Every ounce of me wants to hide under a rock and pretend the world around me is gone.

I am beside myself.

My husband made the distinction that at least we are not Job from the bible. He is right of course. It could be so very much worse. For those of you not familiar with the story of Job. his entire life crumbles around him. He looses everything. Including his children.

Yes even his children.

We have lost a lot this past year but this past year I can say I have been more focused on God than ever before. My faith is stronger than it has ever been. I am listening.

The story of Job has been on my mind since the day the van was taken. I remember it's really just "stuff" it can be replaced. We all still have each other.

Then last night Grace climbed on Tyler's bunk bed and fell off, on her head.
My first thought was " this is it, this is where the shit gets real. Please God"

She is fine. By the grace of God she fell on a down comforter and it broke her fall like an air bag.
I have never been more grateful that my son's room is a mess than I was last night. As I watch Nate, Grace, and Evangeline all playing together on the floor beside me I am once again humbled and blessed.
We got some fantastic news yesterday as well. Praise God!

To the person who took our van,
I don't know why you would do such a thing. I do know that everyone makes bad choices. Everyone makes mistakes. There is no mistake you cannot be forgiven for. It's just a van. I pray no one was hurt during this. We are praying that you have a sudden change of heart and let someone know where our van is. We, as a family, will continue to pray for you. I pray this was a sudden and single case of bad judgement on your part. If not and you are having substance problems or you need something. There is help for you. I will personally help you if I can. Know that no matter how many mistakes you make You are STILL LOVED and in my prayers.

It is through your fire Lord I am refined. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Friend for Sammy

Sam showing off his Silly Face

Sam has a new friend. This little girl seems to totally get him. Every morning she comes to the gate and walks with him to his bus stop. J's mom meets them at the other corner and stays with them at the stop until the bus comes.

Those of you with kids like Sam know how huge this is.

She knows he is different and quirky and she likes that about him. She helps him without being condescending or rude. She assumes he can unless he says he can't.

They had a fight last week. Sam was able to talk to her about the issue in very concrete terms and they sorted it out between them. No parent facilitation at all. Which for Sam was huge. Just two kids figuring it out without parents in a healthy functional way. I could have exploded with how proud I was of them!

Today she met him at the door and remind him "Sam , don't forget today is gym. *pause*So grab your sneakers." She knows how Sam feels about sneakers and she was so matter of fact about it. No judgement. No stress.

The shocker


He turned around, put on his sneakers, and walked out the door.
No Tears

Except from me.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I don't have bone cancer.

I could complain. I have so many things I would like to complain about right now. I don't want to be that person. You know the one I mean. The person you see at the store and avoid?

Yeah, I don't want to be that person. I think I might be sometimes though because I never seem to know when to shut up.

I have had a tough day. The kind of day that makes your skin crawl. There were some awesome highlights that made it worth it and in the end balanced it all out.

But I don't have bone cancer. After that thought, everything else seems pretty doable doesn't it?

 I am healthy. I have 6 amazing wonderful children. Even if that 6th baby was a bit of a surprise. Sammy has been amazing today. Totally in control and just incredible. So incredible I let the kids have one piece of halloween candy.


Sam has so far kept himself in check but Nate was a mess. It was almost funny. He just had no impulse control. At one point tonight he dumped an entire bottle of dressing on his plate. Three seconds after I reminded him " be careful , it comes out fast".

Sam has also made a great new friend. More on that tomorrow. but for today.
I don't have bone cancer. After that, nothing else really seems that bad.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When You Miss Someone.

When someone you love dies suddenly it changes things inside your heart forever. It leaves a black hole inside your heart that swallows up the air in the room when you go near it. It takes all the energy from you, just for a moment, every time it crosses your mind.

That is how it feels to loose someone you love when you haven't been able to say goodbye.

It's been 4 years since he passed. I remember the phone call of my dear friend crying hysterically. I remember sitting on my couch on South Main, it was blue with white diamonds. I remember the smell of my grilled cheese sandwich burning. I remember feeling like I couldn't get to her fast enough to wrap my arms around her. I remember shopping for his suit to bury him in and buying socks for him. He deserved socks with no holes... and shoes.

I just miss him so much.

He loved me even when I was a mess, no matter what.

I saw him just days before he died. He was down by the Common Park. I didn't stop because I didn't have time. that eats at me.

He had children that loved him. Oh how he loved his family. Despite everything, he always loved them. He was so proud of the three of them.

I miss his crooked smile. I miss him forcing me to eat cake. I miss him hugging me so tight I couldnt breath. I miss the silliness that was a giant part of him.  I just miss him.
Without him there is a giant hole in my heart.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You Cannot Possibly Understand

Until you walk in my shoes, you cannot possibly understand the way this feels.

The way it feels when your 9 year old child throws Legos at you and screams that you are a moron. When he hits you while you are holding his baby sister. How it feels when his behavior escalates the closer we get to a school day, and how bad it is when he walks in the door.

Because at school, he behaves. At school, he is calm, quiet and engaged. Because around the rest of the world he hides it. Because, he doesn't believe people will accept him just as he is or because he thinks he is damaged. People, even the ones who get it, don't see it.

Sometimes I don't see it. But those moments are spent waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Since returning to school Sam has had a major behavior every single day. Since returning to school we have had to restrain him to keep him safe on 4 separate occasions. for the first time in 3 years he is hitting me again. I have bruises from my nine year old son.

My heart is breaking.
Until you walk in these shoes you cannot possibly understand what it's like to watch your son get in the car, still in his pajamas, to go to the crisis center.

I am broken, frightened, angry, and so very tired.

The kind of tired that sits in your bones and wraps around you like an old grey sweater. The kind of tired that is just like your shadow... everywhere you go.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What If...

What if I removed the label? What if the word autism stopped being used in our house at all? What if he was simply just Sammy? What if I pulled him from school and his diagnosis no longer mattered? What if I changed the way we do things? What if I ripped off the labels placed on him so many years ago and started over? Would it change who he is, was, or will be? Does it change anything other than the way we look at him? Would it ease his heart? What if Sam was no longer autistic simply because I chose to never use the label again?
What if he just went back to being Sammy?
Would it be so bad?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Weekend away.

We went to "The Cabin" this weekend for Sam's birthday. There was much fun involved. There also happened to be a lot of fighting (between Sam and Nate) and a lot of wine (thanks Memere) but most of all lots of great stuff.
We enjoyed some time with Memere and Pepere.
There was much cuddling.

Evangeline turned 6 months old!
Sleepy half birthday

We found a cute little breakfast place in Littleton called The Coffee Pot. The food was pretty good and the coffee was OK. The service was AWESOME! Evie sat in a highchair for the first time. She bobbled around a little and the waitress came and duct taped her lovie to the table so she would get hurt. It was very sweet. Evie also enjoyed her first taste of cantaloupe.

Sister cuddles
first taste
We found a cute little swimming hole on Rt112 . The kids found a toilet shaped rock and some super shiny rocks as well. I got to play with my camera settings and the kids enjoyed jumping from the rocks.

We went to Chutters and checked out the longest candy counter in the world! We even found some all natural gum the kids could have.
Nate could barely contain himself

In front of the candy counter.
We discovered this weekend Sam loves to sing and it really annoys Nathaniel.

We cuddled by an Epic fire that Tyler built. Tyler rode the lawnmower and cut the grass and the boys helped him.
Tyler and his handy work

Wine and Snuggles. It doesn't get any better.
We met a giant wolf spider on a free stroller.(ok maybe not giant but big enough) and Nate was thrilled by it.

How was your weekend?

Grace was "tickled" with the flowers outside Chutters

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Sam is 9 now. It's so hard to believe that time has flown by like this. It's been 6 years since his DX and he has made amazing strides!

He wanted pancakes for breakfast and so he got that. I made him some special pancakes. He was pleased.
He wanted meatloaf for dinner, stuffed with cheese, and covered in a bacon blanket.

yes that is bacon weave 
My mom made him a cake because Nanni makes the better frosting.

We left that same night for his trip to the cabin.
More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Let me very clear. I am proud of Sammy and who he has become. I am amazed by Sammy and everything he is. I love him so much that it hurts to try and quantify it.

But it is often hard. It is usually a challenge. It is always just a little extra effort.

It's Sammy.

My rainbow boy.
The boy who smiles from inside out even if he doesn't ever smile back at me. He loves to hug me these days and always asks "Why do you smell so good there Mommy?"  He tells me now that he has big feelings. He cries from sadness now as well. It isn't just angry and happy. But , he still has some of the most annoying stims (currently a screech), he calls names when he gets even a little bit angry, and he hits. He makes me so angry sometimes that I want to run away from home. Just take the itty bitty and go far far away. But to think about life without him makes my eyes burn and my throat catch. He is after all my rainbow baby ...right?

He has taught me so many incredible things. Far more than I have taught him. He frustrates me beyond belief and makes me so very proud every day.
Some days, like today, it's hard to breath. The weight of life with Sam  can often feel like falling into an endless hole filled with jello.
Green Jello.
My Nemesis.

What is the alternative though?
Life without? I know what that is like to some degree. I don't have my Emma with me.
Sam Blowing out the candles
So my Darling Rainbow Boy,
Please know I love you with all that I am. Every moment. Every breath. Every second of every single day. Forgive me for the tears that fall because sometimes the bittersweet of it all is just too much to hold inside.
Emma's angel Dan Bought in 2010 for me

My Dearest Emma,
Please know that even though i spend the day laughing and celebrating you are also so very close to my heart. Know That I love you as well, though I never held you in my arms. There will always be empty space where your hand belong in mine, silence where your name belongs on my lips, and longing in my arms for you.

Happy Birthday My Sunshine Boy Sam and Dearest Emma.
today we celebrate all that you are.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bad Parents

I aim to be gentle with my children. I try to listen to what they say before I react. No good comes from jumping off the mountain and assuming the worst. Right? Well today Nate lost it. he just started crying over something and was so upset and angry he turned all red in the face. I laughed because it caught me off guard. This of course made him feel like I was laughing at him and that made him even more upset.
Instead of being the mother I ry to be, I lost my temper and sent him up to his room. The exact stuff I try to avoid.
It all worked out ok.

My Dearest Nate,

 You are often such a perplexing ball of boy stuffs. You are so full of life, energy, love, excitement, and emotion. Sometime I know I am too hard on you and your 6 year old self. I pray every day that I am not creating damage in your being. I love you so my little butter bean. I need to remember to look through your eyes more often like I did today when you were so sad about the lobsters. Your tiny heart ripped apart because you were so excited.

My dear boy you feel everything so acutely. You and Sammy find joy and love in the simplest of things. Rocks, sticks, bugs, and plants all bring you so much joy. I love watching you seek out everything you love.

I love your power and strength to do as you see fit. The confidence in which you seek the world astounds me because I am often too meek. you may handsome little boy are a force to be reckoned with.

I hope I have taught you that everything around you is a gift from God and deserves to be treasured. I understand your anger when others do not understand you. I appreciate you child and your ability to stand for the truth. You make me so proud.

I have watched you every single day of your life, never missing one day. I am amazed by who you are and what you have become. I cannot imagine how incredible an adult you will be. I am inspired by the carefulness in which you accomplish things. You are such a gift to me.

I know today was tough and I tried to help you gently, because its your tomorrow I am shaping. There is no room for cruelty and anger here. Just love , my sweet boy. I am sorry I yelled and sent you to your room when all you really needed was an extra hug and reassurance. You did not deserve that from me. you deserved to have your trust in me honored. I could promise not to ever make that mistake again but we both know it might happen.
You forgave me easily and snuggled beside me and our hearts healed together.
You are the epitome of love my young son and I am so very proud of you. Keep up the good work.

I have watched you the last few days and weeks finding your own self and dictating more of who you are to the world around you. Allow me to keep up with you darling boy and together we will get where we are going. I want to hold your hand and be beside you. I may not know all the answers but I do know some. Trust me as you learn to trust yourself.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

When Your Rainbow Baby Brings a Storm

For those of you that don't know what a rainbow baby is.

A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.
"We lost our last pregnancy, but now we have a rainbow baby."
~Urban Dictionary~

Sammy was my rainbow baby though I had never heard that phrase before. Rainbow babies are supposed to bring closure and joy and peace. He brought those things simply because he was a baby. He was born during an extremely tumultuous time in my life. there wasn't much peace about me. I also had not come to terms yet with Loosing Emma and so I never felt that relief other people might have. It doesn't help either that I lost Emma on the same day that Samuel was born.

Sam is a thunder storm in the making. He rumbles like thunder in the distance and often strikes like lightning. The storm rages in him some days as he rumbles by. It's over almost before it began.
No amount of discipline will ever change that. Nothing I can do controls the storm in him. He is simply, himself.

He has been particularly difficult this summer. Part hormones and part dis-regulation. He has been next to impossible.We are waiting for a therapist for him. I can't help but love this kid though Freak outs and all. It can get ugly here. As bad as it can be, he still hugs me and snuggles in. He squeezes me tight and asks why I smell so good. He also calls me names when he is angry. It can be maddening. While I can't change the autistic parts of him (and honestly I am not sure I would if I could) I do wish it was easier for him. I do wish life wasn't so much work for him. I do wish he was happier in his own skin. I spend hours up at night worried about the choices we make. Until you have had your own Special Needs child you can't possible understand what it is like to parent one, worry about one, love one, fear one and settle one.
He was supposed to be my rainbow baby. So what do you do when your Rainbow baby also brings a storm of his own?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Every year Sammy has a party and no one comes. Every year he doesn't get to invite friends because I drop the ball and forget to send out invites to people for him. This year it might be different. If no one comes it might make me sad though.  This year I remembered to send invites to ESY with him. YAY


Being autistic isn't easy for Sam. there are so many people who just don't get it. People are ignorant and think that because they see it from the outside , they know better.  While there are so many people in the world like that I try to just ignore the stupidity. I smile and speak calmly and walk away. Because, those of us in the trenches know differently, don't we.

It's hard for Sammy to make friends but it seems we have hit the proverbial jackpot with this homeschool group we have joined. Two specific boys, both spectrum kids, and a mom who really gets it. What a blessing. Sam also made a friend at ESY this year.

It seems that this year he might truly have friends at his birthday party.

I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I hope they come.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who I am not...

I may not be your idea of perfection.
    I am more lumpy then I used to be. My hair holds more silver in some places than the deep dark brown of my childhood. I may not wear name brand clothes or shoes, or be thin and fit and in style.

I may not be your idea of the perfect family with all our rowdy, excitable, full of life and sometimes unruly children. You may not agree with the way that I parent. You may not agree with my Catholic Faith or my very firm Pro-life beliefs.

Guess what.
I don' really care because it isn't about you anymore. Years ago it might have been. The whisperers in the store, the sideways glances, the raised eyebrows. It was just so foreign to me to see the judgement on people's faces or hear about their whispers behind my back. I was never raised that way.

I am finally at the point where I feel happy with who I am because I stopped looking through your eyes. I still have my moments when the tears burn hotter than a coal from the fireplace. I still have moments when I too wish I had that perfect house, perfect car, and perfect family appearance. There are times when I long for easy and simple.

But I made a choice years ago to trust God completely with our family in every way. Not too long ago in a moment born of sheer frustration and fear and anxiety I caught a glimpse of myself through my children's eyes. It broke my heart.

I was angry. I was trying to force them to be something that none of us are because I was still looking through your eyes. The eyes of the judgmental that don't understand who we really are. I saw our family through eyes of outside, unloving, unfair, and unkind judgement. My children deserve more than that from me.

Because I love them. Because I have been blessed with their keeping.
Because I started seeing myself through the eyes of my babies.

To them I am soft and warm. I am the arms that hold them and snuggle them to sleep. To them I am nourishment, love, peace, and hope. To them, I am the eyes they will see the future through. To my babies (even the older ones) I am home, I am their refuge. My unconditional love helps me to teach them about God's unconditional and unwavering love.

So I am done fighting your idea of who we SHOULD be.
The only judgments I am concerned about are God's alone.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No Click

I keep forgetting to grab my camera when I go out. So many missed opportunities for great pictures. I haven't posted much because things have been a little more up in the air here than usual. We have some house guests and while they have been wonderful, it's still a change.

We have had lots of fun too!

We had a pool party! A friend of ours from church invited the entire family over to play in the pool. Remember when Sam was afraid of the water?  He isn't anymore! In fact he has been difficult to get out of the water. He even went in without a giant life vest! This is the THIRD time in 2 weeks he has gone in a pool and enjoyed himself.
Some of the kids and I went off to a farm and learned about carrots. yes, carrots. We had a blast!

Then we all went to a playground with everyone but Tyler. I gave some of the kids a great lesson in what boogers are made of. It was a homeschool group meet up and it was a blast. The kids ran until they were ready to fall over. The information about the meeting talked about a big red slide. I thought , OK a big slide. I saw what I thought they were talking about and didn't think much of it.

Then I looked over at Samuel and Nate running for the break in the trees. I squinted a bit and notices stairs... and THIS

They weren't kidding about the slide. It was GINOURMOUS! The kids were using cardboard to make themselves go even faster! We enjoyed food and some great people.
Our house guests had their kids visit yesterday and sleep over (8 kids in one place) and it was great. I do enjoy all the different personalities.

Today I did laundry to make up for playing hookey all day yesterday.

Anyone want to help me put it all away?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ESY fail

Sammy's bus picks him up at 8 and on Tuesday (day 2 of ESY) I woke up late. Guess what time? Yup 8am. It was certainly a gift that everyone slept in but not so great that he missed his bus on a day we were going to a party at the beach. He decided he certainly wanted to go to school and got in the car but by the time we were ready there wasn't much time left for program so I kept him home and off he the beach we went. We had a magical time together. Sam made friends and so
it was a fail for me but a total WIN for Sammy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

ESY~ starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow Sam starts his ESY program. I am so excited for him... and me.
It's been a rough week. Sam has decided it's fun to do the exact opposite of everything I say right now. It's infuriating to say the very least. We have a lot going on right now and i think that might be part of it. The change in routine and everything else may just be too much for him.

I am at a loss as to how to handle it.
I welcome your suggestions!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rainy Day Anyway

We dropped the ball for Nate this year and didn't plan a birthday party in May, it was instead at the end of June (a month late). I planned it with his kindergarten graduation party. The day was simply designed to help him feel special. he is sometimes lost in the shuffle. Evie is the baby, Grace is the first girl, Sam is special needs... and then there is Nate.
Nate can be hard to take for some. He comes across as a strong willed child that doesn't care to listen. In fact he is a very excitable, enthusiastic child who needs a little extra time to process. He is super sensitive and  he can be very head strong. He has a wonderful personality once you get to know him. I really enjoy our days together. He can be such a ray of sunshine.
 We invited his friends from last years HS co-op play group. I love these people. They see Nate as the wonderful boy he is, they enjoy his company, and they don't judge his behavior by the same standard other people often do. The see his drive to explore as a wonderful thing and it makes my heart happy. It makes me less stressed and helps to show me he isn't actually being naughty a lot of the time. Nate can totally be himself. There are only a handful of people outside of this group that don't judge Nate,(or me) and we adore spending days with them too!

The day started out drizzly but I figured the rain would stop. We got there (the local beach) and we set up. It down poured and we all huddled under the pop up cover.
The kids were wet and cold and not happy. It looked like it was going to be a short party and that made so sad for Nate.

We hurried up and did his cake so we could let people leave without being sad. Some of the kids just played in the big water puddle beside our table. I took a second to ask God to please help me to make sure Nate wasn't disappointed.
Suddenly the rain stopped and though the sun wasn't out the kids were less miserable. We decided to go check out the ocean waves.
There was a big piddle near the beach entrance and the kids were thrilled with it!. They played in the puddle, played on the beach, and jumped the waves. The Sun ended up coming out and it turned out to be the best party ever for Nate and was exactly what I had hoped for him.