Friday, March 29, 2013

Pictures of perfection

The only inspiration that I can find right now is the fact that I will be seeing my children tomorrow. It has been 2 weeks since I have seen them and for me every day is an eternity so you can only imagine what 2 weeks feels like. I can't believe how big they have gotten. If you don't believe me...take a look for yourself...They are huge!!!

Princess - she is now 11

Bug - he is now 10

Silly - he is now 9

Buddy - he is now 8

Monkey - he is now 6

Baby girl - she is now 4

I still remember the days that they were born. The fears, the excitement, the anticipation, the love - yes, especially the love. That instant feeling of emotion and hope and happiness and everything that makes the world a perfect place in that small instant the moment you take a look at the face of your child for the first time.

These are my babies, my miracles, the loves of my life!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Where do you turn to?

As a parent of children with autism, I am frustrated!!

I was just looking for autism resources in my community and guess what I found? NOTHING!!

I have calls and emails in to the Autism Societies of America and Florida to see what they can come up with.

This is very disheartening.

I know that there are individuals in this community that live with autism every day and to not have the appropriate resources except for them being over 3 hours away is horrible!!

I am lucky that my children live in an area where there are a lot of resources that when I needed them they were there.

I worry about parents who are where I was years ago in this area. There appears to be nowhere to turn for them - no outlets, no support groups, nothing.

I'm not going to give up - I'm going to work on getting resources here and raising awareness that support is needed. How am I going to do it - I have no idea but the impulse is a strong one to do something about it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Purple Power!!

If there is one thing that you will ever know about me is this...I am a big advocate for raising awareness of causes that otherwise go under the radar. Autism, Epilepsy, Childhood Cancer, Child Abuse, etc.

These causes you might say do not necessarily go under the radar because you hear about them a lot but the truth is, they do because there is not enough knowledge or awareness that prompt people to go into action for research, support, etc.

Today the cause is Epilepsy. It is Epilepsy Awareness Day. The reason why this day hits close to home is because the children of two of my dearest friends in the world suffer from epilepsy/seizure disorders.

Facts about Epilepsy:

- Epilepsy is more prevalent than you think. 1 out of every 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their life.
- There are different types of seizures therefore awareness is crucial!!
- Epilepsy affects anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sex
 - 1 in 10 people will have at least 1 seizure in their lifetime (my oldest daughter had one when she was 3 months old)
- Out of the over 65 million people that live with epilepsy every day, over 45,000 of them are children UNDER the age of 15 - and living in the United States...shocking numbers

There is more to know and learn about epilepsy aside from the above. Please take the time to read
the Epilepsy Handout provided on Epilepsy 101: the Basics. If you are intrigued to learn even more, continue exploring the internet, ask questions, get involved!!

To my dearest friends Kirsty (you can read her writings at Gone Bananas) and Janie - I love you girls!! You are strong moms and your children are even bigger heroes for overcoming their issues every day and smiling regardless of how they are feeling. They and you are truly an inspiration.

So go ahead, wear purple today!! If you are already dressed or wear a uniform like me - wear purple when you get home. Show your support and raise awareness!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Flying Blue

Happy Monday from the islands everyone!!

It is a rainy day here, how is it in your neck of the woods? I hear there is lots of snow still falling out there so I'm not going to complain much.

Well, back at work today but I am still recovering from the weekend.

It was a great one! I was able to disconnect for a while and it was definitely what I needed.

I spent Saturday at the Naval Air Station Key West for the Southernmost Air Spectacular Air Show.
NAS Key West 2013 Southernmost Air Spectacular
Wow, that is all that I can say! I had never been to an air show before but this was just awesome.

Watching the precision with which the pilots flew their jets and the sky divers floated through the air was nothing short of amazing.

My favorite of course was the crowd favorite as well, the Blue Angels.

If you want to know what having your heart in your throat feels like...well go see them perform because I was just at the edge of my seat for the whole show (technically I was standing up the whole time but who really cares right?)

The tricks, the routines, the noise was all just well, PERFECT!

I tried uploading some videos but Blogger wasn't having it.

This is definitely something worth experiencing if you ever get the chance to. I heard somewhere  (radio, show, I really can't remember) that this is the last time the Blue Angels will be performing this year so I was glad to have been a part of it if this is the case.

You can find out more about the base on the link provided above or more about the show by visiting the Blue Angels Facebook Page or the Facebook Page of the NAS KW.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Walk a mile in my shoes

Just to gripe at first...I hate trying to figure out a title for a post, it sets the tone for everything and whether or not somebody wants to read the darn thing or not! It's like as if I will have to make my writing live up to the title or seek out a promotions department just to make it sound interesting or intriguing so that people will think "WOW! I just have to read that it sounds so riveting!"...ugh! the stresses of life!!

Now to get back on track....

Yes, I know I haven't written in a LONG time and I continue to promise that I will be back and that I will be more active but honestly, who has the time any more? Between family, work, life, etc. there is barely enough time to take a shower (I do that every day, I do not stink I SWEAR!!)

UPDATE: I am still with Mr. Big, Mr. Wonderful, Mr. Whatever you want to call him - I know what I want to call him, what you want to call him is entirely up to you ;-). I had a great job that I loved, working in the telecom construction industry. I had a great relationship with my children and visited with them often. Life was GREAT!!

If you noticed, I used the word "had" a lot. This is because that is no longer the case. Mr. Big is still in the picture but aside from that, everything else has changed. The biggest of which is that I moved to the FLORIDA KEYS!!! Yes!!! I'm living in an island paradise and I am still complaining. What the hell is wrong with this woman?!?! Is probably what you are thinking but here's why...

Mr. Big got offered an opportunity that he could not pass up and I told him to go for it. Apparently I am not the only person who thinks that he is all kinds of wonderful and perfect because he got the opportunity and it required us to relocate to paradise. This meant all kinds of changes.

My job: I LOVED my job. I am not going to deny that in the least. I was finally in a position where not only did I have direction and team work, I had the potential for significant growth and advancement. Unfortunately though a 4 hour commute was not in the cards for me and telecommuting was not being offered for my position no matter how great they thought I was or how badly they wanted to keep me. Needless to say I had to resign from my position and find a new one. The new one is great and all - I have all the room to make it my own and grow a business that needs help so I am all for that - its just different and I need time to let it grow on me.

My children: This is a sore subject. Due to my new location and the location of my children, seeing them weekly is no longer an option. I am trying to make visitation work out but right now there are obstacles in  my way that are preventing that. There are so many emotions and feelings going on right now on my side that I can only imagine what my children are facing. This is not an easy situation by any means. My children are my life and my world! Being a mom and being so far away from my children is killing me. I wrote them letters yesterday and I am hoping that they get them. I never want them to think that I abandoned or deserted them. That is not the case; never has been and never will be.

Without going into a lot of details about my personal life that I would rather remain that way - personal - I'm dying here. While I am surrounded by paradise and the man that I love, I am missing the most important people in my life, my six beautiful children.

You'd think that 2 years post divorce and having these arrangements I would be used to not having my children every day but that is not the case. In fact it gets harder and harder because I am missing so much of their lives and feel that they are slipping away from me.

But the thing is, I'm  not giving up. I'm not done fighting for them.

My children were not taken away from me at all! I want to set that straight.

I made the hardest choice a mother could ever make and left them with their father. Due to their disabilities - the divorce was going to be one change that was going to be hard enough, uprooting them from their home, schools, doctors, etc. at that time was not going to be a good thing for them. They were not ready for all that change. I am and always will be an active part of their lives regardless of what certain people may say or what they define as "active". I could have taken them with me but it meant a new home, new beds, new everything - their comfort zones would have been crushed. Then the fact of not living with their daddy who they love so much, that would just have sent all the progress they had made up until that time backwards. One big change was more than enough. I could not put them through any more than that. Change for them needs to be gradual and carefully organized - change is hard on children with autism.

I do have to admit that my support system is a great one. Mr. Big loves me unconditionally and my children as well. He knows what they mean to me and how much I need them in my life and he wants that more than anything. I could not go through all of this without him. My family is also great. They reassure me that I am doing what is right for my children and that only time will tell and that I need to focus on being there for them as much as I can and whenever possible. They too hold me up when I fall down and keep me focused. My friends keep me grounded by making me laugh, mostly at myself, and realizing that those are my children no matter what - nobody can take that away. Even still - I miss them terribly every day.

I was born to be a mother; born to be THEIR mother and I'll be damned if anyone tries to tell me otherwise.

Walk a mile in my shoes....then maybe you'll understand what it is like.