Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Resurrection of the Blog

Well, here we are....2015.  When I rang in 2014, I thought it was going to be a great year, and it was!  Many, many good things came in 2014.  Many new friends, many new adventures, many new "firsts".

But as I rang in 2015, I was filled with worry, hurt, dread, etc.  Unfortunately, I could see the horizon and there were many things that caused the worry and anxiety.

Today I learned that a dear friend of mine's husband had lost his battle with cancer.  Cancer.  It's always f*(#ing cancer.  I am so damn tired of that word and all that follows it.  My friend and her husband did not deserve this as part of their story.  That did not deserve to have this pain in their heart. No one ever does, yet there it is, cancer.

As 2015 was coming to closer, I thought about resurrecting this blog, not for others to read, but for me to have a place to put feelings to "paper".  

So, here it is...the resurrection of "My Crazy Sweet Life" and with it comes all that the title implies.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Autism Gone

I read an article today, that perfectly explained Jake's early diagnosis of Autism and to today, where his Autism is barely recognized.  The article is posted in it's full content below.

This article is the perfect description of Jake and where he was and where he is now.  Although, I don't really agree with the 'age out' reasoning.  I believe his success is contributed to the 40+ hours a week of therapies he was submerged into starting at age 2.  I owe so much to the therapist's that worked so hard with him and that were so patient with him.  Those therapists were the ones that gave my son his words and helped enable him to say 'mom' for the first time at age 2!  

My son has come a long way and I am so proud of who he was then, who he is today and who he will become in the future.
I'm trying to hold him, but he's squirming. The airport lounge is packed with people, and I can feel all eyes on me: the dad who cannot appease his toddler. Brandy sees me struggling, and comes up with a quick fix. She flips over the stroller. She places Jackson next to it. He begins to spin one of the wheels with his hand. He keeps spinning it. Over and over and over. He's completely absorbed. I look at Brandy quizzically. She shrugs.
PLUS: What is Autism?
Jackson was 3 years old at the time, and by all accounts -- from mother's intuition to the experts' definition -- he was on the spectrum. The behavioral psychologists saw what we saw, but were hesistant to make an official diagnosis. His brain is still developing. So much can change in six months. So time passed. His clothes went from 4T to 5T. Birthday candles were lit, blown out, and saved in the kitchen drawer. By age 6, the appointments with the behavioral psychologists were over. The autism books came off my wife's nightstand. Our tears were redirected to other things like kindergarten graduations.
It's a mystery we still don't understand. Did he have autism and develop out of it? Did he ever have autism? Slowly but surely, experts are unraveling this developmental disorder, and last week a small but groundbreaking study may just prove that Jackson is not alone.
PLUS: Should I Label My Kid?
The study, funded by the National Institute of Health, researched 34 individuals ages 8 to 21 who had been diagnosed with autism early in life. The study found that they no longer had the symptoms. The conclusion: Some people may age out of autism. Of course, the autism community is buoyed by the findings, but are cautious to say this is a common outcome.
Let's add to this discussion a study that appeared in Pediatrics last year. It focused on 61 children aged 14 to 35 months who were on the spectrum. Two years after their initial diagnosis, 20 percent of those children no longer met the ASD criteria, which suggests that either the children are improving or were misdiagnosed from the start.
Meanwhile, the prevalence of autism has consistently been on the rise. In 1998, it was 1 in 1,000. In 2002, it was 1 in 150. Today, it's 1 in 88. Is it our increasing awareness that's inflating those figures? Is something mutating in our DNA? Does it lurk in our air or cleaning products or groundwater?
That's the thing with autism: There is no pathology. It's not in the blood. Biopsies don't detect it. It doesn't appear when you shine a penlight into the pupil. It makes perfect sense that this disorder is represented in awareness campaigns by a puzzle piece.
For our family, the autism spectrum was like the Alaskan winter. There was no light. The darkness went on and on and on. Then one day, a yolk-hued color broke across the horizon. And it stayed. But we haven't forgotten what the darkness was like.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musings

So, I thought I would start Monday's off with a little reflection of the weekend and some of the funny things my kids say.

Jacob: On our way to a hiking event on Saturday with the Tiger Scouts, I was telling him something about his sister, Grace, and I said "On the other hand...blah, blah".  And he said, "Right, like on her other foot...blah, blah"!  The kid is so literal!  Cracks me up!!

Caroline: I was in the shower getting ready for work this morning when she came in and says, "Mom, I had a nightmere (not misspelled, it's how she pronounces it ;)), and I HAVE to take a bath!".  I initially said no because we were running late but she was so insistent that whenever someone has a nightmare they MUST take a bath.  ????  How could I refuse??  However, I have absolutely no idea where she came up with this!!

Have a great rest of the week, peeps :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


We have found it!!  No, really!!

For those of you who don't know, we moved from the West coast to the East coast!

We put this plan in motion over 4.5 years ago and it in March we made it happen!  It's truly amazing how all the stars aligned and got us to our dream locale!

Here's how it started:

Back in 2007, I had just started at my company and the twins were 10 months old.  I had been at said company for about 7months when I started talking to James about the fact that my company had another location (amongst others) in Raleigh, NC and what did he think about us possibly moving there.  He was up for it!  Right off the bat!  So, we decided to fly there in October 2007 for a quick trip there to see if it was even a place we could see living.

So, we went!  And, of course fell in love with it immediately!  We fell in love with the people, with the climate, with the housing prices (:)), with everything!  We toured some housing developments in Raleigh, Cary, Apex & Holly Springs.  There were things we liked about each city, but the minute we set foot in Holly Springs, it was a no-brainer!  We walked up and down the sidewalks in the division we liked and saw kids upon kids playing outside riding their bikes with the other kids in the neighborhoods.  We saw neighbors conversing with each other and hanging out on their front porches together!  We walked away from that sub-division and couldn't believe what we had just seen.  It was everything we wanted for our children.  We wanted to raise them in a community that put family first and this was it!   I knew that this was my Utopia!

So, we came home and put the plan in motion to sell our house and move as soon as we could.  I was told that I had a job in NC and the only piece missing was James getting a job. 


After a month or so of not feeling well, I realized I was pregnant!  Apparently, North Carolina really does agree with me, because we conceived Caroline while we were out scoping the place out.  Hence her name, Caroline after North Carolina :)

So, that put the plan on hold for awhile.  Once we were able to catch our breath, we put the plan back in motion and in September of last year, I approached my work again not only did I get a new job out there, I got my DREAM job!  In addition to supporting a great VP here, I am also in charge of all the Community Outreach for our RTP office! 

So, then I came back out in February to secure housing, which I did and got the house I wanted, but what really cemented that this was the right choice, was that while I was out here finding us a home, James was immediately contacted by a headhunter and an interview was set up with a company the headhunter believed was a great fit for James.  he interviewed via Skype and before I even got back to CA he had a job offer!  A great one and he took it!  That was it!

I am amazed at how the puzzle pieces fell into place and everything happened the way it did.  I was truly meant to live on the Southern East Coast!  In fact, right now it is a balmy 85 and instead of being inside in the A/C, I prefer to be sitting on front porch enjoy this beautiful balmy weather!

Life is glorious for me out here.  I haven't felt this at peace in a long time :)  Life is really good right now!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Revelation

So, here I sit on my 42nd birthday and I have just had a BIG revelation.

Lately, I have been withdrawn, down and out. Very blue.  I felt uninterested in work, in my family, in everything.  I would go to work and it was work.  Just that, work.  I would come home do what I could to get by.  I would make dinner, help with the homework, but was disconnected from everyone.  The kids, my husband, everyone.  Wasn't feeling it and didn't know why. 

Then, today it hit me.  I don't like who I am anymore. 
The person that having kids has forced me to be. 
The Nag. 
I am a broken, tired record. 

I am constantly repeating myself.....All. The. Time!   Times 3!!!

One of the kids will ask if they can do something.  When the answer is no, it instantly becomes a debate and an argument and then The Nag comes out.  I really, really do not like her. 

Before I became a Mom, I had a very different perception of who I was going to be and how I would parent my children.  I really DID think that I could be their friend as well as their parent and if I could just explain to them the reason why they could not do something, that it would suffice and we all would magically smile and all would be right with the world. 

Hmmpphhh...Not even close to my real life.

I am their parent and they are typical children who want to defy my every rule.  It's what kids do.

So, what's the remedy?  I wish I knew.   I don't want to be this person anymore.  I don't want to feel like I am the Heavy.   I want to be the 'light' person that once existed within me.  The person that wasn't bugged by very much.  Who was laid back and easy going. 

I am really going to try and change some things within and see if I can find a piece of the person I used to be.  Right now, all I see when I look in the mirror is the shell of me. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Common Sense

I know that I will probably be creating a s!$t storm with this post, but it is what I feel and believe, so it shall be ;)

Today, January 20, 2012 a mother and a father have asked that today be a day that we all remember children that have been injured or died from a vaccination(s). Their daughter, Stacy, who was born premature, passed away at 8 weeks old after getting 9 vaccinations in one day!  9 people!!  These are little tiny babies, with little tiny immune systems and they should NOT be given this many in one day!  It is insane!

Don't get me wrong, I agree with some (not all) vaccines, but I adamantly do not believe that they should be given this many in one day.

Ask yourself this.  Have you ever stopped to research what is in these vaccines?  It is horrifying!  Once you know what is in them you become very choosy on which ones your kids will get.

Here are few ingredients of a some of the vaccines:

Polio: Baby cow blood serum, glutamate (msg), formaldehyde, monkey kidney cells (yes, you read that right.  FREAKING MONKEY KIDNEY CELLS!!!)
Rotavirus: Monkey kidney cells, and traces of fetal cow blood.

 And no, I am not one of 'those people' that believe that thimersol has had anything to do with any kind of delay Jake has had.  However, I do believe that had I let my Pediatrician give him the MMR when she recommended it, that I would have a vastly different child on my hand and NOT in a good way.  I, whole-heartedly, believe in every fiber of my being that I did the right thing in delaying the MMR shot.  I do believe that not all kids can handle all the vaccines the same.  Each person's chemistry is different and each person's body reacts differently.  Facts have proven that.

I do believe that some vaccines are not worth the risk.  Take for instance the Hep B vaccine.  This disease is most prevalent in Third World Countries where sanitation is poor and or through nonexistent sewer plants.  The disease is also passed through IV drug needles.  This vaccine is recommended at birth, for reasons I completely do not understand.  I knew that when Caroline was born, she would not be getting that vaccine because a) she wasn't going to be exposed to an IV drug needles and b) she wouldn't be traveling abroad.  I also don't believe in getting them vaccinated against the flu.  And really, how do you really do that when they are about 10,000 different strains out there and when a vaccine is given it is typically given for one flu strand.  

So, today please take a moment to think about all those babies that have been adversely affected by vaccines.

Here is to the link about baby Stacy:

These are just a few examples and all ingredients can be found in each vaccine's product insert that you can request from your Pediatrician.  The info that I am quoting is from the book "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Robert Sears.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Letter of Thanks

Recently I wrote a letter to Jake’s Pre-K Teacher, Ms. Celeste.  Mind you, I was terribly tardy in sending it as Jake started Kindergarten in the fall and graduated Pre-K in June.  Typically when the school year ends, it is nice to bring in a thank you for the Teacher that has done so much for your child.  I, however, was remise in doing this.  Bad mommy!!
I do have a good reason for this, but really (as a friend recently told me), a simple deed is better than no deed at all.
Obviously, I knew Jake would be leaving this Teacher and had plenty of time to reflect and pick a perfect gift for her.  But, I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to her.  I actually think I was more attached to her than Jake was, and he really was! 
She did so much for him in the two years he was with her.  He made strides that blew our expectations and hers.  How do you thank someone who gave your son his voice?  I kept going back and forth on what I would give her, and no gift seemed perfect.  A Starbuck’s gift card?  Not good enough.  A gift card for the movies?  Not good enough.  Nothing seemed worthy.  I stumbled over this and failed and delivered nothing at all. 
I kept thinking, I will write her a letter today.  That day came and went.  The words never came to me.  I was tongue tied and didn’t know what to say, only because I had so much to say.  Does that make sense?  I wanted her to feel my gratitude.  My forever feeling of thankfulness for all that she did.  Every time I went to write, my mind froze.  Then, a few days before Thanksgiving, she was on my mind again and the words seemed to flow.  I only hope my words were not too late.
My letter to his Teacher:
Dear Celeste,
I'm sure at this point, you probably have thought that we all fell off the face of the earth!  Well, we haven't! 
I've just been tongue tied and have unfortunately fallen into the category of "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
I have thought about you almost daily since Jake left to start Kinder and when it was time for his graduation to Kinder and him leaving you, it became very difficult for me.  You (and your staff) gave so much to Jake and invested so much in his success and it is because of you all that he is where he is today.  From where we started when he was 11months old to now, is incredible.  The strides and achievements he has made have been nothing short of a miracle and much of that success is because of you!!
I am forever grateful that you came into our lives and helped my son so much and there is no gift that would ever compare to the gratitude I owe you.  Please know that our silence was nothing more than denial and sadness on my part.  I was so proud that he was able to move on to Kinder, but was sad that it also meant he was moving on from you :(
So, during this time of Thanks, I give thanks to you for being so instrumental in my son's life!  Best to you and your family during the holiday season!
All my best,