Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome to Holland

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page and I couldn't resist re-posting it here.

This is the perfect way to describe raising a child with special needs.

Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not share that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this....

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away....because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you many never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things....about Holland.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Son

I know that I talk a lot about Grace and Caroline and have shown pics of the girls and Jake, but have just realized that I have never written a post just about him.

I thought about why I hadn't yet done it and I think it's because I feel so protective of him. He is my son and that little boy owns my heart! And for reasons I am still unsure of, I have a hard time writing about him. Not because I don't want to share him with the world, but I think because I am just protective of him.

When Jake was 11months old, I knew something was off with him. There would be many times that I would say his name and he would not budge. I could scream it from the top of my lungs and it was like he had selective deafness. He would not hear me or recognize that I was calling his name.

There were times that he would stare out the window at the willow tree. Watching the switches blow back and forth. He would just get lost in his thoughts. It was actually very serene and calm to watch him so still and content.

He was obsessed with opening and closing drawers. He was obsessed with anything that had wheels...still is! He could/wouldn't talk. His vocabulary was very, very limited.

The first thought that entered my head was that he is Autistic. So we started down the road of evaluation after evaluation. It was a long, long process. That involved many, many appointments with speech & occupational therapists as well as a couple of child psychologists.

After all the testing was done it was decided that he would start intensive speech and occupational therapy, otherwise known as ABA therapy. He started all this when he was 24 months old. The timing worked out to be perfect as I was pregnant with Caroline at the time and had just started my maternity leave. So the therapist would come to our house everyday for 6 hours a day. It wasn't long before we started seeing immediate progress!

After about 2 weeks of therapy, I finally heard what I had been waiting months and months for....he looked over at me and said "Mama"! There was no holding back those tears. So many worries vanished that day. And the smile that was on his face was one of pride and accomplishment. He was so proud that he was finally able to communicate with us! I will never forget that day!

He is now 3 1/2 years old and goes to a state funded school everyday for 4 hours a day where he still continues his therapy. They say that he is intellectually off the chart, and now they are working on his social skills.

He has come such a long, long way from where he was just a year ago and I am so, so proud of my wonderful son.

I love you baby boy!


Monday, December 21, 2009

What time is it?

It is a running joke in my family that I am obsessed with time. Everytime I go in for another surgery (more on that in another post), the first thing I say when I wake up is "What time is it?
". Why? I have no idea. But it is an obsession. I will ask that question for the next couple or hours until the meds wear off.

Well funny thing's genetic! Grace has now become obsessed with the time. She will ask me at random times "what time it is?". Now remember she is 3 and has no concept of time.

Funny how the kids get the good and BAD traits ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Am I crazy??

I think I want to have another baby! Even as I type this it sounds insane! My husband and I are already stretched so thin emotionally as well as the financially, but the motherly instinct is calling at me!

I have two friends that as I type this could be having their babies. One is pregnant with twins, the other is pregnant with her third. Maybe that is what is making me want another one.

I miss the baby stage. I miss their sweet smell. I miss the cuddles.

From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted a big family. In my mind, it was always, "the more the merrier". But living where we do, does not make that easy. Daycare around here is astronomical!! Truth be told, that is the only reason why I am not pregnant right now! I am going to have to figure out a 'work-around' to this problem!

I guess all I need to do is go on another vacation sans kids and hope that I get knocked up ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This was Caroline's first time brushing her teeth with Bubba & Sissy! She was soo excited to have her own toothbrush!
I told her to say 'cheese', she turned, toothbrush still and mouth, and said "CHEESE!"
She is becoming such a big girl now! Where did my baby go??

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm not even sure where to begin with this post. So many thoughts are whirling away in my head and I'm not sure how to get them all out in one piece.

The guilt that goes along with parenting is at times debilitating. I struggle so much as a mom. I want my kids to have a 'perfect' childhood and I always seem to fall short on that order.

As you know I have 3 kids, 3 and under. People always say "wow" when I tell them that and then look at me as if I am amazing because of it. But what they don't see is that every fiber of me is cracked.

I'm guilty because I have to work. I'm guilty because I get frustrated when the twins act up...which at their age is almost always. I'm guilty because when I get to work from home, I don't have them with me and that I choose to send them to daycare and not home with me because I need a break. I feel guilty and awful for even having admitted that.

There are parents all around this world that would do anything to have their child around them bugging them and I, at times, send them to daycare.

My soul is in turmoil. I love my kids more than I could even express and only God knows how much they mean to me.

I struggle daily that I am not the parent that I thought I would be. I wish I had the patience to be the mom I always envisioned I was. I am sorely falling short of how I would be as a mom.

Everything is always rushed and no time to sit and smell the roses. We rush to get up and get out of the house. Then we rush when we get home to get dinner on the table. To get baths done. To get some type of quality time in before they go to bed. And that quality time, is usually filled with many timeouts and frustrated moments.

As silly as it sounds, I truly believe that I should have been a mother in the 50's. I truly dream of staying home with my babies and making our house a home. Ever since I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was be a mom and my dream has come true. But I feel that I am soo bad at this mom thing.

I am in awe of others that I see that appear to be handling motherhood so much better than I. And I wonder, how do they do it? They are working full-time and yet seem completely together and calm.

I know this post sounds very choppy and I apologize for that. But that is how it all is sounding in my head. Many, many questions and not enough answers.

I just want my kids to look back on their childhood and know that mommy loved them more than anything and that they look back with happy memories.

My children are my everything and I just don't want to fail them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MckMama Giveaway!!

This is too good to pass up! I hope I win! This would be more than awesome to win!

Good luck everyone!

MckMama Giveaway - just click here!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where is December going??

Oh my! The month is flying by.

Typically the day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas decorations are up, the tree has been bought and decorated.

Fast foward to today, 12/3 and the house is bare of Christmas decorations! I am slipping in my old age!

Seriously! It feels like I blinked and here we are in December already. I love, love this time of year and usually can't wait to decorate the house and get ready for a visit from Old Saint Nick. But geez, the days are going by much faster this year. And it doesn't help that by the time I get home from work it is dark and I cannot get into the shed to get the decorations out due to lack of light!

I am going to work from home tomorrow and make sure I get those damn decorations out before dark!