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Because life isn’t all about Autism

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Well, it’s been awhile, but yes I’m still here.

Life has been busy, but that’s not why I haven’t been around.  As you know I had a baby girl almost a year ago.  Yup, time sure has flown by.
Truth is, I’ve been having this internal battle about this blog.  You see, there’s more to life then just Autism, at least that’s how I feel.  I noticed that blogging just about Autism, made me feel like I wasn’t focusing as much on other aspects of life.
With that said, as I sit here at 4 am eating a bowl of Lucky Charms I decided to start a new blog.  A more rounded blog if you will, I will still blog about Autism, but I will also blog about my beautiful daughter who is growing up way to fast.  My crazy husband that doesn’t see anything wrong with telling me that I look like a tomato because he likes beefsteak tomatoes.  I might share my feelings regarding anxiety or weight loss and some of my photography.
There might even be fun stuff like the day we spent at Tropicana Field at Rays fan fest…basically, my life.  Yup that’s what I think I’ll do.
Well enough babbling, if you’d still like to read what I have to say, the new blog is going to be “Life of Jenks” Hope to see you there :)

2013-02-16

The whole family at Rays Fan Fest
Feb 2013
(click on photo to enlarge)

Maybe it’s just me

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The last year has not gone without some major changes in our family.
By this time last year PJ had already been suspended twice and we were expecting our Little Baby Girl (a/k/a Little) and had started taking him to counseling.  All the counselor would advise us to do was “keep doing what you’re doing”.  I stopped taking him there.
In December 2011 PJ was diagnosed, which really was the best thing for our family.  At least we had something for the school to work with so he wouldn’t continue to be suspended, but would have resources added to his already existing IEP.  Along with the challenge of adding a family member and disrupting his schedule things were definitely interesting.  Luckily with Little joining the family, PJ has thrived in his role of “Big Brother” and loves being the best big brother to his little sister.
Other challenges we have faced in the last year was paperwork.  I’m sure you all know how much paperwork comes with the diagnoses.  I had to run between the neurologist and the school to get 2 complete files to have the best possible resources for PJ once everything was in place.
PJ has had an awesome team around him since he was 3 and they really stepped it up with last years diagnosis.  Once the diagnosis was in place the schools social worker called me in for a meeting.  He wanted to let me know that there was a special autism program available at another school within our district, the principal and the social worker thought this would be a great program for PJ.  Which meant changing his schedule, changing his team, changing his school, changing his bus route, all things that had been in place for 4 years.
Before I could worry about all that, he would need to qualify for the program.  More paperwork, more meetings, more observations, more worrying.  We worried, would he be excepted into the program, when we was excepted we wondered if it was the right move.  We worried that his new team wouldn’t be as great as the one he already had in place.  We worried.  A lot.
Now here we are almost a year later, he’s doing great!  Me, not so much.  Now I’m not sharing this for sympathy, but I’m sharing this for anyone else that maybe going through the same thing.
In the past couple of months, I haven’t felt like myself.  I feel angry and I’m on an emotional roller coaster.  I finally went to the doctor and ended up with my own diagnosis of “depression with anxiety” and now have to take medication.  I’m not ashamed of having to take meds, because I was strong enough to know I couldn’t handle this on my own and I knew when to ask for help.
So maybe it’s just me, but if it’s not there’s no shame in asking for help.

He’s my ❤

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My ❤

Someone once said, “i wished i had normal kids but God gave me him”
Now everyone deals with things differently and I’m not judging the parent that said that, but it got me thinking…
And I thought to myself “do I wish PJ was normal?”
Truth is, he’s my normal and my heart.
I got married shortly after turning 21 and wasn’t in a hurry to have kids.  A couple of years into our marriage I wanted to have a baby and by the time I was 24 I would cry at night because I couldn’t have one.  My doctor offered several options, however I didn’t want to have a whole team of any sort so I continued to cry myself to sleep for a baby that I thought I would never have.
Hubs and I started considering adoption but never did anything more than talked about it because while trying one suggestion from my doctor that wouldn’t result in an instant soccer team we found out I WAS EXPECTING!!!
While we said we were gonna wait 3 months before telling anyone, I lasted about 3 hours, I was just to excited.
Watching Little grow up is amazing, watching her babble and laugh and wondering where her shut off button is with no avail.  By the way, if you do know where that switch is on a kid can you let me know?  I couldn’t imagine my life without her.  We do catch ourselves saying “PJ wasn’t like that” and of course all kids are going to be different…but he was our first and what we knew about raising kids our “normal”.
Now I’m not in denial, and I would change him because he’s a great kid.  I would change how hard some things are for him to deal with, but what parent wouldn’t want to make life a little easier?

“Me” Time – It’s Essential

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While most of us are busy taking care of everyone but ourselves, it is essential that we take a few moments to take for of ourselves as well.  I know some of you already have visions of peanut butter (or worse) on the walls and the children running through the house with no clothes and a million reasons why you don’t have time for yourselves.
I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and now it’s time to put a plan in action.  You see I went in for anxiety, which I got meds for the same day and then also had blood work done.  While I knew the cholesterol part of it was going to be bad I wasn’t expecting to be told that I was borderline diabetic.   With prediabetes increases my risk of heart disease and stroke 50% than someone who does not have prediabetes I can’t afford to not take the me time that I need to correct this.  If something were to happen to me, that would leave my husband with 2 very young children.  I have complete confidence in him that he would be able to handle things at home, but I would not want to have him tell the kids that I’m never coming back again.
While I hope that everyone’s health is well, I encourage you to take the time to keep things that way.

The “R-Word”

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As I walked down the hallway someone else entered it from the opposite direction.  “Just wait til your son’s this tall (gesturing about 3 inches over her head) and a retard” I looked at her stunned and was left speechless.  She continued on her path and I on mine.
Still baffled as to why she said that I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I had to do something.  That was the first time that the “R-word” had truly offended me.  I never have had it “attached” to PJ and when she put the 2 in the same sentence…well my brain was overwhelmed.
I will be completely honest and come clean and admit, I’m guilty of using the word myself.  Not something I’m proud of but I have made a conscious effort not to and not just because of what happened in the hallway, it was even before that.
So knowing that I myself was guilty of using the word I was unsure of how to deal with what had happened.  I did not react instantly, I wanted to think this out.
So the next day I went to her and asked if she had a minute.  I pulled up a seat and sat eye level.  “Yesterday when you said ‘Just wait til your son’s this tall and a retard’ I’m sure you didn’t mean to offend anyone.  I’m also pretty sure you don’t know this but my son is in special ed classes.”  Her jaw dropped and her eyes filled with tears.  “I’m so sorry, I would never mean to hurt anyone and I especially would never intentionally talk about your son that way…” She went on and on.  She asked me to forgive her and I did.  She also promised never to use the word again!
I’m so glad I took the time to cool down and let her know my situation instead of just snapping back, I don’t think the conversation could have possibly gone any better than it did :)

FB Cover Photo Courtesy http://www.r-word.org
Visit their website for other badges, icons and more to help spread the word.

Click here: SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD

#ASDin1Word

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I’m working on a project to help spread awareness.  Can you help me out by leaving a 1 word comment that you associate with Autism?  Thanks, I’ll share the completed project with everyone when I’m done

Thanks!

Updated to add

Words submitted via Twitter:
Aspergers by @IHaveIIH
Interesting by @paddyscotsman1
Trick by @zidlow
inspiring. by @JasonTheDad
Diffability by @DrBarbara1
rollercoaster by @LaTMoSimm70
Resilience by @sarax8
“Enlightening” by @Deena_Rivera
Distant by @TannersDadPerseverance by @Gretchenleary
#INTELLIGENT by @abbydixxy
perceptive by @Aspienaut
Challenging by @jstapes
Mysterious by @AutismJournal
Unfair! by @BrynerEdwin
MISUNDERSTOOD by @Redfairybunny
Evolution
Love
Light – all 3 by @SheriMarino

A Halloween like no other…

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“Mommy I want to go trick or treating, but I don’t want to go where there are bats, ghost, witches, spiders, spider webs or pumpkins or anything creepy”
“Well honey, we can’t control how people decorate and most people will have at least one of those.  How about we just buy some candy and don’t go trick or treating”
“Ok”

So we didn’t go trick or treating, instead we went out to dinner.  Something I’ve never mentioned before, I’m allergic to onions.  So we order our appetizer and our food, our spinach and artichoke dip comes out topped with onions.  We send it back and ask for clarification on the BOCA Burger I ordered…it contains some kind of veggie paste and we’re not sure if there are onions or not.  I order something different.  Ok, food is fixed everything is going good we’re enjoying ourselves and then PJ spills his drink.  Everything gets cleaned up, all is well and we continue on with dinner.  Then I let the baby have a bit of my fruit, she liked it so I gave her a second bite.  Apparently the piece was a little to big and made her gag, which made her puke…EVERYWHERE.  Our server was amazing says “Only a baby can make puking look cute, let me get you more napkins”
She handle the whole night with a smile.  I’ve never had an experience like this where so much has gone wrong and yet the service was stellar, our Server didn’t let anything get to her and ended the night with a nice tip and a compliment to the manager.
We walked out feeling good that we were able to survive :)
*Thank you Red Robbin for hiring people like “Colby Jo” to serve families like mine :)

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