a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

free speech isn't all that free

So I'm not the type to back down from a fight, most would agree that I can argue and go toe to toe with just about anybody - or they would at least agree that I think I can and that I will surely not back down until I felt my point has been made and whatever it is I am fighting for has been accomplished.  That being said, I still think daycare sucks and "the system" is trying but it's a joke when it comes to kids with special needs of any kind.
There are people out there who really try and there are people who really care. We have met and we have worked with and still work with lots of people like this, but we have fought to get there.  The past week has been a little crazy to say the least.  There are alot of things I would like to tell you and alot of names I would like to write, and on a bad day I may do just that. Heck if you catch me in public I might tell you what I think. But not here... free speech isn't all that free. Yes I can say what I want but then "someone" may or may not agree with it and then ... well thats just something i'd rather not waste my time on at the moment...
I have bigger battles and I would rather my attention be focussed on the task at hand - my boys.  Ty is the reason I started this blog and I will continue to fight for everything he needs and if my name becomes mud because of it I really don't care.  I won't stand by knowing that there are educators and care givers who only want to do enough to get by, please if you are reading this and debating on a career in the world of a special needs child or individual or a job caring for any living individual - but are only doing it for the money or recognition.... please don't do it... if you don't love kids, if you don't love people.... don't assume this is easy - you need to be a strong person mentally, at times physically strong, you have to be patient, slow to anger, you have to have a huge heart, etc.... if you are lacking in any of these I don't mean to sound harsh. But please consider a new career or job, don't passively assist children who seek for every inch of you and who need not only your full and undivided attention but who also need a place in your heart. Children are gifts from God and they should be cherished, every child, even those that are hard to understand.

We are still searching for someone to watch the boys and have a few leads so prayers are definitely appreciated ... thanks for reading

And I appreciate all of the love & support over the past week from all of you! You have no idea how much it means to me and our family! I love yall

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Well, I'm mad, pissed, ticked off....Daycare sux! The whole thing is a racket, they take advantage of the fact that most working couples or single parents need them and then they run with it. So we are on our 5th daycare (Ty is 4 Tripp is 3): our first sitter was awesome, but then she got a job :) we still love her though. Then lets just say the next 3 didn't work out for various reasons (we weren't kicked out, but timing with Ty's diagnosis  made us continue to search for a new place.) The daycare the boys were at recently...was great, up until now. I mean really we are an ideal customer - Ty only goes monday and friday and every now and then he will go for a few hours on tuesday and wednesday in the morning before therapy, it just all depends on whose taking him and everyones schedule, etc. (we pay full price) But lately they have called me on the days he's there a full day and asked me to come get him bc he is crying and they don't know whats wrong.  This typically happens at nap time. I've talked with them about it and they have said that nothing has changed and they want to blame it on his therapy schedule and him being at two places messes up his schedule at daycare. Now I know that routine is good, but Ty has done great there he would even walk to his mat and lay down for a nap, so something changed and they claim nothing has on their end? However I know that they switched his nap room and that he isn't allowed a pillow or blanket? They've been at this daycare for over a year and Ty has had some bad days, but now it's daily (the two days he goes full time) I have met with them and met with them about how to work with Ty. I have offered his iPad and other options to just get passed nap time but nothing seems to satisfy them. It's like they just want to keep saying "No, we've done everything we can" "We love him, he is our angel and we would hate to lose him, but we hope Tripp still can come" BLAH! (insert anger and flames rising in my eyes). He was there for 15 minutes this past monday and they already called to say he was upset and I needed to come, we paid them in a check that morning as always but they requested cash.(sam refused). Before I could get to the daycare she wanted to know if I had the cash and she'd give me back our check - It's 7:45 banks aren't open - um no, I do not, you can cash a check. When I got there I calmed him down, talked to the workers and as I left, he waved goodbye so I know he was happy, but she told me as I was walking out, we will probably call you at nap time?!!!!! They don't even give him a chance??? So they called at nap time, I left work to pick them up at 1:30 and that's when the rejection started. I had a long talk with the owner about things to do, but I could tell that it didn't matter what I said, her mind was made up. Imagine a cute little disney character with such a sweet voice telling you in a round about way that they love your child and he is amazing and they want to make sure that you find someone who will care for him and not mistreat him, and to find someone who will work with him and let him participate and not be ignored.... but that he's not welcome here. Tripp is... but not Ty. It's just probably best for him to be somewhere else. (end of the sweet little voice)
If you know me you know what I'm thinking, you know that I am burning red and if possible would shoot fire out of my eyes, you know that I want to jump up, fight and beat them into submission! I want to say...I'm sorry but you obviously don't care about my kid, or you would try... you wouldn't let a little ruckus at nap time mess with his awesomeness. I asked them if he hurt anyone or himself? The answer is no, he's just disruptive at nap time. They even tell me how great he does during arts and crafts?! REALLY????? Then what is the real issue here? What is really going on??? Their response - "we just don't know, we've tried everything" I would tell you what my mother in law and step mom say about this, but let's just say it's not appropriate! Don't mess with my family - I can be your worst nightmare!
So what do you do? Is it discrimination? I have friends and family that say "yes". But we don't want them to be there now because we know that they don't want him there. So how do you handle this in a way that the good guy wins? How is it ok for them to up and decide - no we aren't going to do this anymore? He's been there for over a year!? They constantly praise his improvements and even offered just two weeks ago to keep him longer if we couldn't find a K5???? I wouldn't be so mad if they weren't two faced. Just tell me like it is, don't sugar coat anything! And you really really don't need to tell me that one of my children are welcome but the other is not?!!!!! AHHH! I guess I'll just be mad for a while and continue to search for a new place.... prayers and suggestions are appreciated! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hey everyone! Well I read a post on facebook today that really got me thinking. It was a photo of a 9 year old little boy with autism, who had a black eye and other injuries from police officers that were trying to control him while he was in an "outburst/tantrum" or something like that.... it enraged me! How can someone do that? The story goes something like this:

By JG Vibes
September 27 2012

At Baldwin South Intermediate School in Quincy Illinois a 9 year old autistic child was taken from his special needs classroom with bruises all over his face and incarcerated after he was beat up by police.

The incident began when Roger Parker, Jr. had some sort of unpleasant experience which lead to an outburst, where the teachers had difficulty keeping him under control.

They tried to isolate him in some kind of time out area, which probobly made the situation even more scary and confusing for him. When he tried to get out of this time out area by climbing a dividing wall police were already there to attempt to subdue him.

At that point police officer Calkins ripped the child from the wall by his limbs like a ragdoll, causing his face to smash against the wall, which resulted in a massive black eye . He was then wrestled to the ground by police and taken into custody.

The boy was detained and booked for aggravated battery against a police officer and his family was denied access to him for a certain period of time. Mother Brandi Kirchner told news station KHQA that “I asked to see my son.

Forty-five minutes later, after they told me he did not need a parent present because he was under arrest and not being interrogated. He was fingerprinted, photographed, and booked for aggravated battery to a police officer.”

Kirchner said she is upset because she recently discussed a plan on how to handle her son if he has an outburst.

She believes the plan wasn’t followed and she has concerns that police placed her son in handcuffs before she was ever contacted. Since the incident she has removed her son from the Quincy Public School system and is investigating home schooling options.

Please tell me this is fake and that it didn't happen?! I don't know where to start...?! I posted the picture and link on my facebook page and then I just felt the need to share it here too .... it scares me - mainly because we are dealing with outbursts with Ty right now. He loves to wrestle and has started to push Tripp and others and hit - he can hit pretty hard too. He will just rare back his arms and slingshot them at his target, he doesn't really aim, but he is much taller than most kids his age and his arm span lands right at Tripp's face every time.  We are trying to stop this behavior but it's hard because it will come out of nowhere, if he's playing he thinks its funny to hit, and then when he's mad he rares back and just smacks whatever and whoever is in his way. He has also thrown things at times - and not just a toss - I'm talking fastball with a loud bang at the end. At church sunday he pushed down some of the younger kids in the nursery and it just broke my heart - I don't want him to hurt other kids and I really don't think he wants to either... he just doesn't know how to hold all that in.
I don't want people to be afraid of Ty or afraid of what he might do because he is such a fun kid! He loves life and loves people - he doesn't always know how to express that but we are working on it. He has a hard time realizing his own strength and understanding that he can't tackle everyone he sees. He loves to rough house, I think alot of that has to do with the fact that he needs lots of sensory input and deep pressure input so what better way to get that to wrestle with the nearest prospect?! (So technically he's seeking his own therapy) But teaching him that he can't do that is hard when communication is a barrier. Over the past few months we have realized more and more that Ty does understand what we are saying and that his receptive language is there in a huge way, which is great! But I think the frustration of not being able to tell us what he is thinking and feeling becomes overwhelming and he just gets mad. I know I do - if I can't get my point across to someone it can make me so mad that I could throw, hit, scream... but we learn to control that. So when I read articles about kids and kids with any disability that are arrested and beaten bc they lost control it scares me - what teacher, officer and adult can do this to a child, where is our patience? kindness? gentleness?self-control? How can a 9 year old be charged with assaulting an officer when the nine year old is battered and bruised? If we are all more aware of how to treat others then this can be avoided...
I want to do everything I can to help Ty function in this crazy world but I am terrified of people that will be in his path that don't care and that can potentially hurt him. We are currently surrounded by amazing people, our church family is so gracious and loving. Sunday when he pushed the two kids in the nursery, a friend of mine was there and it was her child that he pushed and she told me how she handled it and at first I felt terrible because he is so much bigger than the others and he does have potential to hurt someone but then I felt God's grace... how amazing is it that they weren't mad or demanding that he be removed? Yes it might just be a shove to some - and I'm not trying to make a big deal out of it but it kind of is a big deal. It's a big deal because there are so many people in this world not willing to understand and that just want to remove "the problem" as they did in that article about the little boy...but not here... he is safe and loved because of the kindness, patience and grace that flows so freely from our friends, family and church family.

We are currently trying to figure out what Ty needs to do at church, I know he is much to big for the nursery, and I'm not exactly sure if he is ready for the sunday school class and children's church??? I am to protective of him when it comes to things like this, I want him to experience life to its fullest but I know that he needs extra eyes, hands & a fast runner in case he decides to make a run for it or anything else.... so most likely we will be attempting children's church together :) I'll let you know how it goes ...

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment  :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

life is a zoo... be sure to feed the right animals

I know it's been a while since my last post, and I would like to say it's because we've been so busy and yadda yadda yadda ... but really, if I'm honest, it's because I haven't been in the mood to write. Now I'm not the type person that needs soft music and lit candles but I do need something to say and lately I haven't had the words.  Yes there is a lot going on in our world but I just haven't felt the need to share and at times I have felt that maybe it just wasn't all that important. (important to us yes ... but the rest of the world??? idk)
So all that to say that today I read a blog that some friends of mine shared and it opened my eyes to this adoption journey that they are on and have been on for quite some time. The blog was raw and real and I liked it! I love when people give you the honest truth, when you look at it and say - ouch, but so true! It opened my eyes to how ignorant I can be on other subjects because I put myself before others and because I put Ty before everything. Yes you read that correctly. Some of you might be thinking, well you should, he needs you too.  But it's not healthy to be consumed by the things of this world. Autism is a tricky thing, and it comes in so many forms, before I knew what autism really was - I didn't think it was that bad. There are many people, and I was one of them, that think "Autistic kids are geniuses, how cool to be so talented and not have to put forth any effort" Oh how wrong that is! It's so easy to live in this world and to see everyone while wearing goggles and ear plugs. We pick out what we want to see and hear and go about our business oblivious to the real world around us. As I read the blog on how to be a friend to those families on their adoption journey my eyes were opened to how tough that is. How challenging it is not only for my friends but for the child that will come into their home, into a new country?! How crazy we are, to think that once that child gets here, his or her life will be so simple and perfect. They still have so much to go through and so much to build. What if they don't sleep well at night? What if they miss their family and home country? How do you deal with that? How do we help them deal with that? I don't really know, and that's why I was glad that someone told their story, this blog told you how to be a friend, how to love and care for them in a way that would show them the love of God.
In the world of autism, life can and will get crazy. There are alot of days that I don't know what to do. There are lots of days that I doubt myself & decisions that we make? Is this the right school? Are we pushing him enough? Are we pushing him to much? (we just studied in Ephesians where the bible says not to provoke anger in children, does therapy provoke anger? if so what do I do? What does the bible say about autism?) Am I neglecting Tripp? Am I expecting to much out of Tripp? Am I too laid back and unorganized? Do I need to quit my job and home school my boys? Could I even do that? And then I get lost in this sea of questions, it becomes so overwhelming and stressful. I just want my boys to run and play and laugh. I love to hear them laugh! Ty loves to just bust out in a huge laugh and for everyone else to fall in. Its priceless.Why can't we just hide in a cave and laugh until Jesus comes back?!

Because we have purpose... to reach everyone we can and tell them about the Gospel! To share the love and compassion that was shown to us. So times will get hard and people will ask you questions that you don't want to answer and others will make comments about autism that don't understand. We will, for the sake of not wanting to be avoided like the plague, laugh off most comments and avoid hard questions, we smile and say we are great - even when we could fall apart at any moment. Because lets be honest that's what most people want to hear. They want to see the good results and not the everyday nitty gritty, screaming, crying, nervous laughter, breakdowns, doubts, and the frenzy of life. We have discovered reflexes that surely came from Jesus and not ourselves (I have no idea how we have been so lucky - neither of us have super powers but there are days that we could enter the Olympics with our cat like reflexes and sprints that come out of no where). I'm pretty sure Sam has hurdled multiple items in and around our house at speeds unknown to most of mankind. But it makes for a fun and exciting life! We laugh a lot, I get mad more than most, but it never fails that laughter overcomes so much for us.
I don't really know where I was going with all this, I guess just to be real with whats going on and to let y'all know that we appreciate and love all of you! And that, no this isn't easy but we aren't on this journey alone so thanks for being there!

I know I say this alot, but I want you to know that I don't think we have it bad, our life is great and there are so many things that we could be facing that we are not facing. I don't want to, in any way, paint a picture of poor pitiful us... we know we are blessed and have been blessed with two amazing boys... but I'm just spilling my guts on our everyday life... we love our family and especially the fact that we have days like these...

 the boys at a drive through zoo - priceless :

ty slapped the llama
tripp scared of the stuff giraffe

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

VBS, I love my church!!!

Ok, so most folks know I'm slightly paranoid about Ty doing new things without me or Sam.  Not because I don't trust others, but because I don't know if they are ready for Ty and then if they aren't ready for him would they tell me or be scared of hurting my feelings, etc (maybe it is a trust issue???).... So this year I couldn't really do much at VBS because I had to work, but Tripp & Brayden (my nephew) were going and I just didn't feel right sending Ty to daycare without his brother and cousin just because I was scared/paranoid/hesitant. Bible school only lasted half a day and my awesome mother in law would pick up the boys and keep them until Sam or I got off work.  Now my church family is amazing! I have never seen a more loving group in my life?! They are so good to Ty, so I knew he would be loved and taken care of, but there was still a fear of the unknown and a bunch of what if's ... but I let him go, and I am so glad that I did. I talked with a few of the teachers before I sent him just to make sure that they would have enough bodies available to handle him (no he's not terrible and yes they are around him every week, but like I said I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to this...)  I basically had a live feed from all the youth and others that would text me or send me pics of all the things he did during the day. From what I hear his favorite part was music, Kamrie went with Ty two of the days and she sent me pics and videos of the boys doing different things, and that was just awesome. I could see how much fun they were having and how excited they were to be there, it just made my heart smile. :) Tripp was so excited everyday for bible school, if it was up to him he would have bible school year round! On Sunday night they had the family night, where everyone comes in the kids sing some songs, show some pics, pick up crafts, then eat and hangout... During the slideshow there was a section of pics of just Ty titled "Ty at VBS" (or something similar) and I just melted/cried .... I know that's silly but it just made me realize that I worried for nothing... I was paranoid for nothing... God's got this under control, alot of times I see myself going through life like a race car - full speed with everyone strapped in as tight as possible dodging whatever is being thrown our way, hoping "if I can just get through this" when what I really need to do is get my foot off the gas, let go of the wheel, and just cruise along in the passenger seat... So to everyone that I bugged the week of VBS, thanks for putting up with me! :) I love you all! And to everyone that had a part in our VBS - Thanks for all you do! It was Amazing! :)

The Beach!

So we finally took our boys to the beach!!! It was a very short trip, but we do have to start somewhere. We weren't really sure how well the boys would do in a hotel and then on the open terrain of the beach so we started out close to home. Sam made reservations at the Candlewood Suites in Slidell (only 97$ a night and it has a full kitchen?!) and then we drove 30 minutes to Pass Christian on Saturday to play on beach. Who knew you had to pack so much stuff just for one night ?! It's not that I travel light anywhere I go, but I just kept running inside and grabbing more stuff, "what if we need this, what if we need that.." I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. I left work a little early and Sam and I packed the truck, headed to town to get the boys and then off on the open road! Have I mentioned that I love road trips?! Tripp has inherited this trait from me :) he was so excited to go somewhere, anywhere really, the boy loves to just ride and end up places. So when we both picked them up from "school" Tripp was super excited, especially when he remembered that we were going to the beach & Ty was so happy playing birds and dancing to the music in the truck (when I say dancing, he has a rapper style hand bob that cracks me up and he just sits and bounces his hand to the beat of the music, and sometimes will sway back and forth, it is pretty hilarious and awesome!).  They did have the "he's touching me" fights that all kids have and at one point Ty got mad that Tripp wouldn't let him have something and Ty basically started slamming his arm in a karate style motion at Tripp's head but other than that the actual road trip was great!

Friday night we took the boys out to eat at Chili's. I think Sam was a little more skeptical about this than I was, but he had good reason to be. When we sat down Tripp had to potty so Sam took him to the bathroom and while they were gone Ty decided we should clear the table, so he threw his paper menu and ipad at some nice ladies sitting at the table across from us. I just smiled and apologized & then positioned Ty as close to me as possible so that I could use my super hero skills to stop any other flying objects, lol. The rest of the dinner went well, I think after we got settled in and Ty realized what was going on, he was ok with us being there and especially once the food and drinks arrived he knew it was time to eat. Looking back, he probably got mad bc everyone else had food and he didn't??? But now he will know what to expect :) and so will we! (We've taken him out to eat before but never really to a "sit down restaurant").  Anywho, once we made it to the hotel we took the boys swimming in the pool.  I think they could have swam all night, we had Ty's floaty on before we left the room bc I knew that as soon as he saw water he would be in it as fast as possible, and he was! Getting out of the pool was chaotic to say the least and I'm pretty sure we woke up everyone sleeping on our floor before we made it in the room? But such is life?!

Saturday morning was a typical morning with our boys, up by 630 or 7, eat breakfast, play, etc. As we were getting everything together, Ty would run, climb on the bed and then jump off of it. We tried our best to stop him each time, but we were not always successful. We also put flip flops on him (he doesn't wear them often) and he thought it was fun to just stomp in them (I'm guessing bc of the noise). Well the folks under us started banging on their ceiling and then our phone rang and when I answered they hung up. I guess when you are in a hotel and someone above you is louder than you like, you are suppose to call and hang up and bang on your ceiling??? At first I wanted to get mad, but then I looked at Sam and he seemed to not really care and we were leaving anyway, so we just left it at that. I mean what do you do? So we were off to the beach! As soon as Ty's feet hit the sand he ran full speed from the truck to the water and drug me all the way there. Once he hit the waves he just stopped and giggled. He would get shovels and throw them in the water and just watch them roll in and out with the waves. He would chase the shovels or flip flops up and down the beach and pick them up and go again. But if you picked them up he would get mad, I was allowed to step on them in the water to stop it from going any further but he had to pick it up? Tripp played in the sand mostly, and he was very skittish of the water and when Ty would throw things in the waves Tripp would start screaming "get it! get it! Get Ty! Get Ty" One of us was constantly with each of them so they weren't going anywhere but Tripp was not convinced. I guess he gets that from me too, I'm a bit more paranoid than I need to be and sometimes it's just best to back off and let them be kids, right? That's what I keep telling myself.  Sam dug the boys a trench to catch water from the waves, we built sand castles and just had an awesome day!

It was nice to get out and just do things as a family.  There are a lot of times that we don't get out and we don't do things just because it's easier to stay home.  We have everything we need or want so why go anywhere? But I think it's good for the boys to go places and see things. To learn how to act in public or how not to act? haha.  For Ty especially to learn boundaries when there are no physical boundaries, no child proof locks on all cabinets and doors and there's no fence around the beach (I did think about buying a portable one lol), but he still needs to experience these things and so do we. We need to learn to just let him be kid like everyone else. But still meet his needs let him learn in his own way.

I know I ramble alot, so thanks for reading and keeping up with us! sorry it's been so long! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Confessions & Updates


Well, before I get to confessions here is an update on my little man.  We are still going to therapy 2 times a week in Hattiesburg and he is doing great with the 1.5 hour car rides... there are days that are better than others but he is doing much better than he was a few months ago.  He is constantly changing, he is listening really well, he will point to things that he wants to share with you.  For example, if he is playing angry birds and he knocks all the pigs down he will point to it and begin "talking" (now, when i say talking its more of "ah eh uh uh eh ah" but I am positive he is telling us something and we just don't speak his language and he is so desperately trying to speak ours).  Also we are all out at the slip n slide this past weekend and instead of running off and wanting me to chase him he stood by the puddle of water at the end of the slide, pointed to it and started "talking" so I said "yes you can play in the water" and he jumped right in.  Then he looked at me, pointed to the driveway and started "talking" and I said "No, lets stay here" and he did?! So these are all great things! 
Potty training is still a learning process for all of us... but we are working on it.
Tripp is becoming more of an amazing little brother and still getting excited over little things Ty does.
Words are coming, slowly but surely he is getting more and more out that we understand. so things seem to be pretty great on our little hill :)


Ok, so this might be a bit of a contradiction from my last post of "it's best to be vague" but I did say "sometimes" :).  I'm pretty sure we all know that I am not perfect.  There are lots of days that I feel like my "all" is not good enough for my boys (all 3 of them). There are days that I wonder why Ty was given this challenge? There are lots of days that I still think it's not fair. There are days that I think Tripp is getting the short end of the stick. There are still days that I get mad. Some days I cry. There are days that I pray constantly... and there are some days that I don't pray at all.  There are days that I am on task and ready for whatever comes my way. There are those days that I feel like I'm backed into a corner with nothing but a shield blocking everything thrown my way.  There are some days I feel like supermom and other days that I feel like I am just a shell of a person going through the motions of life. 

Sam and I work multiple jobs and volunteer in our community & church. I am not telling you this as a pat on our back but just to let you know what we do with our time (just like any other family I am sure, again I am not saying we are any better than anyone else).  But because of our lifestyle we rely on each other, our parents & an occasional babysitter to watch our boys when we have after hours activities, jobs, etc.  And during the week our boys attend a daycare/preschool.  There are times when I take a day or two to spend with my friends and have a girls night (usually I am gone less than 24 hours but rarely over 48 hours ... we love our kids and don't like to stay away to long). There are times that I send Sam on a fishing trip. And times that Sam & I just need a night out or in with just the two of us (usually its me asking more than sam lol). I do have 3 tattoos (the trinity on my back just below my neck, stick people on my right foot, and the most recent puzzle pieces with scripture ref on my left foot) all located in places that can easily be hidden or shown depending on how i feel :).

So to some people I am disrespectful (bc of the tattoos) and a bad parent bc I can't be home 24/7. It's crazy how the people you respect the most are the ones that criticize you the most... no worries right! We still have lots of family and friends that love and support us and I am grateful for every single one of you! 

James 1:2-4 "... consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds ..."

"pure joy" this is me confessing that I am still working on that

No I am not perfect but neither is anyone else ... and I know everyone out there has something they are dealing with that just seems like no matter what you do you can't change the minds of those that don't understand. Sometimes it's just best to get up and brush that dust off and keep moving... 
I'm not looking for pitty or an "atta girl" I guess I just want people to know that no matter what life throws your way Jesus gives you the strength to get through it... and it's ok to be transparent, right?

Monday, April 9, 2012

sometimes it's best to be vague

I received an email from a friend of mine entitled "free stress seminar" ... have I mentioned that I love clever emails and sayings? Well I do!
OK so the email starts off telling a story of a lady teaching a stress seminar and she is holding a glass of water and everyone in the audience is waiting for her to ask the question "is the glass half empty or full?!" and she throws the curve ball asking "How much does this glass weigh"? And then goes on to explain that no matter the weight; if you hold that same glass of water all day you will eventually get an ache and the longer you hold it the more the pain/ache will increase until you can't bare to hold that small glass of water.  So the moral of the story is to put the glass down, rest. Don't carry all your burdens all of the time. That is what the bible says right?! *slap* (in my face)

Then the email lists lots of clever sayings and the one that stuck out to me the most was:

"If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague" I LOVE THIS!

I definitely think in my world it is best to be vague most of the time! It's not that I can't be kind, it's just that there are so many times that I begin to talk to people and realize halfway through the conversation that I have just spilled my guts without knowing it about life/autism... and I can see in their eyes that they either have no idea what I'm talking about or they would have rather I just said "we are good thanks for asking". You are probably thinking that I have just contradicted myself with the whole "share your burdens" and "be vague" motto's. But I think they can go hand in hand. I have some pretty amazing friends that I will share details of my life with ... but for the most part I think the rest of the world wants me to be vague.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

life lessons and awareness

Well, it has been almost a year since I started this blogging journey and I have learned a lot!
1. I never really knew that I had so much to say...and that so many would be willing to keep up with us
2. I can't fix everything, and usually the un-fixable things are my biggest life lessons
3. There's not a parenting book on the market or a blog on the web that can tell us how to raise our boys, only prayers and Scripture will truly show us the way.
4. Everyone has challenges in their lives, its how we react to them that will inspire, encourage, discourage or create regrets...and these are daily choices. The small things will lead to big things,but our attitude will determine the outcome of each situation.
5. A girls night out heals the soul! I absolutely love each and every one of you! :) (you know who you are haha)

Light it up Blue!
This month is autism awareness, and I don't really know what to do with that. I encouraged everyone to wear blue on the 2nd. And I can't tell you how awesome it is when I see someone in a Ty t-shirt or for someone to post that they wore blue in honor of my little guy! But I feel like I should do more and at the same time I feel like I shouldn't do anything at all. Warning: you're about to get deep into my thoughts here! Yes I think awareness is a great thing, and that there are so many people that need to learn about autism and how to teach their child to function in this difficult world and how to be compassionate of others. But the other part of me says, how selfish am I to want people to stop what they're doing and focus on my world, because honestly that's what we're doing, right? The more I think about autism and the awareness that goes with it, the more selfish I feel.... I love that we have such an amazing support group in our church, family, and friends but how can I ask everyone to ignore their life and look at mine, and not even mine but Ty's. The deeper we get into autism the more I find autism in everyone I meet. Everyone has some sensory issue, quirk or OCD issue that makes them unique but the difference is most people can control it in public so that they will be socially accepted. It's those people that can't that become socially awkward or labeled with autism. No I'm not a DR and I am not trying to discount anyone with a serious condition or lesson awareness on autism. But I just know for myself if I can experience something then I can understand it and maybe if we all look at ourselves then we will begin to understand autism a little bit better? Just think of that one thing that drives you absolutely nuts for example nails on a chalk board, a fork scraping a plate, high pitched buzzing, counting to a certain number before you are satisfied, rearranging a room/cabinet/counter, a routine in the morning, etc.
Then multiply the anxiety/determination/annoyance by 100 and I think we will begin to understand why anyone affected by autism has a hard time focusing. If you're morning routine is messed up it might throw you off that morning but you can jump back on track. The nails on a chalk board makes us squirm but we don't cover our ears and shake our heads. However, if it was 100 nails on a chalkboard I'm sure we all would do just that.
I don't really know where I was going with this, just my thoughts on awareness month :)

Ok on to my boys:
  • Ty is learning to use the potty thanks to the iPad and our friend Maria!
  • He is becoming very vocal, lots of words that start with B,V,F & M's - which can be hard to determine at times but I'm glad he's trying!
  • He is understanding what we say more and more - for example, he absolutely loves angry birds. He came up to me outside while Carla and I were getting ready to take pictures and asked me for "bir" aka "birds"(angry birds) I said "No, Ty we are going to play outside right now" so he slowly lays down on the ground and whimpers, and then peaks out of one eye to see if I'm watching. Then he gets up and asks again "bir, bir" and again I say "no lets play outside" and he slowly lays down on his back whimpering and peaking out of the corner of his eye to see if we are watching. ( side note: When he does this we are suppose to ignore him so that he doesn't learn that screaming and throwing fits gets him what he wants) And Carla said "he really knows what your saying". I love when other people recognize his greatness! :) not that I don't know that he is awesome but there are times that I think maybe I am imagining this or that ... so it's good to have someone that doesn't see him often still recognize what we see daily ... if that makes any since?
  • Tripp is still a daddy's boy and an amazing little bro to Ty - sometimes he thinks he is an adult but all in all he is pretty awesome little kid :)
Well I think I have rambled on enough! thank you so much for reading and loving on my boys! lets light it up blue!!! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


So I really don't even know where to start with this post... So much has happened and I've wanted to write but just never really found the time... So I will do my best to make it all fit without being to terribly long ;)

My amazing church family...
Have I told you that we have the most amazing church family?! Well we do! If there was ever a picture of God's grace, goodness, generosity, love, compassion, mercy, and faithfulness I would say it could be wrapped up in a photo of our church family.
Every year on super bowl Sunday our church does a fundraiser for a cause (youth&children ministry, outreach stuff, etc) and we call it Souper Sunday (bc everyone brings soups). Well this year our preacher called and asked if we would let them do super Sunday for Ty. All I could do was cry and then try not to cry and I did my best to answer but I honestly did not know what to say? Sam handled the phone call better than I did and his answer is exactly what I was feeling but couldn't express. He said "I wish I could say no"... It's not that we don't want people to support our little guy, (and I'm really struggling to find words to express what I mean here, so bare with me) I guess it's just hard to receive a gift given so freely, I felt like we didnt deserve it...

Leading up to that Sunday is all a blur to me... So many people wanted tshirts and everyone had them on Sunday morning for church. I was excited and nervous all at the same time, I can be an emotional roller coaster on any given day but especially on that day. I walked into choir practice that morning to a sea of blue shirts. I did my best to not break down into tears right there ... I know they are just tshirts but it showed me so much more. It showed me the love and support that we have always had around us, I could literally feel the love in the room without a word being spoken. The children's story that morning was about Fanny Crosby, she was blind, but didn't let that stop her. She lead a full life and wrote lots of famous hymns, played the piano, guitar and other instriments and even lobbied to congress for better schooling for the blind and most of all she had a strong faith in God. Bro Joel emphasized the verse on Ty's shirts "... but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him ~ john 9:3" and that's when I realized that there are so many others out there that God has allowed a challenge or should I say an advantage to be different.  To be able to focus on this world not just in sight but in blindness, not in the spoken word but in body language, to be able to yell if you want to and that be ok bc that's how you express yourself. I've read alot of articles and blogs and so many of them say that parents of children with any disability will go through a "mourning process" and I just don't think that's right. God has given me my little boy and if the world thinks I should mourn over that then they are wrong. He might not be able to speak and tell me exactly whats going on and yes there are days that I yearn for that. But why would I mourn the life that he has been given? Why would I doubt the love and compassion that he will be able to feel and share in a way that I can't. Yes there are lots of days that I wish Ty could talk and do all the things that his little brother can do but that doesn't mean that we have lost anything. We have gained an amazing child that is teaching us how to love and see through the eyes of Jesus.

I prayed many days and nights when I was pregnant with Ty for a healthy baby. I prayed for every organ to function properly and for him to be given a desire and passion for Jesus like no one else... and the more I watch Ty grow, the more I see God answering those prayers. Because Ty will love unconditionally and probably won't hold any grudges, he recovers from a fit and jumps right back up in your lap without any pouting... after his screams are done - he is fine and he is extremely happy ... theres no looking back and reflecting on "remember when..." Do we have our challenging days YES... but who doesn't?

So once the service was over, we all gathered in the fellowship hall for a meal that could feed an army! It was amazing and Ty sat in his high chair and ate like a big boy (which he doesn't always do... there have been a few wednesday night suppers at church that I have been covered in whatever we were attempting to feed him) but not souper sunday - I guess he knew that day was all about him?! After everyone ate Bro Joel presented us with a love offereing from our church that blew us away! I cried, Sam about fell out of his chair (literally) and Ty clapped. Once everyone stopped clapping, Ty started clapping and cheering again and again and everyone fell in with him! Sometimes I think he knows alot more than we give him credit for! We are extremely blessed and honored to be a part of such an amazing church! The love, compassion and grace that flows from this group of people is mind blowing! I don't think they will ever know how truly greatful we are to be able to worship and serve with them on a regular basis! God is good, all the time! I feel like these words cannot even begin to show you how amazing and great our God is and how faithful and true He has been to us! Thank you for reading and thank you for loving us and our boys!

here is a pic of part of our extraordinary church family!

Friday, January 6, 2012

i may not have super powers but...

There are so many days that I wish I had super powers, so many times when I think "if I could just read his mind, or use some kind of supernatural vision or touch to find out what is going on in his head or what could be hurting in his little body". Because he has a hard time communicating, he can't tell me that something hurts or that he doesn't feel good or what exactly ticked him off or scared him enough to scream relentlessly in the car... and that's when I wish I had some super hero device or super power that could reveal the problem.  Something to just pop up like a warning sign "WARNING: you just made your kid mad by ....." I know you probably think I'm crazy right now or just spending way to much time out in left field but these are the thoughts that cross my mind ...
My younger son Tripp has been in and out of the dr and we discovered he has some form of bronchitis that he cant shake and is now using at home breathing treatments to finally knock out this illness. After all the dr apts with Tripp and finally finding something that works we settled in at home and heard Ty making a high pitched wheeze randomly, normally we would have just ignored it and thought that he was just mimicking some new sounds that he heard ... but because of all that Tripp has been through we thought maybe he needed a trip to the dr. His only other sign of being sick is a runny nose, no fever or any breathing problems, but since he cant tell us if he's ok or not we thought he should go ahead and take him to the local walk in clinic.
I could write an entire book on what happens when we go to the dr but I will spare you the waiting room details this time :) We found out that his lungs are fine but that he did have a pretty bad ear infection and that he needed to be on an antibiotic... So thank you Jesus for showing us something that made us take him in. We visit this clinic often and have pretty much determined that they will be our kids primary physicians since they return phone calls in a timely manner and actually check up on your kids when they are having some serious issues. But all that to say our favorite nurse was on duty and she is amazing! She is so sweet and accommodating to the boys and when I was checking out (it was just me and Ty, Sam was home with Tripp) she walked Ty around the clinic bc there was a line and she could tell I was having quite a time keeping ahold of him and all the stuff I was carrying out (diaper bag, jackets digging for my purse, etc) ...  I kept an eye and ear in his direction but there was really no need, she walked him through the nurses station talking to him the entire time and made the loop through the hall which was just enough time for me to check out and grab him up for an exit.  I thanked her as she helped me put his jacket and hat on while walking out the door and I thought to myself "that was awesome".  I am a very hard headed person and most people that know me would attest to that, and because of my hard headedness (if that's a word) I typically don't ask for help and alot of times will just brush it off and say "thank you but we're good" when it is offered. Not because I think I'm to good for that but because I like to have control of our little world and I don't like to burden others.  Now I'm not saying that I have never asked for help because that would be an outright lie ... but in the little things of life and even in babysitting I feel guilty. These are our kids and we should be able to take care of them. We are very fortunate that both of our parents have been willing to keep our kids for a random date night, and even a girls night for me here or there which is very good for the soul... they have also helped us with therapy schedules, picking up or dropping off kids at daycare/therapy and even taking Ty to USM which is an all day adventure, and much more.  So to ask for help in something as simple as packing up to leave a dr's office seems silly to me and I never really thought much of it. The impact of her simple gesture of just walking with Ty while I checked out has amazed me ... I didn't think it would stay with me for so long but it did and that's made me think. Maybe I need to do little things more often for others. Maybe I need to help someone put their groceries in their car or make silly faces at their kid while we are in line at walmart to stop the screaming? Maybe I just need to tell them that it's ok and I know where their coming from? Maybe I need to stop thinking about myself and start looking towards others. It's so easy for me to get caught up in what we are doing with Ty that I miss what's going on around us. I get so focused in on making sure I have everything in line for him wherever we go, escape routes(because if I don't see them he will) or funny comments to break the ice and let someone know that it's ok to talk about autism, it's ok to talk about what we do for him, or why he can't do certain things, or even offer suggestions on what might work better for him/us. I love to talk about my kids and I will gladly talk with anyone about my boys and Ty's treatments, diagnosis, therapy or silly habits but I don't know how to offer it... and honestly I don't want to offer it up for conversation and be turned down.  But I do want others to know that I still care about them too and I don't want people to feel like our conversation will always turn to me and then Ty... so if i'm talking to much about autism/treatments/schools just tell me ... I can take it :)

So i may not have super powers but i sure wish i could pick just one!

thanks for reading! hope it all makes since!