Monday, December 16, 2013

On life with an autistic child...

The past few weeks have been rough. Rough on Ivan. Rough on me. Rough on our family.

I feel tired. And drained. Both physically and emotionally.

People ask me what they can do to help. My honest answer is I DON'T KNOW. I just don't.

Ivan's "typical behavior" has never been quite like what it has been recently. He has always struggled with social situations. He has always been easily frustrated. He has always used crying and screaming as his main way of communicating.

But lately...I am in shock. My child has changed. The older he gets, the more pronounced his "symptoms" are.

I have had to pick him up from school because of violent behavior.
I have had to go chase him down in the school field because he was upset by something.
I have found him laying on the ground in the fetal position.
I have had to try to pull him out from under his bed, in an effort to get him to go to school.
I have had him scream at me.
I have had him physically hurt me.
I have had him lock me out of my car for 45 minutes.
I have had meetings and more meetings.
I have cried more tears than I care to admit.
I have tried to be patient.
I have lost my temper.
I have "given up" so many times.
I have wondered why me?
I have wondered why Ivan?
I have asked questions after questions.
I have had more than I can handle.

So many questions and not enough answers.

One moment he is a perfectly happy and content. The next he is covering his ears, screaming and agitated.

I love that kid and want the very best for him. Life as a Mom is so unfair. I know what I want for him.  But that is just the thing. I know what I want...and yet I am not the one in charge.

So all I can do is keep trying. Keep on keeping on.


I am not writing this post so I can whine or pout. Or so that I can get comments about what a great Mom I am, or how well Ivan is doing. It is just...what is on my heart and mind.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

'tis the season

A little before Halloween, my life starts to get very busy. Very busy. With costumes and parties and trips to the pumpkin just gets way too crazy. I don't mean to give up blogging, it just sort of...happens.

Rockin' matching Batman pj's

We are only 8 days into December and so far I have...
--planned 2 Christmas parties
--sent out numerous emails for said parties

--planned 2 teacher gifts
--contributed money to teacher gifts

--attended a Christmas concert
--attended a Christmas party
--made gingerbread cookie dough

--shopped like crazy

I love Christmas. I love all the wonderful feelings, songs, sights, is just so busy! I miss blogging. Hopefully I will be able to get back into the swing of things soon enough.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

cupcake transport

I was running late. It had taken me forever to find all the right colors and products I needed. I was supposed to be in Ivan's class at 12:30 to set up. It was 12:40.

I finished the last cupcake and...wondered,


Because of the peep, my regular cupcake taker just wasn't going to cut it. I felt pressure. Ugh I hate pressure!

Then I looked at my mass of Halloween items and had a light bulb moment!

I had bought these cups when they were a great deal at Target...and they have a lid! I carefully placed each cupcake into a separate cup, placed the top on and...voila!

I lined them on the bottom of one of my 31 bags and it worked perfectly! No muss, no fuss!

The kids were all so excited when they saw them...thinking they were getting coffee. I tried not to laugh too hard at them! Me giving kids coffee? Ha! A lot of the kids wanted to bring the cups to their Moms. Cuteness.

We were also trying to avoid too much sugar, knowing kids were going trick or treating a few hours later, so this was the perfect way to send them home!

I know these cups come in seasonal colors & decorations. Use them then or anytime of the year!

What is your favorite way to transport cupcakes?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween by the numbers

the last 2 weeks on my wall calender

There are some holidays, that just never seem to end. It feels like it is celebrated over and over and over.

Halloween is one of those holidays. I can't believe all that has gone on in such a short time! So here it is, by the numbers...

5 costumes to buy/put together
4 bins full of Halloween items
12 pumpkins
1 trip to the pumpkin patch
3 dozen sugar cookies baked
2 dozen cupcakes baked and decorated

21 goody bags filled
6 coupon books purchased for free Frosty's
3 costume parades

3 class parties
8 bags of candy purchased
1 trunk or treat
1 fall festival
4 days of spooky Halloween themed lunches

countless readings of "Five Little Pumpkins" and "10 Ghosts in a Haunted House"
2 times getting boo'ed by neighbors
tons of pictures, laughs and of course...candy!

Halloween has now come and gone...and we are all suffering from a bit of sugar shock!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mom tears

I have decided that Mom tears are pretty dang strong. There is just nothing like them in the world.

I remember as a youth, my Mom crying her Mom tears and I didn't understand. I couldn't. Because I wasn't a Mom yet.

I have cried many Mom tears. When my kids are sad. When my kids are proud. When my kids are sick. When I got the autism diagnosis. When they hurt.

But sometimes my Mom tears come from the pain & worry that I feel.

I had a rough weekend. With a child feeling lonely, sad, tired and more.

They took these feelings out on me. With words that cut to the bone. And those Mom tears came flooding out. I couldn't stop them. They came for  most of the day.

Wonderful Mom friends, who I know have shed their own Mom tears, talked with me, shared their Kleenex, hugs and later...there was ice cream.

My heart was heavy. But I felt loved. And connected with all those other Moms, who have shed their own powerful Mom tears and ache for their kids.

When I felt as if my heart could not take anymore, when I felt like the biggest Mom failure on the planet, I found this on Ivan's desk at school...

...and I cried more Mom tears. Not painful ones. But hopeful ones. Mom tears. There is just nothing quite like them.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Family Movie Night

With all the craziness that happens every day around here, we try to spend time on Saturdays to sit, relax& eat snacks and watch a movie together.

Having a girl and four boys, and different ages of kids, it can be hard to pick out a movie. Everyone has different tastes and interests.

We all take turns picking. Although Ben & I have to share a day! However every once in a while I will find something I think they will like or a new movie comes out that I will buy.

Even with that, I don't always pick a winner. Then there are days that I do!

While walking around Sams Club one day, I found the movie, "the Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure." I thought it looked like something my kids would like, and for $9.99, why not?

We popped popcorn and watched the movie. Snuggles on the couch with blankets and popcorn.

Mickey Matson has to solve a mystery that was left to him by his grandfather who had died. He meets friends a long the way as well as "bad guys" that he has to outwit.

The movie is sort of a cross between Indiana Jones & National Treasure. My boys loved it! Harmony (14) found it to be kind of lame (but she is a teenager and so she finds most things lame!). We enjoyed the mystery and action through out the movie.

Another thing I loved? It is rated PG. No bad language, no sexual situations...everyone in the family can watch it! One the back of the movie case it has, "a Dove Family Approved movie". You can learn more about it here

It is so hard to find something that fits all of our criteria: friendly
2. interesting
3. clean

If you are looking for something to watch with your kids, I would highly recommend it.

**This is NOT a sponsored post! I just want people to keep making these types of movies, and so I want to get the word out! Although I wouldn't say no, if they want to send me movies to try out!**

Friday, August 30, 2013

School daze

This Wednesday, my kids started school.

High school. Middle school. Elementary school. Preschool starts next week.

I have made lunches. Packed backpacks. Signed enough papers to give myself a hand cramp for a week. I have driven back and forth. I have walked back and forth.

Seminary started. Early morning seminary. My alarm is set for a time that STARTS with a 4. Yes, a 4. Harmony's alarm starts with a 5. Early.

There have been quiet moments to think. There have been quiet moments to just be me. There have been sweet moments with Mason. There have been moments where he has driven me nuts, without older siblings to entertain him.

All of my kids have had a great first few days. They have classes with their friends & favorite teachers. They have made new friends. They have managed to open their lockers. And haul textbooks. And find their classes.

However, after three days, this Mama is worn the heck out. Last night I fell asleep at 8:15. With my contacts in. In my clothes. With Masons shoes at the end of my bed. Dead to the world at 8:15.

This year is going to be busy. And next year. And the next.

My caffeine consumption just may go up. By a lot.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

14 lessons for my 14 year old...

My daughter turned 14!! How did that happen?! Normally for birthdays I do a post about the reasons I love the birthday boy or girl.

But with Harmony heading to high school and entering a new phase in her life, I decided on something different. Life lessons. Things I hope she learns in her life.

So here they are, 14 lessons I hope my 14 year old will learn...

14.) Her brothers aren't as bad as she thinks!

13.)To not take everything personally.

12.) To find healthy stress relievers.

11.)To be happy in just.being.herself.

10.) That she is amazing.

9.) What a true friend is.

8.) How to be content.

7.)That life is full of good things.

6.) Have a personal relationship with her Savior.

5.) To know who she is.

4.) To be thankful.

3.) That her Dad teases her because he loves her.

2.) Be confident.


1.) That no matter what happens, no matter what she does, that I will always, always have her back.

Happy 14th Birthday Harmony!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July

What a busy & fun day!

A very early wake up to go and attend a pancake breakfast at the church...

Ben decided that he and Harmony & Ethan would bike to the church. I took the car...

Ben and the boys google-ing answers to the history quiz

After dropping kids off at home, I headed out to grocery shop. It was busy but I got it done :)

Then we headed to the Growing Grounds ( a piece of property owned by a member of our church) for a BBQ and the fireworks show.

The kids had fun hanging out with friends...

 and then sitting for the fireworks show...

I am one tired Mom and am soooo looking forward to taking a nap today!

Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!

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