LivinLife123

Livin Life, one day at a time, and filling you in on the randomness of it all!

Mom Meltdowns February 29, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Link Ups,Parenting,thoughts — Sara @ 7:00 pm
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I was at Target today, minding my own business, roaming the store and enjoying the first day the little man’s been back to school after being out sick for almost 2 weeks. Browsing the sales, riding down the aisles on the bar below the cart….just being a jackass…or rather partaking in my own jackassary….then it happened, it hasn’t happened in a while, and while I try to be worry free for the most part sometimes those things you push to the back of your head because the logical part of you knows you can’t stress over what you can’t control finds a way to creep out.

 

What happened you ask?? One of my biggest fear came true…a giant green monster came through the front doors of the store, ran down the aisles screaming and growling…yanking everything off the shelves…pushing everyone who was in his path out of the way…searching frantically for ½ priced orange juice…once he found the oj….destroying everything in his path…he made his way….still screaming and trashing everything in his way…to the checkout. He then handed the cashier his expired oj coupon, and when the cashier politely, and slightly terrified, tried to politely explain the stores coupon policy the angry monster bit her head off, said “There’s your coupon bitch” and walked off…oj and expired coupon in hand….

 

 

Wait—that didn’t happen—but I have your attention now don’t I?? And I made you laugh a little too…didn’t I?? So now on to my real semi-emotionally related-meltdown….I’m roaming the aisle, goofing off, admiring my own genius for the long johns I found on clearance for super cheap, and I saw an older lady with 2 teenage boys…they weren’t related, it wasn’t a family outing…it was 2 special needs boys…who if I had to guess lived in some sort of group home and were out running errands….The boys were happy, the lady seemed caring…as I was searching for the right type of sausage I overheard them discussing the items they needed and who they were shopping for. One of the boys was walking down the aisle with his hands over his ears. And as I continued to search for the red meat free Italian flavored sausage for my calzones tonight they vanished down another aisle and that was it….That’s where most people would continue to shop and go about their business not giving it much more thought…not me…that moment, when I saw the group of three walk down a aisle in the store, minding their own business, that’s when I almost lost it…right in the middle of the store.

 

I accept the fact that stressing over what you can’t control is pointless, I understand that it doesn’t get you anywhere and I still believe that 100%, BUT that doesn’t mean feelings don’t creep up occasionally.  I accept Autism and all it Is & Isn’t. I accept I can’t control the future. I accept the fact that I must live forever to care for my children, as many special needs parents do…..But I still cannot see a special needs adult without almost losing it. It breaks my heart, not for the person, but for my own family….yes I know that makes me sound like a selfish ass…but I want it all for my kids….and while there are great long term care options available out there I hate thought of any of it! My babies need to stay babies forever…or better yet…insurance companies could realize that 1:91 children will be 1:91 adults before we know it,  and start covering more intensive therapies….Even better that that I need to find the magic trigger that makes each of cuties tick in order to help them grow to be the best they can be….

 

So you’re waiting to hear what happens next right??? Did I cry my eyes out in the middle of the store like a nutcase? Did I say too hell with it and take out my frustrations on the green expired coupon using monster, kicking him straight in his monster rear? Nope, nothing that exciting. Actually, I sucked up my feelings, shoved them deep down where they, along with all the other worries you can’t control, belong, and I went about my shopping. Feeling a little bummed at thoughts of what the future holds, but more than anything feeling excited to see my cuties after school, hug them, and tell them they are PERFECT!!!

 
REMEMBER [When those darn emotions and worries, about whatever it is you may be stressing about, start sneaking in] :::::Van Wilder said it best:::::Worryings like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere
 

 

Vanishing Words!? February 24, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Link Ups,Parenting,thoughts — Sara @ 7:56 pm
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Remember when your baby was first born, you’d watch him or her sleep? On nights they slept more than 2 hours you’d find yourself checking them in their crib to make sure they were still breathing…not in a morbid way, in a mom way….As they grow you learn to enjoy the silence, let sleeping babies sleep so to speak…right?

Then your kiddo gets sick for the first time, you’re up all night, even when they finally crash out. You’re checking fevers, checking breathing, etc.  I’m not alone so far…right? We’ve all done this….

Then came autism, and first words….when my son first started using words, I’d wake him every morning and ask him to talk to me. Make him repeat that one word he knew at the time. I just needed to make sure his words didn’t magically vanish while we slept. Why would words just disappear, with no rhyme or reason?…No logical reason, but nothing about autism at the time seemed logical to me.  I’m not a mom who knows her kids were born autistic and I’m not a mom who knows something else [whether environmentally related, vaccine related, whatever] caused the autism…Actually I believe autism is a combo of genetic and environmental triggers, and is at times misdiagnosed because it shares symptoms with other, possibly yet to be identified disorders. One day I think they’ll be able to break down what they today call ‘autism’ into 5, 10, 20 different conditions. There are too many variants in every case of autism for it all to be lumped into 1 category…but that’s neither here nor there..that’s actually just my ADD kicking in….getting back on track….

Hmm….where were we? Words!!! Once I realized the words wouldn’t magically vanish in my cuties sleep, next came the new speech/illness fear….Every time a cutie gets sick there’s the fear the sickness will take the words with it. Not in a weird mystic word sucking virus type of way, just in an I don’t really get it but it scares the beejeebus out of me kind of way.  I’m sure in time this fear too will pass and be replaced with some other odd parent fear, in the mean time I guess I’ll just drive the monsters crazy making them say words so I know they’re still there…

What are your irrational, semi crazy, odd, or just amusing mom fears?

Mama’s Losin’ It

As you know I’m a rule breaker bender, and this week’s topic was “Capture what it’s like to spend a day or a moment talking with your kiddo”….Instead I’m telling you what it’s like to worry that moment may never come again….In my rule bending defense, when you’re monsters are nonverbal sometimes you have to bend the rules to fit the topic…right? Either way, hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and I look forward to hearing your mom fears too…Come on now, I know I’m not alone!! 😉

 

Autism Is & Isn’t February 22, 2012

Filed under: Autism,kids,Parenting,thoughts,Uncategorized — Sara @ 5:27 pm
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Autism is:

  • Finding new creative ways to teach our cuties, it’s not that they aren’t smart it’s that they learn differently, you have to find what works for each child individually
  • Knowing when to stop pushing to avoid meltdowns / but knowing how much to push to encourage learning.
  • Positive Reinforcers (aka bribery)…and lots of them….hey I don’t work for free either…just saying
  • Different for every child …just as every child is different, autism or not
  • As a parent, trying to give your child all the fun experiences any child should get the opportunity to enjoy, all while sheltering them from the stares, the possible sensory overloads, and the general assheadness of many out there who mistake things like stimming for misbehaving
  • Celebrating the small victories
  • Remembering that autism is not our kids, our kids may have autism, but our kids are still just kids
  • Realizing that no matter how frustrating it may feel at times from the parent side of it, remembering it’s a million times more frustrating for our cuties…not being able to express what they are trying to, it’s heartbreaking
  • Being a translator…to the world my sons speaks a foreign language, to me he speaks pretty clearly
  • A constant fear of regression
  • You, as a parent, fighting for all the services your kids need and finding ways to make sure they get them

Autism isn’t:

  • Caused by lazy parents..while experts cannot agree on what causes autism, and I have my own 2 cents on the issue….it is 100% NOT caused by lazy parenting
  • All savants and rainmen, yes there are some true geniuses out there…some with autism, some without, but autism doesn’t always = geniusness
  • Excuses….as parents it’s our job to make sure our kids learn; learn right from wrong, learn appropriate behaviors, learn anything and everything they can learn, anything and everything we can teach them, no excuses are acceptable
  • Therapy 24/7, or at least it shouldn’t be….yes consistency is important, but remembering that everyone needs a break and needs down time is equally important. I don’ t get parents that push therapy all the time…My job is to be mom, to tackle the mom duties, the therapists job is to do therapy….my job is to carry over what I can into the home, not to do hours of nightly drills after my kiddos already put in a full day at school and after school therapy
  • Bad…I hate all the whinning…in fact I have 2 posts ranting all about it, just waiting for my Bloggy Blankitis to go away so I can finish up the posts….Venting is 100% okay, but realizing autism isn’t bad/terrible/tragic/the end of the world is so important.

So…to sum up my mini rant….Autism is learning new creative ways to make sure our cuties learn, everything else is just parenting….remembering our kids are still kids and are perfect just the way they are, and LOVING them like CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a final thought on being nonverbal, “Just because I have no words doesn’t mean I have nothing to say”.

 

30 Ways To Make A Mom Smile January 30, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,Lists,Parenting,Uncategorized — Sara @ 8:08 pm
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There’s a Trending Topic floating around in the online world 30 Ways To Make A Girl Smile, but I think 30 Ways To Make A Mom Smile would be way more amusing…so here we go, in no particular order:

  1. Your kids actually eating what you’ve made for dinner
  2. Your kids not complaining, while they are eating, about what you’ve made for dinner
  3. Everyone in the house remembering where the hamper is
  4. ….and how to use it
  5. Getting to sleep in, even just 15 minutes
  6. Your spouse making kiddo breakfast
  7. Your spouse making any kiddo meal
  8. ….and cleaning up the dishes after
  9. The kids throwing their trash in the trash can instead of hiding it under/in the couch
  10. Curling up on the couch watching Saturday morning cartoons or movies with the kiddos
  11. Little boys remembering to flush
  12. Little boys remembering to put the lid down BEFORE flushing
  13. Caffeine IV’s
  14. Mommy Juice – Yes it’s real…it’s that special juice mommies drink at the end of a long day to avoid ripping someone’s head off during evening shenanagins
  15. Someone inventing a washer/dryer combo, no more mildewey smelling stuff because I forget to switch the laundry for a days
  16. A laundry fairy *Calling the Laundry Fairy…can you hear me???*
  17. Good notes from the teacher saying how spectacularly awesome your kids are doing
  18. A full night’s sleep
  19. Homemade gifts from the children
  20. Family Vacations
  21. Free Family Vacations – Are you listening Disney & SeaWorld?? If you want to spend a special needs family of 5 to your park, all expenses paid, I’d be HAPPY to volunteer my family for the job ;p
  22. Grocery shopping when the store is nearly empty
  23. A kid free dinner out every now and then
  24. People learning not to stare….loud stimmy kids are NOT the same as loud unbehaved kids
  25. Diamonds, flowers, chocolates…really anything that sparkles, smells delish, or tastes sugary good
  26. Someone in the house taking a second to say ‘Hey we really do appreciate all you do’, you’d be amazed at how far a few simple words can go to make ones day
  27. The kids waking up the first time you wake them in the morning….or even the second….but by the fifth time it starts to get a little ridiculous lol
  28. A winning lottery ticket….okay this one isn’t just for moms but it’s be nice either way!
  29. Someone else taking the trash out…before the trash man runs
  30. Plastic Surgery – I know some of you may disagree but I say there’s nothing wrong with a little nip and tuck every now and then…kids can do a number on your body…oh can I add *FREE* to this one too? ;p

What’s on your list?

Wait…You mean you want more?? How about a few pics to make a mom smile 🙂

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Proper ways NOT to handle a baby

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And finally an old ad from a magazine to make us feel just that much about our parenting….

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Disclaimer****All of these pics were pics I ran across on various sites like FB and across the web. None were taken by me, but I’ve had them so long I can’t be positive where they all originally came from.*****

 

The One Week No TV Family Challenge August 22, 2011

To some of you, I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘One week with no TV, what’s the big deal?’ For those of you who know me and my family IRL, I’m sure you’re jaw just hit the floor! We are TV junkies, the kids and I at least. That’s where the problem comes in, I’m addicted! No worse than your average TV junkie, but addicted nonetheless. TV’s are on 24/7 in our house, and we have electric and cable bills out the wazoo to prove it! With school starting this week, a to-do list that’s been avoided all summer, and a layer of summer funk on my floor that’s screaming to be scrubbed, we need to stay focused! Plus, this is a great experiment to see if we can maybe cut our cable down or out altogether.

The hope is that we, as a family, will spend the week focusing on what’s important and focus on getting back into the school year routine. I’m a huge believer on how you start something sets the tone for the duration. My thought is, while the boys are in school I can start the school year getting back into a productive routine. Lately I’ve taken my slackermomness to a whole new level and something has got to give! I’m not blaming the TV (notice we’re not giving up out I-phones lol, but more on that in a second…), but I am saying that since I became a stay at home preggo I’ve watched the same reruns (of the entire series) of Beverly Hills 90210, The OC, and One Tree Hill more times than I’d care to admit. As for the boys, their addiction to the DVR is more ridiculous than you could ever imagine.

Our plan is to stay TV free from today until Friday. When the boys get home from school Friday they can have the TV,  and maybe after a week of no cable they’ll be so excited they give their dad and I a little bit of a break (a mom can dream can’t she). We’re keeping the iPods, iPad’s for speech, the laptop, PS, and DVD player. So now you’re probably thinking with all that who cares about the TV? WE DO!!!! I’m not technologically inclined, we have limited iPod’s due to children’s shenanigans, and we have internet so slow you can’t watch a 2 minute YouTube video without delays, add everyone fighting for the internet connection and a limited DVD collection (also due to children’s shenanigans – not to point fingers or anything lol) and you get a hot mess. Plus I LOVE MY TV!!

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. I figure 1 of 5 things will happen:

1 – My genius plan is a success, my house is spotless, my kids get settled into the school routine, we realize we can survive without the TV, or at least as much of it,  and it’s an all-around Mom & Dad WIN!

2- We cave

3-We all kill each other because we’re going insane without PBS, Nick Toons, and General Hospital

4- The kids duct tape us to chairs until we cave

5- The plan is a success in the fact we are no longer TV addicts, but are now bigger iPod addicts than ever

Whatever the result, it should be interesting. Today hasn’t been so bad, we’ve watched DVD’s, played, mooched dinner off the g-parents, and had an all-around pretty good family day. I am dying to know what happened on Friday’s GH and this week’s Jereylicious though. So…we shall see….. I’ll keep you posted….

I have to admit, I have no idea where the no TV clip art came from. It’s from the boys picture books for speech. All our images come from 1 of 3 places – the speech therapist, Yahoo Images, or Google Images. My intent is not to steal…I swear!! I just have had this pic for a while and honestly am clueless as to where I got it..SORRY!! 

 

Sanity Savers August 3, 2011

Sanity Savers…

We all have them, what are yours?? Some of mine you may laugh at, or think is this woman mad, but enjoy…and comment below your sanity savers…I’d love to hear them all!

  • Chocolate – A good piece of chocolate can, maybe not fix, but mask a lot of frustrations

    Sanity Saving Munchies

  • Music – I’m famous for my one eared parenting. One ear on the kids, one ear with an ear bud blasting something awesome. This one’s great for the car too, when all you can think is, ‘If I have to listen to this Barney DVD one more time I’ll pull my own ears off’.
  • The boys iPods – You’d be amazed at how peaceful my house can become when the iPods have been distributed and everyone’s You-Tubing away. Plus, they have actually learned a ton from their YouTube addiction (for those interested in this sanity saving method check out KidsTv123 on YouTube).
  • My iPod – Escaping into a game, the news, or a social media site can be just the break my brain needs.
  • A Drive – On a day filled with whining and fighting sometimes loading everyone up and saying lets go is just what we need. Whether it’s a trip to Happy Hour at Sonic, or Fries and Pies at Mc’D’s, a $5.00 Hot & Ready at Little Caesars, or just a drive thru the old part of town to see something we have never noticed all these years. Staying home gets boring for us and for them, we never get out of the car just drive slow and soak in the scenery.
  • A quick phone call- Step into your room, even if the kids are screaming in the background, those that love you and know your stresses will tolerate your crazy screaming kids to give you a 5 min sanity check, I promise. Call your spouse just to say ‘Hi’, call your mom, sibling, or grandparent, a friend. You don’t have to whine about your problems, just say Hey. Talk about something/anything that’s kid free…clear your mind…distract yourself.
  • Lose yourself in a project – You’d be amazed at how much more motivating cleaning a bathroom can be if you know that if you’re not cleaning you’re refereeing.
  • The TV – I don’t care what the ‘experts’ say…the ‘experts’ don’t have 3 kids with special needs, hell most probably don’t even have 1 kid. No, TV shouldn’t raise you child, but I belive it’s 100% okay to throw a movie on so you can do dishes, take a shower, play with one of your other kids, or just prop your feet up for a few minutes
  • Fresh Air- I know it’s hot, especially in this part of summer, but send the kids out early in the morning or late at night. Let them run in the back yard, splash in the sprinkler, drink from the hose, fill a kiddie pool…you know all that stuff we did as kids that now they say is bad for them 😉
  • A craft – As much as dread the thought of cleaning up after painting or baking with the kids, once we get started, even though it never goes as I planned, we all have a blast. Cover the table or floor with a big piece of butcher paper, or an old sheet, and let them go wild. Then hose them off in the backyard for easy clean-up, and I’m pretty sure, while it’s still summer, being hosed off counts as a ghetto bath (Lazy Mom Win!!!)
  • My Mom Hide Out

    Hide – Yes, I said it; Yes, I do it. No, I don’t lock myself in a room and ignore my kids. But from time to time, on a particularly stressful day I’ve been known to put a movie on and sneak off into my room (door open) and hide out for a few minutes of quiet to unwind before I get busted by the monsters.

  • Laugh – If I didn’t laugh every time I came around the corner to find a child covered head to toe in pancake syrup, peanut butter, dish soap, butter, the list goes on…, I’d lose my mine. I used to stress about the messes, but they don’t matter. Just laugh at the memory your making, have the monster attempt to help with clean up, and hide whatever helped to cause the disaster.

    I'm Glad He Enjoyed The Cake

  • Mommy Juice – there’s nothing wrong with a little spiked OJ or a pina colada every now and then…just remember, “A man’s gotta know his limitations” [Good advice, not only when it comes to drinking, but to life in general…that Clint Eastwood is one wise old man 😉 ]
  • Remember ‘They’re only young once” – Make memories, take pictures, focus on the postitives…and on a crap day pull out the pictures and flashback to all the wonderful memories, then go out and make more. They grow up way to fast. I don’t care how overused that saying is, it couldn’t be more true.
  • Take a break to remember all you have- I posted this the other day, but it’s worth repeating, a quote from an old Yaga tee, ‘Too Blessed To Be Stressed”. Even when we feel we are at our wits end we all have something to be grateful for, even if it’s as simple as the air we breathe.
  • Pray

Van Wilder said it best “Worrying’s like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere”

And a final thought on those days where you feel you want to snap and you can’t get a ‘me time’ break, remember my motto, “No matter how much shit the throws at you, it will keep going…so I will keep going…knee deep in dookie and kicking ass the whole way”

–>A quick disclaimer – All the fast food establishments listed above, as well as You Tube, iPod, and KidsTV123 have no idea I’m even writing about them, and everything here is just my two cents. It may or may not work for your family 😉

 

Fake Cough Disease – It’s Spreading Like Crazy! July 31, 2011

It’s catching!! A severe case of ‘Fake Cough Disease’ is running rampant thru my house these days. What is this mysterious contagious illness and why am I happy my kids have come down with it??

It’s probably something most parents deal with daily, faking for attention. So, you ask, why am I happy my kids have developed a condition that has me asking ‘Are you okay?’ all day? Simple answer, autism.

No, I’m not blaming autism for anything…but my kids have never shown a whole lot of interest in how their brothers were doing, and lately anytime someone gets a little too much water in the pool, or the Kool-aid goes down the wrong way, I have a whole army of coughing kiddos not just one. Everyone waiting to told ‘You’re okay, you’re doing awesome’. Then, they flash you that huge smile and go about their shenenegins.

It’s a huge development. To most parents it’s just a copying a sibling, to me it’s imitation, something we’ve been working on for years in therapy. Why is it so important to me, because without imitation teaching can be rather difficult.

Example- Imagine trying to teach someone to tie their shoes when they won’t even imitate picking up the shoe lace. Try teaching you child Itsy Bitsy Spider, when instead of coping the hand motions they just stare and you like you’re a ding dong. In some situations hand over hand can only go so far. I realize theres more to teaching than imitation, however, I feel, it does play a role in many aspects of learning.

So, I welcome the highly contagious ‘Fake Cough Disease’ into my home, and with that say YAY to learning, wether it’s thru hours of drills at the therapy table, or the simple act of copying your brother to get extra attention.

~~And if the ‘Fake Cough Disease’ gets too serious I’m sure just bringing out a bottle of cough syrup would clear it up for everyone;)

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–> *Disclaimer–None of products listed above are actually for the treatment or cure of ‘Fake Cough Disease’, nor do the manufacturers recommend their products for this usage- only actually use medicine under the supervision of a medical professional 😉